: Coolant leak...?



WesH8398
04-26-10, 11:37 PM
When I brought the car home 3 weeks ago, the coolant was a bit low. Last week I topped it up and a few days later I noticed a small puddle under it. Now the reservoir is back down to a few inches under the "full cold" mark, but it's seemed to have stopped leaking (maybe because it's not running at full pressure with fluid running low??). I took that plastic shroud off today and I took a picture of where it seems to be leaking from. Does this look/sound like a leaky rad? If so, does that mean replacement, or repair? (warranty's up)

Thanks guys!

Stepside
04-26-10, 11:53 PM
If you purchased this vehicle only 3 weeks ago, was it a private purchase or Dealer puchase and was it "As Is" of do you have at least a 30 day or 3 month warranty?
Usually it is better to replace a radiator, if it is 'in fact' the radiator.

darkman
04-26-10, 11:53 PM
When I brought the car home 3 weeks ago, the coolant was a bit low. Last week I topped it up and a few days later I noticed a small puddle under it. Now the reservoir is back down to a few inches under the "full cold" mark, but it's seemed to have stopped leaking (maybe because it's not running at full pressure with fluid running low??). I took that plastic shroud off today and I took a picture of where it seems to be leaking from. Does this look/sound like a leaky rad? If so, does that mean replacement, or repair? (warranty's up)

Thanks guys!

The OEM radiator is a known weakness. It tends to develope leaks around the seams that can be hard to locate. It looks like yours is pretty visible unless that is some sort of spillage from higher up.

WesH8398
04-27-10, 12:06 AM
If you purchased this vehicle only 3 weeks ago, was it a private purchase or Dealer puchase and was it "As Is" of do you have at least a 30 day or 3 month warranty?
Usually it is better to replace a radiator, if it is 'in fact' the radiator.

It was a private sale. No warranty. I was under the car before I bought it and there was NO sign of this leak ... I looked. This could be for 2 reasons...1) The leak actually wasn't present yet, or 2) He'd just continued to drive it with a lower-than-full coolant level, where it doesn't seem to leak.


The OEM radiator is a known weakness. It tends to develope leaks around the seams that can be hard to locate. It looks like yours is pretty visible unless that is some sort of spillage from higher up.

That's what I'm not sure of ... I can't tell if that's actually where it's leaking from, or if it's just dripping down there from somewhere else.

Does anything explain why it seems to stop leaking when the level gets down a bit? Is it because it doesn't run at it's usual pressure with less fluid? I'm not saying it's OUT of fluid...it's just a few inches under the full line in the reservoir.

darkman
04-27-10, 08:11 AM
It was a private sale. No warranty. I was under the car before I bought it and there was NO sign of this leak ... I looked. This could be for 2 reasons...1) The leak actually wasn't present yet, or 2) He'd just continued to drive it with a lower-than-full coolant level, where it doesn't seem to leak.



That's what I'm not sure of ... I can't tell if that's actually where it's leaking from, or if it's just dripping down there from somewhere else.

Does anything explain why it seems to stop leaking when the level gets down a bit? Is it because it doesn't run at it's usual pressure with less fluid? I'm not saying it's OUT of fluid...it's just a few inches under the full line in the reservoir.

If the leak is located along the upper seams the amount of fluid loss is reduced as the level drops because it stops losing fluid and starts leaking steam once the fluid is below the seam.

I have had good luck over the years with Bar's Leak brand radiator stop leak if you need to postpone the repair. Additionally, a raditor shop could likely repair the thing such that it would be better than a new OEM unit. Removing the radiator in this car is not that difficult.

Finally, a number of forum members have had water pumps fail with similar symptoms. You could check that be removing the apron beneath the radiator/front bumber and looking at the water pump with the motor running.

WesH8398
04-27-10, 09:55 AM
Thanks for the info Darkman. When I first noticed the small puddle under the car, I drove it home, then popped the hood and had a boo around. I noticed little puffs of steam coming from somewhere down low on the passenger side, behind the rad. Nothing was coming from the top.

The plastic apron's been removed so I could try to get a better idea of where the leak is coming from (and so I could snap the pictures). I didn't get under there to look at the water pump while it was running though. I'll do that.

