1995–2004—The following GM service bulletins confirm a pattern of engine intake manifold gasaket defects, which are sometimes covered by a 6­year/100,000 km secret warranty. Here they are presented from the earliest to the latest per Alldata garage bulletin subscription I subscribe to:
Bulletin #1
Engine Coolant ­ Consumption/Leak
File In Section: 06 ­ Engine/Propulsion System Bulletin No.: 01­06­01­007A
Date: July, 2001
TECHNICAL
Subject:
Engine Coolant Consumption or Coolant Leak
(Inspect For Material Degradation/Replace Intake Manifolds) Models:
1995­1997 Buick Riviera
1995­1998 Buick LeSabre, Park Avenue
1996­1998 Buick Regal
1998 Chevrolet Lumina, Monte Carlo
1995­1996 Oldsmobile Ninety­Eight
1995­1998 Oldsmobile Eighty­Eight
1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue
1995­1998 Pontiac Bonneville
1997­1998 Pontiac Grand Prix
with 3.8L Engine (VIN K ­ RPO L36)
This bulletin is being revised to correct parts and labor operation usage. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01­06­01­007 (Section 6 ­ Engine/Propulsion System).
Condition
Some owners may comment on excessive engine coolant consumption, or an engine coolant leak near or under the throttle body area of the upper intake manifold.
Cause
Upper intake manifold composite material may degrade around the EGR stove pipe and could result in an internal or external coolant leak.
Correction
1. Follow the upper intake manifold removal instructions found in the Engine Unit Repair Section of the Service Information Manual.
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2. Refer to the arrow in the illustration of the upper intake manifold above. Inspect the inner diameter of the EGR passage for signs of material degradation. Degradation will appear as “pitting” of the composite material in the EGR port passage.
3. If degradation of upper intake manifold composite material is found, replace the lower and upper intake manifolds with the following part numbers:
^ Lower Intake ­ 24508923
^ Upper Intake ­ 17113136 (includes necessary upper intake plenum gaskets) ^ Lower Intake Gasket ­ 12537197
4. Follow the lower and upper intake manifold installation instructions found in the Engine Unit Repair Section of the appropriate Service Manual.
5. If degradation is not apparent, skip to Step 7.
6. Verify the repair.
7. If no degradation is found, evaluate the vehicle for other causes of excessive coolant consumption as noted in the Engine Diagnosis Section of the appropriate Service Manual.
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Parts Information
Parts are currently available from GMSPO.
Warranty Information
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For vehicles repaired under warranty, use the table.
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Disclaimer
Bulletin #2
In this second service bulletin GM admits to a special ‘voluntary’ program to refund engine repair costs. Although referred to by GM as a ‘recall,’ this free repair is really a “customer Satisfaction Program.” It isn’t under Transport Canada’s jurisdiction and isn ‘t part of the safety recall process which usually has an eight­year repair period with strict notification terms mandated by the government and sent out by the automaker. It is important to note, GM takes responsibility for this engine failure and specifically includes Canadian owners in retroactive payouts to independent repair agencies and promises to offer free courtesy transportation.
All of the above benefits should be cited whenever an extended or “goodwill” warranty is offered by any automaker, or whenever a claim is files in small claims court.
Customer Satisfaction Program Engine Coolant Leak
ProgramNo.:#03034 Date:July7,2003 All 2000­2002 and Certain 2003 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo; Pontiac Grand Prix, Bonneville; and BuickRegal, LeSabre, Park Avenue Equipped with 3.8L V6 Engine.
THIS RECALL IS IN EFFECT UNTIL JULY 31, 2005.
Condition
General Motors has decided that all 2000­2002 and certain 2003 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo; Pontiac Grand Prix, Bonneville; and Buick Regal, LeSabre, Park Avenue model vehicles equipped with 3.8L (RPO L36 ­ VIN Code K) engines, may have a condition in which engine coolant may leak at the upper intake manifold throttle body gasket, or at the upper intake manifold to lower intake manifold gasket. This condition may result in a low engine coolant level and higher engine operating temperatures.
Correction
Dealers are to replace the three throttle body fastener nuts and add cooling system sealant to the radiator tank.
