Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Temperature? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; What is the normal operating temperature of a Northstar in 10 degree weather?
If I have to add ...
I was serious.
In the Chicago area it gets cold.
I noticed that the readout says it was 210-220 degrees (idle).
I think that is too hot.
I have not driven it since then but I have to take a 300 mile trip Friday and I don't want to put the wrong stuff in the aluminum radiator/block.
I bought the car in Sept and had everything checked out. They added a small amount of coolant. I am fairly new to Northstar's and I want to be sure that everything is functioning properly. So far it seems good except for a small oil leak. I have put close to 10,000 miles on the car since I bought it but most of that has not been in below freezing weather. What I would like to knoe is if I must add coolant to it what should I use. Normal antifreeze such as perstone? Or something that is specialized for aluminum engines and radiators. I do not want to screw this car up.
Originally posted by peatea I bought the car in Sept and had everything checked out. They added a small amount of coolant. I am fairly new to Northstar's and I want to be sure that everything is functioning properly. So far it seems good except for a small oil leak. I have put close to 10,000 miles on the car since I bought it but most of that has not been in below freezing weather. What I would like to knoe is if I must add coolant to it what should I use. Normal antifreeze such as perstone? Or something that is specialized for aluminum engines and radiators. I do not want to screw this car up.
all gm cars require dexcool coolant. It is said to last up to 100,000mi.
GM started using Dex-Cool back around '95. They specified it to be used for the life of the car. Once any other coolant is added, the system is contaminated and then you may as well use standard "green" coolant. You CANNOT "fix" it by flushing, or emptying the coolant. It's PERMANENTLY contaminated.
Now the big question is, should I use Dex-Cool at all? A lot of experts claim that Dex-Cool actually causes system clogging and should NOT be used. I for one can say that I DID have a problem with it in my car but in all the years I had used it in our fleet cars, I never had a problem with it clogging anything.
I just changed my coolant a few days ago. I used the green antifreeze which is suitable to GM Standard 1825m. My owners manual for my 94 Eldy calls for this coolant. I mixed with some distilled H2O and added a pack of supplement pellets I bought from a local Caddy dealer for $3. The drain cock was a little tough to reach, but a simple job, none the less.
While I was at the dealer, I checked out the new Eldys...still looking good!
Never seen 10 degree here in Georgia. All I can say is that my 95sls has 137k miles...road temp average 200...idle 220. Use only Redline Water Wetter with Dexcool. Oil is Valvoline MaxLife
and outside of a couple oil drips when I run her hard, she still wails away. I backflush the radiator fins every year and run Michy tires on stock rims. Love these Caddys . They hold their own real fine.
Your temp's sound normal for the Northstar. Drain and fill with 50/50 antifreeze to distilled water and add 3 pellets. You can get them at any GM dealer, or use Bars Leak Gold(same thing). Crush the pellets before adding to cooling system. I added them to a small container of mixture and shook it up prior to adding to cooling system. They are important to protecting your aluminum engine block so don't forget to do this. The pellets come 6 to a pack so you will have three left over for next time.
Drive it! 200 degrees plus or minus is where it should be. 220 is not too hot. All newer cars run around 200. If memory is correct, the thermostat is 200 degrees. I would recomend Dexcool and disilled water. 50 50 mix with the pellets. That's what I used in my 94 North* and that motor went 230K before I sold the car. Drained the radiator 1X per year and cleaned out the overflow, then added the 50 50 mix. Never flushed the system - looked too complicated. Never had to replace the water pump 230,000 miles. I use distilled water out of concern over corrosion, mineral deposits and abrasion (water pump seals). When dexcool is mixed with the older style green antifreeze, the mixture has been known to gel. They should never be mixed. I have heard that that it can be a nightmare to clean. I would only use Dexcool in a north*
DEX-COOL was factory-installed in 1996 and newer Cadillacs. No 1995 vehicles got it as far as I know. The DEX-COOL will not cause gelling of the coolant. In fact, just the opposite -- the silicates in the green coolant can fall out of suspension if let to sit for a while (like in a heater core) and gel the coolant that way.
If your car came equipped with DEX-COOL (marketed to last 5 years or 150,000 miles), only use DEX-COOL. If it came with the green stuff, you will not see any benefit of the DEX-COOL because your engine surfaces are already "contaminated" with silicates. Just continue to drain/refill every 2 years and add the pellets from a GM dealer. I've heard mixed experiences with the Bars Leaks and although it's supposed to be the same thing, I'd stick with the GM stuff.
The reason you car appears to run hotter in cold weather is because your engine cooling fans probably aren't running much. When the A/C is on (in warmer weather), the fans run and keep the temperature constant at 196-205 (in my car), but if the A/C is off, the fans won't run until they're needed (about 226-229 is the temperature that they turn on). If your car reaches 220-230 and then cools back down, it's because your cooling fans kicked on. Perfectly normal.