Tech Spec (then): 2007 Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac’s Escalade is GM’s top-of-the-line sport-utility vehicle. Based on the same platform that spawned the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon, the base Escalade is joined by its sister SUVs the Escalade ESV (the same platform as a Chevrolet Suburban) and Escalade EXT (think Chevrolet Avalanche).

Cadillac’s upscale SUVs are all powered by a 6.2L Vortec V8 engine making 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. Coupled with GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission, the all-wheel-drive Escalade is rated at 13 miles per gallon city and 19 miles per gallon highway. Both the ESV and EXT versions of the Escalade will only be available in all-wheel-drive models.

The basic (if one can call it that) Escalade starts at a base price of $57,280, while the ESV retails for $59,680 and the more pickup-like EXT retails for a base price of $54,210. A fully loaded Escalade (with the optional $3,000 22-inch chrome wheels) will set an owner back some $65,100.

Escalades ride on standard 18-inch wheels wearing P265/65R18 all-season tires. (The optional 22-inch wheels wear P285/45R22 tires rated for on-road use only.) Escalades come standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, leather seats, StabiliTrak stability control, Ultra Sonic Parking Assist and Rainsense wiper blades. Available options include a Climate package (with heated seats among other amenities), an Entertainment package (which adds a DVD player) and an Information package (which adds a touchscreen DVD-based navigation system).

Servicing the Escalade

Like all GM vehicles, the Escalade comes standard with the company’s Engine Oil Life System (EOLS), a computer program that monitors factors like outside air temperature, engine temperature, engine speed, vehicle speed, trip length, etc. and uses the information to calculate the effective oil life remaining. When the “CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON” message appears in the vehicle’s Driver Information Center, drivers are urged to have the vehicle serviced within 600 miles. GM also notes that even if the EOLS does not recommend it, motor oil should be changed at least once per year.

To reset the EOLS on the Escalade, display the OIL LIFE REMAINING on the Driver Information Center (DIC). Press and hold the SET/RESET button for more than five seconds. The oil life will change to 100 percent.

GM recommends two maintenance schedules whenever the EOLS notes that it is time to change the vehicle’s oil: Maintenance I and Maintenance II. Maintenance I should be used if the CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message comes on within 10 months of the vehicle’s purchase or the previous maintenance service was Maintenance II. Maintenance II should be used if the previous service was Maintenance I or it has been 10 months or more since a maintenance service was performed on the vehicle.

In addition, GM recommends a few services at various mileage intervals.

Maintenance I

  • Change engine oil and filter; reset oil life system.
  • Lubricate chassis components.
  • Visually check for any leaks or damage.
  • Inspect engine air cleaner filter. Replace filter, if necessary. (Note: If the vehicle is driven in dusty conditions, the filter should be inspected at each oil change.)
  • Rotate tires and check inflation pressures.
  • Inspect brake system.
  • Check engine coolant and windshield washer fluid levels, and add fluid as needed.

Maintenance II

  • Perform all Maintenance I items.
  • Inspect suspension and steering components.
  • Inspect engine cooling system.
  • Inspect wiper blades. Replace, if necessary.
  • Check transmission fluid level, and add fluid as needed.
  • Check transfer case fluid level, and add fluid as needed.

Additional Required Services

Every 25,000 miles:

  • Inspect fuel system for damage or leaks.
  • Inspect exhaust system for loose or damaged components.

Every 50,000 miles:

  • Replace engine air cleaner filter (on vehicles without a filter restriction indicator).
  • Change automatic transmission fluid and filter (severe service: GM recommends this service only if the vehicle has been driven in one of the following conditions: in heavy city traffic where the outside temperature regularly reaches 90° F or higher; in hilly or mountainous terrain; when doing frequent trailer towing; or in uses such as in taxi, police or delivery service).
  • Change transfer case fluid.

