2003 STS, oil pan leak
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, 2003 STS, oil pan leak in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Good afternoon fellas, my 03 STS with 68k gave me a heart ache Saturday night after a 20min drive i ...
  1. #1
    ahmaduhhs's Avatar
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    2003 STS, oil pan leak

    Good afternoon fellas, my 03 STS with 68k gave me a heart ache Saturday night after a 20min drive i had turned it off, went in to the store for 10mins came back restarted the car and it was beeping and saying low oil pressure, turn off engine, so i did. Checked the dip stick and it had 1/4 oil <xx000-----| less then when i did my oil change and had filled it with 7 quarts of Pennzoil High Mileage 5W-30 Conventional Vehicle Motor Oil. Sunday morning i put her up on my ramps and found this, please see attached photo. Seems like the oil pan is leaking, is that common, what are your thoughts?
    Attached Images

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    vincentm's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Cadillac STS, oil pan leak

    Cradle drop is needed = $$$$

  4. #3
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    No evidence of solid oil droplets in that picture. That's not your oil level problem. How often do you check the oil level by using the dipstick ?? (Every week ??)........... and oil there could also be a front crankshaft oil seal weep.

  5. #4
    ahmaduhhs's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    I check it every 3 weeks or so, I did the oil change not to long ago. I only drive the car 2 days of the week sat-sun. It's garage kept all the time. What should i look for/take pictures of?

    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    No evidence of solid oil droplets in that picture. That's not your oil level problem. How often do you check the oil level by using the dipstick ?? (Every week ??)........... and oil there could also be a front crankshaft oil seal weep.

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    This is fishing, but you initially did an oil/filter change 1/2 quart low to begin with - even so, three weeks is a bit early for the oil level warning to light........... but "low oil pressure" is pressure sender-related and should not normally happen unless you're WAY below the possible 5 quarts allowed by a level message - and a trip to the store would not heat the oil sufficiently to allow a super-hot oil low pressure occurrence.

    68,000 miles IS NOT "high mileage": Far from it. My guess is that you have the Northstar oil pressure sending switch bugaboo - erroneous low pressure messages. Remove the filter and the filter adapter and change the pressure sender. Pictures and diagrams in my albums.

  7. #6
    ahmaduhhs's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    Will do Sub, thank for the quick replies as always.
    If i remove the filter must i first drain the oil out of the engine? (I don't mind if i do, i will just do another oil change)
    Any idea what the part number is for that sending piece?
    If there is a leak on the oil pan gasket is that a big deal to replace/fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    This is fishing, but you initially did an oil/filter change 1/2 quart low to begin with - even so, three weeks is a bit early for the oil level warning to light........... but "low oil pressure" is pressure sender-related and should not normally happen unless you're WAY below the possible 5 quarts allowed by a level message - and a trip to the store would not heat the oil sufficiently to allow a super-hot oil low pressure occurrence.

    68,000 miles IS NOT "high mileage": Far from it. My guess is that you have the Northstar oil pressure sending switch bugaboo - erroneous low pressure messages. Remove the filter and the filter adapter and change the pressure sender. Pictures and diagrams in my albums.

  8. #7
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    No need to drain the oil to change the pressure switch.

    SWITCH. Engine Oil Pressure
    SWITCH, ENG OIL PRESS IND(AC Delco #D1836A).

    The pan gasket is an expensive job.

    Might also check the oil filter adapter gasket.
    Attached Images

  9. #8
    ahmaduhhs's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    Ok so i am replacing part 3 as according to the diagram?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    No need to drain the oil to change the pressure switch.

    SWITCH. Engine Oil Pressure
    SWITCH, ENG OIL PRESS IND(AC Delco #D1836A).

    The pan gasket is an expensive job.

    Might also check the oil filter adapter gasket.

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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    Yes (if that's what's leaking).

  11. #10
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    Yes (if that's what's leaking).
    I don't think it's (oil pressure switch) leaking oil - it may be the old bugaboo of false low pressure indication. SOMETHING is weeping engine oil on that end of the engine, but not enough to lose enough oil in 6 days of driving to set a low oil pressure message - he said he only drives it 2 days a week - so that's 3 weeks from his oil/filter change........ or something close......... he said he recently did a change - even if "recently" was 8 weeks ago, that's only 16 days of occasional driving.

    .......and, YES, the oil pan gasket is a big, expensive deal. Not your problem, though.

