: Help!!!!



jetzer12
10-18-04, 01:57 PM
Let me give all the info.....I drove my '97 SLS yesterday about 20 mins when I made a stop at a store. 10 mins later I come out and when I get in I notice a small river of anti-freeze and it's coming from my car. I start it (it starts and seems to run just as good as ever) and my coolant low warning light comes on. I get out and see antifreeze leaking....I drive it 5 mins to a friends and leave it there for the rest of the day. I come back 6 hours later with anti-freeze.....couldn't figure out where to add it....read the owners manual and decide to get it to my mechanic which is a 10 mile drive from where I am...starts up fine...drives fine.....the coolant low warning light is on but the temp gauge never goes past half way on the trip. When I get there I look underneath and see coolant dripping but can't tell from where. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT CAN BE WRONG WITH MY CAR OTHER THAN BLOWING THE HEAD GASKET???? I haven't heard from my mechanic yet and I feel sick after reading "No More Cadillacs" post since my car has also been well maintained and only has 64000 miles on it. Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.

oldgamer
10-18-04, 02:14 PM
At first, don't worry! If you can see antifreeze dripping, it's nothing to do with "Blown headgasket problem". Just check all hoses.
And talking about how to add antifreeze, read your manual.

jjbuckley
10-18-04, 05:27 PM
Old Gamer is correct if you can see the anitfreeze dripping then you have a leak, not blown head gasket. Where is the fluid dripping, I mean what area of the engine? Front passenger side /front driver side/rear driver where is it leaking. This can give you and us a great clue as what may be the problem.

You should add the coolant to the pressurized surge tank for the engine.

jetzer12
10-18-04, 06:00 PM
Thanks Oldgamer and JJ for the replies.... To me the leak seemed to be coming from the middle right at the back of the engine. My mechanic just let me know that it is the water pump....never been so happy about a shot water pump.....In regards to adding coolant....I tried....I read the manual.....there is a silver cap similar to the top of a radiator which is visible on the left side when the hood is open that says on it to add through the overflow tank but for the life of me I couldn't find the overflow tank.....I couldn't even get the stupid engine cover in the front off....is it under that??? I'm by no means a mechanic....... but that was the first time I couldn't add coolant.

BeelzeBob
10-18-04, 07:08 PM
I am amazed at the logic here....a puddle of coolant on the ground....low coolant light on....so what do you do...???....DRIVE the car 10 miles to your mechanic...!!!! The engine doesn't owe you a dime after that. When will people learn what warning lights are for..???? And that ignoring them just MIGHT damage the engine...!!!!!

Glad that it is just a water pump. Next time call a tow truck or find out how to add coolant BEFORE driving it and ruining it. HINT: many vehicles will read normal on the coolant temp gauge when the coolant is low due to the fact that the coolant temp sensor is high and dry and out of the coolant so there is no warning as it overheats. That is why there is a low coolant warning also.

eldorado1
10-18-04, 08:20 PM
Add coolant here... ONLY when it is cool or has been sitting a while. Don't want to be burned. Your welcome ;)

foo
10-18-04, 08:30 PM
Hey where'd you get the strut tower brace :)

eldorado1
10-18-04, 08:38 PM
Hey where'd you get the strut tower brace :)

You're kidding right? Those come standard. :drinker

jetzer12
10-18-04, 08:41 PM
Bbob---only drove the car AFTER reading the manual (limp home mode) because I thought it was OK---watched the temp gauge and saw no increase above normal operating temp and thought that the engine was operating as described in the manual. Thought I had one hell of a car and Caddy had done a great job---but I guess I'm wrong because I didn't realize that limp home meant limp home and run the risk of sh*tcanning the whole engine or that the idiot light overruled the temp gauge
Thanks for the advice on that gauge though---glad to know it's high and perhaps giving a phantom reading...that's a useful gauge....as I said before I'm no mechanic....I didn't think the gauge COULD give a false reading....I've never had one do that and why would someone at Caddy put one in that might. When I've had a cars overheat in the past....the gauge indicated the car OVERHEATING....and this one didn't.....yet I might have damaged my engine by driving it due to that gauge....wonderful.
Also, you would think with all the onboard electronics and sensors for this engine and the fact that this is a high end luxury car---that if there is an indicator in the system that might cause harm to the engine if operated---you would think there would be something there that just wouldn't let you START IT.
Now at least I know that when the check engine light comes on I should just pull off to the side of the road immediately and call for a tow.
Thanks again for the reply to my post.

