This is a rhetorical question for me because just this past summer, I
bought a 1995 Oldsmobile Aurora and it contains what some call a "baby"
Recently, while having the car lubed, the technician suggested putting
a dye in the oil so that the source of oil leaks could be found. I did
this and at the next oil change, the leak turned out to be the oil pan
Well, according to my local Mr. Goodwrench service writer, to replace
this gasket, they pull the engine from the car, turn it over and remove
the oil pan and replace the gasket. He quoted a price of around $2,300
to replace this gasket.
I looked at the GM factory service manual for the car and they suggest
two methods of replacing the oil pan gasket:
1. Pull the engine, etc., as Mr. Goodwrench suggests; or
2. Pull the transmission (transaxile) only and you then have the
necessary access to pull the oil pan with the engine in the car.
Either way, it's a very expensive fix.
So I ask, given the truism that most engines and probably all Northstar
engines at some point will start leaking oil, then why would anyone buy
a car with a Northstar engine?
Mr. Goodwrench went on to say that the newer Northstar engines do not
leak oil from the oil pan gasket.
Wow...I believe that GM introduced this engine in the 1993 Cadillac
Allante and now some 13 years later, they finally solved the oil pan
gasket leaking problem.
Personally, I don't believe it.
When you read the review of new cars in the car magazines, the writers
never address the cost of repairs except when they use a car for a long
period of time.
If a potential Buick Lucerne buyer knew up front that it was going to
cost him or her some $2,000+ down the road after the warranty expires
to fix a simple oil pan gasket leak, that person might start looking
for another car.
By the way, I own three (3) cars and they are all GM cars (1985
Cadillac Cimarron, 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix SE and the 1995 Oldsmobile
Aurora). I generally like GM cars but I believe Northstar engine,
despite all the good performance things you can say about it, is very
disappointing when it come to a simple oil pan gasket repair.
What are your thoughts?
Grants Pass, OR