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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Did my radiator blow inside? Was driving down the road, when I lost transmission pulling. Stopped, saw the trans cooler lines with the threaded fitting g on the end, hanging. Trans fluid all over liwer front of grille. Jacked up car and checked with a flashlite, still had threads, so, off to Wallyworld for 96$ of fluid and a transfer pump. Started to put the line back in, when, all of a sudden, I get coolant pouring out the hole and soaking my right shoulder! What the .....! Has anyone heard of this bfre? 160k miles. ? I guess new radiator, but, I wonder what happened?
 

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Registered
2007 CTS 3.6 >131k miles
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695 Posts
If the fittings are still attached to the lines, they likely broke out of the radiator. In that case you would need a new radiator.
 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
My question is-why would my xpansion tank empty all over me, when I attempted to screw the transmission line fitting back into bottom of the radiator?
 

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Registered
2007 CTS 3.6 >131k miles
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695 Posts
So the coolant came from the tank too? Was it still hot? I would only have expected it would empty the radiator and engine unless it was still hot. This is kinda weird!
 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I don't think you are understanding the situation. Its like this- Engine coolant. Transmission fluid. Why is ENGINE COOLANT, coming from the TRANSMISSION LINE PORT, on the radiator? Internally blown? ??
 

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2007 CTS 3.6 >131k miles
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695 Posts
Okay now it makes sense! Yes...this suggests the ATF cooler lines in the radiator have failed. Here is an old thread on the topic. If not too much coolant in ATF you should be able to just replace radiator, coolant, and ATF.

Edit: details of the failure are described in post #5 of the following thread

 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Wow, awesome, thanks Ryan! Yea, I ordered a radiator and a trans filter n gasket last nite. I plan on pulling the pan n cleaning it out. Probably run some fresh through, into my big blue tub. But at 6.50$ a qt, I hope it clears in a hurry!
 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I should be OK, like you said. I was going slow, down the dirt road, hadn't hit the hiway yet, but almost!
 

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Registered
2007 CTS 3.6 >131k miles
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695 Posts
Your situation reminded me that I need to replace my radiator before it fails. The original part #88987622 was superceded by part #19258627 in 2012, and I presume the newer model is more durable. However at $450 I plan to go with aftermarket...definitely not store brand, given my recent experience with Carquest alternators.

If others have experience with aftermarket brands please chime in. At this point I am leaning toward Denso.
 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I ordered the radiator from Sunbelt, in Florida. About 70$, supposed to be made from the best stuff, lifetime warranty.
 

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Registered
2007 CTS 3.6 >131k miles
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695 Posts
Wow, awesome, thanks Ryan! Yea, I ordered a radiator and a trans filter n gasket last nite. I plan on pulling the pan n cleaning it out. Probably run some fresh through, into my big blue tub. But at 6.50$ a qt, I hope it clears in a hurry!
FWIW I went with Maxlife when I replaced my ATF. Much less expensive than Dexron fluids when you buy the gallons at Walmart or ask parts stores to price match. And it works well in my Cad, as well as in my Honda.
 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Ryan. That's what I put in my gfriends 02 Regal, when I rebuilt its tranny. I had forgotten.
 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Only its broke down again. The reman torque converter went out.
 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Yea, it was my 1st tyranny rebuild. I was very meticulous, all new solenoids, bands, clutches, pressure switch, pump shaft, 50$ pressed in shaft bushing, sonnax boost valve, sonnax torque conv pressure release valve(that was supposed to prolong life of tc), upgraded 2nd gear clutch pak, new 4th gear shaft, on n on-- really sucks.
 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Been raining here for DAYS, lotsa flooding around. Finally got a chance to get the pan off. Absolutely no sign of any coolant. Fluid was dark, but really clean. No mud in bottom of pan either. Been sitting for days, too. Average build up on magnet. No metal. Amazing, after 165k miles. Maybe was cleaned out bfre? Trans always shifted fine. Nice n firm. Never flares. Fast shifting, but smooth. I thank The Lord, because after replacing the front control arms and shocks, and the drivers side control arms and trailing arm with Rev Shift poly bushings, I would've been sick, if the trans was ruined. New tires too. Just got the pass rear parts, to put on, then I can take it to the computer alignment shop, n I'll be good to go. Just add a little oil, every few days, n drive it! Thanks Ryan, for reminding me about the Maxlife! I picked up 2 jugs today. Gonna use that to flush it out with, and top off with the qts of Dex V1, and hopefully get to take most of those back for refund. Got pan back on and filled, gonna try to flush n finish it tomorrow, when I got help. Easier with 2, being theres no dipstick tube!
 

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Registered
2007 CTS 3.6 >131k miles
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695 Posts
That's great to hear! I didn't suspect any problems given that the failure was quick, vs a slow mixing of fluids, but you never know until you check. At least now you will know that the ATF is in good shape for the next 50k!

BTW if you don't have one, I found that the T45 3/8 socket on an extension works best for the fill plug. (My fist time involved a small Torx bit and box end wrench). And wrap the exhaust with thin heat shield before you start the final fill. Otherwise it tends to get hot enough to burn skin by the time you get the plug back in!
 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Had to keep turning it off n on, while adding fluid, till it started coming out clean. (Big plastic tub under the dangling trans lines) After it cleaned up, it took bout another gallon to fill it up.(while running) Used altogether, 13 qts, so, 4 qts used for flushing. More than I xpected, but... Shifts smoother than bfre. Still nice and firm. Very happy. Disaster averted! I still get to take 6 qts back for refund on my Visa. Thanks to Ryan, rmdng me about the Maxlife. Thats what I put in 1st, then added the Walmart brand, to top it off. Yay team! Happy days! Zoom Zoom! Ha Ha!
 

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Registered
2007 CTS 3.6 >131k miles
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695 Posts
13 qts sounds about right for a flush/fill. Good thing Maxlife is inexpensive!
 

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1999 Deville base
95 Eldorado, 99 Deville, 05 CTS
Joined
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Yea. I think the Maxlife was "only" 20$ a gallon jug. The WM brand Dex V1 was 6.50. They only had 8. Got 2 more at Oreilly, for 8 smtng, a qt! Unreal. M Life states its full synthetic and for HI Mileage, Wm saz from synthetic "base stock", with additives, Oreillys saz "quality base stock?", or smtng like that, and additives. M Life states that it mixes with all types. I gotta rmbr to reset the fluid life monitor tomorrow. It was at 33%
 
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