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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair

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  • dallasdude1dallasdude1 Posts: 1,139
    Its under the intake manifold, but first see if you have oil in your coolant. The unit bathes in coolant to cool off your oil.
  • phil2400phil2400 Posts: 29
    That is exactly the problem. The oil is leaking out into the coolant, but coolant is not showing up in the oil, and there is no loss of compression, or coolant showing up in the exhaust. Thanks again. I'm looking for a service repair manual right now.
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
    Top of the day to you: More than likley you do not have blown head gasket remember heads, block whats going with the intake mainfold loose bolts blown intake seals , and you never said anything about white smoke out of the exhaust is the oil in the raidiator
  • phil2400phil2400 Posts: 29
    The only problem is oil mixing with coolant in the radiator and cooling system. It is not blowing any white smoke. The dealer serviceman's first reaction was transmission fluid mixing with the coolant, and replaced the radiator. But, the transmission is not losing fluid. The motor oil is mixing with the coolant. The car was very low on motor oil, not transmission fluid. I'm still trying to get my hands on a service repair manual and found a couple of websites offering the two volume GM shop set. We are going to remove the intake manifold and check the motor oil cooler first. I already confirmed that we can get the intake gasket set locally.
  • dallasdude1dallasdude1 Posts: 1,139
    What kind of a dealer did you take it to? Let us know what you come up with.
  • phil2400phil2400 Posts: 29
    It was a local dealer, Hennessy Cadillac, here in NE Atlanta.
  • This must be contagious, The same thing just happened to mine on thursday. does the water in your coolant tank look like a chocalate milk shake. Slimey & sticky, Did you pinpoint that it is your oil cooler & how do I find this. Good luck & thanks
  • phil2400phil2400 Posts: 29
    Actually, this stuff looks like Hersheys chocolate syrup. But, it is slimey and sticky. I haven't confirmed it is a leak at the engine oil cooler yet. But, it seems like the most logical source. We are trying to get our hands on a service repair manual before digging in. I think we will start on it this weekend. I'll post updates.

    I can thank dallasdude1 for the suggestion about the oil cooler. I figured it may have been something along those lines when I first inspected the car, but could not find a provision for an oil cooler. Hiding it under the intake manifold is a strange design, but these German engineers seem to rarely think about ease of maintenance in their designs anymore.
  • dallasdude1dallasdude1 Posts: 1,139
    Once there you will have to determine if a banjo bolt worked loose or if the coolant has eaten through the oil cooler unit itself. The washers and or liquid lines on a banjo bolt is a sort of gasket which must be tightened to a spec or until it doesn't leak. So if its just that a tightening might just do the trick. What most places would do is replace everything, connections and the oil cooling unit. However, that may not be required. Then you need to get the oil out of the cooling system. If the coolant is not changed often on these cars you run the risk of the coolant becoming an acid and eating away/erroding the oil cooler. Knowing all this, I hope you will only have to do this one time.
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
    HHmmmm hey I herd a lot of chater about that banjo deal that might be it when you do open it up don't forget to pressure test it so you can see the leek you can rent that tool from Adavance Auto, O'reily , :shades: Auto Zone etc, etc
  • az_hvyaz_hvy Posts: 30
    Hey Phil
    It sounds like the oil cooler is is leaking which is located under the intake. I just had mine replaced in my 98 in March it cost me 1,000$ from an honest shop here in Phx dealer gave me 1800-2k ballpark est I inherited this car from an X-employee........ after 2500$ (free car my a$$) I got her running GREAT Iv learned a lot about Catera's and common problems they have If you have any questions let me know
  • phil2400phil2400 Posts: 29
    Thanks. I might just do that. We found a GM SRM, and expect it in time for this weekend.
  • train3train3 Posts: 7
    We have 99 catera just turn 100,00 miles , its great car with issues it just started shutting off let sit 15/20 starts 2-3 miles off again or let sit 3-4 minutes off so ordered crank sensor hope solve our problem also !! Radio was easy 2nd fuse from driver side 2nd row also controls water valve to keep hot water from flowing while a/c on the sensor on top fried caught fire I put out luckly the valve was open so had heat in car until replace !!
  • az_hvyaz_hvy Posts: 30
    70 miles after a oil change on my 98 Catera the oil warning buzzed and light came on, pressure was low but never went down into the red. After shutting it down light came on once again. After second shutdown drove it about 2 more miles, it never came on again. Today it had great psi (40-50) when at idle 60-80 at 2,500 rpm until it reached normal operating temp. (little over 3/4 on temp gauge) then about 30-50 at 2,500 rpm and just above the red at idle, but light hasn't came on again. Just get a little scared when I hear buzzing and see red oil light. If anyone has any ideas please share them with me. After putting about 3k into her Iv had no problems with her for about 4 months I just took my mechanics phone # off of speed dial
    Thanks all
  • dallasdude1dallasdude1 Posts: 1,139
    Be sure that it has 6 quarts of oil in it. Glance into the coolant overflow, it should not have any oil and or be dark. This car will hold more than 6 quarts, without blowing motor seals, so you can add a quart with no problem.
  • az_hvyaz_hvy Posts: 30
    Yep I checked it dip stick was right on I got charged for 6 quarts. I know all about oil in the reservoir just replaced oil cooler 4 months ago
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    Mom's '98 with 60K miles is the same way. The warmer the temperature, the lower the oil pressure and at idle sometimes it goes way down but never in the red and the light hasn't come on. I think it is a characteristic of Cateras but Dallasdude is right, be sure to watch the dipstick and keep it up on full. Alot of quick lube places will only put in 5 quarts of oil with a filter change as so many american cars have a 5 quart capacity but the Catera takes 6, so you have to watch them closely. We just developed a new problem on her Catera which was new to me and the Cadillac garage and I don't think I've ever seen anything on this forum about it. The steering wheel anti-theft locking device doesn't completely disengage when you turn the ignition switch on. Needless to say the first time it happened I had the wheel turned to the far right waiting for a light to change and wanting to go straight. Started to go and the wheel wouldn't straighten up :surprise: . Talked about freaked out!! Glad I wasn't in a hard right turn at 50 MPH. LOL Fortunately no one was behind me and I was able to back-up into the parking lot. LOL Now have it where when you turn the wheel it clicks and there's a small amount of back pressure but at least you can drive it. It's now in the local Catera hospital :sick: . Would have tackled it myself but don't like messing with anything near an air bag. Haha Heard to many horror stories about an air bag going off and throwing a wrench into someone's head. Told the service guy that I want a cheap fix. If they can leave a part out and the steering wheel doesn't lock - then that's fine. Maybe make it easier for some one to steal it which would be great!! Mom needs to get a new Lexus anyway!! LOL Has anyone else experienced a problem like this?? I'll let ya all know the diagnosis...
  • train3train3 Posts: 7
    We had same problem and was told to use 10 w 30 instead of 5 w seems better if anything changes will let know and we also use synthetic oil !!!
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    The only time you should use 5w-30 oil in a Catera is if you live in Alaska or are driving only in the winter months and/or the temperature is not going to get above 60 degrees F before your next oil change. Otherwise, always use SAE 10w-30 oil. I too highly believe in using synthetic oil and usually use Mobil 1 and always use the premium oil filter. Alittle more expensive than regular oil & filter but alot cheaper than a new engine..... :)
  • jonw3jonw3 Posts: 4
    after i start my car it runs good for about 45 sec. and them i get a very bad miss and a stall.any help on this problem? i checked the fuel filter and i have put injector cleaner in a full tank of gas. it is a 2001 catera
  • train3train3 Posts: 7
    We changed crank sensor today and it did not fix problem still shuts off after hot and let sit for awhile and starts again any other ideas !! :sick:
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    When you say "hot" how hot is "hot"?? :confuse:
  • train3train3 Posts: 7
    Just regular running temp it does not over heat / no problems with coolant system knock on wood !! Let run about 4/5 minutes cuts off let sit 15/20 minutes cool off starts again same thing over and over !! :sick:
  • finally got charging system working ok, I hope. Now the right side cooling fan is staying on. I found a sight that had owners manuals on it. I located the relay and pulled it. That stopped the fan. When you reinsert it starts again. So I assume relay is stuck in closed position and allowing fan to run constantly. Anybody know of additional problems causing this? Also I put a bunch of groceries in car last night and level light came on for about 2 minutes and went off. Assume compressor was leveling. Then on way home it came on again and stayed on. After I got home turned car off unloaded and it stayed off. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.
  • az_hvyaz_hvy Posts: 30
    every time my great dane gets in the back seat it does the same, comes on for a couple min at first then goes off until I hit a bump or he moves from one side to the other then stays on until he gets out but when he is in front seat no problem except sometimes he wants to drive as far as the fan goes mine stays on for about 5-10 min after shutdown when outside temp is above 95 (April - Sept here) but never effected the battery
  • Ok people bear with me. I'm not the birghtest guy ion the car when it comes to cars, but does my 98 Catera suppose to have oil in the spark plug hole. Yesterday me and my dad were trying to test drive the car and figured it was not the transmission, but rather the oil pressure due to me not being able to go up a hill. So he tells me to check the spark plugs to see if there is oil on them affecting firing of the car. today i checked its a TON of oil in the spark plug hole......all of them! I was thinking it was for lubrication and then that "voice" said "When have you even know for a spark plug wire to have lubrication. I know its not suppose to be oil on spark plugs but I just figured "Heck, its a cadillac CATERA"...enough said. Does anyone know how to get the oil out or anything of that nature?!
  • train3train3 Posts: 7
    CPS worked they reset car today and it runs great again no other problems right now , :) knock on wood !!! Remember everything you do to this car you must let it reset itself !!
  • What does the oil look like?

    If its viscosity is something like what you would put directly in to the car, I would see about getting a compression check done on each cylinder. You may be able to rent this tool from a local Autozone.

    If looks dried and kind of crusty I would change the plugs and possibly run a slightly thicker oil like 10w30 if you aren't already.

    Granted I am no auto technician, just giving my .02
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    Was the oil actually on the firing end of the spark plug or are you saying it was in the indent where the spark plug screws in? If it's the later, you may have leaking valve covers (common problem with Cateras) causing the oil to run down to the plugs indents and ignition wires which could eventually reduce your firing power...
  • patsampatsam Posts: 1
    We have a 2000 catera I just had to replace the battery.for the first time. Now I have a leak at the back of the engine. I think it is the heater valve from what I have seen here. however my ac and heater are working fine. Is this something that may need to reset itself? I put my hand back there and it was dry but once I ran the car it was wet again. My temp gauge is fine but my Radiator<. light comes on and off.
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