1998 Concours Purchase
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, 1998 Concours Purchase in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Good day all, new member here! Well, I have made the "leap" to buying a 1998 DeVille Concours...is it too ...
  1. #1
    LakeDweller is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    1998 Concours Purchase

    Good day all, new member here!

    Well, I have made the "leap" to buying a 1998 DeVille Concours...is it too late to back out?!?! This has been my "dream" car for some time now as we have a growing family and I am rather tall and have always been big car guy. Okay, well...the new 2004 is my dream car; however, our funds don't stretch that far.

    Anyway, I pick it up Monday and it has 52,000 miles on it and is in PERFECT condition. After I signed the bottom line yesterday, I researched some more last night and found some discouraging posts regarding the 300 HP Northstar and general reliability. Am I doomed? Will my wife divorce me? Did I make a mistake selling my dependable, but BORING 2001 Altima?

    Also, I see Premium is recommended...the dealer said "don't worry about that, but I'll fill it with Premium if you really want". That is discouraging. I tend to lean towards premium gas and have always used Mobil 1.

    Any thoughts/suggestions are appreciated!!

    Pat

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    the Sandman's Avatar
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    Re: 1998 Concours Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by LakeDweller
    Good day all, new member here!

    Well, I have made the "leap" to buying a 1998 DeVille Concours...is it too late to back out?!?! This has been my "dream" car for some time now as we have a growing family and I am rather tall and have always been big car guy. Okay, well...the new 2004 is my dream car; however, our funds don't stretch that far.

    Anyway, I pick it up Monday and it has 52,000 miles on it and is in PERFECT condition. After I signed the bottom line yesterday, I researched some more last night and found some discouraging posts regarding the 300 HP Northstar and general reliability. Am I doomed? Will my wife divorce me? Did I make a mistake selling my dependable, but BORING 2001 Altima?

    Also, I see Premium is recommended...the dealer said "don't worry about that, but I'll fill it with Premium if you really want". That is discouraging. I tend to lean towards premium gas and have always used Mobil 1.

    Any thoughts/suggestions are appreciated!!

    Pat
    Hey Pat - Welcome to the CadillacForums. Congratulations on your new purchase. The Northstar is a great engine that has some reliability issues which are reduced or eliminated by aggressive maintenance and some common sense. Have it serviced regularly (or do it yourself), flush the coolant system now and every 30,000 miles, get the engine oil flush done with the next oil change, and consider a transmission flush. Keep the radiator/condenser clean by removing bugs/debris (carefully!) and flushing the fins with a garden hose (not pressure washer). Watch your temperature gauge and do not let the car run hot (it shouldn't if you maintain the cooling system). Don't be afraid to open her up. Yes, the Mobil 1 oil is good - use it! And stick with the premium gas - it will run on regular but the computer adjusts the timing to compensate so power and efficiency will suffer with the cheaper grades of fuel - not a hugh difference but noticeable.

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    Re: 1998 Concours Purchase

    Keep in mind that most people come to forums like this to get answers to their problems. Not alot of people just check in to say "everythings fine"

    Where in Wisconsin are you? I went to school at UW-Whitewater

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    Re: 1998 Concours Purchase

    Hey Pat,
    Don't worry, there's a lot of Northstars that DON'T come apart. It's just more likely with them than say the 4.9 in the earlier models. According to Cadillac service literature, "normal" oil consumption for your car is 1Qt/1000miles. If it uses less than that, count yourself as one of the lucky ones. If it uses "more" than that, get it in to the dealer. They DO have some tricks up their sleeves to help it out. As for the "maintenance" on the car, just make sure the car doesn't over heat. You can do this by making sure the hoses are in good shape, keep the radiator clean (inside and out), make sure the the proper 50/50 coolant mix is used and make sure the GM coolant supplement tabs are used whenever the coolant is removed and replaced.
    The Northstar is a great engine when it's running properly. Keeping it that way is a combination of good maintenance and a little luck. Unfortunately, the car won't be anywhere near as reliable as the Nissan but then that's what the imports have going for them.

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    LakeDweller is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thank you so much for the great feedback, all. I'll simply keep the "not as reliable as my Nissan" away from my wife! We made this pact that we would NOT replace the 2001 Nissan for at least 6 years...oops! She doesn't want a car that she sticks any money into. I think what I'll do is take it to the local Caddy dealer and have them do a once-over and maintenance.

    Another questions or two? I noticed a couple replies relate to over-heating. I noticed the temp gauge when I took it all day yesterday was hovering around the middle. I am guessing that is okay, I am just used to a little less than half-way with our other cars. We live in the "boonies" and get a lot of bugs, so I'll keep an eye on the radiator.

    How are the brakes? I read a lot of negativity about brakes, too. I understand that we usually hear nothing but bad stuff out here, so I am just wondering. Heck, of the 1-2 dozen people that have written bad reviews, there must be tens of thousands of satisfied customers!

    Another note, I only plan on driving about 7-10 K miles a year, so I was truly hoping (with good maintenance!) that this would last for another 7-10 years! I have heard good things on longevity, not necessarily on good reliability.

    Thanks again, this is the first time I have even felt like I "belonged" to a group of enthusiasts. It is the first time I am actually in love with a car! I have owned 24 cars, but this is the cream of the crop for me and I am proud to own it...I just don't want to be dissapointed.

