UPDATE: Coolant Smell/Losing Coolant Slowly/No Oil-Sludge in Coolant, No Obvious Leak
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Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, UPDATE: Coolant Smell/Losing Coolant Slowly/No Oil-Sludge in Coolant, No Obvious Leak in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hey Guys I have an odd situation at hand... about a week ago I went out to start my car ...
  1. #1
    tking5830 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    06 STS 3.6L Coolant Smell, Low Coolant Light on Cold Starts, No Leaks/Loss of coolant

    Hey Guys

    I have an odd situation at hand...

    about a week ago I went out to start my car in the morning and I had a "check coolant level" warning... I drove the car about 50 feet, turned it off, and restarted it... no warning light... so i drove to work

    The next morning, same thing. The check coolant level came on during the first start of the day, and then didnt appear again.

    The pattern has become very easy to follow... it only shows a low coolant warning on cold starts... its always the first start in the morning, or after the car has been sitting for 7-8 hours when Im at the office.

    The car has had a coolant smell since i bought it (about 10 weeks ago)... the car stays at normal operating temperature at all times, the needle doesnt even budge. I have done all sorts of driving with it, including a long 2.5 hour drive up north last weekend... and turned around that night and did the same drive back home, and it didnt overheat at all...

    I am not losing coolant, the coolant level is at the same level as when I purchased the car, and I see no leak anywhere under the hood or below the vehicle...

    What could be going on? I am super confused

    BTW: I have no check engine light, no codes thrown, just a smell of coolant, and a low coolant level on cold starts

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    06WhiteDiamond is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I have been having the exact same issue you describe with my 06 3.6L.

    It's happnened three times now and the coolant was slightly low so I simply topped off the coolant reservoir which stopped the light from coming back on.

    In your case it may just be the sensor action up which I believe is pretty common, although in my case I actually had to add coolant.

  4. #3
    tking5830 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 06 STS 3.6L Coolant Smell, Low Coolant Light on Cold Starts, No Leaks/Loss of coo

    I may be losing a very very small amount of coolant, very slowly... but i dont think so to be honest...

    The fact that I can smell coolant is what really concerns me

  5. #4
    carter's_sts is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Yeah, if you smell it, it's coming out somewhere. It only takes a small amount to cause a smell.

    Is the level where it should be when cold? Not just where it's been.

    Probably a very small leak that doesn't even make it to the ground.

  6. #5
    dkozloski's Avatar
    dkozloski is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: 06 STS 3.6L Coolant Smell, Low Coolant Light on Cold Starts, No Leaks/Loss of coo

    If you can''t spot the leak you might try the coolant tabs that used to be SOP in the Northstar V8. You can still get them from NAPA under the BalKamp label.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


  7. #6
    tking5830 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    UPDATE: Coolant Smell/Losing Coolant Slowly/No Oil-Sludge in Coolant, No Obvious Leak

    Hey guys

    I am losing coolant very slowly, and I can smell coolant from under my hood.

    I have no obvious leaks under the car, and the coolant itself looks perfect (no oil/sludge, perfect color)

    I also checked my oil level, it has not raised at all (i read to check if the oil level was rising)

    Is it possible I have a very very small coolant leak under the hood (not visible)... and its just not reaching the ground? I searched for a leak under the hood, I couldnt find one...

    Everything seems to check out Ok as far as anything serious...
    -coolant looks great
    -oil level isnt rising
    -exhaust pipes smells fine
    -car isnt overheating at all (just drove 300 miles in one day, climbing mountains, etc...)


    Could there be a really small leak that I just can't see??

  8. #7
    tking5830 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 06 STS 3.6L Coolant Smell, Low Coolant Light on Cold Starts, No Leaks/Loss of coo

    I just posted another thread that gives a brief update... so i am losing coolant, very slowly... and i can smell it for sure... so if it was internal i wouldnt be able to smell it???? I have lost about 1/4-1/2 inch over about 10 weeks

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
    If you can''t spot the leak you might try the coolant tabs that used to be SOP in the Northstar V8. You can still get them from NAPA under the BalKamp label.
    what exactly are coolant tabs? not familiar with them, and i used to own a northstar from the early 2000's... i thought i knew of everything for those things LOL

  9. #8
    dkozloski's Avatar
    dkozloski is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: UPDATE: Coolant Smell/Losing Coolant Slowly/No Oil-Sludge in Coolant, No Obvious

    Multiple posts on the same subject are highly frowned upon.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


  10. #9
    tking5830 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: UPDATE: Coolant Smell/Losing Coolant Slowly/No Oil-Sludge in Coolant, No Obvious

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
    Multiple posts on the same subject are highly frowned upon.

