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SLS 1997
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,

In need of help. Again :/. So I was driving the car and all of a sudden there was a huge loss in power. Stopped the car when I noticed it and checked if anything was wrong. No flats tires and nothing else was strange. Since I was on the highway and had only 1 mile left I decided to drive. Was driving 75 km/p and I really had to use the accelerator. Not too much because I didn't want it to downshift. All of a sudden on the highway the power is back.

Exit the highway and stop. The car is leaking coolant. Or at least I think it is. Red waterish stuff at the front of the car on the drivers side. At first it was pissing, after a while it was dripping and the dripping became less. I looked and it seemed like it came from a big hose connected to the radiator.

Couple of things.
- The last couple of days I noticed the car, when cold, wasn't starting as good as it did. Sounded like it needed more gas or something.
- Ever since I have the car when driving the temp gauge will always be a bit to the right.
- There is too much oil in it. I have a small leak near the oil filter housing and the mechanic overfilled it until the part comes in.
- The car has a vacuum leak at the over pressurization intake manifold valve. This will be repaired soon.
- In hindsight sometimes it looked like the car had been leaking something when I walked back the road I had driven. It wasn't oily so I thought it was nothing.

I pulled the codes immediately after. Here are the results.

- P0121 Throttle Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit Range/Performance Problem (hist)
- P0152 02 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 2 Sensor 1) (curr)
- P0154 02 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 2 Sensor 1) (curr)
- P0155 02 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 1) (curr)
- P0300 Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected (curr)
- P0401 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Insufficient Detected (curr)
- P0503 Vehicle Speed Sensor Intermittent/Erratic/High (hist)
- P0507 Idle Control System RPM Higher Than Expected (hist)
- P1350 (curr)
- P1520 (hist)

The mechanic I go to has an Eldorado STS '97. He told me the Northstar was build to drive 1000 miles without oil or coolant. Because you bought a Cadillac you wouldn't have to stand by the side of the road. The engine would give more gas to keep it cool. Is this true?

I plan on driving the car to him tomorrow (+- 30 kms). What should I do? Fill her up with water? I'm ashamed of telling you folks this but I've never added coolant/water. How much is enough? And after that drain it and fill her up with Dex-cool? And second: Any idea what this could be? No white smoke (only smoke with a cold engine and it's cold outside).

I'm really nervous now so I hope somebody can give me some good news :).

Thnx! Otto
 

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1985 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, Sable Black, HT4100
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So is your coolant reservoir actually low? I'm just an amateur here, but I always thought red fluid was transmission fluid.

http://www.agcoauto.com/content/news/p2_articleid/141

There should be a dipstick for trans fluid.

I know zero about a Northstar but I assume your owner's manual will tell you what mix of coolant and water to add. Probably 50/50.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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The mechanic I go to has an Eldorado STS '97. He told me the Northstar was build to drive 1000 miles without oil or coolant. Because you bought a Cadillac you wouldn't have to stand by the side of the road. The engine would give more gas to keep it cool. Is this true?
Find another mechanic.
No motor will run more than about a mile without oil.
The Northstar was designed to run 50 miles with no coolant. It does so by dropping injectors on one bank and using the air ingested into the cylinder to cool one bank, then switches over to the other.

You may have two problems. A coolant leak and (unrelated) low fuel pressure (a weak, dying fuel pump).

P.S.
Ask your mechanic to demonstrate his theory and drive HIS Eldo a mere 5 miles with no oil. If it's designed for 1000, 5 should be a piece of cake.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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68,489 Posts
No oil = no motor; very quickly. (Northstar or not)

No coolant (in a Northstar) = Camel Mode, explained by Ranger. Originally tested for 50 miles, not 1,000.

Yes, ask your "mechanic" to drain his engine oil and drive the car for a while. Please send pictures of the destruction.

(Disclaimer: In-depth Northstar information is probably difficult to come by in Amsterdam)

Arbi, Subscribe your car to www.alldatadiy.com. Every sort of basic and detailed information you may ever need for THAT car.
 

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SLS 1997
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98 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. Pfew, so it's (probably) not a faulty head gasket? The only thing why I thought it couldn't be a head gasket was because of the sudden gain of power again. And it never overheated.

The first time he told me the 1000 miles story I was skeptical. But hey, who am I. Right?

