symptoms and cuases of headgasket
Cadillac
 

Cadillac Forums | Help Us Help You | Advertise | Cadillac Parts | Cadillac News | Cadillac Classifieds / (Old System)

Cadillac Technical Archive | Cadillac Dealers | Cadillac Reviews | Cadillac Dealer Reviews | Cadillac Vendors

CadillacForums.com is the premier Cadillac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23
Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, symptoms and cuases of headgasket in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; ok, We all know that head gaskets are a common problem in the Northstar.... for the benefit of all, can ...
  1. #1
    CONCOURS KING is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 97 DeVille Concours
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Chicago land area
    Posts
    22

    symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    ok,

    We all know that head gaskets are a common problem in the Northstar.... for the benefit of all, can we get clarification on symptoms of this, causes, and preventions? I tried searching for this topic, but could not find any with all three.

    I think we can all benefit from this


  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 94 ETC,97 STS
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    3,531

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    The cause is usually lack of cooling system maintainence.

    The symptom is loss of coolant and secondary symptoms caused by that.

    I don't think it is especially common. It is a topic of discussion because cramming a V8 in FWD configuration causes a large amount of labor to replace said gaskets.

  4. #3
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Woodstock Ill.
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72,262

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    Prevention (as much as possible) is changing the coolant at recommended intervals.

  5. #4
    Zorb750 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1997 Eldorado
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Oakland County, MI
    Age
    30
    Posts
    1,320

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    Symptoms are loss of coolant with no white smoke, sudden overheating immediately after high throttle operation, totally unstable temperatures (swings of 30+ degrees in less than a minute), also you will see excessive pressurization of the cooling system and the loss of fairly large quantities of coolant through the spill line on the pressure tank when the system is not overfilled.

  6. #5
    z06bigbird is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Sedan de Ville, CTS
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Tx
    Posts
    4,771

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    Replacing small fan belt too. This is critical to prevent breakage. Water pump quits working.

  7. #6
    dkozloski's Avatar
    dkozloski is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
    Automobile(s): 2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak
    Age
    74
    Posts
    26,393

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    The old Northstar guru told us that the root cause of headgasket failures was a lack of cooling system maintenance caused the metal center of the headgasket sandwich to corrode and disappear thus relieving the squeeze on the gasket so it could squirt out from combustion pressure. The head gasket itself is layers of gasket material with a metal center layer.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


  8. #7
    AJxtcman's Avatar
    AJxtcman is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): The Northstar Tuner
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Rock Hill SC
    Age
    46
    Posts
    2,754

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    Symptom
    smokeAttachment 33800

  9. #8
    Zorb750 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1997 Eldorado
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Oakland County, MI
    Age
    30
    Posts
    1,320

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    Never seen a hear gasket failure cause smoke. Have seen severe steam from blown crossover gasket resulting from cooling system overpressure from head gasket failure.

    Another one to watch... All the pro-dexcool guys are about to jump on me for this one, but whatever. If you have any leak, even a very small one, dexcool tends to produce chalky buildup where the leak is. You will see a little on the outside, and it makes it very easy to see where the leak is in many cases. What you don't see is the mountain of the stuff on the inside of whatever part is leaking. I had a water pump housing gasket leak, and found a huge amount of the crap in the water pump housing, actually getting chopped up by the impeller. It doesn't dissolve into the coolant either once the leak is gone. I flushed it using different chemicals, as well as just running water through it with a hose for a few hours and never got it all out.

    What I think caused my head gasket failure is the purge line (small metal line running under the beauty cover from the water pump housing to the tank) getting plugged with this crap, because it did get plugged, caused the car to overheat a couple of times, and then everything went to hell. The high pressures, dumping coolant, all of it. I didn't know about problems with the line getting plugged at all until after the fact. The blockage was this white chalky crap material.

    I will not use GM's coolant or recommend it to anyone, simply because of attributes like that that are a problem. Other organic acid coolants don't seem to have this problem, so if you want to go the dex-cool route, buy Prestone's red Dex-cool certified stuff.

