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Pontiac Repair/Heater hose connector question...


Mr. Puccio,
I've got a 2001 Buick LeSabre (Custom) with the 3.8L 3800 series engine.  It's been running real hot lately, so I put in a new water pump.  (Frankly, I don't think the old water pump was bad, but I was in there and a new WP is only $40.)  And then I put in new heater hose connectors.  The old ones looked OK from the outside, but once I got 'em off I saw that they had just broken off on both ends.  So I put in new aluminum ones, since they weren't much more than the plastic ones.  But there's still a slight leak somewhere...because I see a very slow drip off the back of the tensioner housing.  My question:  I've got a little gasket sealer left over from the water pump installation.  Would it be OK (safe, etc.) to put a little around the ends of the heater hose connectors?  That way I'd know for sure that I've got a good, waterproof seal on both ends.  And if the leak continues, I'll know to look elsewhere for it.
Any suggestions, info you can share will be greatly appreciated.
Warm regards,

Hi David:
well with out seeing it I can't tell you for sure what the issue here is. But the 2 plastic elbows that go into the tensioner from the front timing cover and to the intake manifold are known leak issues on that 3800 engine. the heater hose conectors your speaking of Usually do not leak they have o ring seal on them just like the plastic elbows do. putting RTV sealr on an o-ring is not a great Idea in a pinch it can work but not long term. there is a reason that they are leaking maybe the tensioner is corroded where the O-rings seal and that is why it's leaking>? again I can't tell you with out seeing it. the most likely it's a corrosion issue either at the tensioner or in the intake or the front cover some place the old elbows wre and then new ones are not sealing correctly. good luck :-)

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Todd Puccio


General auto repair,electrical issues,driveability issues,anti-lock brakes,SIR systems,HVAC,engine performance,Gm specific. I have worked at my current dealership since the 1990 model year anything much older than that I have limited exposure to. I do not have very much transmission experience so those question you may want to ask of another expert. When you send me a question let me know the exact make/model/engine and year for the car or suv you have it makes it easier to answer the questions that way. If your happy with the answer I gave you please feel free to Donate. This is a free service to you and I am not compensated at all by this web site. I have 22 years of experience to share with you and my knowledge wasn't free to me. I had to pay for my education.


Experience in the area: I have been a technician in GM dealerships for over 22 years and I am a ASE master technician. I work at a Buick and GMC truck store Previously I worked at a Pontiac GMC store for 18 years. I Served a a lead technician when dealership was on a team system. I just recently moved to a Buick,Hummer,Saab Store when my franchise was purchased by this dealership. Organizations: ASE master technician


Education/Credentials:High school diploma,2 year vocational school degree 2 year college degree. Associates degree in applied sciences (auto technology)Awards and Honors: GMC master technician

Awards and Honors
Master GMC truck technician Master ASE technician in 9 categories

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