: Is my mechanic pulling a 'fast one'?



Freep
02-10-04, 11:06 PM
Symptoms on my 95 STS Northstar:
Hesitation sometimes during acceleration - Main symptom, only when car is in gear and at a light (brake) the rpm's will jump for a bit, or rough idle for a few seconds and then straighten out. Sometimes it will do this a few times and other times not at all. Sometimes the car is fine, hardly noticeable rough idle but thatís it.

Mechanic had the car all day, this is a place that services Cadillacís too. Almost the end of the day when they say cylinder 5 is losing compression saying its a bad valve. So, his advice to me was that it doesnít make sense to get a whole valve job done with a car with a lot of miles. This would cause the compression to go up on all the cylinders and the bottom end remains old resulting in a lot of oil consumption and its just not good. So, the recommendation is I need a new engine, $5000- $6000.

To me this does not make sense, especially if its a bad valve I would expect the problem to be persistent, I mean we are talking mechanical cams and valves. I was thinking it has to be a sensor, oxygen sensor, clogged/bad injector. He also asked if my car over heats because sometimes the computer will shut down the injector if it thinks the car is running hot. He kept asking if the engine light ever came on and it never has.

I have been in the car when it overheats and when it does you know damn well...the display says something like Low coolant, shutting down or something to that effect and you can REALLY tell it shut down half the cylinders as I recall thatís what N*'s do right...they run on four cylinders. The car stalled and I started it up again and had enough power to get to a gas station, so I know what it does when it over heats.

I will take the care back ( it runs ok) tomorrow and get a second opinion on it. Although I shouldn't, I am really contemplating taking it to the Cadillac dealer and them diagnose the problem. A few more hundred bucks for a diagnosis is better than a sure 5 or 6 grand. Any experiences out there related to mine or opinions on this mechanic? This is a new mechanic for me...first time...seems like a nice shop.

Thanks!

kevinK
02-10-04, 11:18 PM
$5000-6000 can buy another cad.

My 98 Deville had gas padel sticking and stalling on traffic light. After cleaning the throttle body, the symptoms are gone.

I would give it a shot first.

zonie77
02-11-04, 12:48 AM
You are correct about the valve being more consistent. Try cleaning the throttle body first.
You didn't give any info on mileage or service history. Possibly a plug or wire starting to go.

Eldobroken
02-11-04, 01:19 AM
Symptoms on my 95 STS Northstar:
Hesitation sometimes during acceleration - Main symptom, only when car is in gear and at a light (brake) the rpm's will jump for a bit, or rough idle for a few seconds and then straighten out. Sometimes it will do this a few times and other times not at all. Sometimes the car is fine, hardly noticeable rough idle but thatís it.

Mechanic had the car all day, this is a place that services Cadillacís too. Almost the end of the day when they say cylinder 5 is losing compression saying its a bad valve. So, his advice to me was that it doesnít make sense to get a whole valve job done with a car with a lot of miles. This would cause the compression to go up on all the cylinders and the bottom end remains old resulting in a lot of oil consumption and its just not good. So, the recommendation is I need a new engine, $5000- $6000.

To me this does not make sense, especially if its a bad valve I would expect the problem to be persistent, I mean we are talking mechanical cams and valves. I was thinking it has to be a sensor, oxygen sensor, clogged/bad injector. He also asked if my car over heats because sometimes the computer will shut down the injector if it thinks the car is running hot. He kept asking if the engine light ever came on and it never has.

I have been in the car when it overheats and when it does you know damn well...the display says something like Low coolant, shutting down or something to that effect and you can REALLY tell it shut down half the cylinders as I recall thatís what N*'s do right...they run on four cylinders. The car stalled and I started it up again and had enough power to get to a gas station, so I know what it does when it over heats.

I will take the care back ( it runs ok) tomorrow and get a second opinion on it. Although I shouldn't, I am really contemplating taking it to the Cadillac dealer and them diagnose the problem. A few more hundred bucks for a diagnosis is better than a sure 5 or 6 grand. Any experiences out there related to mine or opinions on this mechanic? This is a new mechanic for me...first time...seems like a nice shop.

