2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; I finished replacing a rear differential bushing that took days and now i have another problem. Today i was driving ...
  1. #1
    Cads4life's Avatar
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    2004 cts 3.6l radiator line came undone and leaked

    I finished replacing a rear differential bushing that took days and now i have another problem. Today i was driving when all of the sudden my car was spraying all over the hood and windshield, i noticed that i lost power and pulled over. After getting the car delivered back home i noticed the drivers side radiator line came apart from the radiator.

    I did some research and noticed this happens to many cts. I was wondering if there is any recall?

    Also, What are my options from here? I don't understand why and how it could have came undone. Should i purchase a new radiator and replace both lines? What fluids and how much will i need? thanks

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    Kingoftypos is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Which hose came off? The coolant for the engine, or ATF for the transmission?

    KOT

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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingoftypos View Post
    Which hose came off? The coolant for the engine, or ATF for the transmission?

    KOT
    Its the hose that is on the drivers side that connects directly into the radiator and I believe its the transmission hose

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    Kingoftypos is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Oh ok, cus I haven't heard of the coolant hose breaking off. But I have heard of the transmission fluid hose breaking off. Both do go to the radiator. But they are separated inside of course.

    I personally took a precaution before hand. And installed an external transmission cooler. You can do the same thing. But hopefully there was no damage done to the transmission.

    KOT

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    david780a is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    same happened to my 2004, transmission filled with coolant radiator filled with tranny fluid, real mess, the lines broke of at the radiator, cadillac knows of this but will not recall, tens of hundreds of people have had this happen.most times the tranny has to be replaced because the coolant reeks havoc with the material on the clutch plates.cadillac wants 700 for new radiator, i bought one on ebay for 140.00 and has worked fine, transmission had to be flushed to get all the coolant out, took 36 quarts of tranny fluid to flush out all the coolant, i was lucky didnt drive mine more than 5 miles when it happened,and had it flushed within an hour so my tranny was saved,that was last august and still works fine.cadillac wanted 4600.00 to do this with a new tranny,cost me 700.cadillac should recall these defective junk radiators but they would rather piss people off than do the right thing,same goes for the garbage timing chains, which they will not recall for 2004 3.6, but have for 2005 and up,but many 2004 chains are failing but again they dont care.

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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    Do not put the same crappy OEM stuff back in. For what Cadillac is going to want for factory parts, you can get nice aftermarket parts that will not fail. If you replace your broken parts with the same parts, it is just going to break again.

    The is a thread here about putting a really nice Alradco CTS-V radiator in the 3.6L CTS. Those radiators are awesome, and cost $490. If the dealership is asking anywhere near that for a new radiator, get the aftermarket big billy badass one.
    Radiator: http://alradco.com/index.php?page=sh...chk=1&Itemid=1
    Install thread: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ll-2007-a.html

    Get an external transmission cooler. I bought a Hayden 1240 Swirl-Cool because it has 1/2" inlet/outlet, and will mate up to our existing transmission lines without a hitch. I had tried a B&M external transmission cooler, but the inlet/outlet was 3/8" and the dealership would not install it because it would add restriction.
    Hayden 1240: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hda-1240

    I really hope a simple flush/filter/fill will fix your transmission. If it is dead, do not pay $3,000 at the dealership for a factory transmission. Go to Level-10, and get their built from scratch race 5L40E for $3,000. It is built up with better/stronger internals, a high flow pump, and a torque converter that you can specify the stall.
    Level-10 5L40E: http://www.levelten.com/Level_10_PTS...1800-7000s.htm

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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    I appreciate the support and help from all of you!
    I decided to go with an external cooler! i will be installing it sometime soon this week or the next,but first i need some help with choosing the right transmission fluid to put in my transmission and where to get it from? I also need to know the amount that i might be needing. Im planning to just drain,filter and refill, which should work fine for now? Anyone have any good guides on how to add transmission oil ?

    i also have another issue. When i got my car back towed. the key in the ignition would not come out. I left the key in and disconnected the battery so it would not drain,because the radio is on at all times. is this only a temporary issue due to no transmission oil?


    Quote Originally Posted by Kingoftypos View Post
    Oh ok, cus I haven't heard of the coolant hose breaking off. But I have heard of the transmission fluid hose breaking off. Both do go to the radiator. But they are separated inside of course.

    I personally took a precaution before hand. And installed an external transmission cooler. You can do the same thing. But hopefully there was no damage done to the transmission.

    KOT
    That was a smart move on your part. I wish i would have done that earlier. Now i just hope the transmission is okay



    Quote Originally Posted by david780a View Post
    same happened to my 2004, transmission filled with coolant radiator filled with tranny fluid, real mess, the lines broke of at the radiator, cadillac knows of this but will not recall, tens of hundreds of people have had this happen.most times the tranny has to be replaced because the coolant reeks havoc with the material on the clutch plates.cadillac wants 700 for new radiator, i bought one on ebay for 140.00 and has worked fine, transmission had to be flushed to get all the coolant out, took 36 quarts of tranny fluid to flush out all the coolant, i was lucky didnt drive mine more than 5 miles when it happened,and had it flushed within an hour so my tranny was saved,that was last august and still works fine.cadillac wanted 4600.00 to do this with a new tranny,cost me 700.cadillac should recall these defective junk radiators but they would rather piss people off than do the right thing,same goes for the garbage timing chains, which they will not recall for 2004 3.6, but have for 2005 and up,but many 2004 chains are failing but again they dont care.
    They honestly really should have made a recall for the radiators and lines. Its such a sh*tty and b*llshit design after taking a good look at it and i totally agree. May i ask why did you need to flush the coolant out of the transmission? how did that get in there? Will i have to do the same if my transmission fluid was only leaking?


