Common Cadillac engine problems and how to fix them

Faithful Cadillac suffering from engine problems? K-Seal can fix a number of common issues.

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Cadillacs have long been a car beloved across generations – their reliability and luxury quality securing their strong reputation. But like any car manufacturer, certain models of Cadillac can suffer with particular engine problems more than others. The challenge is knowing which models are most susceptible, and how to treat them fast to prevent expensive repairs.

Overheating and cracked engine blocks in Cadillac DeVilles

Cadillac DeVille overheating? Unfortunately this is a common issue for this model of Cadillac. The popular 2000 and 2002 Cadillac DeVilles are prime casualties, with the engine tending to overheat due to a leaking head gasket. Alternatively, a water pump leak could be preventing your coolant circulating freely through your engine.

Either way, if not identified and fixed quickly this overheating may cause the cylinder head to expand – resulting in damage to the engine block. K-Seal is tailor-made to solve these issues, plugging the leak to prevent any coolant leaks from reoccurring.

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Cadillac Northstar engine problems

A cornerstone of older Cadillac models, the Northstar engine was hailed for its cutting-edge technology, becoming synonymous with the Cadillac brand. However, the complexity of Northstar engines meant they quickly became notorious for head gasket failures. And with the ‘Northstar Condition’ affecting Northstar engines from 1993-2005, many owners can quickly find themselves facing costly repairs if these issues aren’t fixed quickly.

Which Cadillac Northstar models suffer most with head gasket leaks?

Cadillac DTS, Buic Lucerne and Cadillac STS were the last cars to use a Northstar engine, but generally it is felt that those models from 2002 onwards do not suffer as much with the head gasket issues that plague earlier models. If you have a model prior to this, however, the chances are your Cadillac could be at risk.

How to spot a head gasket leak in a Cadillac Northstar

Head gasket leaks can be difficult to identify in the Northstar engine. The usual symptoms of head gasket failure, such as the radiator constantly needing to be topped up with water, or plumes of smoke coming from the exhaust, are not always apparent. Instead, check your dashboard’s coolant indicator. Should you see it dropping quickly in a sort space of time, it is highly likely your coolant is leaking.

Although many Northstar engines include a “limp home mode” to keep the engine running even if the coolant tank ran dry, we strongly recommend you apply K-Seal to fix it as soon as possible and prevent further damage. Simply add K-Seal to your coolant mixture and our unique formula will seal the crack or hole responsible for the leak. Widely available, you can find your nearest stockist using our handy search tool.

Could other parts of my engine be affected?

Although we’ve mentioned the most common issues your Cadillac may encounter or be suffering from, this is not an exhaustive list.

For example, the Cadillac Catera often experiences oil leaks from the oil cooler and the valve cover gasket. Coolant leaks can also develop due to problems with the thermostat seal and water pump – so watch out for these too.

Select an engine part in the interactive diagram below to explore a typical car engine and the important components that keep everything ticking over. Alternatively, try our 60 second problem solver to quickly identify what your issue is from the symptoms.


Click on the engine components below for details
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Head Gasket Failure? Cracked Head or Block?
Leaking Radiator?

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Have any of these symptoms? K-Seal could save you thousands on a workshop repair. Search for a stockist today!

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