: Blown head gasket



garryday
07-16-03, 08:33 PM
Just bought a '97 etc w/67000 miles. On way home it overheated and the dealer tells me it is a blown headgasket. The Cadillac dealer wanted to replace the engine but the selling dealer has sent it to an independent(non-Cadillac garage) for repair. What are the chances of this being repaired correctly and is there anything I should look for to indicate if its been done right? What would cause a northstar with only 67000 miles to blow a head gasket?

Allante North *
07-16-03, 08:56 PM
Tough Break!

Improper Cooling System Maintenance

Got to change the coolant and add pellets every two years.

I hope this is not out of your pocket!

garryday
07-16-03, 09:09 PM
Thanks
dealer gave me a 12/12000 drivetrain so its on him. Just worried that a non cadillac garage won't do it right. Only had the car 18 hours but its my dream car.

Tough Break!

Improper Cooling System Maintenance

Got to change the coolant and add pellets every two years.

I hope this is not out of your pocket!

MMNineInchNails
07-16-03, 09:41 PM
Just because it's a noncadillac garage doesn't mean they don't know how to fix a blown head gasket. Everycar has a head gasket.

Katshot
07-16-03, 10:30 PM
Just because it's a noncadillac garage doesn't mean they don't know how to fix a blown head gasket. Everycar has a head gasket.

I agree. Just because it's NOT a Cadillac dealer doesn't mean anything.

elwesso
07-17-03, 12:07 AM
You may ask to make sure that they have some experience with the northstar!

garryday
07-17-03, 02:12 PM
Good point. I guess I was thinking that the Northstar was particularly sophisticated and may require specific expertese. The service Manager at my local Caddy dealership said the reason they prefer to replace the engine in these cases, is that the head bolts frequently break when removed.

I agree. Just because it's NOT a Cadillac dealer doesn't mean anything.

eehoepp
07-18-03, 08:27 PM
Good point. I guess I was thinking that the Northstar was particularly sophisticated and may require specific expertese. The service Manager at my local Caddy dealership said the reason they prefer to replace the engine in these cases, is that the head bolts frequently break when removed.

Welcome aboard!

The head bolts don't break - the threads pull out in the head bolt holes in the (aluminum) block. Do a search of the forums using Time-Sert, overheating or headgasket & you'll find numerous threads. The Time-Sert is the ONLY way to properly repair/upgrade the holes. I would recommend insisting on a shop that has experience doing this repair. I'd be afraid that a non-Caddy mechanic might run into a problem and try to bubble-gum the repair. You don't need to have the inconvenience and possible expense of doing the headgaskets again just after your warrantee runs out.

In my opinion, the dealers prefer to replace the engine because it's a very time-consuming repair (book rate is 19 hours labor for both heads) and the risk of extra expense due to pulled threads is fairly high. Swapping in a new engine is a much more predictable repair.

My STS was/is my dream car and started showing symptoms 2 days after I bought. Mine was a private sale so I was SOL. After having fixed mine myself (including the Time-Serts on all headbolt holes), I think I'd rather have a PROPERLY repaired block than a new engine. Despite the headgasket repair, I still think this car is just the greatest thing.

I'm not trying to scare you. I just think it's good for you to be forewarned/forearmed. Can you contact the shop that is actually doing the wrenching and have them keep you posted? I think if you can show the selling dealer that you know what should be done, you will be in a good position to make them do it. If they try to take any shortcuts or snow you, tell them to give you your money back and keep the car.

Good luck with everything and keep us posted.

elwesso
07-18-03, 10:45 PM
Listen to this guy, he KNOWS what hes talking about!!! Look at his thread, he's no dummy (like me) when it comes to the northstar!

If you do decide to go the dealer route, tell them to REPAIR it or leave...... A new engine wouldnt be worth it..... A new engine would cost a ton, and a take out would need so much R/R to get it back into useful shape that you could have the head bolts fixed already.......

Make sure that if anything else needs to be done that you get it done while the engine is out.... Things can take 1/2 the time (esp on a transverse engine) when the engine is out!!

MMNineInchNails
07-19-03, 01:14 AM
I can't wait to become an automotive technition. AHH book hours. good ol' makin people pay for 5 hours when you can do it in 1. :)

eehoepp
07-20-03, 11:32 PM
I can't wait to become an automotive technition. AHH book hours. good ol' makin people pay for 5 hours when you can do it in 1. :)

Or just be a DIYer and take over two months of evenings and weekends for a "19 hour" repair :banghead2

garryday
07-21-03, 10:14 PM
I want to thank all you guys that have taken the time to advise me. I find this forum immensely helpful. I can now speak knowledgably about "time-sert" and my plan is to let the dealer do his thing(comming up on three weeks now) and take it directly to a certified cadddy mechanic and have a pressure test done on the engine. Anything else anyone can suggest to be sure that the engine is repaired correctly would be appresiated. Thanks again guys. Ill keep you posted.

