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Cadillac DeVille



  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    Transmission life indicator has stayed at 100% since this car was purchased over two years ago.
    I asked at dealership if replacing the whole message board would correct this problem and the response was they were unsure why the transmission life was not dropping and didn't know if replacing the message board would solvie the problem. This is the Cadillac dealership where I bought the car. Have other owners of vintage 2000 - 2005 Deviles had this problem and how were they able to correct?
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Ok, on older Cadillacs you could not see the Tranny life oil % unless you went into the diagnostic mode. Sometime, they took the coolant temp display off, and put the tranny % on in its place.
    In general the tranny life does not drop like the oil life. Staying at 100% is normal. In the 97 service manual I think it says somethink like it will stay at 100% unless it has been run hot or after the milage goes over 100,000 miles.

    With that in mind, our 2005 Deville with 54,000 miles has something like 75 or 85% displayed on the tranny life. I think this hasn't changed since we got it about 4 years ago. And, since it was used, I have no idea what the car might have incurred before we got it.

    Look in the service section of your owners manual. I'm pretty sure the Cadillac transmission can go 100,000 miles before needing service. I'm not going to do anything to the tranny fluid until it hits 100,000 miles.

    Ok, I looked at the service manual. It says don't change the fluid and filter until you get the message 'Service Transmission' or something like that.

    Then, be sure you get someone that knows a Northstar tranny to service it. And, in my opinion, NEVER do a 'flush'. This is pumping who knows what thru your tanny. Just do a dump and refill. To dump a Northstar tranny you must drop the pan which will get a couple of quarts out. Then, there is a plug inside that, when removed, will dump several more quarts. Many service people do not know about this plug.
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    Thanks very much Bolivar. More and better information than I could have hoped for and much appreciated. At the moment the only place I have this car serviced is at the Cadillac Dealership service Department. I bought the car two years ago with 28,000 miles on it and now has a little over 36,000. The other item on the instrament panel that is erratic is the average miles per gallon which does not read out or reset or read properly until the car has heated up and on the road for about ten minutes. Any ideas on why that would happen?
    I have an extended warranty good til end of March 2012 and dealership has offered to change the entire message center if I wish but suggest it might not correct either the transmission life or average miles per gallon indicators in question. They also feel that my transmission fluid looks fine and suggest I not change until the car reaches 50,000 miles which would be around 2013.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Ok, since posting, I've driven the 2005, and the tranny display is 69%. And I'm pretty sure it was more than this when we got the car, and it has dropped some. (This is my wife's car, and I don't keep track of everything.) I think we got the car at about 34,000 miles, and the tranny life was less than 100% at that time.

    Of course, this display can be reset. Easily, by holding the Reset button while it's being displayed. Someone might have reset it in error, for example the last time the oil was changed. The Oil life display is 'next to' the tranny life display, and a sloppy oil jockey might have reset the wrong one, or both of them.

    Since you seem to have two displays that are 'stange', the tranny life at 100% and the Avg MPG not displaying all the time - you might have an actual problem.

    I would want the Caddy place to run good disagnoistic on the car before starting to replace things, even with the extended warranty. The problem might be in the display itself, but I think most of the display items are driven out of one of the 'computers' on the car. This 'computer' might be the cause of the bad displays, and not the dash message center.

