: Northstar engines are a joke



wec98sts
09-26-08, 08:40 AM
My Northstar engine started burning oil at the rate of 1 quart every 700 miles.

When I took into the dealer to get this corrected - they told me "this is within our quality specs".

After quite a bit of discussion - the service manager took me into his office and showed me the GM service bulletin which said "unless your Northstar engine consumes oil at the rate of 1 quart per 500 miles (or fewer) -oil consumption is not considered a problem."

There were no leaks - anywhere

At the rate of 1 quart every 700 miles - I add a gallon between 3000 mile oil changes.

You guys are suckers for buying into the GM quality sham - GM is now asking for a bailout - gee - I wonder why

97Concours1
09-26-08, 08:56 AM
I've decided to skip changing the oil in my Northstar. Having to add this much oil all the time keeps the oil somewhat refreshed anyway. I'm just going to change the filter once in a while.

The Northstar pros and cons are a love-hate relationship. It's not a big deal to me because I bought my Caddy at 100k miles for $1500 and fixed the head gaskets; but if I had paid full boat for the car when it was new I think I would have a pretty negitive overall opinion considering all the problems.

Submariner409
09-26-08, 09:09 AM
wec, Welcome Aboard !!!! If you'll do a bit of Thread reading in here, Northstar Performance, and Cadillac Technical Tips, as well as read the Cadillac technical Archive at the top of the page in the black field, you'll find that the "normal" Northstar engine is all over the map as far as oil consumption goes, but generally uses a quart of oil every 1,000-1750 miles. You may also find that, if you maintain your oil level at or just under the midway point on the dipstick hashmark, your consumption will lessen. The engine tends to get rid of that first half-quart in a hurry.

3,000 miles is far too low a mileage for oil/filter changes in a '98. You can easily go to 7,500+ if you do a combination of city/highway driving. Trust the oil life monitor: it works. Also read up on a GM-discussed method of exercising the engine in order to free up the piston rings and remove excess carbon buildup from the combustion chamber: the WOT (wide open throttle) runs. It will definitely help with your oil consumption.

Spend some time doing your homework in here......you'll learn a few tricks and maintenance items found nowhere else.

(Also, you guys with the 90's series engines might want to take a look at the PCV system on your particular car: These have been known to be a source of oil consumption.)

gothicaleigh
09-26-08, 09:27 AM
Let me get this straight... you have a car that was manufactured over a decade ago and somehow it reflects poorly on GM quality that it just started burning oil?

Goddammit, why don't american cars last forever? This is an outrage!


Good luck with used luxury imports (which reminds me, I need to have the timing belt replaced on my e30 again).

urbanski
09-26-08, 09:30 AM
why do you have 2 accounts here? that will not continue.

wec98sts
09-26-08, 09:51 AM
Let me get this straight... you have a car that was manufactured over a decade ago and somehow it reflects poorly on GM quality that it just started burning oil?

Goddammit, why don't american cars last forever? This is an outrage!


Good luck with used luxury imports (which reminds me, I need to have the timing belt replaced on my e30 again).


I sold the car while still under warranty - that GM would not honor. -

Nope - read the post - It did not just start burning oil - It was burning oil when it was 36 months new and still under warranty

I dumped the car, dumped GM

GM is an outrage - they produce junk and you pay a premium for it.

My in-laws bought a Chevy Impala and before it reached 100k miles it had 3 transmissions - go figure;

And good luck with your GM bucket of bolts.

gothicaleigh
09-26-08, 09:52 AM
Don't waste your time guys:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-sts-v-series-forum/150618-sts-northstar-engines-joke.html#post1643408



*EDIT*


why do you have 2 accounts here? that will not continue.

Ooh. Please do share. :lildevil:

CIWS
09-26-08, 09:55 AM
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f399/myfask/258Troll_spray.jpg

urbanski
09-26-08, 10:05 AM
why do you have 2 accounts here? that will not continue.

both are gone in 10 minutes with no reply.

RightTurn
09-26-08, 10:21 AM
Tick tock. : pace:

Submariner409
09-26-08, 10:49 AM
Well, rats. I never should have wasted the time on the OP. I thought he was asking for help instead of just being a scumbag troll.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-26-08, 12:40 PM
Why would he come back to a Cadillac owner's site 10 years after he got out of a Cadillac? Odd.

CadillacSTS42005
09-26-08, 05:14 PM
because he is an a$$ ho13

Koooop
09-26-08, 05:40 PM
My mom's '95 Northstar burned a quart every 700 miles when it was new... BFD, the car was a blast to drive! It's not like it was broken, it just consumed oil.

Wadda dickwad.

Ranger
09-26-08, 08:24 PM
If he had read the Technical Archives he would have understood that burning a little oil is not necessarily a bad thing and he would have learned how to reduce his consumption.

STSj90
09-28-08, 08:45 AM
Let me say this please. This guy sounds like one big AssH*OLe. What a dipshit/dumbass/assL*ker.

''GM is an outrage''.......&)(*^&)(*^H;h#### Is this guy serious. Id like to meet him in person and kick his a$$. I would enjoy it so much.:mad:

I guess he's used to driving honda Civic's with VTEC.. He's also probly got a fart can sticking out the back the size of a coffee can. Plus im sure his car has one of them huge wings on it.


I can just hear him now. ''Oooww my gosh GM is an outrage'' I will never buy another GM product because im a dumb sh!t.


Jeeeze i hate people like this. Good thing he is banned.

Destroyer
09-28-08, 05:22 PM
both are gone in 10 minutes with no reply.
Is it possible that someone else using his computer is also a member?.

Submariner409
09-28-08, 05:30 PM
:sneaky: Are you volunteering as the duty troll ???

Destroyer
09-28-08, 09:46 PM
:sneaky: Are you volunteering as the duty troll ???No are you?

msta293412
09-29-08, 08:51 AM
Not all Northstars burn oil like yours.....just because you got a bad apple, doesnt mean the bunch of them is bad.......my 2001 sts is the 3rd Northstar Cadillac Ive owned, and Ive never had the problem you have.......Just sell it and move on.....and do us a favor, dont buy another Caddy........

