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In this video I show an example of cylinder head on a 5.3 GM leaking coolant. This is a relatively common problem you may discover on GM V8's.
TSB:
#06-06-01-019B: Information on Gradual Coolant Loss Over Time with No Evidence of Leak Found - (Jun 12, 2007)
Subject: Information on Gradual Coolant Loss Over Time With No Evidence of Leak Found
Models: 2004-2006 Buick Rainier
2001-2006 Cadillac Escalade Models
2001-2006 Chevrolet Avalanche, Blazer, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, TrailBlazer Models
2001-2006 GMC Envoy, Jimmy, Sierra, Yukon Models
2001-2004 Oldsmobile Bravada
2005-2006 Saab 9-7X
with 4.8L or 5.3L VORTEC® GEN III, GEN IV V8 Engine (VINs V, T, M, B, Z -- RPOs LR4, LM7, LH6, L33, L59)
This bulletin is being revised to include engine RPO L59. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 06-06-01-019A (Section 06 - Engine/Propulsion System).
Some vehicles may experience a gradual coolant loss over time. A very low percentage of cylinder head(s) manufactured with an embossed Castech logo may develop a porosity crack in a very specific area.
Inspect the cylinder head assembly to determine if the casting was manufactured by Castech. This can be accomplished by inspecting for their casting logo located on top of the intake port, under the rocker arm support rail and in the spring deck cavity portion of the cylinder head.
Important: If the cylinder head(s) are Not a Castech casting, follow normal diagnostic procedures in SI to determine the cause of the coolant loss.
Refer to the following illustrations on how to identify Castech casting and/or the very specific areas of the cylinder head(s) for a coolant leak from porosity.
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50 thoughts on “Chevy 5.3 antifreeze loss: cracked head”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars baggins1 says:

    I had exact deal. Dealership denied it and refused to replace.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gary Richard says:

    Have a 4.8 chevy replace cam had heads redone on my 4 head gasket and Water comes out oil pan has fast as I put it in

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Fix it or Not! says:

    Well, I guess I'll be pulling the valve covers tomorrow. Up till now I've been thinking that my coolant loss was due to the corroded crossover pipe between the heads. Thanks for the clear and concise explanation. I just discovered and subscribed to your channel. I still love Chevys! Take care and God bless!

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mike says:

    Good afternoon Sir…..awesome information as always . Maybe you can help me narrow the search for milky oil in my 2000 Chevy 4.8. I'm down to the heads at this point and unfortunately both sides have the chocolate milk symptom. Does this for sure mean both heads are cracked or what else is a possible problem? Thank you

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars cbanksmowing says:

    I have a 6.0L will this make your truck run bad?

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Wesley Parker says:

    I really hope my 6.0 is not leaking there I have a leak I can't find but it does have 269xxx on it and runs very good still

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jack Smith says:

    I know this is an old video but my truck has developed the problem after 18 years and 271000 miles. Will K&W block seal buy me some time?

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! Bill Malec says:

    I can only imagine Eric's comments if it were a VW 😉😁. Love ya but you know it would be completely different.
    Ford Cleveland plant built 2.0L Ecoboost… Coolant migration problems. Have one of them. Just bought an extended warranty on it.
    2006 VW TDI… Still going strong 😁

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars celicharvel says:

    What about supposed coolant burning wheres that leak at?

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Andrew Bergquist says:

    Can I put heads on my 01 Chevy suburban with 250,000 miles on it because it’s leaking by the head bolts

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Johnny Sechrist says:

    Plenty of recalls for wrong headbolts/stretched & broken, blown head gaskets when I was at the dealership….even couple of yrs S 10's with alum heads.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 4 YOU 2 SEE SALES & SERVICE says:

    Are you concerned with using a set of reman heads? Won't they end up cracking as well? How have they "remanned" the head cracking issue?

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Brian Shipp says:

    Tbh wouldn’t you have some type of discolored oil like milky/lighter/not oil color?

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars robert tuttle says:

    good video have a coolant loss.. question on coolant loss. is it possible for coolant to leak the throttle body into the intake manifold ? on chevy. Silverado 2004 thanks if you can help.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Victor Hugo Lipe says:

    How can I pressurize the system?
    I want to check my truck and see if it's a Crack or bad head.
    Mines leaking from the back of the passenger block after I got it back from.the machine shop.
    And after 2 headgaskets still leaking just drops after drop

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Don ——. says:

    I’d die grind that crack, preheat the head, weld it up with some silicon bronze, slow cool the head and go…

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars BiGTaP Mazzie says:

    Would this cause coolant to puddle in my passenger floorboard I already checked the heater core I'm just curious if this will do that too

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars C. TUBS says:

    Enhance…… Enhance. Dang thorny lol

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 7 ViewerLogic says:

    Thank you!

