2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request
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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, 2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request in Cadillac Escalade Forums; Hello Everyone, New to the Cadillac Forums, but I've been searching/reading many, many good threads about Escalades the past week. ...
  1. #1
    AirDoc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request

    Hello Everyone,

    New to the Cadillac Forums, but I've been searching/reading many, many good threads about Escalades the past week.

    I have a colleague at work that is selling his Escalade for a very good deal ($7500) and I thought I'd see if any of you can give me some quick hints of things/concerns to look for.

    2003 Escalade

    AWD / 6.0
    Pearl White
    approx 90k Miles

    Issues Known (some addressed)
    1-Main Serpentine Belt/Tensioners - Changed 1k miles ago - visual inspection need
    2-Fuel Filter/Fuel Pump - Changed 1k miles ago as a result of failure
    3-Air Compressor is coming on/off many times - I think it's a leaky shock

    My plan (if I purchase) is to make this my Daily Driver and also tow a trailer/race car about 8-10 times per year.

    My thought is I need to do:
    4-Gas Shock Conversion (to save money/simplicity)
    5-Plugs/Wires change
    6-Fluids change - Diff/transfer case/trans/radiator etc..
    7-Get some new Mats, Tires etc....as those are about done.
    8-Add Brake Controller for towing
    9-5" crack in top of Front Window - Do nothing - it has no obstruction to view
    10-well.....I really don't like the wheels....so in long term a wheel upgrade would be nice.

    My current Daily Driver is a F150 with 5.4L and I need some extra room - so the Caddy seems like a pretty nice option.

    If there are no major "red flags" from any of / a test drive / personal inspection - it might be mine.

    I look forward to any/all advice.

    Thanks in advance!!

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  3. #2
    AirDoc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 03 Escalade
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    Re: 2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request

    So...I took a test drive/inspection - here's what I came up with:

    1 - Driver Window raises slowly
    2 - Owner told me that Stereo has some issues with turning off sometimes
    3 - Voltage gauge does not work
    4 - Car was a northern car - I notice surface rust on the frame - this could probably be sanded/treated
    5 - Motor/Drivetrain is smooth / runs strong
    6 - A/C is good/Cold - F&R Works good
    7 - 94,000 is actual mileage
    8 - Brakes have slight pulse/warped - need replacement
    9 - Slight noise from front end at times, not consistent - I don't know if this is normal or a Front Diff giving some premature screams of death
    10 - Leather is in good condition

    Carmax is going to give my co-worker $7k and he said he would take $7k if I want it - I've got to make a decision in 2 days as he will need to let Carmax know quickly as he is moving out of country next week.

    I'm a bit concerned with the rust....but I'm trying to get into my head if I could buy this and drive it for 2yrs or so, then sell/trade for something else that I might want later. - $7k is quite less in terms of money.

    Comments/advice?

  4. #3
    DucatiGuido's Avatar
    DucatiGuido is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2004 Escalade EXT
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    7k is awesome deal. Even if it needs some work. Also look at it this way buy it if you don't like it take it to Carnax.

  5. #4
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 cadillac escalade
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    Buy it a lot of the stuff you mentioned is normal for a truck this age and with the miles I know I have a 03 that had about 122,000 on it when I got it and so far the only things major I have done is the starter here lately and the low beam bulbs both from age and use

    The radio does glitch from time to time(software issues)no biggie but six months after I got it I had a shock blow out on me (I do tow some) which I will be replacing soon
    But I have seen a little bit of surface rust on the frame(northern truck so go figure) but I had the service history pulled at my local dealer and it has been took good care of.
    P.s 7000 is a really good deal cause I got mine at 13,500 but great price I am keeping a eye on my window motors cause I expect my front ones to go soon due to use

  6. #5
    Rolex's Avatar
    Rolex is offline Super Moderator
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    Re: 2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request

    AirDoc it sounds to me like you've done your research sir. All I have to add is:

    to the forums.
    The above post is my 2 cents....nothing more.

  7. #6
    AirDoc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request

    Well...I think I'll go ahead and get it....stay tuned...I'm sure I'll more questions.

    Thanks Everyone!!

  8. #7
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Well I guess I can say this now and the is welcome to the forums and enjoy your lade.

