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Cadillac DeVille General Care & Maintenance

dan339gdan339g Member Posts: 56
edited October 2014 in Cadillac
A friend recently acquired an 02 DeVille with 35K miles, that is burning a quart of oil approximately every thousand miles. The dealer is telling him this is "normal" for the 4.6 V8 motor. Have others shared this same experience?



  • albie54albie54 Member Posts: 1
    The oil burn is normal on a Northstar V8, only worry if it stops using oil. I am on my second Northstar and love it!!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I have no problem with an engine burning some oil, but I think a 2002 car with 35K miles burning a quart every 1,000 is not good. I think he should have a cylinder leakdown test done to see what his problem is. For the age and mileage my opinion is that, even for a Northstar, this is not normal and may get worse.
  • mnjoemnjoe Member Posts: 36
    Absolutely not!!! I had no oil burn on my 1999 or 2002 Sevilles. Never heard of it anywhere before.
  • bkakwtbkakwt Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 SLS with 65000mi iI bought it new in 2000 .....I have put 3 crankshaft sensors,2 right front motor mounts,one 1st & 2nd gear shifting actavator {it would only go into 3rd & overdive would not downshift into 1st and 2nd } and one air compressor ,also 1qt.of oil every 1000 mi AND THIS IS THE "CADILLIAC" OF THE AMERICAN AUTO MGF. THATS WHY GENARAL MOTORS IS GOING BANKRUPT
  • blkhemiblkhemi Member Posts: 1,717
    GM will never go bankrupt bkakwt As far as you say this is"the Cadillac of the American auto mgf", I've owned a Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, and BMW. All were HORRID vehicles in terms of maintenance. My '05 STS V8 AWD has been a gem.
    Only problem thus far I've had was broken HID headlamp. At 26000 miles, I'd take my good 'ol American car any day.
  • bkakwtbkakwt Member Posts: 2
    The first 35000 mi. were great nothing ever went wrong just general maintenance ever since then it's been one thing after another I know a little about cars I'v restored a 56 T Bird, 54 MGTF, 72 Cutlas Conv. ,59 Chevy Conv., 64 Pontiac GTO ,61Corvett plus 4 motorcycles .I almost forgot my first 49 Plymouth Club Coupe all american except for the MG plus All the autos I drove for everyday and this Cadillac is not a good CAR the bad thing is that Cadillac knows all these problems but just keeps producing them without fixing the problems
  • cadman01dtscadman01dts Member Posts: 1
    I am chasing the same issue with my 01 DTS . First the dealership told me that there were carbon deposits in the valve train and it was causing the lifters to stick, so the opened it up and cleaned it out. Not the problem, Car burned 1qt in less than a 1000 mi. and was then starting to tick a little louder. Upon a return to the dealership, it was deemed that the #4 rod and a full set of pistons were in need of replacement, (pistons due to a service bulliten ). now i have had the car back a full day finally when the ignition module died and roadside assistance told me to call back on tuesday, cancelling my labor day plans. My deville is a certified pre-owned and has the warranty to 8-07 or 100,000 mi . these issues have happened 70.000-72,000mi .
  • blkhemiblkhemi Member Posts: 1,717
    I too know a little about cars (american) having owned 5 Corvettes (3 of them I still own '99, '04 Z06, and '05 Z51. You mentioned classics that you've restored. I happen to restore cars myself. '62 Eldo, '57 Chevy,'66 Rivera '69 Corvette L88 just to name a few that I still own and are certifiable DAILY DRIVERS-- NO TRAILER QUEENS HERE. The point I am trying to make is that all in all the Caddy is no worse than some other premium makes (ie: Lexus Infiniti And Lincoln all have some sort of oil burning or sludge build-up problem reported) SO don't slam Caddy. I do agree with you that Caddy has to be aware of the problems. BUT I must say that this Northstar motor has been notorious for burning oil and Guzzling Gas since it's inception in 1993. I should know because I had a '93 STS. But my '05 STS V8 does not have the oil burning problem. However, it is still quite thirsty. My point is this: Caddy still makes a world class vehicle. As I've mentioned on my past post, I 'VE DRIVEN THEM ALL!!
  • ssteveksstevek Member Posts: 45
    My son's '82 Coupe Deville with the (we think 2nd) 4.1 V8 failed the Nox emissions big time. I wonder if this is a fix that can be accomplished with a few hundred dollars. The car has other issues, so I wonder if it would be worth it to invest the money. For some reason it had passed in 2003, the PASS sticker was on the window when he bought it. Our state had no emissions program for awhile, but now it's back in force.
  • joe771476joe771476 Member Posts: 19
    I have a 1985 4.1 and it doesn't pass NOx either! They've only been testing for CO and HC and now they're testing for NOx and I believe it's a deception on the part of the EPA! My engine decals and owner's manuals clearly state that my car was meant to meet 1985 FEDERAL emissions specs, NOT California's! They didn't start testing for NOx until 1998 and the reason why they keep adding new gases is so they can "justify" the existence of the emission test! On top of that, they keep reducing the limits allowed. By law, a certain amount of cars must fail to justify this test! So they keep adding gases and reducing limits! And they want you to spend $660 every two years to get a waiver in an attempt to fix a car that has nothing wrong with it and was not designed to meet NOx limits! This is the biggest scam perpetrated upon the American people! Nobody is going to have less asthma attacks because we're conducting emission tests! Soon they will check for CO2! Don't humans exhale CO2? Maybe the increased population is causing global warming, if it really does exist! Maybe we should kill people too now? What a joke! Let's wake up people!
  • 11mac1111mac11 Member Posts: 1
    My manual does not tell me what I need to have done for 90K service. I fixed the car as needed and chgd. oil every 3000 miles. I've never done a thirty or a sixty thousand mile service so I guess I should do something now that I'm looking at 91450 miles. Don't want to deal with the dealership. When I asked them what was involved in the 90 K service and price they rattled off a list of services to fast to note down. Called back to try again and same thing happened. Even asked them to slow down. They did quote over $900 for the job. Well anyway, I really don't trust them now.

