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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
We gave our 2012 Acadia STL2 (104k miles), to our 17yr old last month, as we got a new car. It has never given us any problems, and runs, looks and smells almost new. Its basically in mint condition, even with 3 boys.

Anyway, last week my son went camping with some friends in another state and drove his car. When they were about to leave he decided to check the fluid levels, and saw that the coolant level looked low, so he stopped at a nearby Autozone, grabbed some coolant & filled it up. However, he realized later that he filled the tank well past the "Full" level indicator. He made it safely home yesterday afternoon with no issues, no noises, no smells, absolutely nothing to report.

Then, this morning, as he was leaving for school, the car wouldn't start. I ended up trying to help him get it started. After about 10min, we finally got it to semi start. It was chugging, and thick-white smoke was pouring out of all 4 tailpipes. I assumed for a minute that it might have been condensation, but it didn't dissipate right away, and it smelled, almost like burning oil. I knew it wasn't oil though, as it wasn't gray or black. After about 15min of idling in the driveway the smoke, although minimal, was still coming out. The car was still on, but all the lights were lightly flickering, and when he backed down the driveway, the engine sounded like it was a 40yr old Ford F150 with 300k miles on it with a hole in the exhaust. Since it sounded bad, I made him leave it home.

I haven't had a chance to call our local GMC dealership about it, but I'm sure they'll want me to bring it in so they can overcharge me for everything. I have done some minimal research, and it seems as though some of the "extra" coolant he put in the tank, possibly leaked into the combustion chamber. Although, that seems most likely, I'm no mechanic, so I could be wrong. I would like to try and avoid having the dealership rip me off, but I also don't want to damage the engine any further.

Is there a way for me to clear out any remaining coolant in the engine? Is there a way to tell if it was a serious problem, or something easy that I can fix here at home? Please help!

(mod edit: broke down post into paragraphs for clarity)
 

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Welcome to the forum.
It's doubtful overfilling the coolant reservoir will cause the condition you described. First thought is the engine suffers from a blown head gasket. If you want to avoid the dealer, find a trusted outside shop and have them do the evaluation for you. Have the vehicle towed to the shop of your choice to avoid any additional damage.
 

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"I knew it wasn't oil though, as it wasn't gray or black. "

Oil smoke is not black. If you see black smoke coming out of the tail pipe it is from gasoline.

"Black exhaust smoke means the engine is burning too much fuel. The first think you should check is your air-filter and other intake components like sensors, fuel injectors and the fuel-pressure regulator. ... "

George
 

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I'm no mechanic, so I could be wrong. I would like to try and avoid having the dealership rip me off, but I also don't want to damage the engine any further.
Agree with Speleos. Overfilling the coolant reservoir is not going to cause the symptoms you describe. The excess just goes out the overflow tube and to the ground.

The real symptom may have been the low coolant level. My first guess would be a failed head gasket.

Check the dipstick and see if the oil on it looks like a chocolate milkshake. Pretty good sign of a failed head gasket.

The vast majority of dealerships are honest, hard working folks. Not sure why you have such a bad attitude towards them.

As Speleos said, if you don't want to take it to a dealer, then find an independent shop you trust to perform the work.

Probably not a good idea to continue starting/driving the vehicle.
 

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Stop driving it. Have it towed to the dealer for a compression test.
I'd guess you either have a blown head gasket (hopefully) or a cracked cylinder head (hopefully not!).
The low fluid could have caused this (causing overheating), as could adding cold water to a hot motor if someone noticed the low level.
I'm no pro, just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I definitely let the car sit for the day, but had it towed to the GMC dealership to get looked at. Turns out the #4 fuel injector is broken in the 'open' position, allowing fuel vapors into the combustion chamber, causing the thick white smoke out of the tailpipes; and the oil intake valve seal is broken, because of this there is a slow drip of oil into the spark plug chamber, which is recessed, so the oil is just sitting on top of the spark plugs causing a misfire of the engine.

Now of course the problem is the cost. While the oil intake valve is only $581.62 with parts and labor, the fuel injector is $1,935.48 = $2,517.10

I'm definitely going to buy the parts online and have the car towed from the dealership to a local shop we know and trust not to rip us off in labor costs. I have to call there tomorrow and get a quote from them, but I know it will for sure be cheaper then the dealership.
 

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Good luck. Hope it all works out well for you. Come back and let us know.
 

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I definitely let the car sit for the day, but had it towed to the GMC dealership to get looked at. Turns out the #4 fuel injector is broken in the 'open' position, allowing fuel vapors into the combustion chamber, causing the thick white smoke out of the tailpipes; and the oil intake valve seal is broken, because of this there is a slow drip of oil into the spark plug chamber, which is recessed, so the oil is just sitting on top of the spark plugs causing a misfire of the engine.

Now of course the problem is the cost. While the oil intake valve is only $581.62 with parts and labor, the fuel injector is $1,935.48 = $2,517.10

I'm definitely going to buy the parts online and have the car towed from the dealership to a local shop we know and trust not to rip us off in labor costs. I have to call there tomorrow and get a quote from them, but I know it will for sure be cheaper then the dealership.
I think you are being penny wise and pound foolish. Yes the dealer rate is usually higher than most independent shops but in exchange you get a much nicer warranty.

Having said that, good luck with the repairs.
 

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I think you are being penny wise and pound foolish. Yes the dealer rate is usually higher than most independent shops but in exchange you get a much nicer warranty.

Having said that, good luck with the repairs.
Further, why bring it to the dealer in the first place instead of this trusted shop? Now there's an additional towing bill also.
 

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Not s
I definitely let the car sit for the day, but had it towed to the GMC dealership to get looked at. Turns out the #4 fuel injector is broken in the 'open' position, allowing fuel vapors into the combustion chamber, causing the thick white smoke out of the tailpipes; and the oil intake valve seal is broken, because of this there is a slow drip of oil into the spark plug chamber, which is recessed, so the oil is just sitting on top of the spark plugs causing a misfire of the engine.

Now of course the problem is the cost. While the oil intake valve is only $581.62 with parts and labor, the fuel injector is $1,935.48 = $2,517.10

I'm definitely going to buy the parts online and have the car towed from the dealership to a local shop we know and trust not to rip us off in labor costs. I have to call there tomorrow and get a quote from them, but I know it will for sure be cheaper then the dealership.
Not sure why the fuel injector is $1,935.48?
 
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