: HG or paranoia?

07-07-08, 08:12 PM
I am really not looking for it but I am expecting it as a sure thing.
Maybe is my paranoia speaking, probably in a different car I would not give much attention but…
Today I was driving in a horrible jam and after some 10 miles of stop and go traffic (not that much stop and go as slow and force go bumper to bumper kind of trafic) in a generally climbing and winding HWY (DVP for the locals) I took a glance, no reason, to the coolant gauge. Surprise, surprise, the needle was about 2/3 between the middle line (normal temperature) and the next line to the right. Is true it was just after about half mile of force climbing and air conditioning almost to the max (the traffic was getting better) and outside temperature was 88-ish. By the time I switched to see the coolant temperature the needle was already going back (half way between the lines) so the highest temperature I saw was 222. As expected after speeding up while maintaining speed and even slowing down a bit the temperature came back to about 213 and the needle returned to 12 o’clock. But I notice while driving in the city a tendency to climb slightly (with DIC temperature moving between 213 and 219). Returning on the same highway (pretty much same traffic maybe better but the other way - descending slope) in the returning 10 miles the temperature came down to 204 (201 at some point). Getting back to the city streets (rush hour) the temperature returned to 212 (at some point even 217). I returned home after some 10 more miles of city drive with 208. Is true all this time the needle maintained the normal 12 o’clock position.
Now, like I said, on a different car I would not even budge, but I have 2 more problems to specify:
1. In the last 12 months I saw twice the “Check Coolant Level”. First time about 4 months after the water pump replacement and again 6 month later (so I added in total over one quart of coolant). Recently I drained most of the coolant (when replaced the ABS module) so if I was just about to see a new check coolant level message or not I can not tell. Also I have a tiny, tiny leak in one of the coolant lines behind the power steering pump (so tiny that only a good eye can spot it). I really don’t think you can loose that much coolant in one year. In fact I just tightened the clamp and looks like the leak is gone. Just as a precaution I bought the tabs this weekend and I was planing to use two in the next days (I did not use any so far). If I open the coolant cap I have pressure all the time.
2. My idle is somehow shaky sometimes (not that much shaky, good idle for let’s say a Saturn not so good for a Cadillac).
I never ever saw my needle passing 12 o’clock, actually once over one year ago the day before changing the water pump (for like 5 seconds while parking the car the needle jumped about the same ¾ of the distance between the top line and the next one to the right).
I can not say I feel coolant smell in the exhaust, in winter I see lots and lots of vapors in the exhaust (when cold), no vapors now since is summer.
Is this how it starts?

Guess tomorrow after work in my agenda is the purge line bubble test.

07-07-08, 08:31 PM
Sometimes it starts that way. No sense in being paranoid. 80% of the things you worry about never happen. The other 20% you can't change anyway.

07-07-08, 11:54 PM
get an exhaust gas presence in your coolant test, dealer charges $100, shop might charge less...

07-08-08, 05:26 AM
You could get a test kit on ebay or some nappa parts stores have them and do it yourself.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Automotive-Combustion-Leak-Detection-Kit-Lisle_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2em20Q2el111 6QQitemZ120273302789

07-08-08, 09:26 AM
If you're not running the HVAC system in an A/C mode the cooling fans don't even come on in LOW until 224 degrees, HIGH at 236. Anywhere between 12:00 and 1:00 is OK. In traffic, with A/C ON the heat load on the cooling system is tremendous because the cooling air is first drawn through a very hot A/C condenser, then through the radiator, and both fans are auto commanded to run in slow unless the coolant goes to 236, then high.

07-08-08, 01:01 PM
Sounds normal to me

07-08-08, 11:43 PM
Today another 80-ish and up day, another 70 miles in better traffic and I noticed the temperature tends to be a little on the higher side. If usually I see 193-197, today it was 197-205 (once even 213). I did the purge line test, no bubbles, just a steady flow of coolant. Unfortunately my purge line does not reach to the coolant tank cap so I used a 0.5l bottle, thus I only had 20-30 seconds until it was getting full. But it was enough time to watch for bubbles: nothing.
Fans are kicking in (both of them) all seems to be fine. I forgot to mention one thing although I think is not important, at least should not be. In the last month (since I had the car painted) I was missing the plastic liner over the headlights and radiator. I finally got a new one last Friday. But again it should not matter since I always had it on.
Guess I will get that kit to put an end to it. I have a 10% discount with Nappa from the company I work for, so I have to weight the e-bay price + shipping and the one from Nappa. Thanks a lot for the e-bay tip!
My plan was to hold until next year when I will have time to drive to Michigan and had it done by these guys (http://www.ae-engines.com/). I was planning a full engine sealing plus the Timesertion.

07-09-08, 10:14 AM
N*Caddy, Temperature-wise you have no troubles. The thermostat is set to begin opening at 188 and be fully open at 206. Your engine is perfectly normal at 205 to 215. Same as my STS runs in the summer. Your purge line test was satisfactory.

Drive the car, display gas mileage or somehing besides temp in the DIC. You're gonna drive yourself squirrely watching temps vary all over the place, which is how an internal combustion engine is supposed to do under varying temp and load conditions......chill out. The plastic sight shield is nothing more than a trim item.

07-09-08, 11:35 AM
Sub is right. Those temps are perfectly normal. Relax until you have some real symptoms.

07-10-08, 06:59 PM
Thanks guys,

I changed the display to instant MPH (another reason to worry :cookoo:) and I try to enjoy my life…