Looking for advice with repairs - 2005 DTS
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Looking for advice with repairs - 2005 DTS in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; After driving nothing but cummins powered diesel dodge trucks and riding victory motorcycles for 12 years, I purchased a 2005 ...
  1. #1
    Taz456 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Looking for advice with repairs - 2005 DTS

    After driving nothing but cummins powered diesel dodge trucks and riding victory motorcycles for 12 years, I purchased a 2005 DTS with almost all options except for the sun/moonroof. I was always a Buick Park Avenue buyer before going to the trucks to pull my RV. 2.5 years ago I purchased it for my wife and 16 year old to share. Deal was that my son would pay for half the car and if he made it to 21 without a moving violation or a wreck that was his fault, the car would be his. We got a great deal 11,000 with 68000 miles on it. Been a great vehicle and I again love having a luxury ride for the family outing plus it is a lot easier to find parking spots than the truck.

    We do get a low coolant warning from time to time and we have topped of the white plastic coolant tank a few times. we occasionally smelled the heated coolant smell but never saw any leaks.

    About six months ago the car started to stall at low speeds when turning to the left. It happened more when there was moisture in the air. I thought about electronic issues nothing else and we would not get any codes. I replaced the original battery and all was good for 3 months. Then it started back up. I started to look for a wire that was shorting out but never found one. THe car would always start right back up. The other day it stalled every time you took your foot of the gas. I took it to a Chevy Dealer since I know one of the service mangers since our kids are in the same school district.

    He said it was a faulty throttle position sensor and repaired it. I also asked him to go over every inch of the car and to repair anything that is questionable since my 18 year old has joined the US Air Force and I plan on taking the car to him down in Florida. He is scheduled to finish up training school and return home in November and will be stationed at a base very close to home. Was told that the water pump was bad and ok'd this repair also. They said that the coolant level sensor in the tank is bad but that you have to purchase the entire tank at almost $400 so I decided to just keep an eye on the tank. I saw the water pump and it was bad and leaking a very small amount. After it was completed they took the car out and it stalled on the test drive once. Manager claimed that the head casket problem with the north star causes stalling and that if it continues it might be that issue and he told me that it would be a $2500.00 repair but that he would eat the throttle body and water pump repairs labor since it would have been done during the head casket repair job.

    If needed, I will get this work done and the dealer told me that it would be covered for 12000 miles nation-wide which eases my mind with the son having the car in Florida. I handle some repairs myself and consider myself to be a shade tree mechanic. I do not have the skill nor knowledge to tackle this on my own.

    I did research all night which lead me to join this forum. Any advice would be helpful. I have not seen anywhere on the net where a head casket problem causes stalling. My car doesn't over heat. the temp gauge is always been around half way or just a little over half way. I have changed the oil and it looks like oil and is not thinned down. I can not smell oil in the plastic coolant tank. I need to talk to the manager again by Wednesday. So I am going to drive this car everywhere for the next few days to see what happens. I do smell coolant but I', pretty sure that is from the recent repair. I was also under the impression that a head casket would cause an internal leak which would not be smelt.

    This car has been used for the occasional long drive but is mainly used for very short trips usually under 30 minutes long. Today after work I will take it on the PA turnpike and travel 30 minutes one way and make my way home all under highway speeds. I will post update this evening. Sorry for the long post just wanted to get the entire story out there. FYI, I just bought a 2006 Buick Lucerne w/ 25000 miles for my 16 year old only because it was an even better deal than the Caddy and it has the same Northstar engine in it.

    Any resident NorthStar experts care to offer any wisdom?

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  3. #2
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Wrong forum. your car is a Deville, DTS being the trim level (Deville Touring Sedan). The '06+ "DTS" acronym is just the model name. A mod will move your thread for you.

    First things first, you have NO symptoms of HG issues (and what you've read is correct, stalling is NOT a symptom).

    Secondly, $400 for a surge tank??? Here's a new, OEM tank...$82:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0013FW8KG

    Yes, that's cheaper than dealer price, but even dealer price plus installation shouldn't be $400.

    The sensor itself is usually not the problem, it's usually the float inside that sticks. You could try removing the tank, filling it with hot water, and shaking it around. Sometimes that frees it.

    How did the dealer determine the car had HG issues? The correct way is to perform a block test (a chemical test that indicates of there are combustion gasses in the cooling system). If you'd like, you can perform the test yourself. Block test kits are available at most parts stores through their loan a tool program. The only thing you have to purchase is the test fluid, ~$10. But like I said, you have NO symptoms of HG issues. (And FWIW, Northstars don't typically mix oil and coolant or smoke as a rest of HG failure).