  12. #11
    ahmaduhhs's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    Sub if it helps any... the oil i saw was closer to the passenger side, that i took a picture of was wet when rubbed my finger on it. I can replace that faulty switch no problem, can confirm it is part # D1836A
    Any special tools or know-how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    I don't think it's (oil pressure switch) leaking oil - it may be the old bugaboo of false low pressure indication. SOMETHING is weeping engine oil on that end of the engine, but not enough to lose enough oil in 6 days of driving to set a low oil pressure message - he said he only drives it 2 days a week - so that's 3 weeks from his oil/filter change........ or something close......... he said he recently did a change - even if "recently" was 8 weeks ago, that's only 16 days of occasional driving.

    .......and, YES, the oil pan gasket is a big, expensive deal. Not your problem, though.

  13. #12
    automark is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    Hi, Please do as Sub says and see his picture albums, and also see my PRELIMINARY write up for use on both oil pressure switch AND CKP sensor change outs. I've got more editing to do, and many pictures to ad, but it will at least get you a change to hear it from my viewpoint. I think you will need to use the special gasket assembly known as #441, since your appear to have a later production car. LMK if I can help. Read on.
    Best,
    MSH
    CKP (Crankshaft Position Sensors) Replacement
    Oil Pressure sending unit/switch Replacement
    Oil filter mounting adapter O-rings/gasket Replacement
    NOTE:
    Please exercise great caution when working on any vehicle. Read and follow all available service manual and parts and tools information. If you have any doubts, have a technician do the work for you. Your safety is of the greatest importance. Working on, in, around or under vehicles is inherently dangerous. Most of the work described herein has the person working under the vehicle, and so, the vehicle MUST be securely elevated using a certified lift, capable jack stands and wheel chocks, or other secure and safe elevation methodology. There may also be other safety gear necessary for your specific circumstances. CF and I are not responsible for ANY loss or problem of ANY kind that you or yours may deal with due to your having read or followed this posting’s information.
    Patient: 2001 Seville STS, VIN code 9 in eighth position (L37)
    Comments:
    Most of the information contained herein has been previously contributed by others. I’m only repeating ( and adhering to ) the info they’ve shared. Then, I typed up my experience, took a few digital photos during the procedure, and submitted it to all of you.
    This car does not have the oil cooler option ( Possibly code V03? ) and such is slightly easier to access the oil filter adapter to remove it for access to these two sensors from under the car.
    I should have performed my oil filter and oil pressure switch replacement at the same time as the CKP sensors and oil filter adapter gaskets. However, I didn’t get the codes for the CKP sensors P0335 and 385 before I did the oil pressure switch. Only 2 weeks apart, so learn from my mistake and do the 2 CKP sensors, the Oil Pressure Sender/Switch, the two o rings (one gasket) for the oil filter adapter, and the oil filter at the same time. It will save you time.
    If you are doing the oil pressure switch only, when you have your new oil pressure sender/switch new out of the box, mark the side of it that has the “bump” that indexes the harness’s electrical connector correctly down on the metal area of the switch. ( The prior tech had done this on the failed sensor. With the front mount and it’s bracket in the way, this “witness mark” will make it easier for you to know where the bump is when reconnecting the electrical connector.) You are usually not able to see the correct indexing for the connector when working around the mount / bracket. Apply a very fine layer of dielectric paste to the terminals of the switch.
    There are many recommendations to use only AC Delco parts for these procedures. I agree. I have added some part numbers under “Also Known As” in an effort to accommodate those who have no choice, or are in a hurry.
    Parts / Supplies:
    Your favorite 5/30 oil or 10/30 oil. Buy 8 qts , (use 7.5, which should be approximately ½ the way up the “xxxxx hashmarks” on the dipstick.)
    Oil Filter with AC Delco #PF 61 (GM 89017342). Apparently, we should avoid the PF 61 “E”).
    This filter is AKA Napa Gold I.D. # FIL1522 or Wix 51522.
    O-ring/ seal for oil pan drain plug, # 413 or 440 ( late v early ) in diagram. On my car, this was part of the drain plug and was supple, so I re-used it.
    Oil Pressure Sending unit/switch with GM# 12635958 or AC/Delco D1836A
    Also, I found O’Reilly’s had the BWD brand (Borg Warner) # S4172. It has a lifetime warranty, and was $12.99.
    Upper Crankshaft Position Sensor with AC Delco # 213-1578.
    This is AKA GM # 12575481 on my car. Original mexico produced would be beige, and japan made replacement is grey. Possibly also Autozone #SU1345.
    Lower Crankshaft Position Sensor with AC Delco # 213-1579.
    This is AKA GM # 12575482 on my car. Original mexico produced would be black, and japan made replacement is black. Possibly also Autozone #SU1346.
    * Note that on pre-2000 N*, the CKP Sensors might be two of the same part number, but not either of the two listed above. These earlier N* also have different electrical connectors and related keepers.
    * Note that the original mexico produced sensor is fully round when viewed from the non connector end and the new ones aren’t. They look like a flat tire.

