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RIP
RIP, Lead Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5591
Experience:  A.S.E. Master Technician, Advanced Level, Smog - European, Domestic, & Asian -- Car Category Mentor
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1997 CADILLAC DEVILLE 4.6 NORTHSTAR ENGINE - HAVE HAD A ...

Customer Question

1997 CADILLAC DEVILLE 4.6 NORTHSTAR ENGINE - HAVE HAD A PROBLEM LOSING COOLANT ON A REGULAR BASIS FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS. THREE DIFFERENT SHOPS LATER AND STILL HAVE A PROBLEM. WATER PUMP REPLACED TWICE, RADIATOR CAP TWICE, RESERVOIR TANK, ALL HOSES INCLUDING HEATER, AND THE RADIATOR. STEAL SEAL ($150) INSTALLED AT SAME TIME FIRST WATER PUMP INSTALLED. TWO DAYS AGO, I WAS SITTING IN LINE FOR GAS, TEMPERATURE SHOT UP TO 252 QUICKLY, TURNED OF THE CAR, EXITED AND NOTICED ALL OF THE COOLANT CAME GUSHING OUT THE BOTTOM OF THE CAR, BETWEEN PASSENGER AND MIDDLE. DURING THE LAST TWO YEARS, THE CAR HAS OVERHEATED IN IDLE SEVERAL TIMES, WITH A/C ON. NEVER OVERHEATED AT SPEEDS EXCEEDING 20MPH. WHEN I DRIVE WITHOUT THE A/C ON, TEMPERATURE DOES NOT EXCEED 217. NO VISIBLE SMOKE IS COMING FROM EXHAUST. CAR RUNS SMOOTH. NO NOISES. PRESSURE TESTED A MONTH AGO BY A SHOP AND SAID ENGINE WAS OK. REPLACED RADIATOR CAP BECAUSE PRESSURE WAS ONLY 10PSI. PLEASE HELP. E-MAIL ISXXX@XXXXXX.XXX. THANK YOU.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Car
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Expert:  RIP replied 7 years ago.

Hi, welcome to jA.

  • Sorry you haven't received a response yet...if the overheating is only occuring at idle or low speeds when the a/c is on...than the cooling fans are not operating correctly. The a/c puts extra load on the engine and therefore the high speed fan shold kick in. The fan circuit may not be operational...open the hood with the a/c on and the engine running...both fans in front of the radiator should be spinning on high.

~Rip

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to RIP's Post: But what about the coolant loss? I lose it whether or not the a/c is on or not. I travel 100 miles roundtrip and I am down almost a half a gallon of coolant/water, and I am not seeing any external evidence of where it is going.
Expert:  RIP replied 7 years ago.

When the car overheated and you saw the coolang gushing out - did it not come out of the overflow bottle? When the car overheats the coolant overflows...are you loosing a small amount of coolant over a long time period as well?

~Rip

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to RIP's Post: Yes, the last time the car overheated, was at the gas station, while I was waiting in line. LIke I stated in my initial statement, The coolant ran out from under the car between the passenger side and middle of car. I did not notice any liquid topside or from the reservoir tank. For over six months, I have been having to fill up the reservoir once a week. It is about a half a gallon each time, and less than 200 miles per week. And during that six months, I have never noticed where the coolant loss is coming from.
Expert:  RIP replied 7 years ago.

It must be a leak that does not show when the system is under pressure...it must leak as the engine cools slightly...seems like all the standard basis have been covered. Coolant can leak from nuemerous points on this engine, the best step to take next is have flourecent dye added to the cooling system. Drive the vehicle untill you need to fill the resevoir next...than take it back to the shop and have them use an ultraviolet dye to locate the EXACT point of leakage. The dye will mark the area the coolant leaked out and using the light will verify this. You can even purchase your own coolant dyes and lights if you want to attempt this yourself, but if the leak is somewhere difficult to see with the car on the ground, you'll need access to a vehicle lift.

~Rip

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