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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, My 1997 Deville needs new engine... in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Mom said few shops balked at the "Aluminum block" issue of the Northstar as well. I'm hoping it's drivable and ...
  1. #16
    optiplex is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    Mom said few shops balked at the "Aluminum block" issue of the Northstar as well.

    I'm hoping it's drivable and that she can just drive it home so that I can regroup to get it fixed by someone who knows that engine... if anything needs to be fixed at all.

    One thing I thought I may have noticed... when I shut the motor down as a precaution, prompted by the DIC to do so, I then restarted a couple minutes later to get it out of the way of traffic. I ran for maybe a minute and maybe 2-300 feet before stopping but it did seem to be "sputtering". Though I can't be sure because I was more or less at idle and lightly touching the gas. But that's the reason I pulled over, it was as though the engine seemed to be running on 3 or 4 cylinders, something like that. I took it as a sort of "safe-mode". But again, I'm not certain.

  2. #17
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    IF the engine overheated to the point at which it went into "camel mode" to protect from further overheat, it would have alternately dropped two or four cylinders from combustion - that pulls cool air into the dropped cylinders, removing some - some - heat from the engine. The cylinders dropped change so that all cylinders can shed some - some - heat, so the engine WILL run with reduced power and increased vibration.

    If someone believes that 265 degrees of block temp will warp something, they don't even want to know what temps the exhaust valve heads, ports and manifolds run at when you're calmly tooling down the Interstate at 80, much less doing speed runs to 130+.

    Your first post and Post #3 - are we sure this is a head gasket or rather a failed water pump drive - belt tensioner or w/p ???

  3. #18
    optiplex is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    Thanks Submariner,

    That's really good information.

    I am told the WP is fine, it was the belt that shredded. It was just old I guess. The dealer mech did run the engine and nothing was mentioned about a leaky WP so I assume it's fine. I did inquire about it when I paid the bill over the phone ($97 for the belt, $150 for the diagnostic) and the sales rep indicated she thought it was ok as there was nothing in the mechanics notes. This is the last time I ever deal with a dealership. They are so evasive as to exactly what's going on because I never get to talk to the actual person who is working on the car. I am not use to that. I have 3 cars of my own and a very trustworthy mechanic. I keep them in top shape so he keeps busy on my stuff alone. What I appreciate is he always explains to me what I'm paying for and why. And he usually helps me research and determine the least expensive solutions.

    As I was researching this today, I came across "Heal-A-Seal" link here on Cadillacforums. I think the engine is fine. But I'm going to go ahead and purchase that product and apply it just to be safe. I don't have any other choice. A new engine is OUT of the question for me.

    For now Mom is going to pick up the car at the stealer tomorrow and drive it to her house (8-9 miles away). She's going to take the side streets so as to do 25 mph and be gentle with the engine until I can get to Hawaii in July to sort this all out.

    To everyone that has helped with input thus far: I'll keep y'all posted and thanks so much for lending me all this advice. I really hope this story turns out for the better and we can keep the car. I grew up in Caddys. My father got a new one every 5 years, that's part of the reason Mom wanted this one and I thought it a fitting present for her 70th B-day (dad passed away). Every 3 or 4th rental with Alamo I treat myself to luxury car upgrade and usually get a CTS. So I'm a Caddy fan, but this experience with the stealer rubbed me the wrong way.

  4. #19
    amunderdog is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    Do not put the magic in a bottle into the Cadillac.
    Results are more harm then good comes from it.

  5. #20
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
    RippyPartsDept is offline Hi, I'm Chris - Please Read My Signature
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    NOOOOOOOOOOO!

    do not purchase any "FIX IT IN A CAN" product

    that stuff will not work on a northstar

    they advertise here but nobody here recommends it
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at Rippy Automotive
    Rippy is a Cadillac, Hummer, Saturn & Saab dealership - family owned and operated in Wilmington, NC since 1946
    We offer all forum members discounts on parts and freight - e: parts@rippyautomotive.com ph: 800-RIPPY-22
    <-- insert standard boilerplate about posts not necessarily representing my employer, etc -->

  6. #21
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    Quote Originally Posted by optiplex View Post
    As I was researching this today, I came across "Heal-A-Seal" link here on Cadillacforums. I think the engine is fine. But I'm going to go ahead and purchase that product and apply it just to be safe.

  7. #22
    optiplex is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    OK, so no heal-a-seal... got it. But what if the heads are warped or cracked?

    I'm not letting that particular dealer touch that car again and until I find a mechanic in the area who knows the Northstar engine, I'm stuck.

    However... good news. Mom picked up the car today and drove it home. It performed just fine. She did take the back streets but didn't go over 35 mph. No problems reported, no overheating. When she got to the dealer she told me the manager took the car around the block and he reported that it was running fine. She told him how the technician recommended a new engine, or to junk the car, and he seemed concerned. He said he plans to "talk" to that tech. She also called the BBB and they reported very few complaints of that dealer, FWIW. But just two days ago their techs told me, repeatedly, that the car was "undrivable" and that it needed a new engine. WTF??

    So hopefully the car is ok now. But, as an owner, there's no way to really know until I find the right mech to look at it. I asked Mom to just keep it parked until I can get out to Hawaii in July to take a look at it. I plan to search out a the right mechanic by then.

  8. #23
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    The chances of the heads being "warped or cracked' are slim and none. My guess is that the engine needs cooling system care and feeding by an experienced tech - or by an owner/helper that has done a lot of homework in a Cadillac website, has a good idea of how the cooling system works, and can put together a small package of parts and tools for import into the Island State. I guess there's some sort of car parts chain store on the island, so basic stuff/liquids should be simple.

    If she simply parks the car until July the battery will be dead - these cars, in proper condition, have a constant 18 - 25 mA drain on the battery to keep the module memories 'fresh" and to monitor the TheftLock system.

  9. #24
    mike5514 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    I dont know what kind of a person would frighten a older lady by telling her that the car is not drivable but its not a new scam it happen to my 80 year old mother to the tune of a valve job on her low miles v8.

    When I would visit her I would maintain and fix the car if needed when she told me about the valve job i inspected the car and for some reason i pulled the coil wire out of the distributor cap and someone had put oil in it. I wanted to go talk to the guy but mom would not let me.

    The sad thing is your mom may not trust the car anymore. Mike

    Oh and one more thing when they installed the distributor they caught the primary ignition wires between the distributor flange and the manifold.

  10. #25
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    The chances of the heads being "warped or cracked' are slim and none.

  11. #26
    optiplex is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My 1997 Deville needs new engine...

    Again, all good advice. Keep it coming.

    I did tell her to drive the car around Kapiolani Park a couple of times once a week. Probably a 3 mile trip around the park. But I don't want her getting too far from home until I can get there to assess further.

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