View Full Version : That Coolant thing...

09-20-03, 02:36 AM
Hi everyone, I have a 93' STS. I guess I should not whine as I am at about 260,000 km. But, it has happened: for a few months now, getting occasional white smoke exhaust, have to top-up coolant every 600km, and, I think, the slight sweet smell of coolant in the car, even with the air and heater off. Could this be coming right from the engine compartment, or an exhaust leak? Does it typically come through the heater or the a/c?

Coolant temp will range from 93C to 125C (under 100C 95% of the time though.) I have learned to drive it so that it will not overheat to the warning point. Still gets great mileage. Dealer, for reasons explained in other posts in this area, suggests new engine. Is this problem as common with 93' model year as with '97's? If I went for a new engine, with proper maintenance, are the odds that it will last into the 200k's or beyond?

If not for the coolant smell, I would just keep rolling as is. A half-open window solves the smell problem, but, winter is approaching. The problem does not 'seem' to be getting any worse. It gets me around, and it is such a beautiful car.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

09-20-03, 09:42 AM
You've got a bad head gasket........ Extremely common (unfortunately) on the early northstars.......

It depends...... At 260km (miles???), its probably better to get a new engine....... The cost of repairing the head gasket and getting a new engine are probably comprable.......

Your best bet may be finding a low mileage take out engine.......

09-24-03, 09:46 PM
Thanks for your response. Actually, I have found that there exists a Propylene Glycol based coolant which is aluminum compatible and which is completely non-toxic. I am going to try this, have the present coolant drained and replaced, and hopefully it will eliminate the odour problem, and will also eliminate any health risk regarding coolant fumes.