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Brought my STS in for an oil change!


MAC

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Here is the email I sent to the owner:

Dear Sir or Madam:

On Sunday, May 02, 2010, at approximately 2:15 PM, I drove my 2005 Cadillac STS to the above referenced [name of business omitted] location in for an oil change. As I walked from the garage area towards your customer waiting room, I requested an oil change. Accordingly, one of your employees asked me if I wanted a synthetic oil change. I responded by stating that I want a conventional (“Dino”) oil change. Your employee then said that my car requires synthetic Mobil 1, which I disagreed. We ended up getting into a disagreement over whether or not my STS requires synthetic Mobil 1. In an attempt to convince me that he was right, your employee said that he went to school for this kind of thing (or something to this effect) and thus he was sure that my STS only uses synthetic. I again disagreed and advised him that my knowledge that synthetic is not required is based on knowledge acquired from a member of GM’s Northstar engine design team (which statement of mine is true!). Accordingly, I insisted that conventional oil be used.

As I am waiting for the oil change, I became suspicious because, although the hood was down indicating the oil change was completed, my STS remained parked in the bay for an extended period of time. The invoice states that a [name omitted] did the oil change. Whether he is the individual that I had the dispute with, I cannot say. However, to my recollection the individual that I had the dispute with had facial hair—a slight mustache and I believe slight goatee.

After leaving your [name of business omitted], I immediately drove to a local Laundromat to wash laundry. While at the Laundromat I noticed leaking coolant/antifreeze. However, at no time prior to going to your [name of business omitted] was there ever any indication of an impending antifreeze leak. (Emphasis added) So as I’m writing this e-mail, my STS has an antifreeze leak that mysteriously appeared immediately after leaving your [name of business omitted] and which coincidentally appeared after having a disagreement with one of your employees. Also, please note that the leak appears to be located in an area where a lift is needed to inspect and make the appropriate repair. Thus, the location of the leak further indicates that my car was tampered with while parked in the bay of you [name of business omitted]. Accordingly, it is my distinct belief that one or more of your employees are responsible for causing the leak and I further believe that the leak is the result of deliberate tampering. I also believe the motivation to tamper/damage my STS is a result of my disagreement with your employee and my refusal to purchase a more expensive synthetic oil change.

Be assured that I take this matter very seriously. I am not a malicious person and would never accuse nor insinuate wrongdoing unless I was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that wrongdoing was committed. So also be assured that I file this report in good faith. Therefore, I am compelled to alert you about my unfortunate experience at your business.

Because the leak is major and appears to be coming from a location that is only accessible on a lift, it is my plan at this time to bring my STS to a Cadillac dealership for inspection. I have been to your [name of business omitted] many times in the past, which makes this situation unfortunate, as I no longer have confidence to bring my vehicles to your shop.

Please feel free to contact me about this matter by responding to this email. If you would like me to call you to discuss this matter, please indicate same. I will be glad to discuss this matter with you.

Sincerely,

[my name]

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Very sorry to hear you had this experience.

It would be simple to review the owner's manual for the 2005 STS V8 to determine what oil is recommended.

The 2005 STS owner's manual says:

The engine requires a special engine oil meeting GM Standard GM4718M. Oils meeting this standard may be identified as synthetic, and should also be identified with the American Petroleum Institute Certified for Gasoline Engines starburst symbol. However, not all synthetic API oils with the starburst symbol will meet this GM standard. You should look for and use only oil that meets GM Standard GM4718M. GM Goodwrench oil meets all the requirements for your vehicle. For the proper viscosity, see Engine Oil on page 5-16.

