Blown Head gasket
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HT4100 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 Discussion, Blown Head gasket in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I have a 92 STS with 185,000 miles on it. I was just told the head gasket needs to be ...
  1. #1
    2000ForrestGrnCatty's Avatar
    2000ForrestGrnCatty is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Blown Head gasket

    I have a 92 STS with 185,000 miles on it. I was just told the head gasket needs to be replaced. Car was given to me by a relative. My question is, I know the car isn't worth a lot at this point. Should I invest in getting this fixed, and what would be the cost? Thx for the replies. BTW, it has the 4.9 v8 if that matters any. This is the second Cadillac in a row that I've had issues with. the first was a Catera, that had engine problems that were too overwhelming for me to fix.

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  3. #2
    Edahall's Avatar
    Edahall is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    If you lived closer to me, I might offer you a couple hundred dollars for the car betting on the fact that it's an easy fix. First off, it is extremely rare for the 4.9L engine that's in your car to blow a headgasket. What symptoms are you having? Is your car using water? If that's the case, it's much more likely that the problem is a faulty intake manifold gasket. It's a $16.50 part and 18 bolts to take off the intake manifold.

  4. #3
    2000ForrestGrnCatty's Avatar
    2000ForrestGrnCatty is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    Well....This mechanic that works for a Caddy dealer said he diagnosed it, and that it will blow it pretty soon. Antifreeze is in the engine block he says. He only charged me $40.00 to check it out, I just hope he didn't job me and got a late Christmas present. Like i said earlier, I've been having bad luck with Cadillacs. I don't want to put ungodly amounts of $$ in this car. It already needs suspension work, ( Struts, idler arms, etc...) I just wish someone could be truthful to me in regards to is it worth trying to fix. Interior is kinda ratty, but overall the car is in good shape physically for the miles. I got the car and have already put at least $1,500.00 dollars in it. I should have had it inspected before I took possession of it. Just tired of making bad decisions on used vehicles. I'm not in a position to acquire another car at this time.

  5. #4
    Edahall's Avatar
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    Antifreeze in the block of a 4.9L engine is a classic symptom of a bad intake manifold gasket and most likely NOT a bad head gasket. It's a cheap EZ fix. If you're not in the position to acquire another car, change out the intake manifold gasket, change the oil and filter, put in new antifreeze and drive the car. Also, don't forget to add those sealant tablets into the coolant. There's a good chance these sealant tablets were not used so that is why you're having this problem now.

  6. #5
    kdcing is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    The 4.9L is a rather rock solid engine....if it is just the intake gasket, then dive in and fix it.

    You may be able to confirm a leaking headgasket or intake by pressurizing the cooling system w/ a hand pump borrowed from AutoZone. The leak may be temp related, so realize that the gaskets could pass the leak down test at ambient outside temps but still leak at elevated operating temperatures.

    Oh...btw...a Catera is not really a Cadillac, so consider the STS the 1st Cadillac that you've had problems with!

  7. #6
    kdcing is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    I just saw your other post from a few days ago where you indicated that the 4.9L occassionally stalls at stop lights. The Idle Speed Control Motor may not be opening the throttle as needed to prevent 0mph stalls. Search this forum for ISC and you should find the procedure for testing the ISC (i.e. open hood, start car, open throttle by hand to 2k rpm, with your other hand press the ISC's plunger in, watch ISC and determine if ISC retracts........or..........enter diagnostics and activate the ISC movement via the PS03 PCM Override.....watch for the extension and retraction of the ISC plunger.).

    Btw, what other symptoms is your car exhibiting....at this point, the symptoms appear to be 0mph stalls and "antifreeze in the engine block".

  8. #7
    Brizzal's Avatar
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    yea sounds like the intake gasket, and the ISC motors are common, EZ fix but cost about $100, ive had that problem already. my car would actually gain speed at about 50 mph, with my foot off the gas, talk about scary...

  9. #8
    awadecki is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    I think we all feel your pain, but here's some advice: I would never buy a used car with 185,000 miles. You're running on borrowed time for just about every part.

    I own 2, 1985 Cadillacs, and only paid $400 for one and $1000 for the other. I had to put about $800 in the first and $300 in the second, and now they run like new. And, they both have under 50,000 original miles.

  10. #9
    kdcing is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    Quote Originally Posted by awadecki View Post
    I would never buy a used car with 185,000 miles. You're running on borrowed time for just about every part.

    I own 2, 1985 Cadillacs, and only paid $400 for one and $1000 for the other. I had to put about $800 in the first and $300 in the second, and now they run like new. And, they both have under 50,000 original miles.
    ...from ForrestGreen's original post, it appears that he/she had a better financial deal....i.e. a relative GAVE him/her the car. At $1.5k in repairs, it is still a deal...as long as the current problem is not the headgaskets.

    In the 6.5 years/130k miles of owning my '93 Eldorado (4.9L), the repairs have totalled only $1969....ah, the value of wrenching on your car. Only 1,400 more miles and she'll role over the 200k mile mark.

  11. #10
    2000ForrestGrnCatty's Avatar
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    Quote Originally Posted by Edahall View Post
    Antifreeze in the block of a 4.9L engine is a classic symptom of a bad intake manifold gasket and most likely NOT a bad head gasket. It's a cheap EZ fix. If you're not in the position to acquire another car, change out the intake manifold gasket, change the oil and filter, put in new antifreeze and drive the car. Also, don't forget to add those sealant tablets into the coolant. There's a good chance these sealant tablets were not used so that is why you're having this problem now.
    I just had the oil changed, and had the radiator flushed and new coolant put in. However, I didnt put the tablets in. You mean I have to repeat this again? I hope not. Thx for the advice everyone, You've been a big help.

  12. #11
    awadecki is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    Just crush the tablets up and add them to the radiator. You'll be fine.

  13. #12
    Edahall's Avatar
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    Quote Originally Posted by 2000ForrestGrnCatty View Post
    I just had the oil changed, and had the radiator flushed and new coolant put in. However, I didnt put the tablets in. You mean I have to repeat this again? I hope not. Thx for the advice everyone, You've been a big help.
    Yes, for preventative maintenance, the coolant should be changed out every 2 years and new tablets as well.

  14. #13
    ehall's Avatar
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    Tablets are easy, just drop them into the radiator or overflow tank.



    Take two and post again in the morning

  15. #14
    HUF's Avatar
    HUF
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    Re: Blown Head gasket

    Quote Originally Posted by ehall View Post
    Tablets are easy, just drop them into the radiator or overflow tank.


    Take two and post again in the morning
    I would not put them in the overflow to avoid plugging the narrow hose which connects the reservoire with the radiator neck.

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