96 3.8 V6 multiple problems - HELP! - Team Camaro Tech
Troubleshooting Diagnosing problems done here.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 10, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
Eli
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Orange County
Posts: 6
96 3.8 V6 multiple problems - HELP!

Hey everyone, this is my first post on here, so hopefully it goes well. I have a 96 3.8 V6 with about 91,500 miles. Everything is stock, so there's no mods causing problems. I'll run down the problems with the important ones first.

1. Strong burning rubber smell
2. Temperature runs high, gauge showed level above the halfway point ~220 after about 5 minutes
3. Smoke coming off top of the engine, not a large amount and can't find the source, but it's somewhere around the thermostat.
4. Leak after the muffler at the clamp connecting the tailpipe (see pic). The fluid looks clear, but has a smell (not sure what kind). Leak is only on passenger side
5. Coolant level is off. In the reservoir the measuring thing reads above full, even after draining a couple of quarts
6. Battery level gauge seems high after start, then slows down after the car's run for awhile.
7. Air Conditioning doesn't push any cold. Not too important right now, but definitely will need it fixed for summer.

I've replaced the thermostat and the PCV valve, and just had the oil changed, but the shop didn't say whether there was anything weird about the oil. The Service Engine light was on, and it had code P0125. This was before the thermostat was replaced, and I cleared the code. When I ran it after install, the light didn't come back on, but if it does I'll update.

I'm not sure where to go next, and any help would be appreciated. I have the Chilton service manual so any reference to something in there would work too. Thanks.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	0206001856.jpg
Views:	64
Size:	51.8 KB
ID:	14126  
eli327 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 10, 08:25 AM
Senior Tech
Chuck
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 926
Re: 96 3.8 V6 multiple problems - HELP!

Wow, that is a lot. Better find a good mechanic. Here are just a few possibilities:
1. drive belt, oil leakage, wire on exhaust, electrical short
2. low coolant, thermostat defective, cooling fan inop, blown headgasket
3. coolant leak, oil burning off from leak, wire burning due to short
4. probably just water, which is a by product of combustion , could be coolant
5. overheating engine forcing coolant into over flow
6. high initial charging rate due to weak/old battery
7. Refrigerant leak, malfunctioning compressor, expansion valve/orifice tube malfunction, HVAC control malfunction
Chuck is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 10, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
Eli
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Orange County
Posts: 6
Re: 96 3.8 V6 multiple problems - HELP!

Yeah tell me about it. It's too bad the budget barely includes parts.

1. Belt felt alright, didn't see any cracks or anything. At 91K miles though, it might be a good idea to replace it soon. I did notice some oil in a groove on top of the engine, near the thermostat (see pic). I cleaned up some of it before the pic, but this is what's left.
2. Before I would only put coolant in the reservoir, I'll try putting some straight into the radiator.
3. Might be explained by (1), I'll try cleaning the rest of the oil off and see if it goes away.
4. Hopefully that's all it is, would the leak be fixed by tightening the clamp?
5. (2) might fix it.
6. Battery only a couple years old. Car does sit for a week or two at a time, and is not a regularly driven car.
7. Refrigerant was added, A/C worked, and about a month later it stopped.

I'll add some coolant and try cleaning off the oil, maybe get some driving in before the game. Thanks for the advice, it's definitely appreciated.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	0205001750.jpg
Views:	106
Size:	68.0 KB
ID:	14132  
eli327 is offline  
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 10, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
Eli
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Orange County
Posts: 6
Re: 96 3.8 V6 multiple problems - HELP!

Today, I added more coolant directly to the radiator, all the way to the top. Then I saw that coolant was leaking out from the water pump. Not a major amount, but it made small puddle, about 7 inches in diameter. I turned the car on to try circulating the coolant, and the leak slowed a lot, eventually coming to a stop. The temp still got to the middle line, ~210 degrees. I put a paper towel wedged under the water pump to catch any leaks, and there was nothing on it hours later. The coolant level in the radiator is lower than full, but I can still see it from the top.

I'm guessing the water pump needs replacing, but could it be just a gasket leak? It's $90 for an ACDelco water pump, so if just the gasket can be replaced that would save some $$$.
eli327 is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 10, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
Eli
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Orange County
Posts: 6
Re: 96 3.8 V6 multiple problems - HELP!

One more thing, would it be better to move this to the Fourth Generation thread?
eli327 is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 10, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
Eli
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Orange County
Posts: 6
Re: 96 3.8 V6 multiple problems - HELP!

Replaced the water pump and flushed the radiator. Heat still jumps up when sitting, but will come back down when moving. Temp seems to fluctuate 30-40 degrees within seconds while driving. I ordered a new drive belt that will be here this week, so we'll see if that helps out any.

One thing that bothers me is that when the car is idling, the radiator fans don't turn on. Is this normal?
eli327 is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 10, 06:11 AM
Senior Tech
Chuck
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 926
Re: 96 3.8 V6 multiple problems - HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eli327 View Post
Replaced the water pump and flushed the radiator. Heat still jumps up when sitting, but will come back down when moving. Temp seems to fluctuate 30-40 degrees within seconds while driving. I ordered a new drive belt that will be here this week, so we'll see if that helps out any.

One thing that bothers me is that when the car is idling, the radiator fans don't turn on. Is this normal?
The fans should turn on at a specific temp, probably around 180-190 degrees. If the fans do not ever turn it will most definately overheat while idiling. The fans should also turn on when the ac is turned on. Air moving through the radiator is what cools it. Driving causes airflow, the fans cause airflow when not moving. That is why it cools when driving and heats up while sitting. As for your ac, it probably stopped working after the refrigerant was added because the leak was not repaired.
Chuck is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 10, 08:59 AM
Super Moderator
Bess-68's rule
 
Everett#2390's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Va Beach VA
Posts: 32,159
Garage
Re: 96 3.8 V6 multiple problems - HELP!

Coolant fans are PCM controlled via a relay(s). Engine has a 195F thermostat, so fan should come on at around 225F as PCM coolant sensor tells how hot the engine is running.

One fan should come on via PCM coolant sensor, the other fn should come on when A/C or DEF is selected, regardless whether their is freon in the system or not.

Radiator is not staying full, it might now since leaky w/pump is replaced, thus the reservoir always required draining. If the cooling system has a leak, system pressurizes when hot - to raise the boiling point of the coolant - then as the system cools, say in the overnight, the coolant is drawn back into the closed system -IF there is no leak. If a leak exists, coolant will never br drawn/sucked back into the coolant sytem. Also, low coolant level can also be the problem why the fan never came on - kindda hard to heat air.

Coolant system will require 'burping' or purging of the air.

Yep, find another mechanic.

Give a man a rescued dog for the health of both their souls. May 2017 ROTM Winner - Thank you!
'
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
CUBS - 2016 World Series Champions - Thank you, Joe Madden enjoy your next chapter.
Everett#2390 is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 10, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
Eli
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Orange County
Posts: 6
Re: 96 3.8 V6 multiple problems - HELP!

Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I got the new drive belt on, and replaced the radiator cap. The cars stays within a normal range temperature wise, but once it starts idling, the temp goes up. I'm not sure which fan is controlled by what, but the only fan I can see from above, the driver's side fan, doesn't turn on when idling or with the A/C on. I'll have to check the other fan from underneath while it's on ramps.
eli327 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome