Last post on Jan 12, 2013 at 5:31 PM
You are in the Oldsmobile Aurora
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Oldsmobile Aurora, Auto Repair, Sedan
#4463 of 4482 Re: Losing Engine Coolant [astro98]
Feb 28, 2012 (11:03 am)
Friend of mine works at a Caddy dealer and told me this is not an uncommon problem with the Northstar engines once they start pushing 120,000 miles, or with any engine with aluminum heads. The GenI 1997 Oldsmobile Aurora has what is loosely referred to by some as the mini-Northstar at 4.0 liters.
My Aurora did not exhibit these symptoms at 114,000 when I traded it. The only coolant losses I experienced throughout ownership were due to a cracked overflow tank in a place where I could not see it. A failing water pump. And a small leak in the radiator neck by the top hose.
How did your mechanic determine it was a head gasket leak (internal). From the exhaust? From the motor oil?
#4464 of 4482 Re: Kayaman, good tip [ericmf]
Apr 23, 2012 (2:08 am)
9 years later, how (some of us) learn...I installed platinum+4's in my 2001 aurora at 79,000 miles about 6 years ago, it now has 122,000-still runs like a new car, smooth, quiet, and gets close to 19 mpg in mostly city driving,
#4465 of 4482 Re: Kayaman, good tip [mrkbker1]
Apr 24, 2012 (6:27 am)
When in 2010 I (sadly) traded in my black/graphite 1998 GenI Autobahn at 114K miles, it was still on the original plugs, coils, exhaust, and suspension. While my rational brain was telling me to swap out the plugs at 100K miles as prescribed in the maintenance schedule, the car was running like new from start up right up to the red line, and the pure highway gas mileage on cruise was always 26-27mpg with about 19 mixed city/highway. At just shy of 4,000 pounds, the Aurora was no lightweight.
It "wasn't broke" so I didn't "fix it." Trans was the same as the motor.....smooth and trouble free. What was I anticipating? Head gasket 120K at the advice of a friend who worked on Northstars at a Caddy dealer.
During ownership, here is what I had done as routine maintenance: motor oil changes, one tranny flush/fluid replacement, two replacement sets of brakes, my second set of replacement tires, the belts and hoses of course, and a thermostat just in case.
What else? Radiator. Water pump. Idler tensioner. Fuel pump and gas tank........neck on fuel tank was rusted off, I live in snow country where the roads are salted. Yet the sheet metal and paint held up nicely, just a quarter-sized bubbling over one of the rear fender wells.
When the idler tensioner went bad at about 94K, I elected to have the a/c compressor replaced because, while it was running/cooling fine, there was slap in the bearings. "While the car was apart" decision where the labor costs were already spent.
Why did I get rid of the Aurora? Grandchildren and dogs, needed more hauling capacity. Traded it for a low mileage CPO GenI AWD Cadillac SRX with the Northstar V8, third row seating, and almost every available option including NAV, DVD, Bose, surround, rear A/C, twing package, heated seats, and the largest sunroof ever put on a production vehicle!!!
The 1998 Olds Aurora was the nicest, most satisfying car I have ever owned in my 45 years of driving. As a replacement vehicle, the SRX still doesn't float my boat quite like the Aurora did. But the practicalities of life intervened as well as the upcoming pipeline maintenace costs on the Aurora which were inevitable. Also, the 4.6L Northstar in the SRX cranks out 320hp and 315lb. ft. of torque. Coupled with the 6 speed trans, it is about 1 second quicker to 60mph than the Aurora. And the AWD provides peace of mind in the snow.
#4466 of 4482 Re: Engine runs rough [medictex]
Apr 27, 2012 (8:44 am)
could be an exhaust backup. The cat could be backed up and or a tube that is going from the throttle body to your thermostat housing. The tube looks like a metal flex tube and is only held down by one bold on each end 13 mm in size. These cars are notorious for getting build up inside of these hoses.
#4467 of 4482 97 aurora low oil pressure. 190,000 miles
Apr 27, 2012 (9:06 am)
when my car is running for the first 45 min or an hour the oil pressure at idle is from 10 to 19. When the car runs past that time it drops from 0 to 5 and the oil light comes on as well as the warning in the obd. The pressure stays at normal while the rpm is above 1200. another important note to put on here is that when I first start up at cruising speed the oil pressure goes to 75 psi then slowly goes down to 50 psi. Is this a oil pump problem or pressure relief valve or worn out bearings? I also have a 96 aurora that has 250,000 miles on it but doesn't have this problem at all. Any suggestions for the 97 would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance
#4468 of 4482 Re: 97 aurora low oil pressure. 190,000 miles [iamwilley83]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Apr 27, 2012 (2:07 pm)
Well the oil pump does not directly control oil *pressure*, only flow. It's the clearances in your engine that determine oil pressure in most cases; HOWEVER, a pressure relief valve can also exhibit your symtoms--in your case, the condition would be a partly open/partly closed relief valve.
Other possibilities, aside from worn bearings, might be a defective seal in the oil pump pickup tube (sort of an internal oil leak).
your oil pressure specs are:
Minimum Pressure at Normal Operating Temperature at Idle: 35 kPa (5 psi)
Minimum Pressure at Normal Operating Temperature at 2000 RPM: 250 kPa (35 psi)
#4469 of 4482 Re: 97 aurora low oil pressure. 190,000 miles [iamwilley83]
Apr 28, 2012 (8:43 am)
My 1998 Aurora oil pressure varies greatly; 45 kPa at idle and 250 kPa at driving speeds - has been doing this at least since 75,000 Kms. I was worried but the GM dealers said it was not a problem. I now have over 200,000 Kms and no problem with the engine. In addition to the other suggestions, could this be false readings based upon some weakness in the sensing mechanism?
#4470 of 4482 Re: 97 aurora low oil pressure. 190,000 miles [johnnieboy]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Apr 28, 2012 (8:45 am)
Sure, it's always a good alternative to plug in a manual (analog) gauge before one tears apart an engine.
#4471 of 4482 Re: 97 aurora low oil pressure. 190,000 miles [johnnieboy]
Apr 28, 2012 (12:35 pm)
my 97 with 150000 has 62 PSI at start up, 9 at hot idle.
#4472 of 4482 Re: 95 dash gauges cut in & out [wickedinva]
May 08, 2012 (4:46 pm)
My instrument cluster just stoped working and engine died. Engine restarted fine, but no instruments working. After about 5 minutes after being off, everything reset. This just happened for the second time. Did yours go out all at once or intermitant?
Did you get new cluster from dealer?
Thanks your your imput.