2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak
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Cadillac DTS Forum - 2006 through 2012 Discussion, 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; 2006 dts has random occasional smell of coolant at idle, it happens when car is warm, happened 7-10 times over ...
  1. #1
    Genn15 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    2006 dts has random occasional smell of coolant at idle, it happens when car is warm, happened 7-10 times over 1000km period when I was looking for it, usually after restarting car after shutting down to enter store, or when idling in traffic or parking lot, will only smell for a minute maybe 2 than it goes away, coolant level still perfect. I've had the car to two very reputable shops one being the dealership here in town and no one can find the leak, one shop said they did smell it for a minute after letting the car idle for a while but they could not find coolant leaking anywhere. It isn't leaking and leaving any puddles on my driveway or anything, it was pressure tested at both shops and they couldn't find anything. But from what I understand the cooling system is a closed system and if you can smell it it's leaking. It isn't a faint smell either you can smell it from 10 feet away from the car as if it's cooking off the motor or exhaust, it's on the outside not the inside, and it's very strong when it's present and then it's gone within a matter of minutes... Any ideas?

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    Atavar is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    I had a similar leak on a chevy van. It turned out to be a leak at the thermostat gasket. For some reason it just squirted a little bit (like 2 TBsp) as the engine transitioned from cold to warm then stopped. The coolant pooled on the intake manifold and cooked off so I could smell it but never left a puddle. Replacing the thermostat and resurfacing the mating surfaces fixed the problem. It was never enough so I needed to add coolant.

  4. #3
    Genn15 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    Thanks, I'll have a look and see if I can notice any residue or anything around the thermostat, where abouts is the thermostat on a northstar motor? I found a few people in my searches on google while trying to find out if its a known issue or anything saying they had similar issues, but no one seemed to have a definitive answer a few said that the seals in the northstar coolant system aren't great in general so to add the special GM coolant system pucks for leaks and I had one of the shops that looked at it put a couple in, and it may have slowed it down and decreased the frequency of the smell but still getting it maybe once a day.

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    Tom's Caddy's Avatar
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    Re: 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    DO NOT ever use any kind of a stop leak in a Northstar, could easily clog you're purge line. I hope it is the thermostat, but I think it is you're crossover gaskets starting to leak. Very hard to see unless you know where to look. Crossover has four gaskets usually it is the one by the drivers side lower fire wall, you need a good flashlight to see it at that spot. They are a light cream color gasket ( plastic that really covers the black gasket inside them). Look above the tranny. $750-$100 to fix, I hope it is the thermostat and not the crossover gaskets.

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    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, stick on fender vents
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    Re: 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    Rent a cooling system pressure tester from a large parts store. Most coolant weeps occur with the engine cold - so that's the time you do pressure tests. Install the tester on top of the surge tank, pump the system up to ~20 psi and let it sit for a half hour; the pressure should NOT drop. If it does, get your trusty bright flashlight and start snooping.

    It's not the thermostat itself - which is in the return line - the lower hose - at the water pump cover on the rear (driver's) end of the engine. Coolant in the cylinder block, heads, and heater circuit act on the thermostat and it controls coolant return from the radiator, not discharge as is more common. The 'water pump cover' is known to develop a seal (gasket) leak occasionally.

  7. #6
    revolcallidac is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    I have the same smell from time to time, same scenario, no drop in coolant level.

  8. #7
    BIGDADDYCADDY07 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    Quote Originally Posted by Genn15 View Post
    2006 dts has random occasional smell of coolant at idle, it happens when car is warm, happened 7-10 times over 1000km period when I was looking for it, usually after restarting car after shutting down to enter store, or when idling in traffic or parking lot, will only smell for a minute maybe 2 than it goes away, coolant level still perfect. I've had the car to two very reputable shops one being the dealership here in town and no one can find the leak, one shop said they did smell it for a minute after letting the car idle for a while but they could not find coolant leaking anywhere. It isn't leaking and leaving any puddles on my driveway or anything, it was pressure tested at both shops and they couldn't find anything. But from what I understand the cooling system is a closed system and if you can smell it it's leaking. It isn't a faint smell either you can smell it from 10 feet away from the car as if it's cooking off the motor or exhaust, it's on the outside not the inside, and it's very strong when it's present and then it's gone within a matter of minutes... Any ideas?
    here is a idea the bottom of the car has a splash shield it is molded plastic the radiator sometime leaks at the seams the anti freeze gets caught in the molds of the plastic which if you look under you will not see any leaks mine had 80k on it when i noticed it btw the water pump might be leaking also you wont notice it right away unless a pressure test is done good luck

