Piston Slap: The Envoy's High Pressure Mission?

Dave writes:

Hello Sajeev,

I have a 2004 GMC Envoy, 4.2-liter six-cylinder, with about 123k miles that seems to be leaking coolant from somewhere around the radiator cap. Every time I come to a stop with the windows down or pull into the garage I can smell antifreeze. The radiator appears full and the reservoir seems to be maintaining a fairly consistent level of the pink stuff. It never leaks enough that I see wet spots except now and then around the cap, and even then it’s only a few drops at most. I’ve taken it to the mechanic; they double checked all the hoses and connections and even replaced the cap, but it didn’t help.

I replaced the cap a second time thinking I got a bad one, but the smell remains. By happenstance the cap I bought happened to be the exact same brand the mechanic used. I’ve attached a picture of the engine bay showing the areas where I can see dried coolant. The perplexing part to me is that, judging by the splatter pattern near the oil fill and the air filter box, some of the coolant seems to be making it to the fan. Still, I never see any wet spots leading in that direction. Do you have any suggestions?

As a side question, I have been getting an intermittent CEL with an associated P0526 code (fan speed sensor). It will come on for a trip or two and then go away on its own. Any chance the supposed coolant hitting the fan could be causing the CEL?

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Piston Slap: Mad Vulcan Powah? (Part II)

Tony writes:

Sajeev,

My new wife brought to the marriage her ’07 fleet-queen Taurus. She’s not a car pamperer by any means, but she does change her oil. This car got flogged like a racehorse in its previous life. Its body tightness is well-nigh gone, it unpredictably emits a strange unidentifiable groan from the depths of the dashboard center on moderate acceleration, the dime-size floormats are practically ground into dust, and the trunk barely agrees to open even when unlatched.

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Piston Slap: Northstar Mills, Northstar Bills…

Chris writes:

Sajeev,

I’ve got a 2002 Cadillac Seville with the infamous Northstar engine. I bought it nine years ago and at the time it was four years old and had 30K on the clock. Before I even ask, I’m sure you can already guess what happened. At 149,000 miles the head gasket issue has reared its ugly head. For those readers who are unfamiliar, the repair requires the engine and cradle to be dropped, stripped down, and re-studded with twenty new holes. As opposed to timeserts, this fix is usually permanent.

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Piston Slap: Escort Wagon Spelunking?

TTAC Commentator Modestholdings writes:

Best from the West, young man,

The Boss has a pretty nice ’94 Escort LX wagon sourced by yours truly, and it happens to have found the sweet spot betwixt my picking it and her loving it. A grand for this one-owner handshaker and she’s managed to put about 23K on it in the last year — points of interest are far and few between here in Wyoming.

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Piston Slap: Such a Trooper!

Keith writes:

Sajeev,

I am facing a problem with little real consequence, just more looking for advice. We have a third vehicle, one that isn’t really used much and was purchased for $1400 a couple years ago to serve as a backup when/if one of our primary vehicles was out of service (A 2005 Pahtfinder with 130k miles and a 1998 Rodeo 4×4 with 235k miles). It’s a 1999 Isuzu Trooper 4×4 with about 190k miles on the clock. Other than burning oil there really wasn’t anything wrong with it. Everything worked and to be honest my wife liked driving it much more than her everyday car.

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  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
  • Car65688392 thankyou for the information
  • Car65688392 Thankyou for your valuable information
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.
  • MaintenanceCosts Chevy used to sell almost this exact color on the Sonic, Bolt, and Camaro, as "Shock." And I have a story about that.I bought my Bolt in 2019. Unsurprisingly the best deal came from the highest-volume Bolt dealer in my very EV-friendly area. They had huge inventory; I bought right when Chevy started offering major incentives, and the car had been priced too high to sell well until that point.Half the inventory had a nice mix of trims and colors, and I was able to find the exact dark-gray-on-white Premier I wanted. But the real mystery was the other half of the inventory. It was something like 40 cars, all Shock on black, split between LT and Premier. You could get an additional $2000 or so off the already low selling price if you bought one of them. (Neither my wife nor I thought the deal worth it.) The cars were real and in the flesh; a couple were out front, but behind the showroom, there was an entire row of them.When I took delivery, I asked the salesman how on earth they had ended up with so many. He told me in a low voice that a previous sales manager had screwed up order forms for a huge batch of cars that were supposed to be white, and that no one noticed until a couple transporters loaded with chartreuse Bolts actually showed up at the dealer. Long story short, there was no way to change the order. They eventually sold all the cars and you still see them more often than you'd expect in the area.