05-06-04, 04:01 PM
I have heard that Cadillacs are so unique that only the dealer really knows how to fix/maintain them.
I have a '98 STS and am tired of taking it to the dealer and am considering finding an independent shop to do routine maintenance/repairs.
Any thoughts, experiences, advice?
Guess it's what you're comfortable with. Personally, I cannot afford to take my 94 Eldorado to a dealer for maintenance, routine or otherwise. I bought my car about eight months ago from a couple of young guys who run their own used car and repair shop. They have done all my work. I mentioned on another thread that I do a lot of research on the net (including this forum) and pass on the info to these guys. They are good mechanics and cheap. Found another shop in town that always had older Cadillacs in the lot. I stopped in and found that he and his wife both drive older models and he does all the work. Shop around your area. There are good mechanics out there. Like anything else just be careful and do a little research.
05-06-04, 05:12 PM
There is nothing specific to working on a Cadillac that necessarily requires a Cadillac dealer to do the work...but they are the most likely ones to have the knowlege, training, expertise, reference material, factory technical assistance connections, etc......
If you are going to go to an independent shop I would strongly suggest asking them and verifying that they at least have the proper service manuals for your car so that they can have a shot at diagnosing things correctly and doing the procedures and such correctly....unless you like them "going to school" on your car at your expense.
A Cadillac is a complicated car, there is no doubt. Just like any other expensive, luxury car. The luxury features come at the expense of complexity and it takes special training and knowlege to work on them. Anyone can be trained to do it....but the ones most likely to have the training and experience on your model car are Cadillac dealers.
05-06-04, 05:16 PM
bbob is correct. I've had too many people learning on my car at my expense. If you can do some of the work yourself do it, if it is something over your head have a Cadillac dealer do it.
05-06-04, 05:55 PM
I've personally only gone to one small shop my entire life. Its an independant shop run by 2 or 3 guys and they know exactly what they are doing on my Caddy as nothing has gone wrong. I think one actually owns a Deville. There have been a few times where I've seen them working on other Caddies...one was a 91 Eldo, and the other, a 76 Fleetwood.
05-07-04, 03:49 PM
I think it all depends. A Cadillac dealer probably is the best place to take your Caddy too, although if you do your research and do find a good mechanic I'm sure you'll have good luck.
I'm lucky to have a place called Caddy Corner by my house. Labor rate is $78 so it's like a regular shop, not as expensive as a Caddy dealer, and they know their stuff. Obviously they work on Caddy's all day.
Sometimes there are little things that only someone knowledgeable about those cars would know. Example: My 90 Eldorado had a knocking sound coming from my front end. I had 3 different places look at my front end, none could find out what was wrong. I called Caddy Corner and told the guy my symptoms. He told me it was my sway bar bushings. I brought it there and sure enough it was my bushings. Got those replaced and the car drives like bran new. Another Example. I replaced my belt and my tensioner pulley. Ever since I replaced those my tensioner pulley would squeek. I thought the bearings were bad. I bought another pulley. It was fine for about a month then it would squeek again. This went on for about a year. I had it to different shops, listened with an automotive stethoscope, it was coming right from the damn pulley. There is an automotive warehouse parts distributor that I go to for my parts. They told me to call Caddy Corner and ask them (that's how I found them). I called them. The guy asked me what kind of belt I was using. I told him Gates. He said, Gates are bad, they've had a lot of problems with those. He said go to Cadillac and get a GM belt. I did what he said and the squeek was gone! It's weird because the squeek really was coming from the pulley! It fooled everyone! I had even taken it to a Caddy dealer, they said same thing, pulley!
Knowledge like that is priceless in my opinion.
05-15-04, 11:41 PM
I've had the best luck with the dealership in my area. They are honest and knowledgable. Every time my Caddy has gone elsewhere for service, something doesn't get done right. I had plugs and wires replaced at a service station and they messed up, couldn't even get the back two off!!