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Alero Cooling problems

I have a 2001 Olds Alero with cooling problems. It runs hot pretty fast and loses a lot of coolant.Even though it has a new ERG valve,the check engine light is on. And the code indicates it needs a new ERG valve.A local mechanic says the motor has either a partially blown head gasket or a cracked cylinder wall.He says also that he thinks the ERG valve prolem indicates the motor has a cracked clinder wall. IS there any way to tell which it is without tearing the motor apart.

I assume he’s done due diligence and checked for bubbles migrating up out the radiator, hydrocarbons in the coolant, and/or the ability of the cylinders to hold pressure? I assume it’s already been determined that there’s a breech between a cylinder and the water jacket?

No, there’s no real way to tell exactly where the breech is without pulling the head. But assuming this is a stock engine I’d be absolutely amazed if it actually had a cracked cylinder. Chances are 99.999% that it’s a breeched head gasket. Cylinders just don’t crack that readily. Unless, of course, you’ve added a nitrous oxide system…