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2003 DeVille DTS
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So my 98 STS overheated as I was pulling into a car wash last week. Because of the circumstances, it took a while to realize. Anyway I thought it was the lower hose 'cuz of the location and amount of coolant leakage.
So I thought my local shop would be the simplest quickest way to address it.
Turns out the radiatior blew out, $580. But wait, there's more!
Oil coolant lines were seized, supposedly hard to find, $250. But wait, there's more!
Now I'm told it was the water pump in the first place, that caused the overheat, that caused the radiator to blow out!
So now another $250, meaning almost $1100 for a car worth maybe $2000.

Which is all well and good, but my concern now is the head gaskets. Seems to me if it overheated enough to blow out the radiator, then surely the gaskets are shot.
So if I were to finish the repairs, I'd be getting a car with a very limited lifespan in return. I'm considering just giving the car to the shop; I've gotten my money's worth out of it, 6 years and 180k miles anyways.

So the question is: What is the likelihood the head gaskets survived?

Thanks
KD in NH
 

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not anymore 2007 Lexus ES350
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7,705 Posts
is it possible that something other then the head gasket caused it to over heat i the engine its self perhaps the t-stat stuck or maybe radiator just was clogged perhaps a line clogged if youv made it 240 then chances are im just saying you might have one of those good engines and be one of the lucky ones who will have one that lasts for ever perhaps

but im the last one to give advice on what to do int his matter
cause iv throw 12k into a 11 year old sevilel in the last 12 months

but you might just end up lucky
or maybe you just fix the problems perhaps the head gaskets are not the issue but spend 1100 to fix it and then sell it for 2000 if thats what you think it worth to you its not like your asking 5k for a car that u know has a bad hg and want someone to pay more thinking its gret
just fix it try to turn a little bit of a profit or atleast get back what you have put into it

you know chances are the shop you give it to will end up selling it for a profite and then realize maybe in 6 months who ever they sold it to will come back and get the next stuff fixed or something
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Simple overheating - and 240 is very low borderline overheated -will not damage your head gaskets.
 

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not anymore 2007 Lexus ES350
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Simple overheating - and 240 is very low borderline overheated -will not damage your head gaskets.
yes i actualy agree with this i missed when you said 240 thout it was hiher

my mechanic called me yesterday to see how things where going
and we talked told him i got freaked for a bit it when to the 1 mark past the half way
and it just freaked me he said it could be both the weather temp raising and just normal running for he car since it was close to hi 50s here yesterday
and it whent at idle up that hi to the hash mark just past and he told me 230-240 is normal running wich i already knew i was ok at 215 120 no problem but didnt know 240 could be considered normal on warmer day he just reminded me might have taken a bit for the t-stat to open up and all
 

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03 STS
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join the list of millions of folks who pay a shop $$ to fix a car. parts are usually 1/3 of bill. labor is the rest. except for cheap tranny parts which cost $$$ to install. i did headgaskets myself. a year later the radiator started to leak. put that in myself. a few months later the oil cooler line blew out of the radiator bottom. very shaky plastic clip design. if line is not seated into threaded fitting, it can pop out. happened at stoplight so i was lucky. but had to tow car home. easy fix. but if i would pay a shop to do all my work, than the total repair bill for the last 3 years might top $3-4K.
 

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2003 DeVille DTS
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
sorry let me clarify, the 240k is the mileage, the overheat temp was unknown cuz the sensor / guage didnt work anyways.
the overheat was apparently caused by the water pump failure, hot enough to blowout the radiator supposedly.
so it ran for at least a short while at max temp while trying to get it out of the car wash.
i dont hold out much hope fo the heads / gaskets being undamaged
 

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2010 DTS
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87,413 Posts
Water pump failure? Exactly what failed? The only thing that fails on a water pump is the shaft seal. If the seal goes bad, it starts to SLOWLY leak. It is not a catastrophic failure. Everyone wants to point to a water pump when an engine over heats. Most are changed needlessly.
 

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1997 Cadillac STS (BOSE w/AUX In, Massage Seats, URPAS, "Z")
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6,405 Posts
$1100 is just shy for what I paid for my radiator/oil cooler lanes/transmission cooler lanes back in September. The rad alone (AcDelco is about $600).
The car is designed to drive with no coolant for up to 40 miles. I guess you should be OK.
 

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not anymore 2007 Lexus ES350
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For me about a year and half ago
New Radiator i spend 600 for it was a spectra 640 included labor fluids and new hoses 3 flushes of the system plus 1 revers flush to make sure all the junk got out and i think in that bill was also the labor for my own break parts that i brought it
guy was nice cheated the goverment didnt charge me tax cause i paid cash
otherwise it would have been over 750 i think after taxes and shop fees
 

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1997 Seville STS, 2000 Seville STS
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They saw you coming, radiator is 200 max, Oil cooler lines are 35 bucks a peice at the GM dealer ( I just looked them up for my 2000), pump is about 60 bucks. Labor on the radiator is probably 2 hours, since the hoses need to be disconnected to get the radiator out, replacement should be no more than 1/2 hour, and another hour to 1 1/2 hours. Figure out your local labor rates for a total.
 