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBoren View Post
    Do not put the same crappy OEM stuff back in. For what Cadillac is going to want for factory parts, you can get nice aftermarket parts that will not fail. If you replace your broken parts with the same parts, it is just going to break again.

    The is a thread here about putting a really nice Alradco CTS-V radiator in the 3.6L CTS. Those radiators are awesome, and cost $490. If the dealership is asking anywhere near that for a new radiator, get the aftermarket big billy badass one.
    Radiator: http://alradco.com/index.php?page=sh...chk=1&Itemid=1
    Install thread: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ll-2007-a.html

    Get an external transmission cooler. I bought a Hayden 1240 Swirl-Cool because it has 1/2" inlet/outlet, and will mate up to our existing transmission lines without a hitch. I had tried a B&M external transmission cooler, but the inlet/outlet was 3/8" and the dealership would not install it because it would add restriction.
    Hayden 1240: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hda-1240

    I really hope a simple flush/filter/fill will fix your transmission. If it is dead, do not pay $3,000 at the dealership for a factory transmission. Go to Level-10, and get their built from scratch race 5L40E for $3,000. It is built up with better/stronger internals, a high flow pump, and a torque converter that you can specify the stall.
    Level-10 5L40E: http://www.levelten.com/Level_10_PTS...1800-7000s.htm
    Thanks for the tips and links! these were a great help! I decided to get a external cooling and install it myself. The cts v radiator would be pretty sick,but im not willing to spend so much atm with school and all. Hopefully i dont need to go with the route of buying a new transmission,but definitely things to look into also.

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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    13qts or Dexron 6.

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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    I just removed the transmission pan and replaced the filter and bolted it back up. I will be ordering the dexron 6 from the dealer this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBoren View Post
    13qts or Dexron 6.
    it takes 13 quarts to fill up?! i need to find my manual

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    Smile Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    I had the same problem with my car.

    I was driving down the road and all of a sudden I see white smoke coming out the back of my car. I thought I ran over some dust but it didn't go away. I then thought it was my new tires but no loud noise and steering problems so I pulled into the nearest gas station and watched as my coolant started to piss out under my car. I called a tow and brought it a mechanic, He only charged me $1000 but he told me that coolant got into the tranny, so I needed a transmission service, which is I guess a new filter, new tranny fluids, and a flush. He also replaced my radiator and I guess pipes too.

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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    Same thing happened to me a couple of months ago. I bought my '04 CTS used and it already had a separate transmission cooler. It cost me only a couple hundred bucks for a new hose and refill of tranny fluid, but was a really scary thing because I saw it at the gas station just before I was ready to get on the highway. I drove it for a couple of miles to the closest repair garage that was open. I knew I was risking it. This goes to show you, even if you have a separate cooler this problem can still happen. Bad design on GM's part.

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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    Quote Originally Posted by CTS-QC View Post
    Same thing happened to me a couple of months ago. I bought my '04 CTS used and it already had a separate transmission cooler. It cost me only a couple hundred bucks for a new hose and refill of tranny fluid, but was a really scary thing because I saw it at the gas station just before I was ready to get on the highway. I drove it for a couple of miles to the closest repair garage that was open. I knew I was risking it. This goes to show you, even if you have a separate cooler this problem can still happen. Bad design on GM's part.
    If it already had a separate cooler, why would the line coming off the radiator matter? It should have been disconnected anyways to route everything to the external cooler. If they just added an additional cooler to supplement the pre-existing cooler in the radiator, then they did NOTHING to solve the problem.

    The fittings connecting the hoses from the transmission to the radiator are what suck. The ability for coolant to get into your transmission if the system fails is also a huge drawback. You have to totally by-pass the OEM transmission cooler and add the external. Your transmission takes a little longer to get to operating temperature because the radiator no longer warms the fluid up to 190* (or whatever the OEM thermostat is set at).

    The BEST solution would be to get an aftermarket all-aluminum CTS-V radiator installed, and hook up laminar flow fluid/fluid coolers (Mocal or Laminova) for your engine oil and transmission fluid.

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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    Thanks for the information and help guys! I finally added coolant and transmission fluid into the system. so far no problems. The Transmission seems to be working fine and if not,but Better! She has never ran so smooth!

    By any chance is there a way to check whether i have not enough or too much transmission fluid? How do mechanics check? Because there isn't a dipstick.

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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    You remove the fill plug (the top one) and add fluid until it spills out. Work the shifter through all the gears with the car on to get the fluid into the inner workings of the transmission, then top it off again and replace the plug.

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    Re: 2004 cts 3.6l radiator line undone and leaked

    Would be nice to see a recall for this, having far to many caddys doing this, which is quite dangerous, can you imagine it, dumping tranny fluid on the highway at 55 and the slick hitting the rear wheels.

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