Go Back  The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > Dockside Chat
Reload this Page >

Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

Notices

Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

Old 12-11-2006, 09:46 AM
  #1  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ocean County NJ
Posts: 2,388
Default Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?


Just was told that my wife's caddi a '98 STS caddi with the 300hsp NOrtstar engine, has a blown head gaskets , the dealer wants 4k to fix the motor, with only a standard GM 1yr/12k miles warranty on parts & labor!. NO PIVATE MECH will even touch this problem.....

Can anyone tell me if this is BS? Is it worth having this work done?

By the way this car mysteriously blew these gaskets, only 3wks after I paid 2k to have the cars infamous "100,000 mile platinum tune up", 3wks later blown head gasket?? something just dosent add up, the car ran perfect.........
Victory 1 is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 10:53 AM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Sailfish Capital & Black Hills SD
Posts: 15,993
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

Vic. There is of course a Caddy forum. I occasionally was on it when I had my '97 (great car BTW), someone could tell you for sure over there. But I don't think it's anything common, if it were I'd remember reading about it.

I feel your pain BTW, I shipped my perfectly good running Porsche to a shop (in Stuart) last winter for what was to be a $1200 60M service... I figured they'd run the bill to $2500, wrong, $3200... Hasn't run right since, been to 2 shops since (a total of 4X).. As I type this, it's in a 3rd shop giving it a shot before I run it south Friday.



Afishinado is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 11:33 AM
  #3  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 9,492
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

it got both of them at one time? If so that sounds like to me that it got very hot, there isn't much else that will cause a failure like that. The first thing I would do is to get a breakdown of the service that was performed at the time of the recent tuneup. If replacement of the coolant was part of this, I would possibly lean toward either a loose seal causing loss of coolant, or an improper mixture. Definitely get a coolant analysis done very quickly.

As far as the no private mechanics touching it, I don't blame them, the motor is stuffed in them so tight they are basically impossible to work on without pulling the motor/transaxle assembly, which likely takes some specialty tools.
autobaun70 is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 12:41 PM
  #4  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ocean County NJ
Posts: 2,388
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

They stated that its a "mis fire" in the back cylinder, due to a a small leak in the head gasket. They then did a test where they Allegedly put Pellets in the radiator that detect Co2 and subsequently turn purple (or something like that) which they did according to the service manager, therefore indicating a blown HG.....Private guys told me they wouldn't touch it do to the fact that even after the replacement of the gasket, it "wont take" due to various reasons....An aluminum block maybe being one of them??? However the Service Manager assuress me that they do it all the time and It will "take" just fine, but as said its only a 1yr/12k gaurantee??? I did however hear from most, that this IS common only in this year Norstar engine, something about the small number of head bolts or something??? Also It is true to do the HG job, the do have to pull the motor completely out....

I'm with you though, with the suspicion of shoddy work at the time of the tune up, 4wks or so prior to this problem.....they did do allot of work along with the tune up that week, to include a rpg valve??? (sp) which cost $600 alone!......Nobody can answer me WHY this happened except that they said its NOTORIOUS in this year Norstar engine???

Fishanado, do you know the site for Cadillac?

What should I do?

Victory 1 is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 02:08 PM
  #5  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,085
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

Victory 1 - 12/11/2006 1:41 PM

What should I do?
IMO, it's time to peddle the car! You have been putting FAR TO MUCH money into the car with a VERY LARGE bill looking down on you! To make matters worse, even after spending the money and having the work down there is the possibility your problems might not be over = MORE money. I would be all over trying to peddle it (sell it) fixed or not fixed!

You know approximately how much it is going to cost to have it fixed....that is what I call your fudge money.
- I would "phone" multiple dealers and used car lots to find out how much your car is approximately worth if there wasn't a problem. I would not identify the car's current problem over the phone, I would say it is in perfect working order. What you want is an averaged out price of what your car would fetch you.
- Then I would run the car over to a different GM/ Caddy dealership that you have not been using and play the game of you want to buy the new model and this is your trade-in.....play stupid on the car's problems. Don't hid the fact the car is running a bit rough right now, say you think you bought some bad gas or something. Either way you'll have to play the game out until they give you a price on what your car is worth "as is"!
- Then I would stop in at a few of the larger used car lots that you would never deal with and tell them straight out what the problem is. Tell them you can't afford to fix it but would like to trade it off for one of their better cars on the lot....you are bullsh!tting them of coarse, you have to because you need that price of what's the car worth damaged.