Or just be a DIYer and take over two months of evenings and weekends for a "19 hour" repair :banghead2

elwesso
07-21-03, 11:29 PM
Yes, keep us posted...... Hopefully the head gasket isnt the problem........ it could possibly be something else, but dont get your hopes up!!!

garryday
07-23-03, 08:35 PM
OK
I went and found the garage that has the car and they were planning on putting a salvage engine in the car. I nearly flipped. I went to the selling dealer( the one providing the warranty) and said I want a Caddilac certified garage doing the repairs which ultimately means a new engine( since that's how the caddy dealer wanted to handle it in the first place) If they want the Caddilac garage to replace the head gaskets(which I doubt since the SOP is to replace the engine) should I demand that they go through the engine? What else could be wrong if the head gasket blew AT 67000 miles? You guys have proved to be tremendously valuable with your advice and I sincerely appreciate it.
Thanks

Yes, keep us posted...... Hopefully the head gasket isnt the problem........ it could possibly be something else, but dont get your hopes up!!!

elwesso
07-23-03, 11:10 PM
Well, if the gasket blew at 67k miles (most fail closer to 100k), that possibly means that it may not have been maintained really good...... Maybe this new engine will give you a chance to maintain it perfectly.......

how much did they want for the engine replacement...... You may consider getting a take out engine, BUT, you MUST, MUST make sure that you have it r/r'd, or it will cause more problems later..... Doing stuff with the engine out can be take half the time, and jobs that are difficult and time-consuming can be a cakewalk when the engine is out.......

Brian Bray
07-25-03, 09:27 AM
Well, if the gasket blew at 67k miles (most fail closer to 100k), that possibly means that it may not have been maintained really good...... Maybe this new engine will give you a chance to maintain it perfectly.......

how much did they want for the engine replacement...... You may consider getting a take out engine, BUT, you MUST, MUST make sure that you have it r/r'd, or it will cause more problems later..... Doing stuff with the engine out can be take half the time, and jobs that are difficult and time-consuming can be a cakewalk when the engine is out.......

I know this may be your dream car but I would back away from this whole deal...get your money back and go to a different car. Do you want a car that was obviously not maintained? If the cooling system wasn't maintained properly, doesn't it stand to reason that none of the other systems were maintained properly also? These cars are high tech and wonderful; but everyone is beginning to learn that proper maintenance is absolutely paramount! This car is telling you that it wasn't maintained properly..you can get out now at no cost..don't be foolish..take the hint! The alternative can and will cost you $thousands.

If you stick with this car and even if you get the engine back the way you want it, what's next? You were lucky and this problem surfaced before the warranty expired; but what if the engine had been fine for the 12 months and 12,000 miles and then went bad and YOU had to pick up the repair cost? You KNOW the next repair will be on you; and the next and the next, etc. Nothing major on these cars is cheap! Doesn't sound like a good plan to me.

Last time I looked, there were plenty of cars available for sale; don't get stuck with this turkey! Start looking again and be sure that there are complete maintenance records with the car you are looking at. No records, then walk away from the car, no matter what. A Model A is simple enough you can fix most anything in your garage, but repairs on a '97 etc requires expertise, the right tools and lots of hours at big bucks per hour (which YOU are going to pay for!).
Brian Bray

elwesso
07-25-03, 11:45 AM
Thats a great post, Brian........ And a good point...... BUT, if he does get the replacement (new) engine, then there is no reason why he cant maintain it and have many more happy miles.......

And since its under warranty, have him replace the engine!!!! Nothing else makes sense....... If he wants to replace it, replace it....... If the dealer is sending it to an independent shop, chances are they are reputible and have experience with the northstar.......

Putting in a new engine would be like starting fresh..... You can maintain it perfectly, and it will be a great car.........

The head gasket problems only (or usually) occurs on ill-maintained northstars...... There are pleanty of cars that have the OEM head gasket..... But i bet every one had the coolant changed every 2yrs/24k, or 5yrs/50k with dex-cool.......

Sorry for the contradicting posts, but I just reread your post..... :o

2dfx
07-26-03, 08:23 PM
I can't wait to become an automotive technition. AHH book hours. good ol' makin people pay for 5 hours when you can do it in 1. :)
Shut up you! You're the kind of mechanic I want seen in my local graveyard if you charge that!!!

loisalynn
07-26-03, 10:27 PM
C
Just bought a '97 etc w/67000 miles. On way home it overheated and the dealer tells me it is a blown headgasket. The Cadillac dealer wanted to replace the engine but the selling dealer has sent it to an independent(non-Cadillac garage) for repair. What are the chances of this being repaired correctly and is there anything I should look for to indicate if its been done right? What would cause a northstar with only 67000 miles to blow a head gasket?