Destroyer
09-29-08, 09:37 PM
Not all Northstars burn oil like yours.....just because you got a bad apple, doesnt mean the bunch of them is bad.......my 2001 sts is the 3rd Northstar Cadillac Ive owned, and Ive never had the problem you have.......Just sell it and move on.....and do us a favor, dont buy another Caddy........
My '98 burned oil excessively IMO. About 1 quart every 500 miles. Loved Dexcool and motor oil, god bless its crappy heart. Dont worry, I wont buy another N* Caddy.

Koooop
09-30-08, 12:27 AM
Boohoo, my 10 year old 100,000 mile, POS used car burned oil.

codewize
09-30-08, 11:09 AM
Destroyer, why are you acting like this? You've been around a long time, what's the beef?

dkozloski
09-30-08, 12:47 PM
Destroyer, why are you acting like this? You've been around a long time, what's the beef?
Destroyer comes around every now and then to renew his rant. In between psychotic episodes he's pretty near normal.

CadillacSTS42005
09-30-08, 04:57 PM
He blew up his Devilles HG
ever since then hes written the N* off as the worse engine design ever...
thankfully hes only one of a few

tinhusa
09-30-08, 06:04 PM
something is very wrong with your engine.Mine is 93 Eldorado SC North*Y is 80K but it won't loose a drop of oil from one oil change to the next

NorthStarGXP
09-30-08, 07:01 PM
Ive heard plenty of stories about the Northstars being oil burners and oil leakers, but mine is certainly not. Its a 2005 Pontiac Bonneville with the 275-horse Northstar.

It has 45k miles on it now, and I have never added a drop of oil, not even close. I follow the oil-life monitor, and I think it goes about 10k or so. Ive checked the oil now and then, and it was always well up in the normal range. FWIW, I drive the car pretty hard. Id estimate that I give it WOT to the redline in first gear between 3 and 10 times per day, and run it to redline in 2nd a few times per week.

I took it to the track one time and made 7 passes, so Im sure that loosened up the rings!

Ranger
09-30-08, 07:51 PM
They are all different. Read up on oil consumption in the Technical Archives at the top of the page.

Submariner409
09-30-08, 08:12 PM
The blanket criticisms of the Northstar System are misdirected.

Some enjoy being the cynical critic: it's their only personally satisfying link to social interaction, but it's unfortunately a negative link. Destroyer is a disgruntled ex-Cadillac owner (and it sure was a nice Deville) who takes a certain perverse delight in finding out how much noise he can stir up with his in-and-out Forum jumps. The sad part is that his opinions are as useless as this morning's toilet paper. He offers no maintanance tips or reliability solutions, merely gauged barbs.

Whenever I hear this broken record surface yet once again I chuckle because, like NorthStarGXP, my engine uses practically no oil: less than 16 oz. in 3,500 miles, and I exercise it at a somewhat lower stress level than he. (but I did do a foot-in-the-floor run to 132 this afternoon to keep the squirrels loose). The Northstar is known to run the gamut of mechanical reliability, failure and oil consumption, but at no higher a frequency than any other automobile manufacturer's product. Before you succumb to Destroyer's negativism, haunt several other car forums and read for yourself.

An automobile, particularly a late modern automobile, is a staggeringly complicated piece of electronically controlled machinery. The very nature of the beast dictates that something will go wrong sometime: the old Murphy's Law. You can either fight it or fix it. I choose to fix it if so required.

FrankT
09-30-08, 08:30 PM
I'm sure our old N* guru would be all over this thread. He'd be :bomb:

60K+ on my N* 2 quarts per 3K miles/ Mobil 1. Nothing wrong with the N* its a good engine. Any engine can have problems, no matter what the make.
ex. The Ford 3.8L had alot more HG problems than our N* ever had.

Destroyer
09-30-08, 09:57 PM
Destroyer is a disgruntled ex-Cadillac owner (and it sure was a nice Deville) who takes a certain perverse delight in finding out how much noise he can stir up with his in-and-out Forum jumps. The sad part is that his opinions are as useless as this morning's toilet paper. He offers no maintanance tips or reliability solutions, merely gauged barbs..Its all I can offer being thats all the experience I had with a Northstar. 10,000 miles of automotive hell.




An automobile, particularly a late modern automobile, is a staggeringly complicated piece of electronically controlled machinery. The very nature of the beast dictates that something will go wrong sometime: the old Murphy's Law. You can either fight it or fix it. I choose to fix it if so required.You have become so accustomed to the N* crap that its diluted your expectations of an engine. Its lowered the bar. Go on with your bad self, seems you have already talked yourself into believing that every engine must be the same. I'm not driving around 1955 Chevies man, I have 4 modern cars with electronically controlled engines. 3 of them sharing displacement and 4 cam 32 valve characteristics with the N*. I have owned almost 150 cars, I have a pretty good idea of a good car and a bad car and N* Caddy's aren't good cars.

CadillacSTS42005
09-30-08, 10:13 PM
yea
you had one N* and from the way you act, a lemon at worst
get over it and move on, ours arent and we are happy with them, just because you got shat on when you bought yours doesnt mean we did...

Destroyer
09-30-08, 10:24 PM
yea
you had one N* and from the way you act, a lemon at worst
get over it and move on, ours arent and we are happy with them, just because you got shat on when you bought yours doesnt mean we did....................coming from the man with 2 cases of blown headgaskets. :cookoo: . :thumbsup:

dkozloski
09-30-08, 10:26 PM
You're wasting your time arguing with Destroyer about Northstars. He's obsessed and will not be persuaded. Try your arguments on a stone statue, it's more receptive.

