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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Steaming engine in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Today we have 39 F and 92% Humid. After short driving I noticed on parking lot lots of steam coming ...
  1. #1
    scanssystems's Avatar
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    Steaming engine

    Today we have 39 F and 92% Humid. After short driving I noticed on parking lot lots of steam coming out from engine. Opened up and it looks like coming from radiator. Also radiator in sweat too... What's going on? Cold and humid weather? Engine dorsnt overheat, coolant level on point.

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    blalockchiro's Avatar
    blalockchiro is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    what type of car and engine do u have? did u pull codes...if do not know how look up at sticky to find out and post back.

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    Regular 01 DHS.
    It doesn't come from radiator. It is hard to say from radiator cause when you look at that it just comes. It looks like from top rail of radiator.. maybe I'm wrong..

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    Re: Steaming engine

    Steam smelling like coolant? What most likely happened is that the radiator side tank has given up and developed a crack after numerous heat/cool cycle throughout the lifetime of the car. Plastic radiator side tanks are almost like consumables, they will fail after enough cycle. It usually develops cracks under the hose attachment point, or the front side of the radiator, where you can't easily inspect them. Coolant will leak through the crack, and leaked coolant touches the hot radiator parts and evaporates = steam.

    Try to find wet spots when it is steaming, or when it cools down, dry white chalky residue (dried coolant) anywhere near the radiator side tank. If you find any of those, you need a radiator replacement.

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    I don't know how coolant smells. But so far as this steam smells.. I can't smell it. It almost doesn't smell. But my best guess is coolant.
    Top rail have been wet due steam. Plus on the bottom on the splash guard I saw wet spots. About inch or two.. maybe less and few of them.

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    Re: Steaming engine

    Is the "steam" coming from the radiator - or the A/C condenser coil/fins which is in front of the radiator ?? If you had the A/C on it's possible that you see condensation evaporating off the condenser - far fetched, but possible....... and water condensation vapor would not smell like coolant.

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    scanssystems's Avatar
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    No, I didn't run AC because it was 39 degrees! I didn't run heater either.

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    Where is AC condenser/coils anyway?

  9. #8
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    ....
    Quote Originally Posted by "Submariner409
    ...or the A/C condenser coil/fins which is in front of the radiator...

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    Re: Steaming engine

    I have (on very rare occasions) under conditions like you described in post #1, noticed a whiff of steam coming from the grill when sitting in a bank drive through, but your description of "lot lots of steam" would seem to rule that out.

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    scanssystems's Avatar
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    I will post video when I get home.

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    Look here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK2a3yhCpDg&sns=em

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    ....
    Quote Originally Posted by "Submariner409
    ...or the A/C condenser coil/fins which is in front of the radiator...
    Oops.. sorry

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    Re: Steaming engine

    THAT is NOT humidity. You have a leaky radiator. It must smell very sweet (coolant).

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    Crap! Even yesterday everything was fine! How could it happened overnight? Damn! Are you sure I need a new radiator?
    P.S.
    Will do smell test on my way back home..

  14. #13
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    The side tank probably cracked, not uncommon. If you can't pinpoint the leak by the steam, rent a pressure test kit.

  15. #14
    scanssystems's Avatar
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    But if its steaming it is radiator anyway, isn't it?

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    Re: Steaming engine

    Quote Originally Posted by scanssystems View Post
    Where is AC condenser/coils anyway?
    Your radiator is toast.

    Look real hard at your 'radiator' - there are TWO "radiators" sandwiched together - the one nearest the grille is the A/C condenser; the one nearest the engine is the coolant radiator.

    In order to replace the coolant radiator you must separate the two parts. Carefully, coming out and going in: The condenser stays in the car and you do not want to bend or nick it.

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