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Shop By Brand

The Following brands are available based on your search.

  • ACDelco
    ACDelco
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    Gates
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    Motormite
  • Mr Gasket
    Mr Gasket
  • Stant
    Stant

Best Selling Genuine Cadillac Radiator Caps

  • We Stock the following top leading brands, including Stant, ACDelco
  • Constantly Updated Inventory of Cadillac Replacement Radiator Cap Parts
Stant
1997 Cadillac DeVille Radiator Cap 8 Cyl 4.6L Stant - Safety Release Radiator Cap

P311-563AE79    10330  New

5096104AA , DRS29 , DRS-29 , 7B0121321C , RSP30 , 4596198 , 7716 , 703-1701 , 644130 , 7031701 , 33062 , 1501-16 , 31518 , 82830 , 11330 , ST16 , 10330 , RSP-30 , 5103476AA

Qty:
$11.47
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 16 psi
  • Safety Release Radiator Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1997 - Cadillac DeVille V 8 Cyl 4.6L 281 -
Stant
2000 Cadillac DeVille Radiator Cap 8 Cyl 4.6L Stant - OE Type Radiator Cap

P311-4F56E0F    10230  New

RS53 , RS-43 , 4592098 , 5310686 , RC-44 , 6410691 , RS61 , RS-17A , RR-19 , 3EG175 , 131 , T16 , WR18 , 7B0121321C , RS-17B , RS-80 , 94222052 , RS44 , 133-9001 , RA-20 , RC-34 , 25661994 , RR17 , ZZM115205 , F4TZ 8100 B , RR-30 , 5096104AA , 94021623 , 1338060 , RS-44 , F1VY8100B , RS-53 , WC-18 , RR30 , RS17B , BC17 , RS17 , RC17 , 19045-PH7-003 , 22583309 , RR20 , FIVH8100BA , RR31 , C44995 , 9441062570 , RR-20 , WR17 , 9-21450-610-0 , ER-17 , RS80 , RS-53A , F4TZ8100B , 25060228 , RS-47A , RC19 , 1339001 , DR29 , 12339878 , RS17A , RC44 , RS-61 , WR-17 , CAC4568 , BR17 , 46008 , RS-90 , 25697430 , RS-64 , 7016 , A17 , RC-26 , SP19 , 04596444AA , 9214506100 , 4596444AA , S17 , 11 53 1 486 703 , 19045PH7003 , 7031698 , 133-8060 , M-17 , RS-17 , RR-18 , RS-40 , 125 , F1VY 8100 B , BC-17 , RR-31 , L95-4012 , DR17 , RC18 , CCC6707 , RC 81 , RS-34 , 6410665 , 620203 , 33031 , ZZM1-15-205 , RC15 , F47H 8100 AB , ER-18 , RS47A , RR18 , 944 106 257 00 , 620204 , 11531486703 , EAC4192 , M17 , WC-17 , RC34 , 3-M-17 , RS-83 , L95-4020 , 52006926 , 11171100848 , 15977333 , 9214506101 , RA20 , 9-21450-610-1 , 31528 , 3M17 , EAC3702 , RC26 , RS35 , RS83 , R31 , 82930 , RC95 , RS40 , RC33 , 52028892AA , 52014479AA , 8-94228-748-1 , RC 95 , RS60 , 8942287481 , 133-8086 , RS90 , 4693175 , 94222051 , 46032 , 5214500021 , WR-18 , RC-17 , 944 106 257 0 , 3-EG-175 , RS34 , ER18 , WA-17 , 130 , 861050 , JLM9652 , 4596198 , 53-10686 , RS53A , RC81 , 703-1698 , 53-10678 , RC-18 , RS43 , 1338086 , 94410625700 , 46009 , RR-17 , 05086226AA , ER-28 , 5352594 , RC20 , RS-60 , DR-17 , 94026437 , RR19 , 15075565 , E9DZ 8100 A , 94022635 , RC82 , DR-29 , RS-51 , 12R7 , 5310678 , RA-17 , 05278697AA , 126 , L954020 , R-31 , ER17 , 5086226AA , WC18 , 6410160 , RC 82 , E9DZ8100A , ER28 , CAC5095 , 10230 , RC-33 , WC17 , 5191233AA , FIVH 8100 BA , RC-19 , 119 , 5-21450-002-1 , R-30 , RS-35 , 94228748 , WA17 , RC-20 , SP-19 , RS64 , 94250629 , F47H8100AB , RC-15 , 17111468060 , 04693175AA , 5278697AA , RS51 , BR-17 , ST-16 , 5103476AA , 94250633 , RC29 , A-17 , RC-29 , 12474637 , 6410962 , RA17 , 8315764 , L954012 , R30

Qty:
$5.88
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 16 psi
  • OE Type Radiator Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
2000 - Cadillac DeVille V 8 Cyl 4.6L 281 -
Stant
2003 Cadillac DeVille Radiator Cap 8 Cyl 4.6L Stant - Safety Release Radiator Cap

P311-221DFC4    10334  New

7031737 , 459 6198 , 33066 , ST-18 , 703-1737 , 4596198 , 31535 , ST18

Qty:
$11.86
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 18 psi
  • Safety Release Radiator Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
2003 - Cadillac DeVille V 8 Cyl 4.6L 281 -
Stant
2004 Cadillac DeVille Radiator Cap 8 Cyl 4.6L Stant - OE Type Radiator Cap

P311-5DDEB03    10234  New

55111361AA , RC 104 , 7031725 , 46044 , 55116897AA , RC 86 , 10233950 , 52027793 , 703-1725 , 25713159 , 12R10 , 10402081 , 55116901AA , 25730221 , 92177005 , T18 , RC 24 , 52079691AA , 52028860AB , RR-34 , 52028974AA , 10234 , 5103533AA , RC 50 , 33043 , 10283371 , 10219587 , 10316828 , 7018 , RC50 , RC86 , RC104 , 4546255 , 31525 , 52079799AA , RC24 , RR34 , T-18 , 52028860AA

Qty:
$5.28
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 18 psi
  • OE Type Radiator Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
2004 - Cadillac DeVille V 8 Cyl 4.6L 281 -
Stant
1970 Cadillac Calais Radiator Cap 8 Cyl 7.7L Stant - Safety Release Radiator Cap

