: Added my 99 STS to the HeadGasket poll...



DAFFYDRUNK
07-02-08, 02:44 PM
The horror. 99 STS. Started acting up a couple weeks ago. Rough start for ~20 seconds. White smoke. This occasional gurgling water sound when you rev the engine. Coolant smell out of the exhaust when you first fire it up.

Strangely, not much Coolant is lost yet. Maybe a few oz a week? Topped it off when I noticed the symptoms starting but it can't be down more than maybe 8 oz in 2 weeks. Bummer. I was really stupid and paid too much for the thing since it was in nice shape. $9200. Duh. Got 1.5 years 16k out of it at least. Still runs fine and doesn't overheat... yet. How long till it's a brick? What's a 109k 99 STS with blown head gaskets worth on a trade in? I'm guessing they'll haul it away and buy me a Pepsi?

chubbyranger
07-02-08, 03:00 PM
Wow - my story written by somebody else :nono: Paid the same price and got about as far. Only difference is mine ate the exhaust cams and while they had the motor out for that found head bolts that would not hold torque. Unfortunately I don't think you'll get much for it in the land of $4 gas combined with a big repair bill. Most dealers will just pump the price of what you buy to offset so even though it looks like an OK trade in value they don't give you the discount they would have for a cash sale. And they'll just send it straight to the auction. Time to ask yourself: would I buy this car with the HGs fixed for $4000? I had mine done and it drives like a new car - but I know I'm double upside down on this ride so I'm hoping to run it until the cost/time equation averages out. Bummer though. Your time is not long - a couple weeks, a couple months? Failure will get worse quickly and likely become catastrophic at an inconvenient time. If you are contemplating fixing it you should start sooner rather than later.

DAFFYDRUNK
07-02-08, 05:17 PM
Kinda what I was figuring. Since it needs other stuff done, I think its time to walk. Only fix I would be willing to spend money on is hope in a bottle. Seeing as I'm stupid, I'm thinking about a 08 Impala SS or 08 Malibu LTZ to replace the thing. Might be some good deals and I have max GM dollars? Hmmm. Dunno. Still starting to think if I was smart I should buy a Toyota like everyone else does...

chubbyranger
07-02-08, 06:14 PM
Still starting to think if I was smart I should buy a Toyota like everyone else does...

You started off OK but went straight to the dark side :thepan:

misfit6794
07-02-08, 06:23 PM
At the risk of starting another toyota vs. gm thread...

I bought an 02 camry after having spending thousdands, yes thousands to keep my 99 blazer functioning, every month something would break, and it wasn't even up to 60,000 miles. The camry now has 97,000 and hasn't skipped a beat, oil, tires, and brakes are the only thing its needed. I don't see how you can bash something so cheap to own, and mine, like nearly all, was built in kentucky.

ryannel2003
07-02-08, 07:15 PM
I just got out of my 2000 Camry, and while it was a great car it was so incredibly boring to drive. There was absolutely no thrill at all, it was just there. Sure I got great gas mileage and great reliability, but I was tired of blending in to the pavement. Plus, my Camry did have some issues. My sunroof assembly snapped in half a year ago and I was quoted $1000 to get that fixed... its still broken. My transmission slider cover cost $154 to fix. Yep, the cheap piece of plastic that cost 50 cents to make in Japan cost me $154 to fix. Ridiculous. On top of that, the paint started to chip off the bumper and hood and aged more rapidly than an 8 year old car should. If you to decide the Toyota route, you'll be disappointed in the Camry SE V6. It's really not that fun to drive, it just sounds better.

Now if you go the Chevy route, I recommend the Impala SS. My grandfather has an '06 and the only issues he's dealt with were the Tire Pressure Monitor's, and he got those fixed under warranty. The car is fast as hell, very comfortable, and is a decent handler. I've read articles saying the SS handles very similarly to the Seville STS; not a bad thing in my book.

