wotmode

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About wotmode

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  • Car Model and Year
    95 STS Northstar
  1. I've searched the forum and didn't really find what I was looking for. I'm looking to buy a STS, but would like to know if there is a model year where improvement were made, or are less likely to have the issue. Are the '02 and'03 less likely to leak oil. I really love the way these cars drive, but I went through the head gasket and block half leak on my '95 sts and don't want to go through it again. On a second note, is the magna ride (or whatever it is called) reliable on these?
  2. For you guys into the big sounding horns, check out hornblasters.com Watch some of the sample videos.
  3. What make you think it was running rich? A catalyst monitoring O2 sensor(position three) only checks to see if the catalytic converter is working, not control air/fuel ratio.
  4. I have experienced "sever brake fade" in my '95 STS. It was with OE pads and rotors that had about 40% pad life remaining. The condition involved three back to back drags from 60mph to 130mph with hard braking between.(I was showing a mid 90's mustang and a ricer what N* was all about) After the third run, I needed to slow for an exit. To my surprise, the pedal was brick hard and the car had the sensation of coasting. I eventually had both feet on the pedal and both hands on the violently shaking steering wheel(rotors got very warped, but trued after cooling down). I released my bowels as I passed the exit. Not trying to be pissy by quoting you, but it is the best description for what happens. I have since replaced pads and rotors, front and rear with cheap rotors and premium semi-metallic pads from Raybestos. I have never worked it that hard again, but in normal to semi aggressive driving, the new stuff feels much better. It still won't activate ABS on good traction surface at 100mph. Bottom line --- OE will fade if pushed. Improvement can be found in aftermarket. If driven in a law abiding fashion, you probably won't notice the difference.
  5. How slow is "slow speeds"? Does it do at 30 mph lane change maneuver? Or Making a right onto a city street? with a yield sign? Or at 2mph trying to fit into a parking spot? How sharp are you turning. I have seen hubs make noise only when unloaded before. Is it a rotational noise, if so how many "brrts" per wheel revolution? If your cv boots are OK, so are your cv joints. It is possible, but I've never seen a bad joint without the boot being torn. Also, cv joint make click noise. If the noise happens while you rotate the steering wheel, it could be a strut plate bearing.
  6. Hard to say without getting a feel for it. Does the car stop as well as before, just requires more effort? Or can you push as hard as you want and just won't stop as well as before? The reason I ask is because a car should be able to stop in the same distance with or without power assist. The only difference is how hard you push. You need to figure out if it is an assist problem, or an issue with hydraulics, pads, etc.. I would test vacuum to your booster. Test the flow through the check valve also. It's probably OK, but it is free and easy to check. Test with a gauge(using your finger can lead to a false "pass"). You should get 17 - 19" of vacuum instantly. If it gradually builds, there is a restriction. Look at the inside surface of your rotors. At the dealer I work at, I can't count how many rotors I've seen look perfect on the outside with nearly all rust on the inside. If all looks OK, I would buy premium grade semi-metallic pads(Some will disagree, but properly installed the premium don't dust or squeak and the stopping power is awesome)
  7. This car is a controlled area network(CAN). Mac tools sells a code reader that is CAN compatible. It can read and clear codes. Display freeze frame data and a couple other things. They cost $50 - $60.
  8. I'll buy that. My car had better than recommended maintenance, and went farther than most on original head gaskets.
  9. I wonder if there may be a small benefit in using a small amount of the EOS even in a newer engine, just because of it's anti wear additives? I have a mental picture of my engine .... when I am on a long distance run... hour after hour at 3000 RPM... of all the moving parts wearing against each other and wearing OUT. Also think about it when I PUNCH IT going up the freeway onramp and it's at 6,500 RPM. Your engine parts are not wearing against each other like you would think. The oil is designed to be a barrier between moving parts. Most of you wear happens at start up. When I tore my 95 down to do head gaskets and block reseal, my cams, lifters and lower end bearings were fine at 180,000 miles. I use the cheapest oil and change it at 50% oil life monitor.