[COLOR=navy]I am a one-owner of a 1997 ETC. Leased for 3 yrs, then purchased the car. I have loved the vehicle. However, after the warranty ran out, I've had nothing but problems with my car. I also owned a '94 ETC and had no problems whatsoever. I have spent at least $6K in repairs since 48,000 miles. Everything, from an oil leak to the coolant problems to the A/C not working. My car overheated at 71,000 miles. The dealer quoted me $12,000 to repair it. I've now been without a car for 2 weeks. I know of another person whose '97 did the same thing at 70,000 miles. So, it is a problem that Cadillac is becoming well aware of for the 1997's. My car has been perfectly maintained. I've had oil changes every 3,000 miles. I go to a full-service station once a week to fill my car, and they check everything out. This problem is not the result of a poorly maintained vehicle. This is a problem associated with the '97's. It needs to be repaired by a qualified garage. I don't think the non-Cadillac garage is a huge issue IF they have previously dealt with Northstars. If not, I'd run to the nearest dealer and call Cadillac to see if they will help pay for it. Just call a Caddy dealer and ask them for the Cadillac Customer Service #. I don't know if Cadillac will do anything for a person who bought from other than Cadillac, BUT....it's worth a try. They screwed up on the 1997 ETC's. By the way, I've loved my car too. It is a wonderful vehicle, but paying as much as I paid for my car ($53,000) to get only 71.000 miles is not acceptable to me. Let me know what happens, and I'll try to keep you informed about my situation also. Good Luck! Lois

eehoepp
07-28-03, 12:10 AM
OK
I went and found the garage that has the car and they were planning on putting a salvage engine in the car. I nearly flipped. I went to the selling dealer( the one providing the warranty) and said I want a Caddilac certified garage doing the repairs which ultimately means a new engine( since that's how the caddy dealer wanted to handle it in the first place) If they want the Caddilac garage to replace the head gaskets(which I doubt since the SOP is to replace the engine) should I demand that they go through the engine? What else could be wrong if the head gasket blew AT 67000 miles? You guys have proved to be tremendously valuable with your advice and I sincerely appreciate it.
Thanks

You want this to be your dream car & not your worst nightmare. I think you should demand your money back and find another car. You bought a car in good faith and it crapped out before you got it home. Has the dealer arranged a suitable alternative vehicle for you to drive while they are "fixing" the engine? You have no idea of the history of the salvage engine, nor I presume its mileage. What happens if the salvage engine craps out in another month? The salvage yard probably gives a nominal guarantee, but that will only be for the engine and not the labour. Even worse, if it tanks in 13 months, you're SOL.

You should probably spend some time reading the fine print of your extended warrantee or contract of sale to see exactly where you stand. I think you'd have a strong case for a refund if you took it to court (but then nobody really wins). Some negative publicity - or the threat thereof - may force the dealer's hand.

Or the "repair" may be done and the car gives you many thousands of absolutely trouble-free miles and years of enjoyment. Are you willing to take that chance?

Gotta love the "dreams" you get when you polish off a big bowl of extra-spicy three bean chili just before bedtime...

2dfx
07-28-03, 10:06 AM
Gotta love the "dreams" you get when you polish off a big bowl of extra-spicy three bean chili just before bedtime...

Yeah right! Wet dreams more like it, and a fresh change of underwear!

garryday
07-31-03, 09:39 AM
I do have the option of a refund (and hopefully my trade in back) if I choose. Right now the dealership is trying to locate a comperable eldorado. I'm on vacation so I'll just have to wait and see what he comes up with when i return.


You want this to be your dream car & not your worst nightmare. I think you should demand your money back and find another car. You bought a car in good faith and it crapped out before you got it home. Has the dealer arranged a suitable alternative vehicle for you to drive while they are "fixing" the engine? You have no idea of the history of the salvage engine, nor I presume its mileage. What happens if the salvage engine craps out in another month? The salvage yard probably gives a nominal guarantee, but that will only be for the engine and not the labour. Even worse, if it tanks in 13 months, you're SOL.

You should probably spend some time reading the fine print of your extended warrantee or contract of sale to see exactly where you stand. I think you'd have a strong case for a refund if you took it to court (but then nobody really wins). Some negative publicity - or the threat thereof - may force the dealer's hand.

Or the "repair" may be done and the car gives you many thousands of absolutely trouble-free miles and years of enjoyment. Are you willing to take that chance?

