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Bottom half engine oil leak? Check oil filter.

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Our family has 3 vehicles with Northstar 4.6L engines build on the same line as Cadillac DTSs. We love their magnetic rides. Two are 2006s and one is a 2007. They have from 100,000 miles to 140,000 miles on them.

We had a bad scare this summer when all three engines suddenly had their bottom halves dripping oil. Oh no, not oil pan seals! But how could all three possibly do it at once? I got underneath and with the engine idling used an air gun to clear the oil away from the joints and see where it came back. I started at the oil filter, lucky me. That's where the oil leak was. It had been the first time we used white NAPA oil filters and had tightened them the full turn as labelled on the filter. When we replaced them with Frams, we noticed the gasket was a lot stiffer and took a lot more torque for its full turn. No more oil leaks on all 3 cars. I would hate to think of people getting $4,000 gasket jobs because of lousy oil filters.

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I would stay with AC/Delco oil filters. Others here will say why.

Another sneaky source of oil leaks is the oil pressure switch that screws into the oil filter adapter. It can get dinged by a wrench or road debris and leak when the engine is running but not drip in the garage. A surprising amount of oil can come through a dinged oil pressure switch. If the oil pan is wet but your garage floor is dry, it could be the oil pressure switch.

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