years headgaskets go bad?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, years headgaskets go bad? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; i have a 2000 sls w/96000...i was wondering if i should worry about the headgaskets goin on it. i asked ...
  1. #1
    starfox86's Avatar
    starfox86 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    years headgaskets go bad?

    i have a 2000 sls w/96000...i was wondering if i should worry about the headgaskets goin on it. i asked the manager at the local cadillac dealer the other day when i was there getting my car serviced...he said that he has had quite a few cars come in for headgasket jobs...even 2000-> years .does anyone have a 2000-> n* that needed new hgaskets?

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    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    Follow the coolant service schedule of 100,000 miles or 5 years. Simply replace / refresh the Dex-Cool mixture, which will refresh the corrosion inhibitors, and you can relax.

    You can search the archives for 'head gaskets' until your eyes are tired and you will find that (almost all) head gasket failures can be traced to coolant sytem neglect. The evidence is there.

    Adding the coolant system supplement is cheap insurance for other nuisance coolant leaks.

    And, none of the double underline emphasis is mine. That has been added by advertisers.

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    weister42 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    My car has just over 102K and I haven't had the coolant changed, should I wait until the info display tells me so? My car was spent on the highway until about 98K, which was when I bought the car.

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    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    There is no "change coolant" message.

  6. #5
    blb
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    I had a chance last week to talk to an acquaintence who is a technician at a large Caddy Dealership and asked him if he has seen the incidence of headgasket repairs declining with the newer Northstars. His answer was that no particular year seems to be any better than any other, going all the way back to '93. The newest Northstar that he personally had to do the headgasket repair on was an '02 with 62,000 miles. This, of course, dispells the myth that all headgasket failures are due to a lack of cooling system maintenance.

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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    the answer is ALL

  8. #7
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    2 out of 3 guys I *personally* know with a northstar have had a headgasket go. I'm the 3rd guy...

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    weister42 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    So I should change the coolant even though the car's been on the highway most of its life and the engine temp seems to be very stable (around town ~196 ~222, highway is 196 steady)?

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    95Concours's Avatar
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by weister42
    So I should change the coolant even though the car's been on the highway most of its life and the engine temp seems to be very stable (around town ~196 ~222, highway is 196 steady)?
    Follow the maintenance schedule. If it says to change after 100k (the orange stuff) and your car has 102k, then you're 2k over the limit. I'd go change it, it's cheap insurance.

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    mcowden is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    ...
    Mike

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    brmurph is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    I just had the head gaskets done on my car at 99,000 miles and the cooling system was changed more often then recommended with factory dexcool (admittedly they did use tap water instead of distilled water, all done by the dealer).

  13. #12
    jmb
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    ...

  14. #13
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    jmb,
    You must remember, that a Cadillac tech only sees the cars with problems. He never sees the ones with no problems. That could lead you to believe that ALL Cadillacs have head gasket problems. We all know that is not true.

    While cooling system maintanence is the single most important factor in preserving head gaskets, it is certainly not a guarantee. They can and do fail occassionaly, even on a well maintained engine. I think it is one of the draw backs of aluminum engines and is not a Northstar phenomenon.

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    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    I think it is one of the draw backs of aluminum engines and is not a Northstar phenomenon.
    I disagree. There are many more head gasket problems on northstars than other aluminum block engines. I think it's just a function of thread design and/or engagement length. Headgasket corrosion can be fixed with proper maintenance. Loss of head bolt torque cannot.

  16. #15
    mcowden is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: years headgaskets go bad?

    I apologize for airing my opinion so forcefully earlier. I've removed my dumb post and the rebuttal. I'll keep my personal opinions out of public forums from now on.

    That said, I do remember reading in the past that the rate of head gasket failures has been declining in recent years. Maybe the changes they've made to the bolts and block threads has improved the situation. Either way, cooling system maintenance is key to prevention, but it's not 100% foolproof. The vast majority of Northstars never have the problem, but unfortunately a small percentage do have a head gasket failure even with perfect cooling system maintenance. Mechanics know how many of them fail and which years are worse just as much as a shoe salesman does. The only true statistics would be from GM, and they certainly aren't sharing.
    Mike

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