Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Is this the beginning of the end for my STS? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Background first, 1997 Seville STS. Elderly owned since new, bought about 3 months ago with 52k miles. Now has 55k ...
  1. #1
    wolvdog316 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    Background first, 1997 Seville STS. Elderly owned since new, bought about 3 months ago with 52k miles. Now has 55k miles. Didn't have one problem with it, mechanic who checked it out seemed impressed how clean it was.

    Fast forward to about a week ago. I drive it about 45 minutes, slow traffic sometimes, eat (round 30 mins) then drive again 45 minutes smooth driving. Runs a little hot. About 1:00 maybe a little colder. But its gradually getting hotter and hotter. I get scared park it, and leave it til yesterday. Take it to a local mechanic and he tells me this is whats wrong, and the cost

    Water crossover gaskets are leaking. I also need the Thermostat replaced since he says "Its needs to be since it ran warm". Coolant system flush, Thermostat seals and gaskets, and of course the water cross over gaskets. All that he quotes is 1200. Im thinking no way, this seems like a ripoff. Tells me I need new spark plugs and wires. Says 700 for that. Again Im thinking wow WAY too expensive

    Called a few shops and both of them said that 1100 was WAY too much. It was only about 600-650 parts and labor. Labor was 5 and half hours. 1100 guy said 10.5 hours. So I picked up my car and took it to my regular mechanic, who can now see me

    He looks it over, does the same tests they did, and he says he found SMALL leaks around the water pump, radiator. But he says nothing so severe he sees a huge problem. He, and this may not make sense cause I dont understand, tested it 20lbs, should run at 12 so it makes it seem like he drove it two hours. Didn't get hot on it. He told me hes gonna flush the radiator tomorrow, re test it, drive and then depending on if it doesn't leak bad, or doesn't run hot, he will put thermaseal or something and thats it

    My questions are, is what Im talking about a HUGE panic attack type thing here? Is my engine fixing to blow a gasket? Or could it be it ran hot ONE time, and the small little leaks are no big deal, keep adding fluids once a month. Im SUPER nervous and super scared but he saids he doesnt think at all the engine got hurt. He never EVER even got close to being in the red. Did I overreact? Not sure

    Also, sometimes when I first start the car, I will hear a tapping noise. But it doesn't sound like its coming from the engine. 1100 dollar guy said it might be the idler, but it didn't do it to him so he doesn't know

    That cant be a engine problem can it? I mean it barely taps and then it goes away. And half the time it doesn't even do it.

    Other than that the car runs perfect. It seems like 1100 guy tried taking me to the cleaners, and maybe I migt not even need the damn stuff he tried selling me.

    Any help would be SUPER appreciated. Also, I checked the codes about a week ago, no codes. Need any more info please post it, or email me

    Worried in Houston,
    Nick

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  3. #2
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    The tapping sounds like "cold Carbon Rap". Just needs to be take out and given a little tender loving WOT (beat the hell out of it).

    The other problem could be anything from a clogged purge line to a head gasket starting to fail. It will need a competent diagnosis.

  4. #3
    tateos's Avatar
    tateos is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    First things first. How hot did it get? Where on the temperature gauge was the needle? If you never overheated, you may have no problem at all - maybe just some minor leaks at the crossover. If the head gasket goes, usually all the coolant will blow out the surge tank

  5. #4
    wolvdog316 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    It only got about a quarter past the middle mark of the heat gauge. But I believe if I kept driving it it would have gotten hotter. Just my opinion though. Im waiting on the mechanic to call me today. My girlfriend says im a weenie and shouldn't worry since the car NEVER even got in the red area of overheating and it only happened once. lol not sure though

  6. #5
    tateos's Avatar
    tateos is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    Your girlfriend might be correct. It is normal for the temp gauge to get 1/2 way between 12:00 and red zone - it is that point that the fans kick in if you don't have the AC on.

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    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    The fans kick on at 224 degrees. You will have to get a LOT hotter than that to do any damage.

  8. #7
    tateos's Avatar
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    In fact, it is pretty much impossible to damage the engine by overheating - it will go into camel mode and start shutting down cylinders once it gets to around 260

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    The fans kick on at 224 degrees. You will have to get a LOT hotter than that to do any damage.

  9. #8
    CadillacSTS42005's Avatar
    CadillacSTS42005 is offline Banned
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    260 degs is plenty to warp an Aluminum Head....

  10. #9
    Crown Vic Owner is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    Quote Originally Posted by CadillacSTS2003 View Post
    260 degs is plenty to warp an Aluminum Head....
    This man speaks the ****in truth.

    Guy never even redzoned the old motor that was in my SLS. Than again, i have gotten 4 or 5 stories about my previous motor.

  11. #10
    wolvdog316 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    Ok, what if my mechanic tomorrow tells me car is fine, no seepage or anything like that into engine, just very SMALL leaks that shouldn't be a problem. The car is SUPER mint, not a stain in the interior or nothing. Should I sell it, for what I paid for it, and get something else. Since mine is a 97, its destined to happen right. Just thought Id throw that out there, sell the damn thing, get something alot more reliable. Yay or Nay

  12. #11
    chubbyranger is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    It doesn't seem like you might have the nerves required to own a Cadillac. If every hiccup is going to send you orbital then I'd say sell it. If you want A-to-B transportation with no worries an 11 year old GM product is not for you, there are lots of Corollas out there. If you want to drive a Cadillac, pop a Xanax and have your mechanic drain and refill the coolant using 50/50 Dexcool + distilled water plus the Bars leak tabs per manufacturers recommendations and change the thermostat while the coolant is out. Drive for a while and see what happens.

    And yes, your headgaskets are out there right now secretly plotting an inopportune demise , but only after you've invested much more time and money than you have so far...

  13. #12
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    a car with only 55k miles should be mint. i figure you bought it for 5k based on miles/age. if you are worried about things failing, than why didn't you buy a newer rig? say 2k or up?

  14. #13
    wolvdog316 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    lol Im not too worried about small stuff, what I AM worried about is a head gasket blowing and having to throw the car away or put another 7 grand into it.

    But I did get an update from my mechanic. Says he hooked it up to the machine, and it was running 192, but the gauge on my dash said it was running a little hot. Also, and this has happened twice now. When the car gets SUPER empty, and you kill the car, as soon as ya restart it the gauge will show full. So he says I need a new cluster. He doesn't even think my car has even ran hot. He thinks its all the cluster. But he mentioned something about miles. How a different cluster will have different miles. Not sure how that works, or even if that could solve the problem. Any input would be great

  15. #14
    CadillacSTS42005's Avatar
    CadillacSTS42005 is offline Banned
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    dealer only
    there are 13 different resister possibilities and you must get the correct one for your car or else it wont start
    and mileage is stored in the cluster and pcm they must match unless you want a mileage tamper on your title which youll never be able to sell the car...

  16. #15
    wolvdog316 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is this the beginning of the end for my STS?

    Well you seem to be highly intelligent STS2003, can you maybe help me? What could be making my temp gauge appear hot, but really its not, and make my gas gauge appear full ONLY when its down to prolly the last gallon of gas. Maybe AIM or some kind of messenger if you have the time to spare.

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