Page 5-16 says this:

What Kind of Engine Oil to Use

Look for two things:

• GM4718M

Your vehicle’s engine requires a special oil meeting GM Standard GM4718M. Oils meeting this standard may be identified as synthetic. However, not all synthetic oils will meet this GM standard. You should look for and use only an oil that meets GM Standard GM4718M. Notice: If you use oils that do not have the GM4718M Standard designation, you can cause engine damage not covered by your warranty

I think with the RWD VVT Northstar in 2005 they swapped to Mobil 1 (or equivalent) required on both the V6 and the V8. If you check your oil fill cap you are likely to find it says "Mobil 1" on it.

Regardless of the oil argument, sabotaging your car as a result of the confrontation if true is very poor customer service on the part of [business].

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Losers... I would not hesitate to leave if someone tries to sell me products or services I do not want. Make sure they replaced the filter properly and check the quality of oil visually. They would probably fill it with conventional oil even if you paid for synthetic. The technician does not really care about what oil to use, that's the management that makes them get as much as possible from a customer.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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Very sorry to hear you had this experience.

It would be simple to review the owner's manual for the 2005 STS V8 to determine what oil is recommended.

The 2005 STS owner's manual says:

The engine requires a special engine oil meeting GM Standard GM4718M. Oils meeting this standard may be identified as synthetic, and should also be identified with the American Petroleum Institute Certified for Gasoline Engines starburst symbol. However, not all synthetic API oils with the starburst symbol will meet this GM standard. You should look for and use only oil that meets GM Standard GM4718M. GM Goodwrench oil meets all the requirements for your vehicle. For the proper viscosity, see Engine Oil on page 5-16.

Page 5-16 says this:

What Kind of Engine Oil to Use

Look for two things:

• GM4718M

Your vehicle’s engine requires a special oil meeting GM Standard GM4718M. Oils meeting this standard may be identified as synthetic. However, not all synthetic oils will meet this GM standard. You should look for and use only an oil that meets GM Standard GM4718M. Notice: If you use oils that do not have the GM4718M Standard designation, you can cause engine damage not covered by your warranty

I think with the RWD VVT Northstar in 2005 they swapped to Mobil 1 (or equivalent) required on both the V6 and the V8. If you check your oil fill cap you are likely to find it says "Mobil 1" on it.

Regardless of the oil argument, sabotaging your car as a result of the confrontation if true is very poor customer service on the part of [business].

Thank you for the information!

I'm researching GM Standard GM4718M to see what it's all about.

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Losers... I would not hesitate to leave if someone tries to sell me products or services I do not want. Make sure they replaced the filter properly and check the quality of oil visually.

Interesting that you say this because it crossed my mind to leave but unfortunately I ignored my instincts.

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From what I have researched so far it looks like GM Standard GM4718M is related to potential thermal issues which may exceed the protection ability of conventional oil. This makes it even more imperative that the coolant leak is repaired immediately. From now on I will use synthetic, however, clearly tampering with my car is malicious.

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From what I have researched so far it looks like GM Standard GM4718M is related to potential thermal issues which may exceed the protection ability of conventional oil. This makes it even more imperative that the coolant leak is repaired immediately. From now on I will use synthetic, however, clearly tampering with my car is malicious.

To me it does not matter what kind of oil is recommended for a car. If a customer insists on conventional they should use conventional or refuse to service the car.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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From what I have researched so far it looks like GM Standard GM4718M is related to potential thermal issues which may exceed the protection ability of conventional oil. This makes it even more imperative that the coolant leak is repaired immediately. From now on I will use synthetic, however, clearly tampering with my car is malicious.

To me it does not matter what kind of oil is recommended for a car. If a customer insists on conventional they should use conventional or refuse to service the car.

I agree! Obviously, based on GM Standard GM4718M, I should used the recommended oil given there are potential thermal issues that may arise which GM approved synthetic oils have been tested and meet the higher thermal requirements. So far, I have used both synthetic and conventional and have had no problems with either even though it's clear that none of the conventional oil I have used would meet GM Standard GM4718M. The only oil change where I'm confident that GM Standard GM4718M was met is when I brought my STS to a Cadillac dealership.

