: 2001 Cracked block??



Aurora40
01-14-05, 07:51 PM
My dad bought a 2001 Aurora 4.0 in Dec 2003, 9/00 build date. It was a certified used car with about 33k miles on it. I'd guess it has about 45k now. He recently noticed coolant leaking out and took it to his local dealer. Their diagnosis?

Cracked block. They say $9,600 to fix.

What would cause a block to crack? My dad isn't very hard on cars.

I told him he should get a second opinion, and that he definitely shouldn't pay such an outrageous price. I believe short blocks from gmpartsdirect.com are only about $2,700 or so. If it's in fact cracked, I find that a little disconcerting...

an01sts
01-14-05, 09:55 PM
I couldn't even begin to take a guess on the cause of the crack and the prices. The thing is that there doesn't have to be a real cause for the cracked block.

If you went back in the history books and looked at all cars, year by year, you can rest assured that there cracked blocks. Metal has always broken. That's why they ultrasound bridges on a regular basis.

I know it doesn't fix anything, but it could be simply a case of crappy luck. A long time ago, I had a harmonic balancer break at the keyway: The chunk ripped open the oil pan. I installed an oil pan, rummaged through the bottom, and I found a chunk of piston skirt. Of course, before gravity set the hunk of metal in the pan, it had to take a side trip, up and break off a hunk of a piston skirt. Why couldn't it just have ripped the pan open, rather than trashing the engine?

Sux--don't it?

BeelzeBob
01-15-05, 12:16 AM
My dad bought a 2001 Aurora 4.0 in Dec 2003, 9/00 build date. It was a certified used car with about 33k miles on it. I'd guess it has about 45k now. He recently noticed coolant leaking out and took it to his local dealer. Their diagnosis?

Cracked block. They say $9,600 to fix.

What would cause a block to crack? My dad isn't very hard on cars.

I told him he should get a second opinion, and that he definitely shouldn't pay such an outrageous price. I believe short blocks from gmpartsdirect.com are only about $2,700 or so. If it's in fact cracked, I find that a little disconcerting...


Doubtful that the engine ran that long and then the block cracked....

Possibly there is a coolant seepage at a porosity in an aluminum casting or a scratch at a gasket surface....

Before you panic at all understand that the cooling system is supposed to be dosed with the GM coolant supplement pellets/sealer that will prevent seepages like that. I would get the GM coolant supplement pellets and install 6 of them in the cooling system and likely the problem will disappear. You can use the GM coolant supplement pellets or the BarsLeaks "golden seal" powder that is the same product. Put in two tubes of the BarsLeaks golden seal powder. Install the sealer into one of the radiator hoses NOT the surge tank where the pressure cap is. Take one of the rad hoses off, pop in the sealant and put the hose back on and top off the coolant.

Understand that the engine was shipped from the factory with the sealer in the system and it may just need replenishing as it looses it effectiveness overtime. Sometimes there is porosity or a minor casting defect in aluminum castings that do not show up at the factory as the porosity or cold shut might not show up until the block is thermocycled several times. The seepage could have been there for some time and the original dose of sealant was sealing it and not is is starting to seep again due to the sealer becoming depleted.

Search the archives with the search feature in the forum tool bar...type "coolant supplement" into the drop down box and search. Read my posts in the threads.

Where on the block is this "crack" located...???

Check out http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28860&highlight=coolant+supplement for links to BarsLeaks and the product you want.

Aurora40
01-15-05, 12:06 PM
I talked to my dad today and told him to get a second opinion. It seems it's just drops leaking, not enough to leave a puddle overnight but enough to leave drops. And enough to have the "low coolant" message come on. Mine's come on twice, once shortly after delivery and once a few months ago (about three years after the first time). The sensor seems to be very high up in the overflow bottle as it takes about a pint of fluid to bring it back up to the full line. So the sensor is definitely sensitive...

