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· Registered
'04 CTS-V, '02 SLS
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got an '04 CTS-V two weeks ago with 76k on the clock. So far I've put about 1500 miles on her, we drove out to VA last week and the low coolant warning came on. So far we've added a quart or so of coolant. Looks like the radiator is leaking at the upper tank to core seal. Is this a common problem? Should I look at something else as a cause. Coolant temps seem normal 195 deg.

Is 225 deg normal for engine oil temp?

Thanks in advance.

· Premium Member
2005 CTS-V
8,377 Posts
The OEM radiators are a known weakness - they tend to leak around certain seams. It is often a slow leak that dries quickly and can be hard to spot. A failing water pump however, can have similar symptoms since the leaking stops the instant the motor is shut off. You borrow/rent cheap a radiator pressure tester at most autoparts stores to check the radiator. If the leak is near the bottom you may have to remove the plastic apron underneath (held on by plastic pins only) to see it.

225 is okay, perhaps ideal, for an oil temperature. You want it above 212 to boil off any moisture (water being a byproduct of combustion) from short trip driving.

· 2016 ATS Premium 6-spd MT
14,536 Posts
Geez, another radiator issue.

I never had this problem, myself, but it's far too prevalent in this day and age. For cryin' out loud, how high tech can a friggin' radiator be?

On the positive side of things, at least it's not like an epidemic of wrist pins, camshaft bearings, or cracking intake manifolds ... you know, big stuff.

Good luck, op.

· Registered
'04 CTS-V, '02 SLS
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, by Saturday there was coolant puddled on the area of the upper tank and core. I did as much reasurch as I could and elected to get the correct CTS-V manual trans Delco Rad from my local Chev Dealer $287. It came with new air baffles, and I had it for install lastnight.

It looked like the rad had been replaced before, most likley by a dealer, who chose not to install all the baffle fasteners.

I learned that I needed to;
1. remove the air intake pipe and both halfs of the air filter housing to gain acces to the clip holding the A/C line attached to the fan housing. 10mm socket for the air filter box, philips screwdriver for the A/C line clip
2. remove the top baffle (two plastic locking push pins)
3. remove lower rad hose to drain fluid
4. remove two lower bolts holding condenser (10mm socket)
5. unplug fan electrical connectors (2)
6. remove any "christmas tree" pins holding the bafflles to the radiator
7. remove upper condensor bolts (10mm socket)
8. remove upper rad supports (10mm socket)
9. remove upper rad hose (both ends)
10. remove overflow hose.
11. pull rad and fan assembly.
12. remove fan assembly from old rad
13. install fan assembly to new rad
14. instal new rad and fan assembly in reverse order. (remeber to route overflow hose under drivers side rad support before installing support.)

I was not sure how best to replace the coolant so I slowly poured it into the motor thru the upper rad hose, until some coolant came out the top of the rad. This took about 10 min to get two gal into the car. Ran motor up to temp, got good heat from heater, poured about another quart into the overflow bottle. I will watch coolant level for a while.

I still need to measure what I got out of the system but I think it was just over 2 gal of the 3.4 total capacity.

Anyone have any precautions I should take from here?

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