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GMTechBernard, Shop Foreman
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 2158
Experience:  GM
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2003 Grand am: 3.4 liter v6 with an obvious head gasket..crankcase

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I have a 2003 Grand am 3.4 liter v6 with an obvious head gasket leaking coolant into the crankcase. That much i am now aware of. trouble is I am also blowing the gaskets of my oil filters. the pressure is too high. The first filter was completely clogged up with gunk. It's obvious it wasn't replaced with the last oil change. what can cause the pressure to build up so high as to keep blowing the gaskets right out of the filters? The filters were installed correctly, and it appears that the bypass spring is free and operational. If i can't keep oil in the engine, it doesn't make sense to repair anything else. could it be overpressure from the banana sludge in the valve covers? PVC system? could that cause enough pressure to force the gasket out of the filter? or can the oil pump be working harder?

Hello! Its possible that the headgasket could be the cause for the milky fluid, but its more common to just be an intake gasket. Usually when the headgaset fails, the coolant leak into the cylinder, or externally. Its not as common for the head gasket to blow between the coolant port and oil drainback. Intake gaskets are VERY common.


As for the oil filter issue, the contaminated oil may have caused the oil presssure relief valve in the oil pump to stick. The relief valve is what regulats the oil pressure to keep it from going too high. If its stuck shut, it won't allow excess pressure to bleed off, so the next weakest spot will give way, which is the oil filter gasket. You can try to dissasemble the pump to free up the valve, but I would reccomend just replacing the pump (this of course, after you fix the coolant leak issue).


Please let me know if you have additional questions!

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