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I need to do the Time Sert on my 98 STS

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They said the head bolts are pulling so the figuare I need the Time Sert.

Do you want to time sert simply because you were told the head bolts are "pulling"? Or is there an actual problem?

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Are you overheating? Start the car (when the engine is cool) and watch the coolant in the surge tank. If it starts to bubble (before the coolant gets hot enough to boil) then you have pressure leaking into the coolant and the bolts have likely stripped. Be careful of the "dye method" where a sample of the coolant is mixed with a chemical that’s turns a certain color when combustion gasses are present (in the coolant). Ive heard it can be unreliable. I paid close to $3000 for the time serts, and I still question weather I needed them. I would over heat...but only in the summer while driving on the highway w/the AC on. I would get the "engine to hot disengaging AC compressor" message and then the engine would cool down.


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Is the coolant leak visible? Is the oil a milky color due to coolant mixing with oil? I suggest trying to seal the possible head gasket leak with some sealant. I once owned a Datsun that blew its head gasket. It was leaking so badly that water was literally coming out from the tail pipe. I bought a product called Block Seal made by SolderSeal. It sealed the head gasket leak. There are other products that can do the job as well. Most important about using sealant is to follow the instructions. The Block Seal must be flushed from the system or else it could clog the radiator. Check Kmart, Wal-Mart and PepBoys. From what I remember from discussions about flushing a Northstar, sealant would be added through the top radiator hose. If you want to try sealant, make sure you know how to flush the system first. This may work until you can find a mechanic.

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I'm assuming that your mechanic has already done the required tests and verified it is a leaky head gasket and that he has already added the GM-utilized Bars Gold sealant (no substitutes).

Too bad about the leak. :(

I don't think you can use the words "good" and "cheap" in the same sentence when discussing a Cadillac. They are "high content" vehicles that are pricy when built and they don't get cheaper over time compared to basic transportation.

Now, if this was a regular GM small block, the cost to change head gaskets etc would be minimal by comparison. The problem is that it is a relatively hi-tech all-alum engine that is not worked on by everyone (very little competition).

The mechanics probably don't like 'em compared to simpler cars, because they can't make money on 'em (simply takes too much time on a flat rate payment). There are the PITA factors with the general design arangement and complexity.

And then - I would guess that a typical Cadillac owner would be much more critical and demanding on the cost, quality, etc along with nit-picking any and every thing - when the job was done. I'm not saying they are wrong - just more picky...

I think your mechanic's estimate was probably in the ball park for a guy who will stand behind his work.

Just my opinion. <_<

Add power to leave problems behind. Most braking is just - poor planning.
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The coolant does leak but I can't see where it coming from. While starting the car in the morning it smokes alot. Another problem is car does overheat at time but it seem like the stat is suck because after I turn on the heat and put it in "N" while idle the engine starts to cool down very fast. I replaced the stat 2 months ago GM part. The car sometimes will smoke from the engine compartment when the car start to overheat from the driver side the smoke comes from the coolant overpassage leading from a silver pipe that goes to the exhaust pipes "where is smokes from" The mechanic just started the car and said that was the problem. The oil is fine he check that also. No bubbles from the overflow. I also add the barleak which helped the car stop and it stop overheating and stop missing but after a month of driving I guess the stop leak stuff was wore off.

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I had to replace my head gaskets nearly a year ago. I had all the head bolts Time Serted while it was apart. Here is the way the costs broke down:

Parts: $350 includes new head bolts; head, valve cover, intake manifold, front cover, and throttle body gaskets; miscellaneous plugs and seals; oil and coolant. (Does not include sales tax)

Labor: 20 hours "book time" to R&R heads (includes dropping powertrain cradle)

9 hours additional to install Time Serts

Most reputable mechanics charge upwards of $60/hour (many charge way upwards of that)

This will give you a good idea of where your $2800 price fits in.

Bear in mind that once you get the car taken apart, you will undoubtedly find additional things that should or must be done. These items are not included in my figures.

Also heed Bbobynski's advice: Make sure your mechanic is qualified to do the job.

I will add: Make sure your mechanic follows the procedures in the factory service manual to the letter.

The most expensive job you can get is a cheap job that comes apart after a few thousand miles!


Happiness is owning a Cadillac with no codes.

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