02 Grand Prix GTP Diagnosis

Asked by Aug 24, 2014 at 07:53 PM about the 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hello. I'm asking this question here because it's been impossible to find an answer for my specific situation. I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. It has a 3800 Series 2 engine with the Supercharger. I have been smelling what seems to be burning oil for the past week, and when I went to move it from the driveway to the pole barn to rotate my tires, which is less than a minute of driving, the engine started smoking lightly. It appears to have originated from the rear of the engine, around the power steering pump area. This is is the first time it has done this aside from the burning oil smell. I was thinking upper/lower intake manifold gaskets, but every article I've read has said symptoms would be going through large amounts of coolant, and milky or foamy oil. The oil looks great, perfect color, no foam. And the coolant was slightly low, but nothing serious. I'm at a loss for what this could be but still leaning towards intake manifold gaskets. I am very mechanically inclined and am confident I can fix this myself, but diagnosing the problem has never been my strong suit.

The intake manifold gaskets stick out to me as the problem because the car has been run under extreme overheating conditions a few months ago. The plastic elbows running through the alternator bracket broke and at first I thought it was the thermostat so I replaced that first. After replacing the plastic elbows with aluminum ones I haven't had a problem until now. But I know that having been run under overheating conditions it can cause gasket failures. To my knowledge it's very hard to blow blow a head gasket on these engines though.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

8 Answers


Valve covers still leak over time, could be running down on exhaust manifold.

So should I just try to replace the valve cover? Or do you think it could be the intake manifold as well?


You should be able to see the intake manifold end gaskets as that is where they leak oil if they are going to leak oil.


I agree. I actually had my '03 recalled to replace the valve cover gaskets. You could call any dealer and find out it there is perhaps an outstanding recall on your car. Sounds quite likely that that's all it is.

I'll give a dealership a call. Thank you for the suggestion. And thank you for your answers as well tennisshoes.


The valve covers on 3800 are very prone to leak. However, to my knowledge, the recall did not address the leak, but rather how the oil traveled to the spark pugs. GMs solution to the recall was to modify the spark plug wire bracket to direct leaking oil away from the spark plugs. :-/ Yes...Seriously. Not to replace the leaking valve cover gaskets. So you'd still have leaking oil, just not falling to where it could potentially cause a fire. I replaced my valve covers gaskets...fairly simple job...and no oil has ever touched my plugs with the originally designed wire bracket. I still get recall repair notices to this day.

There is a safety recall on these cars !! Just received my letter General Motors will fix your valve cover and back cover gasket for free just take it to the GM dealer the droppings of oil dropped on the manifold can cause a compartment fire so therefore they're recalling these vehicles so take an opportunity General Motors will fix your valve cover and back cover gasket for free just take it to the GM dealer the droppings of oil dropped on the manifold can cause a compartment fire so therefore they're recalling these vehicles so take this opportunity to fix the problem at their charge thank you Debra Adler Plinck

Do not park your car in a garage or in a closed in structures due to possible fire

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