Hey, do you have one of those handy-dandy .pdf files for rad removal/install? Would you mind sharing?

darkman
04-27-10, 10:16 AM
Attached. (LS6 version)

WesH8398
04-27-10, 01:27 PM
You rock. Should I need to replace the thing, that's going to help just a bit. haha Thanks a lot. I did just download GM Techline eSi which covers up to 2005 GM vehicles. I haven't installed the program yet, but hoping it'll work. I don't imagine there will be too many differences between the book's instructions for the 2005 CTS-V, and my 2006.

In searching around last night, I did read a few posts speaking to the cap on the reservoir failing. Possibly an $8 fix...? If it's not allowing excessive pressure to release, maybe that's what's caused the leak. I know it's wishful thinking ... and even if the cap caused the leak(s), now they're there to stay, I would think.

Cadillac Cust Svc
04-27-10, 04:18 PM
I see you've gotten a few responses to this issue but should you need any help from us you can definitely direct message me here and we will move on from there. Thank you for your time and cooperation.

Jeff Morris, Cadillac Customer Service

vegasVowner
04-28-10, 06:02 AM
The $8 fix with the surge tank cap would be more preventative than anything. Once our weak seams go on these radiators, there's no turning back. Buy one anyway though in anticipation of summer and a fixed or new radiator (price is right IMO).

WesH8398
04-28-10, 09:32 AM
I see you've gotten a few responses to this issue but should you need any help from us you can definitely direct message me here and we will move on from there. Thank you for your time and cooperation.

Jeff Morris, Cadillac Customer Service

Who are you and who are you representing?


The $8 fix with the surge tank cap would be more preventative than anything. Once our weak seams go on these radiators, there's no turning back. Buy one anyway though in anticipation of summer and a fixed or new radiator (price is right IMO).

Any idea where the best prices are for new rads? Am I OK with getting a 'regular' replacement rad, or do they have the same weaknesses as the factory ones?

darkman
04-28-10, 01:14 PM
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2004-2007-cadillac-cts-v-general/179747-has-anyone-else-had-multiple-radiators.html

WesH8398
04-29-10, 11:59 PM
Darkman - I read that link. It seemed to be referring mostly to OEM replacements (done under warranty). I'm wondering about the Autozone/Advance Auto/O'Riley's Auto replacement radiators and if they stand up better than these OEM ones, or have the same problems. Also, with regards to temporary fixes and "stop leak" additives ... I had a look for that Bar's stuff today. No luck. They had a number of other brands (which I can't remember names of), but nothing from Bar's. One thing I noticed was that a lot of products specify to add DIRECTLY to the radiator (and specify NOT to add to a reservoir tank). We don't have an actual rad cap/opening, do we? So ... ?

darkman
04-30-10, 08:36 AM
Darkman - I read that link. It seemed to be referring mostly to OEM replacements (done under warranty). I'm wondering about the Autozone/Advance Auto/O'Riley's Auto replacement radiators and if they stand up better than these OEM ones, or have the same problems. Also, with regards to temporary fixes and "stop leak" additives ... I had a look for that Bar's stuff today. No luck. They had a number of other brands (which I can't remember names of), but nothing from Bar's. One thing I noticed was that a lot of products specify to add DIRECTLY to the radiator (and specify NOT to add to a reservoir tank). We don't have an actual rad cap/opening, do we? So ... ?

You can add stop leak products to the OEM radiator by removing one side of the upper radiator hose and pouring it in. http://www.barsproducts.com/

I have never found a replacement radiator for a CTS-V at Autozone/Advance/O'Riley's. I have Ron Davis racing radiator (see post #23 in this thread for pictures), but it is expensive.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2004-2007-cadillac-cts-v-general/133257-ron-davis-racing-radiators.html

The Ron Davis has all the OEM fittings in place so it is easy to install. I assume you adapt any one of a number of aftermarket radiators from Summit Racing etc. Given the nature of the OEM problem - i.e. weak seams, I still think a good radiator shop could make the OEM better than new.

