Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Cadillac Seville STT, 1999 with 146000 miles on it. I have realized that the car starts to run hot, and ...
  1. #1
    ben.gators is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    Cadillac Seville STT, 1999 with 146000 miles on it. I have realized that the car starts to run hot, and even overheat, when I drive the car hard on mountain roads, especially when I have passengers too. The temperature needle plays and goes from 12 to 1, 2, and even close to 3 o'clock position.

    The car also loses coolant as well.

    Sometime the car idles rough after cold starts, but after 30 seconds it becomes better.

    Well, the first thing that comes to mind is HG. So I borrowed the block kit from O'Reilly and ran the test. The pics are below.

    The original color:



    As a reference point, I held the tester close to exhaust tips of the car, and squeezed the aspirator bulb a few times. The color when the fluid is exposed to exhaust gases is shown below:



    Then I took the car to mountain roads and drove it very hard so that the needle passed 2 o'clock position. Returned home, removed the cap, while car wasn't running, and ran the test. The result is below.



    Then I refilled the tester with new fluid, started the car, and when the car reached to normal operating temperature, ran the test again for about 3 minutes. The result is below:



    My test results are always greenish. The data sheet that comes with the tester kit says that Yellow means there is exhaust gas in cooling systems, whereas blue or green says no gas.

    My results are greenish. Is this genitive or positive?

    And by the way, the purge line is not blocked and there is a steady flow of coolant.

    Thanks in advance

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  3. #2
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    The fluid reacts to hydrocarbons. ANY change in color is a positive result. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

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    ben.gators is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
    Believe it or not, I would be secretly happier if the result is positive! That makes the process of deciding to dump the STS and buy a new car much easier!

    I used to think that any discoloration of fluid means Positive! But the datasheet says something a little bit different, which confuses me:

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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Like the paper says, it reacts to combustion gasses in the cooling system. There will be NO gasses in the cooling system unless there is an HG breach. Not sure why it's written that way, unless they're referring to variation in initial color? Put some coolant in a glass, and test it. It won't change color.

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    Re: Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    When you add all the symptoms to the block test above, it leaves little doubt as to what the problem is. She's done.
    Tankboy40 and Tankboy40 like this.

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    Re: Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    That sucks..

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    Re: Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    sorry Ben - I agree with MC -
    ANY color change is a positive reaction -
    the degree of color change depends on the amount or saturation
    of hydrocarbons suspended in the coolant -
    and sucked through the blue fluid - it illustrates the severity of breech -

    here is an interesting fact - if you take the fluid that has changed colors -
    and leave it in a wide-mouth open container -
    it will revert back to the original blue color -
    as the suspended hydrocarbons dissipate from the fluid -

    so - what kind of new/used car are you going to be looking for?

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    cmpcpro is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    The fluid is clearly blue to start.. why would they say blue OR green is normal? There must be a reason for that.. That fluid clearly looks blue/green and not yellow.. Could there be some other reason for that?

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    Re: Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    Quote Originally Posted by cmpcpro View Post
    The fluid is clearly blue to start.. why would they say blue OR green is normal? There must be a reason for that.. That fluid clearly looks blue/green and not yellow.. Could there be some other reason for that?
    ---------------------
    Could there be some other reason for that?
    sadly - in Ben's case - NO -

    this is the reason that the BLOCK TEST is the DEFINITIVE test
    for failed head gaskets in the Northstar motor -
    the test simply can't give wrong results - "false positives"

    like I stated -
    the amount of color change is directly related
    to the concentration of hydrocarbons in the cooling system -

    in the beginning stages - with only a slight leak of exhaust gasses -
    the concentration of hydrocarbons is low -
    so you would expect only a slight color change -

    as the problem progresses -
    and more exhaust gasses are introduced to the cooling system -
    there will be a higher concentration of hydrocarbons -
    so you will get a more dramatic color change -

    the bottom line is this -

    the blue fluid ONLY reacts to exhaust gasses - hydrocarbons -

    there should NEVER be ANY exhaust gasses
    present in the cooling system -

    in a Northstar motor -
    the ONLY way to get hydrocarbons into the cooling system -
    is through failed head gaskets -

    so - ANY reaction - color change - in the blue fluid -
    is a result of exhaust gasses in the cooling system -
    and the ONLY thing that causes that is failed head gaskets -

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    ben.gators is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    Thanks guys for your posts!
    Truth be told, I am not very upset about the incident because this is a 14 year old aluminum engine with 146XXX miles on it! Eventually any HG fails, including mine.... So no hard feeling here.... This car owes me nothing! And if I were in the mainland, where there are Northstar shops that do the HG job for around 2k, I might have had the job done, and will keep the car as a second backup car; this is a really nice solid car. But in Hawaii that is not an option! So it makes the process of making a decision very easy!

    Quote Originally Posted by basscatt View Post
    so - what kind of new/used car are you going to be looking for?
    There is a long thread in lounge!
    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...d-toy-car.html

    I initially started to look for toy cars, then realized that my STS is getting old and things might happen and it is a better idea to buy a car that can be used as a daily driver as well. Right now I am looking at CTS-Vs (V1), Audi A4s (B8 Quattro), and Audi A5s. Tomorrow noon I am flying to the mainland to see a few old friends, and also look at a few cars. Who knows, I may buy one!

  12. #11
    ben.gators is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    This is a link to a new thread that describrs the destiny of my poor STS, and presents the new car that I got to replace her!

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...hen-cried.html

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    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Not that a 99 is ancient but people do move on eventually. A 99 with bad heads is worth 1k. Not sure what a good one sells for in Hawaii? So the repair is 2200 in Cali but 2x in Hawaii? So be it.

  14. #13
    ben.gators is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    Important update for people that want to run the block test :


    I was texting with the new owner of my STS. He told me that a coolant flush, a new thermostat, and new coil pack solved the overheating problem and the rough idle! I haven't seen the car, nor examined it, my information is solely based on his text. So it seems that the car did NOT have blown headgasket! That implies that blue green means negative result, as the datasheet of the test kit indicates!

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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Do a block test on a fresh bottle of coolant, it won't change color at all...

  16. #15
    ben.gators is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Block test results with pics, Positive or Negative?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    Do a block test on a fresh bottle of coolant, it won't change color at all...
    It is boiling coolant in the car's cooling system, not the fresh coolant sitting in the shelves of the parts store at room temperature. There is just one way to get to a definite answer. Someone who owns a healthy N* runs block test (from Oreilly) and reports back the result.

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