Slight Coolant Smell....
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Slight Coolant Smell.... in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; After 10 to 15 minutes of around town or highway driving, when I park the car I can smell a ...
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    STS 310's Avatar
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    Slight Coolant Smell....

    After 10 to 15 minutes of around town or highway driving, when I park the car I can smell a faint smell of coolant. About a month and a half ago the " Add Coolant " message came up on the DIC. I tool the car to Jiffy Lube as they top off all fluids. Now just the other day, the message came up again. This time I added the 50 Dex 50 water and noticed it to be about a half gallon low.

    I still smell the coolant.

    I havent noticed the the engine registering any hotter than usual.

    What can it be? I dont see any coolant leaking anywhere. Possibly a crack in a hose or radiator. Or, the dreaded Head Gasket?

    Please dont say the HG.

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    STS 310's Avatar
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    Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    Oh, I do plan on changing out the coolant sometime this weekend and adding the supplement. A LA BBOB's post to a similiar thread.

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    Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    Well, I did a search on this topic (of course after I started the thread) and have found some interesting things that could be the problem. Water pump seal, cracked hoses, surge tank, and HG. Hoping for anything cept the HG.

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    Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    It seems that the water pump housing seal is a problem with these cars. I bought my car 9 days ago, with the housing leaking. I went to the dealer, to pick up what I needed, and I spoke to two techs. It seems, that GM, has changed the gasket, and the housing itself, several times, trying to solve this problem. The techs stated, that they chenge these parts, almost daily. I picked up a new housing, which was a new design, the seal, which is a new design, new thermostat and gasket, and the coolant sealer, for under $67.00. So far, I am leak free. Check your current housing really well, I would bet, it is leaking.

    Don

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    Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    Thanks for the chime in. Smell seems to be originating from the left side of the car.

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    gtmick00 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    My seldom used 97 Deville (64k) had loose heater hoses at the firewall. I tightend the hoses and added coolant. I made the mistake of overfilling the tank and evey time I used it I would smell coolant, and it would overflow from the tank overflow hose. I would keep adding more coolant. I was shure I had a bad headgasket, but it turns out it was only too much coolant in the tank. One I realized what I was doing I have not had it happen again.

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    pos2nat is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    Quote Originally Posted by gtmick00
    My seldom used 97 Deville (64k) had loose heater hoses at the firewall. I tightend the hoses and added coolant. I made the mistake of overfilling the tank and evey time I used it I would smell coolant, and it would overflow from the tank overflow hose. I would keep adding more coolant. I was shure I had a bad headgasket, but it turns out it was only too much coolant in the tank. One I realized what I was doing I have not had it happen again.
    I also found myself topping off coolant in my 93 sts. The coolant tank would be about 4 inches below the opening when cold, and I would top off the coolant to 2 inches. I drive my car to work 40 miles every day, and the temp would be about 196-203, but just as I reach my car lot at work and park, it goes to 223 (my fan comes on at 225), and then I shut it off without the fan coming on. I think it then bubbles and overflows. When I stopped topping off to 2 inches, the overflow stopped.

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    cetheri is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Exclamation Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    I had the very same problem with my '97 STS. I spotted no leaks, but was detecting a very slight coolant smell. I was having to top off the coolant again about once every 10 to 14 days. It turned out to be a leaking (passenger) side tank on the radiator.

    I finally found it by lifting the passenger side door on the core support cover and looking at the tank. I noticed that it was wet with a trickle of coolant. Got a replacement radiator from radiators.com and installed it along with new hoses and the GM coolant supplement pellets - 3 in the bottom hose.

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    Bhubbs is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    It also could be your heater core. I have seen this happen on alot of these cars. An easy way to tell if it is you heater core is when you turn on your defog coolant will make your wind shield greasy.


    Brandon

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    Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhubbs
    It also could be your heater core. I have seen this happen on alot of these cars. An easy way to tell if it is you heater core is when you turn on your defog coolant will make your wind shield greasy.


    Brandon
    Defrost works fine. I am leaning to surge tank, or water pump seal upon further investigation.

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    Geno Castellano is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    Use a coolant system pressure tester and pump up the system to 15psi when it's cold. That makes it much easier to find a leak. When cold the system is not pressurized so it wont leak. When the engine is running and the system is hot then it pressurizes to 15psi and could leak but you can't see it while driving or can't search around due to the temperatures underhood. No way to pressurize it cold to "force" the leak without a coolant system pressure checker to pump up the pressure.

  13. #12
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    Re: Slight Coolant Smell....

    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Castellano
    Use a coolant system pressure tester and pump up the system to 15psi when it's cold. That makes it much easier to find a leak. When cold the system is not pressurized so it wont leak. When the engine is running and the system is hot then it pressurizes to 15psi and could leak but you can't see it while driving or can't search around due to the temperatures underhood. No way to pressurize it cold to "force" the leak without a coolant system pressure checker to pump up the pressure.
    Yup, I will definately do that. I mean, have it done.

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