1997 SLS still overheating
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, 1997 SLS still overheating in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi this is my first post to forum. I have owned this car for less than a year and recently ...
  1. #1
    ramblerusa is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Unhappy 1997 SLS still overheating

    Hi this is my first post to forum. I have owned this car for less than a year and recently experienced overheating problems. I took the car to a local cadillac dealer known for great service. The first was a loss of coolant due to a loose heater hose and a crack in the overflow tank. Both were replaced as well as a new radiater overflow tank cap. The car ran good for another couple of weeks until I was driving on the highway and the engine temp gauge went into the red. It was now leaking through the waterpump housing. I had the gaskets and the waterpump and the thermostat replaced. After a few days, the temp gauge spiked up again into the red (I then had the radiater temp sensor replaced). The caddy mechanic checked a couple of times for head gasket failure, but he said none was detected. Also, the fans were checked, and both are operating correctly.

    I drove the car again, but temp gauge still goes into the red, when I drive with the AC on. I f I don't use the AC the temp gauge never moves past the middle. I finally had a new radiater put in yesterday (the radiater shop mechanic said it was partially stopped up). Finally, I drove the car for 30 minutes today on a hot summer day with the AC on, and the temp sensor went up quite a bit again heading for the red. I stopped the car before it overheated, but I am frustrated at a lack of a solution. The car just turned 110xxx miles. Please help!

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  3. #2
    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1997 Cadillac Seville SLS still overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by ramblerusa View Post
    Hi this is my first post to forum. I have owned this car for less than a year and recently experienced overheating problems. I took the car to a local cadillac dealer known for great service. The first was a loss of coolant due to a loose heater hose and a crack in the overflow tank. Both were replaced as well as a new radiater overflow tank cap. The car ran good for another couple of weeks until I was driving on the highway and the engine temp gauge went into the red. It was now leaking through the waterpump housing. I had the gaskets and the waterpump and the thermostat replaced. After a few days, the temp gauge spiked up again into the red (I then had the radiater temp sensor replaced). The caddy mechanic checked a couple of times for head gasket failure, but he said none was detected. Also, the fans were checked, and both are operating correctly.

    I drove the car again, but temp gauge still goes into the red, when I drive with the AC on. I f I don't use the AC the temp gauge never moves past the middle. I finally had a new radiater put in yesterday (the radiater shop mechanic said it was partially stopped up). Finally, I drove the car for 30 minutes today on a hot summer day with the AC on, and the temp sensor went up quite a bit again heading for the red. I stopped the car before it overheated, but I am frustrated at a lack of a solution. The car just turned 110xxx miles. Please help!
    ------------------------
    check the PURGE LINE -

    the PURGE LINE is the only way of expelling air from the Northstar cooling system -

    it is a 3/8 diameter hose that goes from a hollow bolt in the thermostat/waterpump housing area of the engine - and plugs onto a nipple on the side of the SERGE TANK -

    with the engine running - there should be a gentle - constant flow of coolant - from the engine - to the serge tank -

    if there is no flow - the most likely cause is a blockage in the hollow bolt -

    follow the hose towards the engine - with the engine OFF - remove the hose - use a straightened metal coat hanger - or something similar - and poke it into the hollow bolt -

    the coat hanger should go in about 2 1/2 inches -

    once the hollow bolt is cleared - you can briefly start the engine to verify coolant flow - be sure to use some sort of container to catch the coolant so you don't make a mess -

    check the hose and serge tank for blockage -

  4. #3
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1997 Cadillac Seville SLS still overheating

    Have you checked the purge line? If you don't know what I'm talking about, do a search for it. It's very easy and has been discussed and explained a thousand times.

    EDIT:
    Oops! Bass beat me to it. Make that 1001 times.
    basscatt likes this.

