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My '08 GXP with 71K miles was losing coolant at a fairly high rate (never allowed to overheat) and after three trips to a local GM dealer they finally narrowed the problem down to a blown head gasket after repeatedly being unable to ascertain the location of the leak. Upon tear down the diagnosis appeared to be confirmed. Dealer replaced several gaskets and once everything was put back together and tested whitish smoke started coming out of the tailpipes along with noticeable coolant loss from tank. Engine gets town down again and now it's a warped block and the entire motor needs to be replaced. Luckily this is being done under an extended warranty.

I do not drive the vehicle hard and there are no upgrades to the turbo system so it's not producing excessive HP. I searched forum but couldn't find any other discussion of this. Still, I was wondering if anyone has had, or head of, a similar experience.
 

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I'm not sure I have ever heard of a warped block. Are you sure it wasn't the head?
According to the dealer and the inspector from the warranty company it's the block. Too much tolerance between the block and the head.
 

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It's ridiculously difficult to warp a block. The head is a different matter. Unless they ran the thing up to 350º, I can't see how that would be the problem.
I'm surprised they didn't check the deck before reassembling the engine. All it takes is a mechanic's straight edge, a feeler gauge and about 10 minutes. This is engine rebuilding 101-level stuff. :/

But, since they're replacing it on their dime... shrug. I'd consider finding a different shop for future service, though.
 

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Ditto on the warped block diagnosis - that would be difficult to achieve even if you were TRYING to do so! But, as others have said, if it's being covered under a warranty that renders the point moot.
 

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If my existing water pump has about 27k on it, think it's a good idea to just buy a new one and have it installed in place of the current one since the motor will be out? I'm also considering having a high flow cat installed now for the same reason.
 

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But, since they're replacing it on their dime... shrug. I'd consider finding a different shop for future service, though.
This is one of the highest rated GM service centers in Phoenix so I thought my car was in good hands since I'm not aware of any local shops that know this car very well.
 

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If my existing water pump has about 27k on it, think it's a good idea to just buy a new one and have it installed in place of the current one since the motor will be out? I'm also considering having a high flow cat installed now for the same reason.
Are you saying that the replacement engine will be used? What is that engine's history? What warranty will it have? My RL has its original pump at 87k, so I am not convinced that early failure is a given with an engine that is operated regularly.

This is one of the highest rated GM service centers in Phoenix so I thought my car was in good hands since I'm not aware of any local shops that know this car very well.
Any shop, even a good one, can occasionally overlook something, but I agree that checking the top of the block before replacing a head for this kind of problem is pretty basic.
 

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Are you saying that the replacement engine will be used? What is that engine's history? What warranty will it have? My RL has its original pump at 87k, so I am not convinced that early failure is a given with an engine that is operated regularly.
The engine is coming from General Motors and will have a 3-yr 100,000 mi warranty. I guess it's my assumption that the engine being shipped will not have all of the accessories attached to it.
 

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The engine is coming from General Motors and will have a 3-yr 100,000 mi warranty. I guess it's my assumption that the engine being shipped will not have all of the accessories attached to it.
The water pump is internal to the engine block, so it will be new.
 

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I've never heard of a warped block and I've been around cars a long time . Because it's under warranty a new head and related parts is a lot less than an engine replacement so the dealer stands to make a lot more on this fix . Even though the service center is highly rated are they familiar with our cars especially now that Pontiac has been out of business for 10 years .
 

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I've never heard of a warped block and I've been around cars a long time . Because it's under warranty a new head and related parts is a lot less than an engine replacement so the dealer stands to make a lot more on this fix . Even though the service center is highly rated are they familiar with our cars especially now that Pontiac has been out of business for 10 years .
If I am reading correctly, head work was done first and the block distortion was only discovered when that didn't work. My engine-builder friends have told be that block distortion does occur, but it is mainly an aluminum block problem that usually takes a severe overheating to do it.

The engines in our cars are not that special, and their internals are the same as a million or so other EcoTec fours. The most significant issue is the air-purge difficulty posed by the packaging of the coolant system.
 

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How dare you say these cars aren't special! They're practically Ferraris and you must go to a very special service center [such as a corner gas station] to have them worked on. We all know and miss the great experience that a Pontiac dealer would provide pre-bankruptcy. They never messed anything up when these cars were new.

In all seriousness, the last count I saw was years old and simply quoted GenII Ecotec production at 10,000,000+ units. They are still making them today alongside the GenIII for replacements and the aftermarket. And there's really not even a huge difference between any of the generations. The 1.4Ls you buy today still have waterpump issues, and the replacement procedure is still the same.
 
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