: Coolant Problem Eatin My Money!!!!



Iluvmycady69
10-03-05, 07:01 PM
hey this is my first post in this forum but i been readin a lot and i learned a lot of valuable stuff about my car.........anyways since i bougth my car (1996 cadillac deville northstar) out of the dealer its been givin me a lot of problems, the car kept loosin coolant and goin on high temperatures every 5-7 days so at first i was told it was a bad radiator, so i changed it....same problem and we noticed so leakin on some hoses so i changed the big one and some other one.....so then the car still kept gettin hot and kept throwin the water out of that little hose which i call the emergency hose so i changed the thermo because my fans werent runnin........bingo my fans started runnin on the temp of 220 which I've read there suppose to run.........but the car was still losin coolant by the same little hose, so then i went to change the water pump....and guess what???!!!!!............the car its still doin the same shit well finally my mechanic checked the thermostat and said it was no good so he opened a hole in it and left it there...so now the car doesnt throw the water out but still heats up like crazy about 250 from just runnin it one or two blocks........i was told it has to be the headgaskets and i know if it is that i know im gonna be spendin some good money to get my car runnin good again.....I will really appretiate if u guys can help me out on this problem ....thanx

Ranger
10-03-05, 09:22 PM
If the mecahnic said the thermostat was no good, why didn't he replace it? I'd start there. Replace it. Then make sure the water pump belt tensioner is not rusted at the pivot point and it is providing enough tension and not slipping. Make sure the cap is holding 15 psi. Check the purge line to be sure it is free flowing and not plugged. If all that is ok, then do a cylinder pressure test to confirm head gasket failure.

mcowden
10-03-05, 11:19 PM
If the mecahnic said the thermostat was no good, why didn't he replace it? I'd start there. Replace it. Then make sure the water pump belt tensioner is not rusted at the pivot point and it is providing enough tension and not slipping. Make sure the cap is holding 15 psi. Check the purge line to be sure it is free flowing and not plugged. If all that is ok, then do a cylinder pressure test to confirm head gasket failure.

:yeah: Yup. :yup: What he said.

Iluvmycady69
10-04-05, 07:21 PM
Thanx for the quick reply ranger!!!..........well im guessin he dint change it (the thermostat) because i was there for my water pump changed and his job was done, so he had a lot of work to do and just wanted to give me a quick fix. well the thermo i can change anyway because its cheap.....I have already changed the cap so im guessin its good because it is new, but can u explain how do i make sure if its holdin 15psi? another question, since you mentioned the water pump belt tensioner i was always hearin a tickin sound which i think is from there ,well i was told it was a belt i need to change, if its the belt that you mentioned, can that be my problem? a belt? well ill have that checked out anyway, Also I called a friend of my dads (who is a mechanic) and he is gonna do the cylinder pressure test to confirm head gasket failure, I will keep you updated and again thanks.

Ranger
10-04-05, 07:50 PM
The cap can be checked by a hand held pump that is used to pressurize the cooling system with an adapter. I would doubt that any shop would even charge you for it if you broght it in there.

The ticking sounds like a bad belt but I wouldn't think it would cause an over heat problem unless it was slipping and that would most likely be caused by the tensioner.

Don't forget to check the purge line. If it is plugged, the system cannot purge itself of air and you will over heat.

dhs
10-04-05, 09:08 PM
Dam I would be pissed at the mechanic if I were you! I had a leak on my 2000 too, they put in some pellets and everything's been fine ever since.

Iluvmycady69
10-06-05, 09:38 PM
cylinder pressure test was done today and I was told I had some head gasket problems, next plan was to put something to seal the gasket the mechanic and myself put a liquid (dont remember the brand) that says permanent metallic . well i followed the insturctions and its done so i gotta let it dry and I will see if it worke tommorrow. This is a real blow to me because I know if it doesnt work im gonna be so ****ed!! well ranger can you tell me what is the purge line? Is it the big hose?? thanx guys and any advice will be greatly welcomed.

Ranger
10-06-05, 10:01 PM
No, the purge line is the 3/8" line that runs from the water pump housing, along the front cam cover to the surge tank.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that stuff is just hope in a bottle. If it does anything at all it will be temporary at best. There is only one way to fix a bad head gasket.

bill6ft6
10-07-05, 09:08 PM
i am so sick of "head gasket" problems. if the frigging head bolts would hold tight, the gasket would be fine. it is a desighn flaw PERIOD. My dead 97 sits in the back yard. i'm driving a mercedes benz w 126 now. check out the m-b forums, you won't hear all the complaints on the engine.
that northstar broke my heart. i loved the WOT plus the great gas milage.
(and don't give me that crap about poorly maintained cooling system--not the case)

zonie77
10-07-05, 11:35 PM
No, but I will give you the crap about my friends MB ( this is a real friend, not made up ) and the blown head gasket. There are plenty of complaints about that.

