Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, really bad oil leak (really long question) in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; where to start? well i have a 97 catera and we know the oil cooler is leaking (bluesmoke, oil in ...
where to start? well i have a 97 catera and we know the oil cooler is leaking (bluesmoke, oil in tank, and creamy junk on oil cap). But didn't find that out until after replacing both valve cover gaskets and covers themselfs, also had oil pressor sensor replaced. Before the valve covers were done we had a bad oil leak on drivers side under valve cover and ran onto exhaust and caused smoke. since the valve cover job its like the oil leak switched sides, diver side is fixed but know its on pass side. taken it to 2 differnt machanics and they say its not leaking from valve cover. is it from the oil cooler? the bottom of the car is covered in oil/dex-cool. when its in the yard idleing if you look underneith the car at bottom of transmision mount mostly orange with alittle oil of dexcool runs down that and if you look under long enough an oil dip will fall in 3 differnt locations ( pass side, drivers side, and dead middle of back of the motor. Seen HCV leak once so that could be bad as well or can it be a leaking rear seal because trans. shifting is a little rough too. Person we bought the car from sure didn't take care of it and knew how to hide the problems well. Would have help if i had enternet earlier to read about the car in these fourms. Sorry for long message, just a lot of problems with this car and dont know how to solve them.
Automobile(s): Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
Re: really bad oil leak (really long question)
The gasket leaks and contaminated oil are separate problems. The cam cover gaskets will leak and drip oil on the exhaust heatshields and create smoke. Cleaning the crankcase breather relieves the excess crankcase pressure that blows oil past the gaskets so you must clean it out. Order the gaskets and have a trusted local garage do the work or DIY.
The cooler leak give-away is a creamy emulsion under the oil fill cap, floating in the coolant tank, or on the dipstick. The "mayo" under the cap or on the stick could be a false alarm caused by water condensation in the crankcase. Check again after the engine is fully heated. If it's water it will have boiled off by then.
If the "mayo" isn't gone you have a leaking oil cooler. Ignore it and it'll burn the engine bearings, score the cams, and basically ruin any and all metal to metal contact surfaces. Plus the radiator and heater core will clog with this gooey crap.
The cause of the leaks is probably worn out coolant. Over time its ph turns acidic and attacks the oil cooler. The only fix is to replace the cooler and flush the engine block, radiator, and heater core. The oil cooler was upgraded starting with the '99 model year. Regardless of your car's model year any replacement cooler ordered will be the upgraded oil cooler.
You'll find more details and replacement instructions at :