: I LOVE my car, but.....



I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-18-07, 08:50 PM
It's extremely expensive to own. :bonkers:


Since I bought it in late August, I've put around $4,000 into it. That's including the $2300 headgasket, which was covered under my extended warranty, so I really only paid $100 for that job.

I don't remember everything I've done to it, but I'll put up a list after I get home tonight.

I mean it's like I'm at the dealer atleast once every 5 weeks for a repair now. For example, when I had the headgasket done because it was leaking oil externally, it was there for five days, and I brought it back this morning because it'll default to the defrost position automatically when I give it any throttle on a cold morning, and only if it's below 15* outside. They checked it for free this morning, because it may have been caused accidentally when they did the HG's. I mean they did have 1/2 the motor apart. But nope...they think it's caused by some sort of a vacuum main box under the dashboard, which is gonna probably be a bitch for labor, and probably won't be covered under my service contract...yey. :helpless:



Anyways, to the point. Aside from that, I *adore* this car...I mean I've wanted one for the last 10 years and I've got it...one of my dream cars. Other than the reliability issues, there is NOTHING about this car I don't like.

What I'm in the first stages of pondering now, is whether I should trade it off on a more reliable, cheaper to own car of this sort, namely an LS400.

The thing about the LS400's though, is they're dull...very very dull. They'll never break down, and the dealership will be a foreign land to you, but they're dull and lack any sort of a personality. You sit in them and you know it's a Toyota product, and that's not a good thing. And I'm not a huge fan of Japanese cars in general, especially Toyotas, but I must admit, of all the Japanese luxury brands, Lexus is the one I like the most. Sure, they'll do most things the S Class will, and probably some more, but is the reliability worth the dullness?

It would be tough to find an LS400 in my area, in the $10-11,000 range, with less than 120k on it...that's another big negative for the Lexus.


Just running this through my mind at this point, and it pains me to think of selling the car, but when you're entering what could be some very dire financial straights, you have to keep an open mind.

creeker
12-18-07, 09:02 PM
What kind of car do you have?.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-18-07, 09:05 PM
'99 Mercedes S320.

malcolm
12-18-07, 09:29 PM
Hmmm, Your name is I love Caddys and this is a Cadillac forum and you own an S320 that's $$$. Get yourself a nice Caddy son.

hueterm
12-18-07, 09:31 PM
Doesn't the W140 have a big issue w/the A/C Evaporator as well? (Like the most common problem?) If they have to gut the dash to replace that vacuum thing, might you think about replacing the evaporator if the majority of the labor is ripping out/reinstalling the dash?

On the other hand...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1998-LEXUS-LS400-LOW-MILES-LS-400_W0QQitemZ220184766045QQihZ012QQcategoryZ14240Q QssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

SlxAlxx
12-18-07, 09:38 PM
My best friend's Mom owns a 2000 LS400 Platinum edition (Pearl white with "special" wheels and blacked-out chrome trim.) Although the Lexus has a personality of a Styrofoam cooler, and you must have a high-end luxury car other than Cadillac, get one of those babies. They're ultra quiet, durable, reliable, and the insurance premiums are generally lower than other cars in it's class. From one car aficionado to the other, ditch the Benz. Been there, done that. They will drive you to drinking, quickly.

ryannel2003
12-18-07, 10:16 PM
I love Cadillac's and Mercedes, but nothing can compare to the quality of a Toyota product. My Camry is dead boring, not that sexy, and REALLY not fast. However, I love getting up in the morning and turning the key knowing the car is going to start up.

As for the LS400, I just did a english paper on Lexus. A source of mine said the LS400 is one of the most reliable vehicle's ever produced. I'm pretty sure of that, many LS400's still litter the road. However, they are expensive bastards. Going upwards of $20,000 for a 2000 with 50k miles. I have driven a newer LS430 and it drove... well too much like my Camry. It really had no personality, but everybody knows that.

AMGoff
12-18-07, 10:22 PM
You need to get your head examined... for the love of God man, don't get a Lexus. Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it, and if I hadn't mentioned it already.... don't do it!

As super-duper fantastic as everyone says the Lexus' are... every car breaks down, plain and simple. And if you insist on owning a luxury-import then you have to be prepared to shell out some big bucks for any kind of maintenance or repair, big or small... especially when compared to their domestic counterparts. Cadillacs may be pricey to maintain compared to, oh let's say a Ford... but it's nothing compared to an import.

Here's my recommendation - if you've already spent time and money fixing up your Naz... er... Benz, then you might as well keep it. However, if deep down you feel that it would be best to unload it while you can still get what you put into it... then buy a domestic, especially if you're doing so for financial reasons. If you'd be hesitant about getting behind the wheel of a Northstar then go find yourself a nice Lincoln - maybe an LS... or even better a Mark VIII. In fact I'd wholeheartedly recommend getting into a nice, big personal luxury coupe... whether it be a Mark, a Riviera, or an Eldorado... for some reason I can just see you in one of those.

Just to reiterate - whatever you do, don't think about getting into another import, especially a luxury import if you're doing so for financial reasons. Just remember... as much as you may like the Benz, you're still young - you've got plenty of years ahead of you to get into another.

