Cadillac Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1991 Eldorado. It has 137,000 miles on it right now. I run premium fuel it and check all fluids regulary. I dont know if I should keep the car or sell it because of its high mileage. I have to redo the front leather seats and get the struts rebuilt, together will cost $700.00. However every thing does work in it. Should I keep it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,471 Posts
Totally subjective call on this one. The only advice I can give you is to keep the car if your main worry in the engine's durability. The 4.9 is a great engine and will last well into the 200K range with only basic maintenance.
 

·
Registered
2005 CTS-V, 1994 Infiniti Q45
Joined
·
7,658 Posts
I agree too. If you plan on keeping the car and not selling it until it dies, then im not sure if I would fix the seats. But if you may sell it, go ahead and fix the seats. But on a car that old with that many miles i might just invest in some good seat covers. Another consideration is to do the seats in vinyl rather than leather. im not sure on the price differential between the two, but it may be something looking into.

How much did you get quoted for you seats?? To do driver and passenger seat bottoms, and driver side left lumbar support was $475. This is all in real leather.

These engines last a long time, and possibly one of cadillacs best engines in recent history, reliability wise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well the seats would probally be done in vinyl. I am really not to sure about a price thought that was just an estimite.
 

·
Registered
2005 CTS-V, 1994 Infiniti Q45
Joined
·
7,658 Posts
It is all your call- If you think your car is worth it, go for it! If you have any doubts, just get seat covers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,235 Posts
My 4.9 has 156,000 on it and is in perfect condition with NO problems. I wouldn't hesitste to keep the car and run it out You've more than likely got another 100,000 in it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I have a 1992 seville w/ 178k now. Runs great. Only problem is other non engine things are expensive..... shocks, air conditioning parts, oil pan screwed up and took out like 400 worth of electrical.... other than that great car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
i have a 1994 seville SLS with the 4.6L Northstar.

It blew up one evening last month, billowing thick white smoke (oily) for the 4 block drive to the dealer.

Next morning, dealer started it up and no smoke, just a metallic knocking sound coming from the bottom of the motor they said.

The car has been sitting in my garage for the past few weeks, while I have been trying to figure out what to do. The motor only had 120k miles on it, and had regular maintenance, in fact the oil is barely dirty between 2k mile oil changes.

But the dealer wants $1800 to just open it up to look and $5900 for a new motor.

Any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,235 Posts
The Northstar ain't that bad Dude....Like many motors it has its issues. Some break and some don't......Many more don't than do! You are rather jaded on the subject of the Northstar engine, That's fine! Many people are very happy with the motor.....Every Northstar owner I know LOVES the thing, None of them have any of the issues referred to as common here. We do need to remember that on these sites we see mostly the problems. Most N/S owners don't come to a site like this to say " Hey, Everythings great! " They come here when they have a problem...If they don't have a problem, They don't come! In your case, You used the cars in a way that exasserbated whatever problems they might possibly develop. Most people will NEVER see the problems that you have seen in livery service....Those are my thoughts on the subject.
 

·
Registered
White Diamond 2001 STS
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance! As for the 4.9, like Kev said, it's a very good engine. It is aluminum, though, and needs to have the coolant changed with the supplement every 2 years or 24k miles. You don't have to do this, but you risk internal engine damage.

Same deal with the 1995 and previous Northstars. They're aluminum engines and need maintenance just like the Cadillac 4.1/4.5/4.9 engines do. Gorky, do you know the maintenance history of the '94 that blew up with white smoke? Did you buy it new or used? Keeping the oil changed is important, yes, but so is keeping the coolant changed. If you bought it used, you unfortunately have no or little record of the maintenance before you bought it. That's obviously a head gasket problem, and I'd make a wager that the cooling system maintenance hadn't been performed as called for by Cadillac. The head gaskets started to corrode and over time, failed completely.

A great thing happened in 1996 -- DEX-COOL. This coolant has organic corrosion inhibitors which last 5 years or 150k miles. The old green stuff had silicates, which were depleted quickly (and thus the short change intervals). With an iron engine, that's not such a big deal, but with an aluminum engine, it's imperative that the corrosion inhibitors stay in the system! With '96 and later engines, the inhibitors are long life, and it's much less likely to have head gasket failures due to corrosion (there could still be a mechanical problem obviously).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,471 Posts
The problem is that engines as late as '01 (that I have personal experience with) are still having blown head gaskets due to mechanical failures, due to improper manufacturing. I just talked to a guy yesterday that had his '01 ETC blow a head gasket and it was determined that at least one cylinder had "stripped" head bolts.
All the coolant changes in the world won't stop that from happening. Like I've said millions of times before, the design was great, the "execution" was (and is) the problem.
 

