: Northstar mechanic in the Massachusetts??



cpoleary
09-12-07, 11:34 AM
Has anyone ever had a head gasket job done in Massachusetts? Iím looking for a mechanic that will do it right the first time and for a reasonable price, (if there is such a thing).I have a 99 STS with 120k miles on it and I seem to be losing coolant every 2k miles or so and the car has been running hot at times. If I downshift into 3rd and rev the engine a little the temp will return to normal. There are no visible leaks and I had the water pump and belt replaced 1 Ĺ years ago, or about 15K miles.I know I can buy the test kit for exhaust gases but Iíd rather find a person that can to the cylinder leak-down test to make sure itís properly diagnosed.So can anyone recommend a good Northstar mechanic in the Massachusetts, Southern NH, or RI area?Thanks, Chuck


I've also posted this in the Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum sorry if this appears to be spam but I don't know how to remove the other entry.

2of8meng@cox.net
09-14-07, 10:08 PM
Chuck,
If you have had a problem with you Northstar over heating go to (Heal -A -Seal.com) and read up on this stuff. (1-877 - 2569 349) EXT. 4 Talk to Mr C.
It's new and it will save you money and rid you of those headaches. My mechanic and my husband haven't said in so many words but " WAY TO GO". You won't believe how well this stuff works. It's well worth the price. For Cadillacs it's $119.00 and some change. Check it out and pass on the good news. Lets get back to enjoying our cars again without worrying about if our AAA membership is paid.
By the way, HEAL -A -SEAL you don't need a mechanic. Put it in after you flush your radiator with the stuff they send you in the kit. Drive it hard for 3 days. Drain and flush again. Put in new antifreeze and you're done.

Sharon from Northern CT

2of8meng@cox.net
09-14-07, 10:14 PM
By the way, HEAL -A -SEAL you don't need a mechanic. Put it in after you flush your radiator with the stuff they send you in the kit. Drive it hard for 3 days. Drain and flush again. Put in new antifreeze and you're done.

dkozloski
09-14-07, 11:02 PM
By the way, HEAL -A -SEAL you don't need a mechanic. Put it in after you flush your radiator with the stuff they send you in the kit. Drive it hard for 3 days. Drain and flush again. Put in new antifreeze and you're done.
Coming on this forum and brazenly touting this worthless crap verges on being a criminal act. You should be banned from this forum forthwith.

Ranger
09-14-07, 11:07 PM
Mechanics aka hope in a bottle does not work. It may work for a while, but it will not last.

MJJ
09-14-07, 11:55 PM
By the way, HEAL -A -SEAL you don't need a mechanic. Put it in after you flush your radiator with the stuff they send you in the kit. Drive it hard for 3 days. Drain and flush again. Put in new antifreeze and you're done.
By the way, is this the same stuff as SPAM-A-SCAM? :shhh:
:D (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_oil)

cpoleary
09-15-07, 04:42 PM
Yeah, um... I think I'll go with something more then snake oil.:helpless:

I dropped it off Monday morning at Long Cadillac in Southborough. Has anyone ever delt with them?

I hope it's not the HG but I think it is. I'll keep you all posted.

cpoleary
09-27-07, 11:27 AM
Just got the work last night, needs HG’s. $3500.00 with all 20 holes timeserted. I’m still pondering it. This is a 99 STS with 121000 miles.

cpoleary
09-27-07, 12:42 PM
~ small rant ~
I understand why head gaskets go and what it takes to fix that particular problem.

The design of the car requires that the motor be dropped out of the bottom to be able to easily do the job correctly, is this only due to the timeserting or would this need to be done anyway? If they could be replaced in the car without timeserting then this would be a huge labor/cost savings.

The owner is obviously responsible for the failure since it was due to poor maintenance. However, the poor block design without steel inserts is a manufacturing defect. The typical head gasket job does not require drilling, tapping, and the installation of steel insets into all head bolt holes. Therefore, in this case I think GM should be willing to cover Ĺ the labor cost.

cpoleary
09-27-07, 02:10 PM
Hmmm... Diamond Cadillac says they can do the timeserts, case seal, rear main and oil pan gasket for $4300.00 and it will only take 2 days to do job.

The price is great but can all this work really be done in 2 days?

Anyone ever deal with Diamond?

Ranger
09-27-07, 09:45 PM
Replacing the head gaskets without Timeserting the block is almost guaranteeing a future failure. That is assuming that the threads do not pull as the head bolts are being torqued. If anyone even suggests it, walk away. They are not experienced. I think 2 days is doable for an experienced mechanic with all the proper tools and equipment. GM won't cover anything on a '99.

cpoleary
09-28-07, 01:42 AM
Thanks for the feedback Ranger.
I spoke with Brian at Long Cadillac and he said its their policy to do all the bolt holes. He said sometime they get to the last bolt and it doesn't hold. Or even worse, it lets go in a few months.

