Question about 1996 Cadillac DeVille

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1996 Cadillac Deville Engine Overheating

Bought my 1st Cadillac at 72k miles just a couple months ago. Did a fluid check, changed oil, changed serpentine belt (another problem I had to deal with), but overall I'm enjoying this ride to the fullest. (Have an 02 Civic that just had tranny failure.)

Coming home on a 130 mile trip and get messege "Engine Overheating, Check oil, Turning off AC for engine protection, Idle Engine, Stop Engine." I pull over and after having the Road ranger fill me up with oil and check things out he says its the thermostat. Im fortunate enough to make it another 10 miles to a recommended mech. He calls me up and says ill need a water pump, tensioner, thermostat, and coolant ($30 mind you for coolant). $500 job. I decline and call around. Of course no luck as no one can diagnose over the phone. I do my online research and hear everything from simple thermostat problems to head gaskets. I ask the mech to check for gaskets and when I come to his shop he then tells me there are signs it could be just such.

I take it to my friend who is now a mech at a fancy dealership and he tells me "Hey the belt for your water pump is broken, thats why it overheats."

Im not sure what to do at this point. I trust my friend and will go with his call but what else could I do to prevent this kind of problem? What else should I do at 72k miles to ensure I can get some life out of this car?

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  • rentfinder83 Jun 18, 2009

    Thank you kindly sir for your words. That Caddy manual is a must and will be acquired. I need to be able to teach my son about cars one day and its about time I learn.



    Is there a connection between the Serp belt and possible overheating? Afterall, I had no prior (heating) issues with this car up until I got that Serpentine belt done on 6/6/09 and the failure occured 6/10. Would I have some legal rights regarding this matter?



    And timing belt at 80K really?

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  • Master
  • 957 Answers

If you want to make a more educated decision and not rely on others, you will need to buy the shop manual for the car. It will show it all. How to diagnose, to check, what tools are needed, torque specs, and set by step directions. It does sound like it overheated, If your friend saw that the belt tentioner was defective and that it needs a serp. belt, ask him to show you what he sees. After that repair you can then test the cooling system and see if it is back to normal. Thermastats are said to be changed every year but ive seen then go 5 years without problem. Do find the sorce of the overheating, if it is the thermostat then change it but if it is the waterpump then concider having the timing belt changed at the same time. It will be more cost efective and the belt is suppose to be changed after 80k miles. Good luck.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009

  • larry blais
    larry blais Jun 18, 2009

    Your friend (the mechanic) would need to prove that it was the fault of the last mechanic, that the problem resulted by. If The belt broke because the belt was faulty then you should be able to get a new one installed for free. If the belt broke because of another component (a pulley of some sort or tentioner) then I don't think so. If nothing is wrong was the engine parts(that the belt rides on) it would be very difficult to pin it on the mechanic and not the replacement part itself. I would try to work it out with the original shop first unless you don't think that is a good idea. Even though I'm a mechanic I know there are some real losers out there. So I'll understand if the answer is no. Good luck.

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