Engine/Warranty Troubles
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Engine/Warranty Troubles in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; The Back Story In September 2008 I purchased my 99 Deville with 98k miles on it. The terms of the ...
  1. #1
    byndbnds.56 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1999 Deville Delegance
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    Engine/Warranty Troubles

    The Back Story

    In September 2008 I purchased my 99 Deville with 98k miles on it. The terms of the used car loan were that I would need to purchase an extended, 3rd party warranty. I had no issues aside from a faulty fuel gauge up until February or March of this year when the upper radiator hose had split. The hose was replaced with in the next day and there wasn't any further problems until Easter weekend...

    I was heading out on a 230 mile trip to visit family...I had traveled around 30 miles when I noticed the coolant temperature was abnormally high and rising.. It had risen into the 250s before I pulled over and turned off the engine. I turned the car back on and idled the engine and the temperature quickly came back down and I started off again. Not long after I would have to pull over yet again... I made the trip slowly and carefully and 3-1 gallon bottles of coolant later I made it to my destination.

    After the weekend had passed, I took the car to a local mom and pop shop and they replaced the radiator under the extended warranty. Less than 30 miles later on the drive home, the temperature started to rise again... I made it back home with minimal problems by cranking the heat up and keeping my speed at an average of 50MPH... By doing this I maintained around 206 degrees on the trip home.

    This time around I took the car to an actual Cadillac dealer who told me the thermostat was shot...they replaced it under warranty and all seemed well, at least for a few days.

    Problem Found

    A week later I dropped off the car to the Caddy dealer and noon time they left a message saying the time serts needed to be replaced and that the head gasket is leaking and causing my rising temperatures.

    To my dismay, in order for the warranty to cover the engine repair they require a tear down of the engine (at my expense, unless the repair is determined to be covered) to verify the cause of the gasket problem was not caused by the overheating problem. I don't have $900 to dish out for the tear down, let alone gamble on a repair that may not even be covered by the extended warranty.

    This problem has put me between a rock and a hard place... The Caddy is my only source of transportation, work is a 36 mile drive one way, and I'm stuck with a 40 month loan on this vehicle of which I'm only a quarter of the way through with paying. I've done everything in my power to maintain the vehicle..but now I have to worry about the future of it and the loan.

    A Loop Hole?

    Almost every mechanic I've talked to thus far, from the mom and pop shop to the dealer warned me about this particular model of Caddy.. I've searched through forums and message boards trying to find some kind of answer or to see if there was a recall or any technical service bulletins.

    In the last few days, my searching has finally paid off, or so I hope. I found 3 technical service bulletins listed on the Office of Defects Investigation's website.

    The NHTSA item number(s) are as follows:
    • 613599
    • 6089931
    • 6089009

    There is also a service bulletin number listed which is "99086"

    Summary
    I'm 1/4 the way through a 40 month loan with a 10 year old vehicle (I have a two year/24 month extended warranty) that has a known problem with loose head bolts. How should I proceed? Who should I contact? What's the chance of my car being fixed? What are my rights as a consumer?

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  3. #2
    cadillac_al is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Cadillac 78 Seville, 78 Coupe de Ville, 92 Sedan de Ville
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    Re: Engine/Warranty Troubles

    I always thought those extended warranties had to be a rip off. Thanks for sharing how the scam works. The warranty company knows about the Northstar head gasket problems and they have already made up their mind not to pay for yours. Somehow you are going to have to come up with a couple grand to get it fixed right. If you are close to Canada you could take it to the stud guy that advertises at the top of this forum.

  4. #3
    Playdrv4me's Avatar
    Playdrv4me is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Engine/Warranty Troubles

    You're actually lucky that they'd even CONSIDER doing the job after the tear-down to be honest. Most 3rd part extended warranties get around this by simply leaving seals and gaskets coverage OUT of the warranty in the fine print and explicitly denying anything related to overheating. It is an iron clad way to avoid paying for this expensive repair. It would be HIGHLY unlikely that you let the engine get hot enough to do this damage, and we all know this is an extremely common problem on the N* having nothing to do with prior overheating, it just happens when it happens.

    Unfortunately, that explanation isn't going to fly with an organization determined to keep their money. Honestly, a REPUTABLE Cadillac dealer should be all too familiar with this problem and have no problem backing you up after they tear down the engine, ESPECIALLY if they want to make the $$$$ on the pricey headgasket repair. There is no reason the dealership and the warranty company should be in bed together and thus if I were in your shoes, I'd try to come up with the 900 for the teardown somehow.

    Your only other option is to go the underground route and find a mechanic who will say what you want quid-pro-quo if you know what I mean.

    Sorry about your luck, we see this all too often here and it is really sad.

  5. #4
    Jesda's Avatar
    Jesda is offline Super Moderator
    Automobile(s): An endless stream of Sevilles.
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    Re: Engine/Warranty Troubles

    Risk the $900, otherwise you have nothing but a boat anchor in your driveway.

  6. #5
    byndbnds.56 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1999 Deville Delegance
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    Re: Engine/Warranty Troubles

    It still drives, but I have to constantly monitor the coolant temperature. I typically have no problems unless it's above 70 degrees outside, and in that case, typically just keeping the heat cranked keeps the temperature in the low 200s.

  7. #6
    Playdrv4me's Avatar
    Playdrv4me is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Engine/Warranty Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by byndbnds.56 View Post
    It still drives, but I have to constantly monitor the coolant temperature. I typically have no problems unless it's above 70 degrees outside, and in that case, typically just keeping the heat cranked keeps the temperature in the low 200s.
    This is a band-aid solution and will NOT work forever. You need to get the car fixed properly or dump it for whatever you can get and buy another cheap car.

    There are 4.9 V8 Cadillacs (i.e. AVOID NORTHSTAR next time) out there for 1500.00 in very respectable condition. I don't see a solution to this problem that doesn't involve some level of cash outlay... although if you have the engine torn down you might get that money back.

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