96Fleetwood
12-18-07, 10:22 PM
Is there anything else wrong with the S320? If not, why get rid of it when you have made it mechanically sound! If you go and buy a used LS400, who knows what it will need. Not to mention the W140 is a timeless piece of art while the LS400 is just a bloated Avalon.

Luxury cars come with luxury repairs once they are out of warranty. In the 3 years my Brother owned his DTS, he spent over $8,000 in repairs just to keep it running, it had ~130K miles when he sold it.

Jesda
12-18-07, 10:23 PM
There are no cheap luxury cars.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-18-07, 10:36 PM
Right now, I've just gotta get that vaccum issue resolved, and an oil change, but after that who knows. It's just one mind numbingly expensive repair after another...

Maybe I just hit a bad streak this month and am due for 2 years of troublefree bliss? Who knows.

gary88
12-18-07, 10:41 PM
Wasn't the point of you getting an S320 so you wouldn't have to worry about repairs to the V8 counterparts? :bouncy:

No matter how reliable or bullet proof a car like the LS400 may be, I wouldn't be able to stand the dullness of it. All Lexuses (Lexi?) are still glorified Toytoa's in my eyes. I wouldn't mind sacrificing a few gizmos and doo dods at all for a more involved driving experienced.

If you do decide to move on though, I could give you a CF discount on my SLS, eh eh? When's the last time you heard of an '02 blowing headgaskets?

creeker
12-18-07, 10:51 PM
There are no cheap luxury cars.

Ergo,there isn't any cheap,cheap cars either.

Jesda
12-18-07, 11:44 PM
You would very much enjoy a 95+ LS400. They are extremely comfortable, and 98+ are quick too. But no, you won't get the look and feel and little touches that makes a W140 special.

Special costs a lot of money. :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-19-07, 12:52 AM
Wasn't the point of you getting an S320 so you wouldn't have to worry about repairs to the V8 counterparts? :bouncy:

Yes, as compared to the other S Classes. I had given thought to buying a LS400, or a 740iL, or even an A8, all of which were V8 powered, but after I drove that first S320, I never even gave second thought to any of the competing models.



If you do decide to move on though, I could give you a CF discount on my SLS, eh eh? When's the last time you heard of an '02 blowing headgaskets?

Sorry man, not interested....I'm only interested in the "Executive class" RWD luxury sedans. Once you have one, you can't really go back. If you ever get that W220 you'll know what I'm talking about.


There are no cheap luxury cars.

Yeah there are....4.9L Cadillacs and 350 powered Fleetwoods. That deVille I had was so freakin' reliable...I can't believe it.


You need to get your head examined... for the love of God man, don't get a Lexus. Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it, and if I hadn't mentioned it already.... don't do it!

As super-duper fantastic as everyone says the Lexus' are... every car breaks down, plain and simple. And if you insist on owning a luxury-import then you have to be prepared to shell out some big bucks for any kind of maintenance or repair, big or small... especially when compared to their domestic counterparts. Cadillacs may be pricey to maintain compared to, oh let's say a Ford... but it's nothing compared to an import.

Here's my recommendation - if you've already spent time and money fixing up your Naz... er... Benz, then you might as well keep it. However, if deep down you feel that it would be best to unload it while you can still get what you put into it... then buy a domestic, especially if you're doing so for financial reasons. If you'd be hesitant about getting behind the wheel of a Northstar then go find yourself a nice Lincoln - maybe an LS... or even better a Mark VIII. In fact I'd wholeheartedly recommend getting into a nice, big personal luxury coupe... whether it be a Mark, a Riviera, or an Eldorado... for some reason I can just see you in one of those.

Just to reiterate - whatever you do, don't think about getting into another import, especially a luxury import if you're doing so for financial reasons. Just remember... as much as you may like the Benz, you're still young - you've got plenty of years ahead of you to get into another.

I think I've got it down....you don't like imports?



Special costs a lot of money. :)

True, and another thing to consider is that I have the original...the LS is the pretender to the throne. Hell, all of the other big German sedans came out after the S Class debuted back in '72. The 7 Series was the late '70s, the A8 was 1997 (well, 1990 if you consider the V-8 Quattro), and I think even the big XJ came out in the mid '70s, or maybe even the '80s. So I've got the pioneer.

I don't have much experiences with LS400's, as after I drove the S for the first time, I knew that's what I had to have, so I didn't bother with anything else (even though the dealer that I bought mine from also had an '01 A8L and an '01 740iL Sport on the lot too....), but I did ride in one, a 1993 with 176k on it. It was a friend's dad's car, and I can remember sitting in it and liking mine a LOT more, because it was a lot bigger, and just had a lot more personality and felt different and totally unique. The only advantage that '93 had was the tomblike silence, the build quality was a bit better and it would have been a bit quicker, but that 4.0L V8 didn't have the nice powerband that the 3.2L I-6 has.

AMGoff
12-19-07, 01:01 AM
Just what I said... you're saying the biggest reason for such a move would be because of financial reasons, while those Lexus' may have above average reliability, they're not unbreakable (supposedly only Bruce Willis is...), when something does break - you're going to pay a lot for it. It's like that with any luxury-import, regardless of whether it's German or Japanese.

