Question about 1998 Cadillac Catera

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I own a 98 cadillac catera and

I own a 1998 Cadillac Catera and
I have a leak and am having to fill up the radiator with fluids about twice a day. I had my father in law look at it and he said its either a freeze plug or a head gasket. what do i do?

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  • strawberrie1 Jul 27, 2009

    whenever i look under the car there is a puddle on the ground i can see it dripping down to the ground but cannot pinpoint where it is coming from.

  • strawberrie1 Jul 27, 2009

    i talked to someone at the cadillac dealership and he told me that noone ever comes in for a freeze plug that it is probably the heater valve or a hose. He gave me two car repair shops that he trusts and i am going to get it diagnosed tomorrow. thank you guys for all your help.



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Like someone said before, I think you have a bad heater valve. If the leak is towards the firwall / back of the engine, then you want to replace the heater valve. Just look behind the planum, at the rear of the engine, you will see a black cylinder with 3 hoses, that's the heater valve. To verify that it is bad, start the car and you will see the coolant oozing out of it. They go bad every so often. They are easily replaced, if you are handy with tools you should have no problems. One suggestion though: In removing the hoses from the bad one, and also replacing them on the new one, your work time will be cut in half if you have a pair of needle nosed pliers with bent nose. You will thank me for this tip :).

Posted on May 03, 2011

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First check for any leakage from your radiator, hoses or overflow tank.

If it were a freeze plug you'd not be able to miss the puddling spillage. Where if it were a head gasket the coolant and fuel / oil would mix and you'd be driving a mobile smoke generator { very noticeable while smoke }

If you can't see the leak take it in for a coolant system pressure test. Which will pinpoint where your vehicle is losing coolant.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009

  • jazzy6er Jul 27, 2009


    See now we get a better look and where fluid can, will and does drain back and down a hose. By you seeing a puddle it's still no pinpointed if it's the overflow tank, a hose or a freeze / soft plug releasing coolant.

    So to cut to the chase you need to
    get that corrected or you run the great risk of ruining the engine if /
    when your fluids run bone dry.

    Again get your coolant system pressure tested and it'll pinpoint exactly whats releasing your coolant.

  • charlie Park May 25, 2012

    Heat Control Valve problem is most common. As soon as start engine coolant start leaks when engine is cold but it stops leaking engine warmed up. (looks above the transmission somewhere.)1)To replace mark windshield wiper blade with masking tape and ws wiperarm off (ont nut open WSwiper arm can not pull it out put some WD40 on it) 2) under the rubber shield for windshield, there is 8~9 plastic locker. turn quater turn to loose.3)Take escutcheon off. close to the firewall, passanger side about 1foot down from top you will find HCV. the hose is curved so you can pull it up and you can see the leaks. replace the HCV. Bytheway you need 3 plumber's bend. good luck! Othewise pressure test is the answer to see the leaks.
    Search on ebay The parts is $27 selling from Califonia. US only.



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seen this post on a diff site
There is no dipstick to check the transmission fluid on a 1998 Cadillac Catera. It can be checked by opening the fill plug on the side of the transmission.

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