: Is there a Northstar FAQ section?

06-02-08, 01:02 PM
I don't want to sound like a moron asking the same questions that have already been asked. Is there an FAQ section for the Northstar? Looking at buying a Seville for my wife. If I recall, the Northstar had major changes for model year 2000. I want to find out if that cured many of the known early problems with the Northstar, such as the headgasket. i.e. is the later model Northstar a reliable engine?


06-02-08, 01:20 PM
You don't sound like a moron.....good question. Trouble is, this forum is the FAQ !

There have been so many running changes within the model year/run for Seville/Eldorado/Deville FWD models that it literally takes an in depth study of past history to figure it all out. Every day, every week, there are new twists and turns to figure out and diagnose.

Yes, the post-'00 Northstar run increased engine reliability by a large margin. BUT, as in any other mechanical assembly, no powerplant/drivetrain is truly bulletproof. Your best insurance in the used car business is before you buy, find out and research as much as possible about the vehicle in question. It's your money, and a bit of sleuthing is cheap term insurance.

Short answer ?? Based on this set of forums, the later Seville/Deville FWD models are more reliable than earlier (Northstar) units. Not faultless: more reliable.

06-02-08, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the quick reply. I'm a complete car fanatic and nut. I've had lots of cars over the years, ranging from mild to wild. Heck, I even work in the auto insurance claims business and have my appraisers license. But I don't have much experience with Cadillacs, so I'm a little nervous about it. While in theory, I know how all the parts of a car work, I'm not much of a mechanic beyond doing oil changes, so I have to have someone do the work. I've got an outstanding mechanic who is a close friend and I trust 100%, but he ain't free.

I'm looking at a few cars. One is an '03 SLS, the other is an '04 SLS. They both have low miles and have been well serviced from what I can see. I know there are no gaurantees anywhere, and even a Honda Acccord or Lexus could blow an engine when it leaves the assembly line, but in general terms, I want to be sure the motor is quality (assuming it's serviced properly). I guess I just want to know on the whole, is the later model Northstar and Seville a much improved car over the '98-'99 models? i.e. if I recall, on the older Northstar, the oil pan gasket leaked a lot, and you had to pull the whole drivetrain to properly change it. Does the new model have that same issue?

06-02-08, 02:43 PM
There are a dozen or so members, experienced Cadillac tuners and mechanics all, watching this thread right now. I'll let them chime in on their '01-'04 STS/SLS experiences. (Seville ceased production around 12/03.)

Me, I'm very satisfied with my '02 F55 STS. (F55 ? What's that ?? Pull and print the RPO codes from the stickys at the top of the forums page. Then look at the Regular Production Option sticker on the spare tire cover of your prospective vehicle to figure out what's built into the car.) Might do a claims adjuster good to know what's really in a car before a (shady) client tries to rip off the insurance company......

06-02-08, 04:15 PM
My daughter has make some comments about selling her 43K Crimson Pearl '02 SLS, though she has not done anything about it yet. Since you don't have enough posts for a PM, email me if interested and I'll give you more details.