It's for that reason I'm saying that if you're going to ditch the Benz, the worst thing you could do is to jump into another luxury-import... doing so would negate any reason you would have to do so in the first place.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-19-07, 01:10 AM
What I've heard about the LS's is that they won't break as often as the Germans or British, but when they do, they cost an ungodly amount to repair. I can't really comment on that because I've never owned one. And it's not that they're problem free...they're not, but they just don't have as many problems as the others. Hell, take for example my mom's '05 Toyota Highlander...with like 25k on it, it has NEVER been to the dealer for a repair...NEVER. Just once for a recall. Now if she had an '05 Tahoe with 25k on it...well let's see here....blower motor resistor, intermediate steering shaft, axle seals, instrument cluster sticking, etc etc..all common issues on the Tahoes of that era. But that car is so dull it's unreal. It does it's job completely competently, but sweet Jesus it's dull.

My buddy's dad has had some issues with his LS400...the gas guage would always read E, and the car just now doesn't run like it used to, but maybe that's due to having 177k on it.

I still think I'll take "personality" over "reliability".


But I guess this is what'll happen when you buy exactly what you want. I have a car I adore that costs me money to keep it running. I think that if I bought that Regal GS or GTP that I had considered earlier this year, it might not require repairs as much as this does, but I wouldn't like it nearly as much.

But then again, the problem might be that I tend to not let any problems go untouched. I may not fix them the day that they're found, but I'll always pay to have them repaired. Maybe I should just let some things slide for a while, if not entirely.

gdwriter
12-19-07, 01:12 AM
You've only had the car for four months, and any used car is really a crap shoot. So far, the extended warranty has proven it's worth, even if it may not cover this vacuum issue you're still having.

Right now, you're going through that period of, "Oh, shit, this car is costing me a fortune." It may just be things that were neglected by the previous owner or just parts wearing out, which will happen with any car, regardless of age. If you continue to have lots of little (but expensive) things go wrong with the car, then you may want to consider selling it and getting something simpler. The great thing about an S-Class Benz is it's chock full of things that make driving it a pleasure. The bad thing about an S-Class Benz is a lot of those things may wear out or break and cost a lot to fix.

In the first few months I had Cruella, I had to deal with a number of repairs, some of them expensive, that were mostly a matter of the car's age and mileage. Some of the issues were really frustrating because I couldn't figure out exactly what was wrong and I actually had so many service calls to AAA that I went over what's normally covered in a membership and had to pay a surcharge. But once I got the issues resolved, my car has proven to be very reliable.

Since you really love the car overall, it's not yet time to throw in the towel.

devilleconcours100
12-19-07, 01:21 AM
I luv, I'm in the same boat as you. I have a 94 Concours, and an 86 Mercedes 560SEL, as well as a 94 Town Car. I want a newer car, but am in a catch22. I'm scared of the newer Caddys that are in my price range (00-02 Deville, 99-01 Seville), due to torque convertor issues, and blown head gasket issues with the N*. I'm almost as scared of a 140, because of the fact of the Evaporator problems, wiring harness issues, Throttle Actuator problems, and the I6's head gasket issue. I know that an LS400 is a equal of either car, but I don't really like it, due to it's 'Japaneseness' and how plain boring it is. I thought a W210 E-Class Mercedes might be okay, but drove one the other day and HATED it. I just don't know what to do, either.

Merry Christmas,
Dave

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-19-07, 01:26 AM
Buy a 96+ W140 (avoid the wiring harness issue, they were mainly on the 92-95's) and buy a good extended warranty. If you get the one that I recommended you, they'll cover the I-6's Headgasket, and they'll cover the A/C Evaporator. I hear the S500's 5.0L V8 is good too.

DaveSmed
12-19-07, 01:57 AM
It's been my experience that the first year of ownership of a used car blows. Once you get the bugs worked out, your set for a while.

Oh, and Highlanders suck too. One big rolling EVAP code.

Night Wolf
12-19-07, 06:40 AM
Isn't the extended waranty covering most (alsmost all) this repair cost?!? If so, then its not a big deal right? Aren't you only paying a $100 deductiable or something each time it gets fixed?

You could always get a '95-'97 Town Car :) Mint, low mileage, old people owned examples go for less then $5k all the time in Florida. Cost of ownership is the same as a Crown Vic (IE dirt cheap compared to modern luxury cars) I dunno if that classifies as an executive RWD sedan.... to me it does, and when talking USA, it's pretty much at the top of the list next the Fleetwood, once they dropped that it kinda just left the DeVille to take that spot.... but compared to the German cars, yeah I guess it's not as fancy, and then they got a few levels higher too.... but, as you've found out, it cost quite a bit to get to that level.

