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Old 04-22-2005, 12:20 PM
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v6 engine sludge

My current everday vehicle is a 99 malibu thats had its fair share of problems. It has a horrible power/shift issue - sometimes it will shift fine, other times it will shift, give a bit of hessitation then feels like it shifts again, and then other times itll reach 3500rpm before it will shift - whats the deal? It shudders something horrible at idle too - im assuming the tranny is packing it in I mean the car has 185k on it.
The main problem and question I have is regarding the engine oil. I change the oil often but it always seems to be really dirty. The other day the dipstick pulled some sludge chunks out with it. After a few wipes re-tries it was clean. I know some of the old GM v6 engines had sludge problems under the intake which eventually caused the bearings to go and the engine to seize up - it happened to a friends car who took good care of his vehicle. (This may not be a typical problem.)
I would like to flush the engine without pulling the intake to check it out. I have heard of using tranny fluid for a few minutes then draining it all out. I dont think any shops in the area have an engine flush.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what I could do or try?

Any answers to either question would be awsome.

8 cylinders only
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Old 04-22-2005, 09:03 PM
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The tranny is likely on it`s last legs and needs a rebuild. As for the sludge problem, go to your local parts store and get a can of sea foam, pour it in the oil, let the car idle for 20 minutes, then change the oil and filter, you`ll see all kinds of crap come out with the oil. 4.3 liter V6`s had the sludge problem as well, most of the time it was solved by running a lower temp thermostat after a good flushing with sea foam.
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Old 04-22-2005, 09:36 PM
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I assume you have a 3.1 in your Malibu. The 3.1 has a bad problem with intake gaskets leaking coolant into the engine, causing a milky looking sludge. We reseal at least 2 of those intakes a month at my shop. This may not be your problem. If it is it will be evident when you look at the bottom of your oil fill cap. There will be milky looking sludge on the bottom. If its is coolant you need to fix it ASAP! The coolant will eat up your rockers and push rods and thats just the beginning if it keeps running with coolant in the oil!
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