: Dealer Diagnosis - $3000 BS??



blunted
01-10-05, 01:17 PM
I went back to my cadillac dealer because after an oil change I noticed a big leak,which would lead to smoke since the oil was burning up. (This is a 94 Eldorado 4.6L Northstar) I thought perhaps they didn't put a filter in right.. well today when my car was in the air they showed me various wet spots of oil and said the problem was that there was seepage around the engine and also my rear main was leaking and burning it up leading to the smell and smoke. The "coincidental" reason I happened to notice it after the oil change they said was because they put in 5-30 which is thinner than the 10-30 usually in there and would leak more in this situation. He proceeded to say the engine would need to be removed and I was looking at $3000 in labor in parts :bonkers: . I called my trustworthy mechanic and was quoted $1500 for everything and that 95% of that money is for labor. My question is... what do I do? ? Use thicker oil in the meantime... get it fixed immediately or is it something that can be put off? I'm a student and rather not have to address it immediately unless its imperative, although this is car is like my baby and I would wanna prevent any damage at all costs. My main concern is a fire or something occuring IF that is possible. All help is IMMENSELY appreciated.

Spyder
01-10-05, 02:24 PM
the various wet spots of oil are probably all from the same spot, and were blown back by the fan. If it started immediately after the oil change, then chances are very very VERY good they screwed up the oil filter installation. Going from 10-30 to 5-30 oil would NOT cause that big of a difference in leakage, or at least it never has in any of my numerous past oil leaking vehicles. Did they even pull off the filter and make sure that they threaded it on correctly and that there was no piece of old gasket still stuck to the sealing surface??? If there was no problem immediately before the oil change, then I seriously doubt that there is any major problem now...

El Dobro
01-10-05, 02:31 PM
Check the oil filter base for leaks too. Some of them had a leaking problem where the bolt to the block.

blunted
01-10-05, 04:00 PM
I honestly cant say if they pulled the filter off but the guy was like "the leaking you see here (point) is coming from this (rear main) and this is not coming from the filter". I went on to tell him how this was all so conveniently coincidental and he brought over another caddy tech from there and the guy was like "yep thats coming from the rear main".. I must admit I did see a discoloration on the rear main as if the oil had leaked and burned off, which would account for the smoke I got when the car idled too long or got shut off.

dkozloski
01-10-05, 04:24 PM
No part of a North* motor gets hot enough to burn off oil except the exhaust system. Methinks you are a pigeon about to be plucked.

hungryhippo
01-10-05, 04:54 PM
try switching to "high mileage" oil and see if it gets any better

mcowden
01-10-05, 04:57 PM
Not sure about the pigeon reference, but it's likely the dealership guys are turkeys that should probably go get plucked... I really don't think the 5W-30 would make such a huge difference. Change it out with 10W-30, which is the recommended grade, and see what you get. Otherwise, take it to your trusted mechanic and see what he thinks instead of just trusting the turkeys. Just MHO.

M C
:cheers:

Ranger
01-10-05, 06:38 PM
I'd go back to 10w-30 and forget it unless it realy starts leaking bad. Most likely it has been there for some time and you never even noticed it. It's not under pressure so it is unlikely to ever be much more than a niusance leak.

dkozloski
01-10-05, 07:33 PM
A pigeon is a mark in a scam, a potential victim in a swindle. A sheep about to be fleeced.

STS 310
01-10-05, 09:54 PM
I'd go back to 10w-30 and forget it unless it realy starts leaking bad. Most likely it has been there for some time and you never even noticed it. It's not under pressure so it is unlikely to ever be much more than a niusance leak.

Forget it. (oil) Unless you hate spots in the driveway.

blunted
01-10-05, 11:54 PM
Ha... unfortunately a "pigeon" in the situation indeed. Sucks how I have to drive 1hr 20 minutes for a trust worthy cadillac mechanic instead of depending on the dealership 15 min away. :helpless: I forgot to add that when I got the oil change I noticed they overfilled it when I checked my dipstick later in the day, it was at the FULL/MAX area. Now that oil has been leaking I checked it today and its about a notch and a half down from the MAX reading even after the puddles (literally) of oil I got over the course of a few days. When I just went downstairs to see if it leaked after the car has been sitting downstairs for about 12 hours after that drive to the dealership, I noticed almost no oil residue even close to what was coming down before.. barely a couple drops. Which leads me to believe that perhaps there is a slight leak and the combination of the thinner oil and the overfilling just made it all that much more noticeable and now that the oil level is closer to where it should be in the first place things are settling down under there... car mechanics are definetly not my strong point so I could be completely wrong. The comments of perhaps it being something I could leave alone is VERY comforting but the occasional smoke from it does concern me but besides that I would love to pretend it all never happened.

BeelzeBob
01-11-05, 01:04 AM
5W30 oil can exacerbate an oil leak situtation. So can overfilling it.