P311-1A75F14    10331  New

L95-5078 , ESP18 , WD-17 , 620207 , RL43 , RL21 , BSC17 , 703-1702 , RC115 , 46016 , RSP19 , ESP-17 , 46015 , RP19 , RSP18 , RC-115 , RP17 , RSP-17 , L955078 , 1508-16 , 7816 , 82830 , SPT-17 , 10331 , 5300298 , RL17 , 46063 , 3-EG-17 , BR-17P , ESP-18 , RSP-30 , WF-17 , RSP30 , DRS-17L , 31516 , 82831 , 11331 , 53-00298 , DRS29 , 7B0121321A , 33063 , BSC-17 , PL17 , 3EG17 , PL-17 , WD17 , 7B0121321 , 3-S-17 , ESP17 , L95-5060 , RSP17 , 644128 , RSP-18 , SPT17 , ST16V , DRS17L , DRS-29 , 3EF17 , 3-EF-17 , RP-19 , 861854 , RL-42 , ESR-17 , RSP20 , 7031702 , 46064 , RSP-19 , DRS17 , RP-17 , 3S17 , WF17 , RSP-31 , RSP31 , RSP-20 , RL42 , DRS-17 , BR17P , L955060 , RL-17 , ESR17 , RL-43 , RL-21

Qty:
$11.43
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 16 psi
  • Safety Release Radiator Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1970 - Cadillac Calais V 8 Cyl 7.7L 472 7735
Stant
1987 Cadillac Cimarron Radiator Cap 6 Cyl 2.8L Stant - OE Type Radiator Cap

P311-21E3E1F    10231  New

991516 , 3673891 , 17111152062 , 15064718 , 10036879 , 10409635 , E3SZ8100A , E6LY8100A , 8-06410-785-0 , CAC3674 , D7AZ 8100 A , 703-1699 , D5VY 8100 A , E8DZ8100A , 443865C2 , E8DZ 8100 A , E6DZ8100A , 2998982 , E6DZ 8100 A , RS-64 , 0005010215 , RC54 , D5VY8100A , 4039936 , 3781830 , 06410685 , RC 96 , E2FZ8100A , E1FZ 8100 A , RC 54 , 7616 , 31523 , D7AZ8100A , 6410785 , E6LH8100AA , 10049770 , EIFZ 8100 A , E1FZ8100A , 7B0121321 , 4266968 , 25730158 , 8064107850 , RC96 , A1235010115 , 1235010015 , 55111074AA , 15953298 , RC49 , 1497193 , T-10 , 8-15982-188-0 , 06410487 , 4140464 , 6410985 , A 1235010015 , E3SZ 8100 A , E6DZ 8100 B , 414 0464 , 3412851 , A170241 , E6LH 8100 AA , 6410456 , E6LY 8100 A , 4677493AA , 17 11 1 152 070 , E35Z 8100 A , RC27 , J5352954 , GRC156 , 55111074AB , 7B0121321A , 82931 , 4682828 , A 0005010215 , 55111 074AA , RC-27 , 5900584 , 8159821880 , RC36 , 52079880AA , A0005010215 , D6AZ8100A , 10231 , GRC110 , A 1235010115 , RS64 , A 0005010015 , D6AZ 8100 A , 14099684 , 55111 074AB , 8064104270 , GRC181 , 17111151700 , 09975778 , 7031699 , A1235010015 , A0005010015 , 33042 , RC 49 , RR31 , E2FZ 8100 A , 644131 , T16V , J590 0584 , 15982188 , 6410640 , 6410427 , 4401493 , E6DZ8100B , 426 6441 , 3574154 , 5017 468AA , 46043 , EIFZ8100A , J5358177 , 1235010115 , 17 11 1 151 700 , 468 2828 , 10283897 , 321121321B , T10 , RC-36 , 54819976254 , RR-31 , RC 97 , 5017468AA , 17111152070 , 4266441 , RC97 , 8-06410-427-0 , 426 6968 , 0005010015 , 6410570 , 06410782 , 5352954 , 8942287480 , J5900584 , E35Z8100A

Qty:
$5.80
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 16 psi
  • OE Type Radiator Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1987 - Cadillac Cimarron V 6 Cyl 2.8L 173 -
Stant
2006 Cadillac DTS Radiator Cap 8 Cyl 4.6L Stant - OE Type Radiator/Coolant Recovery Tank Cap

P311-54D210F    10269  New

92232910 , 92205634 , 31566 , 15293434 , T61 , 7031544 , 10305080 , T-61 , 33090 , 703-1544

Qty:
$9.40
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 18 psi
  • OE Type Radiator/Coolant Recovery Tank Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
2006 - Cadillac DTS V 8 Cyl 4.6L 281 -
Stant
1961 Cadillac Eldorado Radiator Cap 8 Cyl 6.4L Stant - Safety Release Radiator Cap

P311-3D122CE    10329  New

RC-119 , 82829 , RC119 , RL-44 , 3S16 , 5300314 , 3EG16 , ESR13 , 620206 , CSP-12 , L955094 , C1UZ 8100 A , SPT-12 , 53-00231 , 46062 , ESP-19 , BSC-12 , 861855 , RL44 , 46014 , 53-00363 , RSP16 , 53-00306 , 53-00314 , RL12 , 10329 , 53-00348 , 703-1700 , 31511 , ESP19 , RSP-22 , DRS-16 , RSP-12 , 53-00223 , SPT-16 , ESR-13 , 7713 , 5300280 , 3-S-12 , ESP12 , RC109 , RSP29 , WF-16 , SR-12 , DRS13 , S12 , SP-13 , RP-16 , 11329 , CSP12 , DRS16 , BR13P , RL14 , 7031700 , 12R5S , 5300355 , L95-5051 , L955086 , 5300363 , ESR-12 , CSP13 , RSP-29 , RSP22 , DRS-13 , L955051 , SPT12 , 5300231 , RS-512 , 5300348 , RC-109 , ST13 , DRS-16L , BSC13 , 3-EF-16 , 53-00355 , CSP-13 , 33061 , SPT16 , 3S13 , DRS16L , BSC12 , RSP-21 , ESR-16 , RSP12 , BR-12P , ESR12 , DRS12 , 5300306 , S-12 , BR-16P , ESR16 , BR-13P , 3S12 , 3-S-16 , RSP-16 , RSP21 , DRS-12 , 53-00165 , RL-41 , BSC-13 , 5300165 , RC106 , 46017 , RC-106 , 3-S-13 , BR12P , 3EF16 , L95-5094 , ESP-12 , BR16P , 3-EG-16 , SP13 , SP-12 , ST-13 , 644129 , SP12 , WF16 , RP16 , RL41 , RS512 , RL-12 , 861852 , RL-14 , PL-14 , L95-5086 , 5300223 , C1UZ8100A , PL14 , SR12 , 53-00280

Qty:
$11.47
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 13 psi W/O Factory Inst. A.C.
  • Safety Release Radiator Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1961 - Cadillac Eldorado V 8 Cyl 6.4L 390 6392
Stant
1953 Cadillac Eldorado Radiator Cap 8 Cyl 5.4L Stant - Safety Release Radiator Cap