A guy I work with just traded in a 2001 Tahoe with leaking head gaskets and a blown trans. About 50K.

All the mfgs are havn trouble. I'd suspect torque to yield bolts as part of the problem but have no proof.

bill6ft6
10-08-05, 06:57 AM
ok zonie. i'll go with that, but i bet the headgasket didn't cost 4 grand to fix.
really, look at the forum topics and how many deal with the "headgasket"?
all cars can screw up, but this problem is so much larger than admitted.

Pjs
10-08-05, 11:10 AM
Call your MB dealer and ask how much to replace your headgaskets....

mcowden
10-08-05, 04:06 PM
Call your MB dealer and ask how much to replace your headgaskets....

Yeah, no kidding! Or a PCV valve, or a fuel pump. Hell, a new headlight for your car cost around $800, and that was about 15 years ago! If you went to the M-B thinking you'd save money on maintenance and repair costs, you certainly have bad news coming...

Iluvmycady69
10-08-05, 05:04 PM
a lot of cadillacs from 96 got does kinda problems? I love this car but damm its really givin me some headaches, I regret the day i let my friend convinced me into gettin a cadi (he owns the same cadillac and his got ****ed up before mine) , my car is just sittin in my parkin lot lookin pretty, i wont dare to run it because it heats up and i dont wanna get it worse. well i just wanted to ask a question, Is it a good idea fixin a head gasket? or should i just rebuild the motor? I have spend to much money on fixin my car up startin with a non shiftin transmission, so i really wanna c her runnin........plz some advice........what abut those pellets that every one talks about? will that fix the headgasket problem? my car seems a lil wet by spark plug number 2 and 4 i think so i know it has to be a headgasket problem.

zonie77
10-08-05, 05:11 PM
On the MB it was over $3K and they didn't have to pull the engine!

Ranger
10-08-05, 06:00 PM
There is no need to "rebuild" the engine. The weak point (if any) is the head gaskets or head bolts (chicken or the egg theory). The rest of the engine will last damn near forever. If you fix it, be sure to Timesert ALL the head bolt threads.

No, the sealant tabs will do nothing to prevent or cure a bad head gasket. Neither will any other miracle in a bottle.

familycruiser
10-12-05, 08:44 PM
I was experiencing the same problem with coolant loss you described. The first time it happened I though the radiator cap had failed. I replaced it nad it did not loose coolant for about a week. Then its tarted to loose coolant again. I thought it was the thermostat, so I went ahead and bought the water pump, hoses, and thermostat. On the way home that day all of the coolant just left the car, I had no signs of steam or even a low coolant warning until it was gone. Then the gauge shot all the way up and there were alarm bells dinging telling me to idle the engine. I was on the Interstate in rush hour traffic so that was not an option. Then the temp dropped for a little while until I got about 3 miles from home. At that point the temp gague went all the way off the red end and the computer was telling me to shut down the engine. I still could not because I was in the middle of a four lane highway. I made it home in "camel mode". I changed all of the parts that I bought and refilled the cooling system. I left the readiator cap off so that I could top off the system once the pump was pumping the water. I started the car and coolant shot out of the tank like it was under pressure. The car was missing and it had steam coming out of the exhaust. At that point I knew the head gaskets were shot. I took it to a local guy who changed the headgaskets for $3000. That included sending the head to a machine shop to verfiy that they wer not cracked or warped and time-serting all of the bolt holes, and using AC-Delco parts. The mechanic did all of this without dropping the engine. Needless to say I was impressed.

Eldorado_RED
10-13-05, 12:24 AM
Hey familycruiser, im in atlanta too. Can u give me some info about that mechanic that worked on your car. Thanks

blb
10-13-05, 12:50 PM
You might want to think twice about sinking $3000 or more into a $2500 car. The only way to make out on the deal is to do all the work yourself, but that's not a good option if your are not into turning wrenches. Its just a shame after all these years GM still hasn't figured out how to keep the heads sealed to the block.

Iluvmycady69
10-13-05, 11:05 PM
I refuse to waste more money on my car, I love the car but i have wasted so much money on it its not even funny, first it was the transmission,then all the coolant parts (water pump,term,etc) and some more stuff.......can you guys tell me about a manual that actually shows me how to do this step by step and with some pics? (the head gasket job) a video might even be better i will pay for that. I have a mechanin that charges me cheap every time who wants to do the head gasket job but i dont trust him much because he likes gettin drunk while workin,last time he changed my oil he was so drunk he forgot to put the new oil i bougth in!! I almost kicked his ass, but yeah he is a good mechanic (when he is not drunk)but the headgasket jpb seems like a delicate job for him even thou he has told me not to worry that he knows how to doit.......Well i will keep you guys updated on what I do with my car any info will be greatly appretiated.

zonie77
10-13-05, 11:53 PM
No video that I know of. Did you read the write up in Tech Tips?

