: Check Coolent Level Keeps showing up



Chief31127
08-11-03, 10:41 AM
SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!

I have a1998 Cadillac Deville. Recently I have been experiencing a technical error that I can not figure out. I have been experiencing this issue for over 2 weeks now. I brought this into a professional who replaced the radiator, but I am still recieving the "Check coolant level" prompt after a few days of driving. The coolant in the reservouir drops to 1 inch below the little reader just inside the radiator cap. The I do not see a leak anywhere, but I do notice that the overflow tube (that is just beneath the radiator cap) is not hooked into anything. Just to clarify what I mean by that - The tube is connected to the resivour (on the passenger's side), but the other end is just pointed towards the ground (not connected to anything). A logical guess would inform me that the tempature of the engine heats up, the pressure builds up, and pushes the coolant out of that hose onto the ground, but I am not sure if this is the case. Like I said before, I have had my Radiator, top hose, bottom hose, & thermostat replaced. I have used factory Cadillac parts. I do not see any frothyness inside the oil cap, but I do smell a slight coolant smell once the car has been driven for awhile... I did smell the same smell prior to the radiator being replaced, but this time it is quite less than before. CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP....this not only has my mechanic stumped, but also myself, and other professionals that I approach.

eldo
08-27-03, 02:10 AM
Hi Chief,

I have a 97 Eldorado and I have the exact same problem, everything
to the last detail. I have to add the coolant every week or two and the coolant smells just before I get the "Check coolant level" light.
Just sent it to the repair shop for three days of pressure test on the
radiator and flush. New hoses were put on, a water pump belt and reservior housing for a total of $650.00 and I still have the same problem
just discovered this today as the "Check coolant level" light came on again!!!...Man was I upset! A few weeks ago I spent $170.00 and was told that a clamp on the hose to the radiator wasn't connected tightly.
I still can go about a week or two before this light comes on as long as
I add the coolant the car runs fine. I am now afraid to bring it any place else because of expensive ripoffs!,,until I try to truely fine out
what is the problem or the best thing to do concerning the problem. I now have 94000 miles.
If I happen to fine out the problem I will certainly let you know.
Maybe someone will reply with the answer!!
GOOD LUCK

kcnewell
08-27-03, 08:31 AM
I believe that the "little hose" is supposed to be connected to the coolant recovery system. Isn't it?Without that connection the cooland runs out on the ground instead of being returned to the system and then you have a low coolant situation that causes the light.

eldo
08-29-03, 01:44 AM
SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!

I have a1998 Cadillac Deville. Recently I have been experiencing a technical error that I can not figure out. I have been experiencing this issue for over 2 weeks now. I brought this into a professional who replaced the radiator, but I am still recieving the "Check coolant level" prompt after a few days of driving. The coolant in the reservouir drops to 1 inch below the little reader just inside the radiator cap. The I do not see a leak anywhere, but I do notice that the overflow tube (that is just beneath the radiator cap) is not hooked into anything. Just to clarify what I mean by that - The tube is connected to the resivour (on the passenger's side), but the other end is just pointed towards the ground (not connected to anything). A logical guess would inform me that the tempature of the engine heats up, the pressure builds up, and pushes the coolant out of that hose onto the ground, but I am not sure if this is the case. Like I said before, I have had my Radiator, top hose, bottom hose, & thermostat replaced. I have used factory Cadillac parts. I do not see any frothyness inside the oil cap, but I do smell a slight coolant smell once the car has been driven for awhile... I did smell the same smell prior to the radiator being replaced, but this time it is quite less than before. CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP....this not only has my mechanic stumped, but also myself, and other professionals that I approach.



Hi Chief,

I am the person who has the same problem as you do with the 97 Eldorado"check coolant level" light. Well, I did find something that may
be of interest to you!.....check out the web site below>Good Luck!
http://www.caddyinfo.com/howtosealantconfusion.htm

Eldo

eehoepp
08-29-03, 08:45 PM
The "overflow" hose from the filler neck on the coolant tank drains to the ground. The coolant tank is the highest point on the system, so the "rad" cap is located there. There is simply no room in the engine compartment for an overflow reservoir. When the cooling system is full, there is still some air space in the coolant tank for expansion. If it's too full, it will expel some & then should maintain a consistent level. I can't remember the exact measurement for the coolant level, but if you can't see the sloped bottom directly under the cap, you should be ok.

The magical mystical disappearing coolant is a scary thing. There are several possibilities (leaking rad, hose, heater core, etc.). The bad possibility is a head gasket. A few of us here have been through it. Search the forums for "head gasket" and "overheating" & you'll find numerous threads. Have a mechanic do a sniffer test at the rad cap. If the sniffer detects HCs (hydrocarbons) and CO (carbon monoxide) in the coolant, you likely have a bad head gasket.

