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'92 sedan deville
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Our story thus far...

First, there was water leaking towards the radiator. Shop #1, changed the coolant. That wasn't it. He didn't have any other ideas (he couldn't really see anything as to why it was leaking or overheating) so, he refers me to shop #2. They change thermostat. Coolant light still comes on. That wasn't it. They send radiator out and have it blasted out (it was 40% clogged). That wasn't it. They remove thermostat. Coolant light no longer comes on but overflow container is bubbling after engine is shut off. They drain coolant and put sealant in engine and replace coolant (about 3 weeks ago). They say temperture is about 212 after running w/AC on. Bubbling still there but not as bad (they had said they didn't hear anything when they ran it). This morning, there's coolant dripping from behind the rear passenger wheel well, but nothing towards the front of the car. Any ideas? Coolant leaking from the rear of the car can't be good...
 

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1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
First of all, this is a MUST DO. check your On-Board-Diagnostic system for diagnostic trouble codes (DTC). I have an FSM for your year, but need the codes before I could even begin to help you. Read the sticky at the top of page if you don't know how to do it.

Second of all, the mechanics you have seen so far must be morons to charge you money to "fix" something that has only gotten worse and to take the thermostat out of the car? That alone needs to be undone immediately. The Cadillac PCM needs that thermostat in place to make the engine run properly unlike the older cars that had no computer . Maybe "replace" would've been a better solution.

Check for those codes. the sooner the better.
 

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'92 sedan deville
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Discussion Starter #3
Oh yeah, I left that part out... before the radiator, they did replace the thermostat. When that didn't work, then they went to the radiator. FWIW, they've only charged me for the cleaning of the radiator ($80, they sent it out to someone else) and for the sealant ($50), no labor. They told me there's gasses getting into the cooling system somewhere but he didn't know where or how and was surprised he couldn't smell anything other than coolant. He said that they removed the thermostat to keep the temperture down in the engine. He said it ran much cooler without it, knowing this was just to get by until they find what's actually going on.

The codes; E15, 39, 52, & 73. I checked these a few years back when I first got the car and the 39 & 52 had come up. 15 & 73 are new.
 

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1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
E15 = Open coolant temperature sensor
E39 = VCC engagement problem
E52 = PCM Memory reset
E73 = Intermittent coolant temperature sensor
One more question, does the "Service Engine Soon" light come on during the problem.?

Codes say the problem is with the coolant temperature sensor. PCM isn't getting proper data to control the cooling system fans. Either the sensor itself is malfunctioning or the connector wiring to it is dirty and intermittent . With a VOM you can read ohms on the sensor.
CTS = 185 ohms @ 210F or 99C temp (low resistance)
7500 ohms @ 40F or 4C temp (high resistance)
Location: Top of engine near Distributor

When the PCM sees a low resistance on the CTS (hot) it turns both cooling fans to HIGH SPEED. If your fans aren't turning on, coolant will boil, engine overheats causing massive damage internally. Based on what you are saying about the fluid coming out the rear passenger side, you may already have damaged the heads or the block.

There are also some possible problems in your Transaxle (VCC) with slippage in 4th gear (E39).

:eek: Wish it was better news.
 

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'92 sedan deville
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Discussion Starter #5
The service engine soon light's been coming on since the 2nd day I owned the car (about 3 1/2 years). If/when it comes on, it's usually when I've hit about 45-50 mph. That's when I ran across the first 2 codes. I'm not sure when the other 2 codes started to surface but I did look those up and went back to the 2nd shop and he said those were coming up because the thermostat is out. He even said if the sealant didn't work, 'we could be in trouble'. I've never seen coolant come out the rear of a car before. I'm probably gonna take it to the dealer tomorrow to get an accurate diagnosis. If it's the head or block, I'll see if the mechanic who's been working on it wants to buy it. He's been raving on how good the car runs (other than the coolant issue) so, maybe he'll give me something for it.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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I can't imaging any "mechanic" pulling a snake oil sealant in the engine to seal it, not can I imagine any mechanic worth his salt saying that "there's gasses getting into the cooling system somewhere but he didn't know where or how". Sure sounds like a bad head gasket to me.
 

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70 Deville 77 Fleet 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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I also can't imagine a mechanic worth his salt removing a thermostat and thinking it will help anything. It sounds like the codes clearly point to coolant temp sensor issues.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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I'm guessing head gasket repair cost is probably more than the value of the car, no?
Probably true.

If you are not doing the work yourself, or even to have it diagnosed, FIND ANOTHER MECHANIC!
 

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'92 sedan deville
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Discussion Starter #10
I also can't imagine a mechanic worth his salt removing a thermostat and thinking it will help anything. It sounds like the codes clearly point to coolant temp sensor issues.
And that was the very first thing he started talking about the first time I saw him! Him and another mechanic were looking for the sensor around the overflow tank. When I came back the next time, that's when they replaced the thermostat. I got maybe a mile before the coolant light came on again so I went back. That's when they went to the radiator.
 

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1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
Put some cardboard under where the leaking is. Get you a flashlight and look under there and at your engine block from under the car if water is coming from the water pump maybe it's slinging it back toward the rear of the car, but if it's coming from the front crank seal or the cylinder heads area the whole engine could seize if you continue to drive it. There MUST be a better mechanic than the morons you took it to in the first place.
 

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70 Deville 77 Fleet 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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I don't know if every state is like mine but here all garages that do inspections are required to have manuals for just about every car out there. They shouldn't have to "look" for sensors. These computerized cars were a nightmare in the 80's but in 2009 these electronic gremlins and diagnosis should be common knowledge for all mechanics. In the old days mechanics would replace parts until they found the problem. That shouldn't be necessary today with on-board diagnostics.

Changing the coolant to solve an overheating problem should be a joke not a fix. I thought Gomer and Goober retired years ago.
 

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'92 sedan deville
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Discussion Starter #15
Mystery solved (sorta...)

I looked under the car and didn't see where it was leaking from other than by the wheel well. So, I decided to check the radiator. I opened the trunk and found what was a half gallon of coolant, directly over the right wheel well. :helpless: As for the radiator, it still took a half gallon of water. I'm still going to the dealer to have them look at it. I still gotta find out what's going on with the overheating...
 

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2005 STS
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Never heard of coolant leaking from the back of the car !I had the bubbling syndrome with my 91 a few months back.After I replaced the thermostat and put in fresh coolant it was fine.I didn't even need to flush the radiator out because I ran it so hot all the crud boiled right out of it!
 

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'92 sedan deville
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Discussion Starter #17
An update;

After visiting the dealer, they said all they could find was a leak in the overflow and they're replacing that. They reinstalled the thermostat and took it for several test drives and everything was normal. They said the only reason the coolant light would come on is if the coolant was low. There's still wonder about the sensor too but, I guess we'll see. At the moment, it seems I lucked out big time. I haven't picked up the car yet but we'll see how it handles the 20 mile drive to work tomorrow...
 
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