P311-563AE79    10330  New

5096104AA , DRS29 , DRS-29 , 7B0121321C , RSP30 , 4596198 , 7716 , 703-1701 , 644130 , 7031701 , 33062 , 1501-16 , 31518 , 82830 , 11330 , ST16 , 10330 , RSP-30 , 5103476AA

Qty:
$11.47
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 16 psi W/Factory Inst. A.C.
  • Safety Release Radiator Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1953 - Cadillac Eldorado V 8 Cyl 5.4L 331 5425
Stant
1962 Cadillac DeVille Radiator Cap 8 Cyl 6.4L Stant - OE Type Radiator Cap

P311-415170A    10229  New

D2VY 8K103 A , 3M12 , C23860 , 19045-692-003 , ER12 , D2VY8100A , 3EG165 , 129 , 2143089994 , WC-14 , 19045634003 , WR16 , MB008101 , 2143089906 , 8871-15-205 , A57167 , A61784 , RC12 , 21430-10600 , BC12 , 77-513 , WA14 , 19045692003 , RS-77 , 21430M0200 , RS512A , 620202 , 127 , 1640142010 , J3239375 , 9281062570 , 1686107 , RS77 , MB221633 , ZZL015205 , D2VY8K103A , 229623921 , 299623921 , 164013601172 , 2143089900 , 1640760010 , 1640134010 , 1338045 , RC19 , RC45 , 16401-40120 , 1640160040 , RS-50A , WC14 , 171111200 , 6682274 , ZZL0-15-205 , 928 106 257 03 , 16401-42010 , 1640150010 , 16401-23070 , RS-16 , 312121321E , WA-14 , 133-8045 , RS16 , 21430U9600 , 0361865 , D8RZ8100A , 7701018380 , 82929 , DR16 , 1640123070 , DR-12 , T13 , 21430J6200 , P12 , S-12 , 2533014201 , RS50 , 21430-89907 , 130660 , P13 , RS6 , 16401-41020 , M-13 , E5TZ 8100 A , 16401-50010 , 21430-89900 , RA-14 , 17111100848 , CP-12 , 2143089902 , 25330-14201 , E7RY8100A , MB007571 , 1570172030 , 2143089990MP , 17111262051 , E9RY8100A , U95-4110 , 1640120010 , RS-40 , 2993-23-921 , 16401-36011 , 533014202 , 46010 , 299323921 , DR12 , 0766-15-205 , E2DZ 8100 A , 745124020 , 2143089905 , 16401-50010-73 , WC12 , 21430-89905 , SE0115205 , WR-16 , 076615205 , 1330143 , PA14 , 036-1865 , 3M13 , 2143089901 , 1640160010 , BR-13 , BR-16 , 123 , R-29 , 3M16 , M13 , RA-19 , 10229 , 2981-15-205 , 5364692 , 16401-36011-72 , C9AZ 8100 A , D8RZ 8100 A , 703-1697 , BC13 , RC9 , 645012012 , 19045-PA0-014 , ER27 , CP12 , 3241241 , DR-31 , 53-10694 , 21430-89990-MP , 048815205 , 33030 , A14 , J3246241 , D7ZZ 8100 A , P-13 , RS-32 , 21430U0100 , RS12A , ER-16 , E5TZ8100A , CH10427 , 2296-23-921 , 92810625703 , L954039 , 21430-C0500 , MB007900 , 2996-23-921 , RR22 , PA-14 , 645012051 , E9TZ8100A , RS-52 , 7031697 , RS-512A , D2RY8100B , 83502502 , 46031 , 3220313 , DR-16 , E7RY-8100-A , 6635784 , 7257668 , 31527 , 083915350 , 1640141020 , 025121321 , 1640140120 , L95-4004 , 133-8052 , 6410457 , 25330-11415 , 17111712669 , WC-16 , 12R5 , S12 , 663240 , 3187167 , 2143089907 , RC-22 , BC-13 , RR-29 , 16401-34010 , 21430-M0200 , 133-8078 , F2UZ8K103A , CP-13 , U954110 , ER16 , 21430-89902 , M-16 , E9RY 8100 A , 21430C0500 , E5TH8100A , RS50A , WR12 , RS41 , RC-16 , 21430-89901 , MA152550 , D7ZZ8100A , P-12 , BR-12 , 912609 , DR-13 , 7013 , RS-12A , RC6 , D27Z8100A , ER-27 , 3-M-12 , 745153010 , BR13 , 21430-89906 , RR12 , S16 , RC-12 , 2143010600 , RS-6 , DR13 , 53-10660 , 19045PA0014 , 1640141021 , WC13 , 1502172631 , WR-12 , 0839-15-350 , 0488-15-205 , 022251255 , 46007 , 16401-41021 , ER-13 , 17110152374 , 21430-U9600 , 16401-50010-72 , R29 , 21430-89994 , 16401-20010 , RA14 , MB007298 , 17 11 1 712 492 , 028121453 , RC16 , RS62 , 028 121 453 , 887115205 , 77513 , 1610771 , RC22 , D1TZ8100A , 25060143 , RR-22 , 00861125 , D2VY 8100 A , 164015001073 , 16401-60040 , 33000866 , D27Z 8100 A , 1640141010 , 16401-41010 , RC-19 , 3-EG-165 , J3239819 , RC-6 , 3-M-16 , RS-62 , M16 , 164015001072 , CP13 , 6673313 , RS40 , 16401-60010 , RR29 , SE01-15-205 , RC-45 , 2239643 , A-14 , 1338052 , RS-50 , 1640136011 , ER-19 , MB721633 , 21430-U0100 , 3-M-13 , RS52 , L954004 , C9ZZ 8100 A , M-12 , 1338078 , R12 , BR16 , 1326012 , 1640136010 , 133-0143 , ER-12 , 5310660 , BR12 , 16407-60010 , 3239375 , WC-13 , E2DZ8100A , 928 106 257 0 , 645012021 , 2143089990 , WC-12 , T-13 , 5310694 , 21430-J6200 , ER13 , 6410292 , RC-9 , D2RY 8100 B , MB007570 , 17 11 0 152 374 , D1TZ 8100 A , D2TZ8100A , 6646678 , RS32 , RS-41 , L95-4039 , WC16 , 66-3240 , ER19 , RA19 , RR16 , 16401-36010 , 298115205 , RR-12 , E5TH 8100 A , M12 , 87749607 , RR-16 , 2533011415 , D2TZ 8100 A , C9ZZ8100A , RS12 , RS-12 , 21430-89990 , E9TZ 8100 A , C9AZ8100A , BC-12 , DR31 , 17111712492