How mechanical and how persistent are you? Are you willing to get all the tools? It's a long process but not that hard. Not something I would trust to a guy who drinks much. Too many details.

Ranger
10-14-05, 12:31 AM
The best and only manual is the factory service manual by Helm Inc. Even with that, you'd better be there to be sure he's not drinking. I'd be leary of a guy that forgot to put in the oil after an oil change.

sjwoodruff
10-17-05, 07:54 PM
I refuse to waste more money on my car, I love the car but i have wasted so much money on it its not even funny, first it was the transmission,then all the coolant parts (water pump,term,etc) and some more stuff.......can you guys tell me about a manual that actually shows me how to do this step by step and with some pics? (the head gasket job) a video might even be better i will pay for that. I have a mechanin that charges me cheap every time who wants to do the head gasket job but i dont trust him much because he likes gettin drunk while workin,last time he changed my oil he was so drunk he forgot to put the new oil i bougth in!! I almost kicked his ass, but yeah he is a good mechanic (when he is not drunk)but the headgasket jpb seems like a delicate job for him even thou he has told me not to worry that he knows how to doit.......Well i will keep you guys updated on what I do with my car any info will be greatly appretiated.

Sorry to hear about your bad luck - maybe the previous owner didn't take good care of the car, which is a shame. I recently developed a minor headgasket leak and used thermaseal on it. So far it's working for me. Here is a link to the thread if you want to follow it or read up: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54659. I don't know if it will be a good long term solution or not, but I figured it was worth $100 to possibly save $3,500. If it doesn't work, then I've done a service to the folks on the board by trying it and documenting.

I wouldn't give up on your car yet. If you've put money into it, then it doesn't make much sense to pass all your hard work, aggravation and investment in parts/labor on to someone else does it? Good luck!

blb
10-18-05, 01:22 PM
I would consider cutting your losses and dumping it. When these get to be around 10 years old with 100,000 miles, (or before in many cases) it's one thing after another. Once the headgasket is fixed, what's next? Power window motors, transmission solenoids, A/C compresssors, pulley bearings, struts,....the list goes on and on. Again, any one of these items by itself is no big deal, especially if you put your own time and labor into fixing it, but the constant wrench turning to keep one of these beasts on the road gets old after awhile, not to mention the inconvenience. There are many more reliable alternatives out there.

mcowden
10-18-05, 02:13 PM
I would consider cutting your losses and dumping it. When these get to be around 10 years old with 100,000 miles, (or before in many cases) it's one thing after another. Once the headgasket is fixed, what's next? Power window motors, transmission solenoids, A/C compresssors, pulley bearings, struts,....the list goes on and on. Again, any one of these items by itself is no big deal, especially if you put your own time and labor into fixing it, but the constant wrench turning to keep one of these beasts on the road gets old after awhile, not to mention the inconvenience. There are many more reliable alternatives out there.

Wow, sounds like sombody's Prozac prescription ran out. Hey blb, how many Northstars do you suppose are out there running with no problems at all? Why don't those people come in here and tell us how well their cars are running? People come here to complain. Some more loudly than others, as in your case. If you base your opinion on what you read here, you are seriously misguided. Along the same line, how many people have had the cascade of problems you outlined? I would guess that's a very small number also, because there is scant evidence of it that I can see.

If you bought a Corolla and had zero problems with it in 500,000 miles, would you go to Toyota Forums and post "Corollas are the best cars in the universe!!!" No, you would probably post "What were those idiots thinking? The trunk is too small!" Some people just can't see the bright side I guess...

powerglide
10-18-05, 04:49 PM
.......... People come here to complain...........

True indeed...most folks 'reluctantly' become forum members when they are forced to ask a questions regarding a problem they are having.....then some members decide to hang around, then start posting useless morsels of information in the lounge.... 'cough' 'cough' :)

My 98 with 98k miles is running strong!

Original engine and tranny. Haven't had to do any major repairs since I bought mine 2 years and 34k miles ago. (knock on wood)
Its been a reliable companion!!

:cheers:

blb
10-18-05, 06:39 PM
Wow, sounds like sombody's Prozac prescription ran out. Hey blb, how many Northstars do you suppose are out there running with no problems at all? Why don't those people come in here and tell us how well their cars are running? People come here to complain. Some more loudly than others, as in your case. If you base your opinion on what you read here, you are seriously misguided. Along the same line, how many people have had the cascade of problems you outlined? I would guess that's a very small number also, because there is scant evidence of it that I can see.

