: My 97 Head Gasket Problem

09-11-04, 01:27 PM
I recently bought a 97 deville with 62k miles on it from the auto auction in my area. As soon as I left the dealer lot, I was overheating within 10 miles. I took it to a dealership and they initially diagnosed it as a water pump. As there was never any coolant on the ground I wondered if it truly was the water pump. There was a significant coolant loss everytime the car was run. Anyways, after a $1,000 new water pump was put in, the dealer informed me that I had a bad head gasket which would cost an additional $2,500. Although this was a very big disappointment for me, the dealership claimed that if i went ahead with the head gasket repair the car would be like brand new. I really just don't know how much I can trust these guys, and was hoping for some honest opinions on this forum.

Are there any other problems that may arise after the head gasket is repaired, maybe something like bad valves?

I have a heavy hesitation accelerating from a stopped position, and a noticeable rattle when I am cruising around 40 mph. Is this something that may be caused by the head gasket, or is it something else I need to worry about?

At this point I am wondering if this car is worth keeping at all. I have had it less than a month and I am already looking to sink $3,500 into. Should i try to unload it before I do this head gasket job, or will it truly be worth keeping?

Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Matt.

09-11-04, 01:33 PM
Use the forum search feature in the toolbar above. Search using "head gasket" "timesert" "overheating" "vapor vent line" "water pump drive" "coolant supplement" etc.... and read my posts. Lots of detailed info on this in the archives already.

Vehicles at auctions are always a huge crapshoot....huge... With no service history and no history or use or abuse it is hard to say what it could be...but overheating alone and coolant loss could be a variety of problems.

It seems that many repair facilities are quick to jump to the conclusion that if a Northstar overheats it is the head gaskets but that is not always the case.

Have you checked the coolant concentration and added the coolant supplement to the radiator hose to see if it will stop the coolant loss and the overheating??

09-11-04, 10:02 PM
Unfortunately, I have a '97 sts that I purchased recently that has the same problem that you describe. It was hard to believe because the car runs great and had no loss of power, no coolant in the oil, not smoking or any other signs of a head gasket. They did what's called a carbon test on mine to determine it was truly the head gasket. I have been getting suggestions from shops to just get a remanufactured engine since it is not much more than the repair and it comes with a warranty.

09-12-04, 01:18 AM
If it is actually a head gasket be absolutely certain that they "timesert" all the head bolt holes or you'll be back with the same problem in 10K or less. If done properly it should be as good or better than new. No, you shouldn't have any other problems. That is the one weak point so to speak.

09-13-04, 04:40 PM
Thanks to everyone for the information. I did search through the forums and found tons of valuable info. Without these forums I was basically stuck with having to take the dealer's word for it, which left me feeling very uncomfortable. Thanks again and keep up the good work.