Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, The Dreaded Northstar Leaking Head Gasket- Fix, Sell or Junk? in Cadillac Engine Discussion; Hello everyone, I am new to the forum however I have spent several days reading a lot of your experiences ...
The Dreaded Northstar Leaking Head Gasket- Fix, Sell or Junk?
Hello everyone, I am new to the forum however I have spent several days reading a lot of your experiences and DIY'ers head gaskets projects and am at a crossroad of should I fix my 2000 STS, sell it cheap (fully disclosing issues) or junk it?
I bought the car with 60,000 miles on it back in 2006 and today (2013) it has 95,000 miles on it and a blown head gasket. As you can see I have only put 35,000 miles on it and in that time I have had to replace both driver and passenger side window motors (driver side within 2 weeks of owning it), the heater/ac module (kept blowing hot air on pass. side when ac was on), the tires, the sunroof (leaked down the a-arms onto floor... new one leaked too so I silicone it shut), radiator hoses (top and bottom), 2 thermostats, and water pump. The issues with the sunroof caused the interior lights on sunroof panel to stop working and caused the headliner to sag there as well as on the sunroof sliding door. Oh, forgot to mention the same time I had the water leaking down the a-arm it was also filling up in my trunk. Here to come to find out the drain hose in the trunk had been pulled off so the rain water just ran into the trunk. As a result of the trunk issues the power locked stopped working and the lights in the mirrors and glove box and now the back fenders are starting to have rust bubbles from the inside out. So there is some cosmetic issues on top of the blown head gasket.
My issue... the car is paid for, has brand new tires, rides awesome, drives great and is cheap on gas compared to my other vehicles. It is also used as the spare car being mainly drove in Spring and Fall so I hate to get rid of it and definitely can see just junking it. HOWEVER, based upon what I have been reading even if I pony up and pay to get the head gasket fixed (thought about doing it myself but after reading Bill's experience and the cost involved with some of the tools I decided against it) the car has 95,000 miles on it and a lot of people had sad at 100,000 the transmission goes out or you have to replace the struts. The car is only worth $4k with out a blown head gasket! Granted if I fixed ALL the aforementioned issues then I would have a great third car HOWEVER, I noticed some serious rust issues (it's completely rusted through) underneath the front headlights on the chassis. I didn't trace it yet to see if it is an important structural piece (like holds the fenders or bumper on) but wonder if its evening worth putting anymore money into. I live in Ohio with snow, salt and humidity which as you know steel loves.
So in conclusion I want your opinions of should I fix it, price it to sell with its issues or just junk it?
Re: The Dreaded Northstar Leaking Head Gasket- Fix, Sell or Junk?
The engine is the least of your worries - the body (and probably suspension parts) rust is the nail in the coffin. ......... and, depending on your stock paint color and system, a repaint would run (a GOOD repaint) in excess of $3500 - not including bodywork.
Midwest Cadillac Repair in Palatine, Illinois or Northstar Performance on the other side of The Lake - in Ontario - could make the engine better than new for a very fair price.