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Maurice Arney says:

    I'm curious how you found this rather inconspicuous leak. Was it a process of eliminating all other posibilities? Or were thre other tell tale clues that led you to this crack in the cylinder block?

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bruce Lee says:

    Looks like a headbolt was overtorqued from the factory.

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Samuel Herrera says:

    Are these fixes you post for specific kind of cars or are they for all cars?

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars RD Smith says:

    Well I’ve got an 04 Tahoe with 215,000 so I’m just gonna keep on adding antifreeze usually have to add it about once every two weeks and then revenge!!!!
    I’ve also got a 2008 Silverado and it likes oil AFM problem revenge!!!!

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars George Mattar says:

    Worst cars and trucks made. Leave it to a woman to run a POS company.

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars kc carl says:

    drill a vent hole in radiator cap and let it bump. lol

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars meagan and Casey says:

    Do the 706’ develop problems around the spark plug holes? I haven’t pulled the valve cover yet but I pulled the plugs today and antifreeze dribbled out of number 5. I’d normally add it up to a bad head gasket but performance isn’t suffering and it only lost a cup every few months. Seemed like when I pulled the plug it started running out

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David 68 says:

    You would think it would make the oil milky

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars THE man. says:

    I think I got this problem. I'll check today.. I get a big cloud of white smoke on startup sometimes and it goes away

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dan Gordon says:

    Is that the actual spot on the Head where they crack or can they happen anywhere? PS. I've got my 2006 crew cab 5.3 torn down to one heads off right now. I've built hot rods all my life but I'm getting to old for this shit.

    Also, thank you for the videos.

    You are my go to guy and when I'm in the shop I let all of your videos play so I have the information I need in the future.

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars shoreguyeast says:

    I have the same problem with a Jeep Cherokee. Bought it new, Jeep admits ALL heads from 2000-2001 will develop the crack (4.0 L motor) and will NOT recall it. Big rip off!!! Mine started leaking oil into the antifreeze and now water is going into the oil. Jeep always said "you're on your own" How the hell do they get away with this?????? Will NEVER buy another Jeep!!

  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars james smith says:

    Thanks for the information, I haven't checked it yet but I'm almost sure that's the problem after watching your video. Good Info. Thanks from Virginia

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars KP media says:

    how do you know if this "reman" head isn't a reman of one that had the same problem and you'll go through it all over again ????

  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Pierre Boulay says:

    I have a 2010 with a 4.8 and no obvious signs of coolant loss and well that kinda explains my situation very well, even if I suspected the problem was in the head (living in denial I guess) Thanks!

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars William Mason says:

    Got a guy just bought a Chevrolet and ask me to look at it said he keeps putting coolant in it at least after checking all of the common places I now know were to look for the leak

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Parsons says:

    Thank you

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Holden Breau says:

    What is the labour hours on this repair. 1 head only?

  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jerry Wilbourn says:

    How much should this cost to replace a cracked head and should you replace both heads

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ryan Pitre says:

    Does this apply to say a 2013 model with a 5.3?

  39. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars sergio rizo says:

    The bolt on the side is very impressed too, you can see his face from here…..good video….

  40. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dameion Duran says:

    I have an 03 trailblazer with the same mysterious coolant loss problem. its a 5.3L V8, I have replaced the water pump and verified no leak there or at hoses/radiator. Im guessing a bad head gasket or intake manifold gasket wouldn't cause this?

  41. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Aa Car says:

    So…if you have this problem and do nothing, can you just keep driving it for a few years or does it get worse and worse? What kind of damage can it cause?

  42. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Joshua Reyes says:

    Notice coolant around #7 injector. Whats possible, Im thinking head cracked but idk.

  43. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jan Wingren says:

    What's the cost on that job?

  44. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Larry Broad says:

    i have a 1970 el camino custom with 350 4 bolt i have coolant in #3 6 and 5 cylinders but none in the oil do you think its both the heads are cracked i reallly want to keep it numbers matching its a serfiver

  45. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars mikeydubs2500 says:

    Does this happen on the 6.0L? Very small loss of coolant in my 2006 2500hd. Little white smoke after warmed up. Checked with a block tester and fluid stayed blue. Uh oh haha