Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; OK - Im new to Cadillacs and new to the Forum. I did the searches on coolant changes and read ...
  1. #1
    wilsonmi is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    OK - Im new to Cadillacs and new to the Forum. I did the searches on coolant changes and read as many as I could until my eyes got blurred.

    I've got a 99 STS with 68K on it. The water pump is starting to seep which I've heard is fairly common. So I'm going to replace it in the next couple of weeks. While I'm at it, I'll replace the coolant. In several of the threads I've read, I saw people talk about using powder and some say tablets instead. Some of the threads say 6 tablets - the sticker under my hood says 3. What's the right number?

    By the way, before anyone asks I'm going to use a new pump - not rebuilt. My brother got what I thought was a good price - $75.00 for the pump and the special socket. The dealer wanted $570.00 to replace it.

    P.S. I bought it used with 64K on it and I love the car.

    Thanks for any advice
    Mike

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    growe3's Avatar
    growe3 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    Put in two tubes of Bars Leak Golden Seal (.75 oz each) or the equivalent in the tablet form. If using the tablets, crumble a bit to help it break down. They are the same ingredient, ginger root.

    Be sure to only place it in one of the radiator hoses. Usually pull the lower hose loose from the water pump and add at that point.

    DO NOT PUT IN THE SURGE TANK, it will not circulate properly.

    -George

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    wilsonmi is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it.

    Mike

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    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    And be sure to replace any lost coolant with a 50/50 pre-mix of distilled water/Dex-Cool.

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    Anthony Cipriano is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    The manual will say 3 of the GM coolant supplement pellets for the Northstar. The 4.x engines were recommended for 6 of them due to the greater chance of an internal leak of coolant directly into the oil. I always recommend 6 of the GM coolant supplement pellets/2 tubes of the BarsLeaks golden seal powder for either engine. It just provides extra protection against leakage and wont hurt a thing.

    It's a good time to drain and refill the system with fresh 50/50 DexCool/distilled water as the 5year/100K life of the DexCool from the OEM fill is near. The water pump will be the easiest you've ever changed. It's hard to believe the dealers can somehow justify charging $570.00 to change one. That's about $450.00 profit I'd say. With the special tool it's a snap. Remember that the water pump cartridge is removed by turning it clockwise as viewed from over the left front fender looking into the water pump cavity from the backside after removing the cover. It is installed by turning the special tool counterclockwise - a "left handed thread" install. When the old pump is out remember the o-ring seal that is in a groove in the water crossover casting. Look inside the housing when the water pump is out and you will see it. Put a new o-ring in the groove (should be in the kit with the pump) and make sure it is seated and lubed with antifreeze when installing the new pump.

    Check the water pump drive belt and tensioner. The tensioner may need to be exercised and the pivot lubed to keep it moving freely.

  7. #6
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    lowscola is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    I was getting the Check Coolant Message and figured I might as well drain and fill instead of just topping off. Prestone makes the Dexcool compatable extended life coolant so that wasn't a problem. But two parts stores I went to didn't have the recommended supplement:

    a pic for future reference since this seems to be a hot topic


    so I purchased two bottles of the R6 liquid, mixed one bottle with my 50/50 water & coolant mix and then filled up.


    the R6 and the supplement seem to do the same thing or am I badly mistaken.
    Holding off on adding the second bottle.

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    RLLOVETT is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    Thanks for the thousand word pictures!!

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    jgr7 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    What color was the R6, I don't think it is the same as the G12BP or HDC, that are made from ginger root and ground up shells. Some of that stuff has some kind of Aluminum powder in it that could be trouble.

    Jeff

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    RLLOVETT is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    Pretty sure it's all the same dang stuff...hope I'm right since I used the bottles until I could find the pellets!

  11. #10
    lowscola's Avatar
    lowscola is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    Quote Originally Posted by jgr7
    What color was the R6, I don't think it is the same as the G12BP or HDC, that are made from ginger root and ground up shells. Some of that stuff has some kind of Aluminum powder in it that could be trouble.

    Jeff
    Dark brown.


    Quote Originally Posted by RLLOVETT
    Thanks for the thousand word pictures!!
    Don't hurt you brain trying to read through all of those words...

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    sportyal is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    what is the procedure to change and flush the coolant in a 2000 catera

  13. #12
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    GreenMachine is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    careful which prestone you use, theres one with the GM Approved logo on it (thats the one you want should say dex-cool on it also) then there is one that just says Compatable with all coolants, don't use that one, it can be used but better to stick with the GM certified one.

    My dealer replaced the waterpump and out the door for just under 375. Half is labor, don't mind that to much, those mechanics need to eat..even if sometimes it's steak Plus since its really my dads car he payed
    Invoice:
    Click for Picture of Invoice

    I've also been told to stay away from the bars-leak, been told it could cause the heator core to get clogged. Unless thats a differant kind than what your talking about.

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    Rob S is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    I just did my 99 STS waterpump and coolant change. I used a new waterpump, all 6 tablets (bought from Dealership in a 6pk), and Prestone Dexcool. I left the tablest whole and inserted them in the lower hose. Worked fine, no leaks, or anything. Good luck.

  15. #14
    boxhalr188 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    I am going to drain and add new coolant. I am not familar with the tablets, what are they and what purpose do they serve? The car is a '98 Eldorado ETC. Thanks for any info.

  16. #15
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    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Changing Coolant and the Right Number of Tablets

    They are a cooling system supplement (sealant). The purpose is to prevent nuisance leak & seepage. They can be purchased at any GM dealer or Walmart, or most parts stores. If you get them from other than a dealer look for Barsleaks products. The tabs product code is HDC and the powdered version is G12BP. Put them in the radiator hose, NOT the surge tank. Do a search for Barsleaks, tabs, cooling system supplement, HDC, G12BP. You should find enough reading to keep you out of trouble for days.

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