Oil Life Message Problem
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Oil Life Message Problem in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hello, My 97 STS recently rolled over 145,000 miles and now it seems every time I start the car the ...
  1. #1
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    Oil Life Message Problem

    Hello,

    My 97 STS recently rolled over 145,000 miles and now it seems every time I start the car the "Change Engine Oil" message comes on and the oil life is at 0%. This started happening on only a few hundred miles since the last change. No overheating is occuring. I reset the oil life and it comes back after the next restart.

    Is this a "friendly" service reminder or is there some factor in determining oil life which can cause it to go immediately to 0.

    I posted this on caddyinfo, but got several unsatisfactory info. People were just saying change your oil every 3,000 and regurgitating other information - kind of annoyed me.

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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by maydog
    Hello,

    My 97 STS recently rolled over 145,000 miles and now it seems every time I start the car the "Change Engine Oil" message comes on and the oil life is at 0%. This started happening on only a few hundred miles since the last change. No overheating is occuring. I reset the oil life and it comes back after the next restart.

    Is this a "friendly" service reminder or is there some factor in determining oil life which can cause it to go immediately to 0.

    I posted this on caddyinfo, but got several unsatisfactory info. People were just saying change your oil every 3,000 and regurgitating other information - kind of annoyed me.
    Well that is an easy fix my friend. Just reset it. Its in your owners manual on how to do it. Not sure how your car would do it. I know you should have to hold a button down with the oil life indicator showing.

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    david_peak is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    you have to hold the reset button down for 10-15 seconds before it will reset it to 100% again. there is no actual sensor to detect oil life. the computer only monitors driving conditions and makes a "calculated guess" on how long the oil will last.

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    maydog's Avatar
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    Umm.. yes I understand that. I have reset it several times and after each restart it goes back to zero. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this.

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    RLLOVETT is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    Sounds like a loose connection somewhere--when they did your oil change they probably bumped a connector. I'd check around the filter for starters.

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    oldguy1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Yes, I have experienced the same thing, it was very annoying for a little while. Here is my diagnosis: the finger that you press reset with must be broke, try another finger and hold the button down longer.

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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy1
    Yes, I have experienced the same thing, it was very annoying for a little while. Here is my diagnosis: the finger that you press reset with must be broke, try another finger and hold the button down longer.
    Ummm, no.. when you press the reset button down the display reads XXX% and then eventually reads 100%. I reset it to 100% and drive several miles and after the engine has been off for a while and I restart i goes to 0.

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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    I am wonering what happens if the filter gets clogged, can the engine systems sense this? I get no codes and all of the other gauges (temp, rpm, etc..) funtion, I am at a loss.

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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    Change the oil at 3000 miles or 90 days. Examine the dipstick every 1000 miles or every month. Go with full synthetic. No exceptions.

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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    arrgh, ... I shouldn't have posted

    Ok very simple:

    1. get in car
    2. start car oil life at 100%
    3. Drive 1 to 20 miles
    3b. oil life still at 100%
    4. shut car off
    5. Shop, work, visit etc.
    6. get back in car
    7 start car
    8. oil life at 0%

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    david_peak is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    ??if your pcm gets reset it will set the oil life monitor back to 0%. This is a long shot, but your battery could be going out, defective, or have a bad connection. Large drops in voltage will cause the pcm to reset. Your alternator is feeding car w/ voltage after its cranked, which might explain why when car is turned off for a while and its not getting voltage, it resets. I've seen many cars w/ dash lights and gauges going crazy because of a bad battery. Good luck.

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    mcowden is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by maydog
    I am wonering what happens if the filter gets clogged, can the engine systems sense this? I get no codes and all of the other gauges (temp, rpm, etc..) funtion, I am at a loss.
    There are no sensors to detect oil condition. If you drive 50,000 miles before changing the oil and then reset the indicator, it will show 100% oil life no matter what condition the oil is in. If the oil LEVEL gets low, you'll see "CHECK OIL LEVEL" or something similar, but there are no sensors to check for oil or oil filter quality.
    Mike

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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by mcowden
    If the oil LEVEL gets low, you'll see "CHECK OIL LEVEL" or something similar, but there are no sensors to check for oil...
    huh?

    Jesda, take that full synthetic stuff to another post. This isn't about what type of oil to use.

    Maydog, I would go with what david_peak said about the pcm resetting. Most of those replying didn't read your post completely... more regurgitation. Good luck.

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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    Thanks,

    It sounds like the PCM is really the only option. I have had a few occasions where the I get the "Battery No Charge" message, but never when I had actually witnessed the the oil life to reset.

    Would a resetting PCM throw any codes? My car starts fine and does not give any codes when this happens, but it does seem to happen when it is colder which gives some correlation to battery voltage. Funny that I did not see it when my old alternator was giving out.

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    mcowden is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Oil Life Message Problem

    If it starts fine, there is plenty of power to keep the PCM alive without a reset, don't you think? Maydog, can you check for DTCs? In particular, I wonder if there are IPC codes that might help find the source of this one. I suppose a loose battery cable could do something like this, but it seems like a long shot.

    It could be a component inside the PCM going bad, and that's probably not worth replacing unless you start having driveability problems as a result. Any other symptoms worthy of noting? Do all the other IPC functions work OK? If it happens more often when the car is cold, it could be a cracked solder joint or loose connection somewhere.

    AutoZone and probably other parts stores will usually have code scanners that you can either borrow or have them use to show any other codes or problems that the IPC isn't showing. That might pick up something like a PCM reset if that's the cause.

    I have a feeling this is one off condition that we may not get a good diagnosis for, unless someone else out there has already seen and fixed the problem. Just a guess, though.


    Quote Originally Posted by maydog
    Thanks,

    It sounds like the PCM is really the only option. I have had a few occasions where the I get the "Battery No Charge" message, but never when I had actually witnessed the the oil life to reset.

    Would a resetting PCM throw any codes? My car starts fine and does not give any codes when this happens, but it does seem to happen when it is colder which gives some correlation to battery voltage. Funny that I did not see it when my old alternator was giving out.
    Mike

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