Coolant Leak Recall
Some Impala owners experienced a coolant loss that has been traced to a leak in the intake manifold. Typically to fix the problem, the plastic upper intake manifold is replaced. There is a TSB that covers this problem in other vehicles, but the Impala was not included in the list of affected vehicles. Matt informed me that there was a service bulletin 03034 that addressed the problem in the Impala. He said that Chevy would reimburse those owners who had to pay for the repair previously.
After I posted that information, Tom e-mailed me that he also learned about the campaign and confirmed the bulletin number. He has an appointment to get it done and said he would let me know how it goes.
Steven really helped out here. He sent me the following:
Customer Satisfaction Program -- Engine Coolant Leak #03034 - (07/07/2003)
03034 - Engine Coolant Leak
All 2000-2002 and Certain 2003 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo; Pontiac Grand Prix, Bonneville; and Buick Regal, LeSabre, Park Avenue Equipped with 3.8L V6 Engine (RPO L36 - VIN Code K)
THIS RECALL IS IN EFFECT UNTIL JULY 31, 2005.
General Motors has decided that all 2000-2002 and certain 2003 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo; Pontiac Grand Prix, Bonneville; and Buick Regal, LeSabre, Park Avenue model vehicles equipped with 3.8L (RPO L36 - VIN Code K) engines, may have a condition in which engine coolant may leak at the upper intake manifold throttle body gasket, or at the upper intake manifold to lower intake manifold gasket. This condition may result in a low engine coolant level and higher engine operating temperatures.
Dealers are to replace the three throttle body fastener nuts and add cooling system sealant to the radiator tank.
Involved are all 2000-2002 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo; Pontiac Grand Prix, Bonneville; and Buick Regal, LeSabre, Park Avenue model vehicles equipped with 3.8L (RPO L36 - VIN Code K) engines and built within these VIN breakpoints:
Note: VIN numbers were not provided
Dealers should confirm vehicle eligibility through GMVIS (GM Vehicle Inquiry System) or GM Access Screen (Canada only) or DCS Screen 445 (IPC only) prior to beginning program repairs. [Not all vehicles within the above breakpoints may be involved.]
Computer listings containing the complete Vehicle Identification Number, customer name and address data have been prepared, and are being furnished to involved dealers with the program bulletin. The customer name and address data furnished will enable dealers to follow up with customers involved in this program. Any dealer not receiving a computer listing with the program bulletin has no involved vehicles currently assigned. These dealer listings may contain customer names and addresses obtained from Motor Vehicle Registration Records. The use of such motor vehicle registration data for any other purpose is a violation of law in several states/provinces/countries. Accordingly, you are urged to limit the use of this listing to the follow-up necessary to complete this program.
Parts required to complete this program are to be obtained from General Motors Service Parts Operations (GMSPO). Please refer to your "involved vehicles listing" before ordering requirements. Normal orders should be placed on a DRO = Daily Replenishment Order. In an emergency situation, parts should be ordered on a CSO = Customer Special Order.
All "W" cars and "H" cars require a total of 16 grams of coolant sealant pellets per vehicle engine cooling system. The Buick Park Avenue ("C" car) requires 20 grams of coolant sealant pellets per vehicle engine cooling system.
Remove the engine intake air snorkel assembly from the throttle body (t/b) and air box.
Remove the bolt from the t/b support bracket at the throttle body.
Loosen the bolt from the t/b support bracket at the cylinder head and move the t/b support bracket away from the throttle body.
Remove one of the 3 t/b nuts.
Apply thread locker (p/n 12345382 US / 10953489 Canada) to the stud.
Install a new t/b spring nut (p/n 11517293) and tighten finger tight.
Repeat Steps 5 through 7 for remaining t/b nuts.
Tighten the 3 t/b spring nuts. Tighten
Tighten the spring nuts to 10 N·m (89 lb in).
Reinstall the t/b support bracket into position.
Reinstall and tighten the t/b support bracket. Tighten
Tighten the bracket to 10 N·m (89 lb in).
Tighten the t/b support bracket bolt at the cylinder head. Tighten
Tighten the bolt to 10 N·m (89 lb in).
To avoid being burned, do not remove the radiator cap or surge tank cap while the engine is hot. The cooling system will release scalding fluid and steam under pressure if radiator cap or surge tank cap is removed while the engine and radiator are still hot.
Remove the vehicle radiator cap.
Remove and appropriate quantity of coolant pellets from the package and pulverize the pellets in a plastic bag. The Park Avenue cooling system requires 20 grams of pellets and all the other vehicle cooling systems require 16 grams of pellets.
Install the crushed pellets through the radiator neck after adjusting the coolant level to accommodate the pellets.
Add coolant as required and reinstall the radiator cap.
Install the GM Identification Label.
Place a Recall Identification Label on each vehicle corrected in accordance with the instructions outlined in this Product Recall Bulletin. Each label provides a space to include the recall number and the five (5) digit dealer code of the dealer performing the recall service. This information may be inserted with a typewriter or a ball point pen.
