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northstar engine seal failure at 50K miles?


topsider

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Not uncommon. Where and how bad is it leaking? Is it dripping on the ground? Most leaks are not bad enough to warrant the high cost of repair.

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Not uncommon. Where and how bad is it leaking? Is it dripping on the ground? Most leaks are not bad enough to warrant the high cost of repair.

Yes it's dripping on my garage spot and I saw bluish smoke from the tailpipe a few days ago. Everytime I go for an oil change at a Jiffy Lube type place it comes up. Some places won't do the oil change. I tried to stabilize it with Lucas and it worked for awhile. The oil lite went out. How much is it to reseal the Northstar?

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The description of the "seals" is too vague... What seals are leaking? You need to clean the engine and then look to see where the leak is coming from.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Not uncommon. Where and how bad is it leaking? Is it dripping on the ground? Most leaks are not bad enough to warrant the high cost of repair.

Yes it's dripping on my garage spot and I saw bluish smoke from the tailpipe a few days ago. Everytime I go for an oil change at a Jiffy Lube type place it comes up. Some places won't do the oil change. I tried to stabilize it with Lucas and it worked for awhile. The oil lite went out. How much is it to reseal the Northstar?

What oil light went out? The oil low message? How low was it? If you are going to the Jiffy Lube type places, ALWAYS check the oil when you get home from them..and check for leaks

Are you letting your OIL go low? When you see the oil LOW message, add oil. As KHE says what seal are you talking about..

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

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Not uncommon. Where and how bad is it leaking? Is it dripping on the ground? Most leaks are not bad enough to warrant the high cost of repair.

Yes it's dripping on my garage spot and I saw bluish smoke from the tailpipe a few days ago. Everytime I go for an oil change at a Jiffy Lube type place it comes up. Some places won't do the oil change. I tried to stabilize it with Lucas and it worked for awhile. The oil lite went out. How much is it to reseal the Northstar?

What oil light went out? The oil low message? How low was it? If you are going to the Jiffy Lube type places, ALWAYS check the oil when you get home from them..and check for leaks

Are you letting your OIL go low? When you see the oil LOW message, add oil. As KHE says what seal are you talking about..

The dealer service dept agrees with Ranger that the engine will have to be dropped to get at the seals. A 20 hour job. I think it is the crankcase seal. Also seeing tranny fluid on the lift. They say if I don't get it done it will get worse and start to smoke. Meanwhile I'm thinking of trading up to a 2006 DTS but I think the repair is cheaper than financing the 2006 DTS. The 1998 car is clean otherwise. The little red oil can went out once I got the oil change and added Lucas. The car is at the dealer service dept now. I think its a ~$2200 job. Luv the 98 body, only made from 96 to 99 with the Northstar.

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Did they suggest trading up? The little red oil can means you have no oil pressure when was it coming on, at idle? Did you get an audible signal also? What kind of oil are you using, standard or synthetic? The oil light could be brought on by a bad oil pressure switch.

However if you are dripping oil, and it has 100% been confirmed to be the case half leak and its not a cooler line, oil filter adapter seals, the oil drain gasket, the oil filter gasket then I guess the case half seal is the way to go, if you intend on keeping the car. I would want to see, where the drip was coming from and how fast it was dripping. You might find one of the high mileage oils or a higher viscosity solves your problem. Have you changed the coolant regularly?

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Did they suggest trading up? The little red oil can means you have no oil pressure when was it coming on, at idle? Did you get an audible signal also? What kind of oil are you using, standard or synthetic? The oil light could be brought on by a bad oil pressure switch.

However if you are dripping oil, and it has 100% been confirmed to be the case half leak and its not a cooler line, oil filter adapter seals, the oil drain gasket, the oil filter gasket then I guess the case half seal is the way to go, if you intend on keeping the car. I would want to see, where the drip was coming from and how fast it was dripping. You might find one of the high mileage oils or a higher viscosity solves your problem. Have you changed the coolant regularly?

They have not suggested trading up my service advisor says the car is clean and just needs the seal job.

topsider 1998 Deville D'Elegance

1993 Sedan Deville

1985 Fleetwood Limo

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Did they suggest trading up? The little red oil can means you have no oil pressure when was it coming on, at idle? Did you get an audible signal also? What kind of oil are you using, standard or synthetic? The oil light could be brought on by a bad oil pressure switch.