  9. #8
    Cyco's Avatar
    Cyco is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 06 Escalade
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    Re: 2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request

    I put in an aftermarket double DIN stereo, which was better then original, has garmin gps, wheel controls work, plays movies and hooks up to a usb thumb drive for 16gig of music. Replacing rear shocks woulding be that bad, even if you stay with air ride. I replaced my brakes and rotors at 100k, I went with the power stop brake kit and like it. I have also changed plugs and wires at 100k and it's easy. So most of the stuff sounds like wear and tear. Lastly, (should have been under warranty but of course they didn't find it) dropped my tranny pan, replaced o-ring leading to transfer case. I was loosing about a quart every 20k and it was going into transfer case... anyway changed ring, new oil/filter alls good.

  10. #9
    AirDoc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request

    Thanks for the experience - what type of double DIN has integrated Garmin?

    Picking up the Escalade next week on Thursday!!

  11. #10
    Cyco's Avatar
    Cyco is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request

    Mine is a couple years old, Kenwood DNX7000 series. What ever one you decide on, make sure it's built in and not a DVD-NAV DISK. You can update maps with a SC card. I found this one. http://www.amazon.com/Kenwood-Touch-screen-navigation-Bluetooth-Interface/dp/tech-data/B003LVHBPW

  12. #11
    AirDoc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyco View Post
    Mine is a couple years old, Kenwood DNX7000 series. What ever one you decide on, make sure it's built in and not a DVD-NAV DISK. You can update maps with a SC card. I found this one. http://www.amazon.com/Kenwood-Touch-screen-navigation-Bluetooth-Interface/dp/tech-data/B003LVHBPW

    That's a nice one....a bit expensive for my budget on the Escalade (unfortunately I have too many other cars/projects..hahah). I'm gonna shop a bit - I can justify about a $500 full Head Unit change inclusive of kit/wiring. I really like the idea of a "fully integrated" unit to the steering wheel, etc..etc...

  13. #12
    AirDoc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2003 Escalade Shopping - Advice Request

    I got the Escalade some surprises......

    1 - It has a Corsa Touring Exhaust - only figured it out after 5 mnutes scrubbing on the exhaust tips to see "Corsa" become visible.
    2 - The windshield does need replacing - the crack bugs me
    3 - It has a Viper 1000 alarm - only 1 remote (need another)
    4 - Only 1 key.....need some spares quick
    5 - It was filthy.....did a quick clean on it...took me 1 hour on the wheels to where I can see the chrome again....sheesh
    6 - The stereo sounds better than I thought after adjusting it a bit..it is a Full Screen NAV unit, but NAV asks for a "disk" - I dunno if it's worth trying to find a disk or the issue...hmmm
    7- Escalade sill plate illumination on Passenger side does not work
    8 - After poking around under it a bit..I don't like the look of the rust on the hitch...that will need to be replaced in the future
    9- Passenger Fog Light is missing lense

    Well....a wash, a fresh tank of gas with a bottle of Redline SI-1 Injection cleaner....and it's a driver. Now for all the fun maintenance and upgrades.

    Thanks Everyone.

  14. #13
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by AirDoc
    I got the Escalade some surprises......

    1 - It has a Corsa Touring Exhaust - only figured it out after 5 mnutes scrubbing on the exhaust tips to see "Corsa" become visible.
    2 - The windshield does need replacing - the crack bugs me
    3 - It has a Viper 1000 alarm - only 1 remote (need another)
    4 - Only 1 key.....need some spares quick
    5 - It was filthy.....did a quick clean on it...took me 1 hour on the wheels to where I can see the chrome again....sheesh
    6 - The stereo sounds better than I thought after adjusting it a bit..it is a Full Screen NAV unit, but NAV asks for a "disk" - I dunno if it's worth trying to find a disk or the issue...hmmm
    7- Escalade sill plate illumination on Passenger side does not work
    8 - After poking around under it a bit..I don't like the look of the rust on the hitch...that will need to be replaced in the future
    9- Passenger Fog Light is missing lense

    Well....a wash, a fresh tank of gas with a bottle of Redline SI-1 Injection cleaner....and it's a driver. Now for all the fun maintenance and upgrades.

    Thanks Everyone.
    1the windshield can be repaired depending on how bad the crack is,
    Exhaust and alarm added on is nice

    The nav unit needs a map disc to work

    No clue on the door sill cause it is aftermarket add on

    Don't beat yourself up on the hitch mine is the same way I got some black paint to fix the rust.
    The fog lights can be bought on amazon for a great price on both

    I suggest getting a new set of low beam bulbs for kensun.com great price and two years on replacement parts on the hid kits and bulbs.

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