But, I know how you feel.... I've done alot of work to my Town Car since I've got it, a whole lot.... but I also want things to be as perfect as they can be, so little things bug me, and I am a stickler for preventative maintenace. It got to the point where it was like one thing after another, but I know that was neglect from previous owners, and to me, that car is worth putting money into, because, for the most part, its in great shape, and it's been a FL car it's whole love.... underbody looks brand new :)

I've had the car for about 8 months now... it used to get 2k miles/month on it, now its lucky if I use a tank of gas/month... I need to start driving it more. I've put 12k miles on it so far. I paid $3,500 for it, and I'd say I've spent about $2,000 in repairs so far, thats including $550 in 4 new premium GoodYear tires too, I also spent $120 for lifetime alignment at Tires Plus etc.... but I do all the work myself... like I said, parts for these cars are cheap. Only thing left now to fix besides a few cosmetic things here and there are the front brakes, the rotors are warped, pads have alot of life left tho, but I am waiting until the Isuzu is fixed so I can do the '98+ brake upgrade on it (12" rotors vs 10" on it now and dual piston calipers) so now more warped rotors and better stopping performance :).

I've thought about selling that car alot, but I just don't think I want to, I fianlly got everything fixed, it looks awesome, and I want to enjoy it, it's nice to have a car in good shape to go out in and stuff... and... I just like what it is... V8 RWD American luxury car, hood ornament, column shift, digital dash (I really like that) you just can't get a car like that today.

How long is your extended waranty? 3 yrs? why not just keep it until the waranty is up? How much of that $4,000 repair bill are you actually paying?

Adam
12-19-07, 06:54 AM
Still, it getting repaired all the time can be a pain in the ass. I've been there. That Lincoln Continental I had was the biggest pos I'd ever driven. I also had a TC at one time and it tranny problems so I unloaded it quick. I'll never buy another Lincoln. To be honest, those Lexus' are very reliable and I wouldn't blame you one bit trading in, Chad. My nieces mom has one (although I don't remember the year, 98 maybe?) but it has been wrecked twice and still runs like a top. Or you could consider another Cadillac? Maybe an STS?

Crown Vic Owner
12-19-07, 07:12 AM
yeah, any idiot can tell trans problems if they play with the shifter and do a through test drive, shutter means keep away.


Lack of fluid change is what kills ford 4r70ws.

My crown vic has seen shit that no car should ever see and its rnning fine

Destroyer
12-19-07, 07:58 AM
Well Chad we discussed this way before you were in the market for a Benz. I got lucky with my '97 S320 and experienced none of the "big" problems. Perhaps someone had already made some of those repairs on mine?. You seem to be getting slammed with them all at once and that does suck. I swayed away from my Benz after hanging in the W140 forums for awhile and seeing what those guys go through. Seems the previous owner of your car got out of it at a good time. The shining light here (if there is one) is that you are getting all the known issues out of the way and the end result should be a reliable car for the upcoming years. It is ashame that the "standard of the world" has so many issues. Mercedes at one time were the sturdiest, longest lasting cars out there. They need to rebuild that image. Cars still give one of the best rides out there though, dont ya think?.

96Fleetwood
12-19-07, 08:59 AM
Exactly, used cars are all a crapshoot!

My Roadmaster only has 59,000 miles on it.. I thought it was going to be perfect. I have owned it 2 months now and it cost me $1,200 so far. New A/C compressor & lines, new radiator, new waterpump, new thermostat, oil cooler lines, shocks, f & r brakes, and now I need a fan relay and exhaust... but I am going to keep the car because as soon as I fix these two issues, I know it has all the major problem areas covered... plus I will have less than $3,500 invested in it.

CIWS
12-19-07, 09:35 AM
There are no cheap luxury cars.

:yeah:

and when they get out of warranty it's only a matter of time before something will go wrong and without warranty it isn't going to be cheap to fix, whether it's MB,BMW,Lexus,Cadillac, or whatever. Some are certainly worse than others concerning reliability, but without knowing the real history of the car and how it was driven and maintained as GD said it's a crap shoot. I love these cars, but you just won't see me owning them for long once the mileage gets beyond 100K or it's out of warranty unless I bought it new and know exactly how the car has been taken care of.

Cadillacboy
12-19-07, 10:18 AM
That's horrible .I think your situation is verifying that nothing is meant to be perfect considering you got a '99 W140 in other words it's considered the best W140 MB's . Still, you pay some $$$ to repair it . :nono:
I think what's more horrible is that you say you are intended at buying a Lexus . I think you've some points in regards to the reliability thingy but can you warranty that your Lexus will never give you a shit ?
Hence your disappointment will be even bigger than with your MB right now ,I'm pretty sure . You will feel like kicking yourself for trading your MB for LExus which is would-be a perfect car :rolleyes:
OK, I think you will go for LExus soon it seems anyway good luck bro whatever you decide on your next car .
I would like to recommend you X300 Jags but I can't at this time

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-19-07, 10:34 AM
Isn't the extended waranty covering most (alsmost all) this repair cost?!? If so, then its not a big deal right? Aren't you only paying a $100 deductiable or something each time it gets fixed?

Well, they'll cover what's included in my plan. The warranty company offered five different plans...from Powertrain to Platinum. I bought the "Silver Plan" which is second from bottom, as they wouldn't cover a '99 S Class under anything more than "Gold", and that's third from bottom, and Silver covered the headgaskets and A/C Evaporator, and those are the two biggest, most common repairs. So anyways, they won't cover a lot of the repairs that I've had done....left front door check strap, front flex disc, etc etc



I've thought about selling that car alot, but I just don't think I want to, I fianlly got everything fixed, it looks awesome, and I want to enjoy it, it's nice to have a car in good shape to go out in and stuff... and... I just like what it is... V8 RWD American luxury car, hood ornament, column shift, digital dash (I really like that) you just can't get a car like that today.