Gotta love the "dreams" you get when you polish off a big bowl of extra-spicy three bean chili just before bedtime...

garryday
08-04-03, 11:47 PM
It's right down to it now and I could use some more advice. The dealer is looking for another car for me and he may have found a 2000 Eldorado with 52000 for 15900. The problem is that it doesn't have all the features of the original 97 but it seems like a great price for a 2000. The 97 has suposedly been repaired(time-sert) or helicoils as i've usually refered to them. What are the chances that the repaired engine will really be ok. I have a highly respected caddy mechanic(independant now) that tells me that he wouldn't touch the engine because when they overheat bad enough to blow the head gasket, there is more wrong. You guys really sound like you know your stuff so I was hoping I could impose on you for advice. T.hanks for your help



Thats a great post, Brian........ And a good point...... BUT, if he does get the replacement (new) engine, then there is no reason why he cant maintain it and have many more happy miles.......

And since its under warranty, have him replace the engine!!!! Nothing else makes sense....... If he wants to replace it, replace it....... If the dealer is sending it to an independent shop, chances are they are reputible and have experience with the northstar.......

Putting in a new engine would be like starting fresh..... You can maintain it perfectly, and it will be a great car.........

The head gasket problems only (or usually) occurs on ill-maintained northstars...... There are pleanty of cars that have the OEM head gasket..... But i bet every one had the coolant changed every 2yrs/24k, or 5yrs/50k with dex-cool.......

Sorry for the contradicting posts, but I just reread your post..... :o

elwesso
08-05-03, 12:00 AM
I think your independent guy is right, when they OVERHEAT they have other problems...... But the headgasket does not always fail because of overheating.... Mainly it fails due to pulled head bolts, which could possibly cause it to overheat...... Most of the time the bolts pull, the gasket fails, and then it overheats.....

If the engine has overheated and therefore caused the head gasket to fail, that says to me that the heads are warped, and the engine needs to be junked...... If you get it replaced, see if you can keep the old one and you could tinker with it.... You can really learn a lot......

SoundAdvantage
08-22-03, 08:47 PM
C




[COLOR=navy]I am a one-owner of a 1997 ETC. Leased for 3 yrs, then purchased the car. I have loved the vehicle. However, after the warranty ran out, I've had nothing but problems with my car. I also owned a '94 ETC and had no problems whatsoever. I have spent at least $6K in repairs since 48,000 miles. Everything, from an oil leak to the coolant problems to the A/C not working. My car overheated at 71,000 miles. The dealer quoted me $12,000 to repair it. I've now been without a car for 2 weeks. I know of another person whose '97 did the same thing at 70,000 miles. So, it is a problem that Cadillac is becoming well aware of for the 1997's. My car has been perfectly maintained. I've had oil changes every 3,000 miles. I go to a full-service station once a week to fill my car, and they check everything out. This problem is not the result of a poorly maintained vehicle. This is a problem associated with the '97's. It needs to be repaired by a qualified garage. I don't think the non-Cadillac garage is a huge issue IF they have previously dealt with Northstars. If not, I'd run to the nearest dealer and call Cadillac to see if they will help pay for it. Just call a Caddy dealer and ask them for the Cadillac Customer Service #. I don't know if Cadillac will do anything for a person who bought from other than Cadillac, BUT....it's worth a try. They screwed up on the 1997 ETC's. By the way, I've loved my car too. It is a wonderful vehicle, but paying as much as I paid for my car ($53,000) to get only 71.000 miles is not acceptable to me.
Sorry to hear about your Northstar Engine, When Aluminum gets hot it warps and changes it's configuration so once that happens you have big trouble and it takes alot of labor man hours to do repairs on aluminum engines and cylinder heads as well so "Dealers" usually opt for complete Replacement because it's much less time consuming when it come to Labor and machine work done to an engine. I personally feel that Cadillac need to "Recall certain year Northstar's" to keep their customers happy and in the market for another Cadillac someday. :spin:

