View Full Version : Oil Cooler Replacement Questions/Summary

12-12-05, 09:24 AM
Although I'm not yet convinced the oil cooler on my 2001 Catera is leaking, I want to be prepared to replace it before I have big issues. I've read pretty much all of the threads on the subject, but want to verify a few things...

1. Can someone list ALL of the parts I need to secure before installation? I will have my mechanic do the work, but I plan on providing all the parts. I know there are some washers, gaskets, etc. that need to be provided.
2. While he's got the top of the engine pulled apart, what other work makes sense to get done? I'm thinking thermostat and valve cover gaskets. Also, I have a new HCV that needs to be installed. Is it easier to install when he's doing the cooler replacement? Anything else down there that makes sense to replace? Is it easier to replace the timing belt at this time (my car has ~70K)?
3. What is the GM dealer allowance/estimate for the # of hours it takes to replace the oil cooler? My mechanic hasn't quoted me on the job yet, and I want to be educated on how much I should be paying for labor.

Thanks for your help.

12-12-05, 11:44 AM
If I leave something out some one please feel free to help out!!

1.Oil cooler, Metal seals for cooler I believe 4, RTV to seal the oil cooler cover. Now this gets a little tricky. There is a coolant bridge that needs to be removed. It too has 4 metal seals on it that has to be replaced. The caddy part # has been discontinued. They will only sale you the whole coolant bridge, which you don't need. I went to a Saturn dealer to get the seals tell them you have like an 2002 "L300". You will also need a case of you favorite motor oil and two oil filters. Change the oil after cooler has been replaced and again after driving the car for a little bit.

2. While my car was pulled apart "98 catera 85k miles" I replaced the coolant temp sensor that is located in the coolant bridge, gauge sending unit also in the bridge, thermostat "must buy from dealer", also may require longer screws "GM redesigned the housing", if you replace the t-stat there are two rubber seals on the pipe that connects to the t-stat must be replaced, spark plugs "which I was only able to find at the dealer" I replaced these since the top of the motor is already pulled apart, fan temp switches 2 in radiator left side" since coolant was drained and upper radiator hose is pulled". I think that is it :bouncy: .

3. The dealer quoted me around $1400 bucks. I believe that was just for the cooler and t-stat replacement. Plus I think I did a much better job.

4. P.S. Don't forget to do the 2nd oil change after about 50-100 miles to make sure there is no coolant in the oil.

I hope this helps out.

12-15-05, 06:04 PM
The timing belt is not on this part of the engine so it's not a convenient replacement when the engine is apart. It sucks but that's life...