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No questions the tampering is wrong regardless. I merely wanted to note that Mobil 1 or equivalent is recommended for the RWD Northstar.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Yeah, the VVT engines use synthetic because the oil acts as a hydraulic fluid to operates the VVT mechanism and it needs flowability in cold weather. Regardless, Adallak is absolutely correct. Let use know what your inspection find.

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Even though I'm upset at what I honestly believe was malicious tampering, I must say that when I think about this employee being confronted by his boss and/or my email being brought to the attention of the employees in general, I'm concerned that the mental case that tampered with my car may come looking for my STS and do further damage. I gave them a fictitious address but it was close enough that if someone came looking for my car they would likely spot it. I wish I gave them an address somewhere in Timbuktu because then I wouldn't be concerned. Unfortunately, there are a lot of psychos out there to worry about.

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Even though I'm upset at what I honestly believe was malicious tampering, I must say that when I think about this employee being confronted by his boss and/or my email being brought to the attention of the employees in general, I'm concerned that the mental case that tampered with my car my come looking for my STS and do further damage. I have them a fictitious address but it was close enough that if someone came looking for my car they would likely spot it. I wish I gave them an address somewhere in Timbuktu because then I wouldn't be concerned about anyone finding my car. Unfortunately, there are a lot of psychos out there to worry about.

Mac, calm down. First, do not worry about employee-boss confrontation. They are one team... Nobody's going to come to your place. Believe me. I would lift the car up and see what caused the leak. If it is a hose pierced with something, that's a clear indication of tampering. They could loosen up a connection. In that case I would just tighten it up and forget it.

I am not trying to justify those guys, but NEVER exclude a possibility that the leak had nothing to do with them. Just a thought.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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Even though I'm upset at what I honestly believe was malicious tampering, I must say that when I think about this employee being confronted by his boss and/or my email being brought to the attention of the employees in general, I'm concerned that the mental case that tampered with my car my come looking for my STS and do further damage. I have them a fictitious address but it was close enough that if someone came looking for my car they would likely spot it. I wish I gave them an address somewhere in Timbuktu because then I wouldn't be concerned about anyone finding my car. Unfortunately, there are a lot of psychos out there to worry about.

Mac, calm down. First, do not worry about employee-boss confrontation. They are one team... Nobody's going to come to your place. Believe me. I would lift the car up and see what caused the leak. If it is a hose pierced with something, that's a clear indication of tampering. They could loosen up a connection. In that case I would just tighten it up and forget it.

I am not trying to justify those guys, but NEVER exclude a possibility that the leak had nothing to do with them. Just a thought.

I agree! If you read my post above which is the e-mail I sent to the owner, you will see that I refrain from stating outright that an employee sabotaged my car. But I think you will agree that the circumstances are suspicious?! I'm going to bring it to a Cadillac dealership tomorrow, if possible, and have them take a look and make the repair. I need this coolant leak repaired A.S.A.P. because I don't want any overheating with conventional oil. I bought a bottle of sealer and a gallon of Dexcool, but I'm not going to try to seal it because I want to make sure GM technicians can easily locate where the leak is and be in the best position to make a diagnosis.

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I agree with adallak, keep in mind that it COULD be a very unfortunate coincidence, but of course you never know. Will be easier to determine once you know what is going on. If it does turn out to be some kind of sabotage, be sure to have pictures taken before it is fixed, and also have the Cadillac dealer write some kind of report of what they find (in case there would be some problem from it later). Also, if you have a bad leak, try not to drive it very much with it (like you said). If it leaks so much that you would get air into the system, perhaps there could be a risk of putting additional strain on the head gaskets (if the tops don't have coolant, they will expand more than otherwise, causing more mechanical stress). Don't worry too much if you have already driven it some - after all, these engines are supposed to go even without coolant (in "camel mode", on 4 cyls at a time).

