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Coolant loss mystery?

My 1996 Chev. beretta Is constantly losing coolant internally. The oil in the crankcase looks great though!The heat in the car fluctuates hot then cold as the temperature gauge goes back and forth sometimes but not always.The exhaust smoke appears normal also.Do you guys think it possibly could be the head gasket. Plaese respond as i am completely baffled and puzzled by this dilemma!

Yes, it could be the head gasket, but with this particular engine it is much more likely to be the intake manifold gasket. This type of GM V-6 is notorious for intake manifold gasket failure, and when they fail they tend to produce this type of coolant consumption.

Any mechanic worth his salt should be familiar with this problem and has likely changed scores of these intake manifold gaskets. Check with a few well-reputed independent mechanics in your area to get estimates for this repair.

I agree with VDCdriver. It’s more likely to be a faulty intake manifold gasket than a leaking head gasket, but either way you have to fix it.

The good news is; the intake manifold gasket will be less expensive to replace than the head gasket.

The heat and engine temperature fluctuations indicate air pockets in the cooling system. This is not good for the engine. I suggest you have a good independent mechanic look at the car to correctly diagnose the location of the coolant leak and then repair it.

I also agree it’s probably a bad intake gasket. It needs to be repaired before it gets worse and actually blows a head gasket.