WesH8398
04-30-10, 10:33 AM
Looks like there is one now ... LINK TO RAD AT AUTOZONE (http://www.autozone.com/autozone/catalog/parts/partsProduct.jsp?itemIdentifier=207914_171335_0_&skuDescription=Spectra+Premium+/+Radiator&brandName=Spectra+Premium&displayName=Radiator&categoryNValue=&sortType=&store=2179&isSearchByPartNumber=&fromWhere=&fromString=&counter=0&itemId=172-0&navValue=16300172&filterByKeyWord=&productId=207914&searchText=&categoryDisplayName=Cooling+%26+Heating&parentId=63-0). I wasn't able to find one at Oriley's or at Advance Auto, but Autozone obviously carries one.

I might try some stop-leak stuff for the short term, and I'll definitely run the car by the (yes, THE, as in the only) local rad shop to see what they say about repairing it. Do I run any risks of hurting things with stop leak products? Should I just keep dealing with the little leak and just top it off every few weeks until I get it run by a shop?

darkman
04-30-10, 11:26 AM
Looks like there is one now ... LINK TO RAD AT AUTOZONE (http://www.autozone.com/autozone/catalog/parts/partsProduct.jsp?itemIdentifier=207914_171335_0_&skuDescription=Spectra+Premium+/+Radiator&brandName=Spectra+Premium&displayName=Radiator&categoryNValue=&sortType=&store=2179&isSearchByPartNumber=&fromWhere=&fromString=&counter=0&itemId=172-0&navValue=16300172&filterByKeyWord=&productId=207914&searchText=&categoryDisplayName=Cooling+%26+Heating&parentId=63-0). I wasn't able to find one at Oriley's or at Advance Auto, but Autozone obviously carries one.

I might try some stop-leak stuff for the short term, and I'll definitely run the car by the (yes, THE, as in the only) local rad shop to see what they say about repairing it. Do I run any risks of hurting things with stop leak products? Should I just keep dealing with the little leak and just top it off every few weeks until I get it run by a shop?

Given the price of the Autozone alternative, which I did not know existed, I would most likely go that route. I might take the old one to a radiator shop just to know what having a "spare" would cost. The stop-leak products will not hurt the system as long as you only use the recommended amount, and don't keep adding more over time - the product will either stop the leak, or it won't but more is not better.

vegasVowner
04-30-10, 05:27 PM
"Limited Lifetime" warranty on the Autozone rad. makes me curious. When mine goes again, I might look into that. Company that produces that rad. might be in for a ride if they didnt do a better design than the OEM.

Gucci05V
05-01-10, 12:30 AM
The Ron Davis is the way to go IMO. Is is about $850 for the rad, double the cost of the stock replacement at the dealer, but you'll run cooler and will not have the leaking issues. I replaced stock (old design) with stock (new design) and wish I'd opted for the Ron Davis. No problems with the new one, but would still prefer the upgrade for peace of mind and performance.

UPDATE: WOW...just saw the price of the Spectra on the Auto Zone page. That would be hard to pass up, especially with the lifetime warranty.

WesH8398
05-01-10, 09:56 AM
The Ron Davis is the way to go IMO. Is is about $850 for the rad, double the cost of the stock replacement at the dealer, but you'll run cooler and will not have the leaking issues. I replaced stock (old design) with stock (new design) and wish I'd opted for the Ron Davis. No problems with the new one, but would still prefer the upgrade for peace of mind and performance.

UPDATE: WOW...just saw the price of the Spectra on the Auto Zone page. That would be hard to pass up, especially with the lifetime warranty.

Yah, I'm definitely not forkin' out $850 for a rad, regardless of how much better it is. If I replace it at all (instead of repairing it), it'll be with the Autozone one I think.

Baltimore07V
05-01-10, 11:08 AM
Yah, I'm definitely not forkin' out $850 for a rad, regardless of how much better it is. If I replace it at all (instead of repairing it), it'll be with the Autozone one I think.

If they are the same quality radiator as the knock off one that Pepboys carries, I would not put it in a V. Worse then stock, and it is probably the one for a regular CTS, not our V8. Take a real hard look at one before you buy, especially if you do spirited driving or take it to the track, where cooling can be an issue.

