North Star Engine Disappointments!!!
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 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
Like Tree1Likes
Open Letters to Cadillac Corporate Discussion, North Star Engine Disappointments!!! in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; I have an STS with 58,000 miles and the North Star engine has been nothing but a nightmare. Luckily I ...
  1. #1
    Ron Natali is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3

    Angry North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    I have an STS with 58,000 miles and the North Star engine has been nothing but a nightmare. Luckily I have an extended warranty. The engine uses oil, had to have the oil pan resealed, and now the head bolts pulled from the block and had to have inserts installed. My son, who has the same engine with 80,000 miles on his car and he had the identical problems. After talking with several mechanics from different dealerships and mechanics from privately owned repair shops, they all say the North Star engine is notorius for these problems. Why doesn't GM correct the problem? Aside from the instrument cluster going out, all problems have been with the engine. If the problems were something other than the engine, the car would be a winner but when you pay $55,000 plus for a car, you would expect something better. In my opinion, GM should correct this problem or quit selling any vehicle with a North Star. The engines are worthless when it comes to reliability and ongoing expenses. The cost of the inconveniences and repairs is not worth the performance. It's a repair money maker for the dealerships since the vehicle stays in the shop. I have owned a Porsche, Corvette, and now a Viper and the performance exceeds the North Star with virtually reliabilty problems - no oils leaks, high oil consumption, or fear of what's going to go next? I'll never own another North Star unless these problems are corrected. There are no excuses for these continued problems and this engine gives Cadillac a bad reputation!!!!


  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    ben72227 is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,484

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Ron could you tell us abit more about your STS? Used or New? what year? etc.

    Also, incase you haven't already read this, here is the answer to the oil consumption issues on the N*; its quite common, and maybe if you read this you can understand it better. Remember, these are "touring" engines and everyonce in a while they need a good WOT.

    Here's the answer to your problem (hopefully):

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/cadillac-tech.html#noil
    PaleAle and PaleAle like this.

  4. #3
    aaronrus is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    14

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Natali
    I have an STS with 58,000 miles and the North Star

    the northstar engine is a high performance engine that NEEDS to be broken in CORRECTLY during the first couploe hundred miles, or it will lack power and it will consume oil like crazy. it needs to be run hard for the first 200 miles, using regular engine oil, to allow the pistons rings to seal properly, and then the oil should be changed, and then refileld again with regualr engine oil, for the first 3 to 4K miles that you own it. after that, drain and switch to synthetic, full synthetic, mobil 1. also, a word to the wise... get rid of dexcool imediately.. it has been widely documented that it east through N* head gaskets liek clockwork.. use regualr coolant along with the gm aluminum engine collant pellets

  5. #4
    99Classillac's Avatar
    99Classillac is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): Ex-99 Deville owner, Now-04 DTS and 05 DTS. ZX6R Pilot too.
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Upper Marlboro, MD
    Age
    31
    Posts
    821

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Dexcool Eats Away At Headgaskets? I Didn't Know That.

  6. #5
    Zorb750 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1997 Eldorado
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Oakland County, MI
    Age
    30
    Posts
    1,323

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Good luck getting the guys at the Northstar forum to agree about dexcool's potential corrosive properties. They take the attitude of GM service (you ran it low on coolant, or you left the coolant too long). You can reproduce the properties in lab settings easily. It can eat anything if it becomes corrosive. Ford had problems with non-dealers service centers installing GM coolant into their cars and it ate the impellers on the water pumps.

    Seriously not cool.

    My car runs only BMW coolant, from the BMW dealer.

  7. #6
    GreenMachine's Avatar
    GreenMachine is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1998 Cadillac Deville
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Amherst (Buffalo), New York
    Age
    26
    Posts
    487

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorb750
    Good luck getting the guys at the Northstar forum to agree about dexcool's potential corrosive properties. They take the attitude of GM service (you ran it low on coolant, or you left the coolant too long). You can reproduce the properties in lab settings easily. It can eat anything if it becomes corrosive. Ford had problems with non-dealers service centers installing GM coolant into their cars and it ate the impellers on the water pumps.

    Seriously not cool.

    My car runs only BMW coolant, from the BMW dealer.
    ...thats because when you mix the red with the green it becomes corrisve and is a NO NO. Not sure how its GM's fault that no-ford service centers are mixing in the wrong coolant. The green can be just as, if not more, destructive. The fact is that the Dexcool seems to be haveing cooling systems last longer with less maintanance...because of that people "forget about it" and let it get to a poor stage....ever see what happens to engine with the same green in it for 10+ years? or even 5? Yeah its ugly, just as if you don't change dexcool right it gets ugly.

    Basically with a system that has had Dexcool, don't use green, or it will screw it up.

    Bascally with a system that has had green, don't use dexcool, or it will screw it up.

    Basically the whole dexcool 'bad' thing started from people doing the above.

    Now regarding northstar reliability, it almost sounds like it depends on where you live for a good or bad Northstar, or good or bad opinions to crop up. I hear just the opposite about it up here in Buffalo, NY. From experiance my 98' hasn't had engine problems other than a new waterpump and it certainly is not babied.

  8. #7
    Zorb750 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1997 Eldorado
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Oakland County, MI
    Age
    30
    Posts
    1,323

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Who said anything about mixing?

    Dexcool when exposed to air under pressure is depleted of one of its additives, which turns into white hard deposits even on the wet side of the leak or exposure (Northstar surge tanks sometimes get it even when they don't leak. Also, dexcool vapors are corrosive even when the liquid is not. The head's the hottest part of an engine, and sees the most vapor, hence corrosion.

    That's why Prestone's dexcool compatible coolant is better than the Texaco swill that GM uses.