    So here's what I'm planning. New spark plugs (titanium) and wires, tranny flush, radiator flush and the 3K oil change. Should I get a new PCV Valve? Wheel alignment? (there's no shimmy or shake) Les Scwabb says brakes are 50 and 75 %

    Can you think of anything I might be missing. I've not been employed for 2 years now and need to be cost conscience. Thanks for any advice.
  • justgreat47justgreat47 Member Posts: 100
    if you do put new plugs, make sure you use caddy plugs and nothing else...bosch or ngk's or anything other than what the manual calls will cause driveablity problems...the engine is engineered for those plugs and nothing else. personally, if you're not having driveablity issues i wouldn't change them. stay away from "flushing" the transmission...simply have the tranny drained and filled...flushing can cause debris and sediment from the previous customer's flush to be introduced into your transmission. there just isn't much to do on the n/s and transmission...if it ain't broke....jackg 90seville 99k
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    I own a 2004 Deville with 32,000 miles on it. Last oil change was in February and a little over 3000 miles back.
    Oil life indicator shows 75% oil life remaining. 2/3rds
    of driving is highway and 1/3rd city all on paved roads.
    Am strongly considering waiting until 5 months or 50% oil life remaining on gauge. Would be appreciative of having the input of other Deville owners on this issue of oil life gauge and how often you are changing your oil.
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    A lot of people, some of them with professional knowledge of Cadillacs, say to follow the oil life indicator. Wait until it gets down to 10%, and then change.

    For most of my life I've changed oil, and filter, at 4,000 miles (or every year if I'm driving it less than 4,000/year). I've felt this is a very conservation schedule compared to the 6,000 or 7,500 or even now 10,000 mile schedules recommended by automobile owner manuals.

    And not near the 2,500 or 3,000 miles the dealership service people recommend, which is mainly to move money from your pocket to theirs.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,147
    I also look at my oil color. I drop a couple drops onto a paper towel and look at how the spot spreads through the fibers. When the darker center is dime size, I start getting ready to change oil.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    I don't put much weight in color.