I mean I like Town Cars and all, and the Fleetwood Broughams, but the way the Imports drive is just so different...you'd have to drive one yourself to see what I'm talking about, but once you've had one, you don't really wanna go back to the boaty, floaty ride, atleast not in a daily driver. But that might be just me.



How long is your extended waranty? 3 yrs? why not just keep it until the waranty is up? How much of that $4,000 repair bill are you actually paying?

Two years/24,000 miles. So it's good until September of '09, or 99k miles, which ever comes first. I've paid cash for probably $1700 of that $4000.


You seem to be getting slammed with them all at once and that does suck. I swayed away from my Benz after hanging in the W140 forums for awhile and seeing what those guys go through. Seems the previous owner of your car got out of it at a good time. The shining light here (if there is one) is that you are getting all the known issues out of the way and the end result should be a reliable car for the upcoming years. Cars still give one of the best rides out there though, dont ya think?.


Yeah, it sounds like the previous owner neglected it and now I'm the one paying for the repairs....damn it. Oh well, like many have said, once this is all out of the way, I should be free and clear for a while. And yes, they do give one of the best rides out there. :cool2:

Destroyer
12-19-07, 11:50 AM
I mean I like Town Cars and all, and the Fleetwood Broughams, but the way the Imports drive is just so different...you'd have to drive one yourself to see what I'm talking about, but once you've had one, you don't really wanna go back to the boaty, floaty ride, atleast not in a daily driver. But that might be just me.Town Car is a fine car but like you I'm just not in the mood for a boaty, floaty ride.





Yeah, it sounds like the previous owner neglected it and now I'm the one paying for the repairs....damn it. Oh well, like many have said, once this is all out of the way, I should be free and clear for a while. And yes, they do give one of the best rides out there. :cool2:Ideally you would have gotten one from someone who dumped lots of money (like yourself) and did the repairs then sold it because they were afraid of more repairs happening. Kinda like if you did all these big repairs and sold it, you would be the guy to buy the car from. At least you have a car that is a nice enough make/model to invest in the repairs unlike a mid 90's Deville for instance that is virtually worthless in the first place and needs upwards of $4k just for motor replacement.

ted tcb
12-19-07, 12:53 PM
Being a Cadillac forum, the LS400 bashing isn't a surprise.
I went through a phase in the early 80's where I wouldn't touch an American car. Strictly Preludes, Celicas, and 300 ZX's. I wanted personality and dependability, and friend's Lasers, turbo Lebarons GTS', and Citation X11's were crap.

Around 1988, I discovered luxury in a LSC Lincoln, then a series of Devilles and STS's. I still love Sevilles, but got tired of niggling issues. My last one had two sets of wheels, tires, and 4 different wheel balances trying to eliminate the 65mph shimmy. I just wanted a break from visiting mechanics and tire shops, so I bought a super low mile 2000 LS400.
The beauty of the STS always caught my eye ... every time I walked away from it, I had to turn for a last glance ... that's something that you just don't do with a LS400 ... I'll admit that they do look like a wannabe Benz.

At Chad's age, I wanted sports cars with lots of personality.
Now, I want supreme luxury and refinement. The car will go 0-60 in just over
6 sec, and top out at just over 150mph. No shaking, almost no wind noise, killer stereo and seats.
Its boring, it never leaks fluid, it never hiccups or misses a beat. Just fill it up and occasionally change the oil.
The LS400 meets the goals of its designers.
If you want a rip snorting ride with a temper, then yeah, the LS400 isn't for you.
If you want to basically change fluids and drive for 500k, then find a good LS400 with full service history. Its not all hype. Many consider the 98-00 series to be the best built cars in history. Even Toyota engineers consider this series to be in a different class of quality from other Toyotas and Lexus products.
Their reasoning is that stats back up that failures on this series are random and rare ... with other products, they can track the failure rate and frequency quite closely and determine a pattern of mechanical breakdown ... the LS simply put, has a phenomenal track record if fluids and belts are changed on time.
Some say you'd better put the car in your will ... my car is 8 yrs old, our roads are covered in pot holes, and I still don't have a squeakor a strut noise ... it drives as new. Other Japanese cars I've owned showed their age quickly, but not this one. I've owned over 45 cars, all American or Jap, and the LS is completely unique in terms of solidity and retained performance.
Boring as hell, in that nothing seems to change.

You need to honestly determine the order of your priorities and expectations.
I agree that a LS400 isn't an S class Benz, nor is it a Seville. They all accomplish different tasks. If you want luxury, dependability, and superb resale, don't scoff at an LS400 just because of its country of origin.

