12-08-05, 08:32 PM
I have a 2000 Catera Sedan (not sport) that I use daily. Now that the cold weather has hit us in NJ I have started to notice a coolant odor occasionally when I get out of the car (odor coming from under hood not thru air vents). I looked in the coolant resevoir ant it doesn't appear to be losing coolant and the coolant is clear (no oil in it) - there are no lcoolant or oil eaks on the driveway HOWEVER when I took the oil filler cap off, there is a white sludge all over the inside of the oil filler tube and under the cap. What does this mean? The car does not hesitate, misfire, burn oil, there is no smoke when I first start it - it runs great with no other problems. In fact, it's never really cost me anything other than routine maintenance. Thanks for any input! Steve:hmm:
I have a 2001 and have seen the exact same thing. I'm in WI, and it's been colder than hell lately. I have no coolant loss, and the car is running beautifully. I hesitate to do anything, since it hasn't been an issue at all, but it does make me a bit wary...
12-09-05, 12:05 PM
Thanks for the reply - I just called the Cadillac dealer in Trenton, NJ and they said it is a common problem with all the Cateras. My issue is that I've owned it for 5 years now and I have NEVER noticed this before. I just hope that letting it go won't damage the engine. I have used ProLong oil additive after each oil change since the car was new so I hope that will help me out a little....we'll see. I drop the car off Monday to have them look at it and will see what they say.
I don't like the sound of "common problem" ... I prefer, common observance, common occurence, common trait ... if you would, please post your findings from your dealer visit, okay? In the meantime, I'm just going to continue to keep a close eye on my coolant level and oil dipstick, and not even open my oil filler!
12-09-05, 01:06 PM
I would like to hear what you find out also because I have seen a few cars not lose coolant but still show the milky white residue. my theroy is that the car being in colder climates will draw in moisture when you turn it off outside then burn it out when the car heats up and leave the water residue on the inside of the filler neck but I would still watch that coolant level and watch for oil in it.
12-09-05, 02:57 PM
I will absolutely let everyone know what the dealer says. I know oil mixing with coolant in the resevoir tank is a common problem but that's not the issue here. In the meantime i'll drive my SUV and hope for the best. I actually have to get the timing belt on the Catera replaced also - it almost has 60k on it...I had it replaced through a recall at 37,000. I'll keep everyone posted.
Just curious what the dealer had to say. Did you get your car back from the dealer yet?
12-15-05, 01:38 PM
ok folks I did a little research and found a few things here now. ok you got the milky oil in your filler neck could be a few things first of course will be the oil cooler leak but if you are not losing coolant and there is no oil in the coolant then here are a few things to look at. is your car getting up to temp to burn the oil if not then change your oil and filter and the thermostat if needed. also when you start the car are you going to the store make sure you get the engine temp up to burn the water out of the engine oil every time you go some where. just a few things to look at but make sure you keep a close eye on the oil level and coolant level just incase it may be the leaky oil cooler problem or you will blow your engine.
12-15-05, 06:59 PM
OK - the dealer called me and told me that it's the oil cooler causing the problem. At first they said the whitish oil in teh filler tube was common and I shouldn't worry, but they did a pressure test on the coolant system and they said the oil cooler is in fact leaking. Oh well - they want $1,000 to replace it. Does this sound right to everyone? Sigh...I hate to put that kind of money out just before Christmas but I guess I have to - I don't want to risk damage to the engine. Happy holidays all!
12-15-05, 07:31 PM
you can get the part for about $300 bucks from the dealer. So you could save $700 if you do it yourself but I will tell you that it will be a big job.
12-15-05, 08:52 PM
I wish I could do it myself.....but I'm not that good. I can do a brake job but this is a little more involved than that! Maybe i'll call my local garage and see if they can do it cheaper.....this really sucks though.....:mad:
12-15-05, 11:06 PM
no really it is not that hard just takes alot of time to do. if you can do a brake job you can do this I think there is a step by step some where on here.