: n* check coolant level on 97 deville

03-03-05, 10:41 AM
i have a 97 deville concours and its been displaying check coolant level on the dash. i topped off with dexcool 1 week ago, and before that i topped off 3 weeks prior. i have no funny smells, no weird smoke, and no over heating. i took it to midas this morning. after 30 minutes the guy told me they could not find my leak and suggest i take it to the dealer. i'm asking for anybodys help before i go to the dealer because the dealer in my area seems to charge outragous prices for everything (i've done business with them before). any help or suggestions is appreciated.
-thanks in advance

03-03-05, 11:35 AM
Several things: It could be a leaking water pump (I've had that problem), pin-size hole in a hose that only leaks under pressure (had that problem too), leaky radiator, water pump or thermostat cover gaskets leaking, head gaskets, etc. If it's the water pump, it's kind of difficult to pinpoint it because you can't easily see the back side of the pump where it leaks. You have to just look for coolant or evidence of dried coolant under it. Pinhole hose leaks you have to check while it's hot and under pressure (running). If you see puddles, park in a clean spot (least favorite neighbor's driveway?) and make note of exactly where the puddle is under the car, then look above it. There are tests you can have done where they pressurize the coolant system artificially and look for leaks and they can put dye in the system and look for it with a UV light source. Water pumps seem to be a common problem and are a relatively simple fix.

When you say "topped it off," exactly what do you mean? How low was it? How much did you put in? The level in the surge tank should be about 1-2" below the cap normally. If you fill it all the way up and it drops to that level again, that's normal and doesn't indicate a leak at all but it could be a clogged vapor vent line.

03-03-05, 12:34 PM
the first and second time the surge tank looked empty. now it looks about 2-3 inches below the cap, but the check coolant level still displays on the dash. the first time i put about a half gallon of a 50/50 mix in it. the second time i took it to valvoline where i get my oil changes done (they provide free fills of all fluids) and they filled it up for me. is it necessary for me to have the dealer look at it?

03-03-05, 12:39 PM
If the low coolant warning is continuing to illuminate and the pressurized surge tank is full as you describe then the coolant level warning switch may have failed and would need to be repaired. The switch is in the pressurized surge tank so you can find the wiring to the switch and inspect the connections and such.

03-03-05, 07:23 PM
i just came bac from the dealer. he said there are some pipes behind the engine that the coolant runs through and they are rusted. estimated cost of repairs is $785.00. does anybody know if this is a realistic price (this dealer always seems to quote some outragous numbers) and the name of the part he is talking about?

03-03-05, 08:48 PM
You were lucky! After paying $450. for a water pump job (that I didn't need) and driving home only to find an empty resevoir, my dealer now tells me that I have an internal engine leak. The pressure is building up and blowing the antifreeze out the overflow hose (so they say). Then they tried to charge me again to recheck it!