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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help... in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi All, My parents bought a 2005 Deville DTS new in ...2005 They have driven it as their daily around ...
  1. #1
    FrankB2 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    Hi All,
    My parents bought a 2005 Deville DTS new in ...2005 They have driven it as their daily around town car, and it now has 88,000 miles on the odometer. The only issue they've had is the shifter being stuck in park one year ago, and a transmission shop installed a new switch for $400. They're offering it to me for $5,000. I've read a zillion horror stories about endless maintenance and repair costs, so I'm still on the fence with this. I did take Wednesday off to detail the car (MUCH NEEDED!!!!!), and it looked fine after washing, waxing, vacuuming, etc. The only thing I saw wrong with it was the rear bumper went down 1.5 inches when I sat on it. I'm assuming something is not functioning properly with the ELC. Also, the "Oil Level Low" warning was on when they dropped it off at my house, and they told me the Onstar operator said that was fine. I had to put two quarts of oil in the car to bring the level up to nearly full (car was warmed up first). They never checked the oil between changes, and didn;t believe me when I told them that the engine is suposed to consume oil. It has the NAV/DVD head unit, but no flash drive or Bluetooth adapter, so that stinks.

    Million dollar question(s): Is this car worth owning? Are the repair stories accurate?
    I'm 51-yrs-old, and looking to replace my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I've always done the overwhelming majorotiy of work on my cars, but getting to the NorthStar's serpentine belt looks like a challenge. It does have 4 new tires, and I know my parents didn't pour stop leak in the radiator, etc. I already added it to my insurance policy, but couldn't bring myself to signing on the dotted line yesterday for the reasons stated above. Please help with any advice!

    P.S. I looked under and around the engine, and didn't see any signs of oil leaks. In fact, the underneath is very clean.

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  3. #2
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is online now Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...



    One thing you have to keep in mind when reading these forums is that people ONLY come here when they have a problem. Kind of like going into a maternity ward and then assuming that ALL women are pregnant.

    I have 96K on mine and it has been pretty reliable.

    If the rear end did not come back up, then there may be a problem with the ELC system. Maybe a bad compressor or a leak in one of the lines or shock bladders. Replacing struts & shock on the DTS is expensive because of the active suspension. Might want to pull the DTCs. See the DTC sticky at the top of the forum page if you need help and always post the code definition along with any codes when looking for help.

    The low oil warning comes on at 2 qts low or just about the time that the oil level drops off the dipstick. "Full" (7.5 qts) is about half way on the crosshatch between MIN & MAX.

    DO NOT pour any snake oil additives into the cooling system, crankcase or transmission, but DO change the coolant every 2-3 years.......religiously.

    If you like the car, I'd grab it. It's no worse than any other car.

  4. #3
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    When you sat on the trunk lip was the key ON ?

    Proper oil level for that engine is in the middle of the dipstick hashmark - not at the top. Read the articles on oil consumption and Oil Life Monitor (as well as everything else) up in the top black bar ^^^ - "Cadillac Technical Archive".

    Oil level with the specified 7.5 quarts of oil with filter:

    <== ADD XXXXXXXXXX OPERATING RANGE ===========================oo===================== ===============O

  5. #4
    FrankB2 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    Hi Ranger,
    Thanks for the welcome and the advice. I looked at Consumer Guide and Edmunds, and they don't report anything but a couple of extemely minor reliability issues: engine mount on Edmunds, and I don't think anything of real consequence on Consumer Guide for 2005. I've noticed that forums tend to be a meeting place for those with problems, but my problem is whether to snatch this car up. I'm kind off cheap, and don't won't to spend a fortune on repairs. Looking at parts prices (brake rotors, pads, radiators, etc), the 2005 Deville is about on par with my Jeep, so that's not bad. The other common gripe I see is window regulators, but who rolls down the windows on these cars?

  6. #5
    Mojo88's Avatar
    Mojo88 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    Do you mean $5.00 or $5,000???

    If it's five dollars, then it's a no-brainer. Even at five thousand, it's still sounds reasonable. But it's the same old story with all used cars, especially when they are approaching 100k miles - you can count on doing some repairs.

    -

  7. #6
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    Go back and read Post #3, and for a DTS (or STS !), active suspension parts are ummmm, breathtaking.

  8. #7
    FrankB2 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    When you sat on the trunk lip was the key ON ?[/B]
    The engine was running the time. Actually, I saw the side dip when my mother got in to turn the car on, and it didn't recover after starting. It drives fine, but I'd have to get that looked at. My niece's husband is an Acura mechanic, but has worked on Cadillacs. He said that he doesn't trust Cadillac reliability, but he only sees them when they have a problem....Kind of like forums.

    P.S. Price has been corrected to $5,000. If everything else seems okay, and I toss $2,000 into it, that's $7,000 for a decent enough car. I sold my wife's 2005 Ford Focus for $5,500 last week (she bought a 2012 Jeep Patriot), so I'd basically be trading a Ford Focus for a Deville DTS.

  9. #8
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is online now Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    Yeah, the pop n drop windows are a problem (if you use them). Mine rarely ever come down, but there is a cheap and relatively easy permanent repair in the Tech Tips section.

    Like Mojo said, at 88K you can count on things starting to need replacing. Aside from the ridiculously expensive suspension prices, I (like you) have not found most parts to be much worse than any other car.

    One other thought comes to mind regarding the suspension. The '05 uses the MagnaRide system. There are no moving parts (valves) in the struts and shocks. They use a magnetic fluid to change the oil viscosity, thus they are much more reliable.