    The Avg MPG calculation is not done with the fuel gauge. It, and other associated displays (fuel used and Range) are calculated in the computer. It looks at each fuel injection and counts it. Fuel injections vary in length of time it is pulsed. We are talking microseconds here. The computer counts these and knows how much fuel is being injected, and gets the fuel volume from here. The speedometer gives the distance (Of course, it also is electronic, counting some kind of rotating pulse drive in the tranny). It then displays the fuel used, avg mpg, and range using these values.
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    Great information and follow up, thanks. Since the Cadillac dealership has discouraged me from doing anything about the read out problems and the car runs well otherwise I will live with it for the time being. I have an ocassionaly sticking front passenger door lock that will need repair or replacement of something and I will probably wait and try to resolve the gage issue when I get the door lock issue repaired. If the transmission fluid gage was reset the latest it could have been done would have been two years ago when I bought the car as it was 100% then and has never changed. I also checked the reading on my 2006 DTS and they evidently dropped this information as I could find nothing in the messages regarding transmission fluid life. I never bothered to look in that the 06 has only 23,000 miles on it and was bought new.
  • Anybody in NC who is interested in starting a class action suit against GM for repair reimbursement of the cost for rebuilt motor which will cost at least $4000.00 because of blown head gasket at 80,000 miles which my car has 87,000 miles but is in perfect condition other than this problem let me know.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Well, there are a lot of people in this 'class'. I've been reading about Northstar head gasket problems in Caddy forums for many years. From first 94 models until about 2000 they changed the bolt length and thread pitch which I think helped it somewhat.

    You don't actually need the people, you need the big law firm that will take it on. And make $100,000,000 dollars while the people in the class get a certificate that is worth $4,000 off MSRP for purchase of a new Cadillac.

    I love our justice system.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I’m sorry to hear about the concerns you’re experiencing, and I was hoping you’d be willing to email me and reiterate the exact concerns you’ve had checked out at your dealership. If you could also email me your VIN, involved dealer and contact information, I can look into this further for you.

    GM Customer Service
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    Is there a way to call you at GM customer service and discuss before you contact the dealership? I would prefer to do that first and with the information you provide go back to the dealership and try to resolve and if unsucessful than have your department contact them. Hope that would work. Please let me know, thanks.
  • nelson1nelson1 Posts: 41
    My glove box latch broke. I opened the box, and removed the latch. While the latch was removed, someone accidentally closed it. I cannot figure out how to get it opened again, to change the latch. Help?
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Ok, I don't have a direct answer. But I need to pull the entire glove box on my wife's 2005 Deville to put a 6-disc CD changer in there - had to get to the wire that connects the changer, which is in back of the glove box.

    Anyway, I took out all the screws inside the glove box. It still would not pull out. To get it out, you have to pry off the trim piece that goes all around the glove box. I actually use a dandelion weed digger tool to pry it out.

    Maybe if you took the entire box out you could get to the latch from the top....
  • chrisptown1chrisptown1 Posts: 41
    I own a '05 DeVille with 65k on it. recently i have noticed the ign. key is becoming harder and harder to remove. Any one had this issue? I do have back #2 key to use. :
  • boogieboyboogieboy Posts: 1
    i can not turn key it just froze and windows down why
  • Well we are another victim of the famous North Star Head Gasket, 2001 Cadillac Deville in perfect condition until the engine light came on, we need a class action suit now!!!! My Mom bought this car brand "New" & it now has 100,000 miles on it & the engine is now dead..... The dealer/service repair told my Mom it will cost her $10,000.00 for the repair, she left the Dealership in tears, my Mom is 72 years old & called me crying, you can never imagine how I feel, My Dad worked for GM for 28 years & this is the memories we will have for the rest of our lives, you trust GM & now you are left with a $10,000.00 bill, this is heartbreaking for our Family, we all drive GM cars, currently we have 5 of them right now, such a sad ending....
    Dealership is Frankel Cadillac in Hunt Valley, Maryland!!!!
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Sounds way too high to me. Even if this is a new long block, it sounds too much, by thousands. This dealer probably doesn't want to do the job. Doesn't want to pull the motor and tranny, pull everything off, and try to get it all back together and working.
  • Is the head gasget also a problem on the '05 Deville, ?? what tis the primary cause.
  • Is the head gasget also a problem on the '05 Deville, ?? what tis the primary cause.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    The head gasket problem is there for all Northstars. In about 2000 or so, Cadillac did some minor redesign, they changed the thread count, and I think increased the length of the head bolts. This supposedly helped the problem. But, this last guy has a 2001, so it is still there.