Thanks!
Hi Freep it has been my experience that the cadillac dealers do not know anything more than you are going to find here and in the manuals. Also bottom ends on the n* are built like a brick****house. Anyway there are so many other things that can go wrong electronically and mechanically i would look further into it myself. My last advice from a mechinic i know was that Northstars are throw away motors. If so mabye i should throw away my 94 eldo with 170K that runs like the day i got it. Also if you do not have a compression tester go to an auto parts store that lets you borrow tools for free not sure where you are from but in NY there are a few here. Do a compression test on all your cylinders. Don't quote me here but i think its between 10-15% in other words all cylinders should be close in pressure. Goodluck man.

Eldobroken
02-11-04, 01:25 AM
Hi Freep it has been my experience that the cadillac dealers do not know anything more than you are going to find here and in the manuals. Also bottom ends on the n* are built like a brick****house. Anyway there are so many other things that can go wrong electronically and mechanically i would look further into it myself. My last advice from a mechinic i know was that Northstars are throw away motors. If so mabye i should throw away my 94 eldo with 170K that runs like the day i got it. Also if you do not have a compression tester go to an auto parts store that lets you borrow tools for free not sure where you are from but in NY there are a few here. Do a compression test on all your cylinders. Don't quote me here but i think its between 10-15% in other words all cylinders should be close in pressure. Goodluck man.


ALso Just reading post again. If he is a caddy mechanic why the hell does he keep asking you about check engine light. Any "CADILLAC MECHANIC" would go directly into the stored codes and would know if the light has been on. Just my 1 1/2 cents.

Freep
02-11-04, 03:25 AM
ALso Just reading post again. If he is a caddy mechanic why the hell does he keep asking you about check engine light. Any "CADILLAC MECHANIC" would go directly into the stored codes and would know if the light has been on. Just my 1 1/2 cents.


Appreciate the responses Eldobroken and others! I wish I could work on my baby myself but being in a luxury apartment in San Jose, CA I do not have that luxury. Even though I do have a garage here, working on a car is frowned apon of course, they already complain when I start her up in the morning or when I come home.

I will try to get a second oppinion from another shop or the dealer but first check out my wires, plugs, and throttle body for anything obvious. I think I recall in a previous thread that in order to run the in-dash diagnostic I would hold down the "OFF" and "Warmer" buttons for about 5 seconds? Is this correct?

Car has approx. 180K+ miles on her, I got the car at an auction. She was an abused company car I believe before I got her. I have replaced almost everything on the car including a brand new tranny...only about 5000 miles on it. Thanks again guys, love the forums it has been a great help.

Eldobroken
02-11-04, 08:14 AM
Appreciate the responses Eldobroken and others! I wish I could work on my baby myself but being in a luxury apartment in San Jose, CA I do not have that luxury. Even though I do have a garage here, working on a car is frowned apon of course, they already complain when I start her up in the morning or when I come home.

I will try to get a second oppinion from another shop or the dealer but first check out my wires, plugs, and throttle body for anything obvious. I think I recall in a previous thread that in order to run the in-dash diagnostic I would hold down the "OFF" and "Warmer" buttons for about 5 seconds? Is this correct?

Car has approx. 180K+ miles on her, I got the car at an auction. She was an abused company car I believe before I got her. I have replaced almost everything on the car including a brand new tranny...only about 5000 miles on it. Thanks again guys, love the forums it has been a great help.
Yep those condo APT associations really suck. I was in the Fla Keys in some condo i rented they called the cops on me for using too much water to flush my Sea Doo out lol PITA. Yes off and heat usually i just hold a few down till i get codes beacuse i always forget:hmm: . Goodluck i have almost the same milage but i have put 100K on my car and taken care of it you do not really know. But i am always blasting up to 140 or so usually late at night no one on road. It is such a pleasure to drive this car fast and it pulls so nice from 60 and up. Well i have a legit reason for doing this Just Cleaning out the Carbon lol. Well good luck with your car man. Mabye you could get a suggestion on here for a mechanic in your area there are a few guys on here from Cali.

Freep
02-11-04, 12:02 PM
Yep those condo APT associations really suck. I was in the Fla Keys in some condo i rented they called the cops on me for using too much water to flush my Sea Doo out lol PITA. Yes off and heat usually i just hold a few down till i get codes beacuse i always forget:hmm: . Goodluck i have almost the same milage but i have put 100K on my car and taken care of it you do not really know. But i am always blasting up to 140 or so usually late at night no one on road. It is such a pleasure to drive this car fast and it pulls so nice from 60 and up. Well i have a legit reason for doing this Just Cleaning out the Carbon lol. Well good luck with your car man. Mabye you could get a suggestion on here for a mechanic in your area there are a few guys on here from Cali.

