: Do you use dealer for Northstar repairs?



RoadTrekker
11-11-07, 02:11 PM
I bought a 99 Deville a few months ago and it has 71k miles on it. I'm already looking at a dealer proposal for a $3000 repair bill for an engine oil leak between the oil pan and lower crank case.

Here's what I want to know: What cheaper maintenance things should one do to to a late 90s Deville to prevent more expensive failures later on?

RoadTrekker
11-11-07, 02:25 PM
Do you take your Caddie to the dealer or an independent repair shop for repairs to your Northstar engine?

What is the reason for your choice?

Do you find it hard to locate a non-dealer repair shop that will work on a Northstar engine?

Are the skills required so rare that you better take it to the dealer?

I ask all this because I'm wondering whether to accept a dealer's price quote of $3000 to fix an oil leak where the oil pan meets the lower engine block. Should I shop around? How much might I hope to save?

CadillacSTS42005
11-11-07, 02:37 PM
i do them myself

JN in CA
11-11-07, 03:23 PM
Dealerships are very expensive, no question. I live where there are several, so I can shop around.

The half case leak is one thing that does pretty much have to go to the stealer, because they have to be able to support the whole front end to get to and fix the leak.

If, and that's a big if, you go ahead and get it fixed, at least it is a one time thing. They now have a new silicone gunky sealer that will last a thousand years. It's much less likely to ever leak again than with the original.

You asked essentially the same thing twice. See my reply to you other question.

afterburn
11-11-07, 03:30 PM
I do it myself, once you get a hang of the engine style, you'll notice how easy the engine actually is. I used to work with big block engines and old ford engines and old chevy engines, this is a step up but you'll get the hang of it once you understand how its working. The electrical part of cars I always seemed to be VERY bad at.

JimD
11-11-07, 06:35 PM
I bought a 99 Deville a few months ago and it has 71k miles on it. I'm already looking at a dealer proposal for a $3000 repair bill for an engine oil leak between the oil pan and lower crank case.Don't do that. That leak will not hurt anything and $3,000 will buy more oil than you can store.

Here's what I want to know: What cheaper maintenance things should one do to to a late 90s Deville to prevent more expensive failures later on?
Coolant. Keep the coolant fresh to maintain the proper level of corrosion inhibitor chemistry. If you do not know when the coolant was last changed, change it now and then follow the 5 year or 100,000 mile (whichever occurs first) schedule.

Some of use paranoid Cadillac drivers follow a 4 year schedule. And then there are those that follow a 3 year schedule....

Ranger
11-11-07, 06:35 PM
Are you sure it is a pan gasket leak or the halfcase? Either way is an expensive repair as the engine needs to be dropped. If it is just seepage, I'd leave it be. If you decide to do it and it IS the halfcase, let someone who is knowledgeable about the Northstar do it. If it is the pan, you could try pulling one bolt at a time (those that you can get at). Clean the hole & bolt with Brakleen. Blow out the bolt hole with compressed air. Apply some Permatex thread sealer to the bolt threads and reinstall. That MAY slow it down some.

misfit6794
11-11-07, 08:52 PM
Switch to synthetic, and change it regularly. Also regular coolant flushes. You should have the brakes bled if they never have been, the brake fluid does go bad after awhile. If you really want to prevent any sort of maintainence in the future, just put it in drive, get out, and let it roll of a bridge or mountain.

RoadTrekker
11-11-07, 09:31 PM
Ranger, I do not know what it is exactly. I know that I sometimes get smoke coming up from under the hood and it goes thru a quart of oil in about 300 miles. When I told the dealer about the smoke the dealer came back with a problem description that sounds like the problem is where an oil pan attaches to the engine. Mind you, I didn't write down what I was getting told over the phone.

They told me they would have to pull out the transmission and engine to make the change.

I wonder if I should try to get an independent garage to look at it or just spend the $3k. The first garage I talked to told me it goes beyond the scope of what they'd feel comfortable doing.

I've been driving a Benz for years and have a much better idea of who to go to in my town for Benz work. For Caddies I do not know.

med
11-11-07, 10:13 PM
I have a half-case leak and I just let it bleed. It loses about the same amount of oil. The smoke is there sometimes. It would be nice to find a way to keep that oil off the exhaust (bottom of crossover especially!). Any ideas?:suspect:

Ranger
11-11-07, 10:31 PM
A qt in 300 miles is a BAD leak. Anyone that does it is going to have to drop the drivetrain. I would be sure that they are familiar with the Northstar. Many independents aren't.

codewize
11-11-07, 10:32 PM
Looks like everythings been said, but to answer your questions I guess it depends on the task at hand. The oil pan I wouldn't do myself only because I don't have the proper tools, 1 being a lift.

If I have a garage to work in and the proper equipment to do the job no one would ever work on my vehicles except me.

Now, something like that I would take to a dealer if I were going to have it done unless i had a good mechanic who I trusted.

I will say I had my transmission done at an independent shop who I've worked with over the years and he's very very well know for hi quality work. He also told me that the 4T80E was one of the most complex things he's ever worked on and he's been doing this for over 30 years. In some ways wish I went to the dealer instead.

Ranger
11-11-07, 10:35 PM
In his thread in the Northstar section he says the leak is 1qt/300 miles.

Roadtrekker,
You need to keep this in one place so people can keep up. I am going to merge them.

med
11-12-07, 09:09 AM
"A qt in 300 miles is a BAD leak. Anyone that does it is going to have to drop the drivetrain."

I agree with you Ranger and I misread Roadtrekker's post. My leak is about a quart every 1300 to 1500 miles, not 300. I guess there isn't any easy fix for oil on the exhaust giving occasional smell/smoke problem. I hope to get it fixed some day if the car makes it to some higher mileage. It seems like dropping the motor for the half case leak is a big and costly endeavor (it is a Cadillac on the other hand). Exceeding 1qt every 1000 miles is cause for getting it looked at and fixed. Probably not a good idea to park it on your friend's new driveway!

Cadillacboy
11-12-07, 11:29 AM
Dealer as not a DIYer lol

codewize
11-12-07, 11:20 PM
If you're considering a high stall converter, that's the time to do it. :) As soon as my car is paid for I'm going to have my half-case or oil pan resealed, assuming it'll be worse by then.

At that time I'm definitely doing the converter since I got screwed on it the last time things were apart.

Sorry I didn't mean to hi-jack the thread. I'm just rambling :cool2:

dwight.j.carter
11-13-07, 12:06 PM
I do what I can myself as my toolbox is limitted outside of that I have a mechanic I take it to that does an awesome job.