Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS - Page 9
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; A brand new plenum duct from Amazon just arrived and we'll (attempt to) put it in over the weekend. Let's ...
  1. #121
    c_d
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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    A brand new plenum duct from Amazon just arrived and we'll (attempt to) put it in over the weekend. Let's see how that goes. In preparation, I test drove the Deville today and two issues still concern me:
    1. When just cruising at road speed (no hills/slopes/valleys) holding the gas pedal steady, I frequently had to readjust. It felt like the car not delivering steady power and I had to step on the pedal. Usually it kicked down afterwards and delivered an adequate level of perfomance. The TB looks clean and responsive having had its last clean less than 1500 miles before.
    2. This gurgling sound is still there and drives me insane. At almost every acceleration after a stop, red light or traffic, the car is going through its listerine. Unfortunately it's only noticeable under load, when I sit in front of the car just gently pulling the throttle cable, nothing happens. From inside the car it seems to originate from the mid engine section towards the firewall. Can it be a clogged heater core (although no one of us ever had to use heat on the car), an A/C moisture outlet (the A/C is pretty much always on since March) or [please insert random good idea here]? I'd appreciate any pointer on anything I can check.

  2. #122
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    See how it runs after the plenum duct change.

    Gurgling is NOT good. One thing I think we can all agree on is that it's coming from the heater core. That is almost 100% positive. The only question is why. IF you have checked the purge line and are 100% sure it is clear, then the only other logical explanation I can come up with is that air is being introduced to the cooling system.

  3. #123
    c_d
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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    Ranger, I have checked all accessible parts of the coolant system:

    - coolant in the reservoir stays more or less at the same level - there is an almost unnoticeable loss but on the other hand I spill a tiny amount every time I check the purge line.
    - purge line has a steady, gentle stream - I noticed a lower pressure after things have settled. At first it was shooting out of there, now it's streaming steadily but calmly
    - after carefully inspecting the reservoir cap, I noticed that the inner (lower) rubber seal is extremely porous and falls off on finger contact. There is still rubber present but the edges are quite flaky.
    - the car's temperature stays stable at 210, a tad over the middle of the scale (12:02 o'clock) regardless of whether it's a short drive or a traffic jam in TX heat of 105F
    - when I unclogged the purge line, I noticed small particles that looked like a mix of rust and stop-leak - we have never flushed the heater core. According tho the bill, the coolant was just changed at the shop when they repaired the crossover gasket.

    What would be a sensible approach? Buy a new cap since it's less that $5 and hope for the best? Flush the core? Do a block test?

    Since my coolant sensor was having issues, we invested $10 in a bluetooth gizmo and an app for my mobile phone. It constantly monitors the car's state as well as error codes. I have set an audible alarm for 232F coolant temperature to avoid having an issue coming up when someone is driving who doesn't has the eyes glued to the temperature. The only thing coming up (a week ago) was that:

    Screenshot_2013-07-20-10-38-04.jpg

  4. #124
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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    This one has me stumped. Coolant flow from the purge line rules out a clog. Pressure is irrelevant. No coolant loss rules out a leak and no overheating would rule out, or at very least, lean away from a HG failure, so a block test would most likely come back negative. Likewise, no overheating would rule out a bad cap. I can't imaging how there is air in the system causing the gurgling or where it could be coming from.

  5. #125
    c_d
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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    This one has me stumped. Coolant flow from the purge line rules out a clog. Pressure is irrelevant. No coolant loss rules out a leak and no overheating would rule out, or at very least, lean away from a HG failure, so a block test would most likely come back negative. Likewise, no overheating would rule out a bad cap. I can't imaging how there is air in the system causing the gurgling or where it could be coming from.
    When thinking about the thermodynamics of the coolant system, the only theory I was able to come up with is a micro/stress fracture somewhere in the system. Too small for coolant to be pushed out, even under pressure but small enough to suck air in when the antifreeze contracts at cool down. Would fit the symptom of it NOT gurgling when the car is started cold but only happens when the car was hot, had time to cool around 2 hrs, and is started again. But this is maybe too constructed for the real world and will be pretty hard to diagnose since fluid loss would be minimal. Maybe a good splash of UV dye may help?

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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    Kicker is, the possible crack would not allow air to enter the system until the engine had cooled to at least a few degrees below ambient temperature, and even then the surge tank pressure cap has a built-in vacuum relief valve that opens at only 1 or 2 inches of vacuum - if the cooling system went into any more vacuum than that the (non-reinforced) hoses would collapse.

    If you even think that the pressure cap rubber washers are falling apart, get a new cap. It's entirely possible that the engine is warming up, not holding a full 18 psi, and maybe some coolant is blowing out the leaky cap seal.

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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    That theory had entered my mind, but I couldn't put enough logic to it to mention it. I suppose it's possible, but I think it would be a stretch.

  8. #128
    c_d
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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    New gas cap acquired and will test drive it tomorrow. Old one really had issues (I think):

    IMG_2621.JPG

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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    Yeah, it has seen better days. I doubt that thing was holding pressure.

  10. #130
    c_d
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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    Thanks Ranger!

  11. #131
    c_d
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    Well after having taken the intake manifold off, I can sadly conclude its not the plenum causing the lean codes. Anyway, the area down there is looking nasty and the vacuum hose elbow at the passenger side end was leaking:

    http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/97563817@N04/9338958440/

    Is that much of gunk in there normal?

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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    The intake is subject to a LOT of PCV flow, and that "dirty air" is loaded with oil vapor and other nasties boiled out of the (normal) engine oil. Don't sweat it - you can see that the valves and lower port are washed clean by the fuel injector spray pattern. You could go crazy and attempt to hot tank the manifold and clean out the ports, but it would all be back in 5,000 miles. Normal. The trick is to do a once-a-year dedicated throttlebody cleaning, vacuum line check, and let it go at that. How-to's in the Cadillac Tech Tips.

    The vacuum hose leak - that's the PCV dirty air lne - and that is subjected to 100% manifold vacuum. A leak there is almost as bad as a plenum crack. Spare parts on the Help! racks at large parts stores.

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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    Quote Originally Posted by c_d View Post
    Is that much of gunk in there normal?

  14. #134
    c_d
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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    Guys you're life savers. I saw the inside of my Audi diesel engine once and it was nowhere near that gunky. I immediately assumed the worst ...

    Anyway, in addition to the broken elbow, the two first screws on the intake manifold felt awfully loose. The plenum turned out to be in really good shape but since we already had a brand new one and the old gaskets looked fairly flat, we put it in. No codes or issues so far.

    Although it might be too early to celebrate, I didn't notice any gurgling after the new reservoir cap was in place. I have my fingers crossed on that one, too. Thanks for all your help!

  15. #135
    mike5514 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Sporadic SES light and exotic codes - friend's 2004 DTS

    Please forgive me if I misunderstand. I have not read the whole post but 9 pages to get to the surge tank cap and a leaky plenum

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