: Maintain Cooling system?

Greg Thomas
08-18-03, 10:46 AM
What kind of maintenance is required for the cooling system on a 96 Northstar(120,000 miles)?

I am new to this board and have seen comments about lack of maintenance causing engine failures at less than 100,000 miles and did not realize you had to do anything. I don't recall seeing anything in the oper. manual. I lost a water pump a while back and the coolant was changed then. Is there more to do?

08-18-03, 06:50 PM
Basically, you just need to flush the system, and refill with 50% DISTILLED water, 50%AF......

If you want to be really thorough, keep flushing and filling with distilled water (no AF) until clear water comes out, and then refill with fresh AF..... Then after that, flush and refill the radiator once per year.....

Dont forget to use the coolant supplement nuggets.... Available at any caddy dealer.....

Greg Thomas
08-19-03, 08:54 AM
I believe Caddy is going the wrong direction in technology. Maintenence should decrease instead of increase as technology improves. Caddy's explanation of oil useage, leaks, required maint., etc. reminds me of the kid's story of "The Emporor's New Clothes". If their cars "improve" much more then their "state of the art vehicles" will not run coming off the assembly line.

I drive a 95 Chevy pu, 1500 w/350 w/ 185,00 miles. The intake gasket was changed at 110,000 miles changed plugs and wires at 100,000 miles and that is all the engine has had done to it. I cange oil twice a year(app. every 8,000 miles) whether it needs it or not and it is less than a quart low at that. A lot of those miles are pulling a horse trailer. No rust and the body looks excellent. If it blows today then I got excellent performance.

This 96 Deville is my second Caddy. My first was an 85 Fleetwood. I put 210,000 miles on it. Lost a water pump at app. 130,000 other than that the engine was not torn into (I believe it had a burnt valve when I sold it). By my standards this was good performance.

The reason I buy 4-5 yr old Caddy's is to get low costs, high mileage w/ minimal maintenence and drive them till they drop. My luck with this car and looking at this board tells me that I need to try a different brand next time.

I do fall into the redneck catagory of Caddy owners. Bred, born and raised in the heart of KY-too many kids for a small car and don't like to drive mini vans because I want my car to be at least as comfortable as the couch on my front porch.


08-19-03, 09:42 AM
Yeah but in a mini van you could have the couch AND refrigerator like on the front porch. ;)

Welcome aboard Greg.
Was your '85 Fleetwood a FWD or RWD? I'm guessing it was a RWD since the '85 FWD cars were real junk. But if by chance you did have a FWD car and got 210K out of it, there's nobody here that could give YOU advice. Just do what you did to keep the old one alive and you'll be fine. Whatever you did to that one, you had it right for sure.
If, on the other hand your last one was a RWD car, then I'm not as impressed, sorry. Those babies would routinely make that kind of mileage.
Cooling system maintenance is just making sure the coolant is changed at approx. 30K intervals. Kept at a proper mix, and make sure your fans work and the radiator is hosed off a couple times a year to get all the bug guts and dirt out of the cooling fins.

Greg Thomas
08-19-03, 01:07 PM
It was a FWD. All my mechanic buddies couldn't believe I got that mileage. It was a Fleetwood but the same size and everything as the Devilles. I liked it alot better than the 96. It was alot prettier, a better size, the seats were more comfortable, didn't have the enormous blind spot and I liked the telescopic sterring wheel. I (or my wife mostly)drove it 9 years. Rebuilt the trans., replaced the A/C compressor, alternator and waterpump was about all I did to it other than tires and oil.

This spark plug thing is about to cause me to trade cars.

The 96 does get good mileage and has power but the quivering rear veiw mirror, seat leather wearing bad, quart of oil every 1000 miles, blind spot, oil leaks and now the spark plug has me discouraged with Caddy's.

You may be on to something with the mini van thing. I'll run that by my wife/cousin.

Thanks, Greg

Greg Thomas
08-20-03, 08:01 AM
I got some of the "horse pills" to put in the coolant system. The instructions says to put them in the radiator. How do you do that on a 96 Northstar? Can you just put them in where you add coolant?

Thanks, Greg

08-20-03, 10:47 AM
I heard the best thing to do was to put them in the lower radiator hose..... Just take the hose off, and stuff them in there.......