  10. #9
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    This is a rear level control only - not any sort of suspension control. That's separate and it's NOT "air ride" and it will not level side-to-side. The ELC - About 10 seconds after you turn ON the key the compressor should do a preload sequence - hummmmm for 2 seconds, RR wheelwell. Now pop the trunk, key ON, and 3 of you sit on the trunk lip. Does the compressor come on and level the car ? OK, now all hop off. Do you hear air escaping in the RR wheelwell as the system again levels the rear ??? If none of this works, repairs are needed to the ELC system - anything from a disconnected rear suspension height sensor rod to a seized compressor. Fuse box under the rear seat pad.

  11. #10
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    One other thought comes to mind regarding the suspension. The '05 uses the MagnaRide system. There are no moving parts (valves) in the struts and shocks. They use a magnetic fluid to change the oil viscosity, thus they are much more reliable.
    The Deville never got F55, as far as I know.

  12. #11
    White Lightning is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    I have to concur with MoistCabbage, everything I've ever read about MagnaRide was it started with the Seville STS and Corvette. It didn't get implemented on a "full size"car until the 2006-up DTS bodystyle. And as for the original poster, I'd say go for it, most of the general maintenance stuff isn't that hard to do compared to other cars, although the serp belt can be tough especially by yourself. I don't know how Northstar's got this aura of doom around them but unless you doing some real major work and even then, they aren't that bad.

  13. #12
    FrankB2 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    Quote Originally Posted by White Lightning View Post
    And as for the original poster, I'd say go for it, most of the general maintenance stuff isn't that hard to do compared to other cars, although the serp belt can be tough especially by yourself. I don't know how Northstar's got this aura of doom around them but unless you doing some real major work and even then, they aren't that bad.
    Looking at sites like Edmunds, owners can write comments about vehicles when you go to the appraisal section. The 2000-2005 Deville gets somewhere around 8.1 out of 10 in praise, but there are enough horror stories to make one wonder. People saying, "My car spent more time at the repair shop, than it did on the road."; "I had to have two engines and a transmission replaced before 20K miles"; "It eats torque converters" etc. I sometimes wonder if these stories aren't planted on sites like that by other companies...
    The Northstar in my parents'/might be my Deville ran just fine. In fact, few modern engines don't run really well. I remember seeing cars on the side of the highway back in the 70's, but that's a pretty rare sight today. The more common sight is an early 90's car with more rust than paint, but being used as a daily driver. I checked with Edmunds site after getting home, and the only problem their editors pointed to with the 2005 Deville DTS was the front engine mount failing on occassion. All other systems don't have commonly occuring problems according to theor editors, and they give it 5 stars for reliability. The 2001-2002 get 4 stars..... In any case, the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee I mentioned in my first post cost me $1,000 in 2008, and has never needed anything. The paint on the hood and roof is looking horrific, however, and the idea of spending $2,000 for paint on a vehicle with 212,000 miles has me inches from handing over the cash for the Cadillac.

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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    The Deville never got F55, as far as I know.
    Quote Originally Posted by White Lightning View Post
    I have to concur with MoistCabbage, everything I've ever read about MagnaRide was it started with the Seville STS and Corvette. It didn't get implemented on a "full size"car until the 2006-up DTS bodystyle. And as for the original poster, I'd say go for it, most of the general maintenance stuff isn't that hard to do compared to other cars, although the serp belt can be tough especially by yourself. I don't know how Northstar's got this aura of doom around them but unless you doing some real major work and even then, they aren't that bad.
    I guess I stand corrected then. I thought by '05 all the Cadillac active suspensions used Magnaride.

  15. #14
    White Lightning is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2005 Deville DTS Purchase Advice/Help...

    The front motor mount is a common problem for these cars, so I wouldn't exactly put it in the "on occasion" catagory, but you say motor mount and it sounds really bad but it's not that bad to do. Even though I'm biased just look at the math 2005 and 88000 vs 1996 and 212000, those aren't small differences.

  16. #15
    AElayyat's Avatar
    AElayyat is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankB2
    Hi All,
    My parents bought a 2005 Deville DTS new in ...2005 They have driven it as their daily around town car, and it now has 88,000 miles on the odometer. The only issue they've had is the shifter being stuck in park one year ago, and a transmission shop installed a new switch for $400. They're offering it to me for $5,000. I've read a zillion horror stories about endless maintenance and repair costs, so I'm still on the fence with this. I did take Wednesday off to detail the car (MUCH NEEDED!!!!!), and it looked fine after washing, waxing, vacuuming, etc. The only thing I saw wrong with it was the rear bumper went down 1.5 inches when I sat on it. I'm assuming something is not functioning properly with the ELC. Also, the "Oil Level Low" warning was on when they dropped it off at my house, and they told me the Onstar operator said that was fine. I had to put two quarts of oil in the car to bring the level up to nearly full (car was warmed up first). They never checked the oil between changes, and didn;t believe me when I told them that the engine is suposed to consume oil. It has the NAV/DVD head unit, but no flash drive or Bluetooth adapter, so that stinks.

    Million dollar question(s): Is this car worth owning? Are the repair stories accurate?
    I'm 51-yrs-old, and looking to replace my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I've always done the overwhelming majorotiy of work on my cars, but getting to the NorthStar's serpentine belt looks like a challenge. It does have 4 new tires, and I know my parents didn't pour stop leak in the radiator, etc. I already added it to my insurance policy, but couldn't bring myself to signing on the dotted line yesterday for the reasons stated above. Please help with any advice!

    P.S. I looked under and around the engine, and didn't see any signs of oil leaks. In fact, the underneath is very clean.
    For $5000 on a 1 owner dts I would jump on that deal. Just make sure all checks out with car.

    Good luck

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