Head Gasket Problem
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 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 56
Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Head Gasket Problem in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; ...
  1. #1
    skipper two is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Saint Augustine, FL
    Posts
    2

    Question Head Gasket Problem

    Newby here. Purchased used 2000 DHS with 41,000 miles. After about an additional 6000 miles started getting “Check Coolant Level” msg. Also, on occasion the engine startup would be rough for a few seconds then run smooth. Advised mechanic at normal oil change interval. Mechanic researched and diagnosed problem as head gasket. Advised repair could cost up to $2,500. Recommended tablets as interim fix and suggested probably better off trading in vehicle for something else. He dropped GM tablets into surge tank and worked fine for last 500 miles. After reading forum articles, understand tablets should have been inserted into hose. Should I obtain more tablets and insert in hose? Any idea how long the tablets are effective? Although I trust the mechanic with both of my vehicles, he has never performed a head gasket replacement on a Northstar engine and therefore estimated cost may be low. Any thoughts appreciated. Is there any chance it may be another problem other than the head gasket?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    oldgamer's Avatar
    oldgamer is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
    Posts
    577

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    The tablets in a surge tank - bad idea. Just check if it still in a surge tank. May be it's possible to suck it from there.
    Put them into the hose.
    The tablets will work untill next coolant change.
    And more: may be your car's fine. If I was you I think twice before doing head gasket.

  4. #3
    caddywhizkid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    55

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    Tablets go in surge tank. Putting them in the hose is absurd. I do agree with oldgamer about headgaskets though, make sure the mechanic is good, and ask him how he knows its the headgaskets.

  5. #4
    BeelzeBob's Avatar
    BeelzeBob is offline I'm a Cadillac Fanatic!
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Age
    50
    Posts
    9,577

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by caddywhizkid
    Tablets go in surge tank. Putting them in the hose is absurd. I do agree with oldgamer about headgaskets though, make sure the mechanic is good, and ask him how he knows its the headgaskets.


    Complete misinformation here.....

    Tablets do NOT go into surge tank.


    Putting the supplement into the Northstar surge tank directly is to be AVOIDED. At the very least it will be ineffective as it does not circulate thru the cooling sytem and will just lie in the surge tank. At the worst, putting 6 of the pellets into the surge tank has been known to clog the hose leading from the surge tank to the water pump inlet causing pump cavitation and overheating as a result.

    ALWAYS PUT THE COOLANT SUPPLEMENT INTO ONE OF THE RADITOR HOSES OF A NORTHSTAR ENGINE.

    By design the pressurized surge tank has very little bulk flow of the coolant. It serves as a pressure vessel at the high point in the system to pressurize the water pump inlet to prevent cavitation. There is very little flow thru the surge tank by desing so as to allow deareation of the coolant. Low flow means that the coolant supplement particles that are simply in suspension in the coolant can not be distributed thru the system to work effectively.

    The coolant supplement ( as has been discussed many times on the forum) does not really dissolve in the coolant but the tiny fibers or particles of the supplement are carried in suspension thru the cooling system. If a large quantity of the supplement is introduced into the surge tank it will usually just settle to the floor of the surge tank. It can, before it gets dispersed, clog the hose to the water pump and block the feed from the surge tank causing pump cavitation and overheating symptoms.

    Best to pop a hose off, put the supplement in and replace the hose. That way the supplement is installed into the bulk flow path of the cooling sytem where it can be dispersed rapidly and effectively. That is where the factory installs it originally.

  6. #5
    peteski is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 85 Eldo Biarritz
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Northeast USA
    Posts
    808

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    Looks like caddywhizkid is not *the* Northstar master after all...


    Peteski

  7. #6
    skipper two is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Saint Augustine, FL
    Posts
    2

    Thumbs up Re: Head Gasket Problem

    Thanks everyone for your inputs. A special thanks to bbob for his obviously professional understanding of the system. Will do as he recommends and hopefully will solve the problem until next coolant change.

  8. #7
    caddywhizkid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    55

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    Ok I was wrong about the tablets. I looked it up and was wrong. Although I personally have never heard of any adverse affects when put into the tank. Also just because GM says it, it dosen't mean its right. 150000 miles before Dexcool flush, or 100k before trans service. GM say that but I know alot of people who don't agree. As far as I'm concerned you shouldn't have to add pellets, N*'s are in in 45000$ + cars that shouldn't need them. This is a bandaid for poor quality control.

  9. #8
    Spyder's Avatar
    Spyder is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): None now...1972 Challenger=my pride and joy.
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Age
    32
    Posts
    5,685

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    uh oh...Bbob's not gonna like that one... *snicker*

  10. #9
    BeelzeBob's Avatar
    BeelzeBob is offline I'm a Cadillac Fanatic!
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Age
    50
    Posts
    9,577

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by caddywhizkid
    Ok I was wrong about the tablets. I looked it up and was wrong. Although I personally have never heard of any adverse affects when put into the tank. Also just because GM says it, it dosen't mean its right. 150000 miles before Dexcool flush, or 100k before trans service. GM say that but I know alot of people who don't agree. As far as I'm concerned you shouldn't have to add pellets, N*'s are in in 45000$ + cars that shouldn't need them. This is a bandaid for poor quality control.

    LOL LOL LOL

    I guess that is why nuclear subs use the sealer in their cooling systems....LOL...lack of quality control. One of the largest accounts that the company that makes the coolant supplement has is the US Navy.

    All of the coolant supplement is made by the same company in Holly, Michigan. They also hold the copywrite on the BarsLeaks brand and sell the product under that name.

    In a perfect world, I would agree with you. And the fact is that most of the engines do not need the sealant. There are occasional porosities in aluminum castings, scratches in gasket surfaces, etc. that the coolant sealer guards against. It is just insurance against incidental leaks. It is not something that is mandatory to making the engine live longer...i..e...it does not "condition" the coolant or add corrosion protection, etc. It just guards against casual leaks that might occur in the cooling system that is especially common in all aluminum engines due to the propensity of aluminum castings to have porosity that often doesn't show up until after the part has been thermocycled many times.

    The fact is that almost every automaker in the world uses the coolant supplement/sealer installed at the factory for the very same reason.

    The sealer is mandatory in the 4.1/4.5/4.9 engines to guard against coolant intrusion into the oil. The Northstar cannot reasonably leak coolant into the oil (which is why blown head gaskets rarely if ever end up with coolant in the oil in a Northstar) due to it's design but the 4.1/4.5/4.9 engine can so the coolant supplement IS vital to the long term health of the engine.

  11. #10
    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
    26,729

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    The story about stop-leak in the submarine nuclear reactor stems from bad welds in the stainless tubing in the reactor of the first nukey boat, the Nautilus. The welds had hairline cracks that were deemed to be not dangerous so members of the crew were sent ashore to all the auto stores around to buy stop-leak as a temporary measure. Since that time repairs have been made and procedures changed to improve the welding process and the stop leak is no longer used. It is a good "sea story" with a thread of truth through it. You'll find details in the book "Nautilus 90 North".

  12. #11
    BeelzeBob's Avatar
    BeelzeBob is offline I'm a Cadillac Fanatic!
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Age
    50
    Posts
    9,577

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski
    The story about stop-leak in the submarine nuclear reactor stems from bad welds in the stainless tubing in the reactor of the first nukey boat, the Nautilus. The welds had hairline cracks that were deemed to be not dangerous so members of the crew were sent ashore to all the auto stores around to buy stop-leak as a temporary measure. Since that time repairs have been made and procedures changed to improve the welding process and the stop leak is no longer used. It is a good "sea story" with a thread of truth through it. You'll find details in the book "Nautilus 90 North".

    Good reference...wonder what the Navy is doing with all that BarsLeak then....LOL.... Last time I checked (admittedly several years ago) they were still buying the stuff ....

  13. #12
    caddywhizkid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    55

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    Probably selling it to cadillac so they can sell it as gm stuff for their piss-poor northstar engines.

  14. #13
    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
    26,729

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    I wouldn't be surprised if the navy had nukey subs carrying BarsLeak around for emergencies. It worked the first time. If I remember right they bought all the BarsLeak in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

  15. #14
    BeelzeBob's Avatar
    BeelzeBob is offline I'm a Cadillac Fanatic!
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Age
    50
    Posts
    9,577

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by caddywhizkid
    Probably selling it to cadillac so they can sell it as gm stuff for their piss-poor northstar engines.

    It always astounds me how techs bad mouth something that is putting food on the table.... If it weren't for the "piss-poor" Northstar they wouldn't need you to work on them and you wouldn't have a job....LOL LOL... Like I said in another post. There are several million of them running around that don't have a problem in the world. You see ones that have a problem and assume that they all are that way. It just isn't the case.

  16. #15
    ellives is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): '76 Eldo convertible, 97' STS Z-rated, '02 STS
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    169

    Re: Head Gasket Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by caddywhizkid
    Probably selling it to cadillac so they can sell it as gm stuff for their piss-poor northstar engines.

    Anybody know where the "ignore" button is on this forum?

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