Thanks, i was going to ask that same question. Where would be a good place(Which category in this forum) to post an inquiry on the forum for a mechanic in the San Jose / San Fransisco area? Thanks again. I have read some posts and most of them just say it is due to deposits in the intake that would cause my symptoms, but like you said it could be many things. I just feel the rule of thumb is; If I can drive the car to and from the shop and around town and for a good while longer then I dont need a new N*. Thanks again.

Night Wolf
02-11-04, 08:22 PM
Yep those condo APT associations really suck. I was in the Fla Keys in some condo i rented they called the cops on me for using too much water to flush my Sea Doo out lol PITA. Yes off and heat usually i just hold a few down till i get codes beacuse i always forget:hmm: . Goodluck i have almost the same milage but i have put 100K on my car and taken care of it you do not really know. But i am always blasting up to 140 or so usually late at night no one on road. It is such a pleasure to drive this car fast and it pulls so nice from 60 and up. Well i have a legit reason for doing this Just Cleaning out the Carbon lol. Well good luck with your car man. Mabye you could get a suggestion on here for a mechanic in your area there are a few guys on here from Cali.

Hey, I was just wondering where you are able to go up to 140...... in NY...well, atleast where I live, the only place to do that woudl be the thruway, but there are always troopers out on the roads at night like that..... and the speed limit is 65, so 65+65= 130.....anything above 130 and you can get arrested here......

It is nice to see high millage N* still running around :D

Eldobroken
02-11-04, 11:46 PM
Hey, I was just wondering where you are able to go up to 140...... in NY...well, atleast where I live, the only place to do that woudl be the thruway, but there are always troopers out on the roads at night like that..... and the speed limit is 65, so 65+65= 130.....anything above 130 and you can get arrested here......

It is nice to see high millage N* still running around :DI guess your Upstate ny by the throughway. A good place in my experience is Ocean Parkway Between robert moses causeway and jones beach. In the winter it is a deserted road at night. I do not advocate doing this beacuse there is always a slight chance of a cop or killing yourself. But we have no tracks left here:disappoin . People compalin about noise and say goodbye to tracks. There was an article in Maxim about bikes racing check it out. That is just insane racing in traffic of on belt parkway. One thing though i never speed during the day or with any other cars on the road if i am doing it a 3am and no one is on road i feel somewhat safe z rated tires and suspension always in check. Also had some fun in FLA on aligator alley one big stright road in the middle of nowhere. I think there are some states in the middle of the country with no limits. But as for upstate NY those troopers are really strict wouldnt take chances anywhere there.

Sinister Angel
02-11-04, 11:56 PM
To check the codes, look at the very last section of the page

http://www.babcox.com/editorial/us/us100232.htm

Freep
02-19-04, 09:39 PM
To check the codes, look at the very last section of the page

http://www.babcox.com/editorial/us/us100232.htm

Just an update on the situation. Finally I had a chance to get the codes off the computer:

The one that struck me was P119 - Open or shorted Fuel Injector . This would explain the behavior I have now, really high rpm's during idle like around 1000-1500rpm's like the engine is compensating for missing power. Stall sensor also was tripped on the history list as well. How can I check my fuel injectors, is it something I can replace myself and purchase one?


Also two more codes i recieved but have no record of in the diagnostic trouble codes guide: P035 and P107...does any one know what these two refer to? THanks for all your help!

I do still believe its something to do with intake or a fuel injector and the confirmation from the computer is assuring. I would love to be able to fix her myself rather than get reemed at a shop or dealership especially if its something simple like a bad fuel injector(if I could replace myself that is).

Update again: Just found a related post recently regarding fuel injectors:

Dont put any crap in your cadillac! Just changed the injectors, They are $60.00 each on Autorock.com. So your looking at 180 bucks, with a 10 mintue installation.

Looks like it is easy, I will check my books to see how to do this exactly, but I need a way to find out which one /ones are faulty any hints?

MMNineInchNails
02-19-04, 10:13 PM
you could get a noid light to see if the electrical is fine, which it could be but never know, then a fuel injector tester(i don't know if autozone loans them out you may have to go to a mechanic) and test the injectors. you can also do an easy check. With the engine on, get a stethoscope (or long screw driver) and put it on the actual side of the injector and listen to see if it's clicking. If it doesn't make a sound, then it's bad. If you're using a long screw driver for the test, put the head on the side of the injector and put the handle up to your ear and you can hear clicking through the handle.