CadillacSTS42005
09-30-08, 10:30 PM
.................coming from the man with 2 cases of blown headgaskets. :cookoo: . :thumbsup:

2 cases in the same car which was the dealers fault for not timeserting which they ate...
other than that me and my fam have had 7 northstars between us and have had only 1 failed HG on an engine which wasnt even original to the car *the oe engine in the ETC blew due to an oil cooler line which broke 2 days after i bought the car, replaced by the dealer with an engine from a 96 STS, didnt cost me a dime*

so all in all 3k in unexpected repairs on a 12 year old car with 116k... yea im not going to complain

nothing against you personally Destroyer but i find your views very bias and in the case of the N* very skewed...

CadillacSTS42005
09-30-08, 10:30 PM
You're wasting your time arguing with Destroyer about Northstars. He's obsessed and will not be persuaded. Try your arguments on a stone statue, it's more receptive.

:rofl:

that seriously made me laugh so hard i started crying

Destroyer
10-01-08, 07:29 AM
You're wasting your time arguing with Destroyer about Northstars. He's obsessed and will not be persuaded. Try your arguments on a stone statue, it's more receptive.
My stubborness extends to real life and not just in here. I'm always told about it. The statue thing I haven't heard but I have been told a brick or rock would be more receptive. :D

dkozloski
10-01-08, 09:32 AM
The first step to recovery is to admit the problem. Congratulations.

Submariner409
10-01-08, 10:26 AM
Destroyer......At 37 years old, that's 21 years of potential drivers license possession. So having owned "almost 150 cars" in that time gives you a record of around 7 vehicles a year, average.

Is your login name some indication of why you can't keep/run a car for more than about a month and a half at a time ? (at a rate of 7 cars/year) If that's the criteria for knowledgeable vehicle ownership, then I'm way behind the curve, needing to destroy some 340 more cars than I have owned.

Not that it matters, but in my wrenching years I have rebuilt just over 160 small-block Chevy, big-block GM, and Olds 455 engines, plus 2 Corvair turbo engines ('64), so I have some small idea of where the pistons go. (Oh....Ford V8 60, V8 B-block and MG TD 1250cc engines also.... Senior moment.) Also worked part-time as a MG/Healey/Hillman/Jaguar/Morris mechanic, but that doesn't count toward the original "vehicles owned".

Typical CF "I'm better, You're better; He said, She said" pissing contest. Put some of your experiences to constructive educational use instead of just trying to act like a brat.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-01-08, 11:53 AM
There have been a multitude of engines that are much less fun to own than a Northstar with headgasket problems.
Some examples off the top of my head:

Ford 3.8L V6.
GM Quad Four.
Mercedes Benz M104 (leaks oil externally, not coolant though)
Cadillac HT4100

I guess I'm just curious as to why the HG failure in a Northstar Cadillac is such a boon to Destroyer. Is it because of the cost relative to the value of the car? Is it because it's a big PITA to have to deal with as the owner?

Destroyer
10-01-08, 10:31 PM
There have been a multitude of engines that are much less fun to own than a Northstar with headgasket problems.
Some examples off the top of my head:

Ford 3.8L V6.
GM Quad Four.
Mercedes Benz M104 (leaks oil externally, not coolant though)
Cadillac HT4100

I guess I'm just curious as to why the HG failure in a Northstar Cadillac is such a boon to Destroyer. Is it because of the cost relative to the value of the car? Is it because it's a big PITA to have to deal with as the owner?Now Chad you should know by now that its not exactly a headgasket problem with the N*'s. Its lifting of the head from the block. I've changed headgaskets on a 3.8 Ford, took a whopping 5 hours and less than $200 so I wouldn't say thats in the same league. Even IF it was just a headgasket on a N*, its still a real tough motor to work on and herein my problem lies. The packaging of N* powered cars is just horrible cause its way to confined. To say my problem is just with the N* would not be accurate, I actually do like the N* engines and would deal with one again in a proper RWD layout. My honest opinion is simply that GM did a real bad job packaging these cars. Its just that these FWD cars and this big V8 motor just weren't one of the Generals better ideas.

Submariner409
10-01-08, 10:37 PM
Destroyer has a good point: The FWD Northstar package is a bitch to maintain, excluding oil, oil filter, and air filter changes. Anything else is dedicated misery.

Destroyer
10-01-08, 10:50 PM
Destroyer......At 37 years old, that's 21 years of potential drivers license possession. So having owned "almost 150 cars" in that time gives you a record of around 7 vehicles a year, average. .Not exactly sure on the number (please dont ask me to list them all) but last time I did make a list it was right around 123 or so and I've bought and sold quite a few since then. Give me a brand name and I'll make you a short or long list. 7 vechicles a year sounds about right but thats an average and I've been driving since I was 15 having owned my first car before my 15th birthday. I would say 10-15 a year when I was young and less over the years and now but I'm on my 7th car this year. I always have multiple cars and many are bought just to flip like an S420 Mercedes, '73 450 SL Benz, '97 Cavalier and an '04 supercharged Mach 1 this year.


Is your login name some indication of why you can't keep/run a car for more than about a month and a half at a time ? (at a rate of 7 cars/year) If that's the criteria for knowledgeable vehicle ownership, then I'm way behind the curve, needing to destroy some 340 more cars than I have owned. .Destroyer is the title of my favorite KISS album which I believe is also one of the best rock albums ever.


Not that it matters, but in my wrenching years I have rebuilt just over 160 small-block Chevy, big-block GM, and Olds 455 engines, plus 2 Corvair turbo engines ('64), so I have some small idea of where the pistons go. (Oh....Ford V8 60, V8 B-block and MG TD 1250cc engines also.... Senior moment.) Also worked part-time as a MG/Healey/Hillman/Jaguar/Morris mechanic, but that doesn't count toward the original "vehicles owned"..Ok, I haven't rebuilt motors from the crank up but I've put several together and swapped out many including a few dozen SBC's, SBF's, Mopar's, Olds' big and small blocks as well as several other GM V8's. I usually had machine shops handle short block assemblies. I dont have time for that now, nor do I have the desire so I like my cars reliable.


