Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar
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Cadillac DTS Forum - 2006 through 2012 Discussion, Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; So....before I remove the DTS from my list of possibilities.......would y'all opine on this? The oil leaks...that start as a ...
  1. #1
    RedRover2018's Avatar
    RedRover2018 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar

    So....before I remove the DTS from my list of possibilities.......would y'all opine on this?
    The oil leaks...that start as a drip and increase and finally must be repaired.....???



    Is it that ALL DTS will require new seals? Or would you say MOST?? Or would you say, only a few?

    Is it at all dependent upon model year? In other words, did GM eventually fix this problem?

    and so... would you say that the 2011s would be the least likely to have this problem...at all?


    Thanks. I like the car but am trying to buy a car that will "most Likely" NOT be looking at a major unit repair in the first 100/120K. I consider $2k to $4k....MAJOR.


    Some of the Internet sites "may" be helpful.....IF you trust them....such as RepairPal......But I would rather trust you guys.

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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, install a sound system
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    Re: Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar

    Remember: This is a fixit forum, not an "I love my car" site.

    Over time GM modified the seals and seal methods for the Northstar (FWD/Northstar engines in the Seville, Deville, Eldorado, DTS, others cars) so that the engine generations from 2005 to end of run had far fewer oil weeps than earlier generations - the worst were the pre-2000 series from 1992 - 1999.

    ANY engine can develop oil weeps, so the member who has a 2003 Northstar or a 1956 Jaguar with drips is right in the average order of things.

    For a few drops on the garage mat over several days - you can buy one hell of a lot of engine oil for the cost of an oil pan or crank seal leak repair.

    FWIW, my 2002.5 is absolutely bone dry - no weeps anywhere. If the car is clean and you like it, buy it. Don't sweat the small stuff.

    You WILL find others of differing opinion - just as in any other car fixit forum in existence. Your call.
    Omac, 5x10 and RedRover2018 like this.

  4. #3
    shock99 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar

    I try to look at cars in terms of total cost of ownership rather than what one repair costs me. My wallet cares about how much money leaves over a period of time.

    What I've gathered is not so much that these cars (the newer ones, like 2006+) are that much more prone to oil leaks than other cars, but more that the oil leaks in this car are more expensive to address than some other cars. I find this true of repairs for most cars though that fall into the luxury category. Basically, the engine has to be removed to fix the oil leak prone spots. As such, it seems that the approach to fixing one oil leak in this car is to fix all leak prone components at once since most of the expense is the labor of removing the engine.

    I see it something like this: I could buy a $7000 V6 Buick that may have two oil leaks over a couple years that cost $500 each to fix one at a time, or I can buy a $7000 V8 Cadillac that has one big multiple leak repair for $2500. Do I want a Buick for $8000 or a Cadillac for $9500?

    I just had mine pulled, and for about $2500, (basically all of the leak prone spots were leaking or weeping), I shouldn't have to worry for another 5-10 years, at which point it probably won't really matter. The water pump was also slightly leaking so it was also addressed in this repair. I had this done by an independent mechanic who focuses on repairing Northstar engines. I did have to drive 3 hours to get it to a mechanic that does this--but I was able to fold it in to a flight/work trip so it wasn't a big deal for me.

    In my observation, decade old luxury cars that sold new $40-50K MSRP can be had really cheap (<$10K). I've always assumed their prices are so relatively low because of the expensive repairs they require to stay in good working order.

    I would say you could probably find some luxury cars of this age that don't need this kind of maintenance attention, but I bet they also have a lot more expensive used car purchase price as a result so it's all the same to your wallet.

    Cars are an expense, and luxury cars cost more to drive than non-luxury cars.

    And as a side note, I find that older luxury cars can be all over the map when it comes to insurance costs so be sure to factor that into your cost comparison of various car models (and various insurance companies). It can really add up and swing the pendulum regarding total cost of ownership.

  5. #4
    Bee1 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRover2018 View Post
    So....before I remove the DTS from my list of possibilities.......would y'all opine on this?
    The oil leaks...that start as a drip and increase and finally must be repaired.....???



    Is it that ALL DTS will require new seals? Or would you say MOST?? Or would you say, only a few?

    Is it at all dependent upon model year? In other words, did GM eventually fix this problem?

    and so... would you say that the 2011s would be the least likely to have this problem...at all?


    Thanks. I like the car but am trying to buy a car that will "most Likely" NOT be looking at a major unit repair in the first 100/120K. I consider $2k to $4k....MAJOR.


    Some of the Internet sites "may" be helpful.....IF you trust them....such as RepairPal......But I would rather trust you guys.
    I have a 2011 Premium column-shifter fully loaded. I had numerous leaks and the dreaded half-case leak. Let me see...rack and pinion, torque converter and engine block and broken motor mount. So if you do buy be prepared to drop another 2 grand just on engine and engine related parts. Change all your fluids. It all will be worth it, I just drove halfway across the nation and back in my DTS and I swear it runs better now than before the trip, and for it size it think I get excellent gas mileage, of course I use 91 octane, hey,you have to pay to play.

    Sent from my SM-J700P using Tapatalk

  6. #5
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    Re: Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar

    granted, mine is several years older than the one you're considering, but mine has never leaked a drop in the five years I've had it.
    RedRover2018 likes this.

  7. #6
    Soapm's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar

    Quote Originally Posted by 1969byrdman View Post
    granted, mine is several years older than the one you're considering, but mine has never leaked a drop in the five years I've had it.
    Ditto...

    My 2002 PA just had an oil leak, turned out to be the sending unit.

    As Sub said, it's a roll of the die with any car...
    Omac and RedRover2018 like this.

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    5x10 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar

    I had valve covers leaking, easy fix though
    Knock on wood
    RedRover2018 likes this.

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    Omac's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar

    Mine went almost 11 years before leaking oil. Did a complete reseal in Jan 17 so far so good.

  10. #9
    Billdaman1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar

    After 3 Engine pulls and new seals the leak on my 2006 still could not be stopped. GM finally upped for a New Northstar Engine in 2012 under my (the previous owner paid for ) GMPP. Its pretty cool. My DTS has 78,000 miles on the Car and 22,000 mile on a brand new not a drop leaking Northstar Engine :^)

    I never did ask the dealer just what came with the New Engine. Im left wondering did the new engine get my old engines plugs, wires, sensors etc? Nothing on the invoice, and since the GMPP expired, I haven't been near the Cadillac dealer. Amazing thing, as soon as the GMPP ended the car mysteriously stopped needing anything serviced.

    Guess I knew exactly what to complain about and when to complain. I put thousands of miles on Loaner cars while about 25% the parts on my car were replaced under warranty by GM at $50 per visit.

    Caddy Detailed.jpg
    CadillacLuke24 likes this.

  11. #10
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    Thread Starter

    Re: Opinion...or Data? Oil leaks of Northstar

    How much did the GMPP cost? How long is it good for? Is it avail on any used DTS? That old 2006 looks good too. Gives me the,
    I Wants.



    EDIT Never mind about the GMPP.....that is available only as an extended warranty, I guess.
    I guess what I would need, if I buy a DTS, is an Aftermarket Service Contract.
    From what I have read about the DTS, I wouldn't be without one.
    Just spotted a very nice 2008 DTS with 95,000 miles for $6500 at a Toyota dealer. IF I could get 3 year coverage of the powertrain, including oil leakage from the block, for say....$1500/1800 or so.....I would have to consider it.

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