However if you are dripping oil, and it has 100% been confirmed to be the case half leak and its not a cooler line, oil filter adapter seals, the oil drain gasket, the oil filter gasket then I guess the case half seal is the way to go, if you intend on keeping the car. I would want to see, where the drip was coming from and how fast it was dripping. You might find one of the high mileage oils or a higher viscosity solves your problem. Have you changed the coolant regularly?

They have not suggested trading up my service advisor says the car is clean and just needs the seal job.

topsider 1998 Deville D'Elegance

1993 Sedan Deville

1985 Fleetwood Limo

Oh good, we have seen these repairs used as trade up bait

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Did they suggest trading up? The little red oil can means you have no oil pressure when was it coming on, at idle? Did you get an audible signal also? What kind of oil are you using, standard or synthetic? The oil light could be brought on by a bad oil pressure switch.

However if you are dripping oil, and it has 100% been confirmed to be the case half leak and its not a cooler line, oil filter adapter seals, the oil drain gasket, the oil filter gasket then I guess the case half seal is the way to go, if you intend on keeping the car. I would want to see, where the drip was coming from and how fast it was dripping. You might find one of the high mileage oils or a higher viscosity solves your problem. Have you changed the coolant regularly?

They have not suggested trading up my service advisor says the car is clean and just needs the seal job.

topsider 1998 Deville D'Elegance

1993 Sedan Deville

1985 Fleetwood Limo

Oh good, we have seen these repairs used as trade up bait

the body is rare because it was in production from 1996-1999 with the Northstar

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Topsider,

Too bad about the oil seal job, but at 50,000 miles, but its probably a good investiment. My '94 DeVille Concours dripped from the day I got it at around 80,000 and is still piddling a bit at almost 196,000 miles. However, I never had any oil light issues or blue smoke out the exhaust. Since we got the '99 Deville a few months ago, our youngest son now drives our '94 daily. He has parked his '05 Evo wanna-be race car in his third bay, (its just too "technicaly-demanding" for a daily driver).

I was wondering about your comment that "The (DeVille D'Elegance) body is rare because it was in production from 1996-1999 with the Northstar." Aside from powertrain improvements, trim levels and options, I thought the body style for DeVilles remained virtually unchanged from '94 through '99.

Good luck on the re-seal work and please post back on the cost etc.

Add power to leave problems behind. Most braking is just - poor planning.
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Topsider,

Too bad about the oil seal job, but at 50,000 miles, but its probably a good investiment. My '94 DeVille Concours dripped from the day I got it at around 80,000 and is still piddling a bit at almost 196,000 miles. However, I never had any oil light issues or blue smoke out the exhaust. Since we got the '99 Deville a few months ago, our youngest son now drives our '94 daily. He has parked his '05 Evo wanna-be race car in his third bay, (its just too "technicaly-demanding" for a daily driver).

I was wondering about your comment that "The (DeVille D'Elegance) body is rare because it was in production from 1996-1999 with the Northstar." Aside from powertrain improvements, trim levels and options, I thought the body style for DeVilles remained virtually unchanged from '94 through '99.

Good luck on the re-seal work and please post back on the cost etc.

Thanks bud. The "big" body Devilles started in '94 with the 4.9L engine they didn't get the Northstar until '96. Then Caddy went back to the "small" body in 2000. Wonder if the blue smoke means a blown head gasket?

topsider Deville D'Elegance 1998

Sedan Deville 1993

Fleetwood Limousine 1985

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Topsider,

Too bad about the oil seal job, but at 50,000 miles, but its probably a good investiment. My '94 DeVille Concours dripped from the day I got it at around 80,000 and is still piddling a bit at almost 196,000 miles. However, I never had any oil light issues or blue smoke out the exhaust. Since we got the '99 Deville a few months ago, our youngest son now drives our '94 daily. He has parked his '05 Evo wanna-be race car in his third bay, (its just too "technicaly-demanding" for a daily driver).

I was wondering about your comment that "The (DeVille D'Elegance) body is rare because it was in production from 1996-1999 with the Northstar." Aside from powertrain improvements, trim levels and options, I thought the body style for DeVilles remained virtually unchanged from '94 through '99.

Good luck on the re-seal work and please post back on the cost etc.

Thanks bud. The "big" body Devilles started in '94 with the 4.9L engine they didn't get the Northstar until '96. Then Caddy went back to the "small" body in 2000. Wonder if the blue smoke means a blown head gasket?

topsider Deville D'Elegance 1998

Sedan Deville 1993

Fleetwood Limousine 1985

Blue smoke does not mean blown head gasket... people automatically assume that oil leaks in a Northstar engine = bad crankcase half seals and overheating = bad head gaskets. The bottom line is that PROPER diagnostics need to be performed to prevent unnecessary costly repairs. On this forum, we've seen dealers diagnose a crankcase half seal when it was either an oil cooler o-ring (easy, cheap fix) or a bad headgasket when it was a plugged purge line or a sticking waterpump tensioner...

If the case half is truely leaking, so what???? Before I'd spend $2200 on a case half leak or trade up, I'd just put up with it. No harm will ever come from it and it is just a nuisance. If I needed to remove the engine for any reason, THEN I'd install the updated seal.

If you decide to sell your car, what color is it and where are you located? I would rather have a Deville vs. the STS as there is more interior room.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Topsider,

Too bad about the oil seal job, but at 50,000 miles, but its probably a good investiment. My '94 DeVille Concours dripped from the day I got it at around 80,000 and is still piddling a bit at almost 196,000 miles. However, I never had any oil light issues or blue smoke out the exhaust. Since we got the '99 Deville a few months ago, our youngest son now drives our '94 daily. He has parked his '05 Evo wanna-be race car in his third bay, (its just too "technicaly-demanding" for a daily driver).

I was wondering about your comment that "The (DeVille D'Elegance) body is rare because it was in production from 1996-1999 with the Northstar." Aside from powertrain improvements, trim levels and options, I thought the body style for DeVilles remained virtually unchanged from '94 through '99.

Good luck on the re-seal work and please post back on the cost etc.

Thanks bud. The "big" body Devilles started in '94 with the 4.9L engine they didn't get the Northstar until '96. Then Caddy went back to the "small" body in 2000. Wonder if the blue smoke means a blown head gasket?

topsider Deville D'Elegance 1998

Sedan Deville 1993

Fleetwood Limousine 1985

Blue smoke does not mean blown head gasket... people automatically assume that oil leaks in a Northstar engine = bad crankcase half seals and overheating = bad head gaskets. The bottom line is that PROPER diagnostics need to be performed to prevent unnecessary costly repairs. On this forum, we've seen dealers diagnose a crankcase half seal when it was either an oil cooler o-ring (easy, cheap fix) or a bad headgasket when it was a plugged purge line or a sticking waterpump tensioner...

If the case half is truely leaking, so what???? Before I'd spend $2200 on a case half leak or trade up, I'd just put up with it. No harm will ever come from it and it is just a nuisance. If I needed to remove the engine for any reason, THEN I'd install the updated seal.

If you decide to sell your car, what color is it and where are you located? I would rather have a Deville vs. the STS as there is more interior room.

Can't afford to drive an unsafe car with 3 little kids. The Lucas puts too much pressure on the piston rings. Probably makes the leak worse over time

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Topsider,

Too bad about the oil seal job, but at 50,000 miles, but its probably a good investiment. My '94 DeVille Concours dripped from the day I got it at around 80,000 and is still piddling a bit at almost 196,000 miles. However, I never had any oil light issues or blue smoke out the exhaust. Since we got the '99 Deville a few months ago, our youngest son now drives our '94 daily. He has parked his '05 Evo wanna-be race car in his third bay, (its just too "technicaly-demanding" for a daily driver).

I was wondering about your comment that "The (DeVille D'Elegance) body is rare because it was in production from 1996-1999 with the Northstar." Aside from powertrain improvements, trim levels and options, I thought the body style for DeVilles remained virtually unchanged from '94 through '99.

Good luck on the re-seal work and please post back on the cost etc.

Thanks bud. The "big" body Devilles started in '94 with the 4.9L engine they didn't get the Northstar until '96. Then Caddy went back to the "small" body in 2000. Wonder if the blue smoke means a blown head gasket?

topsider Deville D'Elegance 1998

Sedan Deville 1993

Fleetwood Limousine 1985

Blue smoke does not mean blown head gasket... people automatically assume that oil leaks in a Northstar engine = bad crankcase half seals and overheating = bad head gaskets. The bottom line is that PROPER diagnostics need to be performed to prevent unnecessary costly repairs. On this forum, we've seen dealers diagnose a crankcase half seal when it was either an oil cooler o-ring (easy, cheap fix) or a bad headgasket when it was a plugged purge line or a sticking waterpump tensioner...

If the case half is truely leaking, so what???? Before I'd spend $2200 on a case half leak or trade up, I'd just put up with it. No harm will ever come from it and it is just a nuisance. If I needed to remove the engine for any reason, THEN I'd install the updated seal.

If you decide to sell your car, what color is it and where are you located? I would rather have a Deville vs. the STS as there is more interior room.

Can't afford to drive an unsafe car with 3 little kids. The Lucas puts too much pressure on the piston rings. Probably makes the leak worse over time

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Topsider,

I was wondering about your last couple lines.

"Can't afford to drive an unsafe car with 3 little kids. The Lucas puts too much pressure on the piston rings. Probably makes the leak worse over time"

I did not comprehend the causal relationship between a nuisance oil leak and an unsafe condition for 3 little kids. That is unless the kids are cleaning up the oil leaks quite often and one might back over them. :blink:

How did you determine that the Lucas (an oil detergent/additive) increases pressure on the piston rings? And even if it did somehow, how would that "pressure" (better combustion chamber pressure), affect the half case seal? I suppose if the rings were really worn, (albiet very unlikely), then excessive blow-by - over that of what the PCV system can handle, might make an oil leak worse by increasing crankcase pressure.

The half case seal leak emanates from a splash of oil against the inside of the engine oil pan area but up high - where it tends to leak out the seal. It should not leak out when parked and the engine is off, but some oil residue will drip from the undercarriage. Granted, dripped oil can smoke (not ignite) from the outside of the exhaust pipe area. Was that the blue smoke out the exhaust you noted earlier?

Again, good luck with the oil seal.

Add power to leave problems behind. Most braking is just - poor planning.
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quote name='TDK' date='Jun 4 2007, 01:40 AM' post='103731']

Topsider,

I was wondering about your last couple lines.

"Can't afford to drive an unsafe car with 3 little kids. The Lucas puts too much pressure on the piston rings. Probably makes the leak worse over time"

I did not comprehend the causal relationship between a nuisance oil leak and an unsafe condition for 3 little kids. That is unless the kids are cleaning up the oil leaks quite often and one might back over them. :blink:

How did you determine that the Lucas (an oil detergent/additive) increases pressure on the piston rings? And even if it did somehow, how would that "pressure" (better combustion chamber pressure), affect the half case seal? I suppose if the rings were really worn, (albiet very unlikely), then excessive blow-by - over that of what the PCV system can handle, might make an oil leak worse by increasing crankcase pressure.

The half case seal leak emanates from a splash of oil against the inside of the engine oil pan area but up high - where it tends to leak out the seal. It should not leak out when parked and the engine is off, but some oil residue will drip from the undercarriage. Granted, dripped oil can smoke (not ignite) from the outside of the exhaust pipe area. Was that the blue smoke out the exhaust you noted earlier?

Again, good luck with the oil seal.

Do you think I'm being suckered by the dealership into an unnecessary repair?

topsider

98 Deville D'Elegance

93 Sedan Deville

85 Fleetwood Limo8_Cadillac_Sixteen_2405.jpg[

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We see it all the time. If we are skeptical there is a reason for it. I hinted at the dealer exaggerating the leak to offer a deal on a new car. We have seen dealers say that the oil leak will start a fire, etc. You made a comment about "The Lucas puts too much pressure on the piston rings" where did that come from?

You are new here so let me point out something. TDK asked some questions, you ignored what he said, about statements you made. That breaks down communication and we go nowhere with a thread like this. Rather than be resistive, try to interact and explain your statements, we are here to help. And since you found us, we assume you want help, Mike

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Do you think I'm being suckered by the dealership into an unnecessary repair?

topsider

98 Deville D'Elegance

93 Sedan Deville

85 Fleetwood Limo8_Cadillac_Sixteen_2405.jpg[

Yes - you are being talked into an unnecessary repair if the leak is the case half seal. Forget about it and drive the car for several hundred thousand more miles. The only reason you know it is leaking is that the Jiffy Lube goon keeps pointing it out to you. There is no safety issue - period. Do not let some dealer scare you into having it repaired. The case half seal is leaking on my '96 SLS and the only thing that results is the bottom part of the engine is oily/dirty. In order to repair the case half seal, the engine needs to come out (or an alternate method is to remove the transmission) to gain access. There is no way I am going to repair that leak unless another repair in the engine or trans. is needed that requires removal.

If you have an oil cooler line leaking, I definitely would repair that - that is a simple, inexpensive fix.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Also DON'T TOP OFF your oil, only put a quart in if the LOW OIL light comes on. There is NO reason to keep topping it off, it will only cause leaks. Try the HIGH MILEAGE blends of oils, DO NOT use synthetic.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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quote name='BodybyFisher' date='Jun 4 2007, 03:13 PM' post='103764']

Also DON'T TOP OFF your oil, only put a quart in if the LOW OIL light comes on. There is NO reason to keep topping it off, it will only cause leaks. Try the HIGH MILEAGE blends of oils, DO NOT use synthetic.

You guys have no faith in Mr. Goodwrench. Why would a large dealership in a metropolitan area that sells hundreds of NEW Cadillacs want to sucker punch a loyal owner with a family?

topsider

98 D'Elegance

93 Deville

85 Fleetwood Limo

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To the Dealer, proper and appropriate repair of the oil leak makes good sense. They do not, however, have to decide if it makes good sense to pay for. Since we are talking about YOUR money, the Dealer is happy to recommend that you spend it. What you have to consider is whether the leak is worse than the cost of repair of the leak. Oil is not free, but in some cases it takes a great amount of oil to equal the cost of the Dealer repair.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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To the Dealer, proper and appropriate repair of the oil leak makes good sense. They do not, however, have to decide if it makes good sense to pay for. Since we are talking about YOUR money, the Dealer is happy to recommend that you spend it. What you have to consider is whether the leak is worse than the cost of repair of the leak. Oil is not free, but in some cases it takes a great amount of oil to equal the cost of the Dealer repair.

Bruce, that was the most eloquent answer I have ever heard, you are a gentleman, sir

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Quote

Also DON'T TOP OFF your oil, only put a quart in if the LOW OIL light comes on. There is NO reason to keep topping it off, it will only cause leaks. Try the HIGH MILEAGE blends of oils, DO NOT use synthetic.

You guys have no faith in Mr. Goodwrench. Why would a large dealership in a metropolitan area that sells hundreds of NEW Cadillacs want to sucker punch a loyal owner with a family?

***********************************************************************

Me? I am not so eloquent! What does your response have to do with my quote that you used? I gave you a factual tip. That tip has been passed down from the guru. The guru was a GM Powertrain Engineer who helped design the Northstar. He is gone now but his legacy is still with this board. That is who I listen to, not individuals who have something to gain.

My advice? Not sure why you came here, but you have your mind made up and the leak is bothering you. Have it fixed, while you are at it, have the head gaskets replaced while the engine is out but make sure they timesert the block, also while the engine is out replace the plastic HVAC cover they get brittle. You said you saw blue smoke, if you are doing WOT's and still have the blue smoke, maybe your rings are caked. How much oil are you using between oil changes? Maybe while the engine is out you need to have rings done. Have them replace the rear seal while they are as it its been re-designed and do the axle seals.

If you are concerned with the safety of your family, how are your struts and springs? Does it bottom out? Mine were shot at 46,000 miles three years ago. If your struts and springs are bad, your emergency handling to me is more important than an oil leak.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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