Vehicles
Involved are all 2000­2002 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo; Pontiac Grand Prix, Bonneville; and Buick Regal, LeSabre, Park Avenue model vehicles equipped with 3.8L (RPO L36 ­ VIN Code K) engines
Customer Reimbursement For Canada
All customer requests for reimbursement of previously paid coolant leaks that were repaired by replacing the upper intake manifold/gasket, throttle body nuts or throttle body gasket are to be submitted by July 31,2004. All reasonable customer paid receipts should be considered for reimbursement. The amount to be reimbursed will be limited to the amount the repair would have cost if completed by an authorized General Motors dealer.
Dealers are to ensure that these customers understand that shuttle service or some other form of courtesy transportation is available and will be provided at no charge. Dealers should refer to the General Motors Service Policies and Procedures Manual for Courtesy Transportation guidelines.
GENERAL MOTORS PRODUCT PROGRAM CUSTOMER REIMBURSEMENT PROCEDURE
If you have paid to have this condition corrected by replacing the upper intake manifold/gasket, throttle body nuts, or throttle body gasket before August 8, 2003, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement.
Requests for reimbursement may include parts, labor, fees and taxes. Reimbursement may be limited to the amount the repair would have cost if completed by an authorized General Motors dealer. Your claim will be acted upon within 60 days of receipt. Letters will be sent to known owners of record located within areas covered by the US National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. For
owners outside these areas, dealers should notify customers using the attached suggested dealer letter.
Bulletin #3
This third GM bulletin lists several of the symptoms indicating an intake manifold gasket failure and under what conditions a more thorough repair should be undertaken. The nuts are also listed as having been upgraded for better retention: another liability admission by GM.
Loss of Coolant, Milky Colored Oil
Loss of Coolant, Milky Colored Oil (Replace Intermediate Intake Gasket)
Bulletin No.: #03­06­01­016 Date: May 21, 2003 2000­2003 LeSabre, ParkAvenue, Regal; 2000­2003 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo; 2000­2003 Bonneville; 2000­2003; Grand Prix with 3.8L V6 Engine.
Condition: Some owners may comment on a loss of coolant, coolant odor, having to add coolant or a milky substance on either the oil dipstick or oil fill cap. Additionally, owners may indicate that there are signs of coolant loss left on the ground where the vehicle is normally parked. Cause: Condition may be due to coolant leaking past intermediate intake or throttle body gaskets.
Correction: The upper intake manifold should not be replaced for a coolant leak condition, unless a rare instance of physical damage is found. Even if the throttle body surface shows a slight warpage, the upper intake should not be replaced unless a drivability concern is noted or a relevant engine DTC, such as a code for an unmetered air leak, is set and the upper intake manifold can clearly be shown as the cause of the concern.
Thoroughly check for any external leaks. If no external leaks are found, then replace the intermediate intake manifold gasket and the throttle body gasket. When changing the throttle body gasket, the nuts that retain the throttle body should be replaced with a new design that improves torque retention. Medium strength thread locker should be applied to the studs before installing the new nuts.
Bulletin #4
Campaign ­ Engine Coolant Leak
Bulletin No.: 03034
Date: July, 2003
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION PROGRAM
SUBJECT:
03034 ­ ENGINE COOLANT LEAK
MODELS:
ALL 2000­2002 AND CERTAIN 2003 CHEVROLET IMPALA, MONTE CARLO; PONTIAC GRAND PRIX, BONNEVILLE; AND BUICK REGAL, LESABRE, PARK AVENUE EQUIPPED WITH 3.8L V6 ENGINE (RPO L36 ­ VIN CODE K)
THIS PROGRAM IS IN EFFECT UNTIL JULY 31, 2005. CONDITION
General Motors has decided that all 2000­2002 and certain 2003 Chevrolet impala, Monte Carlo; Pontiac Grand Prix, Bonneville; and Buick Regal, LeSabre, Park Avenue model vehicles, equipped with 3.8L (RPO L36 ­ VIN Code K) engines, may have a condition in which engine coolant may leak at the upper intake manifold throttle body gasket, or at the upper intake manifold to lower intake manifold gasket. This condition may result in a low engine coolant level and higher engine operating temperatures.
CORRECTION
Dealers are to replace the three throttle body fastener nuts and add cooling system sealant to the radiator tank. VEHICLES INVOLVED
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Involved are all 2000­2002 and certain 2003 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo; Pontiac Grand Prix, Bonneville; and Buick Regal, LeSabre, Park Avenue model vehicles equipped with 3.8L (RPO L36 ­ VIN Code K) engines and built within the VIN breakpoints shown.