    I've used oils that will darken up significantly within one week after a change.

    But I've been running Castrol 5-20 for a couple of years, and that stuff looks almost like water when it goes in, and it darkens up very little, even over a couple thousand miles. By 4,000, it will be somewhat darker, but this stuff has less color change that any oil I've previously used.
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    I have also tended to change at four months and 4000 miles
    but having only driven 3000 miles in the last four months and indicator at 75% think I will wait til five months. Will probably have only driven 4000 miles by that time.
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    Thanks! will experiment with the paper towel and see what happens.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,147
    Bolivar has a point about the color being a subjective measure. I know what the oil looks like at 500 and 1000 miles and then as it changes from this brand's and this motor's characteristic color and starts looking denser and carrying more oxidation and contaminants I judge when to change. I have no problem with running up higher on my 03 leSabre with a digital oil life gauge. In winter I change quicker and if the car's in hot traffic where the car is running hotter due to low air speed under the oil pan and around the motor I change quick, i.e., after summer vacation on expressway snarls around chicago or Philadelphia.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • bwnunnallybwnunnally Member Posts: 4
    I agree that on Cadillacs with an oil life indicator, you should go by the indicator. When you have a sophisticated measure of when the oil needs to be changed, why guess?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,147
    >When you have a sophisticated measure of when the oil needs

    Oils vary, as Bremertong mentioned, and those systems don't adjust for various oils. One example is if you use synthetic there's no adjustment.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • geo9geo9 Member Posts: 735
    I just change mine every 4000 miles or 4 months at
    the Mr. Goodwrench or Monroe tire center for less
    that $20 bucks (with a lube job) then reset the
    worthless oil monitor gadget and drive happy! :P
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    I think the oil life indicator was meant to measure regular oils and not longer life synthetics but perhaps is good for both. As mentioned in earlier messages I would not let the indicator go much below 50%, 5000 miles or five months whichever comes first before going in for an oil change. I have at this point never used synthetics but am open to the idea. As discussed in previous messages I drive on paved roads, 2/3rds highway and 1/3rd in town with not very much bumper to bumper stop and go. The final significant variable is the climate, very rarely above 65 degrees in summer and only about 30 days of the year that temperature falls below freezing (late night, early morning). Another factor is that the car is parked in an insulated garage.
    Having appreciated the comments received here so far I am moving in the direction of 5 months, 5000 miles and 50% whichever comes first. Further comments welcomed and appreciated.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,147
    The warmed garage also helps on the contaminants left in the oil in cold weather during starting warmups. Our cars are in garage at minimum 40 deg. F. in winter. Usually 50. If your car is treated that way and not started in cold weather with a cold motor regularly (at work to come home) and your summers are rarely above 65, you can make the extra miles and change twice a year very safely. You're the closest to the normal description for ideal service intervals I've read.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    As I was leaving home today, about one mile out, the check engine coolant message flashed on the message center. I drove about five miles to my first destination and than stopped at a local service station and asked them to check.
    They said was just about full. I have owned the car for two years and this is the first time this has happened. Plan to wait and see if it happens again. Have others had this message when the coolant level was full? If it happens again I will need to have Cadillac dealership check. Could it be a faulty module or some such thing?
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    Thanks very much for your reply. Will try the plan I outlined in earlier posts. Needless to say it was a little
    frustrating to have the coolant issue come up today, guess I have been lucky in that in the five years of ownership of two Devilles this is the first time a check anything message has come on.
  • sls002sls002 Member Posts: 2,788
    My suggestion is that you have your dealer check to see if your water pump is starting to leak. If it is leaking then perhaps there will be some signs of this where you park overnight.
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    Thanks for your reply. I went out and looked just now, and all looked dry under the car. I have an oil pan under the car with white paper towels lining it to monitor any further oil leaks from oil filter adapter gasket, now repaired.
    There is sometimes water on the tray but have assumed it is condensation from the air conditioning system, it is off to the the side at about where the driver seat is. If the water pump is leaking would water have color to it? if so what color should I look for? Would there be leaking even if the car had not been out for a day? Is there a particular location under the car that a water pump leak
    would appear on the garage floor or tray (2004 Deville)?
  • sls002sls002 Member Posts: 2,788
    The water pump is on the drivers side of the engine, on the front bank of cylinders. There is a belt that turns it using the camshaft as a power source.

    If you still have the right coolant, it should be the orange stuff. Your dealer can do a pressure test, which will take some time, to see if the cooling system is leaking. The water pump leakage can be intermittent till it fails and the engine overheats.
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    Had the car out today with several stops for errands and various speeds up to 60 MPH. No more check coolant messages. If the message should occur a second time I will
    schedule a service department visit with a Cadillac dealership. Will probably go to the dealer 60 miles away in that I was more impressed with them than the dealer closer to me. I am scheduled for an oil change in the next two to four weeks and if no further coolant message occurs I will wait and mention at oil change time. So far as I know the coolant is the original that came with the car.
  • sls002sls002 Member Posts: 2,788
    If no coolant was added and the low coolant message has stopped, then probably your coolant is just at the low point. Some coolant loss over time is normal. The coolant level in the reservoir should be checked when the engine is completely cold, after sitting overnight for example.

    A leaky water pump should have left some evidence and since you are checking for an oil leak, I think that you should have seen something. If you are getting an oil change soon, you can have it checked out then. At this point I would not panic. They should put some coolant in though, to prevent additional messages. Then, you should monitor the coolant level for the next several weeks to be sure that coolant is not disappearing.

    I recomment monitoring the coolant level on a regular basis anyway, when the oil level is checked, like weekly or at least 2 to 3 times monthly.
  • geo9geo9 Member Posts: 735
    If your not seeing any leaks just chalk it up to
    a "glitch" on these new gadget laden vehicles !

    Sure you weren't out "driftracing" or doing a few
    WOT passes cleaning the carbon outta that N-star
    monster motor? I have to take out my moms DeVille
    and beat on it once in a while to clean it out!

    Most likely just the coolant in the res. just sloshing
    about and triggering the low coolant message.

    But before a wasted trip to the dealer keep a eye on
    your coolant level................. :shades:
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    I tried to remove the coolant cap after arriving home the day of the message, could not get the cap off for some reason. Was not to concerned in that it had been checked at a local service station. Are there any tricks to getting the cap off and of course back on? I looked at the owners manual before trying and seemed straight forward, it turned but didn't want to lift off so re tightened and will see if the message comes back. As I recall you also own a Deville of similar vintage, any tips on how to do this? Always enjoy and appreciate your posts.
  • geo9geo9 Member Posts: 735
    Never attempted to remove the cap off the coolant
    res. on my 03 DeVille.
    You should just be able to "eyeball" the coolant
    level and note the level. It should just unscrew
    off tho..................
    I would say its best to check when cold and engine
    not running.
  • 04cad04cad Member Posts: 131
    I think you push down and turn (righty tighty - lefty loosey) to the left and then push down again and turn to the left again... do it when the engine is off and the engine is cool to avoid possibly scalding hot steam and/or coolant rushing out of the opening. I have had two vehicles, GM products, where the coolant level showed fine in the overflow tank and yet when I removed the cap the coolant was actually low. The first sign was the heater not putting out as much heat as in the past. If my vehicles have a radiator cap, I now always check in the radiator also to be certain. Good luck Bob
  • sls002sls002 Member Posts: 2,788
    The actual radiator cap (if there is one) on the northstar engines is located under a plastic cover, so the owner really does not have access. Only the cap on the coolant reservoir is removable, and this is a pressure cap, so the intelligent owner will only attempt to remove it when the engine is cold. The coolant level can only be determined accurately when the engine is cold anyway, so it is pointless to remove the cap when the engine is warm, and foolish to remove it when the engine is hot.

    My northstars have a reservoir that is transparent on the lower half and the coolant should be near the top of this transparent part when the engine is cold. When the engine is hot, the coolant level should be higher, possibly hidden in the opaque part.

    If the cooling system has a leak, then the reservoir may remain full while the radiator is low. This is so because as the radiator cools the leak lets in air instead of water from the reservoir.
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    I drove forty miles today and no more check coolant messages. I will probably make another attempt at checking the coolant level using the coolant reservoir cap. As indicated in the posts and the owners manual, I will only attempt to check when the engine is cold. The service station checked about three minutes after the engine was turned off and said that the fluid level was at the neck line. While this could well have been a false alarm, I take these messages seriously and will be following the advice given here, again many thanks to all who responded.
  • sls002sls002 Member Posts: 2,788
    You really do not need to remove the cap to see the coolant level. However, this morning I did remove mine with the engine cold. It simply unscrews. When replacing it, it will "slip" like the fuel cap when tight enough.

    As I said before, your cruise control problems might be an indication of wiring problems, and so if this was a false alarm, perhaps the wiring problem is speading. I do not put a high probability on this explanation however.
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    If the coolant message shows up again I will schedule a visit with one of the Dealerships. The cap on collant resevoir on my car fits rather tightly mush more than the gas cap. We will see if the error message comes up again, performance of the cruise is the same and having had it checked by two dealerships I suspect it is in the normal range.
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    Had the 2004 Deville in for regular oil change today. It turns out that the coolant level was a little low so in fact the computer message was correct when it posted the check coolant level about a month ago. When I stopped at a local service station when the message flashed they had said that the coolant level was okay but it was evidently low when we did the fluid checks today. Assume if the level had dropped to dangerously low levels the the engine temperature gauge would have risen or the service engine light would have come on. Assume all is okay now, when the message flashed again about a week ago I ignored it knowing I would be going in for an oil change today. I will take it more seriously in the future. The bottom of the car was also dry so the oil leak is evidently repaired. As some of you may remember one Cadillac dealership had put in to do a complete engine reseal but the second opinion at another Cadillac dealership was that oil filter adapter gasket repair had solved the problem and the oil remaining was a residue of the first leak. Cadillac was ready to do the reseal on the say so of the first dealer. It saved me a lot of time and Cadillac some money that I suggested that the car be checked at a second Cadillac dealership. Hope this information helps other owners in dealing with related problems. Also want to thank the many owners who responded to my concerns at this web site and forum.
  • sls002sls002 Member Posts: 2,788
    You should not get any low coolant messages for a long time now that the coolant level is full. If the coolant level falls in the next few months there is a leak somewhere.
  • 04cad04cad Member Posts: 131
    As I said in my earlier message, if anything occurs to suggest low coolant, regardless of what the reservoir shows, figure out how to check the actual level in the radiator or take it to someone who can check it. The reservoir does not always properly indicate the coolant level. I have found that to be true on at least two GM models I have owned in the past, one a Cadillac. One wonders why the dealership doesn't tell you that when you buy the car? Also we had one dealership do a transmission pan gasket replacement only to have the same thing suggested nine months later. When I mentioned that if it indeed was leaking they would be responsible for fixing it since it hadn't been a year since they supposedly changed it under the extended warranty, they rechecked and said the person who changed it last time must not have wiped the oil off of the pan. Hmmmm. Funny thing, we hadn't noticed a leak on the garage floor the first time and definitely not the second time. I think the dealership is doing better now, except maybe when you get an oil change and they don't grease the front end on newer Chevy trucks, and yes at least up through 2005 Chevy Silverados do still have several grease fittings to lube. Live and learn Bob
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    While we did check for leaks while the car was on the lift,
    we found none but in the event the check coolant message comes up again will get in to the more distant GM dealership ASAP. The original warranty runs out in July 2007 so I have
    a year and have purchased an after market warranty that runs to 100,000 miles and seven years. Car currently has 33,000 miles on it so my original warranty will run out on date rather than miles as I only expect to put about 10,000 miles on the car in the next year.
  • geo9geo9 Member Posts: 735
    If you have a 99 or up NBS GM truck check out and
    print this link for the oil change guy to locate
    and lube ALL the zerk fittings:
  • geo9geo9 Member Posts: 735
    BREM:........Still losing coolant? There is a hidden
    coolant return line to the overflow bottle.
    Could it be a loose clamp or even a cracked overflow
    bottle? Maybe a bad coolant res.level sensor.
    I read on the GM truck forums about many guys
    who have discovered cracks in the res. bottle itself.
    I know the newer Caddies and other GM vehicles
    don't have a rad. cap anymore.

    Luckily my 03 now has 41k troublefree miles............
    Keep us posted!
  • sls002sls002 Member Posts: 2,788
    As I pointed out before, the radiator on the northstar engines is not something that the owner can get to. The radiator is under some shrouding and the cap, if there is one, is not accessable. Also, the so called reservoir is sealed and when the engine is warm/hot, the reservoir is under pressure. So, the only way to visually check the coolant level is by looking at the reservoir level.

    If the reservoir is cracked, it will, under pressure, quickly vent the coolant in the cooling system.
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    From what I can gather it was evaporation and not a leak we added a little dexcool at my oil change on Tuesday of this week. By the way after owning my Mercury Sable 2005 as second car for about four months I decided I wanted a real twin for my Deville. Was fortunate to Find a Limited Edition of Lincoln Town Car vintage 2005, got about what I paid for the trade on the Mercury. The Mercury is a fine car but the Lincoln is awesome with extras like a sun roof,
    in dash cd changer, automatic opening and closing trunk, many of these features were on my 98 Deville but not on the 2004. The Lincoln is more floaty but more quiet car than the Deville. The Towncar had 16500 miles at purchase and well under half the price, new in April of 2005. As you know the Deville engine is higher power rated but have been pleasantly surprised at the power the Towncar has especially from a standstill. Nice feature is also a button on the shifter that shifts the transmission out of overdrive into third gear for quick extra power. Like my 98 Deville it is in Gold which is my favorite color. The two cars look great parked next to each other in the garage. At this point I can't say there is a first or a second but both are tied for first. Only problem so far with Towncar is a slightly loose door handle strap on the driver door.
    It will be interesting to see how these two fine cars perform in both reliability overall. If you were wondering, I generally keep my cars for average of three years but I decided that I wanted a companion car more like the Deville.If there are other Deville owners that also own Lincoln Towncar would be interested in your experiences and comparisons.
  • sls002sls002 Member Posts: 2,788
    It is normal to add some (~1 pint) coolant after a year. The reservoir is sealed, so there should not be much evaporation.
  • bremertongbremertong Member Posts: 436
    Don't think that is in the owners manual, if it is I missed it. I bought the car at eleven months old so the additional pint you refer to may not have been added. The check coolant message has not come on since the service date five days ago, would guess they added the right amount of coolant. Check tire pressure message has come on several times during a mini heat wave we've had temperatures have been around 90 for a few days. When the message first came on a few weeks ago I dropped the pressure from 35 psi to 33and a half, guess it was not enough in that the message flashed again several times on past Saturday. I set the pressures with cold tires in the morning. The message comes on when the pressure hits 38 in any tire. Suspect the heat wave will be over in the next few days, but may have to drop them to 32 psi cold if check pressure message keeps flashing. I use an electronic pressure gauge to check pressures and in normal weather the gauge and the on board system are generally in 1/2 pound of each other. Any ideas or suggestions? Many thanks!
  • 04cad04cad Member Posts: 131
    I had a 2004 and now a 2005 Deville with the tire pressure system and it didn't matter if we went from Indiana to Florida or whether it was 15 degrees in the winter or 94 degrees in the summer we didn't get a tire message unless there was a significant difference in pressures from tire to tire. I wonder if you have a lot of moisture in your tire's air? Do you have a really good gauge? Do you do the manual tire pressure check in the car after setting pressures to see if your gauge matches what is in the tires according to the sensors? You may need to drive the car a bit to reset the sensors and then do the manual check with the button on the dash. This is something else you may want to take up with the dealer. Bob
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