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Cadillac 2002 deville-silver
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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya gang!

I own a 2002 deville, 72000 miles. I have owned her for 9 months. 2 days ago when I started the car first thing a "Check coolant level" came up on the DIC for about 30 or 40 seconds. That is the 1st time that has come up. I drove the car all day, didnt come up again. Drove close to 85 miles all day. Temp gage never went above half way on digital gage.

Next day when starting the car, Check coolant level did not appear at all. Drove around 85 miles.

Today, when starting first thing, Check coolant level came up on DIC. again only for around 30 or 40 seconds.

I see no sign of leaks on garage floor. I had the system flushed and new coolant put in by Chevy dealer where I purchased the car about 2 months ago.

I cant open the cap on the surge tank. It turns but wont come off. I didnt want to force it, so I left it alone. Hard to tell by looking at side of surge tank where level is! Its a kind of oragneish brown color.

Any thoughts?

If I keep getting this message when first starting the car, I will def. take to dealer.

Thanks for your help in advance!
Bill
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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You have to get the cap off and see what the coolant level is.
 

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I don't mean to scare you.

I had a similar thing happen on my '01 Saturn L300. The low coolant light would go on at first start up, then would go out for the rest of the day. This went on for about a week. The coolant reservoir was slightly below the full line so I topped it up with GM's Dexcool (the orange colored coolant). The light never came back on until months later.

Same thing, same remedy.

Well, when my car hit the 52k mark, I had the coolant flushed. The shop then asked me if I have had to refill my coolant. Of course I did. I asked why they asked, they then told me the radiator had a leak. I told them I didn't notice any leaking on the ground. They said the leak was all over the front subframe. I didn't see the leak because most of it accumulated on the subframe then would get "washed" out as I drove the car. It wasn't a massive leak but a leak nonetheless.

The remedy: a new radiator. $500 later. :mad:

Have it checked immediately.
 

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'04 Base Deville, Light Platinum - blew HG & SOLD
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Bill,
I have a 04 Deville and the rad cap is a little tough to remove.

When you turn the cap and hits the stop point. Push down on the cap with the palm of your hand, then turn to remove it.

Be sure the engine is cool when you do this.

-jasper
 

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Cadillac 2002 deville-silver
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Discussion Starter #6
Jasper,

Are you talking about the radiator cap or the surge tank cap? You are supposed to check the coolamt level at the surge tank, right?

My surge tank cap turns, but wont easily lift off.
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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1,300 Posts
If the level checks out its more than likely the sensor. I am not sure about an 02 but on my 96 the sensor was actually built into the tank, so if its bad, its time for a new overflow tank.
 

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Cadillac 2002 deville-silver
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Discussion Starter #9
I removed the cap from the surge tank.....I am assuming that the cold line is the ridge built into the side of the tank...its about a quarter inch below the full cold line....Started her up this morning...no check coolant level message....Assuming that when I had the system flushed and refilled 2 months ago, that it was filled to the proper cold line on the tank...then I guess I'm losing coolant somewhere....your thoughts
 

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I would:

1) Check for leaks underneath the car.
2) Absent any visible leaks, fill it with Dexcool to the Full Line.
3) Watch the coolant level very carefully twice a week or so to see if you're loosing any.
4) If you are loosing coolant, start saving money.
5) Take it to a repair shop and have it checked out.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Some coolant leaks can be hard to locate as they will evaporate before they drip, like on a radiator side tank. Dries Dex will leave a whiteish telltale residue. If you can't locate it, have the cooling system pressure tested. The leak will eventually show itself.

Yeah, full is at the ridge, about 1/2.
 

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Cadillac 2002 deville-silver
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everybody!!!....I'll keep you posted......I might just call the dealer and have them put her up on a lift and check for any leaks.....and possibly do a presure test on the system...
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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Good decision, a pressure test will save you alot of headaches and worrys. You may also want to consider a cylinder leak test.
 

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Cadillac Deville 02 base
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I had the same problem after getting the coolant flushed. I simply added approx 16 oz of distilled water and it was fine.
 

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2002 DTS
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The coolant level sensor plugs into the bottom of the coolant tank, remove three nuts and lift up the tank. I found the sensor was cracked and rusted, replaced with a used sensor I bought on ebay for $15.
Autozone wanted $120 for a new coolant tank with sensor! Saw some on ebay for about $65. I pumped out the coolant from the tank before removing it. Since it is poisonous I did NOT want my pets licking it up.
The cap must be pushed down to get it off, just like a radiator cap. Add "Water pump lubricant/Rust inhibitor" every couple of years, and you won't have cooling system problems very often. It only costs $10, even available at WM.
 

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2000 DTS 194,000 miles, 2000 DHS 203,000 miles
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Save your 10 dollars. Antifreeze already has lubricant and rust inhibitors. But rust is irrelevant anyways since the OP's engine is aluminum and doesn't rust.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Post #15 is a hijack of this thread - that has been dead for 8.5 years. Please observe the post dates in threads turned up by random searches. Thanks.

The Northstar cooling system and its water pump do not need lubricants or rust inhibitors. The "rust" you see is residue from dumping in various cooling system snake oils and sealant tablets.
 
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