Qty:
$5.24
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 13 psi W/O Factory Inst. A.C.
  • OE Type Radiator Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1962 - Cadillac DeVille V 8 Cyl 6.4L 390 6392
Stant
1959 Cadillac DeVille Radiator Cap 8 Cyl 6.4L Stant - OE Type Radiator Cap

P311-4F56E0F    10230  New

RS53 , RS-43 , 4592098 , 5310686 , RC-44 , 6410691 , RS61 , RS-17A , RR-19 , 3EG175 , 131 , T16 , WR18 , 7B0121321C , RS-17B , RS-80 , 94222052 , RS44 , 133-9001 , RA-20 , RC-34 , 25661994 , RR17 , ZZM115205 , F4TZ 8100 B , RR-30 , 5096104AA , 94021623 , 1338060 , RS-44 , F1VY8100B , RS-53 , WC-18 , RR30 , RS17B , BC17 , RS17 , RC17 , 19045-PH7-003 , 22583309 , RR20 , FIVH8100BA , RR31 , C44995 , 9441062570 , RR-20 , WR17 , 9-21450-610-0 , ER-17 , RS80 , RS-53A , F4TZ8100B , 25060228 , RS-47A , RC19 , 1339001 , DR29 , 12339878 , RS17A , RC44 , RS-61 , WR-17 , CAC4568 , BR17 , 46008 , RS-90 , 25697430 , RS-64 , 7016 , A17 , RC-26 , SP19 , 04596444AA , 9214506100 , 4596444AA , S17 , 11 53 1 486 703 , 19045PH7003 , 7031698 , 133-8060 , M-17 , RS-17 , RR-18 , RS-40 , 125 , F1VY 8100 B , BC-17 , RR-31 , L95-4012 , DR17 , RC18 , CCC6707 , RC 81 , RS-34 , 6410665 , 620203 , 33031 , ZZM1-15-205 , RC15 , F47H 8100 AB , ER-18 , RS47A , RR18 , 944 106 257 00 , 620204 , 11531486703 , EAC4192 , M17 , WC-17 , RC34 , 3-M-17 , RS-83 , L95-4020 , 52006926 , 11171100848 , 15977333 , 9214506101 , RA20 , 9-21450-610-1 , 31528 , 3M17 , EAC3702 , RC26 , RS35 , RS83 , R31 , 82930 , RC95 , RS40 , RC33 , 52028892AA , 52014479AA , 8-94228-748-1 , RC 95 , RS60 , 8942287481 , 133-8086 , RS90 , 4693175 , 94222051 , 46032 , 5214500021 , WR-18 , RC-17 , 944 106 257 0 , 3-EG-175 , RS34 , ER18 , WA-17 , 130 , 861050 , JLM9652 , 4596198 , 53-10686 , RS53A , RC81 , 703-1698 , 53-10678 , RC-18 , RS43 , 1338086 , 94410625700 , 46009 , RR-17 , 05086226AA , ER-28 , 5352594 , RC20 , RS-60 , DR-17 , 94026437 , RR19 , 15075565 , E9DZ 8100 A , 94022635 , RC82 , DR-29 , RS-51 , 12R7 , 5310678 , RA-17 , 05278697AA , 126 , L954020 , R-31 , ER17 , 5086226AA , WC18 , 6410160 , RC 82 , E9DZ8100A , ER28 , CAC5095 , 10230 , RC-33 , WC17 , 5191233AA , FIVH 8100 BA , RC-19 , 119 , 5-21450-002-1 , R-30 , RS-35 , 94228748 , WA17 , RC-20 , SP-19 , RS64 , 94250629 , F47H8100AB , RC-15 , 17111468060 , 04693175AA , 5278697AA , RS51 , BR-17 , ST-16 , 5103476AA , 94250633 , RC29 , A-17 , RC-29 , 12474637 , 6410962 , RA17 , 8315764 , L954012 , R30

Qty:
$5.88
Stant Radiator Cap
  • ; Pressure Rating 16 psi W/Factory Inst. A.C.
  • OE Type Radiator Cap
Brand: Stant
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Block Engine CID CC
1959 - Cadillac DeVille V 8 Cyl 6.4L 390 6392
ACDelco
1988 Cadillac Allante Radiator Cap ACDelco

P311-317EAAC    W0133-1681872  New

Qty:
$22.64
ACDelco Radiator Cap
  • Gold (Professional)
Brand: ACDelco
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
1988 - Cadillac Allante
ACDelco
1999 Cadillac Escalade Radiator Cap ACDelco

P311-317EAAC    W0133-1681872  New

Qty:
$22.64
ACDelco Radiator Cap
  • Gold (Professional)
  • ; with Turning Ears
Brand: ACDelco
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
1999 - Cadillac Escalade
ACDelco
2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV Radiator Cap ACDelco

P311-368EF89    W0133-1986286  New

Qty:
$42.00
ACDelco Radiator Cap
  • Gold (Professional)
  • ; Location-Reservoir
Brand: ACDelco
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2018 - Cadillac Escalade ESV
ACDelco
2016 Cadillac Escalade ESV Radiator Cap ACDelco

P311-368EF89    W0133-1986286  New

Qty:
$42.00
ACDelco Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • Genuine GM
  • ; Location-Reservoir
Brand: ACDelco
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2016 - Cadillac Escalade ESV
ACDelco
2009 Cadillac Escalade EXT Radiator Cap ACDelco

P311-29ED154    W0133-1685730  New

Qty:
$23.20
ACDelco Radiator Cap
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CarJunky AutoAdvice

is my head gasket blew?

Showing 2 out of 2 Posts
Question From krk100 on is my head gasket blew?

I replaced the water pump, thermostat, I put orange coolant, drained the old coolant, and today the only thing the mechanic shop could tell me is the radiator cap. When I went to change the radiator cap about 3/4 of a gallon of water came out I put water because 2 days after the water pump the car started running hot and all the coolant shot out the side of the radiator weep hole. I thought the water pump wasnt installed properly but the mechanic shop today said the pressure test was ok. The car drives fine always slips once between 20mph and 45mph then smooth. The car shakes a little in idle like the beginnings of a bad mount and the car gets hot more at stop lights but only once when the coolant pretty much poured out did it get past the 1st notch after half. Does this sound like a blown head or do cadillacs just run that way? when it rises above half it drops back down to half after a minute or 2 except that 1 time. yes this is the 2000 cadillac deville! I'm trying to sale it oh yea and after replacing the radiator cap it still rose a little but I did lose water a minute ago when i changed the cap i'll check it in a minute after losing that water it still seemed pretty full

Response From Hammer Time Top Rated Answer

Please make your responses to your original question.


http://autoforums.carjunky.com/gforum.cgi?post=90914;t=search_engine#90914

97 Cadillac Deville overheating - help is appreciated

Showing 3 out of 9 Posts | Show 6 Hidden Posts
Question From xlaxplaya on 97 Cadillac Deville overheating - help is appreciated

1997 Cadillac Deville, 4.6L V8
66,000 miles

I recently got my hands on a 97 Deville in excellent condition, except for overheating issues. At first, I feared a blown head gasket or worse, but I did a pressure test and a block test, and both came back normal.

