Coolant all over top of engine?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Coolant all over top of engine? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Greetings, I have a 1995 Seville SLS that developed a coolant leak. Earlier this week, it was leaking a tiny ...
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    arctic_man's Avatar
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    Coolant all over top of engine?

    Greetings,

    I have a 1995 Seville SLS that developed a coolant leak. Earlier this week, it was leaking a tiny bit, so I was going to track it down this weekend; and well, it looks like time got the better of me, since it appears it dropped most of the coolant over the engine. There is coolant literally all over the drivers side of the engine, some on the passenger side, and a lot on the ground. I plan on investigating later this afternoon after work, but I am wondering if there are any good leads to check first? I was thinking the lower radiator pipe, but I am not sure that could have thrown coolant to the top of the engine. As for dripping on the ground, it appears it is dripping in one of the holes on the engine side of the radiator, so maybe a radiator leak? However, the radiator is newer, and when it was leaking before, it did not spew coolant everywhere.

    Any thoughts or ideas?

    Also, what would be the best way to clean the coolant off of the engine? Would I be safe to pour warm water over the engine once it has been sitting (So the engine isn't hot)?

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant all over top of engine?

    The Northstar has an exposed engine block valley - pouring water over the engine will flood out the starter motor (in the valley).

    You need to pinpoint the leak and go from there - pressurized coolant can go ANYWHERE, depending on the leak location and size.

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    Re: Coolant all over top of engine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    The Northstar has an exposed engine block valley - pouring water over the engine will flood out the starter motor (in the valley).

    You need to pinpoint the leak and go from there - pressurized coolant can go ANYWHERE, depending on the leak location and size.
    Thanks for the reply. I figured something bad would come from water, that is why there is a hood isn't it? :P

    Likewise, figured I would be tracing tubes. My gut tells me it is not the radiator, hopefully that turns out to be true, because I really hated replacing it the first time.

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    Check the thermostat housing and see if that's the source. Pray that it isnt the coolant crossover.

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    Re: Coolant all over top of engine?

    There is coolant literally all over the drivers side of the engine, some on the passenger side, and a lot on the ground.
    If it overheated, maybe it blew the overflow tube off the surge tank.

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    Re: Coolant all over top of engine?

    Found the problem, it is indeed the radiator! It appears the radiator is broken somewhere in the middle. Air would blow the coolant into the fans to throw the coolant over the engine. I topped it off a bit with coolant and I can squeeze the top radiator hose and get it to leak more.

    Thankfully it did not overheat. Pulled into work and there was probably half a gallon left. Temp hit about 235 right as I pulled in... Now I have to get her home....

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    Re: Coolant all over top of engine?

    Good on you for monitoring the temps. Keeping it from overheating will drastically help with engine longevity.

    Why did the radiator fail? Knowing this may uncover other issues with the cooling system (IF there even are any). Good luck replacing the radiator.

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    Re: Coolant all over top of engine?

    Quote Originally Posted by CadillacLuke24 View Post
    Good on you for monitoring the temps. Keeping it from overheating will drastically help with engine longevity.

    Why did the radiator fail? Knowing this may uncover other issues with the cooling system (IF there even are any). Good luck replacing the radiator.
    She is all replaced. Turned out I did not seat the last radiator correctly, and that along with the fan arm breaking it slammed the driver fan into the radiator and cutting it open. Cut open about 3 rows in the radiator and was leaking everywhere.

    The nice part is once you replace it, it goes in half the time next time you do it... lol. Borrowed a fan from my Deville that I am working on and made absolutely sure that the new radiator is seated correctly and drove her into work this morning.

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