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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Help!!!! in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Let me give all the info.....I drove my '97 SLS yesterday about 20 mins when I made a stop at ...
  1. #1
    jetzer12 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Help!!!!

    Let me give all the info.....I drove my '97 SLS yesterday about 20 mins when I made a stop at a store. 10 mins later I come out and when I get in I notice a small river of anti-freeze and it's coming from my car. I start it (it starts and seems to run just as good as ever) and my coolant low warning light comes on. I get out and see antifreeze leaking....I drive it 5 mins to a friends and leave it there for the rest of the day. I come back 6 hours later with anti-freeze.....couldn't figure out where to add it....read the owners manual and decide to get it to my mechanic which is a 10 mile drive from where I am...starts up fine...drives fine.....the coolant low warning light is on but the temp gauge never goes past half way on the trip. When I get there I look underneath and see coolant dripping but can't tell from where. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT CAN BE WRONG WITH MY CAR OTHER THAN BLOWING THE HEAD GASKET???? I haven't heard from my mechanic yet and I feel sick after reading "No More Cadillacs" post since my car has also been well maintained and only has 64000 miles on it. Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.

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  3. #2
    oldgamer's Avatar
    oldgamer is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Help!!!!

    At first, don't worry! If you can see antifreeze dripping, it's nothing to do with "Blown headgasket problem". Just check all hoses.
    And talking about how to add antifreeze, read your manual.

  4. #3
    jjbuckley is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Old Gamer is correct if you can see the anitfreeze dripping then you have a leak, not blown head gasket. Where is the fluid dripping, I mean what area of the engine? Front passenger side /front driver side/rear driver where is it leaking. This can give you and us a great clue as what may be the problem.

    You should add the coolant to the pressurized surge tank for the engine.

  5. #4
    jetzer12 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Thanks Oldgamer and JJ for the replies.... To me the leak seemed to be coming from the middle right at the back of the engine. My mechanic just let me know that it is the water pump....never been so happy about a shot water pump.....In regards to adding coolant....I tried....I read the manual.....there is a silver cap similar to the top of a radiator which is visible on the left side when the hood is open that says on it to add through the overflow tank but for the life of me I couldn't find the overflow tank.....I couldn't even get the stupid engine cover in the front off....is it under that??? I'm by no means a mechanic....... but that was the first time I couldn't add coolant.

  6. #5
    BeelzeBob's Avatar
    BeelzeBob is offline I'm a Cadillac Fanatic!
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    Re: Help!!!!

    I am amazed at the logic here....a puddle of coolant on the ground....low coolant light on....so what do you do...???....DRIVE the car 10 miles to your mechanic...!!!! The engine doesn't owe you a dime after that. When will people learn what warning lights are for..???? And that ignoring them just MIGHT damage the engine...!!!!!

    Glad that it is just a water pump. Next time call a tow truck or find out how to add coolant BEFORE driving it and ruining it. HINT: many vehicles will read normal on the coolant temp gauge when the coolant is low due to the fact that the coolant temp sensor is high and dry and out of the coolant so there is no warning as it overheats. That is why there is a low coolant warning also.

  7. #6
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Add coolant here... ONLY when it is cool or has been sitting a while. Don't want to be burned. Your welcome
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  8. #7
    foo
    foo is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Hey where'd you get the strut tower brace

  9. #8
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by foo
    Hey where'd you get the strut tower brace
    You're kidding right? Those come standard. :drinker