Later, I noticed that the radiator fans don't turn on, even when the coolant gets up to 225 degrees (I'm afraid to run it any hotter than that). However, the fans WILL turn on when the AC is on, and the coolant quickly goes back down to around 200 degrees. I've checked all the fan relays, and they're fine. The only other thing I can think of doing is replacing the coolant temperature sensor, but that doesn't make much sense to me. The computer is displaying the temperature on the dash; it's just not kicking the fans on unless the AC is turned on. I used a friend's scanner, and it's not throwing any error codes, and I'm getting no warning lights on the dash display.

I'm kind of at a loss here. I can't figure out what the problem is. Some questions, I hope somebody can answer them:

1. Does anybody know the temperature at which the fans are supposed to come on?

2. Is there more than one coolant temperature sensor (one to switch the fans on, and one to talk to the computer)?

3. Is there anything other than the relays and the temperature sensor that could be causing this?

Response From Hammer Time

Your problem is that you don't have a problem.

It is normal for those fans to come on at 226 deg or higher. They are intentionally programmed that way.

Response From xlaxplaya

According to the manual, normal operating temp is between 180 and 200 degrees. But thanks for the tip, I'll take it for a drive to see if I can get it above 230, and see if the fans kick on then.

Response From Hammer Time

You'll never get it that high with the car moving. The thermostat is 195 degree and it will run around 200 with the car moving but with the car stopped, the fan will let it get hotter before coming on. That's normal and done for emissions reasons.

Response From xlaxplaya

Thanks, you're right. The fans kick on around 222 degrees. I just took it for a drive and it looks like I've got bigger problems. It overheats very quickly at high RPM's (going up hills) and acts just like the gasket is blown, but as I said, I used both a pressure test and a block test, and both indicated no gasket/head leaking. But I'll make a new thread; the title issue is null.

Response From Hammer Time

Neither of those tests will tell you anything conclusively. These engines are notorious for the head bolts pulling the threads right out of the block. The only real accurate test is to use an exhaust gas analyzer over the radiator cap to sniff for hydrocarbons.

If it's consuming coolant and/or building pressure very quickly, that's likely the problem. If it's getting hot without first losing coolant, then it's likely a bad radiator.

Response From xlaxplaya Top Rated Answer

That's what I meant by "block test"; a hydrocarbons test. Should have been more specific. Actually, it looks like it might have just been a faulty radiator cap. I pressure tested the cap, and it looks like it purges at only 5psi, which could lower the coolant level, which could cause it to overheat. I'm planning on flushing the radiator tomorrow and replacing the cap, and I'll see what happens then.

Response From Hammer Time

That's what I meant by "block test"; a hydrocarbons test

You were talking about an inexpensive chemical test using blue fluid which can be very unreliable and I'm talking about a $10,000 4 gas exhaust analyzer. Not the same

Response From xlaxplaya

Oh good god. That sounds fun. Okay, I'm gonna see what happens tomorrow and make a decision from there. Thanks for your help.

Engine Melted After Repair, Dealership Blames Me?

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Question From bodhisoma on Engine Melted After Repair, Dealership Blames Me?

I brought the family's 2003 Subaru Outback Legacy to the local dealership for inspection, they said it had a leaking head gasket and showed it to me. They also mentioned the heads may need to be re-planed, and they did. I should mention that this vehicle has been maintained meticulously; oil changes on schedule like clockwork, repairs done whenever they're needed. No major troubles at all, original owner.

We picked up the car and headed out for a trip we had planned. About 80 minutes into the drive the engine just stops. Everything stops, no power steering, nothing. It is possible we simply didn't see the steam/smoke, it was raining pretty good, behind the car looked like a constant mist.

We pull over, let the steam clear, pop the hood and the radiator cap is missing, coolant all over the engine. We thought perhaps the mechanic had simply forgotten to put on the radiator cap, hoping we could replace the cap and the fluid and be on our merry way.

Not so much.

We had the vehicle towed to the nearest shop, Sears. The mechanics looked at it, said exhaust and/or compression gasses were coming through my radiator and the head job had failed and would need to be completely re-done. The oil was completely cooked. Didn't even have to put my nose up to the stick, I could smell it from two feet away.

We then had the vehicle towed back to the dealership for them to check out.

Apparently, along with whatever caused the "core" failure, the thermostat failed and the engine got, according to the dealer, "hot enough to melt some bolts." The dealer blames the incident and the destruction of the engine on my failure to see the temperature gauge.

In response to my claim that the gauge should have been replaced as part of the head repair, the dealer claims the temperature gauge is not necessarily part of the repair, only if it appears to need replacing. I replied, "so it is your position that the gauge was working properly when you examined it and failed within the next two hours?

Their answer: "Yes."

To be clear, this is not me trying to warp the dealerships argument to make it more absurd, that's verbatim.

I can't explain what, precisely, happened with the head job. They did the postmortem and have not explained the source of that failure.

All this leads me to some questions...

  1. Is there any way for their head job to have been done correctly and still have this happen? I mean, the thermostat failing had nothing to do with the core failure, it merely prevented me from seeing a warning, correct?

  2. Should a thermostat reasonably be expected to have been replaced as part of a head re-planing/head gasket job?

  3. How likely is it that the temperature gauge did not display properly? I didn't see it go up but it's not at all impossible it did register and I didn't see it.

  4. How likely is it that the damage to the engine (past the point of economic repair) occurred prior to the gauge displaying a warning level?

  5. My position is that the most likely scenario is the mechanic did not notice a faulty thermostat, and it is EXTRAORDINARILY unlikely that the device was functioning properly when the mechanic examined it and failed in the next 80 minutes. Is this position reasonable?

  6. Is the dealership's position that this is my fault, and not theirs, reasonable?

Thanks VERY much in advance!

Response From bodhisoma

What I don't get is what happened to the radiator cap? Even an engine overheating shouldn't blow a radiator cap off. Either the cap was improperly installed or wasn't installed. Without the radiator cap the coolant will boil at a lower temperature. The coolant will also get pushed out of the radiator without the cap installed.

That's an interesting question.

The guys at the Sears shop felt it might have blown off. The consensus was that with enough pressure, this could happen. Other mechanics we've spoken to have felt that there are other elements to the system that would have gone first (hoses?) before pressures sufficient to cause a cap to blow would exist.