    I like BMW coolant because its boiling point's higher, as most of their cars have 100 or 105C thermostats (215 F or so).

  9. #8
    GreenMachine's Avatar
    GreenMachine is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1998 Cadillac Deville
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Amherst (Buffalo), New York
    Age
    26
    Posts
    487

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorb750
    Who said anything about mixing?
    I think you did when the non-ford dealers were putting it in the system...since ford doesn't factory fill dexcool it must be mixing.

    Didn't relize BMW made their own coolant.

    And depending on the mix of any coolant its protection is higher or lower, all depends on what the needs are of the vehicle and where it operates.

  10. #9
    Zorb750 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1997 Eldorado
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Oakland County, MI
    Age
    30
    Posts
    1,323

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMachine
    I think you did when the non-ford dealers were putting it in the system...since ford doesn't factory fill dexcool it must be mixing. ...
    No, they were "upgrading" these cars to the extended life thing, flush+fill.

    I'll see if I can find the article. It was quite interesting actually, about the chemistry of coolants. I'm not saying GM Dexcool is bad, just that the earlier Chevron/Texaco versions of it had some unstable properties.

  11. #10
    GreenMachine's Avatar
    GreenMachine is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1998 Cadillac Deville
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Amherst (Buffalo), New York
    Age
    26
    Posts
    487

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorb750
    No, they were "upgrading" these cars to the extended life thing, flush+fill.

    I'll see if I can find the article. It was quite interesting actually, about the chemistry of coolants. I'm not saying GM Dexcool is bad, just that the earlier Chevron/Texaco versions of it had some unstable properties.
    That I did read about, but todays coolant versions of Dexcool don't show those problems.

    When it comes to flush+fill you still don't get rid of all of what was in the system prior to flush and fill. This leads to chemicals in both the coolants reacting in bad ways. Basically if your car started with a Dexcool based coolant, stick with that. If it was green, stick with that, etc.

  12. #11
    Haleykeek's Avatar
    Haleykeek is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1994 Seville STS North*
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Attalla,Alabama
    Age
    45
    Posts
    62

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    i've seen similiar problems coexisting in the lincolns,and other fords particularly the mustangs.the lincolns,especially the town cars usually burn oil and you can see traces of it comming from the exhaust pipes. looking like someone was having a bar-b cue in the rear.

  13. #12
    Ron Natali is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ben72227 View Post
    Ron could you tell us abit more about your STS? Used or New? what year? etc.

    Also, incase you haven't already read this, here is the answer to the oil consumption issues on the N*; its quite common, and maybe if you read this you can understand it better. Remember, these are "touring" engines and everyonce in a while they need a good WOT.

    Here's the answer to your problem (hopefully):

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/cadillac-tech.html#noil
    Thanks for the website. I have read numerous articles about the Northstar being a high peformance engine but I don't feel that ihigh performance is an excuse for the oil consumption. I have a Viper and it doesn't use oil like the Northstar. The car had only 92K miles on it and I sold it and bought an Escalade with a 6.2 liter. Granted - the Northstar is a nice engine but I don't want another one. There are many engines with equal or better HP output and performance that don't have the oil consumption, water leak issues, and crankcase oil leak problems - very expensive to repair and unreliable!!

  14. #13
    Rolex's Avatar
    Rolex is offline Super Moderator
    Automobile(s): 2008 Nissan Titan, 1996 Jeep Wrangler
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Arkansas
    Age
    38
    Posts
    11,765

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Natali View Post
    Thanks for the website. I have read numerous articles about the Northstar being a high peformance engine but I don't feel that ihigh performance is an excuse for the oil consumption. I have a Viper and it doesn't use oil like the Northstar. The car had only 92K miles on it and I sold it and bought an Escalade with a 6.2 liter. Granted - the Northstar is a nice engine but I don't want another one. There are many engines with equal or better HP output and performance that don't have the oil consumption, water leak issues, and crankcase oil leak problems - very expensive to repair and unreliable!!
    I never expected to hear back from you again. Really I'm shocked. Glad you found yourself another (more reliable) Cadillac.
    The above post is my 2 cents....nothing more.

  15. #14
    rzacc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Eldorado
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    9

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    Howdy all. I am getting into this discussion late....but. I have a 97 ElDroado with 64k miles. It just went belly up- overheated and pumping compression into the collant. Now, it's either fix it via a $2500 repair bill, or another engine. Help..does anyone know when Cadillac fixed the headbolt problem? I am told that later model engines had a fix. Is that true??? Did they ever get it right?? Also, has anyone sued GM, and is there a factory recall? I know, Im probably dreaming.
    Thanks in advance.
    Ron Z

  16. #15
    Klmcclen is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2011 DTS
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1

    Re: North Star Engine Disappointments!!!

    I had a 1998 Cadillac De Ville with the 275 hp version of the Northstar engine and the only problem I had with the engine is that it developed an oil leak at about 100,000 miles. I eventually had the leak repaired at a cost of $2,100. I was was extremely anoyed by this because there is no excuse for having gasket problems in a 1998 model auto. I know because I am an electrical engineer and know the cause of the gasket failure (cross-linking). The De Ville used only a nominal amout of oil (one added quart between oil changes) and I never had a problem with the coolant.

    I don't have any problem with the Northstar engine. The gasket problem is not a problem with the basic engine. If I were to make a bet, some purchasing agent bought gasket material that did not meet the engineering specification.

    At 124,000 miles I traded in the De Ville for a 2008 Lincoln Town Car. The Lincoln used no oil at all.

    At 33,000 miles I traded in the Town Car for a 2011 Cadillac DTS. The DTS has used all of 3/4 of a quart of DEXOS1 oil in the first 9,000 miles and is not yet due for an oli change.

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