I am in the Ron Davis boat personally. Fix it once and its done.

WesH8398
05-07-10, 09:20 PM
For anyone interested, Rockauto.com actually sells a factory replacement like that above autozone one, but for less. $164.79 is their price. (http://www.rockauto.com) Looks like it's made by "Spectra" ... ? I can't speak to the quality, but it does have a limited lifetime warranty...

Twitch
05-08-10, 02:59 PM
Looking into this really hard. Don't ask why :banghead::banghead::banghead:
Let's just say those crimps around the radiator tanks are very soft.

At work now. Hope she makes it home.....

ELES6CTS
05-09-10, 03:15 AM
The $8 fix with the surge tank cap would be more preventative than anything. Once our weak seams go on these radiators, there's no turning back. Buy one anyway though in anticipation of summer and a fixed or new radiator (price is right IMO).

This maybe a noob question, but what is this 8 dollar fix?

randomprecision46
05-09-10, 06:54 AM
i am currently searching for a new radiator myself. I bought the exact one you see on the autozone site. The only problem is that is comes with the transmission cooler (which our cars do not have). The guy putting it in for me said that the cooler inlets shouldn't be left open and if you plug it, it will interfere with the way the radiator sits in its place.

WesH8398
05-09-10, 11:59 AM
This maybe a noob question, but what is this 8 dollar fix?
The cap for your coolant reservoir.


i am currently searching for a new radiator myself. I bought the exact one you see on the autozone site. The only problem is that is comes with the transmission cooler (which our cars do not have). The guy putting it in for me said that the cooler inlets shouldn't be left open and if you plug it, it will interfere with the way the radiator sits in its place.
So does that mean you can't use it? Or can you?

CTSVmapper
05-09-10, 01:15 PM
I got my rad from here:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390065456765&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT

The Delco # 21642
or
GM # 19129908
is the Updated rad for 04-07.
The 3 'tabs' on the stock rads are Un-crimped near the lower hose inlet.

ELES6CTS
05-09-10, 10:08 PM
The cap for your coolant reservoir.

So is it just a new cap or an aftermarket cap?

c4ss
05-10-10, 02:39 AM
Are the "new" rads failing as well? The picture in the beginning of this thread...is that a first gen POS rad or a new one? Because I got mine done (twice matter of fact) through Lindsay and I'm wondering if it's going to hold up, or if I should start saving for a Ronny.

randomprecision46
05-10-10, 06:00 AM
The cap for your coolant reservoir.


So does that mean you can't use it? Or can you?

my guy says no. He said the transmission cooler should be capped off, and to do that, the caps need to be flush with the surface, or they will keep the radiator from seating properly.

Twitch
05-10-10, 09:09 AM
my guy says no. He said the transmission cooler should be capped off, and to do that, the caps need to be flush with the surface, or they will keep the radiator from seating properly.
Did he say why? It's not like anything can leak out.

I ordered the one from rock auto. Did not want to go with stock since both my rads leaked and I haven't heard of them fixing the problem.

Tony

randomprecision46
05-10-10, 03:33 PM
Did he say why? It's not like anything can leak out.

I ordered the one from rock auto. Did not want to go with stock since both my rads leaked and I haven't heard of them fixing the problem.

Tony

He said that moisture getting in the open transmission cooler area for a prolonged period wouldnt be good.

WesH8398
05-11-10, 07:41 PM
I got my rad from here:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390065456765&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT

The Delco # 21642
or
GM # 19129908
is the Updated rad for 04-07.
The 3 'tabs' on the stock rads are Un-crimped near the lower hose inlet.
Going to check that out for sure...


Did he say why? It's not like anything can leak out.

I ordered the one from rock auto. Did not want to go with stock since both my rads leaked and I haven't heard of them fixing the problem.

Tony

Report back on how it works out!

Twitch
05-12-10, 11:25 AM
Report back on how it works out!

Fits perfect, but it did have the trans line fittings. I'll post up in a week or two if I have any leaks or not.
The install should be a piece of cake for most of you. But with all the Maggie stuff in there, it was a PITA for me. I didn't finish it last night, but I only need to button up a few things before I fill it with coolant.