It's worth pointing out that we could not see (a) any damage or bending to the flange which the cap grips to and (b) no damage to the point above the radiator cap where a projected cap might put a ding. On the other hand, it was pointed out that it's possible the cap split rather than being "shot" off, which would explain both of these observations.

Ultimately, the shop which performed the repair believed the cap did, in fact, get blown off and the mechanic was adamant he did replace the cap (presumably "correctly").

My soft opinion at this point is that the mechanic replaced it improperly.

I doubt many would do it but you should be advised after major work to let it prove itself before heading out on a trip right away.

It's funny you should say this. They know we've got two Subarus, we'd just brought the other one in (also for an inspection) earlier that week so taking the other would have been a non-issue. We also asked, when picking up the 2003, if we could leave the 2001 on the lot until that evening when we came back through.

We took the 2003 because it's just a bit more comfortable. If it had been suggested that we treat the 2003 gently for a spell, we would have absolutely taken that advice.

After the incident, when speaking the service manager, she indicated that after the repair the mechanic had driven the car around for a bit, I think she said 12 miles.

The question isn't whether the job was done correctly or not. It apparently wasn't. The issue is with the driver continuing to drive a hot car which is not the fault of the shop. They were responsible to repair whatever was still causing ti to overheat but the damage done by a driver that continued to drive a car too hot is not their responsibility. An inoperative temp gauge is not a "get out of jail free" card. That would have been something that the driver should have been aware of.

Fair enough but I would have 100% certainly stopped the vehicle if I'd noticed anything amiss or any gauges that looked unusual. I didn't which is why I'm wondering if the temp gauge may have also failed.

Response From Hammer Time

Fair enough but I would have 100% certainly stopped the vehicle if I'd noticed anything amiss or any gauges that looked unusual. I didn't which is why I'm wondering if the temp gauge may have also failed.

The gauge is either reading or it isn't. Even when the car isn't overheating, it will show normal operating temp and if it doesn't, that is a clear red flag for something is not right. Once you have lost enough coolant, the gauge has nothing to read anymore and would read cold but it's too late by then. It needed to be caught before reaching that point.

Gauge observations are the responsibility of any qualified car owner and driver. You don't have to be a mechanic but you do have to know how to use the warning instruments provided.

Response From Discretesignals

Radiator cap is designed to relieve pressure in the coolant system if it gets too high. It isn't designed to eject itself when the pressure gets too high. If the radiator cap was malfunctioning even then it probably wouldn't blow off.

If an oil change place such as Walmart forgets to put oil in your vehicle and you drive off and lock up the engine, they are negligent. It is true that you should check over things before you go on a long trip, but did the shop tell you to drive the vehicle locally to make sure that things work out? Probably not, so the OP decided to drive his car on a long road trip in which the vehicle was designed to do. If the temperature gauge sender wasn't registering correctly because the coolant wasn't there on the probe end of the sensor and the customer couldn't see the steam billowing out from under the hood because they were traveling at highway speeds in a rain storm, how was the OP going to tell the engine was overheating?

Response From Hammer Time

The radiator cap did not blow off if it was on properly.

The car didn't leave on a trip with no coolant as it had been driven at least a little before leaving, therefore something happened while driving. If the temp gauge worked upon leaving, at some point things changed. If the temp gauge did read normally before leaving, the car never should have left.

The head job may or may not have been faulty. The blown head gasket was the result of a previous overheating which may have been triggered by a still unknown reason that the shop never found.

Response From Discretesignals

Don't know if the OP brought the vehicle in for an overheating condition, but the OP stated they brought their vehicle into the dealer for an inspection and the dealer noticed there was a head gasket leak (probably external) which isn't too uncommon on the 2.5L engines.

Also noticed clearance between the top of radiator cap and the bottom of the hood look pretty tight. Don't know if the cap would go sailing even if it did blow off.

Response From bodhisoma

Don't know if the OP brought the vehicle in for an overheating condition, but the OP stated they brought their vehicle into the dealer for an inspection and the dealer noticed there was a head gasket leak (probably external) which isn't too uncommon on the 2.5L engines.

That is correct. We'd just moved to new state, got the cars registered, they just needed inspection stickers. We were not experiencing any problems. Heck, we were surprised to learn that the 2003 needed work at all.

Response From Hammer Time

I have changed more than a few head gaskets and my experience is that they nearly always are caused by extreme heat distortion however they very rarely leak externally. Are you sure it was actually a head gasket that they changed? Was ther bill over $1000?

My current theory is that it was malfunctioning before it left the shop.

That would flip the blame back to you for heading out on a trip that way.

Response From bodhisoma

Are you sure it was actually a head gasket that they changed? Was ther bill over $1000?

100% certain. The invoice reads:

TECH REMOVED THE HEADS AND FOUND OUT OF SPEC. HEADS WENT TO THE MACHINE SHOP FOR WASHING AND PLAINING. TECH REPLACED THE HEAD GASKETS AND ALL OTHER RELATED SEALS AND GASKETS. TECH REPLACED THE TIMING BELT. TIMING BELT TENSIONER. SPARK PUGS TEST DROVE. CONCERN CORRECTED.

I do notice that one of the parts replaced is "THERMOSTAT GASK."

(The description is truncated by the printout software, I'm assuming it fully reads "THERMOSTAT GASKET" and there isn't more information at the end.)

My current theory is that it was malfunctioning before it left the shop.

That would flip the blame back to you for heading out on a trip that way.

I guess I'm not understanding why this is so, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

The mechanic said he checked the thermostat and it was functioning properly at that time and it is the service manager's stated position that the thermostat failed sometime between when the job was finished and when the incident occurred. I don't deny that it's actually possible for this to have occurred -- after all, devices that fail do so at a discrete point in time -- but that seems extraordinarily unlikely from a simple odds perspective.

If my theory is correct (the device was not functioning to specification when I picked up the vehicle), and they admit they inspected the element, how could it be my fault that the information they gave me was not correct? Surely it can't be my responsibility to remove the motor and inspect the job myself.

Also, since I'd just picked up my vehicle from inspection and a repair of that specific part of the vehicle, what indication should I have heeded to know that this vehicle was not fit for driving?

Again, thanks for your time on this.

Response From Hammer Time

I guess I'm not understanding why this is so, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

As the owner and driver of the vehicle, you are responsible for maintaining all fluid levels and monitoring all gauges and reporting systems at all times on the vehicle that were provided to the driver.
If your airline pilot realized he didn't have accurate altitude measurement and decided to continue on a flight regardless, who's fault would it be if the plane crashes?

Response From bodhisoma

I guess I'm not understanding why this is so, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

As the owner and driver of the vehicle, you are responsible for maintaining all fluid levels and monitoring all gauges and reporting systems at all times on the vehicle that were provided to the driver.
If your airline pilot realized he didn't have accurate altitude measurement and decided to continue on a flight regardless, who's fault would it be if the plane crashes?

