Is the 3800 Series II V6 THAT GOOD of an engine?? Why?


Asked by Jordan May 02, 2017 at 09:18 AM about the 2000 Chevrolet Impala LS FWD

Question type: General

I own a 2000 Impala LS with the 3.8L. It has 236,000 miles on it, not a single
problem. Am I just running on luck or is this engine really just that good? I've
heard great things about them, and I've heard of some reaching 500,000
miles. I have no engine lights on, it runs very smooth, good consistent idle,
great response to throttle, and it gets great gas mileage. It still has all of its
power from 17 years ago, it acts that way anyways. What's your opinion? Is
it a good engine lineup, or is it just luck?

8 Answers


3.8 engines have a pretty good reputation. Bad intake manifolds are a known issue.

7 people found this helpful.

Yeah I have experience with that. I have replace my upper intake manifold because the other one exploded. At least it got me more familiar with my car though!

3 people found this helpful.

I own a 1999 Chevy Lumina LTZ I bought it brand new. It has the 3800 series II engine. I put 1,000,000,000 miles in 6 years, now it has 1,331,560,423 the only things I've changed on it is the oil, the transmission fluid, the brake fluid radiator flush. It still runs great. Now it need power steering pump changed and rack and pinion. I drove the car too rough but it still runs great. I set my lighter that comes with the vehicle and put it on the center of the engine, then started the engine and the lighter never moved, that's how well those engines are built. So my answer to your question is you have a great engine, it's no luck it's just built great.

1 people found this helpful.

The 3.8 (3800) is junk! I've had approximately 8 cars with this engine (2)81 Grand Prix's, 83 & 84 Cutlass Supreme's, 83 & 84 Buick Regal, 90 Bonneville SSE & 92 Bonneville SSEi Supercharged & every one of them either misfired, leaked coolant through cracked timing chain cover, lost oil pressure as soon as they reached normal temp & spun 1st bearing closest to oil pump! Junk junk junk!!!

1 people found this helpful.

@ GuruHMJYF7. 1 billion miles in 6 years? So it's been traveling around 19000mph for a straight 6 years. Which Galaxy's have you made it to?

5 people found this helpful.

Alex-LMAO. Seriously though in my opinion it’s a phenomenal engine. It’s unfortunate their production was forced to cease (an EPA issue I believe). I bought my 2001 Buick Park Ave in 2004 (with 36k miles) shortly after its original owner had traded it in when the warranty expired. I drove it daily for 14 years and when I finally traded it in it had almost 260,000 miles and the engine was still going strong. Over the life of the vehicle we replaced the main belt and several other items that are basically regular maintenance (battery, wheel bearings etc.) My husband works at an auto service center and he’s meticulous about maintaining our vehicles with regular oil changes and other inspections. I only traded my car because it was dated looking, needing new engine mounts and since it wasn’t worth much due to age and miles I decided to invest in something newer. But I was insistent on finding another 3800 with low miles. It took me from February until June 2008 to find the perfect replacement and when I did it I paid $10,000 cash for a 2006 Lucerne, also with a 3800, with 36000 miles. Not bad for a barely broken in luxury vehicle. I found papers in the glove box and traced the original owner to an 85-year-old guy in Florida. (The place where I traded gave me 300 bucks for the Park and sold it for $1000). Two years and 20,000 miles later I’m still happy with my decision to get the Lucerne. I will say we had to replace the water pump last week and in January there were some lines leaking oil because the fittings were made of plastic so we had them replaced. We’re lucky to have a good mechanic who works where my husband does (although he repairs most cars at his home as a side gig). If you buy a car with a .38 I’d recommend also having a mechanic you trust. Have them go over it, preferably before you buy. I also suggest spending the money to have the main belt replaced right away (that goes for any used vehicle of that configuration) unless you know it’s relatively new. I’ve had 2 cars where the main belt snapped and was lucky both times to be on flat ground where I could roll to a stop, because when this happens the power steering and power brakes stop functioning. One of those times I had just got back from Hocking Hills in Ohio where the roads curve around steep hills with sheer dropoffs. Sorry this is long, and I realize the original post from the asker was a few years ago, but I hope my comments are helpful.

4 people found this helpful.

Whoops, in my comment I meant to say “2018” where I typed 2008.


I put a 2006 Pontiac 3.8 in a 2001 monte Carlo SS have had trouble with the seals but fixed it I have put 100000 miles on a used engine and the spark plugs look like new after 30000 miles of use and the money I spent saved me from going broke driving the car I want a Chevy SS so I can save a little longer

1 people found this helpful.

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