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Caddyinfo's Cadillac How-To Section

Cadillac Check oil Level Light

 Check Oil Level Messages, IMPORTANT!!!  PacerX  12:28 pm tuesday january 23, 2001
I have had 3 (that's right, THREE) 1996 GM cars (Buick
Rivera, Pontiac Bonneville SSEi, and an Olds Aurora) that all
showed the "Check Oil Level" message on the driver information
center when the car had plenty of oil. Weird thing was, the
problem was intermittant, and would occasionally go away and come
back. This was very frustrating as I would get the message right
after getting an oil change, when I knew that the engine had
enough oil.

The problem is due to a bad oil level sensor.

The fix is a new oil level sensor that costs about $40 at the

Here is the step-by-step on replacing it for Northstars:

1) Pull the car into the garage and jack both front wheels.

2) Remove the drain plug and drain the oil into a pan. A
10-quart pan is a good idea as the Northstars have 7 1/2
quarts of oil in them. Make sure it's clean if you are going to
reuse it. I reused mine.

3) Let the car cool down. This is important as the block is
aluminum and will expand more than the body of the sensor (which
is steel). Aluminum has a higher coefficient of thermal expansion
than steel and you will have to torque hard to get the thing out
(possibly damaging the threads in the block).

4) When facing the car, the sensor is to the left of the oil
filter and has one electrical connector on it. When underneath
the car, facing toward the front, it is on your right. Disconnect
the sensor connector carefully so as not to break it.

5) I used a 1-1/8" wrench to take out the sensor. It is probably
metric, but the 1-1/8" worked fine. An adjustable wrench will
work also.

6) Apply some anti-sieze compound to the threads of the new

7) Start the new sensor into the block BY HAND. You want to make
sure that you DO NOT cross-thread it in. Having to re-tap the
hole because the threads were destroyed WOULD BE A MAJOR
DISASTER, you do NOT want to do this!!!!

8) Torque the sensor home. BE CAREFUL, over-torqueing it is a
REALLY BAD THING. Remember, that big wrench you are using is
going to exert a lot of torqe on the bolt, so be gentle.

9) Re-connect the wiring to the sensor.

10) Replace the drain plug into the oil pan.

11) Drop the car off the jacks.

12) Re-fill the oil.

That's it. Took me 15 minutes of work, including jacking time
(but not including cool-down).



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