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Discussion Starter #1
Help! I'm on vacation and my 99 STS with 50K miles is dripping red liquid from the drivers side of the engine (I'm assuming its coolant). Is the water pump on the drivers side? Any idea what the dealer charges for replacement of the water pump? Merry friggin' Christmas. :)

Thanks for any input.

Rick
 

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1994 Sedan Deville
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Check and see if it's watery or oily. If it's more water based then it's coolant. If it's oily then it's tranny fluid. Hopefully it's not the waterpump itself but a hose or seal. As for an estimated price figure over $350. Hopefully it's a less expensive repair though.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Yes, the water pump on the Northstar is on the rear of the engine (drivers side).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's watery, so I'm confident its coolant and I'm guessing its a water pump.. It's dripping on the crossmember that runs from side to side about the location I would expect the water pump to be. Is $350 an installed price or parts only? The damned thing only has 50K miles on it, so I don't carry tools around with me.

Thanks again.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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It may only be the front cover gasket. They where a problem and where redesigned at some point but to my knowledge they seep more than leak.

I think the $350 is parts & labor but I have heard of others paying much more. It does not take a Caddy mechanic to do it. It is quite easy if you have the special socket.
 

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The cover is not a huge problem on '99, it's likely the water pump.
I'd say $350 is a farily accurate installed price depending on your local labor rates.
It's not hard to do but it requires a special "water pump socket" to remove the actual pump from the housing. Otherwise some basic metric tools would be all that you'd need. Well that and something to catch the fluid and things like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for the input.

2 nights ago it leaked maybe half a pint on the ground, drove it about 12 miles yesterday with little or no leaking and then one large drop last night. I don't know what the hell is going on. I'm going to try and make it back home tomorrow (about 350 miles) unless it leaks more today. I'd rather get it to my buddies repair shop so I can get it up on a lift and take a good look myself.

Hope everyone had a nice Xmas.
 

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1989 Sedan DeVille is now just a fond memory ....
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If you can find the GM coolant supplement pellets they might help reduce the leak temporarily until you get home and can fix it or have it fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Made it home today (about 400 miles) no leaking until the car cooled off. Now there's a pretty good puddle. I'll get it up on my buddies lift and take a look tomorrow or Thursday.

Is there a website that walks you through the water pump replacement? What kind of special tools are needed?

Thanks again?
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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You need a specail socket to remove the cartidge (impeller). Here is a picture of one I made. http://www.geocities.com/grandolfo/
A cheap stamped steel one will cost $15 - $20 from Lysle. A good machined one will run about $80 from Snap-On
 

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1999 Black and Tan STS
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Please, please, please get it fixed as soon as you can! That is exactly the symptoms I dealt with, until it let go and sent my headgaskets to Hell. Ended up paying $4500 for a $350 fix...
 

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Yes an unattended water pump will lead to overheating and likely headgasket failure. See it quite a bit actually.
 

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1999 Black and Tan STS
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It's just too bad for me I found this site, WHILE it was being fixed.. My mechanic let me in on it. I definitely could have used this advise..
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So whats with the "limp home mode" on these things? Not that I intend to use it but I was told the Northstar can be run without any water for a significant distance. Is this BS?

Thanks.
 

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1989 Sedan DeVille is now just a fond memory ....
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Rick99STS said:
So whats with the "limp home mode" on these things? Not that I intend to use it but I was told the Northstar can be run without any water for a significant distance. Is this BS?

Thanks.
it's true. I'm not familiar with it myself. I think it comes on automatically if the ecm senses a problem. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
 

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1999 Black and Tan STS
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Oh, it comes on alright. My screen said "idle engine, overheat condition" I idled on the side of the road for a few, but was very close to home. So I figure, with LIMP MODE I should be ok to continue. My needle dropped and i headed for home but, it then quickly changed to "STOP ENGINE" all within half a mile. I was only another quarter mile from home so I walked, got some water, and went back, drove it right to my mechanic. I have been told by someone "in the know", who has gone away from this site, that perhaps with over 130,000 miles when this happened that it isn't unreasonable that the gasket went.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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When the Northstar overheats and goes into the Limp Home Mode aka camel mode, it will disable 4 injectors and just pump air through the cylinders to help cool it. It will alternately switch cylinders (left bank vs right bank) at a predetermined time (a minute or so I would guess). I believe it goes into LHM at 260 degrees or there about and is advertised to go 50 miles in this condition (no coolant). It has been said before by our old friend that this is intended to get you to a safe place, not neccassarily for a convenience. I would NEVER push it into that mode unless I was being shot at. Shut down at the first sign of overheating.
 
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