Northstar coolant loss

Ed Lansinger elansi01 at
Thu May 18 02:51:39 GMT 1995

Jack Mott wrote:

>A fairly remarkable comment was made that the Northstar V8 (and I assume
>the derivative Oldsmobile Aurora V8) could run in a mode without coolant,
>pumping air and normally combusting alternately on two cylinder banks.  I
>assume that this is some sort of failure mode that allows the owner to
>make his way to a service station.  Is this correct?  Could anyone from GM
>(Ed or Andrew) elaborate?

That is absolutely correct.  The algorithm was initially suggested by
Bill Bolander (now here at the Powertrain Control Center) as a result of
research he did his Senior year in college while he interned at GM.
Bill Bolander, in case the name sounds familiar, is the recipient of the
first MIT-Lemelson award for innovation that was recently publicized.  The
research focused on heat dissipation in aluminum block engines.  The success
of the algorithm is predicated on the block being aluminum, I believe.  If
the engine goes into "camel mode", the oil should be changed ASAP, but
the internals remain unharmed.

Algorithms are considered proprietary and strategic, so I'm not sure how
much more detail I can give about it.  If anyone has a real need to know
more I can ask.

Ed Lansinger
General Motors Powertrain
Powertrain Control Center
Premium V Software & Calibration Group (Northstar & Aurora)
Milford Proving Ground, Milford, MI
elansi01 at  8-341-3049  (810) 684-3049

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