  10. #9
    jetzer12 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Bbob---only drove the car AFTER reading the manual (limp home mode) because I thought it was OK---watched the temp gauge and saw no increase above normal operating temp and thought that the engine was operating as described in the manual. Thought I had one hell of a car and Caddy had done a great job---but I guess I'm wrong because I didn't realize that limp home meant limp home and run the risk of sh*tcanning the whole engine or that the idiot light overruled the temp gauge
    Thanks for the advice on that gauge though---glad to know it's high and perhaps giving a phantom reading...that's a useful gauge....as I said before I'm no mechanic....I didn't think the gauge COULD give a false reading....I've never had one do that and why would someone at Caddy put one in that might. When I've had a cars overheat in the past....the gauge indicated the car OVERHEATING....and this one didn't.....yet I might have damaged my engine by driving it due to that gauge....wonderful.
    Also, you would think with all the onboard electronics and sensors for this engine and the fact that this is a high end luxury car---that if there is an indicator in the system that might cause harm to the engine if operated---you would think there would be something there that just wouldn't let you START IT.
    Now at least I know that when the check engine light comes on I should just pull off to the side of the road immediately and call for a tow.
    Thanks again for the reply to my post.

  11. #10
    foo
    foo is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Mine doesn't have one.. and I haven't seen them on others cars.. So you didn't put that on yourself?

  12. #11
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by foo
    Mine doesn't have one.. and I haven't seen them on others cars.. So you didn't put that on yourself?
    Nope. That's a '97 sls in the pic, and my older 94 eldo had one... Maybe they discontinued them in 99? I donno... Or else someone took yours off, and forgot to put it back on.

  13. #12
    foo
    foo is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Hmm..wtf I'll have to check into that.. I was going to buy an aftermarket one and put it on..

  14. #13
    LCLCLC is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Tower brace: My 1995 Deville Concours had one. My 1997 Deville has one.

    Adding coolant:
    I'm an fat, wimmpy old fa*t, but one that has done some rather significant mechanic work - brakes, starters, carb overhaul, radiators, etc. But I have a LOT of trouble getting that dam cap off the overflow tank on a Cadillac. If I did not use a pair of heavy leather work gloves, I don't think my hands could do it. The main problem is it is 'depressed' so you can't get your fingers around the thing. At someone's suggestion on this board, I've trimmed the metal tangs off the cap with a pair of sidecutters, hoping this will allow the cap to turn easier the next time I go into it.

    So, jets99, with your limited mechanical knowledge, you probably couldn't have gotten the coolant in it if you knew where it was located.

    Also, the oil dip stick - why is its color exactly the same as oil? I know, I've been told it is white when a car is new. But why make it out of a plastic that turns motor-oil brownish yellow with age and temperature?

    I know, I know. If you drive a Cadillac, you shouldn't be under the hood. Take it to a dealer.

  15. #14
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Help!!!!

    LCLCLC, If I where you I'd get a new cap. I find the easiest way to remove it is to place the heel of the palm of your hand flat on top of the cap and push down to disengage the tangs. Then turn it. I find it works well and is the only way to do it.

    I hear you about the dipstick. I think the same thing every time I pull it.

  16. #15
    oldgamer's Avatar
    oldgamer is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Help!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bbob
    I am amazed at the logic here....a puddle of coolant on the ground....low coolant light on....so what do you do...???....DRIVE the car 10 miles to your mechanic...!!!! The engine doesn't owe you a dime after that. When will people learn what warning lights are for..???? And that ignoring them just MIGHT damage the engine...!!!!!

    Glad that it is just a water pump. Next time call a tow truck or find out how to add coolant BEFORE driving it and ruining it. HINT: many vehicles will read normal on the coolant temp gauge when the coolant is low due to the fact that the coolant temp sensor is high and dry and out of the coolant so there is no warning as it overheats. That is why there is a low coolant warning also.
    May be I'm just stuipid or what... but
    I know that it's possible to drive 50 miles with limp mode and nothing should happened with an engine. Limp mode was created to give this ability. If that was me and I see that coolant is gone because oh hose or something like that I think I'll drive home instead of call a mechanic. Otherwize, I don't need that (limp mode) future. Second thing: CT sensor placed tightly in a block and its tip temperature actually is very close to block temperature where sensor placed. So, the temperature its measuring pretty close to real block temperature, doesn't matter of coolant level. Please correct me if I wrong.

    P.S. Other point: If the temperature sensor gives wrong reading just because it's placed high... may be it should be placed in a better place. Something wrong with design, if it reads correct when coolant level is normal and reads wrong when coolant level is low and we really need it.

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