    The problem is this is an alumium engine and head. Alumium is soft, compaired to iron, and probably also goes thru expansion and contraction more than iron. So the head bolts basically fail. When doing repairs, mechanics report that thread on the bolts near the place where coolant is blowing by the gasket have metal on them. And also report that bolts that are not 'pulled' usually cannot be re-torqued down correctly, will strip the holes. This is the reason that you cannot just put a new gasket on a Northstar and fix it.

    Also, unlike some motors with head gasket failures, Northstars do NOT put coolant into the oil. It puts combustion gasses, at huge temperatures, into the coolant. Which will quickly overheat the car. A Cadallic with overheating problems (and not having usual leaking problem) almost always will have a blown head gasket. And a car in the 90's is not worth fixing. Salvage it out.

    The repair is to pull the motor, to get to the rear head motor surface, overdrill the head bolt holes, rethread these holes and screw in steel 'inserts'. These inserts are threaded inside to the orginial size and threads, then put the head back on with all new bolts. From what I've heard, this solves the problem. Caddy dealers do not have the 'machine shop' equipment or skills to do this. There has to be a motor machine shop that knows how to do this repair. There is a 'kit' sold with a template to drill the holes and the inserts. It isn't expensive, last I heard it was $350, but the cost is labor to pull and reinstall the motor and the machine shop time. The costs for this has been around $3,000.

    A dealer that says there may be other damage, is usually BSing. Other than the head gaskets, a Northstar is very strong. At 100,000 miles or so there usually is little wear on the cam chains, the cylinder bores look like new, ete, etc. The heads are also in great shape. Cadillac just cannot get this motor to hold the bolts. The design probably does not allow significantly longer or larger head bolts.

    The Northstar came out in about 1993 or 94, in the Allante (sp). And the problem quickly became known. The real sad thing is Cadillac could build the motor with the steel inserts. In my reading about the problem, I've never heard a reason why they have not done this. No need to do it now, I think the Northstar is no longer used, or this is the last year or so of it.

    My wife thinks she has to have a Cadillac. I always carry an extended warranty on them. I've not had a head gasket failure, but our current 2005 with 57,000 miles is the highest milage one we've had. When the extended warranty ends, the car is leaving my place. And, we have had quite a lot of other failures on them.

    I just googled the problem, and there are other people with $10,000 dealer estimates to fix this problem. So, I guess this is the cost for a new motor and dealer labor to install it. Most people try to find a wrecked car and transfer a complete motor. Last I knew, only about one place in US is 'rebuilding' Northstars. Don't know what they want for a motor.
  • thanks, my '05 Deville has 70K, ext. war. ends at 75k. i have some thinking to do. it has been trouble free for my 2ys of ownership, i'd hate to get rid of it. but don't want to face head gasket issue either.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    edited August 2011
    Well, they don't all have gasket problem. But it's a known problem, and reported often in Cadillac forums.

    Our 2005 has had several problems. Heat did not work until turned up to 80 or higher. Replaced two or three 'servos' (electric motors that open/close flaps) and the dash display/control head (three times in shop). It worked ok for about a year, it's now doing it again. Front impact sensor failed. A tire pressure senor failed. Engine miss, one of two coils replaced.Driver window regulator broke. Direction signal in outside mirror failed. Crossover pipe gasket leak coolant (pretty major, kept car for a couple of days, have to take a lot off to get to it.) The driver's seat is starting to fail, it shutters when moving back and forth. My wife drives the car for lots of short hops around town, so the seat is constantly going to exit position and back. This is going to have to be fixed sometime soon.

    It's a lease car, we bought it with 38,000 miles in 2007 I think. I would never buy a new one, they lose a ton of depreciation money quickly.

