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DTS 2011 4.6 Engine


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Had oil leak (few drops).  Dealer changed 4 filters. (Covered by extended warranty).  Told me he had to replaced the front cover, both valve cover gaskets and rear main seal and mid seal. I love the car but just how reliable are this northstar engines?   The car is garage kept, dealer maintained and taken excellent car. It is a Platinum with 62,000 miles.

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"A few drops"!!!!

And they changed the case half, rear main seal? 

This is a shame, they created revenue by doing a huge job sealing up your engine due to "a few drops" and it was charged back to whomever covered the extended warranty while at the same time diminishing the engines reputation because of A FEW DROPS!!  Look what they did, because of this job you lost confidence.  Don't get me started.

A 2011 NS is terrific and reliable.  Change the coolant and oil regularly.  

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I worry about dealer mechanics now-a-days. In a hurry to get the job done sure I get it. I can tell you how many lower bearing case jobs I have done with stripped main bearing bolts. I would live with the couple drops. Where are you located? Sounds like a nice car!

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The Northstar has its flaws just like every other engine out there. But they are great engines, 

Very smooth and powerful. Very reliable when properly maintained.

Me personally I dont worry about the very minute seepage of oil as long as it is safe. My 97 Seville is bone dry since I had the engine resealed when I bought it. My other 97 DD seeps a little bit but does not leave anything on the drive.

Please share some pics as it sounds like a very nice car.

Also welcome to Caddyinfo. You have come to the right place

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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15 minutes ago, Sea33 said:

 I am glad I found this forum.  Will keep my Caddy.  After all the work still have drops.  Thanks

IMG_1089.jpg

Sorry to sound testy above but dealer service can make or break the manufacturers reputation.  That work they performed for a few drips is like having a heart by pass surgery for heart palpitations caused by anxiety.  And you still get a few drops, ugh!

You have a beautiful car, come back and we can help you maintain it!

Thank you for your service, sir!

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

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

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:welcomesmiley:

A beautiful car.  Thank you for the photo.

A couple of tips about oil leaks:  they can come from anywhere, but, if you have a wet oil pan and no oil on the driveway, it's a pressure leak that only happens when the engine is running; if you have drops on the floor, it's probably loose oil pan bolts.

With a 1/4" drive snap-over torque wrench, you can re-torque your oil pan bolts yourself.  locate all 13 oil pan bolts so you don't miss one.  Tighten all of them to 8 N·m (71 lb-in or 5.9 lb-ft if your wrench doesn't have metric markings).  If they don't tighten, that's OK, don't loosen them.  Then, tighten them to 12 N·m (106 lb-in or 8.8 lb-ft).  Again, if some or all don't turn, that's OK.

This probably isn't your leak because it's a pressure leak, but it's an example of how a small leak can be hard to find but very inexpensive.  A common seepage leak that most people can't find is from the oil sending unit.  Sometimes it gets whanged by someone changing the oil filter.  You can't always tell by looking, and the guy that did it probably didn't know.  It's a $7.50 part at Rock Auto (online), AC/Delco part number D1836A.  I fixed a sudden seeping leak in my 1997 ETC by handing a new oil pressure switch to my mechanic when I had an oil change.

Watch the price when you buy anything.  The D1836A is $7.47 at Rock Auto, but offered by two vendors on Amazon for $10.45 (with shipping, which may be competitive with Rock Auto after shipping) and... $42+$4.50 shipping!!!

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I second the point about adding fresh coolant every 4 years.  I am not sure with all this work if they saved your old coolant and poured it back afterwards.  If you are unsure, or the coolant looks brown, i would have a drain and refill performed. I do all my work myself, and pretty much lately is fluid changes.  I need to do an oil change now, as it is about 1 year old oil in there. My car is a '96 with the N*, and i trust it.  Funny how when the car was new, the dealer always wanted to do work, and when i got it back, something else would mysteriously be wrong.  I believe to a degree with 3rd party additives, over lubricating, and keeping metal wet with oil. My $.02

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You might consider letting the dealer to a transmission service.  Dealer service includes replacing the fluid with Dexron VI, which provides a huge improvement in transmission life and a remarkable improvement in cold shifting.

Coolant changes are probably the most important thing you need to watch in maintaining any old aluminum engine.  I let it go too long in my wife's 1999 Pontiac with the 3.4 liter V6 and the intake manifold gasket started leaking.  Fixing that is a big job, because it's the bottom layer of a two-layer intake manifold, and removing it requires pulling the pushrods.  When the dealer was done, they put the old coolant back in.  I took over the maintenance of that car when the coolant started leaking again in a few months.

Don't let anyone talk you into green coolant.  GM cars haven't been designed for green coolant since 1995 but there are still a lot of quite good mechanics out there that don't believe in modern coolants and will put green in your car without notifying you.  Use DexCool or GM-certified antifreeze for your car.  Be sure and change it every 4 years; it's designed for 5 years or 150,000 miles but unless you drive 30,000 miles a year the time will come due first.  Giving it a margin by changing it every 4 years instead of 5 years is a very good investment, not what I would call over-maintaining the car at all.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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1 hour ago, winterset said:

I second the point about adding fresh coolant every 4 years.  I am not sure with all this work if they saved your old coolant and poured it back afterwards.  If you are unsure, or the coolant looks brown, i would have a drain and refill performed. I do all my work myself, and pretty much lately is fluid changes.  I need to do an oil change now, as it is about 1 year old oil in there. My car is a '96 with the N*, and i trust it.  Funny how when the car was new, the dealer always wanted to do work, and when i got it back, something else would mysteriously be wrong.  I believe to a degree with 3rd party additives, over lubricating, and keeping metal wet with oil. My $.02

Very VERY good point regarding the coolant.   Drain and refill it at 50,000 miles in spite of it being long life 100K coolant.   Might it be overkill?, probably, like wearing a belt and suspenders?, yep, but 50,000 miles for me?, it owes me nothing, do I REALLY need to push it to 100,000 miles?   It will reduce the potential for electrolysis given that you have 62K on it now, as winterset noted, they may have just reserved the old coolant and poured it back in, under the idea that its good for 100K.  See what your receipt states, did they charge you for coolant?, then have a look is it pristine looking coolant?   I have seen a dealer refuse my friend a rental or loaner car while she had a timing chain repair done at 19K miles under warranty EVEN THOUGH they were reimbursed by GM for her rental car, the job took a month!   So I only trust what I see or do with my own hands.  I am not in any way disparaging GM or dealers, for the most part they are terrific, but once in a while there is a bad apple.   

No flush, never flush, and never have it flushed, just drain and refill and take the old coolant to your community coolant recycle center.  Me?, I would use the cooling supplement tablets even though GM stopped using them.   They are walnut shell crushed into a grainy powder that will find leaks in hoses, seals and coagulate to stop / slow the leak which most of the time is a pressure leak that vaporizes upon hitting the atmosphere.  If you begin smelling coolant it means you are having a coolant leak under pressure you wont see it dripping.   Common leak points are the crossover seals, radiator end tanks, radiator where the horizontal tubing connects to the side plate from expansion, hoses and hose clamps, the cap and tank and the water pump body seal.    Fixing pressure leaks if you ever smell them will help your cooling system operate at full efficiency. 

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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I think time is more important than miles when it comes to coolant.  To have 100,000 miles on coolant in four years, you need to be driving an average of 25,000 miles a year.  But there are always exceptions.  For example, if a car has been sitting for a very long time, it may be a good idea to change all the fluids.  That way there are no doubts about the status of the coolant, oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, etc.

That story about  a dealer refusing a loaner for a long warranty repair is horrible.  If GM covers the cost of the loaner along with the repair, you have a right to insist.

My dealer in California hosted an Enterprise rental office.  They rented a car for you through them.  As with dealer-owned "demonstrators" and loaner cars, these were Cadillacs that they would like to sell you.  I got a Deville that was very nice (but no ETC, fer sure!) and an Escalade (great SUV, but not my cup of tea for a daily driver) the two times I needed one.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
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Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Good point Jim, I missed that the coolant is at 5 years, if the shop it was fixed at was doing their job, it should have been replaced.   I keep my fingers crossed that they did change the coolant for their sake, :D

Yes, the Deville and Escalade are nice but they have much greater pucker factors compared to the ETC which operates via mental telepathy going where you will it :) 

 

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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I remember once while I was starting my drive home in the ETC and needed to lose a couple of carpoolers and grab a gap while I was on the phone.  My wife asked "What was that?  It sounded like a toilet flushing!"  I said that yes, it was similar...

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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On September 19, 2016 at 2:14 PM, Cadillac Jim said:

You might consider letting the dealer to a transmission service.  Dealer service includes replacing the fluid with Dexron VI, which provides a huge improvement in transmission life and a remarkable improvement in cold shifting.

Coolant changes are probably the most important thing you need to watch in maintaining any old aluminum engine.  I let it go too long in my wife's 1999 Pontiac with the 3.4 liter V6 and the intake manifold gasket started leaking.  Fixing that is a big job, because it's the bottom layer of a two-layer intake manifold, and removing it requires pulling the pushrods.  When the dealer was done, they put the old coolant back in.  I took over the maintenance of that car when the coolant started leaking again in a few months.

1) i understood factory fills of dexron vi started at GM in 2008? I agree a 2011 should be drained and refilled now.

2) not to hijack sea33's post, as I think we gave him some good pointers, and assurance on the N* reliability. - however i wanted to tell you that the first and only head gasket job i did myself was on my 2002 3400 engine. Back in 2009 i was very sick, and my wife was doing the driving, and the waterpump went, and she kept driving, and overheated the motor several times.  Anywho, the heads warped, and the gaskets went.  In dec2009-feb2010 i took my time, and had the heads milled, new bolts,plugs,wires, redesigned gaskets, etc.  cost me $500 to do the entire job, and that was 80k ago. Since, the Car has been driven straight nj-Miami Fl twice.  Never a problem.  I use synthetic oil, and keep all the fluids fresh. GM recommends we keep the overflow tank at full hot when the engine is cold.  I use bars coolant stop leak inThe 3400 as well. The 3400 will go 300k because they have loose fitting pistons - and i am out to proove that.  Also, Should the 4t65e in it ever go, i will rebuild the transmission while it's in the car, and that will be my first transmission job.

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I find jobs go better and easier if you do what's necessary to make it easy when you start.  I once pulled a grille and radiator to add factory A/C to a car (old full-size FWD GM).  The hardest part, pulling the damper wheel for the new one with the needed extra pulley was a snap, sitting on a stool with four feet of extensions.  I was done in a little over half a day, including charging and checking the drainage of the condensed water.

To do a transmission, I would want a clean, well-lighted workbench.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Gonna be really, really tough to do the torque converter, front pump, input drum etc... BUT... I'll bring the popcorn CUZ it's gonna be a heck of a show to watch...

THERE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB RIGHT - THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB AGAIN !!!

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I changed the transmission fluid in my 2002 4t65e and my 1996 deville 4t80e to dexron vi a few years ago, and all is fine, so i am not planning any transmission rebuilds.  Unfortunately, not possible for a cadillac - but Anyone looking to watch this done in a chevy here is the disassembly, and there is an assembly video too:

 

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I don't classify that as a transmission rebuild. I guess some people have a different definition of rebuild than I do.

THERE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB RIGHT - THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB AGAIN !!!

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