2001 Cadillac Deville Is this car trashed? Gaskets, Oil Pa

Tiny
33USEYOURHEAD
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 CADILLAC DEVILLE
  • V8
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
I have a 2001 Cadillac Deville with 100,000 miles on it. It cost someone $56,000 new. It was fully loaded with nav system, night vision, lumbar massage.

Today - The oil pan is leaking. The "gaskets" are leaking. There is black greasy stuff blowing out of the passenger side air vent - little bits of black foam that is really oily and sticky.

I've been advised that it will cost almost as much to fix the oil pan and gaskets and other small stuff (about $2,500) than the car is worth ($3,000 to $3,500 - Kelly blue book - fair condition).

I believe the gaskets are the infamous seals that leak coolant into oil. I believe this was a problem with pre-2003 Cadillac NorthStar engines. I've heard these can break again even if fixed - because of some bolt that GM redesigned with 2003 models. Something about the bolts in the older design.

I think I'd be crazy to pay to have it repaired. I'm thinking about buying a 2007 Cadillac STS with about 35,000 miles on it for around $20,000.

Can you give an old gal some advice? Seems like these aren't easy fixes.

Do you have any idea what is blowing out of the air conditioning vent.

Help!

thanks, little old lady in indiana
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Saturday, August 14th, 2010 AT 5:16 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
The northstars have had their share of leaks, the fact that they will fail again after repaired depends on the credibility of who is doing the repairs. As a Cadillac dealer tech, I have seen my share of repairs of this nature myself, and from many of my colleagues. Resealing the lower end of the engine has been a common repair for the oil leaks, and if head gaskets are leaking, it is repaired with a steel thread insert. The usual failure of the head gaskets is not the gasket, the aluminum threads in the block give up over time, to expansion and contraction of metals, and the pressures working against them. After a thread insert repair, I have yet to see a return failure in 12+ years, unless the repair was performd improperly in the first place. It s an expensive repair due to the fact that the complete powertrain(eng/trans) has to be removed from the vehicle, to be performed. If you chose to have the lower end repaired at the same time as the head gaskets, there is some overlapping labor that you would save on. As far as the oily, sticky, foam that is coming from the vent, somewhere in the HVAC case there is some sealing media degrading. This is either from something foreign getting on it, or perhaps refrigerant oil from a possible leak.
You make mention of a newer design bolt. There was a change made to the head bolts that occurred sometime around the 2003 era. It involved a more coarse thread pitch, that if had to guess, was made to combat the threads failing in the block.
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Sunday, August 15th, 2010 AT 4:23 PM
Tiny
33USEYOURHEAD
  • MEMBER
Hi. Thanks so much for your response.

Hope I'm doing the right thing by trading in the 2001 because the cost of repairs is almost as much the as Blue Book value (Bluebook - Fair Condition - $4,000). (Oil Pan, Gaskets and A/C). Plus the NightVision controller broke and we'd have to order a new one to close up the hole in the dash board. Or use masking tape. :)

Plus there are body dents and broken tail lights, etc.

I think I'll be trading up to a 2007 V6 Luxury Sports Sedan STS with lots of upgrads (1SB Luxury package). It was $49,000 new, has 46,000 miles on it. I think they'll want about $20K to $23K. It's in great condition. Sunroof, Premium Paint.

What do you think? I'm a single order lady. I have to drive 100 miles from Indy to Fort Wayne Indiana several times a month.

I'm just worried the older 2001 with 100,000 is on it's last leg. Taking out the engine is bound to be hard on other connections etc.

I know it's hard to advise me without actually seeing the cars. But I'd sure like your input.

Best regards.
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Monday, August 16th, 2010 AT 9:32 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
I wouldn't say the Deville is on it's last leg, it is just in need of some TLC, and unfortunately it is some spendy TLC. If trading it off seems to make better economic sense, then it may be the best choice for your piece of mind.
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Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 AT 1:18 AM

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