eldo
09-04-03, 12:29 AM
C




[COLOR=navy]I am a one-owner of a 1997 ETC. Leased for 3 yrs, then purchased the car. I have loved the vehicle. However, after the warranty ran out, I've had nothing but problems with my car. I also owned a '94 ETC and had no problems whatsoever. I have spent at least $6K in repairs since 48,000 miles. Everything, from an oil leak to the coolant problems to the A/C not working. My car overheated at 71,000 miles. The dealer quoted me $12,000 to repair it. I've now been without a car for 2 weeks. I know of another person whose '97 did the same thing at 70,000 miles. So, it is a problem that Cadillac is becoming well aware of for the 1997's. My car has been perfectly maintained. I've had oil changes every 3,000 miles. I go to a full-service station once a week to fill my car, and they check everything out. This problem is not the result of a poorly maintained vehicle. This is a problem associated with the '97's. It needs to be repaired by a qualified garage. I don't think the non-Cadillac garage is a huge issue IF they have previously dealt with Northstars. If not, I'd run to the nearest dealer and call Cadillac to see if they will help pay for it. Just call a Caddy dealer and ask them for the Cadillac Customer Service #. I don't know if Cadillac will do anything for a person who bought from other than Cadillac, BUT....it's worth a try. They screwed up on the 1997 ETC's. By the way, I've loved my car too. It is a wonderful vehicle, but paying as much as I paid for my car ($53,000) to get only 71.000 miles is not acceptable to me. Let me know what happens, and I'll try to keep you informed about my situation also. Good Luck! Lois


Well I suppose you can add me to the long list of "97 ETC with
head gasket problems, just happened a couple of weeks ago. Since then
I have spent close to a thousand dollars because of the "Check Coolant
Level" light, only to be told that I have a possible blown head gasket.
Undecided on what to do next, new engine, rebuilt, used or have it repaired. I am able to still drive the car as if nothing at all is wrong with
it, only that I have to add coolant every three to five days when the
"Check Coolant Light" comes on. It's a very beautiful car, but sometimes
I wonder if it's all worth it.
You think maybe someone would be willing to buy it at a lowered price
the way it is now?
Eldo!

elwesso
09-05-03, 05:14 PM
Maybe you could get someone to buy it...... A dedicated DIYer with a northstar already in his possession.......

{thinking crazy thoughts :lightbulb: }

I think it would be a stupid move on your part, since I dont think anyone would pay more than 3000 for it.......

Katshot
09-05-03, 05:37 PM
It CONSTANTLY amazes me how there can STILL be anyone here DEFENDING the Northstar after you see how many people here have had major engine problems with them like this.

Allante North *
09-05-03, 06:35 PM
That's chocolate and Vanilla Kat. Take your pick. Aside from the tried and true V8 in many production GM vehicles, the Northstar is the only high performance V8 out there that has come along in recent history. It being aluminum is the source of the problem. It gets hot and sh*t happens. I love my Northstar, but it might crap out on me tomorrow. I hope not, but it could happen to me or it could happen to you in your car if not properly maintained. Most drivers do not do there own work and rely on someone else to do it. If something goes wrong, who you gonna point the finger at? I would bet most folks wouldn't point it at themselves, RIGHT.

I would defend the Northstar, but I know more about it than most folks out there because I chose to learn about it. I love the way she screams at WOT and redlines at near 7000 rpm's. If you were to tach your motor that high, we would see the pistons come through the hood and a puddle of 10W30 on the ground. You wouldn't do it because you know what you are doing, but most folks haven't got a clue. They take their car to Pep Boys or Jiffy Lube and think they are on top of things not knowing that the dingleberry working on there car dosen't give a rip or know about adding coolant pellets to the cooling system.

So bottem line is you take your Vette motor in your Caddy(Vanilla), and I'll take my Northstar(Chocolate) and we both drive away happy. :)

ljklaiber
09-05-03, 09:43 PM
I have 137K on my 95 sls. No oil probs and no HGasket probs. I run 93 Amoco and throttle the crap out ot it. I think you all should listen to Wesso and buy an infiniti. The French need the business.

Katshot
09-05-03, 10:26 PM
That's chocolate and Vanilla Kat. Take your pick. Aside from the tried and true V8 in many production GM vehicles, the Northstar is the only high performance V8 out there that has come along in recent history. It being aluminum is the source of the problem. It gets hot and sh*t happens. I love my Northstar, but it might crap out on me tomorrow. I hope not, but it could happen to me or it could happen to you in your car if not properly maintained. Most drivers do not do there own work and rely on someone else to do it. If something goes wrong, who you gonna point the finger at? I would bet most folks wouldn't point it at themselves, RIGHT.

I would defend the Northstar, but I know more about it than most folks out there because I chose to learn about it. I love the way she screams at WOT and redlines at near 7000 rpm's. If you were to tach your motor that high, we would see the pistons come through the hood and a puddle of 10W30 on the ground. You wouldn't do it because you know what you are doing, but most folks haven't got a clue. They take their car to Pep Boys or Jiffy Lube and think they are on top of things not knowing that the dingleberry working on there car dosen't give a rip or know about adding coolant pellets to the cooling system.