foo
10-18-04, 08:45 PM
Mine doesn't have one.. and I haven't seen them on others cars.. So you didn't put that on yourself? :)

eldorado1
10-18-04, 08:54 PM
Mine doesn't have one.. and I haven't seen them on others cars.. So you didn't put that on yourself? :)

Nope. That's a '97 sls in the pic, and my older 94 eldo had one... Maybe they discontinued them in 99? I donno... Or else someone took yours off, and forgot to put it back on. :cookoo:

foo
10-18-04, 09:00 PM
Hmm..wtf :) I'll have to check into that.. I was going to buy an aftermarket one and put it on..

LCLCLC
10-19-04, 02:11 AM
Tower brace: My 1995 Deville Concours had one. My 1997 Deville has one.

Adding coolant:
I'm an fat, wimmpy old fa*t, but one that has done some rather significant mechanic work - brakes, starters, carb overhaul, radiators, etc. But I have a LOT of trouble getting that dam cap off the overflow tank on a Cadillac. If I did not use a pair of heavy leather work gloves, I don't think my hands could do it. The main problem is it is 'depressed' so you can't get your fingers around the thing. At someone's suggestion on this board, I've trimmed the metal tangs off the cap with a pair of sidecutters, hoping this will allow the cap to turn easier the next time I go into it.

So, jets99, with your limited mechanical knowledge, you probably couldn't have gotten the coolant in it if you knew where it was located.

Also, the oil dip stick - why is its color exactly the same as oil? I know, I've been told it is white when a car is new. But why make it out of a plastic that turns motor-oil brownish yellow with age and temperature?

I know, I know. If you drive a Cadillac, you shouldn't be under the hood. Take it to a dealer.

Ranger
10-19-04, 10:46 AM
LCLCLC, If I where you I'd get a new cap. I find the easiest way to remove it is to place the heel of the palm of your hand flat on top of the cap and push down to disengage the tangs. Then turn it. I find it works well and is the only way to do it.

I hear you about the dipstick. I think the same thing every time I pull it.

oldgamer
10-19-04, 11:22 AM
I am amazed at the logic here....a puddle of coolant on the ground....low coolant light on....so what do you do...???....DRIVE the car 10 miles to your mechanic...!!!! The engine doesn't owe you a dime after that. When will people learn what warning lights are for..???? And that ignoring them just MIGHT damage the engine...!!!!!

Glad that it is just a water pump. Next time call a tow truck or find out how to add coolant BEFORE driving it and ruining it. HINT: many vehicles will read normal on the coolant temp gauge when the coolant is low due to the fact that the coolant temp sensor is high and dry and out of the coolant so there is no warning as it overheats. That is why there is a low coolant warning also.

May be I'm just stuipid or what... but
I know that it's possible to drive 50 miles with limp mode and nothing should happened with an engine. Limp mode was created to give this ability. If that was me and I see that coolant is gone because oh hose or something like that I think I'll drive home instead of call a mechanic. Otherwize, I don't need that (limp mode) future. Second thing: CT sensor placed tightly in a block and its tip temperature actually is very close to block temperature where sensor placed. So, the temperature its measuring pretty close to real block temperature, doesn't matter of coolant level. Please correct me if I wrong.

P.S. Other point: If the temperature sensor gives wrong reading just because it's placed high... may be it should be placed in a better place. Something wrong with design, if it reads correct when coolant level is normal and reads wrong when coolant level is low and we really need it.

