Cadillac Jim

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Everything posted by Cadillac Jim

  1. This is the first time I've seen a transmission service solve a no-drive problem too. Yes, I service my transmission every 60,000 miles at most. Before Dexron VI, it was every 30,000 miles. Other than a used car that I bought with an overfilled transmission, I've never had an auto transmission problem.
  2. I sort of thought that this is what happened but I had no way of knowing for sure. I would service the transmission every 60,000 miles or better to keep it working well.
  3. That's wonderful news. Some micro metal in the pan is normal for any automatic transmission. It's an old AAMCO trick from the 1960's to show that to a customer to sell a rebuild instead of just a service. Be sure and check the transmission fluid level according to factory instructions after running it a few days.
  4. I found that there is an identification plate on the 6L50/6L80/6L90. Take a photo of it with your cell phone. Make sure that it is clear and focused so that you can read everything on it.
  5. You have the 6-speed? It looks like it may have been overfilled, which is a sign that the previous owners were having trouble with it and added fluid trying to fix it. If you have 4WD, there is a remote possibility that you have a transfer case problem. But, at this point, there seems to be two ways to go: Get a used transmission from a recycling yard, Get the OBD codes and evaluate the future of the car and the cost of a rebuilt transmission. The OBD codes are important because you can find other problems in the car that may affect your decision. We can interpret them for you if you post them here. Be sure and get all of them. Only a really good laptop-based OBD code reader will get all of them. They fall in four categories: powertrain (Pnnnn format, where each n is a number), body (Bnnnn), chassis (Cnnnn) and network (Unnnn). If all you see are Pnnnn codes, you aren't getting all of them. The FSM lists about 60 codes to look for from the 6L50/6L80/6L90, all Pnnnn format. Note that an ordinary DIY code reader that shows emissions-related codes will not show transmission codes. You will need the exact model of your transmission. I don't know where the numbers are on your transmission. The VIN for your car will be associated with the right parts anywhere on the car, though, so write that down first. With the VIN, and possibly some numbers off the transmission (if any), you can then identify the right recycling yard used transmission or get a realistic quote for an exchange rebuilt transmission. Or, you can use the VIN to get the right rebuild kit for your transmission; if you decide to rebuild it, understand that you may need sprags and other parts that aren't always part of a kit. The "no drive" problem could involve the torque converter, too.
  6. The 2009 model year is certainly made after Cadillac stopped allowing the OBD codes to be read through the dashboard. Also, the 2009 SRX may have the 5L40-E/5L50E or the 6L50/6L80/6L90. If you noticed whether you have five or six gears before the transmission stopped driving, that can help. Otherwise, you can use the location of the inspection plug to tell. In the 6Lx0 transmissions, the transmission oil level inspection plug is on the bottom of the front, flat part of the transmission oil pan (see figure). From the FSM: "More information, including an instructional video, can be found at the following GM training websites: 17041.62V - 6-Speed Automatic Transmission Fluid Checking and Filling Procedures, A26021.01T - Check and Fill Procedure for 6-Speed Automatic Transmissions." By 2009 all GM car and light truck automatic transmissions were using Dexron VI. Don't use Dexron III in these transmissions. If you need to add fluid to a 6-speed, use the fill tube plug (see figure). As you know, checking and filling automatic transmission fluid involves warming up the transmission, cycling the transmission through all the gears, and putting the car on a lift while running. Or, putting it on jack stands before warming up the transmission etc. I haven't looked at the videos but they probably have enough to refresh you on everything you need to remember.
  7. The 5L40-E/5L50-E used in the 2006 SRX uses a transmission fluid level hole plug. The FSM shows three locations, depending on model. The plug is horizontal, just above the oil pan gasket (see figure below). Full is fluid at the bottom of the hole with the bolt removed. The FSM says to use a screwdriver as a dipstick to look at and smell the fluid. Fluid level is supposed to be measured when the fluid is between about 90 F and 120 F, with the car level. If fluid is OK but low, add fluid until it starts to drain out the inspection hole. The filter is inside the pan, as with most automatic transmissions. For the "no drive" condition, the FSM symptom table is dire. The headings are Forward Clutch Assembly, Forward Clutch Sprag, Fluid Pump, Low Clutch Sprag, and Input and Reaction Carrier (gears). Perhaps fluid leaked out while the car was sitting and the fluid pump needs a higher fluid level, though. I believe that 2006 was the last year that you could read out the OBD codes on the dash info center or entertainment center. If so, you might read the codes and post them here. If not, a code reader that includes transmission codes (most home DIY code readers just read emissions-related codes) would help, or you can take the car to an Autozone or other shop that offers to read your OBD codes for free.
  8. I didn't know that there was an entertainment center over-the-air fix until I saw his video. If his repair bill was paid by insurance, I'm sure that it was properly audited before payment. Great idea to invite him here.
  9. The "edit" button has gone away on the post of 9:05 Monday morning. I think that happens once others have quoted or perhaps "liked" the post. If you can't re-enable the edit button, please delete the last sentence of the third paragraph that begins "This ...". I don't think I could help him very much on the basis of the video. The STS-V and CTS-V are very different cars and drivelines, except for the transmission. I would start by reading his OBD codes, though; he must have tons of them. Bruce or other STS-V owners would know more about his car. His over-the-air fixes were to take effect in late August according to the video, so that would have come and gone. My main concern on the basis of the videos is that there might have been some overvoltage by a battery charger that damaged some modules, because his touch screens didn't respond; I hope that was for the radio modes only. That can be due to corrupted software, which may or may not be corrected over-the-air. Normally, disconnecting the battery simply resets all the modules and you need to re-learn the throttle, timing, and such, and re-set the radio station that you were listening to, but certainly simply disconnecting the battery doesn't damage anything. The wheel sensors could be missing, have wiring or connector issues, etc. The TPS system probably has missing tire sensors; some tire and wheel people don't know what they are and will simply throw them away and use new valve stems when re-mounting a tire.
  10. The big items were "Spare Parts" at $2,912 and "Other Material" at $3,782". The bumper guard and paint are supposed to be $250 or less, but they probably replaced the bumper beam and at least one of the two shock absorbers, which can easily run $3K. But, another $3.7K for "Other Material" that was not itemized??? A bill of that magnitude from any source must include a full breakdown of all parts, their source, and your cost of those parts. Some would include manufacturer part number on the parts. This is very important for Cadillac or any high performance auto repair because many mechanics just call the local parts house and give the make and model, and the parts house will look up the cheapest part that will bolt on in a catalog and neither knows that they have just made the car dangerous to drive within manufacturer's specified performance envelope. If you have the part number, you can deal with the problem; otherwise, you may not even know about it. Other mechanics will order the "economy" version of a part and charge for the "performance" version... Some of the other documents provided by the dealer may have included such lists. The guy didn't say. I did look at one other of his videos on the STS-V, and he spends it complaining about problems with the car that he introduced himself by disconnecting the battery and not reinitializing the modules. GM fixed the radio over-the-air, and that fix may have solved all his problems, but he made the video before the fixes took effect. [...] BBF, please forgive me for my hard knocks anecdotes. All of them are from experience, though.
  11. Taking an out-of-warranty car to a dealer, any make, is a risk. Repairs for cars in warranty is monitored by the manufacturer as part of their warranty cost management; they get the used parts and analyze them. Bad repairs aren't compensated. Part failures are used to revise designs to make the replacement parts more reliable (so always get the latest part number when getting parts for your car!). Repairs on out-of-warranty cars is not monitored by anyone. Some dealers are great, others aren't. My experience is that Penske dealers tend to be reliable in correctly reporting problems and in accurate charges, but I have found other dealers that are OK too. For an education on the subject, take the time to watch this 22:36 video of a Canadian consumer TV show on dealer service:
  12. I once drove my Chevrolet Kingswood 9-passenger wagon up Mt. Washington in NH. Driving down, there were frequent signs to pull over and cool your brakes, but with ventilated front disks and huge drum rears I had no fade, so I didn't pull over. When I eventually did, they were smoking, particularly the rear. Some clown pulled up and wanted to squirt water on my brakes and I told him to leave the car alone. It was fine. I drove it for years afterward and never got a brake job. I think that the reviewer embarrassed himself on many levels.
  13. Without elapsed times to compare, it's not a performance review, it's just a blog.
  14. Two takes: The extreme and long-winded rant about the transmission and RPM range seem more to be about how he expects the engine management to work, as in keeping the RPM range high as needed for a naturally-aspirated car or a small engine, AND, brake smoke does not mean that the brakes are on fire, or even that there is anything wrong. This is a zero review.
  15. Specifically, the worst bottleneck is the front exhaust header, which goes between the rear of the engine and the transmission, if I recall correctly. Mark had some tremendous numbers from his turbocharged STS for a few months. But his transmission turned to mush before he got one built for the extra 200+ horsepower. I don't think we've heard from him since. My favorite source for Northstar ports, cams, valve train, etc. was, which shut down a couple of years ago. I researched them and find that the key guy was a professional metallurgist who did precision welding on the side, and was the proprietor of chrfab, which specialized in Nortstar sand cars (!!!). He built one naturally aspirated Northstar that was campaigned in Europe in a Corvette at one time.
  16. The only upgrades that I've seen of late model high performance intakes involves enhancing the factory setup, not replacing it. The GM setup on the E/K platform has the added complications of routing the air over the PCM to cool it, and having the IAT 1 sensor on the output of the air box. The whole path involves the air path behind the grille (usually the lower or under-the-bumper part, if the grille is split) to an air box, then through ducting to the throttle body. An air cleaner element is incorporated into the air box in a manner determined by the designer. For street or heavy rain use, the air cleaner must incorporate mechanical support to avoid tearing if it gets wet and clogged, which would then let liquid water into the ducting to the throttle body. Design of such a system ideally takes place with a mule on a dyno, with inspection of the entire torque/hp vs. RPM curve for each configuration tested. In some cases, changes in the rest of the engine tune accompany this design. In something like a GM engine development lab, this "tuning" process can include cam changes, value and port changes, spark plug position changes, etc.
  17. There are three types of switching most often seen in relays: SPST, SPDT, and DPDT, and you can tell these apart by the number of pins on the case. Then, there are low-current (smaller) and high-current relays. A power seat relay will definitely be a high-current relay. Most cars use only two or three types of relays, and many have an extra relay in the box to give you one to try when looking for a problem. If it's a GM relay, you and probably get one just like it from Rock Auto by matching the appearance and pins with the one you have. If the relay is from the people who did the convertible top, maybe it's not a GM relay, and you need to find a logo or plate that identifies whoever built the convertible top. Note that sometimes convertibles are done on contract by GM before shipping to a dealer, and sometimes dealers have hardtop models made into convertibles without GM being directly involved.
  18. I'm inclined to believe that you won't see much change by using a different air hose between the air cleaner and the throttle body. Just using a smooth bore there, changes in the air flow for different RPM ranges at full throttle, etc. will give you small changes everywhere, but 2 Hp is going to be in the range of run-to-run variation with no changes whatsoever. If you want a change, look at the whole air flow path: grille-to-air-passage, air passage to air cleaner box, air cleaner box to throttle body (your change is here), throttle body, intake manifold, valves, and ports. Unless the one you are changing is the biggest choke point, you won't see much improvement. Often the choke point is the throttle body, but without measuring the air pressure and temperature at each point in the air flow path during a full-throttle run then you are guessing. Most re-tunes of HP engines begin with a larger throttle body, larger fuel injectors, and improved cooling. You need an engine analyzer package that lets you look at the spark map and the mixture during a run. The mixture is very important because if you improve breathing to get better torque/horsepower then you are asking more of the injectors. If the injectors max out, you will run lean at full throttle, which is a recipe for engine damage.
  19. See my post, two previous to yours, dated June 28, 2010; I cited a study that Bruce did with a new STS on a 1996 STS when it was new, using performance meters and measured distances with recorded temperature and humidity. The drupal.caddyinfo link seems to be dead now (I get a message "Unable to connect to database server"); Bruce may know a good link for that page. Upshot is that "cold air" intakes that did away with the stock air box, which is a factory cold air intake system, actually hurt performance, apparently because they use a lot of hot underhood air. Cheaper K&N and other low cost aftermarket filters don't clean the air as well either. Nothing outperformed the stock airbox with a new, clean AC/Delco air filter, and nothing cleaned the air better either. Another issue that may or may not be important to you is hydrolock when driving through deep puddles. Water can splash into the air box in sufficient quantity to cause hydrolock. A combustion chamber is typically something like 65cc or four cubic inches, so it doesn't take much water to hydrolock an engine. The stock AC/Delco air cleaner is reinforced with a steel mesh that will hold and choke the engine if the air cleaner is totally wet and water clogged. Another brand of air cleaner, with or without a steel mesh behind the paper element, may give way and let bulk water into the intake. This is a known problem with some GM pickups using the LS V8 engines but hydrolock can happen to anyone who simply removes the air cleaner element and drives through standing water.