For your sake, I hope it's something less expensive.

Good luck.

jam224
09-18-03, 02:00 PM
Hey,

I have a 1997 DeVille with this, what seems to be, common problem. I am very happy with the car except that I have to add coolant once every week or two. I, too, thought the problem was the rubber hose leading to the ground, but I was told that it is supposed to be that way to drain excess coolant and in case of overheating. I also almost always get a sweetish smell coming from under the hood (perhaps not the head gasket then?). I am considering using BarsLeaks but should I not use that aluminum kind? Only the regular BarsLeaks in the opaque bottle for the Northstar engine? Is the dealer sealer (rhyme unintended) any better? Also, the warning label on BarsLeaks states that older cooling systems should be flushed before using any sealant. It doesn't say why, but perhaps the addition of a fibrous sealant to already occluded piping could clog the system? Is that something to worry about? I am really trying to stay away from the dealer! If anyone can help, I would would be very thankful.

Thanks,
Jim

4T-80E
09-18-03, 03:38 PM
DO NOT use bars leak to seal a leaky system-it's only a crutch and could damage the water pump.

A cooling system that is losing coolant with no leakage on the ground could be several things-this is what I have found(in order of frequency)

1.Water pump leaking only when hot or cold. Water pump cover leaking(due to gasket leaking or warped cover.

2.Coolant crossover gaskets leaking. Look straight down between the egr valve and the rear cylinder head-coolant can leak down and possibly puddle on top of the trans or evaporate before hitting the ground. Stained aluminum below the crossovers is a telltale sign.

3.Heater quick connect fitting on the crossover, Heater hoses seeping and or hose underneath the coolant reservoir seeping.

4. Head gaskets-will normally show leakage externally, wether underneath the intake or below the exhaust manifolds. I have not seen a mysterious leak that turned out to be head gaskets without engine overheating . Just my 2 cents.

El Dobro
09-18-03, 08:29 PM
My '98 Seville kept loosing antifreeze. Also, it would run rough unless I held the RPMs up slightly for about 20-30 seconds when I would first start it. There wasn't any visible seepage, so I brought it to the dealer since I have a warranty on it. They found that the head bolts pulled and allowed the head gaskets to leak into the clyinders. They pulled the engine so they could Timesert the block and put in new gaskets, etc. Runs like a champ now and the coolant lever no longer drops.

eldo
09-18-03, 09:56 PM
My '98 Seville kept loosing antifreeze. Also, it would run rough unless I held the RPMs up slightly for about 20-30 seconds when I would first start it. There wasn't any visible seepage, so I brought it to the dealer since I have a warranty on it. They found that the head bolts pulled and allowed the head gaskets to leak into the clyinders. They pulled the engine so they could Timesert the block and put in new gaskets, etc. Runs like a champ now and the coolant lever no longer drops.


I have the same problem with my 97 Eldorado.
How much did you have to pay to have the dealer do the job?

Thanks

El Dobro
09-18-03, 10:24 PM
When I purchased the car from the Caddy dealer, I also added a GMPP extended warranty, so it only cost me a $100 deductable. Am I glad I got the warranty? Hell, yes! They had the car two weeks to do the job, so I can only guess how much it would've cost if GM didn't pick up the tab.

jam224
09-23-03, 12:54 PM
[QUOTE=4T-80E]DO NOT use bars leak to seal a leaky system-it's only a crutch and could damage the water pump.

Thanks for your help, and, from what I have heard from everyone else, it is definitely one of the problems you mentioned. I'm a little short on cash right now and I'm looking for anything to hold me over. The Caddy dealership told me not to use BarsLeak or the Caddy pellet in a high mileage engine (106k) but my personal mechanic told me that a cellulose based sealer is OK. Does anyone know if it would be better than BarsLeak? Perhaps it will minimize clogging - it doesn't seem to have any particulate matter in the liquid...

Thanks again,
Jim

eldo
09-28-03, 06:45 PM
Hi Chief,

I have a 97 Eldorado and I have the exact same problem, everything
to the last detail. I have to add the coolant every week or two and the coolant smells just before I get the "Check coolant level" light.
Just sent it to the repair shop for three days of pressure test on the
radiator and flush. New hoses were put on, a water pump belt and reservior housing for a total of $650.00 and I still have the same problem
just discovered this today as the "Check coolant level" light came on again!!!...Man was I upset! A few weeks ago I spent $170.00 and was told that a clamp on the hose to the radiator wasn't connected tightly.
I still can go about a week or two before this light comes on as long as
I add the coolant the car runs fine. I am now afraid to bring it any place else because of expensive ripoffs!,,until I try to truely fine out
what is the problem or the best thing to do concerning the problem. I now have 94000 miles.
If I happen to fine out the problem I will certainly let you know.
Maybe someone will reply with the answer!!
GOOD LUCK

