Cadillac Owners Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone replaced a blown head gasket on a 99 Seville? Or the whole engine? I am getting differing opinions how what to do. 99 Seville, 99,000 miles blown head gasket. Is it worth replacing the engine?
 

·
Registered
1999 White Diamond ETC
Joined
·
2,538 Posts
Re: Seville

I would first recommend completely ruling out everything other than the headgasket. The whole "found combustion gases in the coolant" claim does not always hold water. For instance, the purge line should not be blocked, new rad cap, etc.

To test for a headgasket reliably, go to the "Cadillac Technical Archive" http://www.cadillacforums.com/cadillac-tech.html

If it's the headgakset, the engine is likely in good shape. It's not uncommon at all to see that the honing pattern is still present in the cylinder walls.

TimeSerts are required in all 20 bolt holes, due to the nature of an aluminum engine. Do not skip this step, or use anything other than the TimeSert kit for the Northstar.

While it has been done with the engine in the car, it is an extreme challenge. Typically, the cradle is dropped as a whole (engine, and powertrain), as the car is lifted, to perform this repair.
 

·
Registered
94 ETC,97 STS
Joined
·
3,531 Posts
Re: Seville

Go to the tech tips section and look for the head gasket thread. That has a lot of info.

Ditto on everything mtflight said plus make sure the radiator isn't plugged, flush it out.

What has been done so far?

There have been hundreds of threads related to this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Re: Seville

thanks for the reply-the car overheated going over the grapevine on the way to nothern California. It runs great on the flats but overheats going up hills and we had to add coolant and water. We took it to a mechanic who said the head gasket was blown and he could replace for about $3800.00. I know next to nothing about cars. The Car is still in Northern California because I was afraid to drive. The dealer who sold us the car said it is not worth fixing need to replace whole engine. $8500.00. the car rides beautifully and is fun to drive but I have had so many problems with this car-little things that nickle and dime you so I am not inclined to put a whole lot of money in this car unless I was going to keep it for another 3-4 years. So if it is a blown head gasket who is right-the mechanic or the dealer?

zonie77 said:
Go to the tech tips section and look for the head gasket thread. That has a lot of info.

Ditto on everything mtflight said plus make sure the radiator isn't plugged, flush it out.

What has been done so far?

There have been hundreds of threads related to this.
 

·
Registered
94 ETC,97 STS
Joined
·
3,531 Posts
Re: Seville

Who's paying for this?

If you are paying the mechanic is right. If the dealer is paying he's right!
 

·
Registered
1999 White Diamond ETC
Joined
·
2,538 Posts
Re: Seville

My concern would be addressing what caused the overheat to begin with (radiator, water pump, clogged hose, etc).

Northstars can live pretty long. It may be worth replacing the headgaskets; however, they need to be replaced properly which involves Timeserting the heads (the engine is brittle aluminum and the treads pull if you don't).

The Timesert kit is ~400, the labor is ??? I'd get a quote from an oldsmobile or gm goodwrench, or someone who's done Northstars before, and make sure they're using the required TimeSerts--otherwise you'll have to do it all over again.
 

·
Registered
94 ETC,97 STS
Joined
·
3,531 Posts
N* are well constructed engines. Given reasonable care they should last about 300,000 miles. One problem with aluminum blocks is the threads being damaged. This is fairly common when head gaskets fail. The timeserts repair the threads. They are much stronger than helicoils. This should be done whether the threads look damaged or not. Make sure the mechanic factored this into his estimate.

You say you don't know much about cars. This is a tedious repair job. It is not that technically challenging but it does require paying attention to details. If the mechanic is good there should not be a problem with this repair. The repair is less than half the cost of replacement and should last the life of the car.

As far as driving it. If you aren't getting water in the oil you can drive it but you'll have to avoid hills as much as possible and pay close attention to the coolant level. As the gaskets get worse they will allow coolant into the oil so you don't want to drive it indefinitely. I don't know if you have a possible route home that would avoid mountains. I'd definitely have the oil changed before driving it home. Where's the car at? Distance?

I'd prefer having work done close to home in case of problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
For same price as new engine, or just slightly more, you can get another car of same year. Search autotrader.com.

Something to consider.
 

·
Registered
2000 Dev, 94 FW (crushed), 96 FW Limo (sold), 95 SLS (sold)
Joined
·
367 Posts
For the same price you can by a used car with unknown history, maintenance, etc. This is not a prudent choice if the car you currently have has been an excellent car other than the head gasket failure.

I would much rather have a known set of conditions than take a gamble on a new purchase. It's just logical to get the repairs done correctly and the engine will last another 200k. If the car has a ton of other problems, then you should dump it for parts.

rfishing, just because you got screwed by a mechanic that failed to properly repair your vehicle, you have no cause to throw logic to the wind. Your arguments based on emotion may work in front of a jury of dumbasses, but on a technical forum such as this, your comments are more nonsense than useful.

BTW, until the coolant pressure test or bubble test is performed, you don't know the HG is the culprit. Correctly do one of those tests before you commit to such an expensive repair.
 

·
Registered
2000 Dev, 94 FW (crushed), 96 FW Limo (sold), 95 SLS (sold)
Joined
·
367 Posts
BTW, the damage is already done. Load the car up with coolant and bring a bunch of extra with you and drive that car home. Don't be surprised if the thing goes into limp mode. If it does, just pull over for a few minutes. Just be sure not to get burned when taking the cap off to refill the surge tank.

Or else, go pick it up with a tow dolly or have it towed home. You need to do a little legwork and analysis yourself if you want to avoid getting screwed. You will never get a fair shake when having problems "on the road". Why do you think they call it highway robbery?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Quote: Load the car up with coolant and bring a bunch of extra with you and drive that car home. Don't be surprised if the thing goes into limp mode. If it does, just pull over for a few minutes.

dldriski,

When my car overheated and the message appeared, "Stop engine" I was not in the best place, and it was midnight. After being on the side of freeway, near a cliff, after just 4 minutes the battery unexpectantly died. With no lights to see, no flashers etc., we in the dark, and were almost hit by a big rig truck driver that veered off. I couldnt even start the car if I wanted, and got stuck waiting an hour for tow truck to show up. My point is, do you really want to take a risk of breaking down on side of California freeway? If so, at least drive during day time to be somewhat safer. Later, I found out my 1 year old maintenance free battery was defective.

Delzy, I hear your insults loud and clear! I still think, buying another car is a viable option because it gets him on the road again quicker, and possibly with a better car, and for less cost than buying a new engine especially if you can get some $$$$ for trade in or $$$$ from selling the car later.

Wish you luck.

Why does it seem like every other day, someone is posting about blow head gaskets? I got to other forums and rarely read about them.
 

·
Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
Joined
·
86,793 Posts
I think the dealer says "It's not worth fixing" because he makes more money selling you a new engine. If it is fixed properly (timeserted) it will last a long long time at half the cost.

P.S. I have a good friend in El Centro. Been there a couple of times.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top