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How to Check for Cooling System Leaks in a Cadillac Escalade

by Contributor

A leaking coolant system is something that can go unnoticed if a Cadillac Escalade owner isn't vigilant. If the cooling system malfunctions, the SUV can overheat and seriously damage the engine resulting in a large bill from the auto mechanic. Checking for these leaks is relatively simple and most anyone can do it.

Step 1

Look on the ground underneath where you regularly park the Cadillac Escalade for coolant. Usually coolant is bright green or orange, but it can be yellow, pink, red or blue. Therefore, it should be easy to spot on the surface where you parked the SUV.

Step 2

Check the water pump and the shaft seal on the pump. The water pump moves the coolant from the radiator to the engine and this can be a primary place where leaking occurs. The water pump is usually between the radiator and the engine. If there is a leak, you will notice discoloration for older leaks and fresh coolant for newer leaks.

Step 3

Inspect all the hoses that connect the heater core and the radiator to the engine. Because these hoses are rubber, they're especially susceptible to cracking, splitting and weather conditions that can cause them to leak.

Step 4

Use a flashlight to check every visible area of the radiator. Radiators have a core of aluminum as well as plastic tanks prone to leaking. To check the radiator properly, you need to get underneath the Cadillac Escalade to view the underside of the radiator for potential leaks.

Add fresh coolant to the radiator and take the Cadillac Escalade for a 15-minute drive with the heater turned to the high setting. Park the Escalade and let the radiator cool off. Once it's cool to the touch, remove the radiator cap. If the coolant level went down, then there may be an internal leak, which a professional mechanic will need to check to verify.


  • Sometimes coolant level can drop right after you flush the radiator due to air in the system. If this happens, refill the radiator and drive the Escalade for a few days. Then, recheck the coolant level to verify the drop, which could indicate a leak.
  • If the Escalade shows significant leakage it's a good idea to take the SUV to a cooling system specialist as significant leakage may indicate a serious cooling system problem.


  • Be very careful when opening a radiator, because the internal pressure can cause it to erupt and burn anyone in the area.

Items you will need

  • Flashlight
  • Coolant

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