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low coolant level?


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ok i just got a low coolant msg on my 2000 deville. I noticed sence i bought it that if i let it sit more than a few days that when i start her up there is a good bit of white smoke. my step dad told me it was just condensation even though i have never seen a car put out that kind of of steam in the florida summer, only in winter. any way i just got the msg. I looked under the hood at the coolant fill box and the lv is down about an inch to 2 inches from were it was a 3 or 4 months ago. iirc i think i posted a msg on this forum about the smoke but ill reexplain it any way. it only smokes when first started after 3 or 4 plus days of no driving. the smoking goes away after the car has been running for say ball park 3 to 5 minutes. the motor runs fine even when smoking. no skiping ect, no overheat.

well after getting this msg im scared ****less that its the heads. Is it maybe normal for a car like this to lose coolant over the course of 4 or 5 months to the point of getting the low coolant msg or should i be thinking at selling her or what not? as i understand it replacing the n* would maybe cost more than the car is actually worth ;(

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Take the cap off the tank and smell, if you smell exhaust fumes, its a head gasket problem.

Steam from the pipes and coolant loss it not normal

You can have a compression test done that either highlight a bad cylinder or cause bubbling in the tank. You can buy a coolant tester at NAPA that will test for combustion by products in the coolant. You can pressurize your cooling system to test for leaks, but that will not necessarily find a head gasket problem

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

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

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You should only be able to see white smoke from the exhaust, when it's pretty cold outside (like in the winter).

On a day when you can see smoke coming out your mouth when you breath, you shouldn't be afraid to see smoke coming out from your exhaust.

Did you check for external coolant leaks? If you don't lose the coolant, it must have been burned. There shouldn't be a loss of coolant even after 5 months, maybe just a little, but not so much to get the low coolant message!

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ok thanks for the quick replies.thats kind of what i was thinking. i know i have never seen a car produce steam in the hot summer. when i test drove the car i noticed right off that there was smoke but my stepfather said it was just condensation...in 90+ degree weather...... lol@me hu. iv looked under the car ect and see no leaks.this really blows. being a bit on the poor side" a bit being dirt :P" i think im pretty well boned if this is a head issue which my gut tells me it is. i'll have those test done asap.but worse case is a bad motor and IF thats it then could you guys please give me some advice on what i should do. my step father im sure can take out and replace the motor but its getting a new one thats the problem. were would be the best place to buy a new one? . i payed 8500$ for the car 7 months ago. it has 60k miles and is in overall very good condition as far as exterior and interior goes. a few small issues such as a window that wont roll down. do you guys think it would be worth saving up "for a long time ;( " for a new motor ? or should i just try to sell it?I live with my parents,unemployed right now. if u guys think it would be worth replacing the motor i could talk my mother in to letting me use the old z28 just to go in to town ect while i save up 4 a new motor. funny i bought the caddy so i could give my mother my 05 montecarlo so she would not have to drive the z28 any more LOL. again thank you guys for the replies. all advice is welcome.

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The use of the cooling supplement tablets was recommended from 91 or so, I am not sure when they stopped using it. It was stopped because of owners complaining of brown stuff at the tank, which was harmless

It will not stop a major cooling system leaks, but could slow minor leaks like casting leaks.

You need to diagnose where your coolant is going, that can be done with a pressure test. What was the result of smelling the coolant in your tank, do you smell exhaust fumes?

If you are leaking that much, the cooling tablet supplement wont stop that.

Once your cooling system is intact, the tablets will provide an extra level of safety

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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my step father im sure can take out and replace the motor but its getting a new one thats the problem. were would be the best place to buy a new one? .

The drivetrain has to be dropped out the bottom. If your stepfather has the ability to do that there is no need for a new motor. Just replace the head gaskets, but be sure to repair ALL 20 head bolt threads with Timeserts http://www.timesert.com or better yet Norms inserts (coarser threads), I think you can get them on Ebay or even better yet with studs from Jake at http://www.northstarperformance.com.

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The use of the cooling supplement tablets was recommended from 91 or so, I am not sure when they stopped using it. It was stopped because of owners complaining of brown stuff at the tank, which was harmless

It will not stop a major cooling system leaks, but could slow minor leaks like casting leaks.

You need to diagnose where your coolant is going, that can be done with a pressure test. What was the result of smelling the coolant in your tank, do you smell exhaust fumes?

If you are leaking that much, the cooling tablet supplement wont stop that.

Once your cooling system is intact, the tablets will provide an extra level of safety

ok thanks. i could not really tell one way or the other on the smell as my nose was a bit congested ill try tomorrow.

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my step father im sure can take out and replace the motor but its getting a new one thats the problem. were would be the best place to buy a new one? .

