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1985 Cadillac: I was driving the car and the engine stopped

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I own a 1985 Cadillac eldo 4.1. I was driving the car and the engine stopped. The fuse blew for the fuel pump.
We changed the fuse, but the car still would not start. I had been having problems with the after market alarm system, the alarm would go on every time I opened the door, put key in ignition, etc. I would have to go under the hood and push the kill switch in order for the car to start. Well after the car did not start with the new fuse, I pushed the kill switch back & forth & tried to start the car. The car started smoking under the dash board. I had my car towed to a repair shop. The mechanic said there was a short from the fuel pump to the fuse box and repaired it, plus repaired other wires that were melted under the dash from the dead short that occurred when I clicked the kill switch. After I picked up the car, I drove two blocks and the service now light came on, and the car was bogging & surging. I took it back to the repair shop, and after diagnosing it again, I was advised that the computer was bad. The error code was reading open fuel pump circuit. He replaced the computer with a used computer, but I had the same problem. I was then advised that the problem was the alarm system causing the car to run bad. He said the car ran better when he pounded on the black alarm box under the hood. He advised to have the alarm removed & that should the problem. He thought alarm was making the car run like it did. The alarm guy that I took it to disagreed with what the mechanic said, so I took it to another shop that did electrical work. This shop took the alarm off,(car ran no better) said the car would not stay running long enough for them to correcly diagnosis it. They said they found the wires melted for the temp sensor, & air intake sensor. They also said that the Co2 sensor was bad. They replaced all 3 sensors, and were able to hook up their diagnosis machine. They advised me then that my car was running hot, and asked when my car overheated. I said never, and they advised me that it did overheat, but that I did not know it because the temp light was not working. They then said that they believed that I had a head gasket problem now. The surging stopped in the car, after their repair, but the service now light was still on, the car idled bad & the bogging was still there. They also said that my radiator corroded. They said that they could put some block seal in my radiator, and it would probably fix the gasket problem. I advised them that I would get back to them, and took my car home. Two months prior, I had new wires, cap & rotor put in. Needless to say, the car ran great, until the fuse blew for the fuel pump. Now all these other problems are occuring. We did a cap off radiator test, to see if there were any bubbles, but we could not tell because their was water squirting out inside of top of radiator. It looked like a squirt gun. I had a another radiator put in the car, had a compression & cylinder test performed (OK) and had new plugs put in. Now car is misfiring. Checked firing order (OK). After new radiator was put in, the guy that put the radiator in, hooked up a scanner to the computer & found that the temp sensor was bad. The car was reading 59%, at fully warm. He then found convertor glowing after letting car run for a while. The convertor was leaking & clogged, so I had that changed. Now the car runs worse then ever, with new convertor. I took the radiator cap off again, with replaced radiator to test for bubbles, but now the coolent while car running, is going down so you cannot tell if there is bubbles, but the small black hose next to resvoir is pumping coolent in the radiator. After the car was shut off the coolent went back to top of radiator. I looked in my car manual, to check if my temp light was working. When I turn the key the coolent light comes on, and when I put the key in the ignition and open the door the temp light comes on. So why are they saying my car overheated, and I did not know it. Can the temp lights still light up, but not come on while driving? I went back to repair shop to report about the temp sensor not working, and he said that he would replace it. He still says that I have a slight head or gasket problem. I don't know who to believe now, or what to do next. Any suggestions, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    If you want to know if the head gasket is leaking compression into a cooling jacket, most repair shops can perform a chemical test to check for the presence of exhaust gas in the cooling system.   If you cannot find a shop that does this, you can buy teh test kit yourself from most parts stores (It's called a block tester, I know NAPA sells it).    If you do teh test, and it tests positive for a blown head gasket, the car is never going to run correctly untill you ahve this fixed (expensive).


   If the car has indeed been running hot and overheating due to a bad radiator or a clogged converter, this could cause the head gasket to fail or the heads to warp or crack.


   On a 1985 model, the cost of repairing this failure would likely exceed the value of the car.


   On the electrical issues: if there was a wiring ahrness fire, then the correct repair would be to replace the harness with a new (or good used) one.   Trying to bypass buened harnedss wires with the harness installed in teh vehicle is a shot in the dark and very difficult to predict results; even if you jump around the circuits you know are damaged, you really cant see inside the rest of the harness to see if there is any other damage lurking; you could have other burned sections 6 feet away from the place you know about.  Replace the harness if it has burned.