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I have an appointment at a local Cadillac dealer tomorrow. I'm going to have the cooling system checked and a synthetic oil change. I'm also going to ask them to take a look at the oil that should indicate a very recent oil change. This morning I had to add about 3/4 gallon of 50/50 Dex-Cool. So there was definitely a coolant leak. However, after driving it to work this morning I checked to see if there was any coolant on the ground and didn't see anything. Then again, maybe the leak sealed? I'll point out to the GM techs were I saw coolant leaking and let them take it from there. I suppose they will pressure test the system.

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I hope your coolant leak turns out to be something legitimate, and not some malicious act. I'm trying not to loose faith in humanity.

Regarding GM4718M oil requirements, mine states Mobil 1 on the cap.

I found this chart on the internet.

http://www.gm.com/corporate/responsibility/environment/maintenance/gm_approved_engine_oils.pdf

2008 STS V8
2016 Colorado Z71
1970 Corvette LT-1 Coupe

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I'm at the Cadillac dealership now sitting at a computer that customers can use. I asked them to check the cooling system and an oil change. The coolant leaks seems to have stopped. I know it sounds odd, but what else can I say. I topped off 3/4 a gallon of Dex-Cool yesterday morning and saw the coolant leaking. I'll be grateful if this was just a coincidence.

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I have been following this closely MAC. I feel your frustration. One of the things that I can not stand, is the 'snob' attitude that is common when you walk through the door of most businesses. They have you immediately tagged as a know nothing shlump, like 90% of the public. Its the feeling that I get from people that, I know nothing.

He was probably being paid on how much he sold dollar volume wise. This is just another reason why I do my own work, I don't need to impress anyone but me and the arguement has already taken place in my brain for days before I do the job.... :lol:

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I have been following this closely MAC. I feel your frustration. One of the things that I can not stand, is the 'snob' attitude that is common when you walk through the door of most businesses. They have you immediately tagged as a know nothing shlump, like 90% of the public. Its the feeling that I get from people that, I know nothing.

He was probably being paid on how much he sold dollar volume wise. This is just another reason why I do my own work, I don't need to impress anyone but me and the arguement has already taken place in my brain for days before I do the job.... :lol:

Actually BBF, I was thinking along the same lines that he was perhaps making a commission on services sold. Then again, maybe he wanted to give good advice, which I didn't take. It was nothing personal on my part!

I was told by the Cadillac service department that after doing a coolant system pressure check that they found nothing wrong. Also, I was told that it did look like the oil was changed. So, I am left scratching my head somewhat because I had to add 3/4 gallon of Dex-Cool yesterday morning. It was suggested by the dealership that it's possible that when the car was on the lift at the oil change place that a coolant line could have been disturbed which caused a temporary leak. The problem with this suggestion is that my car was not put on a lift but was parked in a bay. I didn't tell them that and I certainly appreciate the suggestion of a possible cause of the leak. And I'm certainly happy that no leaks were detected via a pressure test. It also lets me know the head gaskets are good.

And on top of the good news, the pressure test and synthetic oil change only cost me $99.25. From now on, I'll either do my own oil changes or take it to a Cadillac dealership.

I have not been contacted by the owner of the oil service place I went to, but I will let the owner know that all is OK. But I must say that I'm still not 100% convinced my car was not tampered with.

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Maybe they opened the coolant tank and coolant rushed out under pressure.

Many of these places have "568 point" "checks" in order to SELL you as much as possible. I like when they come into the waiting room and tell you that you need wipers, air filters, power steering flushes or your coolant is low. Now most IDIOTS that go to that place who really know nothing are hooked and they are billed accordingly. Me, I dont have patience for that, JUST DO WTF I ASKED YOU TO DO, BEFORE IF THROW YOUR FAT AZZ THROUGH THE PLATE GLASS WINDOW was my routine response in the past but I have mellowed in my old age. blink.gif Thank heavens, (but not much)

As you can see, I have NO patience for people working on my cars

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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Maybe they opened the coolant tank and coolant rushed out under pressure.

