: Questions about low-mile oft-stored '02 Eldorado

02-18-08, 12:31 AM
I'm new to the Cadillac Northstar and have a few questions, I will continue mining through the forums, but I was wondering if anyone might have some quick answers. For background, I'm a car nut, and most of my recent experience is with the LS1. I recently inherited an '02 Eldorado which I'll be keeping. The car has 15,000 miles and hasn't had more than 2,000 miles in the last 3 years.

First, I've noticed that the car is a little hard to start. I think the tank was last filled about 3 years ago, and I put some stabil in it a little while ago, but it's old gas. I've been keeping it in storage mode recently, and I'm not able to drive it on the street yet. Any thoughts on the hard start? When I say hard start, it doesn't start on the first try, but usually on the second. Not a huge deal, but my last somewhat-recent Cadillac was a '90 DeVille 4.9 with 150K, and that started on the first try every time. I'm guessing it's probably the gas, but I wanted to get your take.

Next, I was just wondering what you might recommend for maintenance. I'm planning to change the oil first chance I get, but what else? Coolant probably, I know this is Dexcool and I'll never make THAT mistake again, but what about transmission? Is there a separate differential? (I think there is on my '76, but not sure on the '02)

Any other thoughts would be appreciated. Like I said, I will keep looking on my own, but I thought I'd solicit recommendations in light of the experience available here. Here are a few pics of the car. Thanks in advance for your help.

02-18-08, 12:39 PM
If the car is DEXCOOL, leave it DEXCOOL. Do the FSM recommended coolant change with tablets, 50/50 coolant/water mix. As long as you have forever to do the coolant change, use distilled or deionized water (grocery store, .69/gal.).

If the car is stored, put it up on 4 jackstands. Saves flat spots on the tires and unloads the suspension, and you can still run it in P even with the drive wheels hanging.

If the oil hasn't been changed in 8 months, warm it up and change the oil and filter, using the oil recommendation in your owner's manual (5W-30). 7.5 quarts with a filter should bring it to halfway up the hashmark, hot. Don't add any more to "top it up": the N* will just burn off the extra half quart pretty quickly. After that oil change and warmup, leave it alone. Short no-load runs on an engine are death on oil and bearings. If you feel the need, go to a West Marine or Boater's World and pick up an 8 oz. bottle of crankcase oil stabilizer, figuring it in during your ^^ oil change. The stuff works: we use it in boat engines all the time.

Remove as much fuel from the tank as possible, treat 6 new gallons of 93 with stabilizer (West Marine, cheap), pour it in and then run the engine to warmup for the oil change ^^^. After everything's cleaned up, treat the other 12 gallons (18.5 gal. tank?) and fill it up. A full tank prevents a lot of condensation from free surface area over the gas in the tank. (DO NOT run the engine with the tank empty :goodbye fuel pump. The excess fuel recirculates back to the tank, so any old fuel in the lines will quickly mix with the new treated stuff......use 93 octane for this, 87 as recommended for driving)

Don't worry about the transmission now, but once the car is back on the road have a dealer change the fluid to the new DEXRON VI synthetic after a long trip. I did my '02 in Sept. and there is a slight, positive, noticeable change in the shift times and firmness.

02-18-08, 05:02 PM
Welcome neighbor.

There is no differential like the '76. The trans fluid is good for a long long time yet, unless you want to switch to Dexron VI like Sub said.

I'd burn that fuel out and see how it starts with fresh stuff and go from there.

02-20-08, 12:53 AM
Cool, thank you. Yeah, I don't know why there was a separate diff in the '76, I guess because that's a bent TH400... I will definitely leave it Dexcool, I just meant I'll never make the mistake of thinking you can leave Dexcool alone forever...just spent $1,500 on a complete cooling system on my '01 Blazer as a result of neglected Dexcool... I'll do that flush and the Dexron VI in the spring and take it from there. I'm really looking forward to driving this car. :)