Cadillac BLS Forum (Europe / South Africa) Discussion, Self Help in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi All,
due to the not so wonderful support recent posters have reported I wonder if it's not time for ...
due to the not so wonderful support recent posters have reported I wonder if it's not time for some self help?? Perhaps a BLS owners group to band together for some clout!! Obviously on our own as individuals we would be hung out to dry as apart from B&M and perhaps one other there is no worthwhile support when it's needed. I'm not suggesting a mass rally of BLS's to invade Trollhattan but if that's what it takes to get noticed .. why not?
In my opinion this is a great car which doesn't deserve to be neglected so anyway I would be interested in others opinion as to whether this is an idea worth developing!!
I absolutely agree that we should probably make our voices heard and in fact, if I could afford the return journey to the agent in Sweden driving my own vehicle there to make a point, I would do so tomorrow. I get a sneaky suspicion though, no one would care. Not sure I could afford the compulsory snow tyres at this time of year either!
I truly believe I have to face the fact that ownership is going to be incredibly difficult. I think myself lucky in some respects because we still have some support in place. I have absolutely no idea how BLS owners in South Africa for instance, are going to resolve issues in the future. Cadillac is allegedly, no longer sold in South Africa. Only nine dealers remain available and only three authorised service agents are left in the whole of Southern Africa, one in Namibia, one in Botswana and one in South Africa, for any form of service or support. The distances between many of these facilities is immense!
I have absolutely no idea how many BLS Sedan and Waggon vehicles remain in the UK, but there must be a couple of thousand at least? The place I bought mine from, sold cars all over the country, from Cornwall to Aberdeen. Admittedly, some owners won't have experienced a single problem and some will never ever bother taking their BLS to an authorised Cadillac service centre, because again, there are only six in the entire country and it isn't exactly cheap. I've now decided, after my last Warranty service next year, I will find a good independent garage local to me and get them to service it. The one thing I have noticed is that the price of a three year old BLS, has dropped so low, the sellers are nearly giving them away! My own car was built sometime in 2008, shipped to the UK as a 2009 model and eventually sold to me in 2010. Yes, I only paid £14,999 for it, but even with the low 17,500 miles it currently has on the clock, I would be lucky now to get £8000 for it. I would be pig sick if I'd paid full dealer price for it in 2009, something like £26500, what an absolutely massive hit that would have been!
I'd love to have a meet with some fellow owners, but again, sadly, there are so few who have joined this forum, it would probably be a washout. The last time I went to a car meet, only four people bothered to turn up. It was a huge disappointment. I continue to monitor this BLS Forum because I genuinely want to pass on my own experiences concerning my BLS, but again, sadly, it seems that some previous contributors have either called it a day or got rid of their cars.
You're right, it is an excellent car. Every time I go out in mine, it turns heads, people point at it. I still get people I don't know walk up to me in the street and ask to have a look at it. Not one person has said they didn't like it and what's more, every passenger I've ever taken out in it has commented on how comfortable it is. My prize moment was last year when I went to a wedding. No one was interested in the wedding cars that were there, the Bride wanted to be driven away in my car, which was a huge compliment!
Well thats 2 of us then!!! 8 ) ... out of 72 views I suppose thats about right!!!
I was in Sweden last week (sans car) and talking with a guy about cars told him about the BLS and he said no problem in Sweden everybody knows its a 9-3 .. So it may be a matter of educating the Saab dealers in the UK .. for my part the money that I paid for the car reflected the potential difficulties and I bought it with eyes open .. It had 18 months warranty remaining and the roadside breakdown cover was tested with a bung battery in the first week (took only 20 minutes and was back up and running) so I have no cause for complaint (touch wood) .. In any event the experiences of nspiteri does emphasise the lack of support and indeed interest in the marque in the UK.
I have no idea either as to how many are actually on the road and also no idea how to find out?
I tell you what, I'm so glad Cadillac provided three year breakdown and recovery cover. I'd have been stuffed without it on the two occasions the car has failed on me. Sad thing is though, both times the recovery patrolmen came out, neither of them could fix the car at the roadside. One spent nearly an hour and a half trying to fix it and the other spent an hour. The fact is, they haven't got any technical data whatsoever on the BLS. They both told me that. They couldn't even cross reference it with either a Saab 9-3 or the Vectra. Their diagnostic equipment just doesn't cover the car. Their own technical teams couldn't even help them out.
You're right though, I think I might have to educate my local Saab dealer myself and tell them to stop being so up their own backsides. You'd think in these troubled economic times, they would gladly service the vehicle, but it seems they are just not bothered or they think it is too much hassle for them. Concerning parts, especially things like brake discs, pads, springs and shocks, I'm now finding it's reasonably easy to source equivalent Saab/Vauxhall Vectra equivalents, so I'm not going to die in a ditch too much over it. As for the engine, I think we should count ourselves as lucky, it's used in a whole bunch of GM/Fiat/Alfa cars, so mechanically, I feel confident that there will be plenty of support in that area for a long time to come. I found a fantastic PDF full colour instruction guide on how to service your own EGR valve too. I'm mechanically confident, so I'll be more than happy to service that when the time comes around.