Typical CF "I'm better, You're better; He said, She said" pissing contest. Put some of your experiences to constructive educational use instead of just trying to act like a brat.Hey, like I said, this is the only experience I've had with a N*. Not making a pissing contest out of it or saying "I'm better or youre better" just saying it as an ex-owner and observer of what goes on. My opinions are not biased, I dont have a N* to defend. I have had better luck with a 4.1 Cadillac. Being here and reading countless H/G threads over the years only re-enforces my position.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-01-08, 11:58 PM
My honest opinion is simply that GM did a real bad job packaging these cars. Its just that these FWD cars and this big V8 motor just weren't one of the Generals better ideas.

I like the Northstars as a motor but I do agree with that. From an "ease to work on" perspective and an "engineering for performance" perspective, transverse V8s really don't make any sense, whether it be the 4.1, 4.5, 4.9, Northstar or 5.3L V8 used in the Impalas and Monte Carlos.

Southern-Hospitality
10-02-08, 12:09 AM
IMO No V8 should be FWD, Gm made a mistake with that.

They are still an amazing engine in any form.

dkozloski
10-02-08, 12:12 AM
Awd ftw!

codewize
10-02-08, 09:07 AM
Now I on the other hand give them credit for keeping the V8 and playing along with the FWD craze. If they didn't go down that road, we may not even have Cadillacs today. Seriously, how manly would it be to drive a 4 cylinder DeVille?

I've said this before and I'll say it again. The N* as an engine not bound to any specific car or orientation is a world class engine at every level. Beside the HG problems on early engines it's actually a very durable engine from what I've seen.

It's been in production longer than many cars themselves, there's a lot to be said for longevity. It's gone through some important changes making it better every step of the way.

So having said that, and knowing that the HG problem is the one everybody complains about. Has anyone, ANYONE had a HG failure on a post 2005 N*?

Playdrv4me
10-02-08, 02:10 PM
Every single older N* I've ever come across (and a few newer ones, including 06 DTSs) has had some sort of internal engine problem. Either current or previous repairs needed for the Headbolt problem, or noises from the rotating assembly, or leaking oil. The very first question I asked the seller of our current 98 STS when I bought it was "Have you ever had any problems with overheating etc.". His response of course was "Yes as a matter of fact I had that fixed by the dealer a few years ago, it was quite expensive.". Same story with most of the other ones I looked at... which you can easily tell when they talk about recent radiator replacements or "overheats a little bit". It is staggering how INoften I come across one that ISN'T acting up. Even with the fact that mine had the prior repairs, it still leaks some oil, and it still makes a knocking sound at startup.

The truth is the N* from an engineering standpoint is pretty disposable (parts for the N*, like the flywheel and some other parts, are not easy nor in-expensive to obtain), however the reason this motor made it on Ward's 10 best for several years running is that when the thing is actually RUNNING PROPERLY (like alot of old british sports cars), it's one of the finest running, smoothest engines on the planet. No doubt about that.

Problem is, the aluminum Ford 4.6 achieves almost the same type of power and nearly the same smoothness with alot less headache (year to year). I had zero problems with the FWD 4.6 Intech in my 1996 Continental with pretty crummy maintenance, and it was laid out identically the N* in FWD applications, and just as tough to get around.

AJxtcman
10-02-08, 02:12 PM
I haven't read this complete thread!

#1 Should a Cadillac part cost more than a Chevy part? I am not talking about a 6.0L Cadillac intake valve vs a 6.0L Chevy intake valve.
More like a Starter for a 1993 Northstar vs a 1993 SBC.
You can analyze that to death. Volume of production, supply and demand, Years Makes and Models they interchange with. on and on.

#2 Should an oil change cost more on a Cadillac vs a SBC? YES
They need to keep it that way

#3 How about Tires? Most Cadillac's you can really rotate the tires on and they have 2 separate sizes on the car. They wear out rapidly and they cost about $250 to $350 each.
I think the 2006 CTS Performance addition had a note on the window sticker stating 12K miles was the normal replacement mileage.

#4 Ford V8s, Mopar 4 cyl, Chevy 4 cyl, HONDAs and Toyotas all have a high head gasket failure rate.
Should a Cadillac cost more to fix?

Look at the price of tires and use that % to calculate the amount that the Cadillac head gasket should cost

Lets see

Tire Rack has OEM 15 Neon tires for $77 and the 14 at $53
Tire Rack has OEM 18 STS tires for $241 and $306 for the rears

A set of 4 tire for that leaky head gasket Neon will cost you $308
A set of 4 tires for that NON leaking head gasket 2005 STS will run you $1049

That is about 350% more correct?

Head gasket fix on a Neon at the dealer?????? Anyone ???
I am guessing at the least $1000
So is $3500 too much?

AJxtcman
10-02-08, 02:13 PM
If it is a Honda you Better TimeSert the Block :yup:

AJxtcman
10-02-08, 02:15 PM
Problem is, the aluminum Ford 4.6 achieves almost the same type of power and nearly the same smoothness with alot less headache. I had zero problems with the FWD 4.6 Intech in my 1996 Continental, and it was laid out identically the N* in FWD applications, and just as tough to get around.


Didn't they have a Head Gasket Recall?
Maybe it was just a Speacial Policy

Playdrv4me
10-02-08, 02:43 PM
Didn't they have a Head Gasket Recall?
Maybe it was just a Speacial Policy

I think the Ford recall was for the Intake manifold gasket, and kudos to them for actually recalling it.

It's certainly not a problem I've ever run into with any 4.6.

I know car dealers who specifically shy away from ever taking N* Cadillacs in on trade, or if they do they will automatically deduct 3000.00 from anything they offer the customer, or offer no more than 500.00 expecting there is a reason the customer is trading it in, or that it will develop problems and they won't be able to resell it or will have some kind of litigation on their hands later. I've never had any of my dealer friends complain about the Fords in such a manner. They literally are scared of these cars being anywhere on their lot.

Even you have said Timeserts don't last AJ...

Koooop
10-02-08, 08:43 PM
I think the Ford recall was for the Intake manifold gasket, and kudos to them for actually recalling it.