I took my my 97 Eldo to a shop, and they told me that the two back head bolts had pulled away from the heads and caused the back to be slightly warpped along with a little cylinder corrossion. It's not that bad, so they were taken to the machine shop for repair.
After all of the great advice I read from these forums about
Time-Serts, I instructed him to use all new Time-Serts from the Cadillac
dealer. He agreed with my decission, ...and it will cost aprox $1800.00.
Thanks to all of you guys on this forum for your great and helpful advice!
Eldo

cadfan
10-01-03, 01:12 AM
When you look for a coolant leak w/ dexcol. it leaves a off pink trail which is easy to spot. There are two little green hoses comeing out of the engine facing the firewall below the egr valve, just above the trans. They are kind of hidden. Check those. If no other leaks are found, this is very true of the new northstars, the water pump housing cover will leak a small bit when its heated. Not enough to really be seen or smelled. The bottom forward bolt is usually the culprit. Either torque the bolts or just replace the water pump cover gasket. Do not use bars leak

97Eldo
07-07-04, 11:44 AM
OK, obviously other people have had similar problems but I have something that I not seen anyone else talk about. When looking down into the "valley" of the engine, under the intake manifold I can see a puddle of antifreeze. I am now having to add about a quart of antifreeze a day and the GM sealing pellets did nothing to help. Nothing leaks onto the ground and there is a strong smell of antifreeze after driving and shutting off the engine. I am really hoping this does not turn out to be a head gasket. This car only has 48000 mi on it so I am shocked to even be having this problem. I have read about "crossovers", does my car have these? Does the coolant flow through the intake manifold? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Ranger
07-07-04, 07:38 PM
Yes, you have a crossover. The crossover manifold is where the water pump is mounted. I am not sure but I don't think that can leak into the valley. There is no coolant flow through the intake manifold.

zonie77
07-07-04, 09:33 PM
There is no water through the intake. If there is antifreeze in the valley there must be an outside leak.
The beginning of a headgasket problem is really hard to diagnose. Because the gaskets corrode they can swell and act bad intermittently.
There are 3 tests that can pin it to a gasket leak.
1) Combustion test, checks for byproducts in the coolant. Coolant has to be in the car a while and can give a false reading.
2) Compression test, May not give a real definite reading, especially if the gaskets are just starting to leak.
3) Cylinder Pressure Test. Takes the longest, but gives the best info.

I'm curious...Why did this old post pop up?

Anthony Cipriano
07-07-04, 11:40 PM
OK, obviously other people have had similar problems but I have something that I not seen anyone else talk about. When looking down into the "valley" of the engine, under the intake manifold I can see a puddle of antifreeze. I am now having to add about a quart of antifreeze a day and the GM sealing pellets did nothing to help. Nothing leaks onto the ground and there is a strong smell of antifreeze after driving and shutting off the engine. I am really hoping this does not turn out to be a head gasket. This car only has 48000 mi on it so I am shocked to even be having this problem. I have read about "crossovers", does my car have these? Does the coolant flow through the intake manifold? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
You may have some seepage into the valley from some slight porosity in the block casting in the "V" of the engine. Not that common but it has happened. Put the GM coolant supplement in the system to seal it up and forget about it. Chances are the seepage potential was there for a long time and was sealed by the original dose of sealant at the factory. Like a lot of things, the sealant effectiveness diminishes with time and miles. It needs to be replenished. If you have changed coolant (hopefully) the sealant that was in the system would have been lost, anyway, and you need to replenish it.

Add 6 of the GM coolant supplement pellets/2 tubes of the BarsLeaks "golden seal" powder (which is the exact same material) to the system. Install it into one of the radiator hoses not the pressurized surge tank. If you put it into the surge tank it wont get dispersed through the system and willl be ineffective. Pop one of the hoses off, add the supplement and reinstall the hose, Start the engine and top off the surge tank to withing 1.5 inches from the cap.

Drive the engine for 30 minutes or so to heat up the engine thoroughly and disperse the sealant through the system and then, when the engine has cooled, flush the coolant out of the valley with plain water from a garden hose. Just pour it into the valley just aft of the power steering pump at the gap between the pump and the intake manifold. That will get the old coolant out of the valley and eliminate the smell of the cooking coolant. The supplement will seal up the porosity and you will be good forever.

There is no coolant passages or coolant in the intake manifold itself so there is no place for it to leak. If coolant is in the valley it just about has to come through at the head gasket interface to the valley (harmless and also sealed by the supplement) or through some porosity in the aluminum casting in the water jacket inside the V (also harmless and easily sealed by the supplement).

The water crossover casting is at the rear of the engine and connects the heads and block on both sides and has the passages for the water pump. It can possibly seep at the connections to the block and heads but that coolant would never end up in the valley so that is not the problem.