I've seen a few '08 SS's with leather seats, sunroof, xm, etc. going for $23k with a certified warranty and 10k +/- miles. They sticker for $30k new, so going certified is the best route IMO.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-02-08, 07:50 PM
You'll love the power of the SS, but that Malibu is SUCH a looker.

danbuc
07-03-08, 10:26 AM
Just thought I'd throw my $.02 in. My '98 STS uses a tiny bit of coolant, almost negligable. Have to top it off about 1 every 6 months. I've got a little white smoke every now and then from the exhaust too, and when it happens, it's got that sweet coolant smell. It has never overheated except for when my w/p tensioner exploded and it got half passed the last hashmark before the red when I shut it down. Other wise problem free. This has been goin on for at least two years, and I've driven the car over 40k miles since I noticed it starting to smoke alittle sometimes, and using that small bit of coolant. It's never gotten any worse, and sometimes the coolant level doesn't drop for a while too. I beat the ever lovin piss out of this things and it hasn't failed yet. If it's gonna fail, it's gonna fail. I would just drive it and enjoy it for now as long as it's running ok.

I do consider myself lucky to have a '98 with 130k on the odo, and still have the original h/g's and all my electrical equipment (including my third brake like) working perfectly. Good luck with whatever you choose to do......as long as it doesn't involve Toyota.:thumbsup:


edit: Crap, now that I said that, I'm gonna get in my car after work and both h/g's will be bad, and nothing in my car with turn on....DOH!:hide:

DAFFYDRUNK
07-03-08, 12:04 PM
Yea... Don't think I can do A Toyota either even if it might be more reliable. Everyone and their mother has a Camry it seems. GF wants the Malibu LTZ, but there's no deals on em yet. Looks like performance wise it's about even with the 5th gen STS, and it's a nice looking car. In Iowa, the STS heated seats would be missed, but thats's the only drawback I see to the Malibu. Dig the idea of the 6 speed auto. Not sure about deals on the SS other than they have 0% financing. A couple black on black SS around here, and I figured that might be a satisfying car.

I wish there was a cheaper way to fix this STS as it looks nice and all the electronics are in perfect working order. Needs head gaskets, new struts (I'd do passive), rear rotors and appears to have a seeping power steering line althout it takes a couple months before I have to add ps fluid. Also has a small case of the 68 MPH shimmy. Just hate to drop ~$5k on the thing only to have something else expensive go wrong. Seems like a bad gamble.

add: Topped of the coolant last night. Ate about a pint in 2 weeks.

misfit6794
07-03-08, 12:39 PM
An impala may be a really good option, the depreciation is staggering, even if it is an ss, you can pick one up with less than 20K miles for around 17-19K. Probably won't be able to get a good deal on a malibu until they've been out for a little longer. But now is the best time of the year to buy a car.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-03-08, 01:25 PM
You can get heated seats in an LTZ Malibu or Impala SS.

shaynes302
07-03-08, 03:22 PM
You guys are making me worry about mine. I love my old caddy she is a 99 with about 67 thousand on her but so far so good. I am so sorry to hear your car is having trouble Daffy. With any luck she will hold up a few more years. Good luck

DAFFYDRUNK
07-07-08, 11:09 AM
You guys are making me worry about mine. I love my old caddy she is a 99 with about 67 thousand on her but so far so good. I am so sorry to hear your car is having trouble Daffy. With any luck she will hold up a few more years. Good luck

I'd think at 67k you're gonna be good to go for a while. Based on what I've read on here, seems like the head gaskets usually give up sometime right after 100k. Probably a good idea to be on the ball with coolant maintainence. Even with though the coolant is supposed to last 100k, I'd still think about replacing the coolant and adding some bars leak tabs to it a little early as a preventive measure. On mine, I have no idea how it was taken care of as I got the car at 92k.

chubbyranger
07-07-08, 02:29 PM
Coolant should be done every four years regardless of mileage if it is orignal Dexcool. If it has been changed to green it must be done every two years.

jeffrsmith
07-07-08, 06:46 PM
I got my 99 SLS in Dec with 86K on the clock, made it until Feb and has 91K on it now and guess what? - You bet - it's torn down in the garage even as I speak. Both HG's were leaking. I drilled the 20 headbolt holes and now I just need time to tap them so I can start putting it back together. I can't wait for the feeling of satisfaction when it is back together and running properly again.

tateos
07-07-08, 07:14 PM
You will be more proud than a new father!