Ah, I think I see where we are parting.

If it was/is the case that the temp gauge was displaying properly, I would agree that future damage to the engine would be my fault, though I'd argue that we do not know what damage was done to the engine by this point and therefore how much culpability I would carry.

But the facts seems to suggest that the cap was left off, evidenced by the fact that the cap is designed to relieve pressure and other systems can handle far less pressure than the cap which would cause them to fail first and relieve the pressure on the cap. If this is correct, obviously the service center's fault since I have a reasonable expectation that they put everything back.

The coolant on top of the engine is clear evidence the coolant exited the system upward, caused by the compression and/or exhaust gasses exiting from the engine, which the Sears dealership demonstrated for us.

If the coolant exited, the gauge would not read correctly.

Therefore I think it's reasonable, albeit not certain, to believe the cap was left off, the coolant was forced out by gasses being vented by the head and without coolant the gauge was not capable of displaying anything.

Is there a flaw in there somewhere?

Response From Hammer Time

Good luck convincing them of that scenario.

Response From bodhisoma

Good luck convincing them of that scenario.

Fair enough.

Based on the information as presented, what's your guesses as to the likely sequence and an estimate of how likely each of those sequences are?

Again, can't thank you enough for your input on this.

Response From Hammer Time

One thing we all pretty much agree on is that about you can do is fall on the mercy of whatever help the dealer is willing to do for you. They have legal ground to stand on here so they wouldn't be required to do anything but most reputable businesses will try to help in some way.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

This thread is sure flying along. OP - You've new in town didn't you say? If you go legal you will probably bite off your nose to spite your face.

I'm not seeing a whole lot cut and dried about this whole thing,

T

Response From bodhisoma

Thanks for the replies guys. I'll proceed with the 92k engine.

I'm still interested in hearing what you all think the most likely sequence of events are, given the circumstances, but that's more for my own curiosity on how things work.

Also, if you were in my position, would you still do business with this establishment?

Response From re-tired

If it is convenient to use the dealer and his pricing is competitive I see no reason not to use him. They (the dealership) will most likely have the service mngr himself drive your car after future repairs . Not really , but they will double check stuff. It is my humble opinion the cap was left off or loose. In 30 + yrs i have never seen a cap BLOW off. And the engine temp snuck up on you. A so called idiot light may have been better in this case. You stated that you were driving on a highway and it was raining. Meaning you had your eyes and concentration outside the car. Move on to the next crisis . WHich is just around the next curve.

Response From Discretesignals

One thing that would deter me from going through all the hassle of legal action would be having to deal with this....LOL



Response From Discretesignals

What is the mileage on your engine? I believe you should take what the dealer is offering on the 92K replacement engine. If the replacement engine isn't leaking at the head gaskets, the dealer isn't going tear it down and replace the head gaskets for free as preventive maintenance. Besides if they crack open the engine, that might breech the contract of the warranty from who they are getting the engine from. You could try taking legal action against them, but as RT stated winning is slim to none unless you can prove without a doubt damage was due from their negligence of not following proper service procedures. So far there is doubt about what happened to the radiator cap and if a failure of the thermostat was the cause.

Response From Discretesignals Top Rated Answer


If your airline pilot realized he didn't have accurate altitude measurement and decided to continue on a flight regardless, who's fault would it be if the plane crashes?

I guess you never heard of Tuninter Flight 1153 that crashed because the plane ran out of fuel. They had installed the wrong fuel gauges in the plane.

Most people think that if the gauge is showing anything but HOT the engine is fine. I've actually had vehicles in the shop that were overheating, but the gauge didn't say so. One thing about air craft is they have redundancy. I don't think I have seen redundancy of the engine temperature indication to the driver other than maybe on Cadillac that has a message center and some Fords with CHT sensors.

Response From Discretesignals

I'm just a tech, so I don't know too much about what goes on in the management side and how they are supposed to handle problems such as yours. I can tell you though that radiator caps don't go flying off when an engine is overheating. Even if the cap were to malfunction and not relieve the excessive pressure after 16 psi, something else would blow off, such as a hose or radiator tank. Ever seen what a water heater can do when the T&P valve is plugged off and the heater element is stuck on?



Response From Tom Greenleaf

How about sitting down like common sense people and discuss with the dealer what an acceptable course of action would be to both of you to fix this car? Quite apparently it is much worse off than before it ever had this impending doom coming. There's a lot a 'grey' area with this. Problem of the sort is hard to believe nothing was noticed gauges, warning lights or what before engine fully quit.

If you need a black or white who did it on something like this it's impossible. OP know that we are techs so would have our bias on this and I'd bet every one of us has dealt with or had something go wrong. Do techs or shops own the whole car because of something that went wrong. That's for courts and none of us are going to agree totally on things we aren't even actually involved with.

I suggest taking the problem as it is now, learn by it and don't let it happen again on all sides of a problem that isn't funny for anyone involved,

Tom

Response From bodhisoma

Problem of the sort is hard to believe nothing was noticed gauges, warning lights or what before engine fully quit.

The service manager told me that if the thermostat was broken there'd be no lights. When everything just quit, the entire board lit up. The one I remember seeing was the battery but I do recall seeing a LOT of lights but then my prime concern was getting to the breakdown lane and not hitting someone while trying to get there.

As for the gauge, I can only assure you that while it's possible that I missed it, I would never in a million years ignore it. My wife is 8 months pregnant but even if she wasn't in the car, there's still absolutely no way I'd ignore an engine light.

I have been involved in several arbitrations in the past. First it is near impossible to determine after the fact which came or happened first. The chicken or the egg symdrome. IMO the customer has a resonable expectation that his/her car is repaired and fully functioal at pickup. Mr Dealer has to reallize that he is dealing with a brand loyal repeat customer. The shop is insured for such affairs. THe customer must realize that it is not a perfect world and even new parts fail, thats why even NEW cars have warrenties. Both parties should sit down and try to reach a middle ground. THe dealer with its contacts should be able to score a good deal on a used engine.THe owner should expect to pickup most of the labor. If all else fails then a neutral third party should rule with binding arbitration.

The dealership initially offered an engine with 90k miles with 1 year parts+labor guarantee. We were not thrilled with this offer, as we felt the vehicle was well cared-for and the we know nothing about the history of the used engine.

Because 90k is approaching the age at which these particular engines start experiencing problems (like needing to have head gaskets replaced), we asked the dealer to extend the warranty to 2 years on the engine, 1 year on the labor, they declined.

We asked the dealer to purchase a younger engine, they declined.

