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Discussion Starter #1
First of all I would like to say HI TO EVERYBODY as a new member and than start bitching and whining. :)

A year ago I bought a 98 Deville, 91k miles,fully loaded and clean at $1800.About a month ago it started overheating 220-240 degrees and display CHECK ENGINE COOLANT LEVEL and CHANGE OIL.I let it cool down and put about 1gal. of coolant.I did notice a leak at the water pump and replaced the water pump along with the thermostat, did a system flush and used DEXCOOL .No more leaks but I am still loosing coolant somewhere at a rate of 150 miles/1gal. of coolant.When I first start the engine there is some white smoke and rough idle for about 30sec. to 1min. and then gone.The car runs great,plenty of power,temperature stays in the range of 190-217 degrees but I'M LOOSING COOLANT.I do suspect it is the head gasket/s but I'd like to keep the car if I can get away with $1000 to fix it.It is clean inside/out,power everything,moonroof,heated seats/lumbar,12 cd changer,2 drivers memory,chrome wheels,garage opener,the whole nine yards.How much would it cost to replace the head gaskets,is it doable in my own garage with the engine on the car (I am a decent home mechanic) and WHY DOESN'T GM DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE OVERHEATING/HEAD GASKET PROBLEM on the Northstar????????? I mean ,for crying out loud,most of the owners have this problem under 100k miles. :confused:
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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Not to sound like a dick, but what did you expect from a 98 Deville that you got for 1800, thats rediculously low of a price, whoever sold you it knew the headgasket was bad. It definetly sounds like you've got a blown headgasket. The quickest and easiest wway to be sure is to get some coolant test strips that will test for exhaust gases in the coolant. You could also go to a radiator shop and have them do a cylinder leak test. The change oil messege came up because the engine fryed the oil when it overheated. The white smoke on start up is coolant in the exhaust, if you wipe your finger on the inside of the tailpipe, there will probably by coolant in there.

As for fixing it, prepare to spend 3000-4000 dollars. That's if you haven't warped or cracked a head or the block from it overheating. Its a pretty involved repair. The motor must be dropped out the bottom of the car, its nearly impossible to get to the headbolts (all 20) with the engine in the car. Then all 20 headbolts must be timeserted (rethreaded into the block). Most of the time its better just to replace the motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did you add the supplement to the coolant?
I did not.When I bought the water pump from the Cadillac dealer I asked and I was told that their technicians DO NOT USE the coolant sealer and IT IS A WASTE OF MONEY.The parts guy is somebody I know and trust.
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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The parts guy at the caddy dealer near me told me the same thing about the tabs. Apparently they clog the cooling system, I've seen it happen in my blazer before with a different stop leak/supplement. My mechanic who is very trust worthy told me to put the tabs in, after head rebuilt my engine when the headgasket blew. I am not sure how much they would have helped you though.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Sealant tabs will not prevent nor cure a head gasket problem. I think it is safe to say that your gaskets are shot. I agree with Misfit. You got a "good deal" for a reason. The seller knew exactly what he had and wanted to unload it. You can get away for a lot less than $3000 if you can do the job yourself. Again. like Misfit said, you have to drop the cradle and hoist the front end high enough to slide the drivetrain out from under it. There are some detailed posts if I remember correctly. Definitely not a weekend DIY job.
 
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I know you just had a real bad experience with your car but just think of the many Northstar Cadillacs driving around without head gasket problems as we speak. Think about it, feel any better?.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I know you just had a real bad experience with your car but just think of the many Northstar Cadillacs driving around without head gasket problems as we speak. Think about it, feel any better?.:eek:
No,sir.I don't feel any better.I was a Lincoln Towncar man and owned along the years four of them.The only MAJOR problems that I had, having to rebuilt the tranny at one of them at 240k miles and replace the rear suspension air bags at another.This is my first and last Cadillac.I never did ANY research about Cadillacs and Northstar before yesterday and I tell you what: IT IS SAD. :mad: WAY TOO MANY PROBLEMS WITH THEM but to be fair, when they run,they run :dammit:
 
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No,sir.I don't feel any better.I was a Lincoln Towncar man and owned along the years four of them.The only MAJOR problems that I had, having to rebuilt the tranny at one of them at 240k miles and replace the rear suspension air bags at another.This is my first and last Cadillac.I never did ANY research about Cadillacs and Northstar before yesterday and I tell you what: IT IS SAD. :mad: WAY TOO MANY PROBLEMS WITH THEM but to be fair, when they run,they run :dammit:
I know man, I was being sarcastic cause thats the type of response I got when my '98 blew its head gaskets. Mine had 98k miles on it. I sold it shortly after the gaskets blew and bought two Lincoln Mark VIII's. Good luck to you.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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I know man, I was being sarcastic cause thats the type of response I got when my '98 blew its head gaskets. Mine had 98k miles on it. I sold it shortly after the gaskets blew and bought two Lincoln Mark VIII's. Good luck to you.
Oh come on Deystroyer. I seriously doubt that anyone ever told you that you should feel better knowing that many others where driving around without problems.
 

