Can anyone tell me if I have a bad head gasket
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Can anyone tell me if I have a bad head gasket in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Im 23 years old and I bought my first Caddy which was a 1999 Seville SLS about six months ago ...
  1. #1
    MACTICULOUS's Avatar
    MACTICULOUS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Can anyone tell me if I have a bad head gasket

    Im 23 years old and I bought my first Caddy which was a 1999 Seville SLS about six months ago at about 44K miles on it and it's in great condition. The only problem is... I think that I have a bad head and/or head gasket now. These are the symptoms that the car has...

    -It only has 49,970 miles

    -I can smell what smells like anti freeze coming out of the tailpipes.

    -I have to put about half a gallon of coolant in every 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 weeks.

    -When I first start it and it's cold, it will hesitate as if it wants to stall out but if I touch the gas a little, it will go through that stage faster. After that, it will shake and the RPMs are about 1200 to 1500. This can last for about a minute or two. If I hold down the gas for about 20 seconds, it makes both stages go by in about 30 to 45 seconds. After the shaking and stuff passes by, her idle goes down to about 700 RPMs and runs great until the next time that I start the car cold. The shakes and everything is worst when the car is real cold. If I turn the car off and start it back up a half an hour later, it will do the same things just not as long or severe.

    -The last thing is that the check engine light came on a couple of times so my mechanic checked the codes and it said that there were misfires. We waited for a while and let the car sit for about an hour so we could start it cold again. When we did, there were alot of misfires in several of the cylinders. I had him change all of the plugs and wires which seemed to fix it for a day and it came back. One of the plugs had white stuff that caked onto it if that helps with any of your opinions. He said that he didn't like it when he saw that.

    He's pretty sure that it is a head gasket. He said that he would be shocked if it wasn't. This guys been doing the work on my families cars for a while now so I do trust what he says.

    So, can anyone tell me if this sounds like a head gasket. It's my assumption that it is especially from reading the posts on this site about the N*s. I have a couple more questions about the N*s too.

    -Is the myth about the N*s being throw away engines true?

    AND...

    -My mechanic told me that one of his friends that works at a dealership said that the N*s themselves have their own warranty up to 100K miles and that I would have to call Cadillac to have them take care of it. Does anyone know if the N*s do have this warranty before I call Caddy up next week.

    I love Cadillacs. I have never driven anything like them and I don't think that I can switch to any other car ever again. I just want to figure out what's wrong with my baby and take care of it one way or another. So, if anyone on the board can answer my questions, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2
    EcSTSatic's Avatar
    EcSTSatic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Can anyone tell me if I have a bad head gasket

    No one wants to tell you you have a bad head gasket. Not until you pressure test it. There are instructions somewhere on the forums. I can't find the thread.

    I wouldn't consider any engine a throw-away. They are rebuildable. Sometimes it depends on cost. If you have to pay someone the same amount to rebuild as buy another - I'd buy.


    "-My mechanic told me that one of his friends that works at a dealership said that the N*s themselves have their own warranty up to 100K miles and that I would have to call Cadillac to have them take care of it. Does anyone know if the N*s do have this warranty before I call Caddy up next week."

    Don't we wish!

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    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Can anyone tell me if I have a bad head gasket

    No such warranty unless you paid for one.

    Symptoms don't sound good but you really need to do the cylinder pressure test to be sure as ecSTSatic mentioned. The engine is not throw away. If infact it is head gaskets, it does need to be removed, Timeserted and gaskets replaced.

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    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Can anyone tell me if I have a bad head gasket

    The engine is rebuildable, just expensive and most shops not technically competent (HAHA but true).

    If it does turn out to be gaskets the engine and heads are probably good and won't need any work other than timeserting.

    There are LOTS of threads about this. Read some.

    Check the cooling sys well, do a combustion byproduct test and a cyl leakdown test.

    Read the N* head gasket thread in the tech tips for what's involved and info on timeserts (linked there).

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    MACTICULOUS's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone tell me if I have a bad head gasket

    Sorry it took me so long to reply. Thanks for the info about the head gasket and the engine. I brought it to a Caddy dealership last week. I had it diagnosed and it is without a doubt a head gasket. It was leaking internally and externally. We're really good friends with the owner of the dealership and service dept. so he's going to help take care of me. Hope I get her back tomorrow all rebuilt. Thanks again for the responses.
    -Mac

  7. #6
    94CaddyConcours's Avatar
    94CaddyConcours is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Can anyone tell me if I have a bad head gasket

    THERE IS A COMPANY CALLED CHRFAB THAT WILL DO A TIMESERT FOR ALL 20 BOLTS FOR $400. THE UNIQUE THING ABOUT IS THAT YOU CAN TAKE THE HEAD OFF AND ON AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT. KOOL HUH?
    http://www.chrfab.com/Engines.htm

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