An interesting aside ... back in 2000, I golfed weekly with a friend who owned
5 dealerships, but was best known for his Cadillac dealership.
I asked Bill what car he would drive if he was on a budget ... answer was a Buick Regal with a 3.8. I then asked what would he drive if there was no budget, and if he wasn't in the biz ... his answer was a 2000 LS400.
I was surprised that he didn't say Deville or STS, but he explained his answer in terms of cost of ownership and build quality, that the Lexus was simply on a higher level than the Cadillacs he sold. He hated supporting Japanese cars, but had to give the LS400 its due respect.

Night Wolf
12-19-07, 01:23 PM
Chad, maybe find a '95-'97 Town Car w/ touring/handling package to test drive, the '95-'97 restyle already took alot of the float and boatyness away compared to '90-'94, and on top of that the touring package really firms things up a good bit too.

Only reason why I say that is cause you say you don't want the float and boat for a daily driver... but.... IMO my Town Car dosn't float at all nor is it boaty, and to me, it's kind of a let down because thats what I bought it for, tho I've gotten used to it now and it dosn't matter anymore, but it has a great ride and very controlled, good handling too.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-19-07, 01:40 PM
I think that '96 Executive Package T/C I almost bought back in late '05 had the touring package, and I drove that quite a bit....much less boaty than the '94 Sig series I drove that summer, but still much more boaty than my FWD deVille.

I'd love a cruiser as a weekend warrior or summer car, but not so much anymore as a DD. :)

96Fleetwood
12-19-07, 02:03 PM
hahahahah, Town Car plus Touring package... isn't that a oxymoron :highfive:

That would be a substantial downgrade. Just the overall fit and finish from a w140 to any 90s American car will upset your stomach. Chad has experienced a $75K (MSRP new) vehicle and it wouldn't do him justice now unless he went up instead of down.. he will never be happy otherwise (trust me, I have been there and done that).

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-19-07, 02:12 PM
Yeah, it's funny. Before I ever thought of buying German, I used to think "oh they're all over rated, all they are is expensive repairs, cold hostile interiors and firm suspensions." If you go way back and search around on here, you'll see me say that . Then I bought one, and frankly, I'm gonna have a hard time with anything else, even a Lexus.

Jesda
12-19-07, 02:46 PM
Why not go British? Modern Jaguar.

Crown Vic Owner
12-19-07, 02:52 PM
Why not go American? Modern Jaguar.
Fixed

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-19-07, 02:52 PM
LOL! I'm looking for something MORE reliable! When you mix Ford, and Lucas electrics, reliability isn't gonna be the first offshoot.

AMGoff
12-19-07, 03:04 PM
Ahhh nuts to 'em all... you want power, style, and comfort all wrapped in a "go anywhere" package? Then just get one of these:

http://wagonmaster.com/renewals/30.jpg

You'll never regret that you did and you'll keep her forever.

derrty_deville
12-19-07, 03:15 PM
You had the cheap reliable luxury car, remember. You may as well ride this out until you get bored with the car.


If the next car is not a Cadillac though we may have to disown you.

Destroyer
12-19-07, 03:17 PM
hahahahah, Town Car plus Touring package... isn't that a oxymoron :highfive:

That would be a substantial downgrade. Just the overall fit and finish from a w140 to any 90s American car will upset your stomach. Chad has experienced a $75K (MSRP new) vehicle and it wouldn't do him justice now unless he went up instead of down.. he will never be happy otherwise (trust me, I have been there and done that).
He'd get over it. I had the same car as Chad and went from that to driving a Chevy van, Miata, Mark VIII's and now a Cobra. Do they drive the same? No but you adapt to your surroundings and whatever it is you are driving.

96Fleetwood
12-19-07, 04:37 PM
He'd get over it. I had the same car as Chad and went from that to driving a Chevy van, Miata, Mark VIII's and now a Cobra. Do they drive the same? No but you adapt to your surroundings and whatever it is you are driving.

I dunno about you, but I haven't adapted after owning a Porsche and two brand new cars. The only thing I do not miss is the car payment. Don't get me wrong, the Fleetwood is great, but I had to put $8,000 worth of mods to get it even close to what I like...

derrty_deville
12-19-07, 04:51 PM
He'd get over it. I had the same car as Chad and went from that to driving a Chevy van, Miata, Mark VIII's and now a Cobra. Do they drive the same? No but you adapt to your surroundings and whatever it is you are driving.

He'll get over it not because of adaptation but because he is flat out an automotive enthusiast. He'll enjoy the next car as much as the Benz. Well, anything other than crappy imports.

Night Wolf
12-19-07, 05:42 PM
I think that '96 Executive Package T/C I almost bought back in late '05 had the touring package, and I drove that quite a bit....much less boaty than the '94 Sig series I drove that summer, but still much more boaty than my FWD deVille.

I'd love a cruiser as a weekend warrior or summer car, but not so much anymore as a DD. :)

Hmmm, I don't think the touring package was avalible on the Executive series... I could be wrong tho... If it had the touring package then it would have the same wheels as mine, the 16" slotted wheels with lower profile 225 series tires.


hahahahah, Town Car plus Touring package... isn't that a oxymoron

No more then someone with a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham "SS" :) Atleast mine came form the factory like that.