  10. Google "dexcool class action lawsuit". Green coolant didn't cause head gasket failures. Torque to yield bolts and weak threads in the block blow head gaskets. The biggest coolant catastrophes I've seen involve dexcool with air in the system(a small leak causes system to run low for extended period of time because ignorant owner doesn't check fluid levels on a regular basis). Not uncommon to replace radiator, heater core, t-stat and radiator cap along with removing block drains, chisel gunk out so that the drain is open, chemically treat and back flush engine for hours. Come to think of it, this is the kind of gunk that plugs the bypass tube on N*'s, air locks and overheats engine which I'm sure is of no help to already weak threads and overstretched head bolts. I've been an ASE certified tech for 14 years and worked at GM dealers for the last 9. I've never seen green coolant sludge like dexcool. Not trying to be a smart a55, but that is why I use green coolant in my vehicles, including the ones that came with dexcool. It is my understanding the dexcool will sludge if it is used in cast iron applications. It was not designed for cast iron applications as it does not have or NEED rust inhibitors, once air gets into a cast iron system oxidation/rust occurs and that is your sludge. The rust inhibitors are not needed in aluminum applications as aluminum does not rust. The moral of the story is to not use dexcool in cast iron engines. Many of the purge/bleed lines are clogged with sealer that owners use when they begin experiencing overheating and coolant loss. The only thing I know is that every time that I open my cooling system (the last time at 98K miles) the dexcool coolant looks brand new, so go figure. I believe many of the problems with the head bolts come from the coolant not being changed at the recommended interval and the coolant becoming acidic. I respectfully disagree about acidic coolant ruining head bolts. The bolts are sealed from coolant, so unless your block is porous, the head bolts don't get wet with coolant until the earliest stages of head gasket failure. At this point some combustion gases are also introduced into the cooling system which will make new coolant (dexcool or green) acidic in a hurry. Many times the head of the head bolt will be loose(like a long cross threaded bolt, it can be pushed and pulled side to side, but can't be turned by hand). I'm not sure if the torque to yield bolt looses its elasticity from thermal cycling, or if the block threads let go. Both coolants work equally as well as far as cooling the engine. Dex cool is supposed to last longer, but I don't trust it. Although I know better, sometimes I get lazy checking fluids. Sometimes there is a lot on your mind, like the good times to be had snowmobiling in the mountains or, on the other end of the spectrum, "I can't believe the old broad totaled my STS". Bottom line, I shouldn't have to worry about being down 2 quarts of coolant. With green, I don't worry.
  11. Google "dexcool class action lawsuit". Green coolant didn't cause head gasket failures. Torque to yield bolts and weak threads in the block blow head gaskets. The biggest coolant catastrophes I've seen involve dexcool with air in the system(a small leak causes system to run low for extended period of time because ignorant owner doesn't check fluid levels on a regular basis). Not uncommon to replace radiator, heater core, t-stat and radiator cap along with removing block drains, chisel gunk out so that the drain is open, chemically treat and back flush engine for hours. Come to think of it, this is the kind of gunk that plugs the bypass tube on N*'s, air locks and overheats engine which I'm sure is of no help to already weak threads and overstretched head bolts. I've been an ASE certified tech for 14 years and worked at GM dealers for the last 9. I've never seen green coolant sludge like dexcool. Not trying to be a smart a55, but that is why I use green coolant in my vehicles, including the ones that came with dexcool.
  12. There are a lot of folks out there who have gotten wrong information over the years. In general, you want to run the lowest octane that your engine can use satisfactorily. I'm kind of a hipocrite, because I do enjoy the extra performance of premium in my '01. That said, I put mid-grade in it on the last road trip and didn't notice a real difference. You are spot on. The lowest octane you can use without knock retard, the more power you have at the crank. The ecm/pcm has a max spark advance of roughly 30 deg BTDC. Using higher octane will not allow more spark advance, just an incomplete burn. Running mid-grade probably doesn't induce knock retard in the pcm. Therefore no power is lost. Actually power is gained because the lower octane fuel burns faster and thus more completely. A good example is my pick up truck. It has a hyper tech installed in it. My best power, according to a G-tech, was with the programmer set for 93 octane using 87 octane fuel. I usually had 2 - 3 degrees of knock retard in high rpm at wide open throttle. Using higher octane than what is called for is not only more money at the pump, but more on repair in the long run.
  13. There are honest techs out there. If the dealer I work at put cheap aftermarket parts on and charged full O.E. price, I would call the news station myself. I do not think some O.E. parts are worth the price and/or are as good as aftermarket. GM may have tested it, but they also recall it now and then. For anyone who has had an EGR valve suck open from a chunk of carbon, only aftermarket gaskets have a screen built in to prevent repeat failure. I just did front and rear pads and rotors on my 95 STS. I bought the cheapest rotors and the best pads - all aftermarket. Rotors don't warp. They become thicker in one section versus another(thickness variation). This is caused from too much lateral run-out. Too much lateral run-out is a by product of a slightly bent hub, a piece of rust between hub and rotor, uneven torquing of lug nuts/bolts. Lateral run-out can be eliminated by resurfacing rotors with an "on car lathe", or shims. Cheap pads are a different story. Some don't stop well or last long. Others squeak and make lots of dust. I personally like severe duty pads from carquest. They don't squeak or make dust. They last just as long as O.E. Cost is about 60-70 dollars per axle with my dealer discount. Stopping power is awesome. Far superior to factory pads. I spent $200 on parts. Back on subject --- doing your brakes does not make you mechanically inclined. I showed a friend how to clean the carbs. on his snowmobile. The next few seasons he cleaned them on his own. He now felt he was mechanically inclined. Last year his sled was not running very well. Kept fouling his mag side spark plug. I figured out that he forgot to put a main jet back in. My point is, he could repeat a mechanical process. Without the mechanical inclination to what he was doing and why, he left out a critical part because he didn't understand what he was doing. If you don't know what you are doing on something as important as brakes, you are better off paying someone top dollar for cheap parts that are installed correctly. That would suck to get screwed like that, but not as bad as an early death.