    I know, I was trying to edit my original post but i couldnt figure out how to do it... and in the first post i said i wasnt losing coolant, and turns out I am losing coolant, just very slowly. Sorry Binky Bear ;-)

  11. #10
    Cadillac Cust Svc's Avatar
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    Re: UPDATE: Coolant Smell/Losing Coolant Slowly/No Oil-Sludge in Coolant, No Obvious

    Quote Originally Posted by tking5830 View Post
    Hey guys

    I am losing coolant very slowly, and I can smell coolant from under my hood.

    I have no obvious leaks under the car, and the coolant itself looks perfect (no oil/sludge, perfect color)

    I also checked my oil level, it has not raised at all (i read to check if the oil level was rising)

    Is it possible I have a very very small coolant leak under the hood (not visible)... and its just not reaching the ground? I searched for a leak under the hood, I couldnt find one...

    Everything seems to check out Ok as far as anything serious...
    -coolant looks great
    -oil level isnt rising
    -exhaust pipes smells fine
    -car isnt overheating at all (just drove 300 miles in one day, climbing mountains, etc...)


    Could there be a really small leak that I just can't see??
    Hello tking5830,

    I am sorry to hear that you are leaking a small amount of coolant in your STS. If you are interested in taking your STS to the dealership, I would be more than happy to assist you in setting up that appointment and working with them to look into this concern. Please feel free to private message me if you would like my assistance. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Gregory W.
    Cadillac Customer Care

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by 06WhiteDiamond View Post
    I have been having the exact same issue you describe with my 06 3.6L.

    It's happnened three times now and the coolant was slightly low so I simply topped off the coolant reservoir which stopped the light from coming back on.

    In your case it may just be the sensor action up which I believe is pretty common, although in my case I actually had to add coolant.
    Hello 06WhiteDiamond,

    I apologize that you are experiencing a similar issue with your STS as well. If you would like any assistance from the dealership to look into this concern, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via private message so we can further discuss this concern. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post.

    Gregory W.
    Cadillac Customer Care

  12. #11
    B1n2fra's Avatar
    B1n2fra is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I had the same issue with my northstar. It turned out to be my water pump. Was leaking very slowly and burning off before it hit the ground. You should go to a shop and have them pressure test the system to find any leaks. That what I did to find my leak. Mines was leaking slowly at first so I sat on it thinking I had some time to fix it until one day it just started leaking like a water fountain and I was almost stuck downtown Chicago. So check it out asap

  13. #12
    carter's_sts is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    :thumbup:

  14. #13
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    Re: UPDATE: Coolant Smell/Losing Coolant Slowly/No Oil-Sludge in Coolant, No Obvious

    Quote Originally Posted by B1n2fra View Post
    I had the same issue with my northstar. It turned out to be my water pump. Was leaking very slowly and burning off before it hit the ground. You should go to a shop and have them pressure test the system to find any leaks. That what I did to find my leak. Mines was leaking slowly at first so I sat on it thinking I had some time to fix it until one day it just started leaking like a water fountain and I was almost stuck downtown Chicago. So check it out asap
    Hello B1n2fra,

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I hope your advice helps if they are experiencing the same issue you were. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via private message if you experience any further concerns.

    Gregory W.
    Cadillac Customer Care

  15. #14
    EChas3's Avatar
    EChas3 is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: UPDATE: Coolant Smell/Losing Coolant Slowly/No Oil-Sludge in Coolant, No Obvious

    A water pump failure is not all that rare. Models with the V03 Performance Cooling Package have 2 water pumps.

    I had one replaced under warranty but paid for flush & fill because air & Dexcool aren't friends.

  16. #15
    DarkMingBlueSTS's Avatar
    DarkMingBlueSTS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    You might be parking the car on an angle at night then in the am you get the message? At least that's what mine does when I park on an angle.

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