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Thunder Gray '08 CTS 3.6 FE2 Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a weird one, and any input appreciated: I noticed a large puddle of what appeared to be engine oil underneath the front passenger side of my car in my garage (see pic). Freaked out, I took it to the local Caddy dealer - even though I am out of warranty - to get it checked out. I got my last oil change at the same dealer on April 22. I just took it on a moderate road trip this past weekend (LA to Palm Springs and back; about 2 hours each way), and the car drove great and continues to drive great with no warning lights.

They called to say that they couldn't find any signs of any fluids leaking, even after "gunning" it, so to come pick 'er up. I am stumped.

I asked how much the total amount due will be, expecting the $150 or so diagnostic fee that automatically seems to be charged when you are out of warranty, but they said there will be no charge since there was nothing wrong found.

Any ideas? The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that maybe the oil change wasn't done properly and they "quietly" fixed things today at the dealership. Which sounds ridiculous, I know.

I also noticed I wasn't asked to sign anything this morning or given any paperwork (I was in a huge rush on the way to work, I jumped in the courtesy shuttle after dropping the car off). I did mention to the service writer that my last oil change was at that dealership when he said it looked like engine oil (I showed him the picture below on my phone and also dabbed some of the fluid up with a paper towel that I brought and showed him).

I asked my housemate if he parked in the garage at any point over the past few days and he said no. My garage is unlocked and technically accessible from the street, but I doubt anyone would open it up and park their car in there.

Any ideas? I feel like I'm losing my mind and / or like one of those idiots who brings their car in for something like a TPMS warning light. I figure when I go pick it up tomorrow, I'll demand some paperwork acknowledging I took it in and nothing wrong was found in case something goes down the road. So strange.....:confused:

photo.JPG
 

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2009 CTS 3.6 LY7
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...hard to tell from the picture, looks like it leaked on the cement and flowed down to the wall. Based on where it was parked, can you coconfirm the leak source was or wasn't near the oil drain plug? Did you check your oil level before taking it to the dealer? Admit it all seems a bit odd, but there isn't, and maybe won't be, enough info to narrow it down.
 

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Thunder Gray '08 CTS 3.6 FE2 Premium
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, it leaked and flowed as you describe. It was right around the front passenger tire, so yes near the oil drain plug (to my knowledge - I don't change my own oil). In my rush this morning I didn't check the engine oil, but looking back I definitely should have.

Agree that it may forever remain a mystery....
 

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Gone; ‘09 V, ‘13 V coupe. Curr; ‘14 PG Vsport prem w/Kona interior
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I figure when I go pick it up tomorrow, I'll demand some paperwork acknowledging I took it in and nothing wrong was found in case something goes down the road.
<img src="http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=303114"/>
With no evidence of shoddy workmanship or conspiracy to hide said shoddy workmanship, I would suggest maintaining a friendly business relationship.
Tell the SA you would just like something in writing for record keeping and future reference.
By the way, did you consider a trans fluid leak? I know trans fluid is light red, but burnt trans fluid can look similar to oil. Just a thought.
 

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Thunder Gray '08 CTS 3.6 FE2 Premium
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Discussion Starter #5
Agree on maintaining good relations; I plan to keep my mouth shut in terms of making any accusations. I do have a good relationship with the service department. They don't even mind when I say going there is like going to the dentist haha.

Did consider a trans fluid leak, but the service writer assured me on the phone that they couldn't find any evidence of any fluid leaks whatsoever. If they did see something I'm sure they'd jump on it to make some non-warranty $$$$.
 

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2014 CTS Coupe 3.6 RWD Perfomance Pkg, TriCoat White Diamond
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Maybe it's a cold leak. What I mean is at op temp, the engine metal swells the leak close. However, after it sits and cools down to cold, the metal contracts...hence your leak.
 

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2013 Black Diamond CTS4 Premium Coupe (sold-09 CTS4 DI Black Raven/Ebony)
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If you suspect you may still have a leak, put a large piece of white cardboard under the engine. Daily, before moving the car, look underneath. If there is a spot on the cardboard, it will tell you 1) where the leak came from and give you a place to begin looking for the culprit 2) it will give you an accurate color of the fluid (red, green, tan, brown)
 

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2008 CTS 3.6 RWD LY7, FE2
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unless it is new oil from a recent change, probably not engine oil. My guess would be either power steering fluid, brake fluid, or a/c oil. Im just going off the color of the fluid. Definitely put a white piece of cardboard under the front end for a while. Dollar stores have posterboard and what-not if you cant get it somewhere else.
 

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2010 CTS Premium Sedan, RWD/3.6 DI
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Did you touch/feel the fluid; confirming it was oil? Condensation from the A/C evaporator would drip out around the same area. The amount of fluid and how it flowed across the floor looks more like a water.
 

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Gone; ‘09 V, ‘13 V coupe. Curr; ‘14 PG Vsport prem w/Kona interior
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^^Dang, I wanted your screen name but kept putting it off.
 

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A very common leak source is the oil filter housing lower gasket. It's a real biach to get to though without an endoscope, and even if you can see it, it may not look wet as the oil clears out of the region quickly.

The filter is on the left side of the car, but the oil drips down on the subframe and gets eventually everywhere under the car.

If you have small hands, you can try to reach all the way down the filter housing to the block and feel if it's wet. Or you can stick your fingers through the holes in the front subframe and feel if there's oil there.

Replacing the lower gasket is a 4 to 6 hour job.
 

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In my humble opinion, it looks like condensed water from A/C. Oil, even hot, don't flow like that. Same opinion than Procrastinator
 

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Thunder Gray '08 CTS 3.6 FE2 Premium
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the input, guys (and apologies for late response; May was a crazy month). After getting the car back from the dealer (and paperwork indicating they didn't find any leaking fluids and performed an inspection of vehicle fluid levels, etc.), I put down a piece of light cardboard per the suggestions here. No fluids have appeared since.

Since the above photo was taken, the fluid has dried and left some light-colored residual marks on the floor. These match the residual marks left on other parts of my garage floor from A/C condensed water. What's interesting is that usually this fluid flows toward the back of my garage, where in this one particular case it seems to have gone to the side for whatever reason. Perhaps I parked differently, changing the angle of the car, or maybe one of these earthquakes we've been having threw things off. Maybe it was a poltergeist. Who knows, but all is well again. Thanks again for all the helpful thoughts.
 
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