    O-ring for Oil Filter Adapter with GM # 3543719 Quantity of two
    OR
    For 2003-on vehicles: Get one gasket– GM #12573044. # 441 (in diagram)
    *Note a difference for pre and post 2002 production.
    On pre 2002 cars, the exploded diagrams only show one, but you need two of O ring # 3543719. This “gasket” or O ring is # 405 in the diagram. They cost ~ 4.50 each, dealer only. (Please, someone let us know if you know the generic spec for this O-ring and you can be sure about it working on these cars.) At least GMpartsdirect sells them for approximately $ 2.75 each.
    SAVE SPACE FOR PDF





















    OR on 2002/2003-on vehicles:
    Get one gasket # 441 (in diagram below) – GM #12573044. This later gasket is an aluminum plate type of gasket that has the o rings molded right in to the assembly. It’s approximately $9.00.


    The parts catalog didn’t change the depiction of these O rings / gaskets exactly when the production change occurred, but when the computer is checked the quantity will be one for the gasket and two for the O rings, depending on your production date / VIN. Note also the difference shown between the V03 option and “except V03” highlighted. This adapter is the oil cooler line connection point on equipped cars.



    Tools / materials: Just a list of what worked for me!

    Safety glasses, nitrile gloves, bright work light


    Vehicle lift, wheel ramps, jack and jack stands, wheel chocks and other supporting safety gear in order to ensure your safety.


    If you are doing the oil pressure sending switch/sensor with the filter adapter still attached to the forward bank of the V-8, you have to work around the front motor mount and it’s bracket. You’ll need:
    1 – 1/16 inch deep socket, really deep ( see the sender’s length, and compare to inside of socket.) Look at the front engine mount bracket )
    ½ inch drive ratchet for above. The tight space makes plain, non ratcheting ½ inch “breaker bar” drives too difficult to get any drive at the right clocking point when loosening the old crusty sender. ( It has threadlocker on it from the factory supplier. )
    1 – 1/16 inch combination wrench
    A great level of patience ( remove the oil filter prior to beginning ).



    If you are removing the whole oil filter adapter, then read on:
    Large oil pan, seriously, 7.5 quarts can overwhelm some pans!
    Lots of throw away rags or paper towels, perhaps old newspapers.
    Electrical contact cleaner spray – for oil saturated connectors.
    Dielectric paste for contacts on new sensors.
    PB Blaster or real penetrating spray of your choice.
    Brake cleaner spray for the oily mess often found in this area.
    Oil filter wrench of your choice. For the N*, a very large channel lock plier will often work quickly.

    10 mm sockets, both normal and deep.
    Ratchet to match, possibly 3/8” drive
    Regular extension to match
    Wobbly / flexible extension to match
    Small standard screwdriver to release catch on electrical connectors

    Possible procedure:
    Elevate car with your choice of method and secure. Check it again.

    Remove under car plastic shield.

    Drain oil by removing drain plug (# 418, which should be an M12 x 1.75 thread x 25 long special bolt with built in O-ring and washer ) from oil pan. Have pan and rags ready.
    Let car cool down and drain down. A whole lot of cooling is needed since you’ll be working right next to the forward bank’s exhaust downpipe.
    Spray threads of old OP switch with PB Blaster. Then, do it again.
    You MAY wait to remove the OP sensor if you are removing the oil filter adapter.
    Remove oil filter and have drain pan handy with lots of rags. Remove connector gently from OP sensor by prying up gently with small screwdriver on plastic tang. Don’t break brittle plastic.
    Using your 10mm socket and ratchet, remove the two HEX head screws /bolts ( # 408 or # 442 in diagram )holding the oil filter adapter plate. (This should be an M8 x 1.25 thread x 59.6 long bolt with thick M8 special washers). The adapter plate and either the two old O rings, or the aluminum gasket with its captured O rings should just fall off the side of the block. Watch for oil.
    Remove the lower and upper CPS electrical connectors. (Strangely, these wonderful two piece connectors are what took the most time in this procedure. But, this was due to a broken electrical wire where it met the connector. ) Read on.
    Start with the lower, and remember that it is okay to undo the 10mm hold down bolt from the sensor if this helps with harness connector removal. Each CPK Sensor has these two piece affairs where the large green outer one also acts as a securing device to hold the wires into the connector, and the smaller reddish piece is a block to prevent the harness connection from being squeezed (to release its grip on the sensor. )
    Note the way the green unit separates the wires and holds in the little white rubber protector sleeves for each of the three wires into their respective holes in the harness connector. Also note the factory applied heat sleeves which ride the harnesses wiring.
    With your very small flat head screwdriver, pry carefully on the brittle green plastic tabs on either end and then slowly open the hinge and lift gently away from the connector. On the lower connector, the red block is facing down and you can see the small 1/16” hole you need to poke through to get the block to release; now slide it off of the connector. Next, squeeze the harness connector in the place where the red block used to fill and it will release. On the upper CKP Sensor’s connector, the red block faces up. I would recommend that you remove/withdraw the sensor by undoing the 10mm bolt from the block to be able to see the topside of its connector. (It is truly much easier to do than to type out. See the picture. )
    PICTURE HERE


    The reason for all of the time consumed!
    Since these connectors are subjected to all of the downpipe / header heat, they are brittle and prone to breakage. My upper harness connector had a broken green wire connection point. So, I wanted to replace it and “do the job right”. These harness connectors are hard to find. The upper CKP sensors harness connector is a female connector with # PT1368 (AC Delco ), or 15306314 (GM), or PT5828 (Borg Warner/BWD), or EC 424 (Echlin /NAPA), or 912 (Autozone). The lower CKP sensor’s connector is similar, but not identical, and it might be PT1367 or PT 1369. None are available in inventory at any of the above on a Saturday afternoon near where I live. (Always in some warehouse far away!)
    So, it was off to the local DIY dismantler/recycler, where after messing around with pre 2000 Cadillacs (earlier style connectors), I was able to strip the required OEM part used from the harness of a N* equipped ‘02-‘04 Oldsmobile Aurora. Exterior marks on connectors are Delphi and A,B, and C.

    Okay, back on task. Spray contacts in your harness’s electrical connectors with electrical contact cleaner. Then, do it again.
    If you haven’t already withdrawn the sensors, use your 10mm combination wrench or socket/ratchet to do so. Check for the O ring on its body.
    Put indexing marking on new oil pressure switch’s metal body.
    Spray electrical connectors for both upper and lower CKP and Oil Pressure Sensors with electrical contact cleaner. (Grey is upper and black is lower on the CKP sensors.)
    Apply a fine layer of dielectric paste to the electrical contacts on all new sensors. Just a wee bit now!
    Apply 2 drops of your synthetic engine oil each CKP sensors O-ring.
    Install new CKP sensors. Consider installing your upper CKP sensors’ electrical harness connector prior to reinstalling it for ease. (If you have enough harness slack.) Match upper (Grey should be 213-1578) and lower (black should be 213-1579) install locations with part numbers. Follow bolt torque advice of 89 in/lb or 10 Nm. It’s only a plastic sensor with a tiny metal bolt sleeve!
    Reinstall OP sending switch if it isn’t currently mounted on the oil filter adapter. Torque it to 12 lb/ft ( 16 Nm ). Note the factory applied thread locker compound.
    Reinstall oil filter adapter by installing new O-rings ( two drops of your synthetic engine oil for each ), and then carefully holding to side of block while tightening the bolts to 12 lb/ft (16 Nm ).
    Reconnect the harness electrical connector to OP sending switch if not already attached.
    Install new PF 61 oil filter ( few drops of your synthetic engine oil to gasket.)
    Install oil drain plug.
    Fill with 7 quarts to 7 – ½ quarts of your synthetic oil. Replace fill cap.
    Prior to starting engine turn ignition to ON, and clear codes, if any.
    Start engine and look carefully for leaks around adapter and its filter. Let it all warm up, then shut off.
    Reinstall lower plastic shield. Check for leaks again prior to final fasteners.
    Bring the car down, clean up your work area, and go for a cruise for testing.


    CKP retainer bolt = 89 in/lb (10 Nm)
    Oil pressure sending switch = 12 lb/ft (16 Nm)
    oil filter adapter bolts = 12 lb/ft (16 Nm)
    Oil drain plug = 15 lb/ft (20 Nm)

  14. #13
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    Whoa !!!!........ That's a lot to digest !!

    automark, Please, before you stick this lengthy article, with pictures, in a thread that may die out in a week or six, run your ideas past me - this may qualify for a permanent berth in Cadillac Tech Tips - along with several other previously posted articles on these procedures.

  15. #14
    ahmaduhhs's Avatar
    ahmaduhhs is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    Thank for an excellent write up, did your post include photos?

  16. #15
    automark is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2003 STS, oil pan leak

    Sorry Sub, Everyone.
    I'll put it together with photos and diagrams to make it more complete, then send it directly to you, Sub, for inclusion into the stickys.
    Should be ready within a few - 7 days.
    Best,
    MSH

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