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1997 Cadillac STS (BOSE w/AUX In, Massage Seats, URPAS, "Z")
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6,405 Posts
I am looking at the bill:
Oil cooler hose ..................... $83
Oil cooler hose ..................... $80
Replace oil cooler hose .......... $90 (1h)
AcDelco radiator .................. $559
Transmission cooler line ........ $45
Fitting cooler line ................ $45.25
Replace Radiator ................. $207 (2.3h)
Fluids supplied by customer.... $0
Environment charge ............. $3.50
Parts total ......................... $812.25
Labor total ....................... $300.50
Tax................................... $144.66
Total due........................... $1257.41
These are Canadian prices (make sure if you come here the car is super reliable or else...)

Now I could have got the radiator locally from another source with a discount of 25% at a price of $419.25 but was available in 4 working days (it was Tuesday so I would had it next Monday the earliest). Or I could get it from Rockauto.com for $285.01 plus $75 (360.03 w/shipping - about 1 week and few days) or $121 ($406.11 shipping - about 3 days). Over the Rockauto price add brokerage fee + tax (all in all around $100 extra).
Best price: $419.25 available in 4 working days.
Worst price: $559 available in that day.
So what would you chose providing you need the car to go to work?
Now once the car was dismantled at the shop I find out that I have to wait 1 day for the oil cooler lanes. Then 1 day later I find out that it takes another day for the transmission lane fitting. Got the car with the lower transmission lane routed wrong and rubbing on the fan. Returned to the shop next morning and took a whole day to fix it. The fix was a cable tie holding the transmission hose(pinched and half way chewed by the fan) on the brake line. Next day returned to the shop and the shop claimed that is the correct routing, is not their fault the hose is like that because is too long. We argue for a while about the routing ("are you a mechanic sir?") so next day I had to drive 15 miles early in the morning (before work) to get to my friend '97 STS to take a picture of the routing. Got back to the shop and finally they agreed that the routing is incorrect. I also indicated that I paid $45 for a new hose witch now is half way chew so should be replaced.
Took one more day to have the hose replaced (remember I was suppling the fluids so I was by now about 1.5 q of transmission fluid into the repair).
1 week later I noticed that the puddle of transmission fluid from under the car does not disappear even though it rained twice. So I had a look and found the transmission lane (same) to be leaking on the radiator side. That's when I checked the trany fluid level (just below min). So add another 1/2 q of transmission fluid and go back to the shop next morning. Took another day to fix the leak. Is not mentioned in the bill the 6 clips for the rad cover they remove with pliers (idiots!) so I had to spend another $9+tax for clips, the ~$80 of coolant and ~1/2 q of engine oil.
I believe from the day I took the car in until finally it was properly fixed took about 3 weeks.
 

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atleast you took your own fluids in other wise i can see the dealer selling that to you ad 20 dollars a gallon minumum
 

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1997 Cadillac STS (BOSE w/AUX In, Massage Seats, URPAS, "Z")
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Well I actually paid well over $20 per gallon when I bought the fluids (months earlier) as I was planning to change the coolant anyhow. I remember paying something around $120 or $140 for 3 gallons of coolant and 6 sealant tabs after tax. Good thing I had no time otherwise I was just wasting fresh coolant.
Whatever price you see on Rockauto double it add tax (13%) and that's what you pay in Canada for it.
I am looking right now on Rockauto at a set of caliper repair kit (~$45) plus a WP pulley (~$31). The total bill for me (shipping included) is over $106. But that's not all, there is a brokerage fee and tax, then is my gas driving across the town to pick up the parts (as they try to deliver at 11 AM in a working day...who the heck is home at that time?????). Then is the bank exchange fee, although the CAD is almost equal with the USD I still pay for the $106 USD about 107.5 CAD.
In the end for a small plastic pulley and 4 rubber "O" rings I end up paying close to $150.
I can see myself paying ~$50+tax to a mechanic to change the pulley (if I am stupid enough to do so) and probably I would have hard time to find a mechanic willing to change the gaskets in the calipers. Most of the times they just change the caliper at a price (for the part) of $360+tax per caliper. I would expect to pay (if I would find somebody willing to do it) close to $500 for rebuilding the calipers. In Canada there is no such thing as caliper rebuild kit, they only sell you the entire caliper.
So this repair that in US is $75 in parts and maybe $200 labor, in Canada is about $800 best case scenario or almost $2000 at the dealer. Chew on that!
 

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not anymore 2007 Lexus ES350
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wow i never knew that you paid so much more in canada for auto repairs OMG
i couldnt do that
 

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1998 sts..now a 2000 sts
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They saw you coming, radiator is 200 max, Oil cooler lines are 35 bucks a peice at the GM dealer ( I just looked them up for my 2000), pump is about 60 bucks. Labor on the radiator is probably 2 hours, since the hoses need to be disconnected to get the radiator out, replacement should be no more than 1/2 hour, and another hour to 1 1/2 hours. Figure out your local labor rates for a total.
mark, how did u disconnect the 1/2" s.s lines from the rad???
 

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1998 sts..now a 2000 sts
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i actually just order a rad from oreilly's auto parts and it's 189.85. i believe in ac delco but have read other articles on substitutes being good with no issues.
 

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i think i have heard good things about spectra i know i have put them in 2 of my cars that had rad problems and so far no issues the one in the caddy is a spectra they make good unites
 
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