Use the supplement as described and I will bet that the problem disappears. There's lots in the archives if you search using "coolant supplement".

However cautioned against using the supplement or sealer in this old thread doesn't know what they are talking about. The GM coolant supplement is factory installed in just about all engines and is recomended for the Northstar and required for the 4.1/4.5/4.9. They need to read the GM service manuals for those engines if they doubt it's effectiveness or applicability.

97Eldo
07-08-04, 10:01 AM
That explains why the supplement tablets did nothing. I crushed them up and put them in the tank. I will get more and put them in the hose this time. I spent a lot of time staring into the engine and I found the crossover and do not believe that is where the problem is nor does it seem to be in the water pump area. Looking down underneath the intake manifold on the passenger side of the engine is the only place I can see a LAKE of coolant. The other side of the V, water pump side, looks dry. I am confused about "porosity". Does the coolant leak through the metal? And Bobyiniski said "If coolant is in the valley it just about has to come thru at the head gasket interface to the valley (harmless and also sealed by the supplement) or thru some porosity in the aluminum casting in the water jacket inside the V (also harmless and easily sealed by the supplement)." If it is leaking through the "head gasket interface to the valley", doesnt that mean I need a head gasket? I have read nightmare stories on this subject. Also, if I flush out the valley with water, wont that also flood the starter with water? That does not sound so good to me. Sorry to ask so many questions but I do not want to screw up this car any worse than it is. Thanks to all for writing back!

Ranger
07-08-04, 07:10 PM
Yes, by "porosity" he meant a porus casting (leaking thru the metal, so to speak). I think there is a dam so to speak between the heads half way along the engine, which would explain why the pump side is dry. If your worried about flooding the starter why not just suck it out with a turkey baster?

Anthony Cipriano
07-09-04, 12:21 AM
Yes, the metal/aluminum of the block can have pinhole or microscopic pores or voids in it that can connect and cause a seepeage of coolant. The blocks are leak tested at the factory after machining to make sure that there is no porosity to cause a leak - but sometimes the porosity opens up or connects and creates a leak path from the water jacket side of the casting through to the atmosphere when the engine is heated up and cooled down in daily use. The seepage that comes about due to thermal cycling of the engine is what the coolant sealer is for.

Definitely put the supplement material in the hose not the surge tank. Flushing the coolant out with water a few times wont hurt the starter. There's a wall in the vee of the block that separates the front and rear halves of the vee or valley. The rib acts like a dam to hold the coolant you see in the front. There is a drain hole in the rear chamber where the starter is so that no liquid can build up in there with the starter. Just flush it out with plain water from a hose. It'll be fine and wont hurt the starter unless you flood it with water daily. :p

Usually "head gasket" problems discussed are from the combustion seal area of the head gasket starting to fail and seep coolant into the cylinder(s) - or leak compression into the coolant system - or both. A head gasket with a minor seepage like that to the valley is not related to the combustion seal area so it would just be a nuisance - not the "head gasket" problem you typically see discussed on the forum.

97Eldo
07-09-04, 10:26 AM
I am no metalurgist, but I had no idea fluid could weep through an aluminum block. That just amazes me. By any chance, can I put the supplement pellets in the upper hose or do they have to go in the lower one. The upper is just a heck of a lot easier to get to. Somewhere I read that it needs to go in the lower hose. Like I said, I just dont want to screw anything up. I have been rolling up paper towels and "wicking" the coolant out of the valley. After several sopped towels I can see the ridge down there. It seems to be working OK though slow.

The whole reason I bought a Caddy was because I thought it was premium car and I did not expect to be doing stuff like this to it, especially at a mere 48000 miles. Sorry, just venting. Thanks again. I will check back here again before opening a hose.

Anthony Cipriano
07-10-04, 12:56 AM
Put the supplement in either the upper or the lower radiator hose. It doesn't matter which one. Any aluminum casting can exhibit porosity that can cause liguid or air leakage "through the metal". Aluminum shrinks as it cools so when the molten aluminum is put into the die and starts to solidify it shrinks which is the source of the porosity. Happens to all aluminum castings to some degree.

Most all engine manufacturers add a sealant to the cooling system for just such a purpose. If you read the service manual for the Northstar it clearly calls out the necessity for using the coolant supplement on a normal basis for this reason. It's just the nature of the beast for all aluminum engines.

97Eldo
07-29-04, 09:36 AM
Well I have done all as prescribed with the supplements and am now convinced that either the head had "pulled away" or the gasket is blown. I put more supplement in the hoses, cleaned out the coolant mess, have kept the resiovor full and and am checking it daily and I am still having to add about a quart of coolant/water a day. The best I can figure is that I am now stuck with about a $3000 repair bill. I can not begin to express how dissapointed I am with this car. If this is the pinnacle of american automotive engineering then it is no surprise that foreign manufactures are kicking our butts.