I have a good friend with a 2000 Cadilac with 62K miles and a northstar V-8. It has a blown head gasket. This has been a very well maintained and pampered car. The GM dealer says the repair costs are more than the car is worth. Is this true?
Yes , but you can look at Kelley Blue Book to confirm the statement . If your friend is really attached to this thing he can call independent shops for estimates .
Call around for prices at independent shops. Their prices will be much lower and as good of work.
I assume your friend is debating whether or not to make the repair. First, as already mentioned, he or she should get a quote from a good independent mechanic, who should be able to handle this repair.
As we often point out here, whether a repair costs more than the car is worth by the book isn’t the right question to ask. The question is if the car could be replaced with an equally good car for the price of the repair (plus the junkyard value). From the way you describe this car, it sounds like the answer is no.
Your friend should get at least three estimates for this problem. First, that should confirm whether the engine has a blown gasket. Second, it will provide a range of costs to choose from. Your friend should ask everyone he knows for recommendations on shops if he doesn’t have a list of good repair shops already. Those that are mentioneda lot are good places to go.
The question to ask is whether your friend can find an equivalent vehicle for the cost of the repair.
But… on the other hand, would another vehicle be “The World Standard of Excellence” that Cadillac has erroneously claimed for decades?
The only person who can determine if the repair is more than the car is worth is your friend. Nobody else has any idea what the car is worth to her and what it would cost to replace it with a similar car.
A 19 year old Cadillac with only 62,000 miles tells me that someone really loves this car, and there’s no way to put a dollar figure on sentimental value. I myself have put more money into a car than it would be worth on the open market, because I really liked the car and the pleasure of driving it outweighed the dollars I spent.
Shop around for prices on this repair. But be careful, if the shop doesn’t immediately know that replacing head gaskets on this engine should also include drilling and repairing bolt holes in the engine block, the shop is not familiar with Northstar repairs.
If your friend does go ahead with the repair make sure he puts in a new starter motor. On this engine Its located under the intake manifold between the V’s and is a pain in the rear to get to so its best to preemptively replace it while everything’s apart.
Your friend is probably correct. It’s a well known problem with those engines and the fix is expensive. Besides the usual head gasket procedures, removing the heads involves dropping the engine cradle and retapping and installing special inserts in the block.
And because it’s so widely known, resale value is in the pits and even some scrap yards aren’t taking them.
It’s a real shame because otherwise these were very nice cars but if you can find a reasonably priced independent mechanic who’s experienced with this fix and hold onto it long term, accepting that it still will have no resale value, it may be worthwhile.
And while you’re at it, might as well install a new timing chain set.
That all has to come off to remove the heads anyway.
And clearly Subaru is love, now isn’t it?
By “northstar engine” I presume you mean mean the transverse mounted v8 (vin Y). If you decide to do the repair, make sure your shop is aware of tsb 00-06-02-001, a minor problem w/the radiator, but it can cause overheating. As posted above, the repair decision should be based on the cost of the acceptable alternatives available, not how much it costs in relation to the value of the vehicle. If you like your car, with only 62K miles, I’d be inclined to fix it were I the owner. Should have a lot of life left in it. Good idea however to have the shop do some investigation why the head gasket failed in the first place, if you don’t know why at this point. Head gasket failures at 62K is a little unusual. You don’t want the replacement head gasket to fail for the same reason.
I would submit that “love” is completely subjective and thus is impossible to verify or to challenge, whereas a claim such as “World Standard of Excellence” cries out for data in order to substantiate that type of claim.
You may wish to differ, as is your right.
Both are advertising piffle. Puffery is a time honored tradition in advertising, practiced by all auto manufacturers.