The drivetrain has to be dropped out the bottom. If your stepfather has the ability to do that there is no need for a new motor. Just replace the head gaskets, but be sure to repair ALL 20 head bolt threads with Timeserts http://www.timesert.com or better yet Norms inserts (coarser threads), I think you can get them on Ebay or even better yet with studs from Jake at http://www.northstarperformance.com.

Are you for real lol. the motor has to be droped out? so another words you have to have a lift. ....wounder full work of engineering that is lol. well we have a large front end loader that we have used to pull motors but i cant see how that would be used to lift the car up with out messing something up.do you think it would be posable to use some kind of jacks to jack the car up enough?
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my step father im sure can take out and replace the motor but its getting a new one thats the problem. were would be the best place to buy a new one? .

The drivetrain has to be dropped out the bottom. If your stepfather has the ability to do that there is no need for a new motor. Just replace the head gaskets, but be sure to repair ALL 20 head bolt threads with Timeserts http://www.timesert.com or better yet Norms inserts (coarser threads), I think you can get them on Ebay or even better yet with studs from Jake at http://www.northstarperformance.com.

Are you for real lol. the motor has to be droped out? so another words you have to have a lift. ....wounder full work of engineering that is lol. well we have a large front end loader that we have used to pull motors but i cant see how that would be used to lift the car up with out messing something up.do you think it would be posable to use some kind of jacks to jack the car up enough?

I don't think that's very likely or very safe. As for the wonderful work of engineering, it's not an engineering problem at all really. It's just a matter of no matter how hard you try, you just aren't going to fit that engine out of the car though the top. It is a very powerful engine, and very large as well, at least in comparison to the space it happens to be crammed into. I'm sure there are others on here who have had to do this, or can at least offer another option besides a lift.

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I believe there have been a few instances of someone pulling the engine from the top.

From what I understand, it is easier to drop the cradle and bring it out the bottom.

That is also the recommended way to do it.

I have not done one myself...at least not yet.

:D

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thanks guys. if any of you know any one who might be able to offer a sulution of droping the motor with out a lift please ether direct them here or shoot me a email at blakesoownsu@yahoo.com . it may all be a mute point as it may not be the heads BUT with my luck and the fact that im loseing coolant and iv seen skoke on start up in the summer leaves me to beleave its going to turn out to be a seepage problem. but im going to take the car down and have those test done.

and i take it to redo the head seals and time inserts would mean drooping the motor as well yes?

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thanks guys. if any of you know any one who might be able to offer a sulution of droping the motor with out a lift please ether direct them here or shoot me a email at blakesoownsu@yahoo.com . it may all be a mute point as it may not be the heads BUT with my luck and the fact that im loseing coolant and iv seen skoke on start up in the summer leaves me to beleave its going to turn out to be a seepage problem. but im going to take the car down and have those test done.

and i take it to redo the head seals and time inserts would mean drooping the motor as well yes?

Yep...you are correct.

To replace the headgaskets and either TimeSert the block, or use the studs from Jake...either procedure will require dropping the engine.

Just a quick note...some people have managed to nurse a NorthStar along for quite a while as the gaskets gradually get worse.

Keep a REAL CLOSE watch on the coolant and drive it fairly easy.

It may last longer than you think.

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I believe there have been a few instances of someone pulling the engine from the top.

From what I understand, it is easier to drop the cradle and bring it out the bottom.

That is also the recommended way to do it.

I have not done one myself...at least not yet.

:D

I'm sure it CAN be done, it just doesn't seem worth it to me to try. You would have to do so much more work with the engine still in the car in that little bit of cramped space before you could even TRY to pull it from the top. I read one thing online a while back of someone changing head gaskets with the engine still in the car, but he still had to unhook everything and jack up the rear of the engine to get to everything. Not sure as to how true his story was...I've been trying to find it, but I can't remember what site it was on.

Anyway, dropping the engine is probably the best bet. No matter how you cut it, head gaskets aren't going to be a quick or easy job for anyone.

I haven't had to do one either, yet. At 154,000 miles, believe me I am careful about my coolant maintenance and temps.

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The engine can be pulled from the top in these cars - It is the "alternate method" in the service manual.

Definitely repair the existing engine vs. buying a used engine.

Edited by KHE

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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We have had members remove the engine from the top, and from the bottom

KHE pulled his engine from the top, and said that if he did it again he would drop the carriage. I believe he had difficulty reinstalling the engine, to the transmission if I recall.

I plan to drop the carriage and lift the body up off the carriage and pull the carriage out from under the body.

