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Updated on May 05, 2012
This is my newest addition to my automotive family. It's a 2002 Oldsmobile Silhouette Extended Sport Van. I purchased it on January 29th 2011 with only 80K miles on it. This van was a one-owner grage kept vehicle until I bought it, and it was always serviced on time at Faulkner Chevrolet / Oldsmobile in Bethlehem, PA.
This van is powered by the RPO Code "LA1" 3.4L "3400" 207-CID V-6 with SFI (Sequential Port Fuel Injection). Power is transmitted to the front wheels by way of a 4T65E 4-Speed Automatic Overdrive Transaxle.
This engine is extremely reliable and can run up to over 300K miles with regular maintenance.
The only problem that this engine is plagued with like all other gm engines from 96' on, are lower intake manifold gasket and cylinder head gasket leaks due to GM's crappy "Dex-Cool" antifreeze.
Fortunately for me, the intake manifold, lower intake manifold gaskets, and cylinder head gaskets were already replaced by the original owners at 55K miles and covered under warranty.
As long as you use the updated gaskets (Fel-Pro 980003T for the Intake Gaskets, HS9071PT-1 for the Head Gasket Set, use NEW intake manifold bolts, and MOST IMPORTANTLY USE THE UPDATED TORQUE SPECS ON THE LOWER INTAKE MANIFOLD BOLTS) you should never have to replace them again.
Here's the inside scoop on GM's Dex-Cool Antifreeze...
GM claims that Dex-Cool Coolant is good for up to 5 years / 150,000 miles before its first flush.
I and many others disagree... Dex-Cool antifreeze SUCKS!
DO NOT USE IT! FLUSH IT OUT IMMEDIATELY AND REPLACE WITH PRESTONE UNIVERSAL ANTIFREEZE!
What happens is many owners NEVER pop the hood to check their fluid levels like they should on daily basis if at all. Like all fluids, the coolant needs to be repenished (topped off) every so often. What happens is they drive the vehicle without ever checking the coolant level. Over time the coolant resevoir runs dry then the radiator starts to get a little low on coolant and this where the problem starts. Dex-Cool and air DON'T MIX! When the cooling system gets low and air is ingested into the cooling system, the Dex-Cool becomes "acidic" and starts to breakdown. When it becomes acidic it (the coolant) starts to eat away at the gaskets and seals inside the engine causing coolant leaks, pitting aluminum surfaces making for poor sealing ability and thus more leaks. Have you ever taken a radiator cap off a GM vehicle after 5 years that has had dexcool in it and looked inside? Then you know what I'm talking about...Nice and rusty and brown in there huh? :)
(Note: This IS NOT my cooling system, this picture is in reference to the above question...)
Here is the solution to the problem... Flush out the Dex-Cool coolant and replace with Prestone Universal antifreeze, always keep the radiator full, and always keep the colant resevoir full. In fact, Keep the coolant resevoir at the FULL HOT mark WHEN COLD!, and flush your cooling system out every 2 years or 24,000 miles whichever comes first and you will never have another coolant related problem.
Anyway, sorry I got off track a little bit with the whole antifreeze story...
This van is a very nice automobile. It is fully loaded with power windows, power locks, power mirrors, leather interior, heated memory seats, dual-zone cimate control, rear heat/ac and audio controls, On-Star Communications, dual power sliding doors, remote keyless entry, backup camera, anti-lock brakes, traction control, AM/FM/CD/CASSETTE with RDS and premium sound, trip computer, built in Home-Link garage door opener, rear air-ride suspenion with automatic leveling control, and many other nice touches...
Well, hope you like the van, please feel free to drop me a line and tell me what you think, and feel free to ask me any questions that pertain to maintaining your automobile. I will be more than glad to help. Until next time... Goodbye ;)
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Awesomely clean van you have. Mine probably won't ever be that nice again but I'm having fun trying to clean it bit by bit. Previous owners bought the van with 204K on it for a grand and drove it a couple hundred miles before they got the overheating problem. Let it sit for a long time then decided to sell. $300 to me and $600 to my mechanic and here I go! I wish I could retrofit the passenger zone climate thing in to mine, along with the RDS CD-cassette stereo. But I like the pictures of your van and that's my goal is to get it as close to that clean as possible with what I have. RockAuto order is in for headlights, marker lights, cabin air filter, and more to get me started!
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