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View Poll Results: Keep or not keep
Not keep and save on potential money pit 0 0%
Keep and hope cheap headgasket sealant will work 0 0%
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Old 06-09-2016, 03:48 PM   #1
Saturnl20030
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Dizzy 2002 l200 (junk? Or attempt to fix?)

A relative of mine has a 02' l200 model with over 130.000 miles. The car was driving fine until this past year where many symptoms started to occur

The concern right now is a potential headgasket leak.(water coming out from tailpipe) hesitation, and complete stalling. (Car runs for a few minutes Then gives out. Water in overflow tank is not completely milky, but has a bit of brown residue.

Other symptoms prior to this issue was fuel vapor smell, and a possible small crack near some fuel hoses by the gas tank.

Would you junk or fix? Any suggestions much appreciated.

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Old 06-10-2016, 12:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2002 l200 (junk? Or attempt to fix?)

This is not enough information for me to provide a useful vote. Before giving that I'd want to know what the maintenance history of this car was up to this point, specifically: the regularity and frequency of oil changes, cooling system service (if any), transmission servicing (if any), body condition (is this a NorEaster car?).

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Old 06-10-2016, 11:56 AM   #3
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2002 l200 (junk? Or attempt to fix?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturnl20030 View Post
A relative of mine has a 02' l200 model with over 130.000 miles. The car was driving fine until this past year where many symptoms started to occur

The concern right now is a potential headgasket leak.(water coming out from tailpipe) hesitation, and complete stalling. (Car runs for a few minutes Then gives out. Water in overflow tank is not completely milky, but has a bit of brown residue.

Other symptoms prior to this issue was fuel vapor smell, and a possible small crack near some fuel hoses by the gas tank.

Would you junk or fix? Any suggestions much appreciated.
Take it to a trust shop and have them do a through check and they can tell you what it will cost and what the problems are then you will know for sure to junk it or sell it for parts. Those hoses are not that hard for repairs now for major engine repairs that is different. Water in overflow should be Orange not Green if if has oil in it that is blown head gasket job.

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Old 06-11-2016, 07:15 AM   #4
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2002 l200 (junk? Or attempt to fix?)

130k is nothing for these cars...
water coming out of the tailpipe is not uncommon as it could just be condensation...however free flowing water would be bad...a little brown crap in the overflow container is not an indication of oil in the coolant, just lack of good maintenance...now if all the coolant is brown then that is bad...stalling could be many things..sounds like it needs a good tune up...they are decent cars and that one is still young...pending overall body condition i would keep and repair if the issues are not bad...take it to a shop...

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Old 06-11-2016, 10:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 l200 (junk? Or attempt to fix?)

Here's my 5 cents....

A quick & simple way to way to check whether you have a head gasket issue is to have the cars cooling system pressure tested. You can rent these from the autostores or you could take it in to a local garage whom you know and trust.

The cooling system is 14 years old and the gunk inside it is likely of the same age. Not surprisingly overflow reservoirs do get gunked up with brown stuff. If your pressure test reveals no big issues, then you can do worse than remove the reservoir from the car and give it a good clean out with hot soapy water to clear out the gunk. Rinse, dry and replace.

As for coolant color. GM cars come with DexCool from the factory, which is Orange in color. However, you also have Green antifreeze available and it sometimes happens that folks my top up or replace the orange Dexcool with green antifreeze, not realising the difference. Using Green antifreeze in your system is not going to break the car, just that GM recommends Dexcool for their vehicles. If you research, you will find that there are more reports of Dexcool damaging engines than there are of Green antifreeze damaging engines.

As for history, well it's 14 years old. There are not many used cars that folks buy at these low prices that come with a full service history. My son's 2002 SL2 did not really have any documented history when we bought it. We checked the vehicle over and took it at face value. I then restarted his maintenance history by changing fluids, coolants, etc, etc. I just have to change his fuel filter and he is bang up to date. In the 3 years he's owned it, it has run like a champ.

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Old 06-14-2016, 09:47 AM   #6
Russet
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Default Re: 2002 l200 (junk? Or attempt to fix?)

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Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
As for coolant color. GM cars come with DexCool from the factory, which is Orange in color. However, you also have Green antifreeze available and it sometimes happens that folks my top up or replace the orange Dexcool with green antifreeze, not realising the difference. Using Green antifreeze in your system is not going to break the car, just that GM recommends Dexcool for their vehicles. If you research, you will find that there are more reports of Dexcool damaging engines than there are of Green antifreeze damaging engines.
This is a debatable issue here - Dexcool runs fine in my two Saturn no problem and since these stories are not related to any one single engine that is to be taken with a grain of salt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
As for history, well it's 14 years old. There are not many used cars that folks buy at these low prices that come with a full service history. My son's 2002 SL2 did not really have any documented history when we bought it. We checked the vehicle over and took it at face value. I then restarted his maintenance history by changing fluids, coolants, etc, etc. I just have to change his fuel filter and he is bang up to date. In the 3 years he's owned it, it has run like a champ.
This is because one is willing to take care of the vehicle they use and it will run like a champ. That's AutoShop 101 take care of the car and the car will take care of you-exception is a Lemon vehicle will always be a lemon vehicle.

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Old 06-14-2016, 01:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2002 l200 (junk? Or attempt to fix?)

Here's a $150 million dollar grain of salt to consider...
http://www.reuters.com/article/gm-se...35011520080327

No-one has a monopoly on intelligence. If I hear someone making a proclamation about something that may affect me, I research and check it out to ensure what is being said is accurate. If it is, then I act upon it.

I was merely pointing out that the OP had mentioned that his coolant was a dirty brown. This can be just old coolant, it can be crud or it can be where 2 types of coolants, ie Dexcool and Green antifreeze have been inadvertently mixed together creating. If you mix the colors Orange and Green together you get a brown color.

As for my comments about my son's cars service history or lack off, I was simply trying to impart to the OP, that if he little idea of the history of the vehicle, if it checks out as OK condition now subject to maybe a few faults, then he can restart the service history himself, just as we did. I was not trying to come up with some world shattering piece of advice, merely commonsense advice based on personal experience.

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