Engine Oil Cooler vs. Head Gasket Leak on 1998 Cadillac Catera

I have had my coolant system tested at two different shops and both said I have a small external coolant leak on the back of the engine, either the intake or the head gasket. Today a cadillac mechanic told me he believes it would be an engine oil cooler. I am having an oil pressure problem also. Can you tell me what the symptoms of engine oil cooler vs. head gasket are? 108,000 miles on it.

by in Dearborn Heights, MI on January 28, 2010
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3 answers 2 comments
ANSWER by , March 08, 2010
Got a 2000 Saab 95 with the same engine as the Catera. I have a leak in my oil cooler. Thought it might be a head gasket but I realized this engine has an oil cooler and these things always go bad. Took out the oil cooler (very difficult w/ turbo engine)and low and behold, leak. Symptoms engine runs great. No loss of coolant. No odd smells. Just oil in coolant reservoir. Hard to bypass. Would if I could.
COMMENT by , April 07, 2011
how did you remove the oil cooler hoses?
ANSWER by , June 07, 2011
i myself is doing a 97 catera right now, same symptoms oil in resrvoir, oil pessure drops as warmed... took apart all the manifold pieces down to the cooler, took an air hose and blew down the side of the cooler top and yes we found milkshake! a little difficult to get oil cooler lines up and out of way but you can do it. good luck
ANSWER by , January 28, 2010
If you had a head Gasket problem, you would generally have over heating issues and noticeable coolant consumption. The oil cooler would not cause the engine to over heat, unless you ran the coolant really, really low and cooked the motor. Have a Block Check performed, which is a chemical test of your coolant to see if your head gasket is leaking internally. Also find a shop who has a hand held Mirror, so they can tell you PRECISELLY what and where it is leaking. I just worked on a Catera this week, and you can use a Mirror to isolate the leak, if in fact it is an external leak, trust me.
COMMENT by , October 02, 2010
If the oil saturates the coolant it won't circulate and still will overheat