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2001 Chevy Venture Ext Warner Bros Edition
12-17-2015, 06:59 PM
Post: #1
2001 Chevy Venture Ext Warner Bros Edition
V6, fwd, 199k miles, automatic, live in Southern Indiana.
I've owned vehicle for 6 months, always drove fine, no problems - never ran hot, or had any leaks, aside from power steering fluid leak. One evening, got into vehicle to leave, had just drove it a few hours before and it drove fine, when I started, I heard a loud "POP" and then it died, I turned the key again and it started just fine. I drove about a mile down the road and noticed white smoke behind my car, I turned around to go home. It did not run hot or even warm. I left my car running and walked behind to see a lot of thick white smoke pouting from exhaust. Next day I checked the oil to find water and/or coolant mixed in, a lot. I checked radiator and all the coolant levels are normal. I have not drove the vehicle since this happened. Even though it starts and drives fine...still does not overheat. I changed the oil and filter, let the car run for a while, and checked the oil the next day, and water was back in oil but not much. I was just wondering if there could be anything else, maybe not as major as head gasket causing this. What was the loud "POP" I heard upon starting car, why did it died and then immediately start up again? I can't afford and wouldn't want to pay the high labor rate to someone to replace the head gasket since I'm assuming that's what it is.
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12-17-2015, 10:22 PM
Post: #2
RE: 2001 Chevy Venture Ext Warner Bros Edition
The "pop" may be related or not and could have been an intake backfire for a variety of reasons. The bottom line is you have observed something going into the crankcase and most likely it's coolant, especially if the oil looks like a milk shake. It doesn't take much and the overflow tank may be going down even though the radiator itself seems full.

What I would do is a proper diagnosis starting with a cooling system pressure test. While the system is under pressure also inspect for any external leaks. If the engine wont crank after 20 minutes of pressure testing then the coolant is probably leaking directly into a cylinder. If you are inclined to do the job yourself you may get lucky and find it's only a leaky intake manifold gasket (it will be obvious on disassembly) or if you pull the plugs and find coolant in the cyls that will confirm a bad head gasket.

At any rate, when you feel you have found the culpret and it's repaired I would suggest doing several oil changes and using a crankcase flushing agent to desolve any glycol deposits from the coolant contamination.

Keep us posted on what you find as it may help others reading here.
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