That would be a substantial downgrade. Just the overall fit and finish from a w140 to any 90s American car will upset your stomach. Chad has experienced a $75K (MSRP new) vehicle and it wouldn't do him justice now unless he went up instead of down.. he will never be happy otherwise (trust me, I have been there and done that).

Well, then if nothing but the best of the best, that Lexus should already be a step down in quality, cause everyone says the W140 is the pinnacle of automotive quality.... so then whats next after that if cheaper won't do? Ferrari 360 Modena?

Night Wolf
12-19-07, 05:50 PM
Anyway, it's not that hard to "adapt" to a different car.... after driving the Town Car for a long time, I really miss driving the Isuzu, and vice versa. Each has their own driving expereince, on one hand there is a fully loaded car with all luxury options, then the other hand is a pretty basic bare bones truck... and I enjoy each for what it is. Somewhere in bewtween is the Caddy, with all the luxury options but because it needs work things are broke or don't work, so it kinda cancels itself out.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-19-07, 06:11 PM
Let's not get get too emotional about this, after all, I am keeping the car.

The thing is, each car I've owned has been a luxury sedan, and each has been a step up in quality and feel from the previous one. Went from a nice Buick to a very nice Cadillac, to an astounding Mercedes. It would just be wierd if I moved backwords, and that's one of the reasons I didn't replace the deVille (a car which I've really become to appreciate as of late) with a Regal GS or GTP...because when it comes down to it, they're just a family sedan, albeit one with a very good drivetrain, but the fit and finish is typical "1990's GM mediocre"...I couldn't go from a Cadillac to that. No offence to anyone who owns one of those or anything...

I dunno, I guess any move I'd logically make from this point on, unless I change my thinking, would be a lateral move into a LS or 7 series, XJ or A8. If I was to go up and stick with a sedan, I'd be going into a Rolls Royce/ Bentley. And those things make my S Class seem like a Chevy when it comes to repair costs.

96Fleetwood
12-19-07, 06:26 PM
No more then someone with a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham "SS" :) Atleast mine came form the factory like that.


Exactly, Cadillac didn't want to put a label on something it wasn't.

gary88
12-19-07, 06:59 PM
I dunno, I guess any move I'd logically make from this point on, unless I change my thinking, would be a lateral move into a LS or 7 series, XJ or A8. If I was to go up and stick with a sedan, I'd be going into a Rolls Royce/ Bentley. And those things make my S Class seem like a Chevy when it comes to repair costs.

You should look around for an older XJR. Those are some of the classiest looking sedans IMO, and have real nice power to boot. The 1995 has the supercharged I6 w/322 hp and 378 ft lb/tq. The 1998 has the supercharged 4.0L V8 w/370 hp and 387 lb ft/tq.

1995 XJR

(http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=228452870&dealer_id=55008993&car_year=1995&model=JAGXJR&num_records=25&systime=&make2=&start_year=1981&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&only_price=1&awsp=false&search_type=both&distance=25&marketZipError=false&search_lang=en&make=JAG&color=&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&min_price=&drive=&default_sort=priceASC&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceASC&address=60439&advanced=y&only_photo=1&end_year=2008&doors=&transmission=&max_price=&cardist=10)1998 XJR (http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=228452870&dealer_id=55008993&car_year=1995&model=JAGXJR&num_records=25&systime=&make2=&start_year=1981&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&only_price=1&awsp=false&search_type=both&distance=25&marketZipError=false&search_lang=en&make=JAG&color=&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&min_price=&drive=&default_sort=priceASC&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceASC&address=60439&advanced=y&only_photo=1&end_year=2008&doors=&transmission=&max_price=&cardist=10)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-19-07, 07:07 PM
I love the looks of those, especially the I-6 powered ones.

Cadillacboy
12-19-07, 07:55 PM
I said I would like to recommend a Jag X300 w/o hesitation but couldn't lol ...iBeware '98-00 Jags are known major engine failures .
I-6 is the best Jag engine in regards to the reliability/performance wise . As to the XJR it all depends on your luck . I have some concerns about their compressor maintenance but it's even more faster than Seville STSs
Another note, XJR suspension is harsher than W140

Night Wolf
12-19-07, 08:05 PM
Exactly, Cadillac didn't want to put a label on something it wasn't.

Since you are getting picky about it, the acutal name for the "touring" packae my car has is "Ride Control Package" Since nobody knows what the heck that is, most people just say "touring" package, because typically when you add larger, more sporty wheels with lower profile tires, stiffer springs/shocks, thicker sway bars, lower gearing and an aux. p/s cooler, that would be considered a "touring" package.

So for argument sake, well go with Ride Control Package..... better? now its not trying to be something it isn't :bigroll:

96Fleetwood
12-19-07, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the info on the Town Cars, didn't know that. PM me if you have any other "info."

I had a '98 XJ8, the interior was very nice. I loved the british racing green exterior with tan leather & green piping. The wood was awesome too, but did some some stress cracks from the Florida sun, somewhat premature IMO. As for the power... lacking.. severely. The overall drive of the car was boring as well. I am guessing the XJR and Super 8 should be the perfect combo??

