: 96 STS Head Gasket Story...

10-05-06, 02:41 AM
Hey everyone,
This is my first post here. I've been viewing this site for some time now.
I live in British Columbia, Canada, not far from the washington state border.
I have owned a 1978 Eldorado Biarritz, and in february i purchased a 1996 STS in a private sale for $6600.00 canadian($5870.00 US).
Not long after i purchased it i realized that coolant was leaking and when i looked under the radiator cap i saw that the coolant looked brown and sludgy. i took it into the local mechanic and he told me that it had a hydrocarbon reading which probably meant the head gasket, but that i should consider just getting the rad flushed to see what happens. so i did that and sure enough it kept happening, after a few months in about june, the engine started getting a little more hot than usual, just a little over half on the meter. the rad blew and i had to get that replaced costing me $700.
One day not long after while driveing in to the city it began to overheat near the red, i immediatly pulled over and shut the car off for a few moments and checked everything and restarted it and it was fine. at this point i was sure i had to do the head gaskets, i decided to wait until something happend and sure enough it did. as i pulled into the liqour store parking lot the engine begain to produce a large cloud of steam, when i inspected things i saw that the car had a massive puddle of coolant and oil on the ground below it. i got the car towed, and saved up the money to do the head gaskets.
while i arranged to get the job done at the local cadillac dealership the service departement employee assured me that he had never heard of a "time sert" and that they dont do that there. i was quite confused and tried to get him to understand but he did not. we ended up agreeing that if i brought them a timesert kit they would do the job. so i go to the nearest timesert distributor in bellingham, WA, and purchase the kit... i get the car along with the kit to the dealership to be repaired, the service department employee than appologized to me because he "had a misunderstanding with me about the kit" and basically said of course we have the kit. so i have to arrange to take the kit back which is a pain in the ass. the shop has the engine apart now and they informed me that sure enough the problem was loose headbolts. they talked me into purchasing new spark plugs as well as an allignment, and a new front engine mount because apparently its "a little rocky". i agreed to do it all because id rather not do it later. i was told that i should expect to be paying $3800.00 canadian ($3377.00 US)
or less for the new headgasket and timeserts, before he added on the cost of all the other suggestions which i expect will cost me near $500 extra. i'm finally done telling my long story, i'm going to bed. tomorrow i go to pick up the car and will let you know the ending...

10-05-06, 08:36 AM
Moral of the story: always check the coolant before buying a used car... heck, take a sample of it to your mechanic and have them run a HC test.

10-07-06, 01:00 PM
Haven't you been readi ng all the info about head gaskets, timeserts and all the other crap involved with this problem? This forum is full of info regarding this problem. You are a member of a very large group of N* owners that are in the same boat. Don't feel like the Lone Ranger!

10-10-06, 12:45 AM
picked up the car the other day and everything works great, i was told that the problem was the loose head bolts. i had timeserts installed as well as all the gaskets and seals involved in the job, i also had new spark plugs, thermostat, upper and lower rad hoses, a front engine mount, and a wheel alignment and the total was $4578 canadian. so far i am a satasfied customer.

10-11-06, 03:47 PM
the total was $4578 canadian. so far i am a satasfied customer.[/quote], I bet the Dealership is also very satisfied..lol, I am glad it worked out for you, and hopefully nothing else expensive happens...