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01 Eldo ETC, 02 Deville SOLD!
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KIGY, we sympathize with you, but you have to agree, for $1800 you got someone else's problem. Now, that said, for about $3500 you can throw in a remanufactured or Jasper engine that's gonna be pretty much bulletproof, and go from there.

I have to toss in my side of the argument here too - I just talked to the 945,000 northstar owners who HAVEN'T had a HG problem, and they all said to say hello.. :)

The quote in your last post is rather telling:
I never did ANY research about Cadillacs and Northstar before yesterday and I tell you what: IT IS SAD. WAY TOO MANY PROBLEMS WITH THEM but to be fair, when they run,they run
I would never buy any fairly complicated piece of equipment, from a car to a DVD burner, without at least a cursory check. Of course, the internet is full of garbage, but with practice you can sift through it and every now and then find something useful.

There are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of N*-engined cars on the road with no major problems to speak of. I know of one fellow with a total of 347,000 miles on three different Caddy's and the only engine-related part ever replaced on any one of them is a motor mount at 159K....
 
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I know of one fellow with a total of 347,000 miles on three different Caddy's and the only engine-related part ever replaced on any one of them is a motor mount at 159K....
Admit it Jim, those "Caddies" are Fleetwood Broughams arent they?.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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I dont have to, JimHare just said it again "I just talked to the 945,000 northstar owners who HAVEN'T had a HG problem, and they all said to say hello". :rolleyes:
No, Jim didn't say anything like "you should feel better about your problem because there are so many others with no problems". Perhaps you should reread post #10. As I said, I seriously doubt anyone ever said that to you.
 
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No, Jim didn't say anything like "you should feel better about your problem because there are so many others with no problems". Perhaps you should reread post #10. As I said, I seriously doubt anyone ever said that to you.
It was inferred. Must everything be in black and white?. Why bring up a theoretical 945000 people without h/g issues? Why?. Is he trying to comfort the poster with this absolutely made up number of cars without issues?. At the time he also said something along the line that for every Caddy in the garage getting fixed, a whole bunch of them actually go past the garage or some silly nonsense of sorts. Anyway, fuggetaboutit, this thread is getting stupid.

As to the guy that started this thread: There are good Cadillacs but they are all older and RWD. :thumbsup:
 

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Yes, it must be in black and white. Come on now. You can't say people told you to feel better about your problem because many others are not having them, just because that is what you read into it.

"Why bring up a theoretical 945000 people without h/g issues?"
I don't know, but I would guess to counter you saying all Northstars have head gasket problems. I'll let Jim answer that.
 

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I'm at a loss as to why this issue engenders such polarity. I suppose it's the emotional response to a decidely expensive repair that, for whatever reason, one feels shouldn't need to be done. The problem I have with it is the broad brush that seems to be used to paint ALL Northstar-equipped cars, when that is simply not accurate.

Do a certain percentage of Northstars have a HG issue? Yes. No one has ever denied that.

Is the issue caused, at least some times, by owner neglect of the cooling system? Yes.

Is the issued caused, at least some times, by random chance, to low-mileage engines that have been religiously maintained? Yes.

It's just that I have an intellectual problem with a statement on the order of "GM should recall all Northstars and fix them" or words to that effect.

The flaw in the Northstar design, if there is one, is that apparently imperfect aluminum was used in certain manufacturing runs that caused threads to fail.

Who the heck knows? Could we be making high powered, relatively complex, car engines with your recycled Coors cans? Probably.

Destroyer, and Ranger and I have opposite viewpoints. I don't think anything any one of us says is going to sway the other. And that's ok too, 'cause it's not like we're keeping score.

And to underscore Ranger, we never have told anyone to "feel better because others are not having the problem". I feel for anyone facing that kind of an expense on an automobile that you THINK should be more bulletproof. But that doesn't overpower the fact that a blanket statement damning every Northstar ever built is simply incorrect.
 
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