Richard Moore

hardley-etc
07-11-08, 09:58 AM
why not start a positive poll
have 94 etc 54,650
pull lower rad hose drain n refill once per year
use the 50/50 mixture
add 2 or 3 tabs
car runs approx 210 deg F on road
occasionally will get to 230 in town (summer)
fans work as designed
carbon gets blown out
yes, oil change every 3000 or so kendall oil
don't care what people say about extended changes
granted car only gets driven about 5000 miles/year
when car is driven always drive for at least 30 minutes
in winter car might sit for 4-5weeks till salt off the roads
pm is kept up as suggested, service records kept
use oem manual and parts
car all stock, engineered just fine
cadillac rocks
owned for 30 years

NHRATA01
07-11-08, 04:33 PM
At the risk of starting another toyota vs. gm thread...

I bought an 02 camry after having spending thousdands, yes thousands to keep my 99 blazer functioning, every month something would break, and it wasn't even up to 60,000 miles. The camry now has 97,000 and hasn't skipped a beat, oil, tires, and brakes are the only thing its needed. I don't see how you can bash something so cheap to own, and mine, like nearly all, was built in kentucky.

Well, I can half agree. I had an '03 Blazer, that I had gotten so tired of working on every other weekend by 38k miles (intake gaskets, front ball joints, leaking oil lines, leaked water in the rain, and a grinding 5 speed that I never fixed) that I ditched it for the SLS I have now.

My wife has an '03 Rav4. Its ok, I suppose from a reliability standpoint, nothing major yet after 70k miles. But it rides rough, noisy as hell on the highway, transmission hunts for gears, and the motor is way underpowered (140hp 2.0) yet gets only about 24-25mpg on the highway.

tateos
07-11-08, 08:20 PM
Well, I can half agree. I had an '03 Blazer, that I had gotten so tired of working on every other weekend by 38k miles (intake gaskets, front ball joints, leaking oil lines, leaked water in the rain, and a grinding 5 speed that I never fixed) that I ditched it for the SLS I have now.

My wife has an '03 Rav4. Its ok, I suppose from a reliability standpoint, nothing major yet after 70k miles. But it rides rough, noisy as hell on the highway, transmission hunts for gears, and the motor is way underpowered (140hp 2.0) yet gets only about 24-25mpg on the highway.

Yeah - but it's a reliable piece of crap!

DAFFYDRUNK
07-16-08, 11:15 AM
When I changed the coolant a month or so ago I didn't put the Bar's leak tabs in it. Additional reading on here seems to point out that this stuff is mandatory. $2 at the local Farm Fleet. Right after I first posted this thread I figured I'd throw some in for the hell of it.

Grinded tabs up in a blender so they were powder. Pulled the upper hose and poured the stuff in. Put half in and waited a week to put the rest in so I wouldn't overload the thing. This did make the initial startup better and the thing doesn't appear to be usining any coolant again. No white smoke and no coolant smell out of the exhaust. The thing has never overheated... yet at least.

Still occasionally makes the gurgling sound like there's air bubbles in the the coolant so I'm gonna maintain my assumption it's still a head gasket issue. GF went to the auto parts store looking for those coolant test strips but they were out or something. I might try a few other places when I get the time.

jeffrsmith
07-17-08, 07:52 PM
Here's a link to the Napa leak detector

http://www.napaonline.com/MasterPages/NOLMaster.aspx?PageId=470&LineCode=BK&PartNumber=7001006&Description=Leak+Detector+Kit+%2F+Engine+Block

TexasCadillac
07-22-08, 01:07 AM
Here's a link to the Napa leak detector

http://www.napaonline.com/MasterPages/NOLMaster.aspx?PageId=470&LineCode=BK&PartNumber=7001006&Description=Leak+Detector+Kit+%2F+Engine+Block

WOW! I didn't know the leak detector test kits were that expensive $49.95. Even the test kits to know your caddy is worthless cost a lot. :(

Destroyer
07-22-08, 09:07 AM
WOW! I didn't know the leak detector test kits were that expensive $49.95. Even the test kits to know your caddy is worthless cost a lot. :(Now that was funny!:D