  5. #4
    ramblerusa is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1997 Cadillac Seville SLS still overheating

    Just spoke to cadillac tech-already purged....he has a purge kit he uses

  6. #5
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: 1997 Cadillac Seville SLS still overheating

    still need to check the purge line

    if the purge line is clogged then there will become air pockets in the coolant and you will get overheating
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at
    Rippy is a Cadillac, Hummer, Saturn & Saab dealership - family owned and operated in Wilmington, NC since 1946
    We offer all forum members deals on parts and freight - e: parts@rippyautomotive.com ph: 800-RIPPY-22
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  7. #6
    ramblerusa is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1997 Cadillac Seville SLS still overheating

    Just talked to my mechanic, and he said he used his kit with air compressor to suck all air our of system-could this just be an early symptom of head gasket failure...

  8. #7
    vincentm's Avatar
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    Re: 1997 Cadillac Seville SLS still overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by ramblerusa View Post
    Just talked to my mechanic, and he said he used his kit with air compressor to suck all air our of system-could this just be an early symptom of head gasket failure...

    *smacks forehead*

    Get a new mechanic..

    What we're saying is the purge line itself might need to be unclogged ergo it might have debris, preventing the coolant system from purging itself. The red arrow in this picture, remove the hose on the other end it goes to, stick it in the surge tank, start the engine to see if coolant comes out, if not, go back to the red arrow location, remove that end of the hose, stick a wire coat hanger in the hollow bolt opening and unclog it.
    Attached Images

  9. #8
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: 1997 SLS still overheating

    Please check the purge line and the metal bolt/nipple for blockage and forget what the "mechanic" and dealer say .............

    This has been discussed and beaten to death in these forums a thousand times - there are easily found references to purge line checks and cleaning scattered throughout the forums on the FWD Northstar cars. If your "mechanic" is primarily a Ford man, ask him if he understands the "degas" system - so named by Ford.

  10. #9
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1997 SLS still overheating

    Every part has been replaced by mechanic. It sounds like owner has no mechanical skill. I got nothing against any owner who prefers to pay someone to work on their car. But, buying a 97 caddy and going that route wil be expensive. I am not sure if owner really can remove purge line to check it.

  11. #10
    N*Caddy's Avatar
    N*Caddy is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1997 SLS still overheating

    The purge line is that 3/8 hose going into the surge tank on the top front corner.
    When disconnecting it be careful not to brake the nipple on the surge tank (no side-to-side movements, just turn and pull slowly out).
    Place a clean jug cut in half over the battery and leave the loose end of the hose over the jug.
    Start the car and let it idle observe the flow out of this hose in the jug. It should be a steady low pressure flow no bubbles no spitting.
    Be sure to stop the engine before you overflow the jug.

    If there is no flow or not steady then you need to clean up the purge line. Follow it from the surge tank going underneath the engine beauty cover (and becoming a solid steel line) then coming out from under the beauty cover on the left side and becoming again a rubber hose and connecting in the throttle body/WP area.
    If this line is clogged will cause you ALL the issues you experienced.

    Note the picture from above if for a '00+ engine, yours will not be exactly the same (but the main idea is the same).
    If you are not confident on your abilities to tackle this task (perfectly understandable, I know nothing about ... say health stuff), print this thread and bring it to your mechanic.

  12. #11
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: 1997 SLS still overheating

    "The purge line is that 3/8 hose going into the surge tank on the top front corner." - N*Caddy
    Attached Images

  13. #12
    N*Caddy's Avatar
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    Re: 1997 SLS still overheating

    The OP he may get confused with pictures from a Cadillac with a slightly different layout than his.
    Here is what I found on Internet (exact layout as on the OP's car):



    Here is a temporary solution to view what’s flowing in there

  14. #13
    ramblerusa is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1997 SLS still overheating

    OK ready to see if purge line is flowing....Is the system supposed to be under pressure? I.E. is the radiator cap supposed to be on or is it ok if it's off?

  15. #14
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: 1997 SLS still overheating

    With the engine cold, remove the surge tank cap. Carefully disconnect the purge line from the surge tank nipple - have an assistant start the car in normal P fast idle, you hold the end of the purge line in the open surge tank filler neck. The purge line should spit, then settle down to a clean even flow - not a river - smooth flow.

  16. #15
    ramblerusa is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1997 SLS still overheating

    Thanks for the info-so the system is not under pressure when conducting this test? (If the engine is cold and the overflow pressurized cap is off)

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