IMPORTANT: Dealers should confirm vehicle eligibility through GMVIS (GM Vehicle Inquiry System) or GM Access Screen (Canada only) or DCS Screen 445 (IPC only) prior to beginning program repairs. [Not all vehicles within the above breakpoints may be involved.] Computer listings containing the complete Vehicle Identification Number, customer name and address data of involved vehicles have been prepared, and are being furnished to involved dealers with the program bulletin. The customer name and address data will enable dealers to follow up with customers involved in this program. Any dealer not receiving a computer listing with the program bulletin has no involved vehicles currently assigned.
These dealer listings may contain customer names and addresses obtained from Motor Vehicle Registration Records. The use of such motor vehicle registration data for any other purpose is a violation of law in several states/provinces/countries. Accordingly, you are urged to limit the use of this listing to the follow­up necessary to complete this program.
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PARTS INFORMATION
Parts required to complete this program are to be obtained from General Motors Service Parts Operations (GMSPO). Please refer to your “involved vehicles listing” before ordering parts.
Normal orders should be placed on a DRO = Daily Replenishment Order. In an emergency situation, parts should be ordered on a CSO = Customer Special Order.
IDENTIFICATION LABEL ­ For US and IPC
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Place an Identification Label on each vehicle corrected in accordance with the instructions outlined in this Product Program Bulletin. Each label provides a space to include the program number and the five­digit dealer code of the dealer performing the program service. This information may be inserted with a typewriter or a ballpoint pen.
Put the Recall Identification Label on a clean and dry surface of the radiator core support in an area that will be visible to people servicing the vehicle.
For US and IPC ­ When installing the Recall Identification Label, be sure to pull the tab to allow adhesion of the clear protective covering. Additional Recall Identification Labels for US dealers can be obtained from Dealer Support Materials.
Additional Recall Identification Labels for IPC dealers can be obtained from your Regional Marketing Office.
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For Canada ­ Additional Recall Identification Labels for Canadian dealers can be obtained from DGN.
CUSTOMER REIMBURSEMENT ­ For US
All customer requests for reimbursement of previously paid coolant leaks that were repaired by replacing the upper intake manifold/gasket, throttle body nuts, or throttle body gasket will be handled by the Customer Assistance Center, not by dealers.
A General Motors Product Program Customer Reimbursement Procedure Form is included with the customer letter.
IMPORTANT: Refer to the GM Service Policies and Procedures Manual, section 6.1.12, for specific procedures regarding customer reimbursement and the form.
CUSTOMER REIMBURSEMENT ­ For Canada
All customer requests for reimbursement of previously paid coolant leaks that were repaired by replacing the upper intake manifold/gasket, throttle body nuts, or throttle body gasket are to be submitted by July 31, 2004.
All reasonable customer paid receipts should be considered for reimbursement. The amount to be reimbursed will be limited to the amount the repair would have cost if completed by an authorized General Motors dealer.
When a customer requests reimbursement, they must provide the following:
^ Proof of ownership at time of repair.
^ Original paid receipt confirming the amount of repair expense(s) that were not reimbursed, a description of the repair, and the person or entity performing the repair.
Claims for customer reimbursement on previously paid repairs are to be submitted as required by WINS.
IMPORTANT: Refer to the GM Service Policies and Procedures Manual, section 1 6.2, for specific procedures regarding customer reimbursement verification.
COURTESY TRANSPORTATION
The General Motors Courtesy Transportation program is intended to minimize customer inconvenience when a vehicle requires a repair that is covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. The availability of courtesy transportation to customers whose vehicles are within the warranty coverage period and involved in a product program is very important in maintaining customer satisfaction. Dealers are to ensure that these customers understand that shuttle service or some other form of courtesy transportation is available and will be provided at no charge. Dealers should refer to the General Motors Service Policies and Procedures Manual for Courtesy Transportation guidelines.
CLAIM INFORMATION
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Submit a Product Program Claim with the information shown.
Refer to the General Motors WINS Claims Processing Manual for details on Product Recall Claim Submission.
CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION ­ For US and CANADA
General Motors will notify customers of this program on their vehicle (see copy of customer letter shown in this bulletin).
CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION ­ For IPC
Letters will be sent to known owners of record located within areas covered by the US National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. For owners outside these areas, dealers should notify customers using the sample letter.
DEALER PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITY ­ ALL
All unsold new vehicles in dealers’ possession and subject to this program must be held and inspected/repaired per the service procedure of this program bulletin before customers take possession of these vehicles.
Dealers are to service all vehicles subject to this program at no charge to customers, regardless of mileage, age of vehicle, or ownership, through July 31, 2005.
Customers who have recently purchased vehicles sold from your vehicle inventory, and for which there is no customer information indicated on the dealer listing, are to be contacted by the dealer. Arrangements are to be made to make the required correction according to the instructions contained in this bulletin. A copy of the customer letter is shown in this bulletin. Program follow­up cards should not be used for this purpose, since the customer may not as yet have received the notification letter.
In summary, whenever a vehicle subject to this program enters your vehicle inventory, or is in your dealership for service prior to August 1, 2005, you must take the steps necessary to be sure the program correction has been made before selling or releasing the vehicle.
Bulletin #5
Engine ­ Intake Manifold Oil/Coolant Leak
Notes
Engine Oil or Coolant Leak (Install New Intake Manifold Gasket) # 03­06­01­010B ­ (10/24/2003)
Engine Oil or Coolant Leak (Install New Intake Manifold Gasket) 2000­2003 Buick Century
2002­2003 Buick Rendezvous
1996 Chevrolet Lumina APV
1997­2003 Chevrolet Venture
1999­2001 Chevrolet Lumina
1999­2003 Chevrolet Malibu, Monte Carlo 2000­2003 Chevrolet Impala
1996­2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette
1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass
1999­2003 Oldsmobile Alero
1996­1999 Pontiac Trans Sport 1999­2003 Pontiac Grand Am, Montana 2000­2003 Pontiac Grand Prix
2001­2003 Pontiac Aztek
with 3.1L or 3.4L V­6 Engine (VINs J, E ­ RPOs LG8, LA1)
This bulletin is being revised to change the model Information. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 03­06­01­O10A (Section 06 ­ Engine).
Condition
Some owners may comment on an apparent oil or coolant leak. Additionally, the comments may range from spots on the driveway to having to add fluids.
Cause
Intake manifold may be leaking allowing coolant, oil or both to leak from the engine. Correction
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Install a new design intake manifold gasket. The material used in the gasket has been changed in order to improve the sealing qualities of the gasket. When replacing the gasket, the intake manifold bolts must also be replaced and torqued to a revised specification. The new bolts will come with a pre­ applied threadlocker on them.
Notice An oil leak may result if the vertical bolts are not tightened before the diagonal bolts.
Diagonal bolts may require a crows foot to tighten. Tighten
1. Tighten the vertical lower intake manifold bolts (1) to 7 N.m (62 lb in). 2. Tighten the diagonal lower intake manifold bolts (2) to 7 N.m (62 lb in). 3. Tighten the vertical lower intake manifold bolts (1) to 13 N.m (115 lb in). 4. Tighten the diagonal lower intake manifold bolts (2) to 25 N.m (18 lb ft).
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Parts Information
Parts are currently available from GMSPO. Warranty Information
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For vehicles repaired under warranty, use the table.
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Bulletin #6
In this sixth and most recent bulletin, GM says that its revised intake manifold gasket is more “robust” and adds 2004 Monte Carlo, Impala, and Bonnevile models to the afflicted models list. This is another admission of liability under the implied warranty statutes.
Redesigned Upper Intake Manifold and Gaskets
Bulletin No.: 04­06­01­017 Date: May 26, 2004
New Upper Intake Manifold and Gasket Kits
1995­1997 Riviera; 1995­2004 Park Avenue; 1996­2004 Regal; 1997­2004 LeSabre; 1998­1999 Lumina; 1998­2004 Monte Carlo; 2000­2004 Impala; 1995­ 1996 Ninety­Eight; 1995­1999 Eighty­Eight; 1998­1999 Intrigue; 1995­2004 Bonneville; 1997­2003 Grand Prix with 3.8L V6 Engine
New upper intake manifold and gasket kits have been released. These new kits will provide the dealer with the ability to get exactly what is necessary for a correct repair. In addition some of the gaskets have been updated to a more robust design.