He takes it to dealerships when the light comes on, so I'm thinking there is a decent chance it came on once, he took it to the dealer, they spilled crap everywhere, and now he has a "problem". I also think it could be as you said Bbob, and just be a slight issue that can be cured by the sealing tabs. He mentioned being able to stick his finger in the overflow and touch fluid, I guess he felt that meant it was full. On my 2002, that would mean it was wayyy overfull. So I also wonder if it didn't just gush out the cap when it got hot and now there is coolant on the frame/suspesion/etc and it's just slowly working out.

While it's possible he needs a new engine, I'm hoping that's not the case. I suggested he flush the area around the overflow tank with water to see if that stops the coolant smell when hot, see if only clean water drips on his floor after that, etc. And I think he should definitely get a second opinion. Then I'll probably have him drive over here and we can put in the sealant tabs to see if that cures it if a rinse doesn't.

Long story short it seems it could be:

- Spilled coolant from dealership filling it
- Overfilled coolant system from dealership filling it
- Small leak due to sealing tabs losing effectiveness/getting diluted
- Cracked block

Thanks for the suggestions. Bbob, I asked my dad where it was cracked. He didn't know and they didn't show him the crack. I guess they said they took all this stuff apart to find it, but had already put it back together by the time he got there. If they are trying to sell a $9600 service, it seems to me they should have waited until he got there...

Edit: Bbob, you can overdo it with the sealing tabs and clog up things like radiator passages, right? I'm thinking since the car is about 4 years old, maybe it'd be safer to just drain the whole system, refill it, and add new sealing tabs rather than put more into the existing system. After 4 years, it wouldn't hurt to change it anyway (and I get a sneak peek at how it goes before doing it on my car... ;) )

ellives
01-15-05, 12:24 PM
I talked to my dad today and told him to get a second opinion. It seems it's just drops leaking, not enough to leave a puddle overnight but enough to leave drops. And enough to have the "low coolant" message come on. Mine's come on twice, once shortly after delivery and once a few months ago (about three years after the first time). The sensor seems to be very high up in the overflow bottle as it takes about a pint of fluid to bring it back up to the full line. So the sensor is definitely sensitive...

He takes it to dealerships when the light comes on, so I'm thinking there is a decent chance it came on once, he took it to the dealer, they spilled crap everywhere, and now he has a "problem". I also think it could be as you said Bbob, and just be a slight issue that can be cured by the sealing tabs. He mentioned being able to stick his finger in the overflow and touch fluid, I guess he felt that meant it was full. On my 2002, that would mean it was wayyy overfull. So I also wonder if it didn't just gush out the cap when it got hot and now there is coolant on the frame/suspesion/etc and it's just slowly working out.

While it's possible he needs a new engine, I'm hoping that's not the case. I suggested he flush the area around the overflow tank with water to see if that stops the coolant smell when hot, see if only clean water drips on his floor after that, etc. And I think he should definitely get a second opinion. Then I'll probably have him drive over here and we can put in the sealant tabs to see if that cures it if a rinse doesn't.

Long story short it seems it could be:

- Spilled coolant from dealership filling it
- Overfilled coolant system from dealership filling it
- Small leak due to sealing tabs losing effectiveness/getting diluted
- Cracked block

Thanks for the suggestions. Bbob, I asked my dad where it was cracked. He didn't know and they didn't show him the crack. I guess they said they took all this stuff apart to find it, but had already put it back together by the time he got there. If they are trying to sell a $9600 service, it seems to me they should have waited until he got there...

Edit: Bbob, you can overdo it with the sealing tabs and clog up things like radiator passages, right? I'm thinking since the car is about 4 years old, maybe it'd be safer to just drain the whole system, refill it, and add new sealing tabs rather than put more into the existing system. After 4 years, it wouldn't hurt to change it anyway (and I get a sneak peek at how it goes before doing it on my car... ;) )

I'd say after 4 years it's probably not a bad idea to drain and refill anyway.. what can it hurt? Plus it eliminates any possibility of depleted coolant/supplement causing more serious problems. I'd want the dealer to show me the crack and then start it up and show me where actual coolant is exiting the crack. I take nothing on faith from a dealer... nothing.