BeelzeBob
10-19-04, 03:40 PM
May be I'm just stuipid or what... but
I know that it's possible to drive 50 miles with limp mode and nothing should happened with an engine. Limp mode was created to give this ability. If that was me and I see that coolant is gone because oh hose or something like that I think I'll drive home instead of call a mechanic. Otherwize, I don't need that (limp mode) future. Second thing: CT sensor placed tightly in a block and its tip temperature actually is very close to block temperature where sensor placed. So, the temperature its measuring pretty close to real block temperature, doesn't matter of coolant level. Please correct me if I wrong.

P.S. Other point: If the temperature sensor gives wrong reading just because it's placed high... may be it should be placed in a better place. Something wrong with design, if it reads correct when coolant level is normal and reads wrong when coolant level is low and we really need it.



The LIMP HOME mode is a safety feature to allow you to drive to car to a safe place for repairs in the event of coolant loss. It doesn't mean you don't need coolant in the engine. In the event of an emergency or to get off the high way or to a safe spot...hell yes, drive it empty. Drive it when it is known to be out of coolant for convenience....not a smart thing.

You need the limp home mode because aluminum engines do NOT like to be overheated. Not at all. Run time with a dry engine is measured in minutes with an aluminum engine. The limp home mode was developed to minimize this concern for two reasons..... allow the owner to reach safety instead of stranding them instantly in the event of coolant loss AND to protect future owners and Cadillac's equity in the Northstar brand against the sorts that would overheat it, fill it with coolant and then sell it to the unsuspecting buyer. The limp home mode is no panacea. The engine still gets extremely hot when running without coolant and the oil gets so hot it is good for only one "limp home" trip and needs to be instantly changed. I think the assumption is that people, no matter how little they know about engines, would realize that it is "bad" to drive an engine with no coolant regardless of the protection methods employed and would not do that unless absolutely necessary. Use some common sense.


The Northstar coolant sensor IS located in a position so that it detects engine metal temp once the coolant level drops in the engine. It is in a carefully developed and designed area so that it sticks into the head and senses head coolant temp when wet/full and the exhaust port wall if the head goes dry. So the NORTHSTAR will detect a hot engine even with low coolant. That is how the limp home mode is activated....but the coolant temp sensor acting as a metal temp sensor if the coolant is low.

If you read my post again you will see that I said "many" engines (hint: not the Northstar engine but "many" engines) cannot sense an overheat with low coolant which is meant to imply that for someone with little or no knowlege of how the sensor or warning system works it is very very risky to deliberately drive the engine with it known to be low on coolant.

The good news here is that if the gauge on the Northstar didn't get to the hot area then it wasn't really that hot.....which means that it is perfectly fine, it didn't have to go into limp home mode and that no harm was done. I was talking about the logic or mentality of deliberately operating an engine that was low on coolant for convenience. In another situation with another car or engine it would not likely have worked out so well...i.e...don't do this with a BMW or Mercedes with Nikasil or alusil or aluminum/silicon cylinder bores.


In the same circumstance, with another ride and no panic and in a safe place....I would recommend finding out how to put coolant into the engine before driving it....not just taking it home in limp mode for convenience. It works very very effectively.....but there is just no reason to deliberately subject the engine to that stress for mere convenience.

oldgamer
10-19-04, 04:06 PM
Sure, I wasn't talking about normal driving with low coolant level. It has no sense. And I know people who drove caddy in this mode from work to home and back (you know who I'm talking about), but may be it was a part of experiment... ;)

BeelzeBob
10-19-04, 04:09 PM
Sure, I wasn't talking about normal driving with low coolant level. It has no sense. And I know people who drove caddy in this mode from work to home and back (you know who I'm talking about), but may be it was a part of experiment... ;)


YES...that was part of the experiment of developing the limp home mode....besides.....big difference in what you'd do to a "company" engine and your own.... LOL LOL LOL LOL

oldgamer
10-19-04, 04:11 PM
:thumbsup: