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Bonneville GXP/ Northstar Powered Cars Discuss your Bonneville GXP and/or any other Northstar powered Olds or Cadillac... Including the 3.5L Twin Cam V6 (Short Star ) 4.0L and 4.6L Northstar V8's. Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 03-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #1
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Question In the Market/ Common Issues

I am in the market for a 2005 GXP, I am a Pontiac fan with the rare and unique style, loaded options and V8, although my personal favorite is my 1989 TTA V6 Turbo on EBay with 44K for $13,600. I have looked at 4 cars ranging from 63K to 92K miles and price of $8,800 to $14,000. With all 4 cars after test driving the cars there were two common problems.

1. I popped the hood to check the engine. Immediately there was a smell of burning anti-freeze in three of the cars. The one with 63K had the smell of oil burning. A small puff of smoke would emit from the right rear of the motor. Is this common, a hose leaking or worse a head leaking? All the cars drove well and transmission seemed great.

2. Although minor, but strange, in two of the cars, the drivers side heated seat had the same problem. Push the button to turn on, it would light up for a second and then turn off. The passenger side worked fine. What'* the deal with this?

I spoke to my mechanic and he said to stay clear of the Northstar engine, he doesn't even work on them. Time consuming an expensive. Then called a friend that is the shop manager at a Cadillac shop, he had only been there for two years and said from what he has heard was to try to avoid the Northstar engine, but gave us to his lead mechanic and the mechanic said conflicting info. He said if you get a good one, they run great. But if they start to leak, then they are very costly to repair. If he were to buy a used one, he advised to make sure it didn't leak or smoke already and to make sure to buy the extended warranty because of the costly repairs to the engines.

I was ready to buy the car with 92k miles on it for $8800 but walked away after hearing three bad reviews and this one was smoking a little like mentioned above. Seemed like a fair deal with black book value between $7000-$8000 based on condition. The dealers are asking between $11,000 and $14,000 for them right now in the Chicagoland area. So I thought I would ask previous and current owners some for insight and advise on the car. Should I give up my Pontiac Dream on the Northstar or is it a good purchase? Also, what is a good used warranty to purchase for these cars. PLEASE ADVISE
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the N* engines, but as far as the heated seats, more than likely you have broken wires inside the seat due to repeated sitdowns. They are thin wires that break easily. Drivers side is more prone due to increased "butt" traffic.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
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Hello, Welcome to GMF!

I own a 2005 GXP with 63~k miles.

Pros:
It’* a V8! I love V8s! torque is amazing, the car pulls like a bat out of hell for its size, the car is very unique, love the interior, I can drive for 8 hours straight and not take a break, its like taking a first class flight, love the options, fully loaded specially the HUD, I’m so used to it, I hate driving my escalade because it doesn’t have it. Brakes are very powerful, rotors are huge, factory 18s look beautiful and no need for aftermarket exhaust because it sounds like sex. Big trunk you can fit 4 bodies no problem! The clear tail lights and dark headlights make the car stand out from any other Bonneville, fog lights sit in a nice place with built-in projectors.
Not so many aftermarket parts for them, which is good because it keeps you away from modding the car ahahaha, but you can always do your tweeks here and there to make it stand out a little more.

Cons:
It’* a V8! I hate V8s! lol jk, if you whine and complain about gas prices, stay away from it, not saying the GXP is a gas guzzler, but definitely not the same as a V6, to me its another 50 or 100 bucks a month, I don’t care much for it as long as I’m enjoying the car, when I start it in the morning or when I hit the 5k RPM range, I forget every penny I spent on gas.
GXP repairs are expensive over all not the engine only; parts are very rare so most of the times if it breaks down you’re looking at brand new parts.
Car is known for few issues, leaking oil from engine cooler lines is very common; I just had my lines re-done.
As for the engine, mine pulls hard and strong, no leaks. As they said, look for a good one and you won’t be disappointed, if they start leaking or having trouble, get ride of it.

Keep in mind, there’* no perfect car out there, every car have their problems.