Now you've got a series of prices.....how they stack up tells you what you should do and what way to go about it. But if your pockets are deep and you don't care about saving a few thousand dollars for a few hours of leg work then just buy a new car and wash your hands of this one! "Generally" what I've found, large money put into a vehicle to sell it off gives the owner a poor return on the money spent.

Good luck....I really feel your pain. oh btw, I would be thinking exactly along the lines as your are.......the dealership caused the problem!!!
Garett is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 02:19 PM
  #6  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: NYC, USA
Posts: 3,209
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

With any aluminum block and cylinder heads they have tendancies to warp from the heat. That is probably the reason why they only guarantee the job for a year and other mechanics tell you it wont "take". The warping of the block or heads would definitely cause the head gasket to blow. If they do the job, are they going to machine the heads and check for warping in the block?

If this is the problem, I wouldn't fix it. Just my opinion.
capt. thunder is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 02:37 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: An island in Maine
Posts: 1,410
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

Time to trade it in.
Johnshan is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 02:44 PM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: shelby twp MI
Posts: 1,783
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

How bad is the car running? Does it give problems at all speeds or just high speeds? If you go to trade it in they my look for a few symptoms with that car that are common. If you can't really tell then go for it. But if they see it pissing water out the tailpipe or see that nice brownish/white oil from the fill cap they'll know something. The exhaust will also smell sweet if it's bad. If it's not bad. throw a can of motor honey in and trade it like Garett says. But just to make sure do your own compression check, or take it to a different dealer.

tinmarine is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 04:06 PM
  #9  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
fish factory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 25,453
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?



Is this the Cadillac motor that has a block cast in 2 halves, and bolted together?

If so, it's a problem waiting to happen

Run Forrest, Run!
fish factory is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 04:36 PM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ocean County NJ
Posts: 2,388
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

fish factory - 12/11/2006 4:06 PM



Is this the Cadillac motor that has a block cast in 2 halves, and bolted together?

If so, it's a problem waiting to happen

Run Forrest, Run!
I believe so....


Garrett....already figured this math: 98 sts Cadi mint Kelly bb value= $6,000, trade in mint= $4,000, as is with the existing prob. they offered $2,000 trade.

Therefor my dilemma! this car is paid off for a few years now-I own it!, Do I want to trade it for another pymt? hell no!, there for I need to hear from a GM mech to tell me if this repair, can be done successfully, and will the car last a few more years??

The cost of the repair 4k, is still allot cheaper than buying a new car, ya see what im saying? , but its NOT worth it if the car blows up again in a year
Victory 1 is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 04:50 PM
  #11  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
fish factory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 25,453
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?



If the motor isn't leaking oil at the "two halves joint", it will be. That's a $4000 re-build. There's a national franchise that replaces bad motors with "junkyard" (so to speak) motors at a reasonable price, and some warranty. Here it is..."Best Built Engines" @ 888-332-5393. Warranty is 18 mos/18,000mi.

Can you buy a "Goodwrench" motor (re-built at factory)? and get a better warranty?

fish factory is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 04:54 PM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ocean County NJ
Posts: 2,388
Default RE: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

Not sure if its leaking oil at that point but, iam assuming that for the 4k to replace the gaskets (plural), that they would split the motor and do them all??? they told me the motor would be pulled and split on the bench.
I ckd and found a reman Norstar engine for like 5k the other day, but then your talking another 2k prob to install it....too much for me as iam getting ready to repower my boat , the dealer also quoted me a price for a brand new motor from GM.....10k installed

Thanks Ill call the # for the heck of it..... edit, phone number isnt good?
Victory 1 is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 05:16 PM
  #13  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Nags Head,NC/Quinton,Va
Posts: 657
Default RE: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

Suggest go to www.jasperengines.com Click on Find a Price. Just another comparision but might be helpful. I may get blasted for saying this, but if you plan to keep the car and drive it out, nothing says you have to put the exact same engine back. There may be an alternative that is more affordable that will match up with the drive line and still get a acceptable formance.
Good Luck,
dawiggs is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 05:21 PM
  #14  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Sailfish Capital & Black Hills SD
Posts: 15,993
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

Victory - http://www.cadillacforums.com/
Do a little digging there, quite a few mechanics...