Put the Recall Identification Label on a clean and dry surface of the radiator core support in an area that will be visible to people servicing the vehicle. For US and IPC -- When installing the Recall Identification Label, be sure to pull the tab to allow the adhesion of the clear protective covering. Additional Recall Identification Labels for US dealers can be obtained from Dealer Support Materials by either ordering on the web from DWD Store, gm-dealerworld.com, or calling 1-866-700-0001 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm EST). Ask for Item Number S-1015 when ordering. Additional Recall Identification Labels for IPC dealers can be obtained from your Regional Marketing Office. For Canada - Additional Recall Identification Labels for Canadian dealers can be obtained from DGN by calling 1-800-668-5539 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST). Ask for Item Number GMP 91 when ordering.
Customer Reimbursement - For US
All customer requests for reimbursement of previously paid coolant leaks that were repaired by replacing the upper intake manifold/gasket, throttle body nuts, or throttle body gasket will be handled by the Customer Assistance Center, not by dealers. A General Motors Product Program Customer Reimbursement Procedure Form is included with the customer letter.
Refer to GM Service Policies and Procedures Manual, section 6.1.12 for specific procedures regarding customer reimbursement and the form.
Customer Reimbursement - For Canada
All customer requests for reimbursement of previously paid coolant leaks that were repaired by replacing the upper intake manifold/gasket, throttle body nuts or throttle body gasket are to be submitted by July 31, 2004.All reasonable customer paid receipts should be considered for reimbursement. The amount to be reimbursed will be limited to the amount the repair would have cost if completed by an authorized General Motors dealer. When a customer requests reimbursement, they must provide the following:
Proof of ownership at the time of repair.
Original paid receipt confirming the amount of unreimbursed repair expense(s) that were not reimbursed, a description of the repair, and the
person or entity performing the repair.
Claims for customer reimbursement on previously paid repairs are to be submitted as required by WINS.
Refer to the GM service policies and procedures manual, section 1.6.2, for specific procedures regarding customer reimbursement verification.
The General Motors Courtesy Transportation program is intended to minimize customer inconvenience when a vehicle requires a repair that is covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. The availability of courtesy transportation to customers whose vehicles are within the warranty coverage period and involved in a product recall is very important in maintaining customer satisfaction. Dealers are to ensure that these customers understand that shuttle service or some other form of courtesy transportation is available and will be provided at no charge. Dealers should refer to the General Motors Service Policies and Procedures Manual for Courtesy Transportation guidelines.
Submit a Product Program Claim with the information indicated below.
Note: No other information was included.
END OF BULLETIN
Steven did me a HUGE favor by sending the above info in an e-mail. I just cut and pasted it and didn't have to re-type everything.
Steven also sent me a list of the affected VINs:
2000 Chevy MC Y9100297-Y9385464
2000 Chevy Impala Y9100297-Y9385464
2000 Pontiac GP YF100033-YF353313
2000 Buick Regal Y1100004-Y1304443
Something looks a little strange with these numbers since the VINs are "Y" and the bulletin talks about "K." My car falls in the breakpoints, but it has a "K" not a "Y." Anyone else received a letter or have more info?
Sam explained the VIN to me: the eighth digit from the right is the model year of the vehicle. Mine is "1" since my car is a 2001 model. The "K" in the tenth place from the right means it has the 3.8L engine. So my car does fall in the break points. Learn something new every day. I should figure out how to decode the VIN one of these days. Anyone up to the challenge?
Jesse suggested that if you live in a warmer climate and don't have to be concerned about cold weather performance you could do a Throttle Body Bypass. He said that the engine coolant is routed through the throttle body to warm the incoming air to help during cold weather. He thinks that the coolant leakage could be coming from that area. The bypass also provides a little extra HP since the incoming air is cooler.
Jesse said to do the bypass, connect the two red circles with a hose or just close them off and close off the two lines, red arrows, where the hoses are sticking out.
This is a copy of the Canadian recall letter provided by Derek:
This is a copy of the US recall letter:
Mike send me the text of the reimbursement letter:
Product Program Customer Reimbursement Procedure
If you have paid to have this condition corrected by replacing the upper intake manifold/gasket, throttle body nuts, or throttle body gasket before August 8, 2003, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement.
Requests for reimbursement may include parts, labor, fees and taxes. Reimbursement may be limited to the amount the repair would have cost if completed by an authorized General Motors dealer.
Your claim will be acted upon within 60 days or receipt.
If your claim is:
-Approved, you will receive a check from General Motors,
-Denied, you will receive a letter from General Motors with the reason(s) for the denial, or
-Incomplete, you will receive a letter from General Motors identifying the documentation that is needed to complete the claim and offered the opportunity to resubmit the claim with the missing documentation is available.
Please follow the instructions on the Claim Form provided... If you have questions about this reimbursement procedure, please call the toll-free telephone number provided at the bottom of the form. If you need assistance with any other concern, please contact the Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-630-2438. The deaf, hearing impaired, or speech impaired should call 1-800-833-2438 (Utilizes Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf/Text Telephones, TDD/TTY).
The claim form contains general questions, VIN, dates, etc.
(Note: Thanks, Mike! This saved me a lot of time since I didn't have to type it all in.)