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  #1  
Old 07-27-2011, 05:56 PM
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Default need advise with GM Cadillac Northstar blown head gasket

Hi! I'm new to the forum. I went looking for help and ended up here. I bought a 1999 Cadillac STS. It was the most fantastic car I had ever driven.

However, I think the head gasket blew. My son parked it right away when the white smoke started rolling (less than 2 tenths of a mile drive on home when it happened). The car would still start after that, and we were able to pull it forward a bit; but we haven't actually driven it since then or even left it running for long because I didn't want to add to any damage already done.

Since I know Cadillac repairs would be expensive, my decision was to sell the car. I guess I just haven't contacted the right people because I haven't been able to sell it--the problem seems to be that it's hard to get a motor for this model.

Surely, there is a Cadi lover out there somewhere who would love to have this car. The body is good, the interior is good, the luxuries all work--this car is too fantastic to sell for scrap metal. I'll try to attach pictures. How can I find the right person for this car? My finances won't allow me to repair it.

Thanks for any advice! I hope this post is not inappropriate for this site, but I really need help!
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Last edited by Stealth; 08-02-2011 at 05:44 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2011, 11:33 PM
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Well if you want the truth about cost to fix this car you have 2 choices. Have the head gaskets replaced for about $2800-$3300. The other option which you already mentioned was to buy a replacement engine. You dont have a rare engine, its quite common since they use it in the Deville DTS as well. the difference between the STS (what you have) and the SLS (what I own) is the Camshafts. The engines are the same 4.6L Northstar engine. Ebay usually has salvage yards that will sell them and ship them. Which will cost about the same to repair the Gaskets on the engine you have.

So either way its a very costly repair. i bought my cady which had a used engine installed because of the Gasket issue. Well because it was used even thought the guy had paperwork proving he had the engine replaced it blew the gaskets out again. So i decided to just have the gaskets replaced and sofar 3yrs later its running just fine. Yea it was expensive but i also dont have car payments due to having to go out and buy another car for what it would cost to fix my cady. So it just depends how you look at it. As for selling it not many ppl will buy a car with that type of issue. So what mostlikely will happen is they strip it and sell parts on ebay/craigslist.

I actually am going to be buying another seville like mine for $400 with head gasket issues all im doing is striping it and keeping the good parts for when i need them and the rest is scrap metal money in my pocket wich will be about $400. Free parts for me pretty much. So think about what your options are and go from there these cars are great when theyre running and i wouldnt want to drive anything else from the same era.
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  #3  
Old 07-28-2011, 11:22 AM
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Question Thanks, Daddylac

Thanks for the information. I guess I need to spend some time on ebay. I had heard that it was next to impossible to get an engine for my car. Given your understanding of these cars, would you start right out with fixing the head gasket, or go straight for replacing the motor. Extra background that may help you advise me is this: I bought the car at auction, it was running. It heated up right away when we drove away with it, turns out someone had put the wrong antifreeze in it. We didn't know about the wrong antifreeze, but it obviously had plenty of coolant, so we decided to try bringing it as close to home as possible--figured we may have to stop for cool-off breaks. Turns out, it drove all the way home--about 60 miles and didn't need any more breaks. When I learned about the coolant, I had some parts replaced and had it flushed out and got the right antifreeze in. Before long, it was using coolant--the extra coolant demand continued to increase, then the sudden white smoke. My brother-in-law has always patched my cars up to keep me running, but he's not comfortable with working on the cadillac. He says I've probably ruined everything. That's where I stand for information, and why I've been thinking new motor.

If you're buying a car like mine for $400, that falls in line with what a local junk-yard dealer is offering. Which is pretty much the same as I could get for taking the car to the recycling center. It always hurts to take a loss, but when people have told me I have about a $650 wheel package on the car, selling the whole thing for $450 really hurts. Basically, it's a shame to see a car this good scrapped anyway.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:07 AM
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well in your case since you got this at an auction. If you spent under $1000 and took her home then you got a good deal in my eyes. The reason i say this is because your car is worth at least 2500-3500 depending on condition etc. I went through this with my Seville. I spent $3200 on mine though and spent another $3200 on having the gaskets replaced. So i pretty much spent over $6k to drive my cady. ive put in more since then but i love quite bit. LOL

Heres what i would do if i were you. i would find a well known shop that is trusted to work on this engine. Which is getting harder to find due to the amount of work and time to fix this. So a GM dealership may be your only place. Buy having this work done at a dealership they will warranty the parts and work they performed on it. I did it this way and felt better about it.

Of you chose to buy a new engine you will problaly spend $800-1500 depending on who where and the amount they charge to ship it. plus find out what the shop will charge to do the engine swap. Now if you choose to just get a used engine even with low miles you will never know what that engine went through as most places only do a compression check to see if the engine is good. they dont check for other things all that much. So then you run the risk of the gaskets going out unexpectedly and be back in the same boat.

