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1998 deville, 2000 sls, 2006 CTS-V, 2001 STS, 2007 STS V8
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Discussion Starter #1
i have a 2000 sls w/96000...i was wondering if i should worry about the headgaskets goin on it. i asked the manager at the local cadillac dealer the other day when i was there getting my car serviced...he said that he has had quite a few cars come in for headgasket jobs...even 2000-> years .does anyone have a 2000-> n* that needed new hgaskets?
 

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'98 STS (RIP @ 206,xxx miles)
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Follow the coolant service schedule of 100,000 miles or 5 years. Simply replace / refresh the Dex-Cool mixture, which will refresh the corrosion inhibitors, and you can relax.

You can search the archives for 'head gaskets' until your eyes are tired and you will find that (almost all) head gasket failures can be traced to coolant sytem neglect. The evidence is there.

Adding the coolant system supplement is cheap insurance for other nuisance coolant leaks.

And, none of the double underline emphasis is mine. That has been added by advertisers.
 

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1998 Cadillac Deville Sedan
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My car has just over 102K and I haven't had the coolant changed, should I wait until the info display tells me so? My car was spent on the highway until about 98K, which was when I bought the car.
 

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I had a chance last week to talk to an acquaintence who is a technician at a large Caddy Dealership and asked him if he has seen the incidence of headgasket repairs declining with the newer Northstars. His answer was that no particular year seems to be any better than any other, going all the way back to '93. The newest Northstar that he personally had to do the headgasket repair on was an '02 with 62,000 miles. This, of course, dispells the myth that all headgasket failures are due to a lack of cooling system maintenance.
 

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1998 Cadillac Deville Sedan
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So I should change the coolant even though the car's been on the highway most of its life and the engine temp seems to be very stable (around town ~196 ~222, highway is 196 steady)?
 

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weister42 said:
So I should change the coolant even though the car's been on the highway most of its life and the engine temp seems to be very stable (around town ~196 ~222, highway is 196 steady)?
Follow the maintenance schedule. If it says to change after 100k (the orange stuff) and your car has 102k, then you're 2k over the limit. I'd go change it, it's cheap insurance.
 

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98 Concours, 2004 Deville DTS
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I just had the head gaskets done on my car at 99,000 miles and the cooling system was changed more often then recommended with factory dexcool (admittedly they did use tap water instead of distilled water, all done by the dealer).
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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jmb,
You must remember, that a Cadillac tech only sees the cars with problems. He never sees the ones with no problems. That could lead you to believe that ALL Cadillacs have head gasket problems. We all know that is not true.

While cooling system maintanence is the single most important factor in preserving head gaskets, it is certainly not a guarantee. They can and do fail occassionaly, even on a well maintained engine. I think it is one of the draw backs of aluminum engines and is not a Northstar phenomenon.
 

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Ranger said:
I think it is one of the draw backs of aluminum engines and is not a Northstar phenomenon.
I disagree. There are many more head gasket problems on northstars than other aluminum block engines. I think it's just a function of thread design and/or engagement length. Headgasket corrosion can be fixed with proper maintenance. Loss of head bolt torque cannot.
 

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I apologize for airing my opinion so forcefully earlier. I've removed my dumb post and the rebuttal. I'll keep my personal opinions out of public forums from now on.

That said, I do remember reading in the past that the rate of head gasket failures has been declining in recent years. Maybe the changes they've made to the bolts and block threads has improved the situation. Either way, cooling system maintenance is key to prevention, but it's not 100% foolproof. The vast majority of Northstars never have the problem, but unfortunately a small percentage do have a head gasket failure even with perfect cooling system maintenance. Mechanics know how many of them fail and which years are worse just as much as a shoe salesman does. The only true statistics would be from GM, and they certainly aren't sharing.
 

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98 Concours, 2004 Deville DTS
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mcowden said:
I apologize for airing my opinion so forcefully earlier. I've removed my dumb post and the rebuttal. I'll keep my personal opinions out of public forums from now on.
That said, I do remember reading in the past that the rate of head gasket failures has been declining in recent years. Maybe the changes they've made to the bolts and block threads has improved the situation. Either way, cooling system maintenance is key to prevention, but it's not 100% foolproof. The vast majority of Northstars never have the problem, but unfortunately a small percentage do have a head gasket failure even with perfect cooling system maintenance. Mechanics know how many of them fail and which years are worse just as much as a shoe salesman does. The only true statistics would be from GM, and they certainly aren't sharing.
No problem, we all can get emotional over the cars we love (and yes I still love me Deville, even after having to replace the head gaskets). I do wonder if it would make sense to let blb back on the board though?? I have looked at most of his previous post and could not find anything bad (no personal attacks or bad language) just one mans opinion and isn't that what these forums are all about? After all we have not resorted to censorship have we?
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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eldorado1 said:
I disagree. There are many more head gasket problems on northstars than other aluminum block engines. I think it's just a function of thread design and/or engagement length. Headgasket corrosion can be fixed with proper maintenance. Loss of head bolt torque cannot.
Well, I do not have any data on other engines, but I do recall our friend "Rob" mentioning that several other manufacturers have had their share of problems. I also recall a lengthy explanation about aluminum, it's strenght and faults. It would be interesting to know if most of the head gasket failures are from deteriorated gaskets or pulled threads. I'm sure that is something we will never know.
 

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Well neither do I, but the aluminum block LS1 was introduced almost 10 years ago, and you never hear of them having head gasket problems... In fact, I haven't heard anything negative about the 3.5 "shortstar" and 4.0L versions of the northstar either...

On the flip side, the oldsmobile 2.3 "quad 4" was/is notorious for blowing headgaskets, perhaps even more so than the northstar.
 

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eldorado1 said:
Well neither do I, but the aluminum block LS1 was introduced almost 10 years ago, and you never hear of them having head gasket problems... In fact, I haven't heard anything negative about the 3.5 "shortstar" and 4.0L versions of the northstar either...

On the flip side, the oldsmobile 2.3 "quad 4" was/is notorious for blowing headgaskets, perhaps even more so than the northstar.
Exactly right, Eldo1........ And before the "quad 4", in the early 80's it was the Brazillian built 1.8L engines that were commonly found in Sunbirds and Skyhawks that had major headgasket issues. In contrast, the 2.0L engines used in the Cavaliers of the same era that utilized the cast iron block / cast iron head configuration almost never had headgasket problems, although in later years (late 80's), the 2.0L was changed to an aluminum head / cast iron block configuration.
 

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95 Aurora, 08 Z06
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You guys that wait til the 100k mark, or even over as the one guy did are really crazy. Do you really think there is any life left at even 90k? No. Every 30-40k sounds adequate to me. Its only $100....whats the deal in waiting an hour or so for a job to be done?
 
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