I am going to make a wood frame out of 4 by 4's the size of the carriage that has wheels on it. Support the body of the car on jack stands. Remove all electrical conduits, radiator, crossover, steering linkage, struts from the body, muffler pipe, hoses, etc. Drop the carriage via the "bolt" method on to the wood frame and lift the body off the frame. The body will not be heavy once the engine carriage is detached.

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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We have had members remove the engine from the top, and from the bottom

KHE pulled his engine from the top, and said that if he did it again he would drop the carriage. I believe he had difficulty reinstalling the engine, to the transmission if I recall.

I plan to drop the carriage and lift the body up off the carriage and pull the carriage out from under the body.

I am going to make a wood frame out of 4 by 4's the size of the carriage that has wheels on it. Support the body of the car on jack stands. Remove all electrical conduits, radiator, crossover, steering linkage, struts from the body, muffler pipe, hoses, etc. Drop the carriage via the "bolt" method on to the wood frame and lift the body off the frame. The body will not be heavy once the engine carriage is detached.

Getting the engine back in was a little difficult through the top. I had some difficulty getting it attached to the trans. but the problem was the front motor mount. I removed the motor mount and then the engine mated to the transmission without a problem. I installed the motor mount after the engine was bolted to the transmission.

When designing a dolly to move the powertrain, provide clearance for the engine hoist legs. If I ever had to do the job again, I'd need to seriously evaluate pulling just the engine or the entire powertrain.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Kevin your explanation here makes me want to remove the engine from the top, what do you think?

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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The engine can be pulled from the top in these cars - It is the "alternate method" in the service manual.

Definitely repair the existing engine vs. buying a used engine.

I would have to agree with this. If you get a used engine and just put it in the car, who's to say that one doesn't end up having the same problem in the future? If you plan on going the used engine route, I would suggest redoing the head gaskets on it before you put it in the car anyway. This isn't a job I could see anyone wanting to have to do twice.

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Kevin your explanation here makes me want to remove the engine from the top, what do you think?

I think Zone77 is an advocate on dropping the engine from the bottom. I think you'd need to have a wheel alignment after dropping the engine out the bottom since you need to disconnect the struts from the chassis. The shop manual doesn't mention the rack & pinion unit - That's mounted to the cradle also.

It would be interesting to talk to someone who has removed the engine both ways and decide what method makes the most sense. I did not remove the hood on my STS when I R&R'd the engine. I disconnected both hood support struts and removed the passenger side wiper arm. I raised the hood to a vertical position and tied it to my garage door track. It was totally clear of the engine.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Kevin your explanation here makes me want to remove the engine from the top, what do you think?

I think Zone77 is an advocate on dropping the engine from the bottom. I think you'd need to have a wheel alignment after dropping the engine out the bottom since you need to disconnect the struts from the chassis. The shop manual doesn't mention the rack & pinion unit - That's mounted to the cradle also.

It would be interesting to talk to someone who has removed the engine both ways and decide what method makes the most sense. I did not remove the hood on my STS when I R&R'd the engine. I disconnected both hood support struts and removed the passenger side wiper arm. I raised the hood to a vertical position and tied it to my garage door track. It was totally clear of the engine.

I am leaning in your direction, I still gain access to the torque converter, torque converter seal, the HVAC cover, engine mounts and rack and rack lines for replacement/inspection. The reason this job is taking me so long is because I plan to do a lot of replacing along the way and that tends to get expensive. If I commit to do this job, it would be foolish to sell it, so I might as well go all out

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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I have heard of people doing the head gaskets with the engine in the car, but it was VERY difficult. Those who have pulled the motor from the top have said it would have been MUCH easier to drop it. In fact one fellow stopped and reversed coarse. The method I've heard of people using is to build a dolly, Jack the car a few inches and then set the cradle down on the dolly. Disconnect everything and then use an engine hoist (or front loader) to lift the front end while you slide the cradle out from under it.

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Thanks Ranger, I like that idea, that is what I have been envisioning

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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There is NO WAY I'd replace headgaskets with the engine in the car. My hat is off to those who have done it with the engine in the car. I started down that path on my '97 STS. There are just too many bolts at awkward angles and the water pump crossover is an absolute SOB to remove/replace with the engine in the car. I had my engine down to the block and decided to pull it. It was another 20 minutes of work to pull the block. Considering all the extra work I had to do to remove the awkward fasteners, etc., I think it would have been less time to just remove the engine in the first place.

The only snag I had with my engine R&R was the front motor mount prevented me from getting the engine bolted to the trans. upon reassembly. Once I removed the mount, the engine bolted right up to the trans. The mount was easy enough to reinstall after the engine was in place.

If I had to do some work to the trans., I might drop the entire powertrain. If I only had to do headgaskets, I'd probably just pull the engine from the topside.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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You make good points Kevin, every time you post, I move toward pulling it from the top

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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