This is what happened to me. I saw my seville on craigslist for $3800 with 89,000miles with Aftermarket chrome rims and tinted windows and every option except the 6disk and nav. The car was an Arizona car and the guy had the headgaskets go bad on him so he bought a used engine with 58k on it and spent about $2500 for the engine and work and he was back on the road. move up her in Nebraska and decided to sell the car. I bought it and he showed me the paperwork reguarding the work he had done. i thought that i was getting a good deal and offered him $3200 and he accepted it and about 4 months later the gaskets went out on the used engine which had only had 65k by this time. It was running hot and later white smoke out the exhaust, etc. So i used that info as a sign not to buy a used engine and swap it in. i took it to the dealership and got it back 3days later with a $3200 bill and almost 3yrs later im still driving it and it has been great. I obviously overpaid on this car by fixing it but it was cheaper than buying another $3k car and something bad happen on that car. But in your case if you took this route you would be ahead and have probably spent about $3800 total on your car and know it wont happen for many miles to come. where as if you spent that same money on another cady you may end back in the same boat again with bad gaskets. its your call i know its lot of money to come up with. I asked the bank to help me out and used my cady as colateral and made small payments to my bank. This is just an idea if your unsure about how to cover an expense like this. Sorry i gave you a biography of my experience but i figured that way you could see the reasoning of buying a used engine or just spending the extra to have the gaskets replaced. Hope you get her back on the road so you can enjoy driving her again.
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Last Owned Caddy- 98' Seville SLS (SOLD 2-15-12)
Other Caddy's- 92' Deville (R.I.P.), 89 Brougham
Good info for all of us caddy owners click here: http://www.cadillacforum.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=11803
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2011, 03:39 PM
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Default new idea--scam involved?

Hi! I believe I'm getting good advice from you. Basically, I was thinking I would contact the local cadillac dealership. I also appreciate you sharing your story and exact numbers so I know what I'm dealing with. Since you really know what's involved, I'm trusting you. I wish I only had about $1,000 in this car! I gave $1500 at auction and then paid for new parts after that. I don't even remember the total I have in it.

I wanted your input on a new development. A guy called me this morning because he had seen my sale ad that stated that the motor needed work. He is from upstate New York, and says he has developed a kit that will repair the problem. He says the problem develops because of a computer chip that lets the car run cool to limp home, then you get leakage around the gaskets. (I think I'm restating that correctly.) To fix it, they bypass the computer chip and then they drain the car and do a 3 step sealant process. Heat it up, run a sealant through (with the radiator blocked off), cool it off, and repeat until all 3 sealants are in then cool with a high powered fan for one hour. He says he has fixed over 200 cadillacs this same way and you can run them another half a million miles if you want to. He says this only takes about 3 hours, and it would cost me $800--that is $500 for the kit, $200 for the mechanic to come to me, and $100 for the labor. He also said that if I didn't want to pay $800 to have it fixed, he would buy it for $500. His mechanic travels to do this--this week he is in Delaware (I think) right now and is working his way south so would be in my area around the end of the week. Says I owe nothing if they can't fix it.

Scam? Or any possibility of truth? Have you ever heard of any such sealant process? I know what they say about deals that sound too good to be true.

He said if I sold the car, he would appreciate me giving his name and number to the new owner.

Since I was suspicious, I asked about references or if he had any information on line. He said he didn't have anything on line. Gave me his mechanic's name and number along with 5 other references. I haven't called them yet, because if I was running a good scam, I think I would have several people to back me up. Obviously, all these contacts are going to tell me his deal is great.

If you have any interest in talking with him, I will give you his name and number. If he's really developed such a miracle, I'm sure lots of folks on this site would like to know. And if it's a scam, I guess this site would be a good place to warn folks. And if you think it could be worth a try, it might be $800 well invested for me.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:46 PM
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Default new idea--scam involved?

Hi! I believe I'm getting good advice from you. Basically, I was thinking I would contact the local cadillac dealership. I also appreciate you sharing your story and exact numbers so I know what I'm dealing with. Since you really know what's involved, I'm trusting you. I wish I only had about $1,000 in this car! I gave $1500 at auction and then paid for new parts after that. I don't even remember the total I have in it.

I wanted your input on a new development. A guy called me this morning because he had seen my sale ad that stated that the motor needed work. He is from upstate New York, and says he has developed a kit that will repair the problem. He says the problem develops because of a computer chip that lets the car run cool to limp home, then you get leakage around the gaskets. (I think I'm restating that correctly.) To fix it, they bypass the computer chip and then they drain the car and do a 3 step sealant process. Heat it up, run a sealant through (with the radiator blocked off), cool it off, and repeat until all 3 sealants are in then cool with a high powered fan for one hour. He says he has fixed over 200 cadillacs this same way and you can run them another half a million miles if you want to. He says this only takes about 3 hours, and it would cost me $800--that is $500 for the kit, $200 for the mechanic to come to me, and $100 for the labor. He also said that if I didn't want to pay $800 to have it fixed, he would buy it for $500. His mechanic travels to do this--this week he is in Delaware (I think) right now and is working his way south so would be in my area around the end of the week. Says I owe nothing if they can't fix it.

