After more than a year of reliable, trouble free service, time caught up with the Oldsmobile this week. I took it to the shop, knowing it needed brake work, and walked out facing $1800 in repairs. I got the brakes fixed, and other misc. items for $800, but the other big ticket item, replacing the intake manifold gasket, will wait until I decide what to do.
The 3.1 liter V6 in the Oldsmobile has a reputation for trouble with the intake manifold gaskets. It's either a poor design, poor quality gasket, or a problem with the antifreeze they used--possibly all three. But the 3.1 and other engines in this family, made between 1995 and 2005, are prone to this problem which causes antifreeze to start leaking into the intake and into the combustion chambers. Left long enough, and the engine will eventually seize or destroy itself.
Now I have a choice--spend another $1000 and fix the problem or start looking for a replacement.