Oil leak on STS, oil pan?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Oil leak on STS, oil pan? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I have an oil leak that is starting to get worse, used to be a few drops and barely noticeable ...
  1. #1
    therodman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1981 Eldorado 1994 Seville STS
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    Oil leak on STS, oil pan?

    I have an oil leak that is starting to get worse, used to be a few drops and barely noticeable on pavement, wipe the oil pan clean and it would take a week to accumulate a bit. Now it's starting to make a spot on the pavement and will saturate the pan in just a day or two.

    It looks to me that the block is dry above the pan, the lower block half is really quite dry, there does seem to be more oil near the filter and the nearby sending unit. It may be a little more wet near the rear of the engine where it bolts to to the trans.

    Someone with experience working on these engines probably has an opinion to where the leak really is although to myself, it appears that the oil pan is leaking between itself and the block. Any suggestions or comments to help me along would be appreciated!

    I've read other threads that say take the pan bolts out and put permetex on them along with a few other band aids, run the engine a qt. low, it won't leak as much. I really don't want to go through that trouble to "slow it down". If I do anything, it needs to be fixed properly.

    Here is the dilema, I assume the engine needs to be dropped so the oil pan gasket can be replaced. If so, do you think about replacing head gaskets or any other preventive tasks that would be easier since the motor would now be accessible. Other than the oil leak/drip it runs fine, no problems at all, about 105k miles and I don't think the head gsakets were ever repalced. I bought the car from the caddilac dealer and I'm the second owner, bought it with around 49k miles.

    Thanks in advance....

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  3. #2
    [NortHStaR]'s Avatar
    [NortHStaR] is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1999 Cadillac DeVille
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    Re: Oil leak on STS, oil pan?

    Its probably your half case seal rather than the pan gasket.

    And yes if you have the motor out of the car and you have the dough, I would certainly do the head gaskets, because you will quickly realize that you will never want to pull a northstar EVER again!

  4. #3
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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    Re: Oil leak on STS, oil pan?

    Please update your profile so that we know what year and engine we are talking about.

    Replacing the head gaskets while the engine is out is a tough call. Do it now and MAYBE save some time and effort in the future, or spend the time, effort and money now to prevent a failure that MAY never happen.

  5. #4
    derone is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2000 Cadillac STS
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    Re: Oil leak on STS, oil pan?

    On mine it was just the oil pan gasket. The dealer service swore it was the half case w/o even looking at it and even after I told them I cleaned the block and actually witnessed only the pan seeping. They quoted it could be $4k to fix it. I took it to another shop and let then do it for $1200. They have to separate the engine and transaxle to gain access to some pan bolts.

  6. #5
    therodman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1981 Eldorado 1994 Seville STS
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    Re: Oil leak on STS, oil pan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    Please update your profile so that we know what year and engine we are talking about.

    Replacing the head gaskets while the engine is out is a tough call. Do it now and MAYBE save some time and effort in the future, or spend the time, effort and money now to prevent a failure that MAY never happen.
    Sorry, I thought I had included the year and body type. I'll update my profile but for now, It's a 1994 Seville STS with an N*.

    I really hate to take a good engine apart, I've always believed that if an engine is running well at 50-70 or 100K miles, leave it alone! Everything must've been assembled as well as it could be and if there were any imperfections in any of the components they would've certainly showed up by 100k miles.

    I'm pretty sure it's just the pan gasket and it's startibg to get to the point where I need to consider fixing it, it's gone from a drip to a drop....

  7. #6
    therodman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1981 Eldorado 1994 Seville STS
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    Re: Oil leak on STS, oil pan?

    Quote Originally Posted by derone View Post
    On mine it was just the oil pan gasket. The dealer service swore it was the half case w/o even looking at it and even after I told them I cleaned the block and actually witnessed only the pan seeping. They quoted it could be $4k to fix it. I took it to another shop and let then do it for $1200. They have to separate the engine and transaxle to gain access to some pan bolts.
    Derone, what did they replace, just the pan gasket and now it doesn't leak at all? What year was your car/engine?

  8. #7
    derone is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2000 Cadillac STS
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    Re: Oil leak on STS, oil pan?

    Its a 2000 STS, they replaced the pan gasket and rtv'ed it as well. 10k miles later w/o a drop. I think she's at 94k miles now. They also programmed some key FOBs with their tech2.

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