Scam? Or any possibility of truth? Have you ever heard of any such sealant process? I know what they say about deals that sound too good to be true.

He said if I sold the car, he would appreciate me giving his name and number to the new owner.

Since I was suspicious, I asked about references or if he had any information on line. He said he didn't have anything on line. Gave me his mechanic's name and number along with 5 other references. I haven't called them yet, because if I was running a good scam, I think I would have several people to back me up. Obviously, all these contacts are going to tell me his deal is great.

If you have any interest in talking with him, I will give you his name and number. If he's really developed such a miracle, I'm sure lots of folks on this site would like to know. And if it's a scam, I guess this site would be a good place to warn folks. And if you think it could be worth a try, it might be $800 well invested for me.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:57 AM
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This guy has an interesting way to fix this issue. all though it sounds like it may work i am leary about some of the snake oil fixes out there. These traveling machanics with the solution in the trunk must be buying the Sealant at autoparts stores and tripling the price of it to pay themselves. There is a Solution known as Steal seal. Costsabout $100 bucks its a 3 step process and they say its guaranteed to work. So i have a feelinng this is what the guy is using and charging the customer $800 so he can pay for these traveling mechanics.

I have heard about this stuff working and always wanted to test it out. Im actually going to be buying another seville like what we have for a few hundred bucks, and if the gaskets are bad like the i was told i am going to try this out to see what it really is all about. Like i said before if you paid $1000 for a car worth at least $4-5k and you get the gaskets done at a shop then you would be ahead rather than buying that same car again for that same price and have the gaskets go bad on that one too.

So if you still want to try the guys method to see if it works you may be just fine. but always know that your driving a ticking time bomb and the gaskets may blow again unexpectedly and leave you stranded. I would ask him what the kit includes and what guarantees this method comes with. Because if hes been doing this for awhile i would think people would know more about this guy. Just ask questions and if the answers are not satisfying to you then you can always say no. I on the other hand would try it out if i was strapped on cash and needed a temporary fix and was willing to accept that i would have this issue pop up again in the future. but at the same time i would try to save up for another car or repair what i have the RIGHT way.

I hope you do get your cady back on the road as i also try to get mine fixed. i Have a Steering rack that needs replaced and since i just moved i need some time to save up some money to fix it. Good thing its been hot here and i got the crotch rocket to get me around for now. well keep me posted on what you do and i will hear from you again soon.
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Last Owned Caddy- 98' Seville SLS (SOLD 2-15-12)
Other Caddy's- 92' Deville (R.I.P.), 89 Brougham
Good info for all of us caddy owners click here: http://www.cadillacforum.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=11803
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:44 PM
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Default Gonna give it a try

Hi

When my brother-in-law realized that I was going to put money into the car, he got busy at helping figure it out. He checked on labor and parts--and, no surprise, it was going to be over $2,000. Because of the guy who called me, he also looked on line and found the steel seal. He said there is a video about how to use it. I haven't gone on line to order yet, but that's my next stop when I get off here. The price he found was $109 plus shipping. I'm going to order it and he'll put it in for me. The info he read said it was guaranteed for life. I'll let you know how it works out for me. I figure with what I already have invested in that car, I just hate to give it away, and it'll be worth trying a fix this cheap.

I hope you get your stuff all worked out too! Too bad I'm not much use for giving you advice. My brother in law said that to find the information for my car, he just went on line, typed in the year and STS and "blown headgaskets" and it took him right to the site with the fix (Head Gaskets Repair : Blown Head Gasket : Head Gasket Replacement : Cylinder Head Gasket : SteelSeal.com). I guess you probably know all the right places to look for the stuff you need.

Good thing the weather has been good for bike rides. I thought about trying to get a bike at one time, but I think I would really be scared to drive it on the road, even it I ever learned to get on it without turning it over! ) I'll have to stay inside something with 4 wheels and hard sides all around me.

Thanks for all of your help--I'll keep you informed.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:51 AM
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there is a thread on our FAQ regarding these fixes .. be sure you also look at the overheaing thread as its related ...

what i can tell you is that there is a good chance the fix-in-a-can works with two catches:
- if the head-bolts have not stripped
- it extends the life of the engine some, dont consider it a permanent fix to last another 10 yrs.



.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:56 AM
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read in the FAQ section ...

K&W nanotechnology permanent head gasket and block repair




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Old 08-02-2011, 09:56 AM
 
 
 
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200, blow, blown, cadillac, changing, engine, gasket, gaskets, gm, head, northstar, repair, stranded, stripped, upstate, york


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