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Since I have 2 topics going at once about the issues I am having/have had with my car, I have decided to try to put everything together here in an attempt to simplify things a little bit. The original topics are:

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=26026 (Northstar...Could it be my head gasket?)

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=26336 (Unidentified Coolant Leak)

Today I finally took my car for its first test drive since working on it. It's running pretty well. I floored it on a back street near my house, and she got up and went with no hesitation whatsoever (minus the slipping from the slush on the road). It's apparent that there is a still a problem somewhere (most likely the MAP sensor, as I am still getting code P032 for that) but the stumbling, rough idling, misfiring, and stalling issues all seem to be gone. The only issue still present is when the car is at an idle in park or neutral, and I rev the engine, the RPM's stagger a little bit on the way back down. I still have to take the manifold cover off to check the MAP sensor, and am going to check the FPR and fuel pressure while I am under there just for good measure.

I can smell coolant when I am driving, so that little "nuisance leak" on the water pump cover is going to have to be taken care of. I'll try the sealant tabs first to see how those work, and if that doesn't help then I will have to replace it. I found a replacement tensioner pulley and belt for it and am going to pick those up in a little while.

Now it's just a matter of getting hold of my brother to get my car to a HEATED garage to get the rest of the work done on it. I can't deal with working on it outside in this 10 degree weather anymore. I've had enough of that.

There is one other thing I did notice today after my test drive. I popped the hood when I got home just to check things out, and I noticed a static-electricity sparking sound coming from the coil pack (the car was still running). Is that normal? Perhaps it has always done it and I just never noticed it before. I guess I look a little further into things now that I have actually had problems to deal with. I checked all the connections on it to be sure I didn't leave anything loose, and they all seem good and tight.

My car may not be perfect yet. It's still a work in progress, but I'm glad to know it is at least drive-able now.

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If you are smelling coolant when you are driving, check the carpet and under the carpet on the passenger side to see if your heater core is leaking. When you turn on your defroster if you have a leak in your heater core it will sometimes fog up your windshield and smell like coolant. Just a thought

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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If you are smelling coolant when you are driving, check the carpet and under the carpet on the passenger side to see if your heater core is leaking. When you turn on your defroster if you have a leak in your heater core it will sometimes fog up your windshield and smell like coolant. Just a thought

Well there was no fog on the windshield and the heat is working fine. I will check the carpet and under it and see if there is anything there. I didn't start smelling it until I drove around for about 10 minutes and the temp was over 190, and I could still smell it even after turning the heat off. It was a faint smell, but very distinctly coolant.

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There is one other thing I did notice today after my test drive. I popped the hood when I got home just to check things out, and I noticed a static-electricity sparking sound coming from the coil pack (the car was still running). Is that normal?

No, that's not normal. If you can see it in the daylight it's pretty bad. Either a coil or plug wires are leaking. Try misting the coils and wires at night in the dark. That should give you a pretty good idea what is leaking and needs to be replaced.

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There is one other thing I did notice today after my test drive. I popped the hood when I got home just to check things out, and I noticed a static-electricity sparking sound coming from the coil pack (the car was still running). Is that normal?

No, that's not normal. If you can see it in the daylight it's pretty bad. Either a coil or plug wires are leaking. Try misting the coils and wires at night in the dark. That should give you a pretty good idea what is leaking and needs to be replaced.

I didn't see anything in the daylight, I just heard it. I'll check it out later as you said. If it's a wire I'm going to be pretty annoyed as they are new and that could only mean I pinched/cut one when I was replacing them and/or putting the ICM back on. Misting the coil pack/ICM with water while the car is running won't damage it? I assume misting does NOT mean soaking.

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There is one other thing I did notice today after my test drive. I popped the hood when I got home just to check things out, and I noticed a static-electricity sparking sound coming from the coil pack (the car was still running). Is that normal?

No, that's not normal. If you can see it in the daylight it's pretty bad. Either a coil or plug wires are leaking. Try misting the coils and wires at night in the dark. That should give you a pretty good idea what is leaking and needs to be replaced.

I didn't see anything in the daylight, I just heard it. I'll check it out later as you said. If it's a wire I'm going to be pretty annoyed as they are new and that could only mean I pinched/cut one when I was replacing them and/or putting the ICM back on. Misting the coil pack/ICM with water while the car is running won't damage it? I assume misting does NOT mean soaking.

You are correct...do not SOAK it with water.

Someone else may explain it better than I can...but I use an old Windex bottle filled with water.

Spray it "LIGHTLY" around where you think the spark is jumping.

The water mist provides a better path for the spark jump and will make it easier to identify where it is coming from.

