trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.
Cadillac
 

Cadillac Forums | Help Us Help You | Advertise | Cadillac Parts | Cadillac News | Cadillac Classifieds / (Old System)

Cadillac Technical Archive | Cadillac Dealers | Cadillac Reviews | Cadillac Dealer Reviews | Cadillac Vendors

CadillacForums.com is the premier Cadillac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 122
Like Tree6Likes
Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in. in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; I don't know about you, but it seems where as timing chains were chapter 1, trans-cooler failure is becoming chapter ...
  1. #1
    briggy's Avatar
    briggy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): CTS 3.6L 2005 80,000 Miles
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Age
    39
    Posts
    805

    Exclamation trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    I don't know about you, but it seems where as timing chains were chapter 1, trans-cooler failure is becoming chapter 2.

    I would like to get the minds together to figure out this problem, what it is, it's cause and come up with an official fix. I've seen several threads here and there regarding this. If anyone has any pictures, diagrams drawings etc please post them.

    Also if your aware of any upgraded parts, radiators hoses please also post them. In my recent tear down I had to remove the radiator which gave me a good look at the connector. I can definitely see why this is a failure point. Basically a cheap aluminum pressure fitting which connects to the trans cooler which is free floating in the bottom of the radiator. I'll post a diagram later.


  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    txbest1980's Avatar
    txbest1980 is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 2003 CTS "Ebony Maria" 2005 Cadillac STS "Grace"
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Wherever Uncle Sam sends me
    Age
    34
    Posts
    6,441

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    briggy...the trans cooler is actually #1 and has happened a lot more often than what you just see on here. but anyways, the radiator's and fittings are crap like you mentioned in your post, no matter if you change hoses, double clamp or go after market. it is all crap. I have been that this road a time or too. what finally got my car right, was adding an external cooler and just bypassing tha radiator. now granted, this isnt for everybody, because i know some of you live in cold weather states and use your cars in the winter. but it is an option...

  4. #3
    briggy's Avatar
    briggy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): CTS 3.6L 2005 80,000 Miles
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Age
    39
    Posts
    805
    Thread Starter

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    Quote Originally Posted by txbest1980 View Post
    briggy...the trans cooler is actually #1 and has happened a lot more often than what you just see on here. but anyways, the radiator's and fittings are crap like you mentioned in your post, no matter if you change hoses, double clamp or go after market. it is all crap. I have been that this road a time or too. what finally got my car right, was adding an external cooler and just bypassing tha radiator. now granted, this isnt for everybody, because i know some of you live in cold weather states and use your cars in the winter. but it is an option...
    you have any pictures ? which after market cooler did you use. I'm also guessing you got a new radiator or found a way to plug the oem one. I think I remember reading somewhere that the new oem radiator has a different fitting. yes no ?

  5. #4
    txbest1980's Avatar
    txbest1980 is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 2003 CTS "Ebony Maria" 2005 Cadillac STS "Grace"
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Wherever Uncle Sam sends me
    Age
    34
    Posts
    6,441

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    chevyhighperformance and I both did this a little while ago. i dont have any pictures with me, but i just got your basic cooler from AutoZone and installed it. very quick and simple job...as for the new radiator, i am told that they do have new fittings that will not match I know my car. if i was to put this new style on my car, then I was going to have to run all new hoses according to my mechanic and the parts guy (but I havent personally seen the fitting and all that to verify for myself)

  6. #5
    ghettomike's Avatar
    ghettomike is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    off the grid.
    Age
    30
    Posts
    7,915

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    the design is junk, i replaced mine with new OEM lines and aftermarket OEM replacement rad.
    do i trust it? i guess to a extent but if i were to re-do it i would get a aftermarket external cooler, probably a small one, have the OEM hose fitting cut off, aftermarket fitting to go into the new cooler with deeper threads, use thread lock, and have a extra long tube on the other end of the fitting with 2 flanges or maybe even 3 so you can put clamps between them in 2 sections. better than just 2 clamps behind 1 flange.
    you can buy or rent a flange tool and getting a fitting that description may take a little effort but it shouldn't be impossible.
    tool rentals like the flange tool are free in canada. you only need 1cm between the flanges so you are looking to find one that is 2-4cm long.

  7. #6
    WickedGoat's Avatar
    WickedGoat is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 CTS 3.2/2004 GTO/2004 GMC Yukon
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Columbus, NJ
    Age
    40
    Posts
    324

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    Briggy, I think I read somewhere on here that the replacement radiator has different fittings on it compared to stock. I've never experienced this problem but have read the threads and saw the posted pictures of lines that have popped off the radiator and tranny fluid puked everywhere. It is a stupid design and for some odd reason, the root cause appears to be the factory fittings on the radiator like to rust out, causing the fiting to break off from the rad. It seems that most failures have happened when someone was driving the car and smoke started pouring from the hood and the car starts to rev but go nowhere. I think it is a combination of the fitting rusting and the vibration of the cooler inside the radiator that causes the fittings to break off. The lines attach to the fittings like a fuel line.... a quick connect. Unfortunately, if you don't pull the car off the road almost immediately, the tranny could suck coolant into it and ruin that in the process. So this failure has the potential to cost a fortune and it to me feels like it is one that just should not happen. Of course most dealer service shops will act like they have never heard of it happening while handing you a $3000 repair bill.

    As far as a fix, I'd like to see a radiator with a typical trans cooler setup with flared style line fittings that screw into the radiator. Whatever the fix, it has to be something that will not rust out, break off, and cost a shit ton of money because the tranny is now farked.