So bottem line is you take your Vette motor in your Caddy(Vanilla), and I'll take my Northstar(Chocolate) and we both drive away happy. :)

See, THAT's the problem. You and others ACCEPTING the shortcomings of the engine as though ALL aluminum engines have head gasket problems and suck oil like it's going out of style. THEY DON'T, IT DOES. End of story. And what the HELL does an engines redline have to do with its build quality or overall integrity? My WEED-EATER has a higher redline than a Northstar, SO WHAT? Like it or not, by the numbers, Northstars can't hold a candle to the reliability of an LT1 let alone many other V8s. How many high-output aluminum V8s out there do you see with the kind of failure rate of the Northstar head gaskets? Answer, NONE.
If Cadillac customers would STOP taking it on the chin and smiling about it, Cadillac would be FORCED to improve their product. Like it or not, Cadillac aluminum engines have cost them a HUGE amount of money and customers over the years.

elwesso
09-05-03, 10:30 PM
That's chocolate and Vanilla Kat. Take your pick. Aside from the tried and true V8 in many production GM vehicles, the Northstar is the only high performance V8 out there that has come along in recent history. It being aluminum is the source of the problem. It gets hot and sh*t happens. I love my Northstar, but it might crap out on me tomorrow. I hope not, but it could happen to me or it could happen to you in your car if not properly maintained. Most drivers do not do there own work and rely on someone else to do it. If something goes wrong, who you gonna point the finger at? I would bet most folks wouldn't point it at themselves, RIGHT.

I would defend the Northstar, but I know more about it than most folks out there because I chose to learn about it. I love the way she screams at WOT and redlines at near 7000 rpm's. If you were to tach your motor that high, we would see the pistons come through the hood and a puddle of 10W30 on the ground. You wouldn't do it because you know what you are doing, but most folks haven't got a clue. They take their car to Pep Boys or Jiffy Lube and think they are on top of things not knowing that the dingleberry working on there car dosen't give a rip or know about adding coolant pellets to the cooling system.

So bottem line is you take your Vette motor in your Caddy(Vanilla), and I'll take my Northstar(Chocolate) and we both drive away happy. :)
Sounds VERY familar........ 32 valves running at almost 7000 rpm!! Its a wonderful thing!!!

garryday
09-08-03, 10:25 PM
Well, the owner of the dealership really blew me away. This is a large Lexus dealership in my area and he called telling me to just come get my money. This is after they sold my car without my signing off on it. I finally wound up buying a 2000 ESC without the features the 97 had but I got it for 14,200.00 so it seems like a deal. I just want to figure out how to put a bose system in it. Can I use one from another car? What about "Theftlock".
Garry


You want this to be your dream car & not your worst nightmare. I think you should demand your money back and find another car. You bought a car in good faith and it crapped out before you got it home. Has the dealer arranged a suitable alternative vehicle for you to drive while they are "fixing" the engine? You have no idea of the history of the salvage engine, nor I presume its mileage. What happens if the salvage engine craps out in another month? The salvage yard probably gives a nominal guarantee, but that will only be for the engine and not the labour. Even worse, if it tanks in 13 months, you're SOL.

You should probably spend some time reading the fine print of your extended warrantee or contract of sale to see exactly where you stand. I think you'd have a strong case for a refund if you took it to court (but then nobody really wins). Some negative publicity - or the threat thereof - may force the dealer's hand.

Or the "repair" may be done and the car gives you many thousands of absolutely trouble-free miles and years of enjoyment. Are you willing to take that chance?

Gotta love the "dreams" you get when you polish off a big bowl of extra-spicy three bean chili just before bedtime...

elwesso
09-09-03, 12:30 AM
Gary..... In regards to your radio related question, please post a new thread in the infotainment section :)

MIKE P
09-13-03, 10:34 AM
Lois, Did you get anywhere with the dealer? I have a maintained 97 with a blown head gasket, 67k miles.
C




[COLOR=navy]I am a one-owner of a 1997 ETC. Leased for 3 yrs, then purchased the car. I have loved the vehicle. However, after the warranty ran out, I've had nothing but problems with my car. I also owned a '94 ETC and had no problems whatsoever. I have spent at least $6K in repairs since 48,000 miles. Everything, from an oil leak to the coolant problems to the A/C not working. My car overheated at 71,000 miles. The dealer quoted me $12,000 to repair it. I've now been without a car for 2 weeks. I know of another person whose '97 did the same thing at 70,000 miles. So, it is a problem that Cadillac is becoming well aware of for the 1997's. My car has been perfectly maintained. I've had oil changes every 3,000 miles. I go to a full-service station once a week to fill my car, and they check everything out. This problem is not the result of a poorly maintained vehicle. This is a problem associated with the '97's. It needs to be repaired by a qualified garage. I don't think the non-Cadillac garage is a huge issue IF they have previously dealt with Northstars. If not, I'd run to the nearest dealer and call Cadillac to see if they will help pay for it. Just call a Caddy dealer and ask them for the Cadillac Customer Service #. I don't know if Cadillac will do anything for a person who bought from other than Cadillac, BUT....it's worth a try. They screwed up on the 1997 ETC's. By the way, I've loved my car too. It is a wonderful vehicle, but paying as much as I paid for my car ($53,000) to get only 71.000 miles is not acceptable to me. Let me know what happens, and I'll try to keep you informed about my situation also. Good Luck! Lois

Salb
09-19-03, 01:16 AM
[QUOTE=eldo]Well I suppose you can add me to the long list of "97 ETC with
head gasket problems, just happened a couple of weeks ago. Since then
I have spent close to a thousand dollars because of the "Check Coolant
Level" light, only to be told that I have a possible blown head gasket.
Undecided on what to do next, new engine, rebuilt, used or have it repaired. I am able to still drive the car as if nothing at all is wrong with
it, only that I have to add coolant every three to five days when the
"Check Coolant Light" comes on. It's a very beautiful car, but sometimes
I wonder if it's all worth it.

Same story for me, except mine is a '93. (pun unintended)

I guess I am lucky as I am at about 260,000 km. Occasional white smoke exhaust, have to top-up coolant every 600km, and, I think, the slight sweet smell of coolant in the car, (no fogging of windows, though) even with the air and heater off (could this be coming right from the engine compartment?) Probably not healthy.

Coolant temp will range from 93C to 125C (under 100C 95% of the time though.) I have learned to drive it so that it will not overheat to the warning point. Still gets great mileage. Dealer, for reasons explained in other posts in this area, suggests new engine. Is this problem as common with 93' model year as with '97's? If I went for a new engine, with proper maintenance, are the odds that it will last into the 200k's or beyond?

If not for the coolant smell, I would just keep rolling as is. The problem does not 'seem' to be getting any worse. It gets me where I want, and it is such a beautiful car.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

javachicklet
05-04-05, 09:13 PM
I didnt know you could still drive with a blown head gasket.



My sad story is that I just traded in my 91' Brougham for a 98' Deville, and when I went to get it inspected 11 days later my mechanic told me that my head gasket was cracked. naturally i have no warranty... I had no idea this was a big issue and was unfamiliar with the Northstar engine.

blb
05-04-05, 11:15 PM
I do have the option of a refund (and hopefully my trade in back) if I choose. Right now the dealership is trying to locate a comperable eldorado. I'm on vacation so I'll just have to wait and see what he comes up with when i return.
Take the refund and don't look back. Consider yourself lucky that you found out about the problems with the Northstar while you still can unload it without financial loss.

1996deVille
05-04-05, 11:46 PM
Yep, get out of this deal as fast as you can!!!

I've put thousands of dollars in my '96 (bought at 68K) - almost all DIY. These cars are a nightmare past 50K. You'll save big money and lots of time buying at 20K, or so, and trading in right before 50K. The money you put up front will be far less than the repair $$$$ from 50K on up.

My bad, I should've known better, my '79 was just the same...

Much success.

mtflight
05-05-05, 11:08 AM
Guys, the original post is 2 years old.

Ranger
05-05-05, 06:45 PM
These cars are a nightmare past 50K. You'll save big money and lots of time buying at 20K, or so, and trading in right before 50K. The money you put up front will be far less than the repair $$$$ from 50K on up.


I bought my car with 20K on it. I just turned 100K. So far I have replaced tires, plugs, wires and blower motor. Hardly a "nighmare".

wisguy
08-12-06, 05:49 PM
I have a blown head gasket on my 1998 Eldorado which has a Northstar engine. Estimates to repair it have ranged from $2,000 to $4,000 and they won't guarantee their work. Many mechanics don't even want to touch the job. The car is in otherwise excellent shape.
My question is, do you know of anyone that has had success using products such as Thermagasket (Welcome to RX Auto. Makers of Thermagasket Industrial Head and Block Sealant (http://www.rxauto.com)) or any other similar type sealant?

dkozloski
08-12-06, 06:13 PM
Forget it! Doesn't work.

CadillacSTS42005
08-12-06, 06:45 PM
"Thanks Again.... I called you guys because my Northstar had an overheating problem and my local mechanic told me it must have a blown head gasket because of the process of elimination with MY MONEY NEW RADIATOR, WATER PUMP TO THE TUNE OF $1100.00 The car was still overheating. I called you to order and you spent the time (Approx 45 Minutes) explaining to me how these cars are notorious for holding air in the block as well as a line in the intake plugging up. We cleared the line like you explained and purged the cooling system like you explained..... NO MORE OVERHEATING.... I have enclosed a $100.00 Bill for your time even though it was worth far more! I will scream from the highest mountains how good of service you guys offer."

thats from their site. they provide good info no doubt, but if they thought their product would of worked on the N* they prob would of tried to make a sale rather than actually help him!