    I turned this whole thing into a high level college chemistry thing a couple years back, which showed this and other things as well, not only about GM's coolant.

  10. #9
    3rd Coast Balla's Avatar
    3rd Coast Balla is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 97 Lac Deville
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Fallbrook/ Houston,TX
    Age
    24
    Posts
    204

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    white smoke and misfiring, happened on my deville.

  11. #10
    AJxtcman's Avatar
    AJxtcman is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): The Northstar Tuner
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Rock Hill SC
    Age
    46
    Posts
    2,754

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorb750 View Post
    Never seen a hear gasket failure cause smoke. Have seen severe steam from blown crossover gasket resulting from cooling system overpressure from head gasket failure.

    Another one to watch... All the pro-dexcool guys are about to jump on me for this one, but whatever. If you have any leak, even a very small one, dexcool tends to produce chalky buildup where the leak is. You will see a little on the outside, and it makes it very easy to see where the leak is in many cases. What you don't see is the mountain of the stuff on the inside of whatever part is leaking. I had a water pump housing gasket leak, and found a huge amount of the crap in the water pump housing, actually getting chopped up by the impeller. It doesn't dissolve into the coolant either once the leak is gone. I flushed it using different chemicals, as well as just running water through it with a hose for a few hours and never got it all out.

    What I think caused my head gasket failure is the purge line (small metal line running under the beauty cover from the water pump housing to the tank) getting plugged with this crap, because it did get plugged, caused the car to overheat a couple of times, and then everything went to hell. The high pressures, dumping coolant, all of it. I didn't know about problems with the line getting plugged at all until after the fact. The blockage was this white chalky crap material.

    I will not use GM's coolant or recommend it to anyone, simply because of attributes like that that are a problem. Other organic acid coolants don't seem to have this problem, so if you want to go the dex-cool route, buy Prestone's red Dex-cool certified stuff.

    I turned this whole thing into a high level college chemistry thing a couple years back, which showed this and other things as well, not only about GM's coolant.
    We see a lot of cars chugging white smoke from the tail pipes.
    .
    All customer pay cars get Prestone Dex-cool.

  12. #11
    Gibbi is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Cadillac
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    24

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    I just flushed and filled my Northstar and used O'Reily's non-silicate, extended life antifreeze blended 60/40 with distilled. Should I be draining it and using DexCool or something else - or am I ok as is? Please advise, as I don't want to screw up a good motor.

  13. #12
    AJxtcman's Avatar
    AJxtcman is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): The Northstar Tuner
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Rock Hill SC
    Age
    46
    Posts
    2,754

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbi View Post
    I just flushed and filled my Northstar and used O'Reily's non-silicate, extended life antifreeze blended 60/40 with distilled. Should I be draining it and using DexCool or something else - or am I ok as is? Please advise, as I don't want to screw up a good motor.
    From all the information that I have read. I understand that the difference between Dex cool and the old coolant is that they removed the silicate.
    Yes they took out the sand so the water pumps last longer

  14. #13
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Woodstock Ill.
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72,262

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbi View Post
    I just flushed and filled my Northstar and used O'Reily's non-silicate, extended life antifreeze blended 60/40 with distilled. Should I be draining it and using DexCool or something else - or am I ok as is? Please advise, as I don't want to screw up a good motor.
    Your fine. Leave what you have in there.

  15. #14
    Gibbi is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Cadillac
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    24

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    Thanks for the help gentlemen.

  16. #15
    tateos's Avatar
    tateos is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1997 ETC (GAVE TO STEPSON 2011), 2000 DTS (RIP)
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,713

    Re: symptoms and cuases of headgasket

    My Experience On Two Separate Northstar Engines Has Been Sudden, Severe Overheating Caused By The Coolant Being Blown Out Of The Surge Tank Due To Combustion Gases Introduced Into The Cooling System

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Bookmarks

Cadillac Posting Rules

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Read about Lincoln | Buick | Kia Forte Forum
Need products for your Cadillac? Check out your options at the links below:

custom floor mats | Cadillac Chrome and Black Chrome Wheels | window tinting