11th Apr 2014, 17:54
I thought the overheating issue was corrected after the '03 model year. What year was your DTS, was it the older DeVille model? I am considering buying one of these next year, and really want to know if this was still an issue on the later models?
12th Apr 2014, 11:25
2003 is when they fixed the head bolt issue. Any Northstar from any year, if you overheat it once it's pretty much done.
12th Apr 2014, 19:49
You may be right, ours was actually a 2001 DTS, almost 10 years older than the one reviewed. Hopefully they corrected that issue by now. But I've seen it happen to '95 models, and still by '01 they didn't correct so I'd be a bit leery still. Used Cadillacs can be had pretty cheap, but be prepared for the maintenance and repairs. I read on a Cadillac forum that if you get a Northstar engine don't get one older than '05, they finally put coarser threads in the head bolts by then, but if it's '03 or older, you're still taking a gamble.
13th Apr 2014, 21:17
I'll take the push-rod 4.9 and 4.5 V8's over the Northstar any day; they were much more reliable and a lot easier to work on.
27th Nov 2014, 15:45
Only time will tell how the modern Northstar will hold up. We can just hope Cadillac is using better gaskets. Cadillac engines have been blowing head gaskets since the HT4100 came out in 1982. GM knew these engines had problems keeping themselves sealed. Instead of using better gaskets, they just added stop leak to the cooling system. Any engine that will have inevitable failure of major seals without the use of stop leak, is not a good engine in my opinion. It doesn't matter how "state of the art" it is or how well it performs.
The last good Cadillac built engine is the 368 (6.0L), which came out in 1980 and was used up to 1984 on the Limousine and Commercial chassis. This is the good old iron engine that is very reliable, very long lasting, very low maintenance, very smooth running, and doesn't require the use of stop leak like the HT series and Northstars do.