: Head gasket



98eldorado-lee
11-09-08, 05:40 PM
I just bought a 98 eldo etc. 92k miles, I've read alot about head gaskets leaking on here, should I be worried? Just replaced the radiator and oil cooler lines and had the transmission flushed and the pcv valve and air filter, the car runs very good and looks like new.

Lebowski
11-09-08, 05:48 PM
My '99 STS looked and ran great when I bought it last year with 112K miles on it but after putting only 2K miles on it it's overheating and these guys tell me it's probably the head gasket, which will cost $3500 or more to get fixed. If I was you I would dump the car ASAP unless you don't mind spending that kind of money on it....:(

98eldorado-lee
11-09-08, 05:58 PM
do you still have the car?

98eldorado-lee
11-09-08, 06:05 PM
any more opinions from anybody?

Submariner409
11-09-08, 06:25 PM
If you like the car, drive it. Read up on how to take care of it.

98eldorado-lee
11-09-08, 06:49 PM
If you like the car, drive it. Read up on how to take care of it.

thanks, the cars temp is always at 12oclock.

Lebowski
11-09-08, 06:52 PM
do you still have the car?

Yes I do. I was told it's only worth $1K with the bad head gasket and I paid $7500 for it last November. I'm not going to dump any more money into it. I use it for short trips of 5 miles or less before it has a chance to overheat. It cost $53K new and now it's worth only $1K. Pretty sad....:helpless:

ted tcb
11-09-08, 07:01 PM
It sounds to me like you've invested some $$ in good, solid, preventative maintenance. Just drive the car, enjoy it, and change the coolant every two years.
For future reference, never flush these transmissions. Safest bet is a simple drain and refill.
Plugs and wires are definitely due for a change. Always go with AC Delco parts.
Good luck with the car ... I see many for sale up my way with well over 200,000 klms. You may get lucky and never need a HG repair on your Eldo.

98eldorado-lee
11-09-08, 07:26 PM
It sounds to me like you've invested some $$ in good, solid, preventative maintenance. Just drive the car, enjoy it, and change the coolant every two years.
For future reference, never flush these transmissions. Safest bet is a simple drain and refill.
Plugs and wires are definitely due for a change. Always go with AC Delco parts.
Good luck with the car ... I see many for sale up my way with well over 200,000 klms. You may get lucky and never need a HG repair on your Eldo.

thanks for the advice, the plugs are next. I feel a little bit better now.

Submariner409
11-09-08, 08:36 PM
Plugs are ACDelco #41-950 Professional Platinum. www.rockauto.com (http://www.rockauto.com). Change the plugs with the engine COLD, use no anti-seize, and torque to 13 ft/lb.

Save these diagrams. You will need them. The plug wire-to-coil sequence is critical. Google "waste spark ignition".

The thermostat begins opening at 188 and is fully open at 206. Fans go to slow at 224 or any A/C run mode, and fast at 235 or so. Therefore, in traffic you will see the gauge creep up to halfway between 12:00 and the next mark before the fans go to slow. Then it drops back to 12:00.

Ranger
11-09-08, 08:55 PM
Go to the Technical Archives at the top left of this page and read up on transmission flushing. Lots of other good info up there as well.

obxninja
11-09-08, 08:57 PM
I have a '98 STS with 211,000 miles on it that has never had a head gasket issue. I am very particular about maintaining the cooling system. I flush and fill the cooling system every 2 years (Prestone Dex-Cool) and always use the coolant sealant tabs that the service manual recommends.

Like you, I just replaced the radiator as mine was showing signs of cracking on the plastic end tanks. Since I had 100,000 miles on my thermostat and my water pump, I went ahead and replaced those too along with an idler pulley on the water pump belt.

I may blow a head gasket tomorrow, but I try to do everything that I know to do to make sure that the cooling system is maintained. Best of luck to you!!

98eldorado-lee
11-09-08, 09:02 PM
Plugs are ACDelco #41-950 Professional Platinum. www.rockauto.com (http://www.rockauto.com). Change the plugs with the engine COLD, use no anti-seize, and torque to 13 ft/lb.

Save these diagrams. You will need them. The plug wire-to-coil sequence is critical. Google "waste spark ignition".

The thermostat begins opening at 188 and is fully open at 206. Fans go to slow at 224 or any A/C run mode, and fast at 235 or so. Therefore, in traffic you will see the gauge creep up to halfway between 12:00 and the next mark before the fans go to slow. Then it drops back to 12:00.

thanks submariner. I always have my work done at dealership. they want $615 to do plugs -wires.I feel its worth it to get the job done right.

Submariner409
11-09-08, 09:09 PM
Right now a set of plugs and wires online is around $155 - $180. Two hours' labor time.

98eldorado-lee
11-09-08, 09:25 PM
Right now a set of plugs and wires online is around $155 - $180. Two hours' labor time.

that sounds about right, cadillac charges $90 hr.

codewize
11-09-08, 09:46 PM
To help provide a more direct answer the long and the short of it is this.

There is a design flaw in these engines, specifically pre 2000, that promotes HG failure.

If it's going to happen it's going to happen. The only thing we know of that can even remotely prolong the life is regular maintenance of the coolant, as previously mentioned.

In my opinion, from what I've seen, if you're going to own a N* you should have a nest egg of $2000 - $3000 for emergency repairs, and that's on the lighter side of things.

I will never own another N* powered vehicle without a warranty, ever.

Destroyer
11-12-08, 05:19 PM
I feel a little bit better now.Feel better ONLY if you have the money aside for the H/G repair and dont mind doing it because you absolutely love the car, cost be damned. The H/G repair is a very common issue, especially for the year range your model is. Its also very expensive. My '98 blew the H/G's at 98k miles. I sold it to an unscrupulous car dealer for $1600.