Thought your readers would like to know that the above has an apparent design flaw which allows a serious and potentially dangerous oil leak from the upper to the lower crankcase in this split block (made of aluminum) engine. Cadillac mechanics (speaking strictly off the record) acknowledge that this is a serious problem which occurs mainly in engines over 100,000 miles, but they have seen it in Caddies as early as 25,000 miles. There is nothing an owner can do to prevent the problem and the repair cost $1,800 which includes 18 hours of labor. It is so costly due the need to drop the transmission and remove the engine from the motor mounts to make the repair. Cadillac will not even discuss this with owners (I have the problem with a '94 Seville with 66,800 miles) and refuses to admit that this is a problem even though the NHTSA has numerous Technical Service Bulletins regarding the leaks beginning in 1993 model year. The leaks can cause engine compartment fires.
Here are the NHTS Service Bulletin #'s, all of which have to do with oil leaks in the Northstar engine: 477278(1/1/94); 316110A(5/94); 476003(6/94); 470201(5/94); and NHTS Office Of Defects Investigation I.D.#808063-Odor of burning oil from a/c and heat ducts in passenger compartment. The next numbers are Cadillac Technical Service Bulletins to their dealers dealing with oil leaks: 35. SB676111(4/96)-eng oil leaks from upper to lower crankcase; 78. SB576111(5/95)-Oil leak at rear main seal &/or T joint; 44. SB476003A(1/96)-Engine oil leaks/identification/svc procedure. I have experienced the "low oil pressure", odor in passenger compartment, and serious smoke from the engine compartment. It seems that a definite and persistent problem is occurring and that Cadillac is stonewalling. Regards,
Patrick T. Hickey
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