    Wow, I sound a little nutty above?! I am not nuts, just excited...believe me, it's hard to get excited about the vanilla Nissans - you just buy, drive, and sell...not very exciting!

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    LakeDweller is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1998 Concours Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett
    Keep in mind that most people come to forums like this to get answers to their problems. Not alot of people just check in to say "everythings fine"

    Where in Wisconsin are you? I went to school at UW-Whitewater

    Hey Brett, I am in the Madison Area. I went to UW-Madison, but have visited Whitewater!

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    Re: 1998 Concours Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by LakeDweller
    How are the brakes? I read a lot of negativity about brakes, too. I understand that we usually hear nothing but bad stuff out here, so I am just wondering. Heck, of the 1-2 dozen people that have written bad reviews, there must be tens of thousands of satisfied customers!
    I got a hair over 35k on my brakes. They were just inspected by the dealer ~500 miles ago, and I was told 3-5k more for the pads. The rotors are still very smooth. For me 35 k is good. My blazer needed replacements every 23k and my corvette every 25k.

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    LakeDweller is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Carfax

    Oh sure, and here I thought carfax was free! Any suggestions out there to check it out?

    1G6KF5491WU732977

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    Re: Carfax

    Welcome...... THanks for signing up.......

    Your coolant guage should be anywhere from the just below middle to just above middle........ Anything above or below that is abnormal.......

    Like I said earlier, most of the time you just hear about the bad stuff, and I guess the good is expected...... If you were to survey every cadillac owner about reliability, more would have positive thoughts than negative........

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    Re: 1998 Concours Purchase

    Welcome aboard, LakeDweller! And thank you for signing up! I think you made a good decision. Just keep in mind that ALL luxury cars have problems. Lexus seems to be the one with the LEAST problems - but even THEY cost money to maintain.. A Nissan Altima has nothing special about it. Neither does a Honda Accord. But check into any BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Audi, etcetera - and you'll find that when there are luxury options and features, they will break down from time to time...
    If this site has helped you save money, please consider helping it continue to do so. Click here for information!

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    Re: 1998 Concours Purchase

    Cost of maintenace is going to be about the same all around.... Lexus may even be slightly more because the older ones (not sure about new ones) use timing belts, which need to be replaced every 60-100k......

    Anyway.... You need to take in mind whenever ANYTHING goes wrong that you own a 50k luxuary car, not a little honda or nissan...... Regardless of the price you bought it for, it will still need to be maintained and cared for like a 50k car........

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    jersey dude is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Howdee!

    HI!

    I’m four months into my ’99 Concours and still smile every time I turn the key. As you know, it’s a huge goofball of a car! I like the Concours (as opposed to straight Deville) because the entire dash is more-oddly enough-‘modern’-analog as opposed to digital. And you’ll find the center console a better fit all around. I also like not having the hood ornament as my travels take me to many places where such things ‘disappear’.

    I just found this site a week ago-until then I really knew nothing of the ‘perils’ of Northstar ownership. I always thought it was respected powerplant. Who knew? But I guess that’s why I am here. Lots of knowledgeable people. And with any luck I do hope nothing goes horribly awry. I personally LOVE this engine! Its a blast to drive with way more power than one should ever need.

    Going from a stick Accord to this has been quite an experience. And yes, I too have been blown away with prices at the pump. Honestly, if added up-the funds used to fill this boat could very well equal the GDP of a small third world country. I never paid attention to gas prices before. Ever.

    Good luck and relax-you’ve got a terrific car in which to do so.

  14. #13
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    Re: Howdee!

    CARFAX searched more than 2.16 billion records from more than 4,000 different public and private sources and found 4 record(s) for this 1998 CADILLAC DEVILLE CONCOURS (1G6KF5491WU732977).

    Date:
    Mileage Reading:
    Source:
    General Comments:


    11/01/1997 Wisconsin
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Madison, WI
    Registered as
    private vehicle


    12/02/1997 Wisconsin
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Madison, WI
    Title #973369G035
    Title or registration issued
    First owner reported


    04/25/2001 18 Wisconsin
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Madison, WI
    Title #01115A4026
    Title or registration issued
    Odometer reading recorded on 10/24/1997


    09/21/2001 19,608 Wisconsin
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Madison, WI
    Title #012643I365
    Title or registration issued
    New owner reported
    Loan or lien reported
    Odometer reading recorded on 08/21/2001

    Also, no wrecks reported, no odometer tampering detected.

    Looks like you got a winner!

  15. #14
    LakeDweller is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thank you ALL!

    Thanks again, everyone for making this easier and fun! Elvis...thanks for the report, I really appreciate it and it puts me at ease. So far I have had it for two days. I have scheduled a service at the local dealer for some maintenance that was discussed previously (catch it before anything bad happens?!). They had the car on record and it was maintained there regularly.

    Again, thanks for all the support...I may have to get one of those license plate frames to promote now!

    Pat

  16. #15
    Snyder81 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Thank you ALL!

    Elvis,

    Would you be able to run my new 1996 Concours VIN for me? I didn't run it before I bought it, but I was told it had two private owners.

    1G6KF5296TU255445

    If not, I'm waiting for the next free CarFax promotion

    Thanks!

    -Scott

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