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Pete, Auto Service Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 29096
Experience:  14 years GM dealer Technician.
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Chevrolet Astro AWD: 2004 Chevy Astro 170000 miles awd I

Customer Question

2004 Chevy Astro 170000 miles awd
I have a stumble which gets worse upon acceleration especially with ac on like I'll try to accelerate and can will not smoothly like it stutters ? It's also burning oil definitely not losing it cause it's irked over night in warehouse yard and never do I find any oil under where van parked ! Now Its overheating and even i removed radiator cap I saw aluminum shavings in fluid and around rim where cap sits
I had tune up aboit a year ago and I allready had stumble immediately afterwards this can also had head gasket replaced when first purchased but ran smooth when first done but
I'm thinking maybe gasket blew or spring a leak shortly after and that's where and when oil is going and or leaking out only while driving tho ? Any ideas as to what it can be based on symptoms ? I have a car lift in my warehouse so if I must I'll fix this myself assuming it doesn't need head gasket that's too much work for me I don't wanna do it nor do
I know if I am going to be capable of replacing head gasket I've never done this yet but I've done many other things I am very capable but again not a car mechanic by trade or career and I only bought lift off friend cause finding good mechanics these days very tough
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.
Hi my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist with this today.In some cases I may need more info to assist better.I apologize for any delay. If you have shavings in the radiator,over heating issues.misfiring issues as well as loss of oil this can indicate a fault with one of the cylinder head gaskets leaking needing replaced.I have seen the cylinder head gaskets fail in the past before needing replaced for this fault here especially with the aluminum in the coolant.I would have this tested/checked further to be sure this is the cause and then once the affected head gasket is found it will need replaced.This causes all of the issues here. If more help is needed, use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If no further assistance is needed, kindly rate my service.You can rate at any time and we can continue to work on your question as this will not close out your question.Keep in mind in some cases it can be difficult to fully diagnose or help repair your vehicle without seeing it and I work on delivering the best possible answer from what I see to work with.Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cylinder head gasket is the complete head gasket which involves separating the top of engine from bottom and reliving and replacing gasket ? Or does exam culinder also have gaskets ?
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.
Cylinder head gasket involves removing the intake and cylinder head as well s exhaust manifold that bolts to the head to then have the head checked and tested by a machine shop and the gasket then replaced from there if the head is found to be o.k. Let me know if you need anything else and feel free to rate my help here. Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How can I check head gasket ? Compression test ? Or something of the dirt ? I am going to have to most likely fix this myself due to mechanics around me either being too expensive and somewhat inexperienced or not reliable where I'll drop off van they'll have it for three days to a week and only fix things that weren't needed for what I brought van in for !
I bought a new distributor cap and rotor thinking maybe the one installed when I had van tuned up was defective, so I'm going to change this first had if after that van still stumbles hiccups and loses oil without leaking I'll take the next step and remove and replace gasket I have books and most tools needed so I'm sure I can get it done ! I looked at assembly /parts diagram of engine for this Van and it seems changing the head gasket alltho labor intensive time wise , it still seem pretty straight forward what do you think
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.
It is pretty straight forward just takes time.Make sure the head and block sealing surfaces for the gasket are clean before installing a new gasket. In some cases you can use a block tester to test for a leaking head gasket.It mounts onto the coolant reservoir or radiator and special fluid is added to it then the engine ran to see if the fluid bubbles and changes color as this will indicate there is a leak with a gasket needing replaced,Most of the time though the engine needs taken apart for the heads to be checked and head gaskets replaced. Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A trained mechanic can diagnose this pretty easily tho right ? When I have the hesitation while accelerating on hwy it sounds like air escaping which to me points at a head gasket losing compression ? Possible makes sense ?
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.
If it sounds like compressed air leaking this usually does point to the head gasket issue here.Any trained mechanic should be able to diagnose this fully for you as well as repair it as needed. Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok Pete o just put a super concentrate Sto injector cleaner into full tank of gas and stumble gone but if I floor it with ac on while driving on hwy it still not stumbling after putting cleaner in but it bogging down like it'll accelerate smoothly for a second or two and then as if it hit a dead spot in thunking 100% head gasket now would you agree based on what im saying ?cause I also thinking if it were a bad /dirty injector or bad /faulty /defective cap and rotor , I'd get a service engine light no ? From it constantly having these symptoms also there's the oil disappearing and antifreeze also disappearing all these things to me says head gasket now for sure
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.
With engine oil and coolant disappearing I suspect that this is a head gasket issue needing replaced here.I would also have the catalytic converter tested to see if it is plugged but I do believe this is a head gasket failure needing replaced. Let me know if you need anything else and feel free to rate my help here. Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One last thing that may change what you think when the head gasket was replaced a few days after purchasing van what happened to the van was something that I'm worried may have caused damage or warpage else where
I was driving and my van just locked up like the engine locked up wouldn't even crank I'd turn key and it make a thump , clink sound sound like Pistons trying to move but weren't able to so I just rolled to a stop pulled over and waited for tow truck
Anyway possible head got damaged ? Or cylinder warped ? From what I remember it was running hit before this happened not for very long before it came to a engine locking stop
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.
I apologize for the delay. There is a good chance the engine hydro locked which occurs when coolant over fills a cylinder causing the noise and lock up you had here.This can damage the pistons,crankshaft and connecting rods in some cases.It may have damaged valves as well and usually if this is what has occurred it is best to replace the engine as the coolant will damage the internal engine bearings quickly.This will still have to be checked into further to locate and repair the cause here then determined from there how to correct this. Let me know if you need anything else and feel free to rate my help here. Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So good chance the engine need replacing ?!
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.
It is possible if the engine hydro locked due to coolant in the cylinders then it most likely has damaged bearings on the crank shaft and possibly the crank itself and it is usually cheaper to replace the engine then repair it.This will have to be checked into/tested further though to be sure of the cause then repaired from there. Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hey Pete I have a follow up ? For you
I had van repaired by very good mechanic all
He found thus far and repaired in regards ***** ***** I was telling you about with engine stumble upon acceleration and the fact that my antifreeze was disappearing fast , was a faulty water pump which he replaced and then grilled the anti freeze long story short so far stumble totally gone hasn't happened yet and hiccup still there at idle when stopped at traffic lights or what have you but it's doesn't happen as often
Can a bad water pump in some way have caused the stumbling ? I been driving in hwys all day today where the stumbling would be most apparent and happen the most and still having happen not once yet today ??? Just curious what you think
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.
I havent seen a water pump failure on this model here cause stumbling like this myself.I dont think it is possible.I have seen restricted fuel injectors as well as a failing mass air flow sensor cause stumbling though.