Ranger
08-12-06, 10:46 PM
I have a blown head gasket on my 1998 Eldorado which has a Northstar engine. Estimates to repair it have ranged from $2,000 to $4,000 and they won't guarantee their work. Many mechanics don't even want to touch the job. The car is in otherwise excellent shape.
My question is, do you know of anyone that has had success using products such as Thermagasket (Welcome to RX Auto. Makers of Thermagasket Industrial Head and Block Sealant (http://www.rxauto.com)) or any other similar type sealant?
AKA "Hope in a Bottle". It doesn't work.

dkozloski
08-12-06, 11:42 PM
AKA "Hope in a Bottle". It doesn't work.
If you're loking for something in a bottle to ease your problem, may I suggest "Duggan's Dew of Kirkintiloch".

fiddlertom
10-03-07, 11:25 PM
I have a 1993 eldorado that has a small leak of carbon gasses into the radiator, a sign of a blown head gasket. No coolant in the oil, only overheats if you drive it hard. Does anyone know if thermagasket will work on the northstar engine, blue devil and steel seal say not to use it because of the wet sleeve that engine has. The dealer wont even replace the gasket because they say it wont last. Any suggestions will be appreiciated.

Ranger
10-03-07, 11:27 PM
Do a search. NO repair in a bottle will work. IF repaired properly (with Timeserts) it will last.

zonie77
10-04-07, 12:40 AM
The dealer is full of s##t.

Guys are doing them at home and they work. It's a long job though.

zonie77
10-04-07, 12:42 AM
Fiddlertom, why don't you indicate where you're located. Guys that have had it done might be able to suggest a shop.

SpeedTrap47
10-26-07, 04:59 PM
Wife has 98 Deville
Cars been overheating on and off for 9 months
Changed water pump ,radiator , thermostat
presurized each cylinder no signs of leakage other than overboard thru coolant tank
tried everything to the tune of $1000.00

head gasket finally let loose, had them do the timesert job also $3500.00
Engine now runs at a steady 200F +/- 3 NO MATTER WHAT YOU RUN THE CAR AT

End it and Pay the money

ggerbino
03-27-08, 07:23 PM
Does that Blue Devil fluid work on Northstars? Just blew head gasket in 1997 Concours with 72,000 miles

Ranger
03-27-08, 08:51 PM
No snake oil works. There is only one way to fix it.

zonie77
03-27-08, 11:59 PM
Does that Blue Devil fluid work on Northstars? Just blew head gasket in 1997 Concours with 72,000 miles


Not only does it not work, you will have problems with a clogged cooling system after you replace the head gaskets.

couldntmakeitup
03-30-08, 12:49 PM
I'd tell him to keep the car. "The blown Headgasket thread" has over 11,000 veiws, 2nd on the list here. Its clear that this N* motor is a complete piece of shit. I'm dealing with the same thing right now on my 97 SLS Seville. What a joke. If I'd of found this forum prior to the purchase, it never would have happened. Some poor stupid ******* paid almost 50k for this peice of shit that I bought just over 11 years ago. I bought the junk pile for 2k and its not worth that. lol What a complete joke. Id get rid of it.

couldntmakeitup
03-30-08, 01:16 PM
See, THAT's the problem. You and others ACCEPTING the shortcomings of the engine as though ALL aluminum engines have head gasket problems and suck oil like it's going out of style. THEY DON'T, IT DOES. End of story. And what the HELL does an engines redline have to do with its build quality or overall integrity? My WEED-EATER has a higher redline than a Northstar, SO WHAT? Like it or not, by the numbers, Northstars can't hold a candle to the reliability of an LT1 let alone many other V8s. How many high-output aluminum V8s out there do you see with the kind of failure rate of the Northstar head gaskets? Answer, NONE.
If Cadillac customers would STOP taking it on the chin and smiling about it, Cadillac would be FORCED to improve their product. Like it or not, Cadillac aluminum engines have cost them a HUGE amount of money and customers over the years.

Great post, its just amazing, breathtakeing, how people bend over and let Cadillac shuv it in deap...amazing...IMHO the N* is a complete pile of shit. I'm amazed people would spend 50k+ on a car thats going to be worth less then 10k after just 70,000 miles, lolol Amazing. Over 100,000 miles and your talking 3 or 4k. What a joke.

As long as they can get away with it, they will.lol Ever wonder why GMs stock has decreased so much? lol

Submariner409
06-21-11, 10:47 AM
???????? Most of these guys haven't been in here in 7.5 years ! The guy you just asked a question of hasn't been here in 8.3 years !!

Are you going into the advertising mode again ??