I love my GXP, it pisses me off sometimes, but every time I take it for a spin it’* like the first day I bought it, and turns more heads everyday as if it just came out. Many people think it’* a 2009+ car, and wonder if this was made prior to GM went out of business…

Wish you best of luck and hope you make the right decision

Samz
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:00 PM   #4
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Awesome Reply Sammy,

Thanks, that is the kind of info I was looking for. My mind is being swayed away from the GXP but my heart still wants one.

My main concern is the smoke from the upper right area of the engine. Is this where the coolent lines run and normally leak or do you think this is the start of a head leaking?

Kman
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:32 PM   #5
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i dunno what it is, i wouldnt wanna know what it is, a problem in the engine bay? step away from it lool

but again it could be something very stupid, like maybe the gasket on the exhaust mani, or the EGR, honestly i wouldnt step away from it just because there "smoke" in the engine bay.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:55 PM   #6
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Hey Kman,

I, like Samz, love this car. I have a 2005 in Greystone with 26k miles on it. I haven't had many of the problems others have, but I take really good care of it and don't pound on it unless someones on my last nerve. I've had 2 Northstars, one in an 03 Caddy STS and then this car. The engine, as Sam say'* is like sex. It'* smooth, fast and the exhaust sound great. I get decent mileage with mine usually averaging about 18 in the city and 27 on the highway. It'* a little worse during the coldest parts of the winter, but what engine doesn't burn a bit more gas. I've had the intermediate shaft replaced by the dealer during warranty, and that'* all that was done. I replaced the front rotors with slotted and cross drilled and upgraded to ceramic pads to eliminate the excess black dust. I had a guy ask me last summer if the GXP was a new release for GM. He thought my car was just off the show room floor. They are so unique and rare and that'* what I love best. You don't see five at each stop light and it still draws attention. It'* also fun to have people ask what'* under the hood when they've seen it perform. Not many full size sedans move out like this car and the heads up is great. I've thought about selling mine since I lost my job 2 years ago and money'* tight, but it'* hard to seperate myself from "Sex on Wheels"
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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I agree with both of them, I don't regret my decision to buy my GXP, It'* a car that I get excited about driving every day and always have to give it a glance over my shoulder every time I walk away from it. I have had very minor issues. If you're worried about the Northstar see if the seller (if buying from a dealer) offers an aftermarket warranty and don't worry about it.

Honestly Northstars are much more reliable than most people (including mechanics) realize. When the engine first came out it had it'* share of issues, but a revision in 2000 and another in 2004 took care of most the problems inherent to the motor. Check out either this site or www.cadillacforums.com for a lot of Northstar reading.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie442 View Post
I agree with both of them, I don't regret my decision to buy my GXP, It'* a car that I get excited about driving every day and always have to give it a glance over my shoulder every time I walk away from it. I have had very minor issues. If you're worried about the Northstar see if the seller (if buying from a dealer) offers an aftermarket warranty and don't worry about it.

Honestly Northstars are much more reliable than most people (including mechanics) realize. When the engine first came out it had it'* share of issues, but a revision in 2000 and another in 2004 took care of most the problems inherent to the motor. Check out either this site or www.cadillacforums.com for a lot of Northstar reading.
you're not welcome in this thread till you post the pictures i asked you too jk

but yeah, if they can also see the smoke tell them you wanna buy the car but you just want that check, i hope to GXP VENOM to show up soon, he knows these cars inside out and i bet you he knows the problem too lol
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:54 PM   #9
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Same here. love the car, dread the Northstar messing up. They have their issues and it'* an engine you don't want to ever let get hot. Coming up on 50k miles and 6 years of a 7/70 Warranty. I thought I would keep the car for good, but now I get whispers from the sensible part of me saying I ought to flip it for something new. Mechanically mines been a great one. No issues other than the IM shaft clunk and forever burning out fog lights.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GXP Venom View Post
Same here. love the car, dread the Northstar messing up. They have their issues and it'* an engine you don't want to ever let get hot. Coming up on 50k miles and 6 years of a 7/70 Warranty. I thought I would keep the car for good, but now I get whispers from the sensible part of me saying I ought to flip it for something new. Mechanically mines been a great one. No issues other than the IM shaft clunk and forever burning out fog lights.
lets not forget that John is also running a 75hp nos shot, and hes still standing up lol

as for the fogs, i told you, HIDs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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