  

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: Here are additional points that I forgot to mention in my original question. My eldo has only 67,000 miles on it. It is also dumping fuel. When you start it, the smell of gas is strong. My car is reading 59% fully warm, what symptoms can occur when I try & drive it back to the repair shop? The computer that the repair shop put in came from a 1984 eldo, but had the same numbers as the original one that was in my car.(1985) Is it possible that the computer that the repair shop put in, may have caused the car to overheat and create all these other problems? What does "open fuel pump circuit mean"? With my original computer in it the code read that, and also is reading the same code with the second computer in it. First I was told that the car overheated, now with new radiator put in, the car is running at cold temp, and the temp sensor is now bad again. I was told to replace the harness if it has burned, from the tech that answered. The fuel pump fuse melted and then smoked, there was no fire. Also, when you first start a car and take the radiator cap off to check for bubbles, does the water stay at the top of radiator? or does in get sucked down? I would like to hear from several more techs on my questions.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
   
My eldo has only 67,000 miles on it. It is also dumping fuel. When you start it, the smell of gas is strong. My car is reading 59% fully warm, what symptoms can occur when I try & drive it back to the repair shop? The computer that the repair shop put in came from a 1984 eldo, but had the same numbers as the original one that was in my car.(1985) Is it possible that the computer that the repair shop put in, may have caused the car to overheat and create all these other problems? What does "open fuel pump circuit mean"? With my original computer in it the code read that, and also is reading the same code with the second computer in it. First I was told that the car overheated, now with new radiator put in, the car is running at cold temp, and the temp sensor is now bad again. I was told to replace the harness if it has burned, from the tech that answered. The fuel pump fuse melted and then smoked, there was no fire. Also, when you first start a car and take the radiator cap off to check for bubbles, does the water stay at the top of radiator? or does in get sucked down? I would like to hear from several more techs on my questions.



Customer: replied 11 years ago.


found out chemical test was done before (OK). Any answers to my questions on my reply?? Why would a second installed temp sensor fail?

    (1) If the chemical test for CO2 in the cooling system is negative, then a head gasket failure is probably not the cause of any overheating problem...


   (2) "open fuel pump circuit" means that the computer is not seeing any voltage present on the wire that leads to the fuel pump relay.   The fuel pump is grounded directly to the chassis somewhere in the rear of the vehicle.   It receives power from the fuel pump relay in the front of the vehicle.   The relay primary side is powered up by the ignition switch; the other side of the relay primary coil is grounded by teh computer to trun the relay on.   If the computer does not see any power present on the wire from the relay primary, it assumes that the circuit has a problem somewhere (open circuit = break in the circuit somewhere).


(3) If a used computer was installed, it should work OK provided it was the same service number as teh original one and the calibratior was changed from the old one to the new one.    It is very likely that the calibrations changed  from one model year to the next, so if the correct calibrator containing the software that tells the computer how to run was not installed then the engine may not operate correctly.


   Another thing to keep in mind is that GM had common problems with bad solder joints developig on the circuit boards in their engine controllers as they got older around this time, so if it was a used junkyard computer there is a good chance that the replacement one may have problems also.


(4) It is unlikely, although not impossible for a second CTS to fail.  It is more likely that the CTS is OK (take a resistance measurement at several temperatures and compare it to published specs for the sensor) and the CTS code is being generated due to some other problem in the circuit, such as a broken or shorted signal wire, damaged connector or pin at the ECM or CTS, or a faulty ECM itself.   I am assuming you are using a good quality replacement sensor, not a discount store part or a used one here; that would greatly increase the chance of having a problem with the replacement one.

   I would be glad to continue trying to help you out with your vehicle, if you would be kind enough to click the accept button on my response;   we specialists don't get paid for an answer unless you accept it, and it takes a great deal of time to research and post an answer for you!


Thanks,


Steve7654

Steve, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
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Experience: 25+ yrs experience as a professional working technician; ASE L1 master technician
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Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: This was one of my original questions!

I looked in my car manual, to check if my temp light was working. When I turn the key the coolent light comes on, and when I put the key in the ignition and open the door the temp light comes on. So why are they saying my car overheated, and I did not know it. Doen't a car have overheat symptoms? Can the temp lights still light up, but not come on while driving? Also, if the car is overheating and the shop still says it is a gasket leak then wouldn't the overflow bottle rise? Also, how do you answer more Q? when I hit accept? Are the Q? closed at this time? I will gladly pay you. I am just trying to get some answers, because nothing is working so far.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve7654's Post: please answer last question that I asked.
Thank you

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