Many of these places have "568 point" "checks" in order to SELL you as much as possible. I like when they come into the waiting room and tell you that you need wipers, air filters, power steering flushes or your coolant is low. Now most IDIOTS that go to that place who really know nothing are hooked and they are billed accordingly. Me, I dont have patience for that, JUST DO WTF I ASKED YOU TO DO, BEFORE IF THROW YOUR FAT AZZ THROUGH THE PLATE GLASS WINDOW was my routine response in the past but I have mellowed in my old age. blink.gif Thank heavens, (but not much)

As you can see, I have NO patience for people working on my cars

I don't think it had anything to do with opening the coolant cap. They had no reason to be messing with the cooling system. I think I remember a while back someone said that it's possible to cause a temporary leak in the cooling system by taking a small sliver of sealer tablet and loosen a clamp and shove the sliver under the hose just enough to compromise the seal and tighten clamp. When the hot coolant hits it, it will saturate the sliver and because there isn't a good seal due to the table being shoved under the hose, it will leak until the tablet is flushed out. Does anyone remember anything like this or am I going nuts?

As far as being patient with people trying to sell something, I'm not bad with that. However, I'm not very patient when, for example, I'm in Best Buy looking at refrigerators and almost instantly someone jumps all over me asking if I need help. :blink: I try to respond nicely but sometimes I have an annoyed look that I have a hard time holding back. I will say to myself that this P.I.T.A. needs to leave me alone--WTF?! :lol:

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I have been following this closely MAC. I feel your frustration. One of the things that I can not stand, is the 'snob' attitude that is common when you walk through the door of most businesses. They have you immediately tagged as a know nothing shlump, like 90% of the public. Its the feeling that I get from people that, I know nothing.

He was probably being paid on how much he sold dollar volume wise. This is just another reason why I do my own work, I don't need to impress anyone but me and the arguement has already taken place in my brain for days before I do the job.... :lol:

Actually BBF, I was thinking along the same lines that he was perhaps making a commission on services sold. Then again, maybe he wanted to give good advice, which I didn't take. It was nothing personal on my part!

I was told by the Cadillac service department that after doing a coolant system pressure check that they found nothing wrong. Also, I was told that it did look like the oil was changed. So, I am left scratching my head somewhat because I had to add 3/4 gallon of Dex-Cool yesterday morning. It was suggested by the dealership that it's possible that when the car was on the lift at the oil change place that a coolant line could have been disturbed which caused a temporary leak. The problem with this suggestion is that my car was not put on a lift but was parked in a bay. I didn't tell them that and I certainly appreciate the suggestion of a possible cause of the leak. And I'm certainly happy that no leaks were detected via a pressure test. It also lets me know the head gaskets are good.

And on top of the good news, the pressure test and synthetic oil change only cost me $99.25. From now on, I'll either do my own oil changes or take it to a Cadillac dealership.

I have not been contacted by the owner of the oil service place I went to, but I will let the owner know that all is OK. But I must say that I'm still not 100% convinced my car was not tampered with.

MAC, I am glad everything is fine. I would not bother to contact the oil change place. As for the coolant leak mystery (3/4 gal is a lot to lose), I would let the engine run say, after returning from a trip, so that it would get the point when the fans should turn on. If engine passes a couple of fan's on-off cycles, then you are fine. After all, it could be someone else's coolant on the floor of the bay your car was parked.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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I think I remember a while back someone said that it's possible to cause a temporary leak in the cooling system by taking a small sliver of sealer tablet and loosen a clamp and shove the sliver under the hose just enough to compromise the seal and tighten clamp. When the hot coolant hits it, it will saturate the sliver and because there isn't a good seal due to the table being shoved under the hose, it will leak until the tablet is flushed out. Does anyone remember anything like this or am I going nuts?

I don't recall that.

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