oil consumption
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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, oil consumption in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Wondering, burnt roughly 1.5 qts of oil in 3k.Is that normal? Also every now and then (1-3 days) a puff ...
  1. #1
    mrdwkds is offline Awaiting Email Confirmation
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    oil consumption

    Wondering, burnt roughly 1.5 qts of oil in 3k.Is that normal?
    Also every now and then (1-3 days) a puff of blue smoke shows upon start up.I realize that's where I'm losing the 1.5 qts. it 's probably going up in smoke
    Dealer told me that's normal. I ain't buying that,sounds to me like valve seals?
    Only has 32000, and it's a 2001.
    Hey one more thing anybody know how to change the fuel filter on these cars?

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  3. #2
    vogel81 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: oil consumption

    1.5 qts. is definetley not normal on a Catera or any other car. I run synthetic in my car and only change the oil at 10k intervals. The only time I have to add oul on my car is when I change the filter, other than that my car does not burn a drop of oil. The dealership is feeding you a line of crap.

  4. #3
    2001sport is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: oil consumption

    Well, finally I've found someone with a similar problem! (even if this post is almost 2 yrs old...)

    Here's the deal: I'm the original owner of a 2001 Catera Sport. The manual clearly states that under normal driving conditions, the change interval should be 10k, after the first change at 5k. Despite this, I typically change the oil at the dealership whenever we get coupons in the mail, generally around the 5k mark.

    The main reason for the more frequent changes is that the car simply burns through oil! My wife drives the car daily, and we have found no signs of leaks in the garage or her parking spot at work. I don't recall exactly when this problem began, but we cannot even go 3,600 miles without the oil light coming on and having to add oil. I usually add 1/4 of a quart, and this takes care of it for a few weeks, before the light comes back on and I have to add more - until I get sick of it and take the car in for an oil change. Then we're good to go for another 2,500 - 3,000 miles or so.

    I've had about 4 or 5 dealers now who have told me told me this is normal for ALL GM cars! Most of them have at some point slipped Northstar into the conversation, when I politely remind them that the Catera has never had that engine. Nevertheless, I maintain that this is ridiculous for any car, and my brother-in-law (and GM engineer, by the way) agrees. So, I was going to do an oil consumption test with our original dealer. HOWEVER, the service manager printed out GM documentation guidelines (and instructions for the test) that actually stated that having to add some oil after 2,000 miles or so is normal and acceptable. (I forget the exact wording - I'll have to look it up at home later on and post back.) It always takes longer for our light to come on, so I never bothered going through with the test.

    Is there anyone out there that can give me some ammo next time I talk to the dealer? I'd like to get this taken care of, if there is a problem, before our warranty is up (we're sitting around 46k miles now). Or if someone can confirm that this is truly normal, it would at least put my mind at ease.

    Sorry for the long first post, but this has been driving me absolutely nuts!

  5. #4
    R-Caddy's Avatar
    R-Caddy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: oil consumption

    my '97 burns about a quart or less every 1500-2000 miles. but now I put synthetic for the second time an we'll see.

  6. #5
    inconnu is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: oil consumption

    In last one year i never had to add any oil in my 97 with about 126K Miles .knock on the wood.

  7. #6
    97cateraowner is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: oil consumption

    GM thinks 1 quart consumed per 100 gallons of fuel acceptable.

    Our 97 with 259K miles will use a 1/4 of a quart between oil changes. I change at 5 to 6k intervals and use Castrol Dino oil.

  8. #7
    2001sport is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: oil consumption

    FYI, according to GM's "Information on Engine Oil Consumption Guidelines #01-06-01-011B" dated August 8, 2005:

    The accepted rate of oil consumption for engines used in the vehicles referenced (all 1998-2006 Passenger Cars and Gasoline Powered Light Duty Trucks Under 8500 LB GVW, including Saturn) is 1 qt in 2,000 mi (or 0.946 liter in 3,200 km).
    Of course, this only applies to vehicles still under warranty, so 50k mi for Caddys.

    I suppose there's no use in trying to contest their stated policy, but is this rate of consumption common in any other cars? It certainly wasn't in any I've ever owned before...

    Maybe it's time to try a synthetic. Is the V6 in the '01 Catera considered "high performance"?

  9. #8
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    Chaztera is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: oil consumption

    I have a 2001 & only on super cold mornings do I see a puff or 2 of blue smoke.
    Running Kendall full synthetic not the blend, Chx Oil & filter every 5k miles, I don't
    seem to loose any large qnty. although I can hear the engine is much quieter
    for the first 3-4500 miles after new oil so when I hear the engine chx I chx the oil
    & I also get better milage w/ syn-oil 24-26mpg city 26-28mpg Hwy. If I keep my foot
    light on the pedal.... (86.000 miles & counting...)

  10. #9
    Zorb750 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: oil consumption

    Quote Originally Posted by vogel81
    1.5 qts. is definetley not normal on a Catera or any other car. I run synthetic in my car and only change the oil at 10k intervals. The only time I have to add oul on my car is when I change the filter, other than that my car does not burn a drop of oil. The dealership is feeding you a line of crap.
    Two questions...

    1: What is your oil being replaced with? Every car consumes oil. It's replaced with combustion byproducts (soot, blow-by), condensation from temperature changes. You would hope not unburned fuel. Maybe he does a lot of highway driving and it cooks the condensation out of his oil?

    2: Check out the 4.6 Northstar lately? GM spec suggests it's not operating correctly if it doesn't consume at least one quart of oil in 5000 miles. Look at the aggressive crosshatch on the cylinder walls. It's the reason for the oil burning, and also the reason for the lack of blow by. Thicker oil cushion, better seal, less oil contamination, better high RPM durability. Gotta wonder why the Catera's Opel 3.0 V6 has so many more bottom end failures than the Northstar V8, they run at similar RPMs (Redline 6000-6500)

  11. #10
    Zorb750 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: oil consumption

    Quote Originally Posted by mrdwkds
    Wondering, burnt roughly 1.5 qts of oil in 3k.Is that normal?
    Also every now and then (1-3 days) a puff of blue smoke shows upon start up.I realize that's where I'm losing the 1.5 qts. it 's probably going up in smoke
    Dealer told me that's normal. I ain't buying that,sounds to me like valve seals?
    Only has 32000, and it's a 2001.
    Hey one more thing anybody know how to change the fuel filter on these cars?
    Try getting on it hard on a freeway onramp (empty only please!) and keeping it matted to about 85 MPH. Look behind the car. If there's smoke or black crap, do it a couple more times. If it goes away, and so does your startup smoke, it was carbon. If it does not, it's probably valve guides. 1.5 does sound a little steep for a 3 liter V6, but that's just a guess as I don't know how far that 1.5 quarts is lost in. You could also have valve guides plus one or more stuck rings, which WOT as described before will help.

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