I shopped around and the estimates for the HS were from $3300-$5800, and for HG and case seal were $4200-$6000+.

One dealer I called told me GM recommends replacing the engine since there is no way to reliably fix it. yeah right, 121000 and I want to spend over
10k to replace it! Another dealer told me $5800 if nothing "breaks", otherwise 10k for a motor.

I was just a little uneasy with the dealer that said the whole job with resealing the entire case would be $3800 and 2 days of work.

In the end I went with Brian at Long Cadillac. He talked to me with no BS and we were able to work out a deal that was good for both of us.

I used to turn wrenches for a living before I got into software development, (I really wished I was still a mechanic most of the time). He didn't know this but he also did treat me like an idiot.

I also don't think GM will do anything for me, but I still think it sucks that poor design leads to the need for timeserts.I can deal with the dropping the cradle, there is a lot of motor in a small space. I can also deal with the HG going, the prior owner obviously didn't keep up with the scheduled maintenance, not GM's fault. What kills me is someone thinking that hardened bolts into threaded aluminum was a good idea.

I love this car and it's worth the fix to me. However this is the LAST General Motor's for me. I have an 03 Malibu that's been at the dealer for 3 weeks with a pass-lock issue that I'm into for over a grand. To bad, I really like the 08 STS-V, my girlfriend likes the Jag XJR.

Mark C
09-28-07, 03:17 PM
Just finished timeserting my 97 STS N* in my driveway in Shrewsbury, right up the street from Long Cadillac (bout 10 Miles up Rt 9). Took me 3 weeks working on it when I felt the mood. would have taken alot less time if I dropped the cradle out right from the start, but being a longtime Chevy owner, I figured I could get it apart inside the engine compartment. Actually got the front head off, and rear valve cover, but there was no way i was getting the rear head off from above so i dropped the whole cradle onto a set of 4X4's pulled the front struts off and dragged it out with my Jimmy. Once it was out it was a breeze. Took less time to yank the rear head and put 20 inserts into the block than it took me to get the waterpump crossover out when the engine was in the car. Whole thing is back together and running fine, no codes present and the temperature guage sits about 1/2 needles width above the center of the gauge. Now I just need to get it aligned.

cpoleary
09-28-07, 04:07 PM
Nice work Mark. When I gave up working on cars for a living I sold most of my tools. Plus not having a garage to work in means I needed to pay someone to do it. I would love to have had the time and place to do this since I'm usually up for a good challenge.

I need to do the front brakes before the end of the year but that's just a Sunday afternoon in the driveway.

In the spring I need to have a few parking lot dings repaired, (you know, people in mass seem to love to fling their doors open:mad2:). I even saw a woman is Stop & Shop use a newer Mercedes to park by braille last weekend.

Overall I love the car and can't believe I even thought off dumping it for something else.

Mark C
09-29-07, 09:52 AM
I have a garage but my 69 Camaro pacecar convertible sits in it, and its not really big enough to do any work in, especially fo somthing as long as the STS is. Did it in my driveway on a set of jack stands and my 3 ton floor jack. Still have little bits of aluminum shavings from drilling the block down in the crevices of the tar. Thats why I did it now, so I wouldn't have to lay in the snow later this year, plus the car was not really driveable over any distance greater than 5 or 6 miles. Figure it only cost me about 1K and thats including the Timesert kit, which I got off of Ebay and will put back up on Ebay eventually. I've got a couple of dings here and there, thought I would take it to one of those paintless repair places (theres one in Shrewsbury) and see if they can do anything with them.

cpoleary
10-09-07, 11:57 AM
Well I got the car back from Long on Saturday, the job took about a week but the car is running GREAT! :dance:
A trip through the mountains of Vermont and NH over the weekend and the needle stayed at Ĺ way the whole time.

Brian Wilcox was the service advisor that I dealt with. They did the timeserts, case seals, water pump cover, thermostat and a few other misc things that needed fixing as well. Like a rotted manifold pipe, AC high-pressure switch, and oil level indicator switch.

While I not happy with the labor charge since I see no reason way timeserts should be SOP for any engine HG repair, I am happy that itís done.

So if youíre in the area try them out, ask for Brian and mention my name.



All that said, I can tell you that Iím finally giving up on GM cars. This car has been a money pit and has spent way too many hours in the garage for the cost of it all. I also have an Ď02 Malibu that has been at the dealers for a few weeks while they try to fix a pass-lock/no start issue. It amazes me that GM has nobody to call you back on complaints, only email saying they will get back to you within 24 hours.

Oh well, I do love the í08 STS-V but I think in the end the Lexus LS 460 is the better way to go. It must be nice for an American company to walk away from 70k+ because of arrogance.