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Problems on a parked Buick Skylark

Hey everyone

I have a 93 V6 Buick Skylark. I parked it for the past year. Yesterday I tried to start it. I got it down the driveway, hit the brakes the car started to slow and the pedal was fine, but then as I gave it more pressure, it made a loud chirp and the brake pedal went to the floor. The brakes seem to work, you just really have to stand on the pedal and it goes all the way down.

I turned around, and noticed I started smelling antifreeze. It got worse until steam started pouring from the defrost vents in the interior–and a lot of steam it was! This was after maybe 4 minutes of driving.

Looking behind me there was a big puddle of antifreeze where I stopped to turn around.

Anyone have any idea what’s wrong? Is it worth fixing or should I check scrap prices?



Well, while I question the wisdom of repairing a 15 year old car, it sounds like you have two serious and expensive problems with this car that you need to remedy in order to be able to drive it.

The brake problem would seem to indicate a problem with the hydraulic system. You can add brake fluid to it, but in order to deal with the problem you have to find out where the brake fluid is leaking from, and then repair it. You may have to replace a wheel cylinder or two, or maybe even a brake line. My guess is that the hygroscopic nature of brake fluid caused it to absorb enough moisture over the past…however many years…to rot out some components in the brake hydraulic system. Clearly, this car is not safe to drive.

The antifreeze situation is probably the result of leaks from a bad heater core, and possibly from other areas of your cooling system as well.

If you add up the cost of putting in a new heater core, possibly some heater hoses and/or a new radiator, plus the repairs to the brake system, you are probably looking at repair costs that exceed the book value of the car by at least a few hundred $$.

If you are serious about wanting to preserve this car, have it towed to your mechanic. Do not drive it, or you will risk having NO car to preserve.

A 93 Skylark isn’t a great car and is not worth keeping. Not with $800 of repair work coming.