It's certainly not a problem I've ever run into with any 4.6.

I know car dealers who specifically shy away from ever taking N* Cadillacs in on trade, or if they do they will automatically deduct 3000.00 from anything they offer the customer, or offer no more than 500.00 expecting there is a reason the customer is trading it in, or that it will develop problems and they won't be able to resell it or will have some kind of litigation on their hands later. I've never had any of my dealer friends complain about the Fords in such a manner. They literally are scared of these cars being anywhere on their lot.

Even you have said Timeserts don't last AJ...

No one complaining about a FWD Ford?

ROFLMAO.

Go look at the complaints about Ford minivans.

AJxtcman
10-02-08, 08:45 PM
I think the Ford recall was for the Intake manifold gasket, and kudos to them for actually recalling it.

It's certainly not a problem I've ever run into with any 4.6.

I know car dealers who specifically shy away from ever taking N* Cadillacs in on trade, or if they do they will automatically deduct 3000.00 from anything they offer the customer, or offer no more than 500.00 expecting there is a reason the customer is trading it in, or that it will develop problems and they won't be able to resell it or will have some kind of litigation on their hands later. I've never had any of my dealer friends complain about the Fords in such a manner. They literally are scared of these cars being anywhere on their lot.

Even you have said Timeserts don't last AJ...

TSB 01-21-10 (http://www.stangnet.com/images/stories/docs/sn95_TSBs/01-21-10.pdf)

Yes the POS TimeSerts are BandAids

Playdrv4me
10-02-08, 08:46 PM
TSB 01-21-10 (http://www.stangnet.com/images/stories/docs/sn95_TSBs/01-21-10.pdf)

Yes the POS TimeSerts are BandAids

AJ, that's not the DOHC 4.6 Aluminum motor, that's the regular 2V iron block.

Playdrv4me
10-02-08, 08:48 PM
No one complaining about a FWD Ford?

ROFLMAO.

Go look at the complaints about Ford minivans.

That's cute how you brought minivans into a luxury car discussion, however as I clearly stated, I was talking about FWD (or RWD for that matter) Ford V8 Luxury cars.

Sure I could bring up quite possibly the WORST luxury shitpile of the last 20 years, the 1988-94 Lincoln Continentals too, but that (and the Minivan if you want to go there) are specific vehicles, not an entire genre of car that's brought down in perception by one single motor used across it.

I gave up on these discussions LONG AGO when I realized how much N* "blindness" there was around here. I love the motor, but see it objectively I guess. :rolleyes:

Submariner409
10-02-08, 09:32 PM
Charlie, the transmission man up the road, allows as how the 90's Tauruses (Taurii ?) and Windstars are not so hot in the transmission department (seals and pinion/planetary gears).

EVERY year and model of every car put on the road has had its share of glitches, total failures, and recalls. Some are better than others, yes, but just when you say "Ford is better", something comes along to make you look like a fool. Hell, I remember the Corvairs were constantly throwing belts and burning up cooling fan bearings. Chevelles were famous for eating viscous fan clutches and shuddering 4-speed clutches. A lot of GM and Ford engines pulled the press-in rocker studs. A slew of Olds big blocks had horrible troubles with intake manifold gaskets. Any engine/drivetrain is susceptible to a number of mechanical gremlins. To hang a blanket condemnation on any specific engine or transmission is merely showing lack of knowledge and bias.

If it all worked as designed all the time, the service shops would be out of business. Utopian thinking.

CadillacSTS42005
10-02-08, 09:37 PM
i find the N* cake to work on...

much easier than a power steering pump on a Chry Town and Country
or any transmission on a fwd Ford
or the rad on a stratus which requires the whole header panel to be removed
how about the viable nightmare it is to replace a fan blade on a Lincoln Continential (had to actually use the cutter to cut the upper rad support then weld it back on...)

list can go on and on....
end result is fwd they did what they did and made it easy to work on compared to other manufacturers like installing a drop plate in the rad core support to get the alt out...

cant say that Chry did me that same favor to replace the PS pump, nope i had to pull the whole damn axle for that one!

when you all become a real mechanic and have to deal with several different makes and models EVERYDAY (not your own cars no that doesnt count you become used to them and understand the tricks to working on them) of cars then you can be the judge of what is hard to work on....
till then the novice squad can pipe down...

and for the record i have replaced the HG on an 01 DTS and ill happly do it again before doing one an a older Celica and try to reset the timing....

imho the transverse mount Intech is the worst f**king design ever....
hats off to Ford on that one!

Submariner409
10-02-08, 09:39 PM
:sneaky: Yeah, when the summitch is out of the car and on the engine stand......

Jesda
10-02-08, 10:26 PM
Northstars blow

















head gaskets.

CadillacSTS42005
10-02-08, 10:29 PM
you best hope not
since youre a N* owner now too...

Jesda
10-02-08, 10:41 PM
you best hope not
since youre a N* owner now too...

At $2600 I can set it on fire and not care, so even if it blows I've already come out ahead.

Playdrv4me
10-02-08, 10:43 PM
If only we could drop a 4.9 in there... :( (Hmmm.....)

Destroyer
10-02-08, 10:48 PM
i find the N* cake to work on...

much easier than a power steering pump on a Chry Town and Country
or any transmission on a fwd Ford
or the rad on a stratus which requires the whole header panel to be removed
how about the viable nightmare it is to replace a fan blade on a Lincoln Continential (had to actually use the cutter to cut the upper rad support then weld it back on...)

list can go on and on....
end result is fwd they did what they did and made it easy to work on compared to other manufacturers like installing a drop plate in the rad core support to get the alt out...

cant say that Chry did me that same favor to replace the PS pump, nope i had to pull the whole damn axle for that one!

when you all become a real mechanic and have to deal with several different makes and models EVERYDAY (not your own cars no that doesnt count you become used to them and understand the tricks to working on them) of cars then you can be the judge of what is hard to work on....
till then the novice squad can pipe down...

and for the record i have replaced the HG on an 01 DTS and ill happly do it again before doing one an a older Celica and try to reset the timing....

imho the transverse mount Intech is the worst f**king design ever....
hats off to Ford on that one!Well, guess its time to cross off the Chrysler Town and Country and any FWD Ford off my "must have before I die" list.