These guys can say what they want, easy to spend your money... I have a good friend that buys a new one every 3 years or 150-170k miles, don't want to look at anything else. I just called him, asked about head gaskets, nope and had a '98. In fact he claims he's never had anything go bad on his but computers and computer related stuff.. On any of them!. Said he also never had a full 100,000 mile service done on any of his STS's and has been buying them since '92.
Afishinado is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 05:24 PM
  #15  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ocean County NJ
Posts: 2,388
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

dawiggs, thats who i called and got the price for 5k reman.....

Thank Afish, just posted the same questions over there early today.....waiting for a response.
Victory 1 is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 07:19 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sunny florida
Posts: 22,217
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

Matty..the question is..what caused the head gaskets to fail in the first place? If it overheated, then that's why. But overheating may have warped the heads/block, in which case you'll never get a decent seat. A head gasket leaking from the combustion chamber won't get water into the chamber..it will blow all the coolant out from too much pressure. another source of leaks is the intake manifold gasket.

Pressurize the cooling system and see where the water is leaking, then make a determination. You can also get a junkyard ('scuse me..recycled) engine with 60,000 miles and put it in. Jasper engines are excellent, btw.

Afishinado..have you taken yer Porsche to the 908 shop yet? Down in SPS.
billinstuart is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 07:56 PM
  #17  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ocean County NJ
Posts: 2,388
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

hey Bill.....the car NEVER overheated, my wife drives the car only 5 miles back/forth to work each day, so no this car never overheated AT ALL. I ASKED THESE TECHS WHY IT BLEW IN THE 1ST PLACE 20 TIMES AND STILL CANT GET A GOOD ANSWER, the answer I got was that, "that year model, is notorious for blowing gaskets"....he said that the computer is getting a "mis-fire" code, and after doing that pellet test in the coolant, it picked up C02, determining that there is a leaking HG, they determined that one or more of the rear cylinders, was misfiring due to a small leak into the cylinder, which was fouling the plug etc etc etc....that's the story Iam told, all I know is that something smells funny to me!

...Oh the Tech also told me the reason why this year model is "notorious for blown HG's) is because, of a head bolt issue, meaning not enough head bolts or something to that effect, and that this issue was corrected in the following years models, elminating this problem compelety on the STS cadilacs for good?????
Victory 1 is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 08:05 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sunny florida
Posts: 22,217
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

Water doesn't leak into a cylinder when it is running. The tremendous pressure of combustion (2000+psi) forces combustion gasses into the cooling system. The ONLY way a running engine can wet foul a plug is by a coolant leak into the induction system..intake system, NOT a head gasket. Think about it. Picture an inner tube/tire with a pinhole leak..water doesn't leak INTO the tire when you put it in water. Sounds like smoke blowin' up Mattys.......
billinstuart is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 08:13 PM
  #19  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: shelby twp MI
Posts: 1,783
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

billinstuart - 12/11/2006 9:05 PM

Water doesn't leak into a cylinder when it is running. The tremendous pressure of combustion (2000+psi) forces combustion gasses into the cooling system. The ONLY way a running engine can wet foul a plug is by a coolant leak into the induction system..intake system, NOT a head gasket. Think about it. Picture an inner tube/tire with a pinhole leak..water doesn't leak INTO the tire when you put it in water. Sounds like smoke blowin' up Mattys.......
That's what happened with an old Dodge I had. Pressurized to the point of expanding the tubes of my radiator.

tinmarine is offline  
Old 12-12-2006, 12:51 PM
  #20  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ocean County NJ
Posts: 2,388
Default Re: Any GM mechanics????..STS Caddilac / blown head gaskets?

billinstuart - 12/11/2006 8:05 PM

Water doesn't leak into a cylinder when it is running. The tremendous pressure of combustion (2000+psi) forces combustion gasses into the cooling system. The ONLY way a running engine can wet foul a plug is by a coolant leak into the induction system..intake system, NOT a head gasket. Think about it. Picture an inner tube/tire with a pinhole leak..water doesn't leak INTO the tire when you put it in water. Sounds like smoke blowin' up Mattys.......

from the GM Techs Mouth:

"its not really the gasket that blows.
What happens is the bolt holes for the head bolts pull the threads out.
This causes hot combustion gasses to enter the cooling system and it runs hot.

Thats why the bolt holes need to be tapped and timeserts installed.
I have never seen one fail after this repair. "


Victory 1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread