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Cadillac DeVille oil usage

lagunshylagunshy Posts: 7
edited March 2014 in Cadillac
I own a 2002 deville and my expeiance with oil consumption has been a nightmare. I have 40000 mi. on my caddy and have been using 3 quarts plus in less than 3000 miles. I could write 8 pages of stuff to you all but here is the end results. 2002 and several other caddy's had a test engine installed. No you wont see any oil on your floor nor will you see an blue oil trail out of your exhast unless you floor it. My caddy is at the dealer as I speak getting new pistons and rings. I went through a 3000 mile oil consumption test and finally caddilac said to bring it in. there is a bulletin on this vehicle but not a recall. I might add that I am also out of warrentee and caddilac is installing this for free and gave me a loaner. Do not back down when you are messing with your dealer about this! In my eyes caddilac has owned responsibility and there needs to be a recall for us! besides the stress that I have went through I feel caddy is doing right.


  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I have a 2002 Seville, with the base engine (275 horsepower). I have been using Mobile 1 synthetic oil after about 30,000 miles. I have 53,000 miles now and use a quart every 2000 miles. The computer lets me go about 10,000 miles between changes.
  • fun4ufun4u Posts: 4
    I own a 2001 DHS with Northstar which has had excessive oil consumption sinse about 30k miles. Carbon was flushed by dealer under warranty, and consuption has been monitored by dealer per GM requirement. At current 66k engine oil consumption is now back at about 1 qt per 1k. Since car is no longer under warranty, dealer wants nearly $2,000 to perform same carbon flush job. GM refusing to cover this previous condition under warranty.

    You referrred to a service bulletin on this excess oil consumption. Can you provide some details on bulletin so I can pass it on to dealer? Did you need to contact GM or Cadallac Division directly to get action?

    Did the latest service cure your problem, or just delay it.
  • this is typical for our cad the end result for me was a complete engine rebuild and cad. did end up paying for it all including rental and sir i was out of warranty so do not let them blow smoke at you the 800# is in the back of your manual
  • sir do not go for that. believe me i have reserched this and cad did pay for mine. i too was out of warranty and i fought for 3 months to get this done.i contacted cad. from the 800# in my manual and this created some grief for the dealer. please do not back down. cad. admitted to this being thier prob. i too went though the oil consumption test but they bypassed the flush and went to the complete rebuild and gave me a loaner. your dealer as mine don't want to do the ground work for this problem and they actually dont have to pay a dime. the differance between a bulliten and a recall is there aren't enough of us pressing the issue. hope this helps you.
  • and yes at this point it fixed the problem
  • fun4ufun4u Posts: 4
    Thanx for the background and for the encouragement. I'll start organizing my assault on Cadillac with service records and experiences, then make the call.
  • richw5richw5 Posts: 152
    The quick and easy method of "getting the carbon out" is a few applications of "WOT".

    Start from a dead stop or when rolling and apply your right foot to the accelerator. When you hit 70 mph, slow down and begin the process a few more times until the carbob stops coming out of the exhaust. Yes, WOT is "wide open throttle" and was recommended by one of the Northstar engineers on a Cadillac information web site.

    It worked on my '99 STS and even lowered the oil usage back to specs. Besides that, it's a lot of fun.
  • geo9geo9 Posts: 739
    My 96 used to suck down 1 qt. or so every 1000 miles.
    I went thru the ringer at the dealer with the consumption
    tests and this and that. Never smoked or leaked either.
    I learned to live with it especially after reading other
    N-star owners posts here or on several Caddy only sites.

    That car gave me over 125k miles and 6 years of problem
    free ownership when I traded it for my 03 (which is better
    and uses 1/2 quart every 3000 miles !
    My 90 4.9? 4.5? DeVille never used a drop of oil between
    changes and also was troublefree and traded at around
    100k plus miles for the 96............ ;)
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I agree.

    'Puttering around' in a Northstar will carbon up the rings, stick them, and allow oil blowby.

    From a rolling start, floor it. I recommend running above 70mph. At 70mph, it's probably just shifting out of second. Run it up and allow to coast down several time. If you have the nerve to glance in the rear view mirror, you will probably see a lot of black smoke the first time or two you open it up.

    Do this every month or so. Your oil consumption will drop.
  • geo9geo9 Posts: 739
    Bolivar...........CHUCKLE !
    That sounds like my moms 98 Deville with a BIG 50k miles!
    I have to take it out and run it hard and watch the
    clouds of smoke during the first few WOTs..........

    She has been wanting a SUV and more room to haul around
    the grandchildren and junk so we have been look ing
    at the great deals on a late model SRX.
    Me, I will buy her 98 for the little woman as her Escort
    is getting long in the tooth................ :P
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Synthetic oil might also help as there is less ash when it burns. I usually run my SLS wot in second gear up to the speed limit while climbing a hill about 1-3 times per week. At 60 MPH I am at 4000 RPMs, so 6000 RPMs should be pushing 90 MPH.
  • csmancsman Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Deville that is consuming 3+ quarts between oil changes; it is in the shop now because after I had the top clean done to clean the rings or whatever it was now it is sputtering and will shut off. This may or may not be related but I am estatic to find someone dealing with a simular problem. I am going back and forth now with my extended warranty company who want me to assume cost for tearing the motor down with no assurance that they will pay (depending on the determined cause of usage). And in worst case scenerio I may be responsible for the repair cost of over $5000. I have read your prev. comments and want to know more. You contacted the Cad. people not the warranty co? and what was the determined cause of the usage? I was told that a qt. per 1K miles is not usual. If so I think that is ridiculous for a Cadillac. Please Help!! ANYONE
  • yes sir 1qt. every three thousand is excessive. call cad 800# in the back of your manual. i played heck for 3 months to get help. i ended up doing an oil usage consumption test for 3 thousand miles and the cad rep of my dealer fell under all the pressure and the did a complete rebuild. the cause is due to a test set of pistons and ring combination that the rings are solid and cant shed the carbon build up. cad ownes resposability for this and i was clear out of warranty but do not give up. it willo take cad out of california a couple days to get back to you but they will. the run your cad a little differantly theory is after all is said and done to a couple times a month put your foot in it to blow this build up out.also that top end clean out is a crock of you know what.too late to tell you not to do it but i didnt let them take that route. you have my sympithy with what you are going through but do not let up or give up. contact me anytime for whatever i can do to help at [email protected]
  • csmancsman Posts: 2
    Thanks, I going to do a consumption test with close monitoring for the next 2k-3k miles and go from there. You have been really helpful. Your messages have caused me to do a lot of research on this and I have been shocked to find that more folks than not are have this same problem. I may contact you later. Thanks
  • you are more than welcome. if all thepain i went though helps another then it may have been worth it!!!!
  • hagen03hagen03 Posts: 4
    My 2000 DHS now has 116,000 on it. It has always used a quart of oil to 800 to 1000 miles. Now it uses a quart to 500. Being a retired mechanic, I know the process dealers try to put you through, so I have never taken this car to a dealer. I bought this car used with 47000 miles on it, from a local Chevrolet dealer who is no longer in business. I've been looking for a different car but it is hard to beat the ride of a Caddie. Ed Hagen
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Have you heard about the 'drive it like you stole it' possible 'fix' for this problem?

    Northstar's rings get carboned up from being driven 'easy', stick, and use oil. If you take the car out and run it to red-line thru the first 3 gears, this will many times break the carbon loose and significantly reduce the oil usage. Two or three 'runs' will be needed.

    You don't have to do a drag-race start. Just do a rolling start in first gear and hold the accelerator to the floor thru 2 or 3 upshifts. Of course, this means you will be going about 80+mph, so any ticket you get 'Don't call me'!
    If is also recommended you let the car 'coast down' with no accelerator. This also is supposed to let the rings 'flutter' and break carbon loose.

    If the car has been 'babied' all it's life, there is supposed to be a huge cloud of black smoke produced out the exhaust during these runs.

    If this helps, you should run the car hard about once a month like this to keep the rings free of carbon.

    Report back on your success?
  • fun4ufun4u Posts: 4
    It works, Ed!

    After two previous "carbon" jobs on my 2001 DHS while under warranty, I got the inside scoop from the local Cadillac service mgr:

    Run it up to redline about once a month to keep those rings running smoothly and to reduce oil consumption. I now add a quart only after about 3,000 miles - certainly an acceptable rate of consumption for this engine.

    Actually, I was once told by a trusted Mercedes mechanic that a good engine needs to consume some oil to keep everything lubricated properly.

    Bob Walton
  • xeperxxeperx Posts: 7
    I've just gotten a '97 DeVille and it didn't come with a manual, just the maint'-sheet from the previous owner.

    I'm tracking auctions on eBay right now but they don't end for a while and with shipping it could take a few weeks.

    I'm wondering where I can find a list of information on my car such as which oil weight to use, how many quarts it takes [on change] as well as the recommended filters and fluids, tire pressure, etc.

    Any info is appreciated.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I think if you 'register' you can download an owner's manual here...

    If not, google is your friend. There are other places available.

    Oil will probably be 10W-30. It will take 7 1/2 quarts with filter change for a Northstar, which is what you have. Do not overfill, put 7 1/2 quarts in it. Stop, even if the dipstick shows about 1/2 quart low!

    Every place you can buy a filter has a book which shows what filter you need.
  • xeperxxeperx Posts: 7
    Thanks a ton.

    Does the quality of an oil filter vary much from brand to brand? I usually buy FRAM but that's mostly out of price/name recognition.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    FRAM is the last filter I would buy.

    AC/Delco (GM), Purolator, Wix.
  • dawn417dawn417 Posts: 2
    I have a '98 Deville and it is using up alot of oil. I added a quart about 2 days ago and it was full and I drove about 200 miles. Now it is low again. Also the check engine light is on. I can't find anything wrong with the car. It is not leaking oil and nothing is coming out of the exhaust. It drives good and is quiet. I haven't had any other problems with the car other than this. Any advice? :confuse:
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    There's only 24 message in this entire topic.
    Go back and read all of them. Especially my message number 18.
  • dawn417dawn417 Posts: 2
    I have read all messages on this topic, but none of them say their service engine light is on.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Well, my reply pertained only to the oil usage.

    There are other online sources that will tell you how to put the dash display into a mode where it will display the check engine code/codes. These sites also will give a short description of what these codes mean. Google is your friend to find these sites.

    But unless you have some mechanical capibilites, you still will not be 'fixing' what is causing the check engine light to be set.

    Some of the aftermarket parts sales houses, such as Autozone, will also 'read' the check engine codes with a diagnoistic tool and give you the general description - for free.

    And yes, I do understand you are probably trying to get some indication of what is wrong with your car without taking it to the dealer or a garage. But even if you have the code/codes and descriptions, this in many cases will not give you an indication of what the repair might cost.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    1)First, turn your CAPS LOCK off. It's hard to read, and indicates 'shouting' in written messages.

    2)Read this entire thread, starting at No. 1.

    3)Minor point - the oil capacity is 7 1/2 quarts, not 8. If you put 8 in there, it will just quickly pull 1/2 quart out thru PCV circuit. (This isn't the cause of your oil usage, just some added info.)
  • It's not possible to be sure of the cause of your problem from the other end of the Internet, but I'd suggest that you first eliminate the most common cause - carbon build-up on valves and cylinder walls. Please review this entire post to get the details, then put on your Barny Olfield hat and duster and take 'er out for a really hard drive.

    Many of us Northstar engine drivers have found that this cures the problem. Periodic & regular high-rev treatments should keep the problem from recurring. I like to use Interstate entrance ramps as a good place to do my 0-75 acceleration exercises. If it's an uphill grade, that's even better!

    You really can't hurt that Northstar engine with this exercise. The only risk is the attention that it might draw from the highway patrol.

    If this treatment doesn't help, a trip to your friendly Caddie dealership might be necessary.

    Good Luck & Have Fun!!!
  • hook35hook35 Posts: 5
    I bought a 2002 Deville w/18,500 mile on it. Oil consumption was terrible. 2 quart in ~200 mile. Was told that the 2002 cadillacs had bad rings and pistons. Cadillac did nothing about a recall. Mine was still under warrantee, Cadillac put 2003 rings and pistons in it and it does not use more than a pint in 3000 mile now @63,000 mile. Original owner had problem from new purchase, I found out.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Well, I owned a 2002 Seville that used about 1 quart of Mobil 1 synthetic every 2000 miles. Your Deville probably had defective parts.
  • i just bought 1994 cadillac deville concours and i would like to know how much oil to put in and what type of oil i need. it has the 32 valve northstar in it. and any other advice.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    7 1/2 quarts, with a new filter.

    Don't put all 8 quarts in, it will just blow the excess out.

    After putting in the 7 1/2 quarts and warming up the car, shut it off and check the oil level. Remember this level, it is the 'Full' level. Many Northstars will show being a little low on oil, even with the 7 1/2 quarts in it. Don't add more. I don't know why the oil dipsticks are not very accurate, but two of the ones I've owned did not come up to the 'Full' mark with 7 1/2 quarts....

    If you don't have an owners manual, check eBay, they are sold all the time for many autos. If none there, go to This place 'publishes' original manuals for many auto manufactors. I'm not sure they still have 1994 ones, but you can check.
  • cliffscliffs Posts: 5
    My parents have owned 5 Caddies in a row, all with NorthStar engines and they all eat about 1 qt every 1,000 miles. Good luck going after GM about it. The use the "normal" defense. Nothing I tried made much of difference. My advise is to use the cheapest oil you can get your hands on . . . if it's going to go anyway, use the cheap stuff.

  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    How did your parents drive their cars?

    Just puttered around town, and not over the speed limit on the interstate, right?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    My 2002 Seville used about 1 qt every 2000 miles after I started using Mobil 1 in it. I did not keep track before that and I changed over at about 30,000 miles. I did regularly wind the engine up to about 5000 RPMs. My 2007 SRX with a RWD northstar has gone 11,000 miles and is still full of oil. It was designed for synthetic though.
  • dubvilledubville Posts: 1
    I have a 97 deville with the northstar. I noticed when i changed my plugs there was a good coat of oil on the threads. What could that problem be? I loose oil on occasion, sometimes much sometimes little. would it be cheaper to maybe get this fixed or buy a new engine and have it installed? I guess i need to narrow down possible problems with this...
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