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· Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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madooch said:
ok guys i will be doing my first oil change on a 02sts and wondering what would be the best oil to use and what grade oil i should use thanks in advance.
Hi Madooch - there have been many, many posts about oil change advice here. Use the Search feature above to do some more looking. Here are two of my previous posts on the subject:

Oil change advice:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=447498&postcount=4

Oil additives:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=466772&postcount=3
 

· Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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DFBonnett said:
Found this some time back. Can't vouch for the accuracy but it is interesting reading.
http://www.scuderiaciriani.com/rx7/oil_filter_study/
FWIW
YMMV
I have personally seen and heard of too many problems with Fram filters to ever recommend them for anything other than expensive paper weights. Yes, it's my opinion, and I'm open to discussion. I have seen problems with noisy valve trains at startup on a 99 Camry and an 03 Expedition that were solved by switching filters and a seized Escort engine after the Fram filter casing burst apart at the seam and the oil light didn't work. Never heard of any problems with any other filter brands. So I will not use Frams and do not recommend them, plus I have read too many bad reviews such as the one listed above. Here are a couple others:

http://www.ntpog.org/reviews/filters/filters.shtml

http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilterstudy.html

And another review of a Fram ExtraGuard from http://www.corolland.com/oil-filters.html:

Fram Extra Guard - PH4967 - $4.99

Base-plate: 10 hole openings. Thickness of the plate approx. 0.12". The gasket that goes against the engine is squared. Gasket is held in place by 6 pressed lips.

Case: Thickness approx. 0.021", thickest of the group.

Anti-drainback valve: Black rubber. It seemed really thin and flimsy. Thickness of 0.054". Total width of 2.12". Hole in center of 1.0".

The by-pass valve is a plastic piece that is snapped into a coil spring that is attached to the inside case spring that resides at the far end of the paper filter element opposite the base plate (Whew!). There doesn't appear to be any gasket on this valve, just plastic against the metal of the spring creating the seal as best I can tell.

Filter element: Paper - thickness 0.036". 39 pleats of width 0.48". Filter element height of approx. 1.85". 69.26 sq. in. of filtering surface area. The seam of the filtering element was nicely put together with a metal clasp (just like the Purolator). Cardboard end caps are glued to each end of the filter element. Metal support structure inside element to prevent collapse.

General observations: The anti-drainback valve rubber was the thinnest and flimsiest of all the filters. Pretty good glue job on attaching filter element to the cardboard end caps. This filter has the grip area on the outside of the canister which makes it easier to tighten the filter by hand when putting it on the car, the only down-side I've experienced with this grip area is trying to get a filter removal tool cap over it, a really tight fit. This filter appears to be the lowest quality of the group. But it is one of the most expensive of the group too, I guess marketing costs are pretty high here. The cardboard end-caps for the filter element, the cheap plastic by-pass valve and the flimsy anti-drainback valve will make me stay away from this filter. This filter is made in Canada. I can't tell what standards it meets (J806 or J1858).
 

· Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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Jamler said:
You guys are scaring me with all this "Extended Oil Life" Stuff.....
First of all... Everybody knows the NorthStar is a hot running engine... And kinda likes it that way!!!!! That said, I've experienced some engine oil burn off. If your burning off some oil, well then its in your best interest to check/monitor regularly and change every 3-5K! That's what I plan to do.
RE: Oil to use... I'm using Mobil-1 5w-30... What Caddy Recommends for STS.
Mobile-1 actually makes a point of indicating this on their containers! Why wouldn't they right? But I'd rather be safe than sorry!!!
Jamler - Don't you think the engineers took these factors into account when they made their recommendations? The only Northstars that require synthetic oil are the ones with VVT. The actuation pump for the VVT system is what requires the synthetic oil properties, not the temperature of the engine or anything else. It's just the VVT pump. When GM tested the Northstars, they tested them in actic cold temperatures and Death Valley hot temperatures, in labs and on the tracks, and guess what? They did all the testing with conventional, non-synthetic motor oil. They do not require nor do they recommend that you use synthetic motor oil for any non-VVT Northstar engine.

On top of that, they spent lots of time and money to develop the Oil Life Monitor system to tell you when it's time to change the oil. They didn't just pick random numbers out of the air, or test it to find out what numbers would work best to wreck the engine just after the warranty expires, they tested it for the oil's protective and lubrication properties after xxx miles under yyy conditions. Iffy Lube wants you to change your oil every 3000 miles, but with advanced technology engines and advanced technology oil formulations, that number is just not necessary any longer.

If you want to do your engine a real favor, make sure to use a very high quality oil filter. I personally believe Fram filters are junk and shouldn't be used for anything other than paper weights. Some good filters include AC-Delco, Mobil1, Purolator Premium Plus and PureONE, and Wix. I'm sure there are other good ones as well. Save your money and use conventional oil (unless synthetic is specifically required) in whatever weight is recommended by the manual, use a good quality filter, and change it when the OLM says to change it. You'll save money, put less toxic waste in the environment, and your engine will last you a long time.
 

· Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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Jamler said:
Yeah... I hear ya MCOWDEN... Agree about the filters... I always use the Puralator Pure-One... But when I'm experiencing burn off... Dont you think its better to change more frequently...? Also, are you saying we "Shouldn't" use Synth in the NorthStar? Please clarify
What I'm saying is there is no need for synthetic in a Northstar that does not employ the VVT system. Synthetic oil does have some better technical characteristics than conventional (dino) oil, but those technical superiorities do not necessarily translate to benefits to the engine, and they almost definitely don't translate to any financial benefits to the owner. You can feel free to use synthetics if you so choose, I'm only saying that there is no evidence they provide any overall benefits to the engine. It would be a very, very rare occasion that anyone experienced engine failure due to lubrication problems as long as they changed the oil according to the OLM and used a decent-quality conventional motor oil of the grade and rating specified in the owner's manual. Most of the benefits touted by synthetics (and some additives) might be possible on very old engines or race engines or engines that otherwise would see poor lubricants or have mechanical properties that would benefit from use of synthetics, but those are not really applicable to the Northstar. It's a well-engineered engine that does not really benefit from synthetic motor oil unless you're starting it in really, really extreme cold every day or running it hot in a hot climate every day. A couple months' worth of cold starts and a couple months worth of hot weather every year is not going to hurt the engine at all by using conventional oil. Use your money for something worthwhile like your retirement fund, kid's college fund, vacation fund, or a worthy charity. Don't put it in some rich oil guy's yacht fund.

Again, just my opinion. I am certainly not an expert here, just an interested observer. Use whatever you want, I'm just offering my point of view.
 

· Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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Jamler said:
OK Thanks EcSTSatic... But really... If your experiencing burn off... Do ya just add a quart or so and keep driving towards your change date? I had the oil
changed at the end of September... Just added quart... Not too heavy driving either... (14 Mile daily commute, with about 4 miles being HWY- I287) I do drive it aggressively... I've been told NOT to baby this NorthStar engine. I'm not saying I'm stompin on it all the time, but ya know... Push it.
If it's burning off a little oil, which is to be expected and is perfectly normal up to about 1 qt. per 1000 miles, that means you're putting up to 3 qts. of fresh oil in it every 3000 miles anyway. Cadillac is well aware of the phenomenon and has not issued any changes to the oil or change recommendations as a result. That even further reduces the need to follow more frequent oil changes. When the oil gets burned, most of the remnants get blown out the tailpipe. Replenishing with fresh oil will make up for anything that winds up in the oil and far more. You have nothing to worry about. Just drive it as you like, give it the occasional WOT, follow the maintenance recommendations, stop worrying about it and enjoy the car!
 
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