  8. #7
    1of5 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): '07 CTS Sport; Blk Rvn; FE5/P40 handling pkg.
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Way, way East USA
    Posts
    99

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    #1 My biggest fear .

    #2 the freaking timing chain .

    Any way to check if the connection is deteriorating and take defensive action ?
    Replace connections ?

    Or is it just like being sucker punched; you never know when it will happen ??

  9. #8
    ghettomike's Avatar
    ghettomike is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    off the grid.
    Age
    30
    Posts
    7,915

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    1of5
    kinda both...
    check the fittings that attach to the rad, both are known to break, there is a fluid in and a fluid out hose.

    when mine blew i had actually just read someone elses thread within a week or so prior.
    i was on the highway, hit the gas, no power, tapped it again saw the rpm go up but was like neutral.
    slapped it out of gear hit the 4 ways and pulled over.
    towed it home.
    i had a big repair bill but not as big as some , but i went all out to have it done properly.
    i pulled it all apart at home changed the rad and cleaned it up, there is a crap load of things in the way on the 3.2
    towed it to the dealer using my free CAA, they dropped the pan, changed the filter, gasket and lines.
    also the tech filled and flushed it a couple times to make sure all the fluid has been in and out so there was as little old fluid in there as possible, if any.
    i think with towing it cost me 1100 or so, i have a thread on how it went with the actual costs in it for the parts and i think some part numbers too.

  10. #9
    WickedGoat's Avatar
    WickedGoat is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 CTS 3.2/2004 GTO/2004 GMC Yukon
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Columbus, NJ
    Age
    40
    Posts
    324

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1of5 View Post
    #1 My biggest fear .

    #2 the freaking timing chain .

    Any way to check if the connection is deteriorating and take defensive action ?
    Replace connections ?

    Or is it just like being sucker punched; you never know when it will happen ??
    All you can do is pull down the plastic belly pan that covers the bottom of the rad and then take a look at the fittings. If the radiator connections are rusting then you may have to say a prayer or 2. You can lightly grab the connection and shake a little and make sure it feels secure. The only real preventative thing to do would be to replace the radiator now before it potentially happens. You could also replace the trans cooler lines. I think I have read on here where people have suggested painting the fittings to further prevent rust?? Could be worth a shot I guess.

  11. #10
    erdoc48 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2012 SRX Performance FWD, Platinum Ice
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Westampton, NJ
    Posts
    220

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    This is interesting (and scary)- is there any way to visually check the fittings from above (without taking the belly pan off)? Also, is the radiator the same in the older cars with the 3.2L engine vs. the newer ones with the 3.6L? Has anyone with a 3.6L motor had this problem?

  12. #11
    rb0757 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Cadillac
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    75

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    I ended up putting a external cooler on, it was easy and it will save the transission, as we all know the heat is the number one killer of transmission, it breaks down the fluid and it's all down hill from there, I'm thinking of putting a external engine oil cooler next

  13. #12
    BadAV is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): Magnacharged Avalanche
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    376

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    If you choose to do away with the internal tranny oil cooler and go with an auxiliary external unit I would suggest you go with either a Tru-Cool unit or a B&M Supercooler. Both of these units are stacked-plate design and therefore very strong. You should get the unit that has the bypass valve in it that keeps the tranny fluid from running through the cooler until the fluid warms up. This will assure the fluid gets to a proper operating temperature first; the fluid can also remain too cold and that's bad for the transmission also. I've got a 24k btu Tru-Cool unit on my Avalanche, plumbed in after the radiator cooler, then returning back to the transmission.

  14. #13
    ghettomike's Avatar
    ghettomike is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    off the grid.
    Age
    30
    Posts
    7,915

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    Quote Originally Posted by erdoc48 View Post
    This is interesting (and scary)- is there any way to visually check the fittings from above (without taking the belly pan off)? Also, is the radiator the same in the older cars with the 3.2L engine vs. the newer ones with the 3.6L? Has anyone with a 3.6L motor had this problem?
    different rads, but same problem.
    the 3.2 has more coolant hoses that attach here and there for whatever reason, but the tranny lines are the same and so are the fittings.

  15. #14
    briggy's Avatar
    briggy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): CTS 3.6L 2005 80,000 Miles
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Age
    39
    Posts
    805
    Thread Starter

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    Quote Originally Posted by BadAV View Post
    If you choose to do away with the internal tranny oil cooler and go with an auxiliary external unit I would suggest you go with either a Tru-Cool unit or a B&M Supercooler. Both of these units are stacked-plate design and therefore very strong. You should get the unit that has the bypass valve in it that keeps the tranny fluid from running through the cooler until the fluid warms up. This will assure the fluid gets to a proper operating temperature first; the fluid can also remain too cold and that's bad for the transmission also. I've got a 24k btu Tru-Cool unit on my Avalanche, plumbed in after the radiator cooler, then returning back to the transmission.


    good information. I'm curious how you guy patch up the radiator after removing the cooler lines. Just plug i with the appropriate sized bolt ? When I pulled mine I did a full inspection and it looked fine. I maybe mistaken but I thought the connectors were aluminum, which shouldn't rest. I'll take some pictures of mine after thanks giving i still have to reinstall the lower engine cover.

  16. #15
    ghettomike's Avatar
    ghettomike is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    off the grid.
    Age
    30
    Posts
    7,915

    Re: trans cooler failure issue break down. all true gear heads report in.

    I would just use the old fitting off the rad and pack it with jb weld

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Bookmarks

Cadillac Posting Rules

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Read about Lincoln | Buick | Kia Forte Forum
Need products for your Cadillac? Check out your options at the links below:

custom floor mats | Cadillac Chrome and Black Chrome Wheels | window tinting