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Hello everyone, I'm new to these forums, as I just joined after coming across a thread with a similar problem to what I'm having.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-seville-cadillac-eldorado-forum/115281-97-el-dorado-oil-pressure-problem.html

It seems as though my problem might be the same. I've got a 97 Eldorado ETC with the Northstar, 68000 miles. What happens is that, after running/driving for a good 10 minutes or so, the oil light will begin to flicker on and off. Then, it will usually get "worse" and stay lit more that it is off. Typically, this will lead the car to ding at me and tell me to "Stop Engine - Low Oil Pressure" from the computer display.

I figured I needed an oil change anyways, so I took the car in to my local Shell. Got the standard oil change, they couldn't even find anything to upsell me on (hah). However, once they pulled open the drainplug for the oil, they saw something, because a guy ran over to me and said "Look at this!"

He asked where I had gotten the last oil change, and I told him at the Cadillac dealership. He gave me a surprised look, then showed me the drainplug from the car - it had literally been cut with a saw all the way across so that just a tiny piece of metal was left to hold the screw part to the wider end of the plug. It broke in two with almost no force whatsoever.

I figured that was the cause of my problems (and possible leak)...oil changed as usual, no other issues.

But sure enough, 15 minutes of driving from the Shell, that darned light came on again and shortly thereafter instructed me to Stop Engine. I checked the oil level - it was full (the Shell even had to charge me a bit extra since the car takes so many quarts).

This was yesterday, and I'm still getting the oil light, though it hasn't (fortunately) told me to Stop Engine recently since then. Anyone know if this is the same problem as the guy in the other thread? I tried taking the car to the dealer, they said (not in a very nice tone) "Sir you will need to leave the car here for at least a day, there's no way for us to just take a quick look at it..."

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!

Tyler
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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:confused: The drain plug thing is mysterious, and sick. Damned nasty way to get an engine rebuild job. As far as the oil pressure, the sure way to check is to plumb in a T at the pressure switch at the filter adapter. Connect the pressure switch to one side of the T and a hose/pressure gauge to the other. Look for at least 9-10 psi at idle and over 20-25 psi at 2,000 rpm, hot. Most GM engines run 45-48 psi at 2,000 + rpm. If you have decent pressure, the sending switch is bad. Cheap fix. (Someone in here said the switch is set for around 8-9 psi.)
 

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1996 Eldorado Sport Coupe, 2009 Black Navigator
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I had this same problem just last week. Ranger let me know that the oil pumps on these cars rarely go bad so I had a friend of mine with a oil pressure gage check and it was all good. It seems as when the oil got hotter the oil pressure light would start blinking on and off. New oil pressure switch no problem. I read somewhere about using thicker oil should help to increase oil pressure but I figured its just a temporary fix. I also considered thicker (15W40) oil because my oil(Castro10W30) seemed so thin when I changed it.
 

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:stirpot: AL..If you think 10W-30 seems "thin" when hot, you should do an oil change on my Ford truck which specifies 5W-20 , year 'round. !!! I run Pennzoil synthetic blend in it, and use absolutely no oil between 6,000 mile changes. The STS runs Pennzoil Platinum synthetic 5W-30 and uses a quart every 3,500 - 4,000 miles, and it seems thin when hot, too.
 

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:bouncy: OK, here's the oil pressure spec from GM/alldatadiy for my '02 STS (VIN9): At least 5 psi, hot idle in D. At least 35 psi @ 2,000 rpm. Also, GM would like to see oil mileage of 2,000+ miles/quart (TSB).
 

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:stirpot: AL..If you think 10W-30 seems "thin" when hot, you should do an oil change on my Ford truck which specifies 5W-20 , year 'round. !!! I run Pennzoil synthetic blend in it, and use absolutely no oil between 6,000 mile changes. The STS runs Pennzoil Platinum synthetic 5W-30 and uses a quart every 3,500 - 4,000 miles, and it seems thin when hot, too.
I was just concerned about it.:thumbsup:
 

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Anyone know if this is the same problem as the guy in the other thread? I tried taking the car to the dealer, they said (not in a very nice tone) "Sir you will need to leave the car here for at least a day, there's no way for us to just take a quick look at it..."

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!

Tyler
Hi Tyler,

I am the guy in the other thread. Your problem sounds identical to mine. When my problem first appeared, I took the car to my local Mobil station and told them to change the switch. They changed it and the problem persisted. I then took the car to the dealer and had them check it out. They confirmed that someone had already changed the switch, so I know that it was changed. Then they seemed to give me some incorrect information. Thay said that they put a pressure gauge on it and that it read 9 lbs. and that anything under 11 lbs would trip the light, so they changed the oil pump and charged me over $900.00. This didn't help the problem at all. The guys on this forum have confirmed for me that GM says that at idle the minimum oil pressure should be 5 lbs. So if the dealer was right and found there to be 9 lbs. at idle, then my oil pressure is fine. So now I have a new switch and a new oil pump and the problem persists. I did raise my idle a bit and the light has not come on since but I think if I put the idle back, the problem will come back. I haven't been driving the car much since I bought a new one and have been trying to sell this one. I am sure that the oil pressure is fine in the car but I don't know what is tripping the light. If you figure anything out, please let me know. My e-mail address is [email protected] I would appreciate it. Thanks. Rich
 

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Not much to add to what everyone else said, except that I would not be going to the same dealer, except to complain TO THE OWNER.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Okay. Here's my comprehensive reply/followup.

First, the drain plug. The guy at the Shell was hinting that it was "sabotage"...he definitely said to not take it back to them for any work, as it could have caused a lot of damage if gone unnoticed. (He said he'd never seen anything like that, and it DEFINITELY was not natural, especially the way it was cut.) Oh well. At least it's fixed.

Now, back to the oil problem. First off, today I began by pushing the car a bit...stepping on the throttle, some tight turns, etc. Not for too long, but after about 5 minutes of that, sure enough, that oil light was on, and just as I decided that I was finished, it said Stop Engine. (No surprise, eh?) Just thought I'd mention this...between the G forces, and pushing the engine (hotter), it caused the oil problem to crop up. Later in the day though, I drove a lot, nothing that hard, and all was fine.

Okay, so, it seems the oil change is at least helping...except for that hard-driving session, the oil light has been pretty calm, and no Stop Engine really.
Now, I'm definitely not the type of person who is comfortable doing much more under the hood that checking fluids, belts, and the dipstick. So, I'm not going to be the one checking pressure with a gauge or anything. What I'm going to do is take it in to another local Caddy dealer, and I will tell them what the problem is, and then mention whatever you guys think might be the problem. Sounds to me like the sending switch is probably the culprit. The car runs great, smooth, and at normal temps. There's no oil leak. So I'm assuming the pressure is probably okay, and the pump is working fine. Of course, I'm still gonna have the dealer check the pressure, but it sounds likely that the switch is simply in need of replacement.

That leaves me with one question: Is it okay to drive the car until this is fixed? Can I safely ignore any oil warnings/etc? Or do I need to be extra-gentle?

I'm not sure what the switch does and how it affects the car when it's not working....so I don't know the answer to the above question.

Any recommendations?

Thanks for the help!!
Tyler
 

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Moe, you didn't mention in the other thread that the Mobil oil change place changed your switch the first time. I would put a genuine ACDelco oil pressure switch on it. Aftermarket parts are often not calibrated correctly, and can cause a false warning (thinking that the pressure is too low when it's really not).

Tyler, there's no reason to drive it any different. This is a very classic symptom of a oil pressure switch that has gotten "lazy". Your oil pressure is likely fine -- the oiling system on these engines is pretty much bulletproof. There have been very few instances (maybe none on this forum?) where a true oiling system failure has occured. Drive it the way you normally do until you can get a new ACDelco oil pressure switch on the car.
 
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jadcock, that sounds good. I'll use the car normally until I get a chance to take it into the dealer, and I'll let them know that I think that switch is the problem. Hopefully, they will find the same thing, replace it, and everything will be back to normal.

Thanks so much for the help, now I'm not as concerned paying the dealer for maintenance that won't actually fix the problem!

Tyler
 

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Do you have the sabotaged plug? Can you post a picture of it? Might want to bring it along and show the new dealer what was found.

The pressure switch simply turns on a LOW OIL PRESSURE message to warn you if the pressure drops below spec's. I agree with Jadcock. Most likely just a bad switch and driving it should not cause any harm.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I unfortunately don't have the sabotaged plug, after the Shell guy broke it in two, he tossed it in the garbage. I didn't really figure I would want it.
 
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