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    satlite440 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    take a mirror on a stick and look down the hole next to the water crossover manifold and look i bet coolant is pudleing up and cooking off on the trans case.. look right under the coolant quick sevice fitting with a good flash light..find the egr and look down twords the trans...coolant pump houseinggaskets(water crossover manifold gaskets are common.. do the w/p and keyhole gasket and tstat all at the same time.. northstars are all aluminum and expand and contract at mostly the same rate except at joints.. so they only weep comming up to temp before the tstat opens at 228 and settals down to 212.. after the shut down as they cool they weep out due to the 18lbs pressure in the system.. but once fully hot or fully cold they will hold pressure unless it's a gross leak like a split radiator end tank or hose..hth


    ALSO do not use the vegtable tab sealer that gm sells nor any other sealer...the cooling system gaskets are fine.. but if you expect5-10 yrs out of them ...not happening....

  10. #9
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    Re: 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    Quote Originally Posted by Genn15 View Post
    2006 dts has random occasional smell of coolant at idle, it happens when car is warm, happened 7-10 times over 1000km period when I was looking for it, usually after restarting car after shutting down to enter store, or when idling in traffic or parking lot, will only smell for a minute maybe 2 than it goes away, coolant level still perfect. I've had the car to two very reputable shops one being the dealership here in town and no one can find the leak, one shop said they did smell it for a minute after letting the car idle for a while but they could not find coolant leaking anywhere. It isn't leaking and leaving any puddles on my driveway or anything, it was pressure tested at both shops and they couldn't find anything. But from what I understand the cooling system is a closed system and if you can smell it it's leaking. It isn't a faint smell either you can smell it from 10 feet away from the car as if it's cooking off the motor or exhaust, it's on the outside not the inside, and it's very strong when it's present and then it's gone within a matter of minutes... Any ideas?
    Hello Genn15,

    Have you brought your vehicle to a Cadillac dealership to be checked as well? If you would like any assistance setting up an appointment to look into this concern, please feel free to private message me. Please continue to keep us updated, I will be looking for you future messages.

    Gregory W.
    Cadillac Customer Care

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by revolcallidac View Post
    I have the same smell from time to time, same scenario, no drop in coolant level.
    Hello revolcallidac,

    I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing the same concern as well. Please let me know if you are planning on taking your vehicle to a Cadillac dealership to look further into this concern. I would be more than happy to assist you in working with the dealership or setting up the appointment. You can private message me as well if you would like my assistance. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Gregory W.
    Cadillac Customer Care

  11. #10
    Genn15 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    Hi guys sorry about the delay been really busy, we don't actually have a dedicated cadillac dealer where I live just a GM dealer who sells Cadillacs, that was one of the places I went, a pressure test has been done by CARS automotive (not the GM dealer) they said it was good and didn't drop a bit. I will try the mirror on a stick trick tomorrow. I looked at the thermostat housing it is free of gunk or residue, I will check water-pump and crossover when I get a stick mirror rigged up, so when checking crossover I should look for pooling on transmission? The smell itself seems to be coming from the passenger side in the back I checked the obvious places like hose running from overflow tank and tank itself but all are good, will check all of the above mentioned places tomorrow

    Thanks for all the help! Much appreciated

  12. #11
    Superjim's Avatar
    Superjim is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 2006 DTS occasional smell of coolant can't find leak

    Quote Originally Posted by Genn15 View Post
    Hi guys sorry about the delay been really busy, we don't actually have a dedicated cadillac dealer where I live just a GM dealer who sells Cadillacs, that was one of the places I went, a pressure test has been done by CARS automotive (not the GM dealer) they said it was good and didn't drop a bit. I will try the mirror on a stick trick tomorrow. I looked at the thermostat housing it is free of gunk or residue, I will check water-pump and crossover when I get a stick mirror rigged up, so when checking crossover I should look for pooling on transmission? The smell itself seems to be coming from the passenger side in the back I checked the obvious places like hose running from overflow tank and tank itself but all are good, will check all of the above mentioned places tomorrow

    Thanks for all the help! Much appreciated
    Have you checked or replaced the surge tank cap?
    It is possible that it is letting vapor escape and that might be what you are smelling...

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