CadillacSTS42005
10-02-08, 11:00 PM
funny
apparently Caddy made that list yet they suck...
irony at its finest folks!

ryannel2003
10-02-08, 11:32 PM
I'd still love my Seville, even if I have to dump money into it every now and then. It's the prettiest sedan on the road. If it was only Sable Black...

CadillacSTS42005
10-02-08, 11:39 PM
... youd be washing it everyday...

ryannel2003
10-02-08, 11:46 PM
I already wash my car 2-3 times a week anyway. I'd have the cleanest black Cadillac in NC! :D

Submariner409
10-03-08, 08:47 AM
As regards Post #64, I can testify that the transmission on a '91 3.0L and a '92 3.8L Taurus is a murderous SOB to remove and work on. As on the FWD Cadillac series, you darn near have to disassemble the front of the car to get in there. The reason ? 2, actually. The axle output seals were some sort of self-destructing silicone and were subject to recalls and warranty replacement and the pinion and planetary gears were improperly hardened and tended to go at around 50 - 70,000 miles. My neighbor is the local trans man and did both my LX and Karen's GL in the late 90's. Cost-wise, I lucked out. The Windstars were subject to the same problems.

gothicaleigh
10-03-08, 09:55 AM
Northstars blow
head gaskets.

...not either of the ones that I have owned.
Honestly, I believe there is a very vocal minority around here who likes to keep this 'issue' in everyone's mind. The Northstar has had three generations, the third even having forced induction placed upon it, and still only the first generation could really be said to have had a high enough number of headgasket problems to be worth mentioning. If this problem exists (which in my experience and from the opinions on this board, seems to be hit or miss even on the first generation engines) then it is a problem on cars from over a decade ago and has long ago been settled through changes in the more recent generations.

That there are a few here who would generalize the whole line based upon the now emerging flaws of the original design from over 15 years ago makes me question their motive for doing so (but only until I notice their current ownership :p ).

:stirpot:


If only we could drop a 4.9 in there...

I've owned a 4.9L powered Eldo too. Trust me, it's no substitute for the Northstar powered version.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-03-08, 10:32 AM
imho the transverse mount Intech is the worst f**king design ever....


Why?

Playdrv4me
10-03-08, 01:37 PM
...not either of the ones that I have owned.
Honestly, I believe there is a very vocal minority around here who likes to keep this 'issue' in everyone's mind. The Northstar has had three generations, the third even having forced induction placed upon it, and still only the first generation could really be said to have had a high enough number of headgasket problems to be worth mentioning. If this problem exists (which in my experience and from the opinions on this board, seems to be hit or miss even on the first generation engines) then it is a problem on cars from over a decade ago and has long ago been settled through changes in the more recent generations.

That there are a few here who would generalize the whole line based upon the now emerging flaws of the original design from over 15 years ago makes me question their motive for doing so (but only until I notice their current ownership :p ).

:stirpot:



I've owned a 4.9L powered Eldo too. Trust me, it's no substitute for the Northstar powered version.

I for one stopped caring about the power quotient in a floaty luxury car along time ago (I can drive BMWs for that). It was fun the first two, four, or 30 times I stabbed the throttle in one of my first 3 STSs, but by the 4th one I cared more about not having smoke, odors, coolant loss, and noises coming from my high performance engine, than a lack of speed. I've simply grown out of that stage.

I've driven a 4.9 and I can tell you at the bottom end I feel almost no difference because of the incredible torque in that motor. Not to mention the '92 STS weighs substantially less than the '98.

And also, you do speak some truth when it comes to the different generations of N*, however the failures in the first generation are no more acceptable just because it's the first generation, especially when you consider the "1st gen" was around for a good 6 years with the exact same problem. And it's one thing if it happened only to owners above 100k, but the problem is it happens anywhere even as low as 20 or 30k miles and can render an otherwise perfect low mileage car absolutely worthless.

Whatever bias you are attempting to aspouse on me is simply not there. I merely speak the truth from having been burned a few times, AND from what I see in the real world, it has very little to do with the "vocal internet forum minority" people always tend to justify the failures with. Of my particular 98-2001 STS experience, 2 of the cars had headgasket or coolant leak issues, first my 2001 green SLS and then my 98 brown STS which had a full on headbolt issue. Two of them were fine, again my '01 white diamond STS and my '98 white diamond. The one I have now is too new to tell for sure, but it definitely has the oil case half leak as the smoke tends to billow out at the most embarrasing times, and I still smell bits of coolant every now and then.

In my opinion it's a great motor that could have been alot better with just a bit less GM bean counting. Anyone who thinks I have some kind of bias against them is just unable to see through their own rose-colored glasses enough to realize if I've owned 5 of the damn things, there's got to be a reason my stupid-a$$ keeps comin back! Again my problem is not with what the N* was -intended- to be, it's how it turned out after GMs penny pinchers got their hands on it.

I agree with you 98.5% of the time and there is a couple of people on this forum who come to mind immediately that your comments are *ABSOLUTELY* appropriate for (one in particular), and from which I have defended the N* myself (of course everyone conveniently forgets those occasions), and it's definitely not me.

ted tcb
10-03-08, 02:55 PM
Ian, when you purchase an STS, do you bother to check the coolant on your test drive for the presence of exhasut gasses?
I always did ... made me feel more confident, even if its not a conclusive test.
Your STS was only $3k, but a bad HG quickly makes it a 2 ton paperweight, or a difficult car to ethically retail.
Funny, reading your post, I had forgotten how anal I'd become with my STS' ... the daily ritual of checking fluid levels, tire pressure, smelling for strange odours, watching for any strange vibration or sound.
Its definitely a love/hate relationship.
After owning two Lexus products, I actually miss the problem solving experience ... I never had a catastrophic repair with my N*, so I'm willing to buy another.
I'm looking for a crimson pearl STS ... it would my 3rd in that colour.