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Hopefully I can get the car to a heated garage. I'd hate to mist everything with water and have it freeze instantly, as I'm sure it would given that it's currently -7 degrees here with the wind chill. I know I gotta get my car back in good running order soon. We were using my boyfriend's father's car (2002 Olds Intrigue) but the power steering exploded fluid into our driveway this afternoon, and it's got a wheel bearing on the way out, so now that's gotta go into the shop... my luck with cars lately just doesn't seem to be very good, does it? lol.

Still waiting to hear back from my brother....I think I may have to go track him down personally pretty soon here. Why can't this stuff happen in the spring when it's warm enough to work outside?

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If the plug wires are new I would just make sure that they are properly seated. This is much easier to do in a warm, well-lighted place than out in the cold. Plug wires are tricky on modern ultra-high-energy ignitions. Also, make sure that the plug wires are run along the same paths as the original when you put them back and that they don't get too near anything too sensitive, like the wiring harness.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I'm not sure what's going on. I went outside to go move my car out back to my driveway (no overnight street parking in the winter here) and ran into a few seemingly minor things...

I checked the passenger floor for coolant, and there wasn't any, just to clear that up. I don't think I have a problem with the heater core...

I popped the hood and checked around the coil pack, and I couldn't hear the static sound from it that I heard earlier...so I dismissed that, for now.

I got in the car, and turned on my headlights. They work fine, but none of my Cluster lights are working. The green display lights are on...temperature, information center... but the speedometer, tachometer, and gas gauge lights are out. Ok, I figure probably a blown fuse or something. Then I thought about it for a minute and realized that my gas mileage indicator also hasn't been working since I had disconnected the battery to change the plugs and wires. I turned the car off, checked the fuses anyway, no problems there. I restarted the car and noticed my SES light didn't come on this time as it has every other time I've started it...so I ran the codes for the heck of it. P032 History... figured as much... here's the strange part: NO RSS DATA! not no RSS codes...no DATA!

Could these be signs of impending PCM doom? Or could there be something else causing these little marvels to happen?

I should also note here that prior to me getting the car, the auto-level control compressor motor for the rear shocks stopped working, so the previous owner had an air fitting hooked up to them instead. It doesn't bother me, as they work out fine for me the way they are, and I have never had that no RSS data thing show up on me before now.

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Actually, the NO RSS DATA is a network error, and it simply means that the RSS module didn't respond to the DIM (dashboard integration module) request for data, i.e. codes. That can be caused by an electrical problem with the network wire (which is usually the purple wire in my car) which means: connector loose, dirty, or off the BCM module, or an RSS fuse blown, cracked, corroded, or loose.

Modules rarely go out on their own on GM cars. When you see a module failure, something definite nearly always popped it. The most common things that pop modules are reverse-wiring jumper cables or high-voltage battery chargers on a battery still hooked up in the car, or someone doing ham-fisted electrical checking on wiring to the modules. Modules are electronics, and electronics are sensitive to overvoltage and static electricity. Like most electronics interfaces (printer cables, USB, etc.) there is a reasonable amount of protection designed in, but the FSM says repeatedly not to "back probe" connectors that lead to the modules. The term "back probe" means connect directly to the module electrical terminals through the wiring harness, with a meter, checking light, or whatever, particularly without static protection (ground yourself by keeping one hand on metal). So, unless you do something stupid, you aren't going to have to replace any modules.

There should be other codes. I ran through my list of OBD I codes and made this list of letters and the modules that they refer to:

Letter Meaning (Remark)

B Body

L Lighting (Allante only)

I Network (Information?)

T Traction control

R Air bag (Restraint?)

A A/C

S Suspension (RSS)

P Powertrain

E Engine (Powertrain)

You may or may not have an S or I code, or, the "NO RSS INFORMATION" is your set of S codes: no connection to the RSS module (part of the BCM), or no power to the RSS (or BCM).

Yet another thing that may cause this message is checking the codes right after hooking the battery back up but before driving or even starting the car.

The fact that none of your panel lights is on is an indication that the dimmer is turned all the way down on the headlight switch. This can happen when you are working in the car and an arm rubs against the knob; it happens to everyone. Another thing that can cause this is a fuse, loss of communicative between the IPM and DIM (instrument panel module and dashboard integration module), which again is a connector; both of these are under the dashboard. I would look to fuses first.

You've found the major fuse blocks and banks of relays: on the driver's side under a plastic cover behind the air cleaner, and behind the back seat on the passenger's side, accessed from inside the trunk. The fuses are labeled pretty clearly.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I checked the fuses/relays under the hood, but couldn't get to the ones in the trunk on account of the latch being frozen shut (I had a hard time with the hood latch too). I double and triple checked the dimmer switch, and it was all the way up. According to my owner's manual, there is only one fuse in the trunk that goes to the instrument panel cluster so hopefully I can get the trunk open tomorrow and check it. I hope it's blown. It would be an easy fix.

