How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for a Cadillac Escalade

by Kyle McBride
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Starting in 2011, General Motors took the guesswork out of choosing engine oil for your Cadillac Escalade with the introduction of the dexos certification. GM tested engine oils from a host of sources and put its dexos symbol on the oils that meet its approval for use in GM engines. In your 2015 Escalade, use a synthetic blend SAE 0W-20 oil with no substitutions for temperature extremes. For Escalades built between 2011 and 2014, use a synthetic blend SAE 5W-30 oil. If the temperature in your area falls below minus 20 degrees F, use SAE 0W-30. For Escalades built prior to 2011, the dexos certification is backward compatible, so look for engine oil with the green dexos symbol on the bottle.


In the automatic transmission and transfer case of your Escalade, use a premium-grade Dexron-VI automatic transmission fluid. The front and rear axle of the 2011 through 2014 Escalade takes SAE 75W-90 synthetic oil. The front axle in the 2015 Escalade takes SAE 80W90 mineral axle fluid and the rear takes SAE 75W-85 synthetic axle fluid. Pick any premium-grade oil as long as it's the specified type and SAE range.

Other Fluids

In 2011, Cadillac recommended Optikleen washer solvent, but since then has recommended any washer solvent that meets regional temperature specifications. That means you want to choose a washer solvent that is an antifreeze solution -- not antifreeze coolant, but antifreeze washer solvent -- if the temperature gets below freezing in your area. For your cooling system, use a silicate-free coolant; Cadillac recommends Dex-Cool. For the hydraulic brake system in your Escalade, use DOT3 brake fluid and in the power steering system, use GM power steering fluid.

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