Need real advice (engine problem)
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, Need real advice (engine problem) in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; ...
  1. #1
    Aisberg is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): CTS 2003
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    Russia Siberia (Irkutsk)
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    Need real advice (engine problem)

    Hello friends! I need advice man who knows the engine 3.2. (LA3). I have CTS 2003 AT. Let me describe the situation three days ago when I started the car after the trip, I felt that the engine is something wrong. The RPm is varied 600-1500 and giving the impression that some cylinders are not working. I turned off the engine. When I started it again after a few minutes, the problem disappeared. On the same day in the evening, while I was driving through the city, the monitor will display "engine power reduced" and the car did not go faster than 6-12 miles per hour. I switched off the engine and started it again. The problem disappeared and I was well traveled, until put the car in the garage. The next day when I went to work the situation repeated itself. The message "engine power reduced " came over and stop the engine could not help. somehow I got to the service station to check the electronics, the verdict - MAF sensor error. I immediately changed it for a new one. But that's not all ... Before leaving the service, I checked the level of all fluids (oil, antifreeze (coolant), etc.). Everything was normal. The distance from the service to my work is about 1 km (0.6 miles). Driving to work, I saw a new message appeared on the screen – «a low coolant level». All the coolant was gone! I filled the expansion tank with new coolant to track the leak, but it was not leaking. Near the base of the expansion tank filler cap has a hole (do not know what it's called, I called it a drainage) (picture number 1) and flows antifreeze, because in the air enters the expansion tank! (Picture number 1). Color is poured antifreeze was brown (I think with the products of combustion from the combustion chamber). My first thought was that the burnt engine gasket (picture number 2). I turned the spark plugs (they were all black and oily) and measured the compression, it looks like this (cyl. 1 - 12,1; cyl. 2 - 12.5; Cyl. 3 - 12, 4 cyl. - 12,6; cyl. 5 , 6 - 12.3 each) and I do not know why. Because if burns gasket, the compression in one of the cylinders will fall! I'm afraid that's the cylinder head… Guys, I need real advice knowledgeable man who knows this engine. What could it be? (Sorry for my English)
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  3. #2
    Calgary03's Avatar
    Calgary03 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 03 Cts Sport Luxury
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    Ok, from the top... Did the MAF solve the reduced power? For the other 2, it sounds like you've had 2 of the most common 3.2 failures around. The brown coolant is probably the fact that the internal oil cooler kicked the bucket. The oil is water cooled and sometimes there is a breach in between the 2 causing mixing. For the oily spark plugs, you probably have leaky valve cover gaskets. Do you live in a cold climate? The factory PCV system has an update due to the lines freezing inside and when the crankcase creates pressure and can not relieve itself via the PCV, it blows the valve cover gaskets. Both are quite involved jobs but could probably be done in a weekend if not just 1 day. I bought my oil cooler from a dealer... Big mistake. Cost me around $500 CAD, after I got home I found them online for about $250.

  4. #3
    Aisberg is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Need real advice (engine problem)

    I've never had to deal with the repair of the LA3 engine, where is the oil cooler? if this engine has an oil cooler, maybe you're right. About PVC, then I think it's a problem occurs in sub-zero temperatures (Celsius), and we have two months around +15 C (59-73,4 F) and the heads of the engine block on the outside are dry.

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    Do you have the oil cooler part number?

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    But if it was a oil radiator, the cooling fluid would flow into the oil, but it is quite clear ...

  5. #4
    arogers260's Avatar
    arogers260 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2003 CTS Luxury/Sport package
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisberg
    I've never had to deal with the repair of the LA3 engine, where is the oil cooler? if this engine has an oil cooler, maybe you're right. About PVC, then I think it's a problem occurs in sub-zero temperatures (Celsius), and we have two months around +15 C (59-73,4 F) and the heads of the engine block on the outside are dry.

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    Do you have the oil cooler part number?

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    But if it was a oil radiator, the cooling fluid would flow into the oil, but it is quite clear ...
    The oil cooler is underneath the intake manifold behind the thermostat. i just changed mine kast weekend because i had coolant leaking from failed silicone sealant on the cover. And I bought mine off amazon brand new ac delco for 179. + shipping. Then all seals and gaskets from Rippy on here. I spent around 225.00 in seals and gaskets with thermostat.

  6. #5
    Aisberg is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): CTS 2003
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Need real advice (engine problem)

    Guys, I want to bring this topic up again. This weekend I pulled out both of the engine heads, and the oil cooler. (I made a lot of pictures if anyone wants to take a look) I had it checked - placed in a container with water and gave the pressure into it by the compressor. As a result – it’s works fine, and there is no air leakage. Also looks good the both gaskets. The engine heads and the engine also intact.
    1) Does anyone have any ideas about what it could be?
    2) Does anyone have any detailed pictures (maybe drawings) that would demonstrate how the cooling system and oil system works at the LA3 engine? Maybe I missed something.

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