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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I am not much of a car guy but I bought a 2004, 3.6litre, CTS recently. I think it may have some problems:

1) Tranny fluid was found in the coolant
2) Car chugs (feels like a misfire- but I don't think it is) when going uphill
3) Chugs on flat surface as well but not as bad or often
4) Around 60km/h (approx. 1800RPM) the car has a bit of a growling feel- like I am running over a warning strip on a highway. I mostly feel it in the gas pedal
5) I was on the highway going 100km/h and then I floored it and I heard a grinding like noise from the engine compartment... Sounded like it was coming from the center of the car approx. floor height

I took the car to my mechanic and he did a coolant flush, tranny flush, and put in a new tranny filter. The car was running well immediately after but LOW and behold... Today it is acting up again.

My mechanic (who i trust) told me that the wrong oil was in the tranny prior to the flush. I have driven approx. 50km since I put in new coolant and tranny fluid.

My mechanic thinks the radiator is new. I told him the flushes sound great but it doesn't seem were are fixing anything. The fluids must have gotten mixed up for SOME reason. He said he thinks that when the new radiator was installed they must have got some cross contamination.

Thoughts?
 

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Replace your radiator, then do the coolant n trans flush again. Or replace the radiator and install an external trans cooler so this doesn't happen again. Your built in transcooler/radiator most likely failed thats why it mixed n the first place. Why your mechanic didnt catch it idk..

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Its close to impossible to cross contaminate fluid while installing the new radiator. Id bet $100 you could go and check your coolant right now and it would have trans fluid in it again. imo id get someone who knows more about cadillacs its a very common problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So you don't think it's a transmission issue?

If it's a new radiator why would it need to be replaced again?

What are some models of a radiator and external trans coolers I can buy?
 

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oh gawd there is a least one new thread about transmission failure a week, imagine how many CTS owner have transmission failure and are not on this forum.

it's a transmission cooler problem, that can cause transmission failure. Cadillac's Faulty radiator design will allow transmission fluid and engine coolant to mix inside the radiator leading to a full transmission failure. (or blow out transmission cooler line while driving, gushing oil everywhere under the car, including your tires and brakes... scary stuff)

any cheap eBay $30 external oil cooler will work better and safer than stock one, you can't go wrong.
 

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get a external transmissio cooler. and get a new rad. do not connect the transmission to the rad cooler.
 

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Greetings to all! Long time listener first time caller.I too am having this issue...more so the warning/rumble strip noise.occurs when I press the accelerator from a stopped position into first gear. It's now to the point that I can't 'take off'. Noise feels/sound like it's coming from middle of car under arm rest. I've read that it could be flex disc problem. My tranny send to be ok-no chugging or slipping. '03 3.2. Not too much inclined on car mechanics but will attempt a solution! Kinda shot on mechanics as I just moved from New York to Delaware.

Thanks for any help! Weather changing and the cold will definitely tell on a car!
 

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any cheap eBay $30 external oil cooler will work better and safer than stock one, you can't go wrong.[/COLOR]
You can go wrong. BCers tend to get mild winters. IF you live in the part of the country that sees -40 consistently, the car might not shift outta first for quite awhile with an external trans cooler. First gear stick-age is less of a downside then trans failure, but its something people should be warned about.
 

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Based on what I have described do you think it is too late? Do you think my tranny is a goner?
Unfortunately you wont know until you do the external cooler and fix everything. My guess is when your mechanic drops the pan again if theres alot of metal and clutch particles in the fluid your f*****. But if the fluid is just mixed and not to beat up you should be okay. Having said that, im pretty sure you shortened the lifespan of your trans drastically.
 

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I think the new 5L40E transmission would cost about $3000 and you could get a used one for under a $1000

if the car still drives, maybe give that transmission another chance, flush it out, install external cooler and see how it does.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So; I've been told by those on this board to replace the radiator and install an external trans cooler.

It sounds like the trans cooler inside of the radiator is the problem though. Is it necessary to replace the radiator? Or can I just snip the trans cooler and install an external? (And then flush the coolant and trans fluid).
 

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Took the vehicle to the mechanic and he said the water damage is likely too much already. He will need to drop the tranny, clean it out and instal new clutch plates and pistons. He will also replace the torque converter. In addition he will install a try-cool transmission cooler ($240 installed).

The cost of the transmission cooler seems high in itself.

In total the estimate is $4,275. Does this seem high?
 

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Definitely interested in this topic. I'm at 80k miles and just drained my tranny fluid and would like to know more about this external transmission cooler talk. pdaniels or others please post your results
 

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Took the vehicle to the mechanic and he said the water damage is likely too much already. He will need to drop the tranny, clean it out and instal new clutch plates and pistons. He will also replace the torque converter. In addition he will install a try-cool transmission cooler ($240 installed).

The cost of the transmission cooler seems high in itself.

In total the estimate is $4,275. Does this seem high?
Way to high. Good used tranny 1 year warranty new tran cooler installed. $3500 tops. Shop around. Do what the guys on the board have said, drain all fluids again new rad and lines, tran cooler and use ( you're old tranny) $1500.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
OK. Went for a second opinion. Getting a rebuilt transmission installed. Also going to have a new external cooler installed+ new hoses. $3600 taxes in.

The mechanic doesn't think we need a new radiator as it is a pretty new radiator already and we are bipassing the internal cooler. Seems to make sense to me. Is it safe to leave the same radiator in there?
 
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