Likely the "leaks" they are showing you were there all along and you never noticed. So they used the wrong oil, overfilled it and probably spilled oil over the exhaust which is what you smell burning.

Relax. There is not going to be any sort of fire or anything. Drive the car for several weeks and quite worrrying about it. See if the oil leakage doesn't just mysteriously go away with time. Just keep an eye on the oil level and see if it drops significantly. If the puddles are coming from the crankcase you should be noticing a significant drop in oil level.

I have a neighbor that had an oil leak after an oil change. After some investigation it turned out to be a pool of oil dripping out of the frame where the mechanic had spilled oil filling the engine. It just ran out slower than it ran it. After a day or so all the spilled oil had dripped off and ... voila...no more leak.

Most any engine that is that old with that many miles is going to have damp spots and such from oil seepage underneath. The leaks they showed you are not going to cause drips , especially puddles, on the ground. If the filter is leaking you should be able to see drips off the filter. Slide under there and look. If the puddles and drips persist, check the oil cooler lines and the oil filter adapter to the block. Much more common source of leaks that would leave a puddle. The "leaks" they showed you tend to be pretty benign. Certainly not something that you would rip the engine out for...especially on an older car.

blunted
01-11-05, 01:57 AM
Thanks Bbob perhaps I can now try not to loose too much sleep over it. I had trouble believeing that my car with 65K was having major "pull the engine out" oil issues already. I now understand that the most likely cause of the smoke smell is from it hitting the exhaust since thats the hotter area under there but would this account for the occasional smoke rising from under the hood? I did monitor the oil level and it did diminish but only to its benefit seeing as how they overfilled it.

BeelzeBob
01-11-05, 01:17 PM
Thanks Bbob perhaps I can now try not to loose too much sleep over it. I had trouble believeing that my car with 65K was having major "pull the engine out" oil issues already. I now understand that the most likely cause of the smoke smell is from it hitting the exhaust since thats the hotter area under there but would this account for the occasional smoke rising from under the hood? I did monitor the oil level and it did diminish but only to its benefit seeing as how they overfilled it.


Sure, if some oil dripped on the exhaust cross-under pipe (from the front bank to the rear bank) then it would smoke and smell and some mild smoke would be seen underhood.

Just keep an eye on it. It might be worth double checking the oil cooler lines and oil filter and oil filter adapter sealing to make sure that there is not something like a cracked or failing oil cooler hose or something. Despite low miles the car has many years on it and father time can be as depreciating as miles to rubber hoses and seals and such.

Ranger
01-11-05, 09:01 PM
You know , the more I think about this, the more things are coming back to me. The one thing I always hated about the 4.9 is the location of the oil filter. It is on top of the engine and set at an angle to boot. It is virtually impossible to remove that filter without spilling oil. Even when I would stuff rags under it to catch it, I still had oil dripping down the bell housing and running over the trans. I always had a puddle on the garage floor no matter how hard I tried. I forgot how much I hated that damn thing for that reason only.

BeelzeBob
01-11-05, 10:00 PM
You know , the more I think about this, the more things are coming back to me. The one thing I always hated about the 4.9 is the location of the oil filter. It is on top of the engine and set at an angle to boot. It is virtually impossible to remove that filter without spilling oil. Even when I would stuff rags under it to catch it, I still had oil dripping down the bell housing and running over the trans. I always had a puddle on the garage floor no matter how hard I tried. I forgot how much I hated that damn thing for that reason only.


The trick is to find a smaller plastic bottle that fits over the oil filter....like a smaller, 1 quart mild jug. Cut the top off so that you can slip the jug underneath and up over the oil filter as you unscrew it. The mild jugs are usually flexible enough to force under the oil filter on a 4.x engine after it is loosened slightly and then it catches all the oil when the filter is spun off by hand....

blunted
01-14-05, 11:31 PM
An update to my crappy situation... So today I go to another cadillac dealership since I didnt trust the other one and low and behold what happens but the finding of ANOTHER problem but this time its only a $590 :crying: I went there to get my oil changed to 10-40 to see if it helped the leak situation and when they took out the filter they said some oil level ball and a spring came out, and they felt that the other dealership saw this happen when they changed my oil last and just threw it back in there and left it. So they say I need an oil filter adapter and 4 hours labor and that there was the possibility of my engine getting starved for oil and being damaged if it wasnt taken care of. Oh yea and he also mentioned I do have an oil leak.. the HALF CASE. So hopefully my friends mechanic will do the adapter for about $250 probably.. but does anyone think I can get anywhere if i take this up with the other dealership because to me it seems negligent on there part to let me drive out like that and even when I return to have them double check the job, they once again tell me its fine without mentioning the problem.

growe3
01-15-05, 12:46 AM
Replacing the oil filter adapter would take about 1/2 hr to 1 hour. Sounds like a lot of extra labor is being charged in your case.

As for the half case leak, this is normally only very minor seepage, and not something to worry about.

-George

ellives
01-15-05, 10:00 AM
An update to my crappy situation... So today I go to another cadillac dealership since I didnt trust the other one and low and behold what happens but the finding of ANOTHER problem but this time its only a $590 :crying: I went there to get my oil changed to 10-40 to see if it helped the leak situation and when they took out the filter they said some oil level ball and a spring came out, and they felt that the other dealership saw this happen when they changed my oil last and just threw it back in there and left it. So they say I need an oil filter adapter and 4 hours labor and that there was the possibility of my engine getting starved for oil and being damaged if it wasnt taken care of. Oh yea and he also mentioned I do have an oil leak.. the HALF CASE. So hopefully my friends mechanic will do the adapter for about $250 probably.. but does anyone think I can get anywhere if i take this up with the other dealership because to me it seems negligent on there part to let me drive out like that and even when I return to have them double check the job, they once again tell me its fine without mentioning the problem.

It really DOES sound like the original dealer has a bunch of hacks there. This is the kind of thing I hate seeing in mechanics.... lack of attention to detail... and between using the wrong grade oil and overfilling... they clearly have no attention to detail... find somebody you trust and stick with them.

Ells

blunted
01-15-05, 01:01 PM
Was the dealer correct when they said that I really should barely drive the car with the adapter like that? Am I risking something by driving it to a mechanic about 20 minutes away? I drove it home from the mechanic which was a good 15 minute drive but I didnt feel too great about it, didnt really wanna get it towed because I just got new struts in the back and with my rims I figured it would end up getting run threw a few pot holes which would end up adding another problem to the list. Monday I intend to call the original dealer and have some words with them :want:although I doubt it will get me anywhere.

BeelzeBob
01-16-05, 02:37 AM
From what you describe the oil filter bypass valve somehow was dislodged from the oil filter adapter. That would cause unfiltered oil to go to the engine. It is the same as running without an oil filter so it is good to limit the driving as much as possible. It won't ruin it immediately but it is something that you want to fix soon.

Changing the oil filter adapter is fairly simple and easy and shouldn't take any 4 hours!!! I belive one hour to change the oil filter adapter is charitable.

blunted
01-16-05, 06:35 PM
Could this malfunctioning adapter cause this sizeable oil leak I've been getting? Because even though the car has been diagnosed with the half case problem, from what I read that should only account for a couple drops here and there. Also, when purchasing the part, am I looking for "oil filter adapter" cause it doesnt seem to come up like that at newgmparts.

Realtor1
01-19-05, 01:51 PM
On the Half case issue, my 93 has it and from what I have read and been told, unfortunatly it is VERY common with N*...It will continue to burn off the manifold and stick, thats about the only annoyance, I didnt leave any puddles with mine as long as I was driving it daily.

Now that it is parked (for sale) it leaves a few drops but nothing to worry about...

Good luck to ya

Realtor1
01-19-05, 01:52 PM
oh yeah, I had my cadillac serivce quote me on it and it was about 1,200...they have to pull the motor...I will wait

cadillactech
01-22-05, 09:05 AM
You are most likely correct. You should know, the guy at the dealership that changes your oil, in alot of cases is a minimum wage, food service drop out. He will not be held accountable for your problems...

blunted
01-23-05, 10:57 PM
My fustration with cadillac dealerships continues... I went to get an oil filter adapter from parts and went to get it installed. When the mechanic goes to remove the old one he looks at the one I got and says "this is the wrong part, it has these 2 holes for cooling lines and you dont have them in yours" and the whole time I'm standing there watching and you could clearly see the one in our hands wasnt the same one already in there. So I go return it and the guys there are telling me I'm nuts because this is the part that the computer says goes in my car and then finally another person that works there says "actually if you dont have cooling lines you had to put plugs in the 2 extra holes and your good" so I had to run around to find 2 plugs, that they DIDNT provide which is insane being that I just paid almost $80 for this part. I go to get it installed and guess what.. the hose that connects into the side of the adapter wont fit cause the hole is too big. Now I have to go back there and probably deal with god knows what to get my money back... not to mention the standard 15-20% restocking fee they have. :nono:

cl1986
01-23-05, 11:08 PM
You know , the more I think about this, the more things are coming back to me. The one thing I always hated about the 4.9 is the location of the oil filter. It is on top of the engine and set at an angle to boot. It is virtually impossible to remove that filter without spilling oil. Even when I would stuff rags under it to catch it, I still had oil dripping down the bell housing and running over the trans. I always had a puddle on the garage floor no matter how hard I tried. I forgot how much I hated that damn thing for that reason only.

Eveywhere i took my 4100 to get oil changed they spilled it all over the tranny, its over the tranny not the motor, so i have done it myself from then on. I just put one shop rage under the filter and maybe a drop or two spills during removal and install, i usually do oil changes when warm. I cant see how the shops spilled so much oil, i never had any problem. I do agree, what a dumb spot.