With my 4 N*s, I never once saw the temp guage go above the middle, nor did I experience any tranny problems ... rock solid reliable.
It was the other stuff that drove me crazy.
The impossibility of maintaining a smooth ride above 65mph, broken window regulator, noisy asperator fan, groaning steering shaft,
bad seat element, broken door lock, coil pack, bad fpr, rattling trim,
failed ignition cylinder, stripped sunroof, broken ashtray, bad fuel sending unit ... lots more, but things that just never failed
on any other car I'd ever owned (50 plus).

I'm on the prowl for another one because I love the styling ... it blows
away most sedans in terms of presence. I always go with limo tint and
factory chrome rims, and it still looks like a show car parked in my driveway.
Funny, used ETC's still command an unreasonable premium, but
STS' go dirt cheap. Up here, even the rare 2004 models are quite
reasonable, around $11-12k.
I currently have a 98 Maxima GLE ... nice car, heavy feel for Jap near lux.
00 ES300 ... very plush, refined, basically a new car. No ....issues.... ever.
08 Mazda3 ... flat handling, gas miser.

I won't give up any of these cars ... I want the used STS as a weekend toy. I think it would be a much more enjoyable ownership experience if
I strictly drive the car for pleasure.
My current cars are not high performance, so the allure of WOT's in a
Northstar still captivates me.

Playdrv4me
10-03-08, 03:10 PM
Ian, when you purchase an STS, do you bother to check the coolant on your test drive for the presence of exhasut gasses?
I always did ... made me feel more confident, even if its not a conclusive test.
Your STS was only $3k, but a bad HG quickly makes it a 2 ton paperweight, or a difficult car to ethically retail.
Funny, reading your post, I had forgotten how anal I'd become with my STS' ... the daily ritual of checking fluid levels, tire pressure, smelling for strange odours, watching for any strange vibration or sound.
Its definitely a love/hate relationship.
After owning two Lexus products, I actually miss the problem solving experience ... I never had a catastrophic repair with my N*, so I'm willing to buy another.
I'm looking for a crimson pearl STS ... it would my 3rd in that colour.

With my 4 N*s, I never once saw the temp guage go above the middle, nor did I experience any tranny problems ... rock solid reliable.
It was the other stuff that drove me crazy.
The impossibility of maintaining a smooth ride above 65mph, broken window regulator, noisy asperator fan, groaning steering shaft,
bad seat element, broken door lock, coil pack, bad fpr, rattling trim,
failed ignition cylinder, stripped sunroof, broken ashtray, bad fuel sending unit ... lots more, but things that just never failed
on any other car I'd ever owned (50 plus).

I'm on the prowl for another one because I love the styling ... it blows
away most sedans in terms of presence. I always go with limo tint and
factory chrome rims, and it still looks like a show car parked in my driveway.
Funny, used ETC's still command an unreasonable premium, but
STS' go dirt cheap. Up here, even the rare 2004 models are quite
reasonable, around $11-12k.
I currently have a 98 Maxima GLE ... nice car, heavy feel for Jap near lux.
00 ES300 ... very plush, refined, basically a new car. No ....issues.... ever.
08 Mazda3 ... flat handling, gas miser.

I won't give up any of these cars ... I want the used STS as a weekend toy. I think it would be a much more enjoyable ownership experience if
I strictly drive the car for pleasure.
My current cars are not high performance, so the allure of WOT's in a
Northstar still captivates me.

Oddly enough THIS STS was the first one I actually went to the trouble (over fear) of looking for one that had previous H/G work done already. However, it only goes to prove my point that a normal test drive experience for any vehicle should not include cylinder leak down or chemical tests on the coolant! Sure you could stop at service records, but there have been plenty of well maintained Caddys that have still had the bolts pull out because it's an inherent design issue with the motor.

I am kind of the opposite of you. I have learned to forgive all of the STS' other shortcomings, flimsy pieces, broken ashtray doors, error messages etc etc. so long as the thing continues running smoothly, looking sexy and that audio system keeps working its best. It really is one of the best parts of the car after the phenomenal looks.

However, I'm quickly discovering after a recent test-drive with friend, that a 1992 4.9 STS might just blend the best of ALL worlds for me. Looks, comfort, a design that doesn't look dated STILL to this day and first and foremost... RELIABILITY. Those things are damn near impossible to destroy. So I will be on the prowl for one.

gothicaleigh
10-03-08, 03:35 PM
However, I'm quickly discovering after a recent test-drive with friend, that a 1992 4.9 STS might just blend the best of ALL worlds for me. Looks, comfort, a design that doesn't look dated STILL to this day and first and foremost... RELIABILITY. Those things are damn near impossible to destroy. So I will be on the prowl for one.

I do agree that the earlier design STS is the one to have (never really cared as much for the rounder 98+ design refresh). It's also much lighter, lower, and (dare I say it?) better looking than the later models.

But no N*? :helpless: Part of the STS experience is the sound and highway response of that engine. :cloud9:

ted tcb
10-03-08, 03:36 PM
Would you consider a 92 Eldorado ... same combination of reliability, but packaged in an increasingly rare coupe form?
Is Jesda keeping the STS, or are you selling it once you find your 4.9 equipped ride?

gothicaleigh
10-03-08, 03:48 PM
Personally, I like the design of the ETC better than the STS, it really stands out as one of the classically unique designs of it's time period. The Seville is just more practical (the Eldorado's backseat, while roomy once you get in there, is nearly impossible to access) and having already owned 2 Eldos, I was ready to give the Seville a try.

ryannel2003
10-03-08, 03:52 PM
It worries me when you all say the temp gauge never moves past the half way mark. When I've been driving mine in lots of stop and go traffic, or driving through the mountains mine moves a little bit forward, and then quickly goes back. The most it's ever moved was to the 1/4 mark past half, but that was going up mountains with elevations of 5k feet. I have usually never worried about it because the headgaskets have been done on this car, but maybe I should be worried?

ted tcb
10-03-08, 04:11 PM
It worries me when you all say the temp gauge never moves past the half way mark. When I've been driving mine in lots of stop and go traffic, or driving through the mountains mine moves a little bit forward, and then quickly goes back. The most it's ever moved was to the 1/4 mark past half, but that was going up mountains with elevations of 5k feet. I have usually never worried about it because the headgaskets have been done on this car, but maybe I should be worried?