If you bought a Corolla and had zero problems with it in 500,000 miles, would you go to Toyota Forums and post "Corollas are the best cars in the universe!!!" No, you would probably post "What were those idiots thinking? The trunk is too small!" Some people just can't see the bright side I guess...

mcowden....my comments are based on personal experiences, experiences of acquaintences, and the everyday experiences of a long time Cadillac Technician who works at one of suburban Philadelphia's largest Cadillac dealerships. Just because these experiences differ from your perceptions, this doesn't give you the right to suggest I am on drugs. These types of comments do nothing to boost your credibility, nor do they lend any advice to the thread originator or add to the thread in a constructive manner.

mcowden
10-18-05, 06:58 PM
mcowden....my comments are based on personal experiences, experiences of acquaintences, and the everyday experiences of a long time Cadillac Technician who works at one of suburban Philadelphia's largest Cadillac dealerships. Just because these experiences differ from your perceptions, this doesn't give you the right to suggest I am on drugs. These types of comments do nothing to boost your credibility, nor do they lend any advice to the thread originator or add to the thread in a constructive manner.

The experiences of a long time Cadillac tech as they pertain to the rate of problems with Northstars are more useless than a 3 dollar bill. They certainly don't reflect anything close to reality. Again, who goes to a "long time Cadillac Technician" and says, "hey man, my Cadillac runs perfectly, thanks!" They see only problems, and so they start to believe every one has problems.

I am not interested in "boosting my credibility," but I might suggest you do something to boost that of your sources. I firmly believe that the vast majority of these cars never have the kinds of problems you mentioned, and I am sorry that you had problems with yours. I sincerely hope your next car will be as reliable as you expect it to be.

powerglide
10-18-05, 07:12 PM
Yeah I think there's this percieved lack of reliability in these cars that exceed current facts. Its probably left over 'feelings' from back in the 80's when caddies really made some crappy cars.
This works great for us used caddy buyers!

On the flip side, Mercedes continues to ride its no-longer-deserved reputation of high quality/well built machines.....in fact current facts prove them to be highly unreliable cars.

All in all, its always gonna be a gamble when buying a 10 year old machine. All things considered, I think my car is still pretty good bargain.

blb
10-18-05, 07:33 PM
The experiences of a long time Cadillac tech as they pertain to the rate of problems with Northstars are more useless than a 3 dollar bill. They certainly don't reflect anything close to reality. Again, who goes to a "long time Cadillac Technician" and says, "hey man, my Cadillac runs perfectly, thanks!" They see only problems, and so they start to believe every one has problems.

The long time Cadillac Technician will likely repair and service many more Northstars in a week, than you will in a lifetime. Not all are in the shop for repairs, many are in for routine maintenance. This gives the technician the unique ability to see how many cars are in for constant repairs and how many are in for only routine maintenance, some spanning more than one owner. I can't think of a better source. If you can, please elaborate. We are all anxious to here why you are so sure you are right.



I am not interested in "boosting my credibility," but I might suggest you do something to boost that of your sources. I firmly believe that the vast majority of these cars never have the kinds of problems you mentioned, and I am sorry that you had problems with yours. I sincerely hope your next car will be as reliable as you expect it to be.

Just because you "firmly believe" does not make it necessarily so.

Back to the thread......I'm just advising the thread originator to think twice before sinking more money into his car on repairs than it is worth.
This is sound advice no matter what brand of vehicle we are talking about. If he goes ahead and pays for the repair, I wish him luck and I hope he reports back from time to time to report if in fact it turns out to be a wise decision. These types of real life experiences are what will help to separate the myths from the facts.

mcowden
10-18-05, 07:40 PM
The long time Cadillac Technician will likely repair and service many more Northstars in a week, than you will in a lifetime. Not all are in the shop for repairs, many are in for routine maintenance. This gives the technician the unique ability to see how many cars are in for constant repairs and how many are in for only routine maintenance, some spanning more than one owner. I can't think of a better source. If you can, please elaborate. We are all anxious to here why you are so sure you are right.

I can understand why it's easy to believe a technician. The thing the technician doesn't know anything about is how many of these cars are on the road with no problems versus how many have problems. They don't keep records of these things. They are technicians, not statisticians, and that's why their beliefs are not qualified.

I won't keep this going any longer, and thanks for debating the issue in a civil manner. :thumbsup:

blb
10-18-05, 08:06 PM
I can understand why it's easy to believe a technician. The thing the technician doesn't know anything about is how many of these cars are on the road with no problems versus how many have problems. They don't keep records of these things. They are technicians, not statisticians, and that's why their beliefs are not qualified.
I won't keep this going any longer, and thanks for debating the issue in a civil manner. :thumbsup:
I certainly agree that accurate statistics would be of great benefit, but I haven't been able to find any. (Although, as I'm sure you are aware, sometimes the interpretation of statistics is an art in of itself). It would be great information to have availale when faced with the decision on whether to roll the dice on an expensive repair.

Iluvmycady69........let us know what you decided to do and how things are progressing.