As for any bad electrical charges or connections, I haven't done anything to it to cause any problems that I'm aware of. When I changed the plugs and wires, I disconnected the battery, negative terminal first, before I touched anything on the ICM or pulled any wires of any kind. When I reconnected the battery I made sure to reconnect it positive terminal first, negative last (I've shorted a battery before, it's no fun. Launched a wrench halfway across the yard).

Also, I rechecked the codes, and got these:

I022: Panel dimming switch pot circuit (history)

I039: Loss of road sensing suspension data (history)

that's it aside from my MAP code and the ABS code that I already know how to fix.

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If the dimmer pot code is History, maybe it's intermittent.

Note that if you check the codes right after turning on the key, all of them will be History codes other than those that are from finding problems when the modules "wake up." The best time to check codes is after driving the car, but while the engine is still running, before turning the key off. That way you can tell which are really Current.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I am getting ready to eat dinner now, and after that I am heading to my brother's garage to try to get everything I can tied up on my car. At least enough for me to feel secure in driving it every day again. On the list to do tonight (though I can't guarantee it will all get done) are:

Change the water pump tensioner pulley and belt,

Put coolant tabs in coolant to try and seal that nuisance leak,

Pull the manifold cover off to check the MAP sensor, FPR and fuel pressure,

Double check all plug wires and their connections to the coils,

Check all fuses/relays and fuse boxes,

Investigate the dimmer switch,

And if I have the time and patience after all that, I plan to pull the EGR valve off and clean it. I think I will wait until warmer weather to pull the manifold off and clean out the whole system, as I hear it is a very time consuming and dirty job.

Hopefully after all this is done, I will have a little more confidence in driving my beloved Eldo when I want to. I have forgotten what it feels like to drive her at her best....

Wish me luck.

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The dimmer switch will likely fix itself when it it not against the stops and its temperature is above 30 or 40 degrees.

The MAP sensor is probably just the wiring or connector. Once it is OK, you should be good to go for better driveability (smoother shifting, more throttle response) and your gas mileage will come up to normal. Note that the EGR passages are under the intake manifold in "mouse holes" in the heads and that cleaning these out when you have the manifold off makes good sense. You might as well just finish up the EGR cleaning while you're at it.

You didn't tell us which plug wires you used. The wrong plug wires can be a gotcha. OTOH, if you simply put them in outside in the cold then there may have been some ice crystals in there somewhere, and those may just go away in time. If the stutter and the crackly sound goes away, you don't have a problem. In any case, good luck with the plug wires.

The water pump is a knucle-buster. There are things, like borrowing a water pump wrench from Bruce, and that the pump is threaded into the cam cover with left-hand threads, that you will deal with when the time comes.

It looks like, from the viewpoint of what the car is worth working fine with no codes, you are getting quite a bit for your time with this car. Good luck with it.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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The water pump is a knucle-buster. There are things, like borrowing a water pump wrench from Bruce, and that the pump is threaded into the cam cover with left-hand threads, that you will deal with when the time comes.

There are no threads on the pump Jim. It's a cam lock. Only takes about 1/8 turn to get it loose. I think you meant crossover instead of cam cover.

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Ranger -- keep with this thread. I've never had a water pump off a Northstar with my own hands and we will need that here.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Here is a Northstar water pump cartridge (top right). That little (stainless steel) centrifugal pump can flow 250 GPM at engine red-line RPM.

th_Pumpcartridgethermostat.jpg

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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Here's how my night went last night. First I want to mention that it's not the water pump that I was having problems with, it was just the tensioner pulley and belt. I'm sure I will have to replace the pump soon given the age and mileage of my car, but I am hoping that can hold off a while, so thank you for the info on that anyway. I'm sure I will need it when the time comes...

I went to pick up the belt and pulley for the car, and turns out the person I spoke to on the phone at the parts store apparently didn't know what he was talking about (or what I was talking about) because when I got there he tried to give me the idler pulley for the main drive assembly. I told him it was the wrong part, and after pointing out the RIGHT pulley on the diagram he had on his computer, he still tried to tell me I was wrong. I told him as politely as I could after 20 minutes of listening to him basically tell me I didn't know what I was talking about, that it's MY car and I think I know what part I NEED for it. Finally, I got fed up with him, and asked to speak to someone else. The manager apologized to me. I showed him on the diagram the pulley I needed, and he told me they don't carry it. Ok. I can live with that. At least this guy didn't treat me like some "dumb blond who knows nothing" as the other guy had. So I asked about the belt, and unfortunately they were out of stock, so I have to wait on them to order it. I couldn't do anything about that yet...

