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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1992 Sedan Deville
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Heres the situation. I have a 2001 ETC with 72000 miles on it. Its in perfect condition, the car of my dreams. Diamond white, imit conv top, you name it. I am going on a big trip so i decided to take it to the caddy dealer for a check on the cooling system and it seemed to have weaker performance in the last few months. I got the call today that they pressure tested the motor and it shows "a head gasket problem" They told me in would cost about 3700.00 to fix if thats all thats wrong. They told me if there has been corrosion into the motor, i would have to replace it. i.e 11000.00 dollars!!! If i cut my losses and sell it as it is now(drives wonderful, no overheating whatsoever) before it gets worse, or should i take the risk that they could repair it for the 3700.00 , but if they cant, ill have a car that is no use to me until i replace the motor. what would you do? Does a northstar get corrosion to the point i have to replace it in just a few months? in much need of advice.


Daveman
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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4,764 Posts
Do a search here. Some places sell remanufactured engines. Just need to check out their reputation and their warranty.
 

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2001 ETC Sequoia
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878 Posts
I'd suggest a second opinion.

Specifically, I'd go to a radiator shop and have the coolant tested for exhaust gas contamination.

Good luck,
Warren
 

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2005 White Diamond STS N* 1SF RWD ACC/HUD
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2,052 Posts
I agree with Warren. Sounds to me like the dealer heard your "concerns" and decided to verify them for a nice payday.
 

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2013 XTS
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2,087 Posts
Find a good private mechanic if the headgaskets are bad it should cost 2,000-2,500 and if the motor is coroded you will need a new one. I would suggest ebay there is a guy on there in Madison Wisconsin that rebuilds them in better than original condition. If you like the car you should keep it. I would walk through hell for my STS !
 

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198 Posts
If your looking at it from that much of a cost standpoint.

Flush the cooling system and put in 4-5 tablets that have been crushed into powder. Make sure to mix the powder with the coolant prior to putting in.

Then just drive the car. If it goes.. it goes. Chances are you'll be ok.

Too bad your not in Michigan.. we could do this in my garage for $20.



Rich
 

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2013 XTS
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2,087 Posts
Even if it does need a motor don't let the dealer do it you can find a mechanic that will do it much cheaper and still do the job correctly.
 

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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1992 Sedan Deville
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys. I dont think the dealership is trying to screw me or anything. I gave them a green light to spend lots of money last time i had it in there for the suspension and the told me i didnt need anything major. (how knows though right) I told them this morning to go ahead and open her up and see if the head gasket is repairable. The motor itself they were charging 9900. I take it thats alot or average? All I know is I for sure dont want to get rid of my diamond white baby so Im prepared for the worst. Anyone know the type of corrosion that will make it unrepairable and/or how long it can take to become corroded? Also could the slightly weaker performance be caused by the head gasket problem? (feels like the car has to work hard just to go up a hill) It has never overheated on me at all and 95 percent of the time it runs smack dab in the middle. I swear though i have had this car in the shop at three different mechanics about 2 months ago and everyone told me the car was great no problems. How can a bad head gasket go undetected?
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,975 Posts
I would get a second opinion as well. I have a sneaky suspicion that they WILL find corrosion, though I have never heard of that before. If you do get the gaskets replaced, be sure that they Timesert all 20 head bolt holes.

Stay away from that guy in Madison Wisc. There is a thread (Northstar section I think) that will explain it all. I think Chazglenn was the original poster.
 

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1997 Polo Green Cadillac Seville STS
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685 Posts
Dude,

You can buy a remanufactured NorthStar off eBay with all the common problems FIXED for $3500 SHIPPED to your door. Then you will only need to find a Private Mechanic to install it for you.. All this should not be MORE than $5000 tops....
 

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White Diamond 2001 STS
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1,317 Posts
The motor itself they were charging 9900. I take it thats alot or average?
That's INSANELY expensive. The list price for a new engine has been posted before, and it was in the $4500-5000 range. Again, that's LIST, what you or I would pay, straight from a dealer (the most expensive option). Dealer cost was somewhere in the neighborhood of $3000-3500. If they're going to charge you $9900 for the PARTS (plus labor), they're screwing you.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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11,694 Posts
Yea but dont ask my why, but I do seem to remember that the "10k" price-point for a new motor from the dealer has been posted a few times before. It may be total rape, but I have definitely seen that number before.

Again, I believe this is done more to discourage the job from ever taking place than to actually generate the revenue from it, if the customer is stupid enough to say yes, then hey, they made better profit on that repair than the sale of the car!

I would have a reman engine put in for about 5 grand total.
 

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White Diamond 2001 STS
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1,317 Posts
I believe that it often happens to entice the customer into a newer vehicle. The dealer can argue that they're already "in it" for $10k, might as well put another $5-10k behind it and get into a newer car. It's been demonstrated before how second opinions can uncover a leaking or stuck thermostat, or water pump gasket, or water pump drive belt, or something unrelated to head gaskets. Not saying that the dealer has mis-diagnosed it in this case, but I see no reason NOT to pursue a second opinion.
 

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90 Eldo -SOLD-, 98 ETC -SOLD-, 86 XR4Ti Track Car, 07 Ranger
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963 Posts
uh, I had gmparts direct quote me a new longblock w/everything minus pulleys and belts which I had a dealer quote me for install of said longblock w/pulleys and belts and it only came to like $6000, for a brand new engine. I had private shops offer to do the job for $5700.

I had reman'd Jasper engine quoted at one of their authorized installers for about $4400

So $10k for an engine is unreal, after all the only labor involved is disconnecting some accessories and dropping the front cradle which is not really hard if you've ever done it before, the annoying part is reinstall which takes a bit more time but not much...

Have a shop do the HG job and it'll be 2-3k, I paid 3k for mine which wasn't terrible since I took it to a private shop that specializes in caddies and jags (there's a combo for INSANE labor rates :)) that I know and got a good warranty and they were very careful and replaced pulleys, belts, tensioners, etc while they were in there...
 
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