View Full Version : cracked engine block

lex lossing
08-09-07, 07:54 PM
Wondering if someone could help us. We have an 8 yr old SLS with a Northstar 4.6, with only 37K miles on it. Two weeks ago the engine block cracked with normal wear and tear. Long driving trips from time to time and around the city.

There had been regular maintenance without anyone who handled the car bringing up any issue or abnormality with the car.

There were no indicators or performance issues other than a "check engine" light coming on. When checked out by Cadillac dealership, they informed us the engine block was cracked. The engine was dead. Said it overheated and cracked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Has anyone else had an experience like this with a complete failure of the Northstar with relatively few miles on it?

BTW, Cadillac refuses to make good on their blown engine even with few miles. They refuse to help or have anything to do with this product of theirs that failed.

The Tony Show
08-09-07, 08:09 PM
First off, I'm sorry to hear about the troubles.

I'm assuming that the Dealership has told you that nothing can be done about the failure, but have you spoken to someone at Cadillac yet (customer service line or a zone rep for service)? I've seen a lot of Northstars overheat, but they usually just blow a head gasket and have the head bolts pull out of the block. A cracked block isn't too common.

If you're the original owner of the car then you have some leverage for getting assistance. If not, anything is a gift. I agree that it sucks to have a failure like this with such low mileage, but sometimes NOT driving a car can be worse for it than driving it.

Best of luck.

08-09-07, 09:00 PM
A cracked block is almost unheard of. I would ask them to put it on the lift and show you the crack or get a second opinion. Head gaskets could be another story and while expensive, they are much less than a new engine.

08-09-07, 10:02 PM
First, I would have to see the cracked block before I'd believe it. Without looking you cannot be sure if it's a crack or a leaking gasket. There is NO check engine code for a cracked block. There is a code for low coolant and one for overheating.

Have you ever had the coolant changed? It should have been done at 5years. The mileage is not a factor.

The engine is 5 years past the warranty end. While it might be nice of Caddy to fix it, it isn't even close to the end of the warranty, it's way past. Did you talk to Cadillac or the dealer?

A likely reason it overheated is corrosion of the head gaskets because the coolant was not changed. The engine and cradle are normally dropped to do this repair and it can get fairly expensive. This is because it is a DOHC V8 crammed in a FWD configuration. That leaves little or no room to work on the engine in the car. Without knowing what diagnostics they did I can't tell anything.

I would get another opinion on the repair as their's sounds like an effort to sell you a new car. Where are you located? Did they show you the crack?

08-09-07, 11:05 PM
I am also sorry to hear of your troubles. It has to be frustrating.

I didn't read the other posts here but I'll state what I know. The likelihood of a N* being cracked without help from a human is about 0%. You have a better chance of being struck by lighting.

The fact of the matter is the bottom end in these things are just about bulletproof. The only time there are problems like you describe is after someone neglected the engine.

Filled it with water, overheated it, ran it low on coolant. Whatever but the block didn't crack in its own through normal use and if it did you have a 1 in gozillion case.

08-11-07, 12:49 AM
I've seen a cracked block explanation for what was really the crossover seals catastrophically failing. Some mechanics are dishonest. MOST dealers are dishonest. Case in point: The parent of a friend being told she needed a new engine (due to a supposed cracked block, no less!) in a fairly new and very low mileage vehicle because a steering line broke and sprayed steering fluid all over part of the engine. They tole her it was oil and that the engine was cracked.

08-11-07, 07:55 AM
Don't take this the wrong way, but it is not a CRACKED block. It has a coolant leak from a crack in the block.
I have seen too many and I have pictures. It is simply a bad casting. I will also go on record as saying it is a 99 and prior block. I am 99% sure of that. Yes the same bad casting that I say not to put TimeSerts in. Say bad casting issue that the redid for 00+. Hmmmm.
The bad casting was always in the block. That is why I say that the block did not or is not cracked. It is not fractured. It is peeling. GM sells short blocks for about $3600 + head gasket and the additional parts.
Have you had ever piece of maintenance done at the dealer? Brakes, Tires, alignments, oil changes, coolant flush? If you can say yes to that question then you are a loyal customer. That is the term that needs to be used when talking to GM. They will call the Franchise/dealer and confirm. They will not want to loose a loyal customer to BMW. On the other hand if you are not a loyal customer and bought a used Cadillac at a caddy dealer or a used car lot you will get nothing, because they owe you no loyalty.

08-24-07, 06:59 PM
Please Let Us Know What You Learn

08-25-07, 07:25 PM

All too often someone comes on, asks for info, and we never hear from them again. It gets very annoying. When you search problems you'll find too many that never gave a resolution.

08-26-07, 11:57 AM
Sorry about that. I see yiou are in AZ - me too - in Fountain Hills

08-26-07, 01:52 PM
Tateos, I'm near Scottsdale and Carefree Hwy.

09-08-07, 10:27 AM
Wow - that's really close. I am going to do the HG thing pretty soon to my 97 ETC, as soon as things cool down a little here in AZ.

Richard Moore
Fountain Hills

09-08-07, 12:29 PM
At this rate it'll be next summer before it cools down!