I got my car to the garage, and even though the wood-stove and kerosene heater were on it was still very cold in there. It didn't even get warm enough to melt the snow off my car. As I pulled into the driveway at my brother's house, my dash lights started working again and I noticed moisture behind the plastic on the display. My guess is that my sunroof drain is frozen, causing water to back up into the dash and it shorted something out. Then after driving it a while with the heat on it dried it out.

We (my brother and I) pulled the manifold cover off, and surely enough the MAP sensor was lifted up out of it's little clamp and there was a bare spot in one of the wires to it (the wire itself wasn't damaged). I pushed it back down and Eddie wrapped some thermal electrical tape around the bare spot in the wire.

We then checked the FPR, and that checked out fine. No leaks there. Then we went to check the fuel pressure. I was under the impression that the schrader (spelling?) valve was under the manifold cover, so we looked everywhere...and it wasn't there. blink.gif Turns out, for future reference to anyone else who may not know this, the valve is outside the manifold, underneath and behind the throttle body. I checked the pressure, and it checked out at 45psi with key on, ignition off. Fuel pressure seems fine.

Next on the list was the "static ticking" sound I heard from near the coil pack. This was pretty funny. Turns out it was just the new PCV valve I put in the car making that ticking noise. I listened a little closer and said to Eddie "I think it's the PCV!" He pulled it out, put his thumb over it, and the ticking stopped. There is nothing wrong with the coil or the wires at all. That was a huge relief.

After making sure all the manifold bolts were put back on right and everything else was in it's place, I started it up and took it for a drive. NO MORE SES LIGHT! Before I left to come home, I cleared the codes. On the way home I WOT it out on the highway up to about 75mph a couple times (woulda gone higher but the roads aren't in great condition this time of year). I missed how good that engine sounds running at her best. I need to get that clog in the sunroof drain cleared, if that is indeed the issue. And I need to get the new belt and pulley on the water pump, but overall she's running the best I have ever seen her.

By the way, the only code to show up after I got home was my ABS code for my bad connector on my front wheel hub, but I will take care of that when I put new brakes on in the spring. Sorry for such a long post, I'm just really excited to have my car back in GOOD WORKING ORDER!!!! yupi3ti.gif

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{ I missed how good that engine sounds running at her best. }

I know what you mean.

I love the sound on the NorthStar at full throttle.

I am glad to hear all the good news and that your car is finally running like it should. :D :D

Good luck on the belt and tensioner.

:hatsoff:

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Glad to hear the repair went well. There is a special feeling of accomplishment when you can correctly repair your own Cadillac.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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I went to pick up the belt and pulley for the car, and turns out the person I spoke to on the phone at the parts store apparently didn't know what he was talking about

The sales persons like the one you have described are as common as code P0741. Find a store and sales person who has learned that you know what you are talking about, and your life will become easier (boring). :) Carla, I (I am sure many others as well) enjoy reading your posts. They are informative, on subject and entertaining. I need to find another source of entertainment ASAP though because you seem to be close to fixing all the existing problems with your Eldo! :D

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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When does it end? Really? I got in my car to leave a few minutes ago, and didn't make it 20 feet out of my driveway and my car stalled. It's back to doing the same exact thing it was before I changed the plugs and wires on it, minus the skipping sound. It won't stay running, and barely starts if it does at all. The MAP sensor code is back. Could a bad MAP sensor really cause all these problems? I don't get it. It has been running fine the last few days, and all of a sudden out of nowhere it just dies again and won't stay running....

I was so excited....

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Perhaps it backfired a bit on starting and popped the MAP sensor out of its holder again. There is a pressure relief valve on the intake manifold somewhere. Find it and unstick it and that should end popping the MAP out of its holder.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Perhaps it backfired a bit on starting and popped the MAP sensor out of its holder again. There is a pressure relief valve on the intake manifold somewhere. Find it and unstick it and that should end popping the MAP out of its holder.

I don't think mine has anything like that, at least not that I saw. I looked it over pretty well last night when I had the manifold cover off. I think I'm just going to fork over the 45$ for a new MAP sensor and see if that makes a difference. I got a code once about a month ago for the EGR pintle position out of range, but it only happened once. I have been dreading the 3 PITA bolts to take the EGR valve off and clean it so I have put it off, but I think it's time to suck it up and just do it. I need my car to be running right, as it's the only car I have and I love it very very much!!!

In case anyone ever wonders, here's what a 1994 Northstar looks like with the manifold cover removed. The MAP sensor and FPR are on the right. I'm posting the link instead of the actual image because it's a big picture.

http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn204/ChevyMetalBitch/Caddy/?action=view&current=Picture044.jpg

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