Tony

Twitch
05-20-10, 09:43 AM
Posted this in another thread.


Update:
Replaced my radiator last week with an aftermarket. Filled the system and started the car with heat set to max. Fluid level did not go down and the air was still cold with the coolant temp showing 232. It took a while, but I finally heard a moan (like a cow getting boinked in the wrong hole). Fluid went down, I top it off and the heat is working inside the car. Went out that night, checking the fluid level and adding as needed every time I stopped.

This was last week and everything seemed fine since then. I got a burnt coolant smell last night, but wasn't sure if it was from last week when it leaked all over the motor (only drove the car a couple times).
So when I get home I decide to remove the cap and leave it off incase the system still has some air in it. Twisting the cap off and POP. A bit of fluid splashed out (not much really) but there was quite a bit of pressure built up in the system. Much more than I feel comfortable with. Safe to say the cap was not letting any pressure out.

I guess with all that pressure constantly pushing out on the crimps of the radiator, it has to give and let some fluid out.

Tony

Twitch
05-24-10, 12:14 PM
Pressure tested the rock auto radiator Sunday.
Set the pressure at 15psi since that's what the cap is rated at. The kit says to give it 2 1/2 minutes. We left it over five minutes with no pressure drop.

Side note: we are planning on doing something to "fix" the stock radiator. Probably going with something that can bond to the plastic and metal. I have nothing in mind yet, so any ideas are welcome.

randomprecision46
05-24-10, 04:50 PM
Fits perfect, but it did have the trans line fittings. I'll post up in a week or two if I have any leaks or not.
The install should be a piece of cake for most of you. But with all the Maggie stuff in there, it was a PITA for me. I didn't finish it last night, but I only need to button up a few things before I fill it with coolant.

Tony

Did you leave the transmission cooler line open or plug it with something?

Twitch
05-24-10, 05:48 PM
Left them alone. They're mostly covered anyway.

WesH8398
05-24-10, 11:13 PM
Pressure tested the rock auto radiator Sunday.
Set the pressure at 15psi since that's what the cap is rated at. The kit says to give it 2 1/2 minutes. We left it over five minutes with no pressure drop.


Good news! I'm going to deal with the high RPM leak for now, as it isn't very severe yet, but at least I know I can get an affordable replacement that will work. I've been buying stuff from RockAuto for a few years now ... that place is AWESOME. Did you know of them before, or did I introduce you to the site?

Twitch
05-25-10, 09:17 AM
Good news! I'm going to deal with the high RPM leak for now, as it isn't very severe yet, but at least I know I can get an affordable replacement that will work. I've been buying stuff from RockAuto for a few years now ... that place is AWESOME. Did you know of them before, or did I introduce you to the site?
Never dealt with then before I clicked the link on this thread.

I doubt the leak will get worse on the stocker. If I didn't mess with mine, it wouldn't need replacing. I'm sure I could go at least 5K miles before I'd need to add a little fluid in mine. It's just that you'd get the smell once in a while. That's ok on a beater, but not my nice Cadillac.

WesH8398
05-25-10, 01:16 PM
I doubt the leak will get worse on the stocker. If I didn't mess with mine, it wouldn't need replacing. I'm sure I could go at least 5K miles before I'd need to add a little fluid in mine. It's just that you'd get the smell once in a while. That's ok on a beater, but not my nice Cadillac.
Glad I could introduce you to Rock Auto! Their prices are phenomenal.

Yah, I only lose fluid when I run the car hard ... which makes me wonder if I should try replacing the reservoir cap to see if maybe that's a problem too. I bought some leak repair additive stuff (suggested somewhere in this thread), but I haven't added it yet. That stuff scares me ... I don't wanna wind up making things worse. And from what I've read, it'll only repair the leak for a short time anyway.

Twitch
09-10-10, 07:57 AM
Almost 3K miles on the new radiator (don't put many miles on the V :nono:) and everything is fine. Did a few track sessions last weekend with sustained high RPM. It seems to have held up well. I also have NEVER had any problems with coolant temps.
Highly recommended.

Tony