  20. The car is old enough to be exempt from emissions rules that require exact OEM powertrain and emissions components, so you have a clean slate. The best pushrod replacement is the later 4.9 liter V8, but the 4.5 liter V8 may be simpler because of motor mount and accessory mounts; others will have experience with swapping the aluminum pushrod V8s. The 1991 STS was offered with the L26 4.0 liter V8 so that might be the best option. Be sure and get the transmission, wiring harness, and PCM with it. The Olds engine and the bowtie 350 that were used in some larger sedans may be an option, for a total conversion project. For a daily driver, I would recommend a bowttie 350 because of parts availability and such for simpler maintenance over the long haul, but an iron engine will require suspension changes because it weighs over 200 lb more than the smaller aluminum V8s. Even a Cadillac 425 weighs less than an iron bowtie engine, because Cadillac uses stronger alloys for its blocks and thus can cast them thinner and still be stronger. If a Northstar falls into your lap, you will be looking at a full conversion project as thorough as a switch to the Olds or bowtie V8s, except that added weight will be less of a problem. Just make sure that you get one of the transverse mounted FWD models and get the transmission, wiring harness, and PCM with it. For a full replacement project, the ECM might be simpler if you use a Holley fuel injector and ECM. The TCM is up to you, though. For a good time, look at a GM Performance E-Rod engine. They offer everything you need for a street-legal powertrain including engine, transmission, ECM, and PCM. The price may seem higher than for other alternatives but I think you may find that by the time you look at all the extras you need for other total replacements you will find this option a bargain. Weight is similar to that of the HT engines/transmissions.. Here's one: Note that at 430 hp you may need to upgrade brakes, suspension, wheels and tires before you let your wife drive it.
  21. For an older car that doesn't have lots of enthusiasts driving on the road today, it will be hard to find someone who sells chips. However, your PCM can be programmed by a dealer or anyone else with at Tech II. Some tuners have a Tech II and have offered this service in the past. My dealer did this for my 1997 ETC a few months after I bought it. Be warned that nearly all tuners begin by replacing the 195 F thermostat with a 160 F thermostat, then work in the spark map and fuel mixture vs. gear, speed and/or RPM. A 160 F thermostat isn't hot enough to keep moisture and sludge out of the oil. If this is your daily driver and you plan on keeping it for a long time, know that you may be shortening your engine life. If you use synthetic oil and/or change it every 3000 miles (4,828.03 km), that may be OK. Or not. If you can find a tuner with a Tech II, you may choose to tell him that you want to leave your thermostat alone. Your call there. One quick thing to do is to put ETC intake cams in an ESC.
  22. The url for is They refer to the wheel size as 7Jx16 ET51. Their "i" button explains that as 7 inch rims, mounting rim type J (most road cars), and ET51 means a positive offset of 51 mm, which is 2 inches. That's where I got the tire size, too. Width is 235mm, up from 225mm for older Sevilles, with a corresponding slight increase in rolling diameter (the aspect ratio of 60% is the same).
  23. According to, the 2003 Seville, both the SLS and STS, have this tire and wheel size from the factory: Tires: 235/60R16, load range 99, speed rating T (118 mph) NOTE BELOW Wheels: Rim 7 inches, width 16 inches, mounting flange type J, offset +51mm, 5 bolts on a 115mm circle. What isn't listed there is tire rolling diameter. From, the calculated (from the tire size) rolling diameter is 27.09 inches. The specs for the particular tire you have on the car will have that listed in the Goodyear catalog, and will be very slightly different, as in 26.9" or some such. Other calculated numbers are 747 revolutions per mile, etc. If you want the car to accelerate and brake without pulling on the steering wheel on bumps, you need the steering tire rotation axis to pass through the center of the tire patch. If you have a tire with the same rolling diameter and a wheel with the same offset, that will make sure that this happens. If you change the wheels, making that happen is on you. If you have a tire with a different rolling radius, as you apparently do with 20" wheels and the tires hitting the fender liners on bumps, this is like changing the final drive ratio, and the speedometer will read low too. Check with a speedometer shop or two and see if you can get that corrected. The formula for rolling diameter is [wheel rim width, as in 16"] X 2 X [(tire width as in 235mm) X (aspect ratio, as in 60 means 0.6)/(25.4 mm/in)]. You can use that as a spreadsheet formula to get rolling diameter for a bunch of tire sizes.
  24. morty96 -- you can't tell what's wrong, exactly, from what you say. If we have the codes, they may be able to tell us what is up. The compressor may be turned off because a code has been set that says that the expansion valve or dryer is clogged, for example. If you have a gauge on it and it is reading 100 psi, it probably doesn't have a leak. BodybyFisher is right, a can of the correct Freon every year or two may be OK but that's not going to address whatever is stopping your compressor from running. Possibilities include, but are not limited to: Electrical problem, like bad compressor clutch ground, Bad compressor clutch, Clogged expansion valve, drier, condenser, evaporator, etc. Etc. If we have all the OBD codes we may be able to eliminate a lot of things or even focus in on something specific. As BodybyFisher says, get the codes (OnStar, Autozone, whoever), write them all down, and post them all here.