We asked the dealer to perform a preemptive head gasket replacement on the used engine, they declined.

It took a few days for us to conclude that we were willing, under protest, to accept the used engine but after accepting the offer, we got a call back saying that they no longer had access to the 90k engine and they had found another engine with 138k miles. At that point I felt we were being lied to, that the dealership was simply trying to test our limits and minimize their expenditure, and told them I would be seeking legal council.

Received a call back about a half-hour later saying they'd found an engine with 92k miles, we accepted.

I found their insistence that another system caused the problem, and that the cap blew off, and the head job was performed correctly, and that the thermostat failed after they'd inspect it, to be highly suspect at best. Now, this miraculous finding of a suitable engine after professing an inability to do precisely that, leads me to believe that the dealership is not acting in good faith.

This is why I came here to learn more.

To be blunt, if they'd replaced the engine with the used 90k and done one of the three things we asked, we'd probably have continued using them for service and purchased a new car (probably two) in perhaps 3-5 years. I think it's safe to say that's unlikely at this point.

Response From re-tired

I have been involved in several arbitrations in the past. First it is near impossible to determine after the fact which came or happened first. The chicken or the egg symdrome. IMO the customer has a resonable expectation that his/her car is repaired and fully functioal at pickup. Mr Dealer has to reallize that he is dealing with a brand loyal repeat customer. The shop is insured for such affairs. THe customer must realize that it is not a perfect world and even new parts fail, thats why even NEW cars have warrenties. Both parties should sit down and try to reach a middle ground. THe dealer with its contacts should be able to score a good deal on a used engine.THe owner should expect to pickup most of the labor. If all else fails then a neutral third party should rule with binding arbitration.

Response From bodhisoma

The car didn't leave on a trip with no coolant as it had been driven at least a little before leaving, therefore something happened while driving.

I might have been unclear, my apologies.

I'm not suggesting that the vehicle had no coolant when it left the lot, I'm suggesting that if the cap was left off, combined with gasses exiting from the head through the radiator, this would have caused the coolant to vacate and by the time the engine became overheated, there was no coolant for the thermostat to engage to detect that overheating.

If the temp gauge worked upon leaving, at some point things changed. If the temp gauge did read normally before leaving, the car never should have left.

I assume you meant to write "If the temp gauge did NOT read normally...?"

My current theory is that it was malfunctioning before it left the shop.

The head job may or may not have been faulty. The blown head gasket was the result of a previous overheating which may have been triggered by a still unknown reason that the shop never found.

If I understand you correctly, you're saying that there might have been some other system which caused the head gasket to fail.

What I don't understand is that if this is so, why did it not cause the head gasket to fail catastrophically prior to repair? It seems illogical that some fault in the system unrelated to the job they performed was bad, did not cause the original head to fail, they perform the job correctly and that external system causes the perfectly solid job to go south.

Again, thanks to everyone for the replies and helping me understand this better. It is my goal to approach this shop fairly, neither taking advantage of what happened nor getting taken advantage of.

Response From bodhisoma

Fair enough but I would have 100% certainly stopped the vehicle if I'd noticed anything amiss or any gauges that looked unusual. I didn't which is why I'm wondering if the temp gauge may have also failed.

The gauge is either reading or it isn't. Even when the car isn't overheating, it will show normal operating temp and if it doesn't, that is a clear red flag for something is not right. Once you have lost enough coolant, the gauge has nothing to read anymore and would read cold but it's too late by then. It needed to be caught before reaching that point.

Gauge observations are the responsibility of any qualified car owner and driver. You don't have to be a mechanic but you do have to know how to use the warning instruments provided.

Let me star by saying this is me trying to understand all angles and not be argumentative. I came to see if there were flaws in my logic, and I appreciate any feedback, even if it's not what I'd like to hear.

So far I've got two assumptions on which there seems to be general agreement.

  • The radiator cap was either not replace or not replaced correctly
  • The head job was bad

  • My current understanding is that both of these, if true, would be the shop's fault. It's also my understanding so far that #1 is all but certain while #2 is a little bit of a mystery.

    If the head job failed, exhausting compression and/or exhaust gasses through the radiator, it seems reasonable that an improperly applied cap would come off and, of course, one not applied at all would result in the same.

    Is it then not reasonable to conclude that the exiting gasses pushed the coolant out and unto the engine (which we observed), which would then cause the gauge to have nothing to read, resulting in no warning for me to notice?

    Response From Hammer Time

    Whenever an engine is destroyed from overheating, it is always the driver's fault, regardless of what the original cause of the overheating may be. No matter what the cause of the overheating was, it could have been repaired up until the time it was driven too far and permanent damage was done.

    I think one of the first mistakes made was to head out on a long trip immediately after a major repair like that. These things should always be tested thoroughly, locally before heading out on the highway. It is not unheard of to miss something in a situation like that but it is always the driver's responsibility to not continue to drive the car when it gets hot. If the temp gauge is faulty, that also is something the driver should realize and stop driving, especially with a car that has a history of head gasket problems.

    Response From Tom Greenleaf

    Purpose here is not to be the judge and jury of horror like this. IMO - customer is not expected to know every detail of everything at all. Would the customer be or supposed to be worried about the job done properly and check every 2 minutes after a job that it's right? No. Shop loses - cap was missing could cause all of this.

    Rock and hard place. Shop could have checked it better with a big job like this. Owner/customer shouldn't make matters worse if it isn't right. I doubt many would do it but you should be advised after major work to let it prove itself before heading out on a trip right away.

    Can be argued both ways and both be right. Should the shop be responsible for everything in a vehicle after working on it? NO. Should something like a missing radiator cap (if you can prove that) be on a vehicle after work that would require touching it? Yes.

    Does anyone win when things like this happen? Absolutely not,

    T

    Response From Hammer Time

    The question isn't whether the job was done correctly or not. It apparently wasn't. The issue is with the driver continuing to drive a hot car which is not the fault of the shop. They were responsible to repair whatever was still causing ti to overheat but the damage done by a driver that continued to drive a car too hot is not their responsibility. An inoperative temp gauge is not a "get out of jail free" card. That would have been something that the driver should have been aware of.

    Response From Discretesignals

    What I don't get is what happened to the radiator cap? Even an engine overheating shouldn't blow a radiator cap off. Either the cap was improperly installed or wasn't installed. Without the radiator cap the coolant will boil at a lower temperature. The coolant will also get pushed out of the radiator without the cap installed.

    I've never heard of replacing a temperature gauge as part of head gasket repair. It is possible that without enough coolant in the system the temperature sensor's probe can become uncovered giving you an erroneous temperature gauge reading.

    If the job was done correctly and the repair was confirmed by the technician driving the vehicle, you shouldn't be in the situation you are in.