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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Half way home today I got a "Check Coolant System" warning. 10 minutes later I pulled into the driveway and had a significant loss of power as I drove into the garage. When I got out of the car I heard something pouring out of the front of the car onto the floor.

The transmission coolant line that runs into the radiator at the bottom passenger side was hanging there with coolant running out of it. I noticed at the end of the neck or line there is a large bolt that has seperated from the rad. I've tried for over an hour to screw it back into the rad, but I can't see very well down there and don't know if something is broken. Just by feeling the spot on the rad it seems like it is in tack, but I don't know what condition the threads are in. The bolt connected to the transmission line is in perfect condition, no corrosion. But as hard as I try, the bolt will not go back onto the rad.

I'm guessing since the transmission line is a quick connect, the bolt is not suppose to come out... or go back in. Do I need a new radiator or should I try a little harder to get the bolt to screw back in? If I have to replace the rad, do I need to flush the transmission fluid as well as the radiator?

I'm terrible color blind, but all the fluid coming out of transmission fluid line appeared to be orange in color, it was not dirty or cloudy.

Thank for any help you guys can give me.
 

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03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
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Well, I can tell you first hand this isn't cheap,and you are luckey its at your house.
You need a new rad, and a new cooler line, then have the car towed to a dealer and have the tranny filled, or have a full tranny service(filter ,pan, gasket)
Ill look for my thread I can't remember if I uploaded pics or not but its a lot more work than you would think to have the rad swapped.
Some have got luckey and only needed a line replaced, but mine stripped the line and rad so I had to do both.
Take a pic of fitting on the line.
Is it connected in the center of the rad or towards the driver side? There are 2 lines(fluid in and fluid out)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply. It's a 3.6L 2004. The line is on the passenger side. The line and bolt appear to be in fine condition. I don't know if this will help, but here it is...

 

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2005 CTS
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I have heard of this happening to a few board members. Is this a defect in the radiator, or transmission lines? Did GM issue a TSB on this?


Nick
 

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03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
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yes, you can add in a external cooler for your tranny , but i found a new rad for mine for 250 ish so the cost of a external cooler plus then having to mount it somewhere else would have been a pain and almost the same $
also that tranny line is broken, it is not a quick connect, i see the rubber gasket on it and that is suppose to be covered in metal i believe. lets see another angle on that fitting, there should be threads on it.
DO NOT START YOUR CAR AND DO NOT REV THE ENGINE OR PUT IT IN GEAR
that will be the end of your tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's a pic of the rad, without removing it, this is the best photo I can get of the socket

 

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hard to tell cus its blurry, but looks like the threads r squished a little or stripped, but you can still see them.
you have to remember, it wont just spin off for no reason, this is a common problem that the rad stripps and in some cases the ras and fitting strip.

now before you start pullin anything appart, the other tranny cooler lines fitting does NOT spin, if you try to wrench it off it will break. i think the rad came with that fitting on it when i bought the new rad. so if you arent replacing the rad then be carefull.. i pumped the fluid , loosened the fitting the spun the rad to remove the fitting...had to take out the whole intake just to get more room .
 

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No prob, sorry to be the 1 to give you the bad news.
My suggustion is do the rad yourself, leave the lines tie them up, get a CAA or some sort of towing membership,( usually 1 tow is the cost of a 1 year mambership) take it to a dealer or garage you trust and have them put the new lines on and fill the tranny.
There is a special tool to attach the fittings that some shops won't have.
Good luck.
 

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2005 Cadillac CTS 3.6L VVT
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happened to me too while on the highway. It sucks but I just hope the new rad will hold up more than 60k miles!
 

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I'm going to spray some primer on the fittings, should help protect it a little.
My rad and lines had 130-140km on it when it happened, so it was due.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have 140KM on it and it's treated me pretty well until now. I picked up an aftermarket rad for $340. I've decided to just have it towed and let the garage install it. $45 for the tow. The mixture of coolant on the garage floor is pink and I must have driven it (unknowingly) for a good 8 KMs like that. I don't have another car to drive, so I don't want to battle the rad install, I'm just going to have to bite the bullet on this one... I need a car. The tow driver couldn't find the "hook" for the bumper. He figured it should have been with the spare tire but it wasn't. The owners manual says nothing about a hook, so I didn't know where else to look for it. Anyway, I won't know how the tranny is until later this afternoon. I pray to Jebus she's ok.
 

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He lifted it from the back right? I only tow mine on dollys or flatbed. With rwd if the back wheels are on the ground something is going to snap...diff, drive shaft, u joint or something...whatever is the weakest.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
$820 was the total bill from the garage I brought it to, including rad, labor, fluids, tow and tax. The tranny was find thank god. Not bad considering the dealership wanted $800 just for the rad.
 

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not bad, the thing that killed me was all the towing and i did a full tranny service at the same time, figured its gettin filled so doin the filter and gasket was a good idea.
 

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I also have a 03 CTS and as a preventive measure are people suggesting to spray primer paint over the fitting attached to the radiator? Whats the purpose are you saying that the fitting rusts out? How about the idea of just covering the fitting to the radiator with JB weld?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My fitting didn't rust out, it just snapped off. I had it in my heated garage and drove to work in -25 degree weather. There were a few chunks of ice at the end of my driveway where the plow came by during the night to make the street wider. I'm wondering if it got dinged as I was backing out, or just couldn't handle the temperature flux. It seems like an incrediably bad design flaw.
 
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