    HG failure is actually quite unlikely in an '05. The HG issue is blown out of proportion to begin with, and by '05, several things had been done to solve the issue - Changes to the block casting process and a switch to longer head bolts in '00, and switch to coarse thread bolts some time in '04 (but not all engines).

    The problem isn't the gaskets themselves, it's stripping of the head bolt hole threads. The fix is to remove the drivetrain (which drips out the bottom), remove the heads, drill and tap all 20 bolt holes to accept inserts or studs, replace the gaskets, a d put everything back together.



    If you're smelling coolant, you most likely still have a leak. Small leaks usually don't leave drips or puddles, as the coolant evaporates on hot engine compartment components before it has a chance to do so. To test for a leak, you can use a cooling system pressure test kit, and pressurize the system cold. Again, parts store loan a tool program.

    As for the stalling, go to the top of the FWD Deville/Fleetwood page, and read the "sticky" thread on how to pull DTCs. List any codes you may find, AND THEIR DEFINITIONS, here (there's a link to code definitions within the sticky).

    The problem may simply be a dirty TB. If you don't know when it was last cleaned, here's a how to:
    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...rol-valve.html

    Very simple, make sure you get the perimeter of the throttle plate and TB bore.

    Another possibility is faulty CKP sensors, which don't always throw a code. Does it usually stall when coasting or coming to a stop? If so, and the TB cleaning doesn't help, that is likely the problem.
    Tom's Caddy likes this.

  4. #3
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    I replied to your original post in the DTS forum. A mod will merge the threads for you, but until them, you can read my response there.

  5. #4
    Taz456 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: looking for advice with repairs

    I did repost this in the proper forum but could not find a way to delete it in this 06 forum. The pressure test was done before and after water pump repair.

    I'll do the TB cleaning soon as well. Thanks

  6. #5
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Only mods can delete threads. Don't worry about it.

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    Re: looking for advice with repairs - 2005 Deville

    taz456, Welcome Aboard. Please read the descriptive text in any forum banner to find out what is supposed to be posted in that forum. Multiple posts and multiple threads on the same subject only serve to dilute advice and repair procedures. Thanks for the consideration.

    I moved and deleted your other thread.

  8. #7
    Superjim's Avatar
    Superjim is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Looking for advice with repairs - 2005 DTS

    From what you describe, I don't see any head gasket issues at all.
    The stalling is probably the Crankshaft position sensors.
    They are a fairly common failure item and they will cause EXACTLY the stalling issue you are describing.

  9. #8
    Taz456 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Looking for advice with repairs - 2005 DTS

    Thanks for for the advice on where to find the stickies. I belong to a similar forum for the cummins powered dodges but it is set up different. The dealer stated that no codes were showing up wen they looked for them. I also had a friend hook it up once and it had no stored codes then either.

  10. #9
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taz456
    The dealer stated that no codes were showing up wen they looked for them. I also had a friend hook it up once and it had no stored codes then either.
    So how did they determine the TPS was faulty without codes?

    Between that, the ridiculous price quote for the surge tank, and the suggestion of HG repair, I hope it's clear to you that you need to find a new dealer. Or better yet, a good independent shop.
    SGWORLDWIDE likes this.

  11. #10
    70cougar is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Looking for advice with repairs - 2005 DTS

    You said you "topped off the coolant tank". Just to be sure, the cold full line is about 1/2 way up the tank, not all the way to the top. If you fill it all the way, it will overflow when the engine warms up and could be the cause for the coolant smell you still have.
    ryannel2003 likes this.

  12. #11
    Taz456 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Looking for advice with repairs - 2005 DTS

    Yes the tank is filled just to the level line which is about half way. On mine, we can not see through the plastic to see the coolant without using a flashlight. I am thinking that the current smell was just spilled stuff that was heating up on the block or heads.

  13. #12
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice with repairs - 2005 DTS

    Threads merged

  14. #13
    vincentm's Avatar
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    Id replace the ckp's. And get it up in the air to check for coolant leaks, the dexcool could be drying up before it hits the ground, itll leave a chalky white residue. I doubt theres a HG failure

  15. #14
    basscatt's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice with repairs - 2005 DTS

    you can pull the codes yourself - with the built-in code reader -

    check this out -
    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...odes-dtcs.html

  16. #15
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice with repairs - 2005 DTS

    That ^^^

    Scroll down the sticky until you get to your proper year group of Deville. Then use the supplied link to decipher any found OBD-II codes.

    After the listed year groups the OBD system went to the first CAN system and the cars lost the "DIY" onboard scan capability.

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