Oil Level - Northstar
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Oil Level - Northstar in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Keep getting a check oil level message but the oil is still at the full mark on the dipstick. Is ...
  1. #1
    fltdriver is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Oil Level - Northstar

    Keep getting a check oil level message but the oil is still at the full mark on the dipstick. Is there a sensor that could be causing this or do I need to reset something to get it to stop. The first time it came up the oil was a little low but now it just won't go away.

    99 Eldorado

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    eldoradogary is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Oil Level

    Oil level should be halfway between full and add marks on dipstick. 7.5 quarts of oil in crankcase.

  4. #3
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    The oil level sensor is threaded into the oil pan. Failure isn't common, but it does happen.

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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Oil Level

    It's either the sensor itself or a wiring/harness fault.

    Sensor pictures (click the icon) for your car/model/engine/year in www.rockauto.com.

    Your oil level is 1/2 quart overfilled. Read the oil consumption article way up ^^^ in the top black bar; Cadillac Technical Archive.

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Oil Level

    Quote Originally Posted by fltdriver View Post
    Keep getting a check oil level message but the oil is still at the full mark on the dipstick. Is there a sensor that could be causing this
    The level sensor/switch is down by the oil filter adapter.
    Attached Images

  7. #6
    oldstuff is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Oil Level

    Why would an automotive Engineer worth a grain of salt design an engine to run a quart low on the gauge (dipstick) when all he had to do was move the mark on the dipstick.
    That said ,disregarding instructions, I buy my oil in gallon containers and pour all of it in when I change the oil. No problem yet at 302,000 miles.
    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by eldoradogary View Post
    Oil level should be halfway between full and add marks on dipstick. 7.5 quarts of oil in crankcase.

  8. #7
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    1/2 quart low on the dipstick, not a quart.

    Most of the older owners manuals state 8 full quarts. There was a TSB suggesting 7.5, as the last 1/2 quart is usually consumed by the PCV system fairly quickly.

  9. #8
    oldstuff is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Oil Level

    That doesn't make any sense at all. There is just as much oil up around the cams where it would be picked up by the PCV system when the oil is overfull or 2 qts low. In the older engines oil level was more critical as there weren't windage trays and the wind created by the crank would whip the oil up into the cylinders and the oil rings couldn't wipe it off the cylinders well enough. The oil manifold in a north star acts as a windage tray and keeps the oil fron whipping up. The oil that is pumped into the camshaft area is the same until you lose oil pressure.
    A gal. of oil fits well below the oil manifold. In case you don't know what is called an oil manifold, its the flat plate that resides between the top of the oil pan and the half case, which doubles as main bearing caps.

    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    1/2 quart low on the dipstick, not a quart.

    Most of the older owners manuals state 8 full quarts. There was a TSB suggesting 7.5, as the last 1/2 quart is usually consumed by the PCV system fairly quickly.

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Oil Level

    Please read the in-depth GM Engineering discussion on oil consumption up in the Technical Archives. Overfilling a Northstar causes excessive oil vapor and droplets to be whipped up by the rotating machinery. The PCV system dutifully scavenges the excess.

    There is also a GM/Cadillac TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) addressing this specific issue. Someone will post a link to it.

    It's all in here somewhere because the question comes up about once every 10 days.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by oldstuff View Post
    That said , disregarding instructions, I buy my oil in gallon containers and pour all of it in when I change the oil.
    When all else fails, read the owner's manual, study the service manual, and do some online research. This question crops up weekly and it always gets the same answers - do it correctly. Just because you may have 300,000+ miles on the engine does not mean that owners should fly in the face of the GM/Cadillac instructions. Most members know or at least have an idea of the oil distribution manifold - there are pictures and diagrams of it and its installation in Engines, Northstar - in overhaul threads - and discussions of it in the halfcase reseal threads.

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    Re: Oil Level

    Quote Originally Posted by oldstuff View Post
    I buy my oil in gallon containers and pour all of it in when I change the oil.
    You'd be far better off using the gallon and 3 qts for a total of 7 qts. Better 1/2 qt less than 1/2 qt high.

  12. #11
    oldstuff is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Oil Level

    O I see its better to follow questionable advice than question the viability of that advice.
    If some one that is supposed to be in the know says something we are supposed to regurgitate that dubious information forever instead of proving it to our satisfaction??
    My bad.
    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    Please read the in-depth GM Engineering discussion on oil consumption up in the Technical Archives. Overfilling a Northstar causes excessive oil vapor and droplets to be whipped up by the rotating machinery. The PCV system dutifully scavenges the excess.

    There is also a GM/Cadillac TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) addressing this specific issue. Someone will post a link to it.

    It's all in here somewhere because the question comes up about once every 10 days.

    ----------



    When all else fails, read the owner's manual, study the service manual, and do some online research. This question crops up weekly and it always gets the same answers - do it correctly. Just because you may have 300,000+ miles on the engine does not mean that owners should fly in the face of the GM/Cadillac instructions. Most members know or at least have an idea of the oil distribution manifold - there are pictures and diagrams of it and its installation in Engines, Northstar - in overhaul threads - and discussions of it in the halfcase reseal threads.

  13. #12
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Oil Level - Northstar

    Look at it from the side of a practicing engine builder, mechanic, hobbyist and tinkerer............ YOU/I may well get away with running your/my engine at whatever oil level you/I want and others may well discuss and dispute your/my practice............. but I feel that if I come in here and tell a member to dismiss manufacturer recommendation and advice - "and Do It My Way" - the engine blows up and he/she comes back and jumps in my case and trumpets "Sub blew up my engine !" - then I have done a disservice to the community. Cadillac is very specific about their advice.

    Don't read me wrong - for example, many of us preach the GM/Cadillac line of "Don't use oil, gas, and coolant additives." But we all play with the snake oils and stuff, don't we ? Has it done any good ? No. Hope springs eternal and I will freely admit that since 1953 I have probably burned enough Marvel Mystery Oil to float the USS WISCONSIN.

  14. #13
    oldstuff is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Oil Level - Northstar

    Exactly
    Thats the side I am looking from. I first went to work in a brake shop right after finishing High School in 1953. my part time job before that was a Gas jocky, filling tanks and washing windshields.
    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    Look at it from the side of a practicing engine builder, mechanic, hobbyist and tinkerer............ YOU/I may well get away with running your/my engine at whatever oil level you/I want and others may well discuss and dispute your/my practice............. but I feel that if I come in here and tell a member to dismiss manufacturer recommendation and advice - "and Do It My Way" - the engine blows up and he/she comes back and jumps in my case and trumpets "Sub blew up my engine !" - then I have done a disservice to the community. Cadillac is very specific about their advice.

    Don't read me wrong - for example, many of us preach the GM/Cadillac line of "Don't use oil, gas, and coolant additives." But we all play with the snake oils and stuff, don't we ? Has it done any good ? No. Hope springs eternal and I will freely admit that since 1953 I have probably burned enough Marvel Mystery Oil to float the USS WISCONSIN.

  15. #14
    fltdriver is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Oil Level - Northstar

    OK, so basically I'm getting the check oil level because it's too full from what I'm seeing in the above posts. I guess after the next oil change if it doesn't go away I'll move to the sensor then the harness. When I do fill I will try to hit the 7-7.5 quart area and see if that shuts the stupid info off.

  16. #15
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    No, overfilling will not trigger the message.

    You have a wiring problem, or more likely, a bad sensor.

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