LCLCLC
01-16-05, 01:47 AM
In your first message you said the car was 'certified'.

What do you get in a certified Aurora?

If this was a 'Factory Certified' Cadillac, which means it was bought and certified through a Caddy dealership, it would have a bumper-to-bumper warranty for 5 or 6 years and at least 60,000 mile.

Something to check on......

BeelzeBob
01-16-05, 02:11 AM
I talked to my dad today and told him to get a second opinion. It seems it's just drops leaking, not enough to leave a puddle overnight but enough to leave drops. And enough to have the "low coolant" message come on. Mine's come on twice, once shortly after delivery and once a few months ago (about three years after the first time). The sensor seems to be very high up in the overflow bottle as it takes about a pint of fluid to bring it back up to the full line. So the sensor is definitely sensitive...

He takes it to dealerships when the light comes on, so I'm thinking there is a decent chance it came on once, he took it to the dealer, they spilled crap everywhere, and now he has a "problem". I also think it could be as you said Bbob, and just be a slight issue that can be cured by the sealing tabs. He mentioned being able to stick his finger in the overflow and touch fluid, I guess he felt that meant it was full. On my 2002, that would mean it was wayyy overfull. So I also wonder if it didn't just gush out the cap when it got hot and now there is coolant on the frame/suspesion/etc and it's just slowly working out.

While it's possible he needs a new engine, I'm hoping that's not the case. I suggested he flush the area around the overflow tank with water to see if that stops the coolant smell when hot, see if only clean water drips on his floor after that, etc. And I think he should definitely get a second opinion. Then I'll probably have him drive over here and we can put in the sealant tabs to see if that cures it if a rinse doesn't.

Long story short it seems it could be:

- Spilled coolant from dealership filling it
- Overfilled coolant system from dealership filling it
- Small leak due to sealing tabs losing effectiveness/getting diluted
- Cracked block

Thanks for the suggestions. Bbob, I asked my dad where it was cracked. He didn't know and they didn't show him the crack. I guess they said they took all this stuff apart to find it, but had already put it back together by the time he got there. If they are trying to sell a $9600 service, it seems to me they should have waited until he got there...

Edit: Bbob, you can overdo it with the sealing tabs and clog up things like radiator passages, right? I'm thinking since the car is about 4 years old, maybe it'd be safer to just drain the whole system, refill it, and add new sealing tabs rather than put more into the existing system. After 4 years, it wouldn't hurt to change it anyway (and I get a sneak peek at how it goes before doing it on my car... ;) )


You really cannot hurt anything with the coolant sealant material...unless you put 20 of them in the system...LOL

The normal dose of 6 will not hurt anything at all...just be sure to put them into one of the radiator hoses NOT the surge tank.

Draining and refilling with fresh coolant is always a good idea. That used DExCool so it is still probably very fresh and in good condition but a new charge of coolant is quick and easy...especially since the hose needs to be disconnected anyway.

Aurora40
01-16-05, 10:20 PM
In your first message you said the car was 'certified'.

What do you get in a certified Aurora?

If this was a 'Factory Certified' Cadillac, which means it was bought and certified through a Caddy dealership, it would have a bumper-to-bumper warranty for 5 or 6 years and at least 60,000 mile.

Something to check on......
Non-Cadillac GM Certified used cars come with a 3 month/3,000 mile warranty.

My dad hasn't tried to flush the area around the surge tank yet, so who knows what it is. It's a slow leak so I guess it's not urgent (to him)... :hmm:

Aurora40
02-08-05, 11:47 AM
So far a coolant change with 6 10g tablets seems to have addressed the issue. But it was a very slow leak so we'll see. The car had a pretty even mix of dexcool and the green stuff in it... :helpless:

Aurora5000
02-08-05, 12:14 PM
Glad to hear it is better



:bouncy: :bouncy: