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Is the oil pump internal or external ? - 1997 Cadillac Catera

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On every reciprocating engine I have ever seen in a vehicle, the oil pump is located at the lowest point of the engine and submerged in oil in the oil pan which is the lowest part of the engine and is mostly rectangular in shape. Once oil has circulated to the moving parts it flows by gravity back to the pan to be pumped again through the oil filter and into the engine.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009

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To check whether the coolant is entering into the engine oil or not, do the following.
- Park the car on a level floor.
- Check engine oil level on the dip stick and mark it with nail polish. Let it dry. Confirm the oil level. Put the dip stick back.
- Apply about 10 psi external pressure to the coolant system, while keeping caps in place.
NOTE: It is advised to use the coolant system tester. In case the tester is not available, ask any technician to do it for you. Or you can use a bicycle pump with gauge installed on it to pressure the system up to 10 psi. The system should held the pressure up to 30 Seconds.
- If the pressure is maintained for 30 Seconds every thing is good at this time. Ensure that the air is not leaking through your external pump system with which you are testing the system.
If the pressure drops, there will be a leakage some where. Either external or internal. External leakage can easily be observed while carefully examining the hose pipes, clips and joints on the engine.
Internal leakage can be determined by checking the engine oil level again.
- Take out the dip stick and inspect the oil level. If the engine oil level increases it confirm the internal leakage.
- Internal coolant leakage could be due to:-
1. Cylinder head bolts loose or under torqued. (Re-Torque the bolts).
2. Burnt cylinder head gasket. (Always use original spares).
3. Cylinder and head surfaces warped. (Surface grind the cylinder head on surface grinding machine and replace the gasket).
4. Any corroded lid in the cylinder block or cylinder head assembly.
5. Oil cooler, if any.
If the test report of above mentioned procedure is found to be OK, start the engine, pull up dip stick a little, open breather tube from the tappet cover, keep it open and keep the engine start for as long as the water vapors coming out of these points disappear and the engine oil will become clear to its original color.
At times it happens that immediately after replacing the cylinder head gasket some coolant may flow into the engine unavoidably and keep contaminating the engine oil for quite some time.
Hope that works.
Thank you for visiting Fixya.

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It is inside the engine, remove the oil pan to get to it.

Oct 17, 2012 | Cars & Trucks

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2004 tdi 4 motion dosnt start and says low oil preasure on the desh


If this is correct then your situation is more serious than you think. Think of it as your blood pressure, that's not good is it? Check your oil level with the orange dip stick. If your oil is at the top of knurled part of the stick it will tell you at least you have some oil in there, it should be lower once the pump is operating.
If it's way below the stick, this will tell you oil is below the level where the oil pump pick-up is at. The pump is not able to pick up oil from the oil pan and starving your engine which could end in a very expensive disaster.
If your level is fine and it does this, then you may have a
  1. Oil pump faulty
  2. Oil filter very dirty
  3. Oil filter faulty
  4. Loosing oil pressure due to internal system blocked or leaking externally or internally
The procedure for diagnosing oil pressure problem is using an analog oil pressure gauge connected to service ports from both the bottom and the top end of the engine. Without running the engine, a tool to turn the oil pump manually and pressurize the system while reading the gauge data.

One thing for sure.....DO NOT START YOUR ENGINE UNTIL YOU ARE SURE YOU HAVE OIL PRESSURE!
Doing so will damage your internal moving parts and may seize the engine from oil starvation.

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the oil pump is internal in the oil pan. this maybe a bad sending unit on the motor or guage. I wouold check the sending unit first.

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