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I have a 98 deville with 39,000 miles on it and i recently replaced the water pump and thermostat. it runs great but my temperature rises to about 222 degress when im just idling but then drops down to 196 and it keep fluxuating between those degress when im idling. and sometimes i smell coolant when im driving. i checked for leaks and i couldny find one. there is no oil in the coolant and there is no coolant in my oil. can some one help me out on this one!
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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If you are smelling coolant, there is a leak somewhere. The surge tanks and radiator side tanks are known to develop cracks. Dried Dex-Cool will leave a whitish telltale residue. Radiator side tanks can leak on the front side between the radiator and the condenser, making it hard to see. Coolant will usually evaporate before dripping. You may have to pressurize the system cold and leave it set to locate the leak.
 
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Mine was doing the same thing at first, going up to 222 and I had the smell of coolant. Mine turned out to be the head gaskets and for the millionth time, you wont see coolant/oil mix with a Northstar. I hope yours doesn't have these kinds of problems. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i got a quote for 3700 dollars and thats too steep. i still owe about 9,000 on the car. can someone help me. i dont know what to do.
 

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How do you know you need new headgaskets? I agree with Ranger, you need to have the system pressure tested and determine what if any leaks you have. Maybe its just the heater core as someone else suggested.


I did the head gasket repair myself on a 4.9L 94 Deville. It really wasnt that difficult, but I took my time. I believe the total cost was about $500 including machine shop costs. This was about 2 years ago and I think people were quoting about $4000 at a shop. After doing this work I would say $4000 is too high as the total labor couldnt have been more than say 16 to 20 hrs. So lets say labor is $80 per hour, then the total bill with parts should be around $2000. However, the 4.9 did not need to have the head bolts timeserted. I believe the Northstar engines need this done and this could cause the cost to go up a bit. But regardless of what is a fair charge, it seems that most shops do charge about $4000 for this repair. But I have never actually asked any local shops, I just went by the info on this site.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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4.9 is a lot different than the Northstar. It may be able to be done in the car. The Northstar has to come out. Thats where the labor comes into play.

Get a proper diagnosis before getting an estimate.

There is a Cadillac tech who posted that he would do it for $2200 (including Timeserts) if you're in Northern Ill.
 

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BEFORE you start freaking out have two test done to your car, they are both cheap and take minutes. Have the coolant tested for exhaust gases (this is the ONLY way to be positive that the headgasket has failed) and then have the cooling system pressure tested, this will find the leak. There are alot of things that will cause overheating so before you jump to headgaskets, be sure that that is what the problem is.
 

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I would make certain the cooling fans are actually working. You may have a relay or a fuse issue. If the engine gets hot enough, the coolant overflow tank will be accessed and could cause you to detect some antifreeze odor.
 

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It could be somthing as simple as air in the system or a bad radiator cap, 222* is normal for the N*, its when its gets much higher than that & goes into limp mode that it becomes a prolbem.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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It does not go into limp home mode till somewhere around 260 I believe.
 

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Hey, if you are running the AC in ECON mode, which has the AC compressor turned off, the computer lets the temperature rise to about 220 degress before it turns the fans on.

You may be one person that does not have a blown headgasket. Varying between 190 something and 220 degrees is just fine with the AC turned off.

Turn the AC on, and the computer should try to keep the temperature close to 197 degrees, the thermostat value, by running the fans constantly.

If it goes higher with the AC on, you may have another problem. Take the car out and run it at 65mph or more, and/or drive it up a steep hill - if it overheats - goes to 250 degrees, then you should start to worry about head gasket.
 
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