Every 100,000 miles:

  • Change automatic transmission fluid and filter (normal service).
  • Replace spark plugs.
  • Inspect spark plug wires.

Every 150,000 miles:

  • Drain, flush and refill cooling system. Pressure test the cooling system and cap.
  • Inspect engine accessory drive belt. Replace, if necessary.

Lubricants and Capacities

Motor oil — SAE 5W-30 meeting GM specification GM6094M. Capacity with filter is 6.0 quarts (5.7 liters).
Automatic transmission fluid — Dexron VI Automatic Transmission Fluid. Capacity (with pan removal and filter replacement) is 6.0 quarts (5.7 liters).
Transfer case fluid — Dexron III Automatic Transmission Fluid (H specification). Capacity is 1.5 quarts (1.4 liters).
Axle lubricant — SAE 75W-90 synthetic axle lubricant meeting GM specification 9986115.
Coolant — Dex-Cool Coolant (50/50 mixture with water). Capacity is 17.6 quarts (16.7 liters).
Brake fluid — Delco Supreme 11 Brake Fluid or DOT-3 equivalent.
Power steering fluid — GM Power Steering Fluid or equivalent.


Checking Escalade ATF

GM recommends the following procedure for checking automatic transmission fluid levels in the Escalade:

  1. Start the engine with the vehicle parked on a level surface. Keep the engine running.
  2. Apply the parking brake and place the shift lever in Park.
  3. With your foot on the brake pedal, move the shift lever through each gear range, pausing for about three seconds in each range. Then, move the shift lever back to Park.
  4. Allow the engine to idle (500 to 800 rpm) for at least one minute. Slowly release the brake pedal.
  5. Keep the engine running and press the Trip/Fuel button until TRANS TEMP displays on the Driver Information Center (DIC).
  6. Using the TRANS TEMP reading, determine and perform the appropriate check procedure. If the TRANS TEMP reading is not within the required temperature ranges, allow the vehicle to cool or operate the vehicle until the appropriate transmission fluid temperature is reached.

COLD CHECK PROCEDURE

Use the cold check procedure to check fluid level when the transmission temperature is between 80° F and 90° F (27° C and 32° C):

  1. Locate the transmission dipstick at the rear of the engine compartment on the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
  2. Flip the handle up, and then pull out the dipstick and wipe it with a clean rag or paper towel.
  3. Install the dipstick by pushing it back in all the way; wait three seconds, and then pull it back out again.
  4. Check both sides of the dipstick, and read the lower level. Repeat the check procedure to verify the reading.
  5. If the fluid is below the COLD check band, add only enough fluid as necessary to bring the level into the COLD band. Note: It generally requires less than one pint (0.5 liters) of fluid to do this.
  6. Perform a hot check at the first opportunity after the transmission reaches a normal operating temperature.
  7. If the fluid is in the acceptable range, push the dipstick back in all the way, then flip the handle down to lock the dipstick in place.

HOT CHECK PROCEDURE

Use the hot check procedure to check the transmission fluid level when the transmission fluid temperature is between 160° F and 200° F (71° C and 93° C), which is normal operating temperature:

  1. Locate the transmission dipstick at the rear of the engine compartment on the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
  2. Flip the handle up, and then pull out the dipstick and wipe it with a clean rag or paper towel.
  3. Install the dipstick by pushing it back in all the way; wait three seconds, and then pull it back out again.
  4. Check both sides of the dipstick, and read the lower level. Repeat the check procedure to verify the reading.
  5. Safe operating level is within the HOT crosshatch band on the dipstick. If the fluid level is not within the HOT band, and the temperature is in the normal operating range, add or drain fluid as necessary to bring the level into the HOT band. If the fluid level is low, add only enough fluid to bring the level into the HOT band. Note: It generally requires less than one pint (0.5 liters) of fluid to do this.
  6. If the fluid is in the acceptable range, push the dipstick back in all the way, then flip the handle down to lock the dipstick in place.