: My story: HG headgasket failure



Avaya
07-24-14, 11:20 AM
It seems to be a very slooooooooow death.

My symptoms: exhaust smell in coolant, very slow coolant loss, temperature gauge will get up to the first "tick" mark occasionally, positive block test

The car has 109k miles on it now, I would guess that the failure first started 4,000 miles ago.

I am going to have Midwest Cadillac Repair in Chicago repair it. I would like to wait until this fall when I have more time and money.

Right now I drive like a grandma. I try to keep it under 2,500 rpm. I am still able to use the air, go on the interstate, etc. and we are in the 90's right now. We'll see how long I can put off the fix, but I have to be careful not to take it so far I can't drive it the 5 hours to the shop. I'll update occasionally.

Submariner409
07-24-14, 11:34 AM
Bummer - If you can limp it to Joe at Midwest you'll never have to worry again - given proper maintenance.

Ranger
07-24-14, 02:57 PM
It seems to be a very slooooooooow death.
They always are.

maeng9981
07-26-14, 01:19 AM
Funny my Deville had it failed at around 109000 miles also.

98eldo32v
07-26-14, 06:13 AM
It's really sad for such a good motor......

Like I always say, it's not if it's going to go, it's a question of when it's going to go.......

Avaya
08-08-14, 06:30 PM
Update: 109,300 miles

Had my first real overheat. The temp gauge started creeping and wouldn't go down.

I was running it harder than I have in a long time (late for a meeting), it's hot out and the air was on. I think what happened is running it harder put extra exhaust in the system, thus creating an air block at the water pump. I couldn't get the heat to pump out any heat, thus there was no circulation of coolant.

Just a little wait and I must have had enough coolant trickle into the water pump, was back on the road in 20 min, blasting the heat.

I'll have to keep my foot out of the gas if I'm gonna keep milking my time.

Avaya
09-07-14, 08:55 PM
And I'm at the point where it's not safe to drive anymore and I also pushed it far enough I can't drive it 5 hours to Midwest Cadillac, I'll have to drag it.
I hydrolocked the engine after not driving it for a few days, it leaked enough coolant into the cylinder that the starter would not spin the motor, fortunately I do not believe I have internal damage, but that is still to be determined

Summary for all those trying to milk a head bolt failure: I was able to drive it about 5,000 miles. I'm at 110,000 miles, I believe the first symptoms occurred at 105,000 miles, and I diagnosed it with a block test around 107,500. I drove like a grandma the last 2,500 miles. I only overheated once. The amount of coolant loss was surprisingly low, it would drop about 3/4 inch over a week.

I'm going to have it fixed. IF I was driving it into the ground, it would probably be possible to use some sort of sealant and get another 1,000+? more miles (while clogging the coolant system)