What would be my next move? Add some water and drive to a nearby garage?
 

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SLS 1997
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Discussion Starter #7
Ok thanks! I'm seeing a mechanic nearby tomorrow. Going to let him see if it's the HG or not. If so, I'm going to have to think long and hard if I'm willing to put this much money in the car. With the other repairs (over pressurization valve, struts, etc.)

I'll keep you guys posted!
 

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SLS 1997
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Discussion Starter #8
Update:

A friend of mine knows a mechanic nearby. Because I didn't feel comfortable driving he came to me. Turns out the hose was cracked at the end. So the mechanic cut the end off and put it back on.

We filled the car with water (almost 2 liters!) and I drove off. Immediately I noticed the power was gone again. Because the mechanic already left I decided to drive home (6 kms). After 4 kms, out of nothing, the power came back. Because we filled the car with water the engine was already running and was warm when I drove away. I listened and felt how the car reacted. I sounded and felt like it was miss firing. Like the ignition/spark plugs weren't working. It was sputtering and you could hear a "tff-tff-tff-tff-tff" sound. Also the rpm was much lower at idle (around 500 rpm.).

I've been thinking: could this have anything to do with my crappy wiring and maybe water/coolant came on the wires and that caused the sputtering?

Going to order my parts soon.

And again thanks for all the advice!

Otto
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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How old are the plugs & wires? If they are old, you might start by replacing them.
Other than that it could be a bad coil or ICM.
 

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SLS 1997
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Discussion Starter #10
Plugs and wires have been changed recently (the previous owner told me).

Not sure about the coils or the ICM. I see it's a DIY but a pricey on (rockauto.com). I'll see how it goes the next couple of times I drive.

By the way. Should everything I buy (like the coils) be ACDelco or are there parts where it just doesn't matter that much. There is a big price difference...
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Some things really should be A/C Delco, but I don't think coils or ICM have to be.

If you suspect a coil, borrow a known good one from a friend's, wife's, neighbor's car and swap them one by one. til you find the offending coil. Then you only have to replace one (or maybe none).
As for the ICM, if you suspect it, the Men's Mall has the best prices and generally speaking, they are pretty reliable so I wouldn't hesitate to grab a used one.
 

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SLS 1997
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks buddy! Didn't know they were universal :). I'll take the car for a drive on Monday and see what happens.

I'll let you guys know!


Ps Because I added 2 liters of water I'm planning on draining it and changing the coolant. Now I don't know which coolant the previous owner used but it was red. First of all: should I flush or just drain and fill? The threads here all say something different. Second: The mechanic doesn't have Dex-Cool but I think he said something like G12. The pre-mixed one. Now I don't mind changing it every 2 years. But could there be a problem with mixing coolants? Should that be a reason to flush? And the pre-mixed G12 does that have distilled water in it or just regular? Oh and third: Does it matter if the water is distilled or demineralized?

I added just regular tap-water (2 liters) so that's why I want to change it. Better safe than sorry, am i right?
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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We usually say just drain and refill because you can never get all the coolant out. If you flush it, you won't get all the water out so a 50/50 mix is hard to achieve.

Any coolant will do and I believe all are compatible. G12 should be fine.

Distilled or demineralized, same thing. That said, tap water is not going to do any damage.
 

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SLS 1997
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Discussion Starter #14
Ah great, saves me some time and trouble ordering/buying it. I read some threads on this site which said you had to use distilled water because the minerals could damage seals or something.

What would you advice me? Just drain and fill her up with 50/50 pre-mix? It probably will still have to much water so it won't be 50/50. And can you mix coolants since I don't know what kind of coolant the previous owner used.

Sorry if I'm asking too much questions but I just want to do it the proper way :)
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Distilled water is preferable for us purists.

Drain and refill is the easiest.
Premixed is also easiest, but less cost efficient.

I believe all coolants are compatible.

Sorry if I'm asking too much questions but I just want to do it the proper way
That's how you (we) learn.
 

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SLS 1997
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Discussion Starter #16
Here I am again. Haven't had a lot of time to work on the car. I'm ordering parts on Monday.

I try to drive once every week to keep everything running. I usually drive about 30 kms. Not much, I know. Today the misfiring and loss of power happened again. First when I started the car. The car cranks weakly and the rpm is low (around 500) not much power and after about 1 km. all of a sudden the power came back. Drove 15 km to do some groceries walked back to the car. Cranked better now but when I drove off low rpm (and shocking/bucking at standstill) and looooow power. Drove another 1 km and, again, all of a sudden the power is back.