    Even with all this, I probably haven't gotten my money for the extended warranty back.
  • I also have a 2005 DeVille with just over 50K. I bought it new and have had the DexCool changed
    twice. First time at 30K-3yrs old. Second just recently at 50K- 3yrs. Don't believe the 5yr- 150K stuff.
    The head gasket problem can still occur with good maintenance, but it will surely occur with bad
    It is also important to make sure the DexCool level is correct. Air in the system is bad !
    So far I have been fortunate. I have not really had problems with this car.
  • vicgoovicgoo Posts: 11
    I was in denial,that i have a head gasket issue,but it finally went to where i can,t drive it anymore after 3 months,luckilly i got home before it happened and not between New York and Boston.I lost more than half of what i put into the car-96 Deville.Someone that likes the car gave me a little under $600 for it,i was lucky because i heard it was worthless for it takes more to fix than it,s worth.Well this is my only and last Northstar until i can afford a 05 or newer model which i heard GM finally resolved that issue?For now i got a Riviera with GM,s bulletproof 3.8 motor!
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 10,700
    edited August 2011
    $10,000 sounds like baloney to me. I recently looked at a 97 STS 105,000 miles with the Northstar V8 blown head gasket. Mechanics estimate:$2200.
    Total engine replacement with 72,000 mile used motor: $3400.

    Someone is taking mom for a ride.

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van

  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Oldfarmer, I also thought this was out of hand. But googling around, I found a couple of other people with estimates in that area. I think this would be a new Northstar motor, maybe including heads, from Cadillac, and a Caddy dealer doing the labor.

    From what I've read about $3,000 is what the cost of a Timesert 'fix' for the headbolts. I don't think I would put $3,400 into a used motor, buying another potential headgasket problem. Especially if it was a 90's model Caddy. These are $3,000 cars, at the best.

    If I was caught up in this, I would try to find someone to do the Timesert fix.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 10,700
    "...These are $3000 cars at best..."

    Edmunds valued the one I looked at as a $2700 car so you are dead on. Seller wanted $1500 so the figures just didn't add up. This was several months ago and the car is still on his lawn. I swear that last time I went by, there was a cardboard sign in the window which said: "FREE"

    Such a shame, the car was a beautiful gold color with creame interior. What was GM thinking designing the heads like that?

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van

  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I can see a design problem showing up later. About the lowest milage I've read about was in the 40,000 mile range. There probably just wasn't enough testing to bring out the problem when the motor was developed.

    But, by 95, 96 models the problem seemed to be very obvious. And this Timesert company had developed the 'kit' to fix the problem, and Cadillac had service documents that specifically called for using the kit for the fix. The kit comes with a template that is bolted to a head with the old bolts. There are holes in the template that are used to overdrill and rethread all the bolt holes. A steel insert which cannot be screwed out, is screwed in, with Locktite. This supposed is a permanent fix. Timesert sells just the inserts if a shop already has the template from a previous job. Standard new headbolts are then used to put the head back on.

    Why Caddillac did not produce motors with steel inserts after it became a known problem is the big question.
  • I have a 99 Deville I bought cheap at a car auction. It had 2 blown head gaskets which at the dealer would have cost me about $4000 to repair. That is about the cost of a new engine. Bolivar is correct in the major part of that kind of repair is mostly labor. But if the heads are cracked due to excessive heat damage, then you are looking at replacing heads also. My mechanic told me i would be better off finding another engine. He found a wrecked Deville that had been rear ended at the wreck yard. The engine was still in pretty good shape and it cost about $400 and about that much to install in my car. A couple hundred bucks for a new radiator and I had a good running Caddy for less than a thousand.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    It's broken both rear window regulators in 3 days. Driver's window was replaced about a year ago.
  • rara4rara4 Posts: 2
    the heater never has worked that great but recently it stop blowing hot air all together i replaced thermostat but still blows nothing but cold air
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    If the fan is blowing but no heat is coming out, you might try replacing the relay. It's a cheap fix and you can do it yourself - very little to be lost if that isn't the problem, but if it is, it's quick & cheap.


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