Today is the day. The van is under the knife.
Yep, it’s getting its new head gasket. GM is taking it apart and working towards putting in the new head gasket. It’s not an easy project on any engine, on the Chevy Venture, it’s a nightmarish effort. The entire engine is turned sideways, and everything is crammed together. Half of the stuff isn’t even visible and you are forced to work by touch. GM has stated he’d like to take a steel rod and beat the designers of the engine with it. It’s dreadful to work on, but financially, to send it to the shop for this repair was out of reach for us. We just could not afford a massive repair bill right now.
Equally unfortunately, this particular issue is apparently a design issue with this engine. Our research online has indicated that the usual reasons for a “blown” head gasket, related to operator habits, don’t apply here–the head gasket goes out around 150,000 miles, and we should be happy we got 175,000 out of it before it happened. I was concerned about this head gasket issue, because I knew we’d not done any of those things that normally cause a head gasket to fail.
So, the big project, long postponed, is now underway. Unfortunately, we overslept this morning, making it a short day for GM to work on the project. That means tomorrow needs to be an early start, despite less than cozy weather even here on the Gulf Coast.