My question for you guys: How big of a chance is it that a coil has gone bad? And how come the problem goes away after 1 km. Would a bad coil mean it would be bad all the time? If it's a coil I'm ordering it with the same stuff I'm ordering on Monday.

To be honest the problems with this car are getting to me. I don't have the money to just bring it away and let some mechanic fix it and bill me a couple grand. So I need to do it the economical way ;).

Thanks for the help!

Otto
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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This sounds just like your Post #1. Did you correct those codes (faults) and now have other problems ?
 

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SLS 1997
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Discussion Starter #18
Yep, exact same thing. Only it didn't last as long as it did before and less "shooting" feeling and sound. Haven't pulled the codes yet because I was kinda pissed and my girlfriend wasn't very happy with my temper.

I'm going to work in a couple of hours I'll walk past the parking garage and pull the codes on my way to work without starting the car. But I bet there will be a P0300.

Oh btw: Yesterday I bought a bike. Intruder VS 1400cc. Very happy with but it also has a couple of problems (slipping clutch, carbs need to be synchronized). So it's not just the Caddy, haha. Conclusion: I'm a cheapskate who buys everything for very cheap. But hopefully it will pay off eventually :).
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Ok pulled the codes just now. No P 030x codes. My first post did show a P0300 code so I'm wondering could it have been erased by itself because I drove the car on Saturday and checked for codes today.

P0121 Throttle Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit Range/Performance Problem (History)
P0152 02 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 2 Sensor 1) (History)
P0154 02 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 2 Sensor 1) (History)
P0155 02 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 1) (Current)
P0401 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Insufficient Detected (Current)
P0503 Vehicle Speed Sensor Intermittent/Erratic/High (History)
P0507 Idle Control System RPM Higher Than Expected (History)
P1350
P1520

And some other non-PCM codes not worth mentioning.

All of these codes seem to be linked with the "open" over pressurization relief valve (vacuum leak). Maybe because the car only has the problem for the first km. :confused:

The EGR-code may come from the fact that 1 of 2 bolts is missing and there's no gasket. I'm ordering the gasket and placing the second bolt as well.
Still it wonders me: the bad/weak starting (when cold), the huge loss of power for the first km. and the sudden gain to normal power. I'm wondering if it could be the spark plugs and not the coils? The previous owner had the spark plugs and the wires changed, maybe the mechanic used cheap/wrong spark plugs? But could that explain the sudden loss and sudden gain?

In the meantime I'm going to be looking for some possible answers ;). Thanks for the help!

Otto

Ps I'm starting to wonder if it could have anything to do with the EGR? When I cleaned it 2 months ago the pin would go in and out smoothly. And the EGR doesn't work on a cold engine, right? Still, like i said before, when I start the car with a warm engine and drive off it also had a bad first km.

Ps2 Could it be that overfilling the engine with oil a lot (mechanic did this because my oil filter housing is leaking) causes damage to to spark plugs or make them dirty and therefor not functioning properly? And after 1 km of driving the oil comes more liquid and comes off the spark plugs? I know it's a long shot but I'm trying to figure it out :).

By the way, I ordered the parts. They will be delivered on or before the 5th of June. Then I'm taking her to mechanic and fix her up. Going to ask him if I can look/help :).
 

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SLS 1997
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Discussion Starter #20
Hey guys,

Finally got the parts I ordered!



Hopefully I'll go to a shop within the next week. While we're working and have the manifold pulled off is there anything we/I could do (check/clean) while we're working there anyway? I'm planning on cleaning the TB thoroughly once it's completely off. Same goes for the oilfilter-housing. While it's being replaced is there anything I could check/clean.

I also was wondering what the heated/burnt (I'm not good at describing) smell could be after turning off a hot engine. I've been reading a bit on the crossover. Is there a way to check if the gaskets are still good? Keep in mind I had a leak coming out off a hose. And I have oil leakage. So maybe that is the problem. Or if it's just plain heat.

Anyway I'll keep you guys posted and try to make a couple of pictures while working on the car :). I'm really excited and hope the car will be good and drivable after repairing it.

Regards,

Otto
 
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