Oh, oh:lildevil:

Seriously, if it only went 1/4 above halfway after mountain pass runs, I
wouldn' think twice about it.
Here's a thread to make you feel better about things.
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-seville-cadillac-eldorado-forum/75938-temp-gauge.html

ryannel2003
10-03-08, 04:32 PM
I didn't think it was a problem... thank god. Never done it on the interstate or on the highway, just in stop and go traffic and in the mountains.

Playdrv4me
10-03-08, 04:34 PM
It worries me when you all say the temp gauge never moves past the half way mark. When I've been driving mine in lots of stop and go traffic, or driving through the mountains mine moves a little bit forward, and then quickly goes back. The most it's ever moved was to the 1/4 mark past half, but that was going up mountains with elevations of 5k feet. I have usually never worried about it because the headgaskets have been done on this car, but maybe I should be worried?

The N* Temp gauge supposedly isn't like the BMW ones, in other words it's not some idiot gauge... So as a result it should move some in traffic or idling, in particular from my understanding, if the A/C is *off*. The reason is because when the A/C is ON the cooling fans are ALWAYS spinning air through the condenser, and they only increase in speed when the ECM tells them to do so. However if the A/C is off, the cooling fans don't come on until a predetermined temperature. As a result, you will see the temp gauge creep up until the cooling fans kick on, though it should never go any more than where you said I don't think. This probably would also occur even with the A/C on if you're going up a steep hill and putting a heavy load on the engine.

Chubbyranger actually drove his all around town for me once when I had my brown one that the headgaskets failed on after I sold it, and confirmed when I asked about the temp needle moving that his did the same thing.

However, the CAVEAT to this is that the H/Gs DID fail on the brown one and it NEVER overheated, which means it was at the beginning of the coolant usage stage. The black one we have now ALSO creeps up the same way and then the fans it bring it back down to the middle if its sitting in traffic or idling.

So do with that info what you will, It's supposedly normal but a car with confirmed bad H/Gs exhibited the same behavior.

ryannel2003
10-03-08, 05:03 PM
I've got a one year warranty on my headgaskets so if the bitch fails again, they're going to replace them. If I ever see "Coolant Level Low", I'm immediately taking it to the dealer. I can't even list how much work they did to the car before I bought it.

The funny thing is though, my dealer had two '99 STS's and they never went past the 1/2 mark. I fell in love with the Sable Black '99, and I drove it quite often when I could, and it never once moved... and I drove it like I stole it on several occasions.

CadillacSTS42005
10-03-08, 08:25 PM
Why?

i said
try and pull the fans out...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-04-08, 09:39 AM
That's a dealbraker for you?

mighty_quad4
10-04-08, 10:21 AM
i read some of this thread and it was stated that some ppl that the Northstar was fine until the bean counters got a hold of it. i dont know exactly how engine design vs engine cost is factored but it would seem to make sense. the Northstar 4.6 shares the exact same timeline of head gasket failure with the Quad4 from GM. in fact, theyre both similar in overall design and technology for the timeframe.

both engines are DOHC but the N* is all aluminum where the Quad4 isnt. both had headgasket issues but for different reasons. however, once an engine is "known" for headgasket issues it is plagued with them even if it is unwarranted. unfortunately for the N* a simple gasket swap doesnt fix the problem like it did for the Quad4. GM used poor design Victor-Reinz gasket. both engines went a very long time before the headgasket issue was fixed all together. and finally both engine get a bad rap. in the quad4's case, the reputation the Quad4 garnered was so bad they changed the name of the engine to get away from it and GM layed the egg called TwinCam. though not as prone to failure as the Quad4, its merely a shell of the engine it replaced in factory trim. for upgrades, TwinCam ppl reference the Quad4 engine for its cams and intake manifold and even the whole head. the Northstar was lucky and "only" the block and threadpitch needed attention.

lets be real for a second here. MANY engines across all MFGs have problems. someone mentioned the ford 4.6. the first few years of production with the early heads were NOTORIOUS for failing valve seals after 70k miles, like clockwork. they also eat water pumps for some reason. the dodge 2.7 V6 had a sludge problem which failed engines. chalk that up to a poor crankcase ventilation design. it ws changed and the engine lives on, but with the bad rap. you could pick nearly any engine family and find faults.

CadillacSTS42005
10-04-08, 10:31 AM
That's a dealbraker for you?

when something simple such as that is a PITA
imagine how the rest of it is...
belt is a horrid job
anything on the drive accessory is hard to replace
the air ride goes bad faster than the 100K failure of Cadillac struts(bar magride)...
the designers of that car werent as mechanic friendly as the N* builders...

Mark0101
10-06-08, 01:28 PM
when something simple such as that is a PITA
imagine how the rest of it is...
belt is a horrid job
anything on the drive accessory is hard to replace
the air ride goes bad faster than the 100K failure of Cadillac struts(bar magride)...
the designers of that car werent as mechanic friendly as the N* builders...
Like there is so much room in the N* to change the drive belt? They are both equally cramped. At least they can have their Air bags replaced for 600 plus labor unlike HG for the N* which is $3000+

gothicaleigh
10-06-08, 04:10 PM
Like there is so much room in the N* to change the drive belt?

I just changed the idler pulley and belt on mine this weekend. While it's not right out front, nor as simple a job, as it would be were it a RWD V8 car, it certainly wasn't too difficult either.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-06-08, 04:55 PM
Lemme tell ya that doing a serp belt on an I-6 isn't exactly a walk in the park either.

TSS
10-06-08, 05:08 PM
ignore. repost.