Catera Head gasket?
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  • 2 Post By retho78
Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, Catera Head gasket? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi, If the head gasket is blown will it cause the coolant to leak or just oil? And how easy ...
  1. #1
    retho78 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Catera Head gasket?

    Hi,

    If the head gasket is blown will it cause the coolant to leak or just oil? And how easy is it to replace head gaskets?

    Any step by step instructions and illustrations?


    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    CateraMV6's Avatar
    CateraMV6 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Catera Head gasket?

    Yep, if your headgasket goes, coolant and oil will mix in the combustion chambers.

    You should see white smoke out of the tail pipe, white spark plugs, and fouled oil and coolant..
    Most likely its the oil cooler on the engine.

  4. #3
    retho78 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Catera Head gasket?

    My anitfreeze is leaking and haven't seen any white smoke coming out of the tail pipe. At first I had the oil and anti freeze leak so I replaced the oil cooler last week, drove it around for about 40 minutes and still having the anitfreeze leak. I'm going to do a pressure test and hopefully find out what the problem is.

    Any step by step instructions and illustration to replace the head gasket, if in case I need to replace them.

    Thanks.
    charliePark and charliePark like this.

  5. #4
    retho78 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Catera Head gasket?

    When doing the coolant pressure test, do I fill it up with anitfreeze / water or something else to find out where the leak is coming from?

  6. #5
    catera00's Avatar
    catera00 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Catera Head gasket?

    Quote Originally Posted by retho78 View Post
    When doing the coolant pressure test, do I fill it up with anitfreeze / water or something else to find out where the leak is coming from?
    You can get dye and a black light from autoparts stores but you should be able to see it pissin out from the leaky spot when you pressurize it. What year is your catera. I think head gaskets were more of a problem for pre-facelift engines. Also when my 2000 had a bad head gasket, I had no external leak or oil mixing with coolant. Damn cateras. Such pains to diagnose sometimes.

  7. #6
    retho78 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Catera Head gasket?

    I have a 98 catera and about 94K miles on it.

  8. #7
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    TitanCTS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Catera Head gasket?

    First off you need to be sure to find where most of your coolant is leaking, In your case you still think it's the oil cooler or the head gasket, correct? Sometimes a headgasket leak will not leak into a cylinder or mix with the oil, Some HG leaks will leak coolant externally only. When using the pressure tester be sure to pump the system up to a maximum of 30psi, anything lower than that if the leak is small enough will not leak out. 30 psi is maximum system pressure. Try not to dilute the coolant mix with water too much. Too much water will cause the block to scale and rust which will deposit inside your heater core and cause blockage preventing your heater from working properly, I've seen this issue so many times on Audi's when people think they can mix water into the coolant and find out their heater core and/or radiator is plugged. Also try to use all the same Dexcool coolant and not the mix with any antifreeze crap coolant. Prestone sells 50/50 premixed dexcool coolant which is good stuff. If you purchase straight coolant concentrate and it needs water added to it, be sure to use distilled water, ordinary tap water contains impurities which will cause the same issues as I stated above.

  9. #8
    Robotdoogie is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Catera Head gasket?

    Also check the heater control valve behind the right hand cylinder head. This can leak and look like a head gasket problem. The valve is $100 verses the cost to pull a head. Just an FYI.

  10. #9
    waco-brian's Avatar
    waco-brian is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Catera Head gasket?

    if you work on one of these cars you must have books


  11. #10
    kaustein is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Catera Head gasket?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robotdoogie View Post
    Also check the heater control valve behind the right hand cylinder head. This can leak and look like a head gasket problem. The valve is $100 verses the cost to pull a head. Just an FYI.
    I had the same issue and the freakin' scumbag dealer told me that it was a head gasket for $1800. So my subbie tech friend checked it and replace the heater control valve. Works fine now, however I still have the other million little electrical problems. Just hoping the car catches on fire!

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