·
Registered
1994 STS - pearl white
Joined
·
140 Posts
gorky said:
i have a 1994 seville SLS with the 4.6L Northstar.

It blew up one evening last month, billowing thick white smoke (oily) for the 4 block drive to the dealer.

Next morning, dealer started it up and no smoke, just a metallic knocking sound coming from the bottom of the motor they said.

The car has been sitting in my garage for the past few weeks, while I have been trying to figure out what to do. The motor only had 120k miles on it, and had regular maintenance, in fact the oil is barely dirty between 2k mile oil changes.

But the dealer wants $1800 to just open it up to look and $5900 for a new motor.

Any suggestions?
This one has all of the earmarks of a headgasket failure. Coolant getting into the combustions chambers shows up as steam in the exhaust - but not when the engine's cold (in the morning). Coolant mixing with the oil emulsifies & trashes the main bearings, rod bearings, etc., resulting in the metallic thunking sound from the bottom of the engine.

Check the dipstick for a frothy substance that looks like a chocolate milkshake - that's the emulsion & it's a harbinger of death.

Junkyard engine sound like the best option.
 

·
Registered
White Diamond 2001 STS
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Katshot said:
The problem is that engines as late as '01 (that I have personal experience with) are still having blown head gaskets due to mechanical failures, due to improper manufacturing. I just talked to a guy yesterday that had his '01 ETC blow a head gasket and it was determined that at least one cylinder had "stripped" head bolts.
All the coolant changes in the world won't stop that from happening. Like I've said millions of times before, the design was great, the "execution" was (and is) the problem.
Huh. I wonder what they're doing wrong and I wonder why they haven't fixed it yet. And I wonder why all engines don't see the problem. I think anything assembly-related would show up very soon, not 130k miles down the road. For instance, my 115k-mile example. I think any assembly error would certainly have shown up by now, no?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
The thick white smoke was really oil not steam, i could smell it and taste it , it was so thick. that was around 7pm one evening

Funny thing was the very next morning, 9am-ish, there was not smoke but the metallic tapping noise was very evident.

when i drove it home, there might have been a slight loss of power, but i wasnt pushing it.

i bought the car used, cause it was in such nice condition, and cause the carfax showed that it only had 1 owner previous. and more importantly an owner that religiously took it in for the yearly smog inspections(routine inspections might imply routine maintenance too) in Arizona(so very little chance of rust).

i hadnt looked at the coolant, but i will. I'm sure it's the green stuff. I had the pink stuff in my 1996 since new and it still rusted out the waterpump within 3 years. Happened just after my warranty ran out, just about the same time my AC compressor went out too.

Head gasket sounds plausible, but what could be causing the tapping noise?

thanks,

gorky
'94 seville SLS
'96 GMC 1Ton crewcab
'88 735i 5 spd
'86 Nissan 4x4 5sd
 

·
Watching the Watchers
Joined
·
5,959 Posts
Katshot said:
Junkyard motor.
God I hope Jason and Brett don't read this, it might shake their faith in the almighty Northstar ;)

LOL....i dont have near enough Cadillac engine knowledge to argue with you or Jason on the subject, also never claimed to. ;)
My experience with the northstar has consisted of 31k miles on an 01 Seville. Very trouble free miles, but hardly makes me an expert.
 

·
Registered
White Diamond 2001 STS
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Katshot said:
No. We consistently found component life-cycle failures (including engines/trans) of 100K miles or more.
"Life cycle" failures and manufacturing failures seem to be completely different subjects. A life cycle failure being wear due to age/fatigue and manufacturing failures being due to improper assembly. Example, a life cycle failure of a water pump bearing after 110k miles. Example, a manufacturing error where the head bolts were too long and engine blew coolant after 2000 miles out the door.

You seem to be glumping life-cycle failures in together with a manufacturing defect(s). Is there a difference? Seriously...I lost you on this one. Am I mixing up my terms?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,471 Posts
They can overlap actually. I could've been more careful with the terms though.

Over the years the two tend to blend together from time to time.
Example: Your waterpump life-cycle, what caused the bearing failure? was it properly installed? Maybe not. Does that same bearing deliver a substantially longer or shorter service life in another application? All too often, I've found that "life-cycle" (being a very subjective term) is greatly determined by component failures. The waterpump life-cycle of 110K miles was really determined by the component failure of a bearing that may have failed due to a manufacturing problem. That kind of thing happens all the time.
What I was getting at was that we had routinely found major components like engines and transmissions (just to name a couple) had exibited a rather specific life-cycle due to a component failure. Suppose just for arguement sake that 80% of the Northstar engines in my '98 Devilles exibited a blown head gasket by 120K miles. Could I not assume to give those engines a realistic "life-cycle" of 120K miles? Of course.
 
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
Top