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa306/96fleetwood/Image125.jpg

danbuc
12-19-07, 09:48 PM
There are no Mercedes that are cheap to maintain, especially the flagship models like the s-class. Even the new 221 chassis is crap, as far as reliability goes. They're nice cars, but not cheap to keep running by any means. Cadillac's aren't cheap to keep running either.

77CDV
12-20-07, 12:40 AM
It's extremely expensive to own. :bonkers:


Since I bought it in late August, I've put around $4,000 into it. That's including the $2300 headgasket, which was covered under my extended warranty, so I really only paid $100 for that job.

I don't remember everything I've done to it, but I'll put up a list after I get home tonight.

I mean it's like I'm at the dealer atleast once every 5 weeks for a repair now. For example, when I had the headgasket done because it was leaking oil externally, it was there for five days, and I brought it back this morning because it'll default to the defrost position automatically when I give it any throttle on a cold morning, and only if it's below 15* outside. They checked it for free this morning, because it may have been caused accidentally when they did the HG's. I mean they did have 1/2 the motor apart. But nope...they think it's caused by some sort of a vacuum main box under the dashboard, which is gonna probably be a bitch for labor, and probably won't be covered under my service contract...yey. :helpless:



Anyways, to the point. Aside from that, I *adore* this car...I mean I've wanted one for the last 10 years and I've got it...one of my dream cars. Other than the reliability issues, there is NOTHING about this car I don't like.

What I'm in the first stages of pondering now, is whether I should trade it off on a more reliable, cheaper to own car of this sort, namely an LS400.

The thing about the LS400's though, is they're dull...very very dull. They'll never break down, and the dealership will be a foreign land to you, but they're dull and lack any sort of a personality. You sit in them and you know it's a Toyota product, and that's not a good thing. And I'm not a huge fan of Japanese cars in general, especially Toyotas, but I must admit, of all the Japanese luxury brands, Lexus is the one I like the most. Sure, they'll do most things the S Class will, and probably some more, but is the reliability worth the dullness?

It would be tough to find an LS400 in my area, in the $10-11,000 range, with less than 120k on it...that's another big negative for the Lexus.


Just running this through my mind at this point, and it pains me to think of selling the car, but when you're entering what could be some very dire financial straights, you have to keep an open mind.

So other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?:duck:

AMGoff
12-20-07, 12:44 AM
Well... not to get anyone all riled up or anything, but I wouldn't exactly say that going from an early-90s Deville to a late model ('03-'04) Regal GS would be a "downgrade," in any sense of the word.

In fact some may argue the exact opposite.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-20-07, 01:06 AM
I said I would like to recommend a Jag X300 w/o hesitation but couldn't lol

Oh, so X300 is the internal name for that style XJ? I always wondered...



I had a '98 XJ8, the interior was very nice. I loved the british racing green exterior with tan leather & green piping. The wood was awesome too, but did some some stress cracks from the Florida sun, somewhat premature IMO. As for the power... lacking.. severely. The overall drive of the car was boring as well. I am guessing the XJR and Super 8 should be the perfect combo??

Such beautiful cars. Yours must have had the 4.0L V8...290 hp & 290 lb/ft..probably underpowered compared to what you've had (no offence or anything Elias), but probably much quicker than the S320, but that's beside the point. I'd imagine they'd be pretty quick for me...probably comparable to my LT-1 Roadmaster. Maybe after I've had a long and fun filled time with the S Class, I'd move onto an 02-03 XJR/ Super V8... maybe.


There are no Mercedes that are cheap to maintain, especially the flagship models like the s-class. Even the new 221 chassis is crap, as far as reliability goes. They're nice cars, but not cheap to keep running by any means. Cadillac's aren't cheap to keep running either.

Ah thank you Dan, I was waiting for your input on this, as I know you're an M-B tech, or were. Are these repairs odd to you?


Well... not to get anyone all riled up or anything, but I wouldn't exactly say that going from an early-90s Deville to a late model ('03-'04) Regal GS would be a "downgrade," in any sense of the word.

In fact some may argue the exact opposite.


Upgrade in terms of overall performance, reliability, features (to some extent) and fuel economy, but a downgrade in terms of luxury feel, materials and build quality. It all comes down to what you prioritize...if you're about performance and 1/4 mile times and stuff like that, then the W-Body is the definite upgrade, but if luxury and feel is your main concern, then the Cadillac is the winner.

Playdrv4me
12-20-07, 01:27 AM
Being a Cadillac forum, the LS400 bashing isn't a surprise.
I went through a phase in the early 80's where I wouldn't touch an American car. Strictly Preludes, Celicas, and 300 ZX's. I wanted personality and dependability, and friend's Lasers, turbo Lebarons GTS', and Citation X11's were crap.

Around 1988, I discovered luxury in a LSC Lincoln, then a series of Devilles and STS's. I still love Sevilles, but got tired of niggling issues. My last one had two sets of wheels, tires, and 4 different wheel balances trying to eliminate the 65mph shimmy. I just wanted a break from visiting mechanics and tire shops, so I bought a super low mile 2000 LS400.
The beauty of the STS always caught my eye ... every time I walked away from it, I had to turn for a last glance ... that's something that you just don't do with a LS400 ... I'll admit that they do look like a wannabe Benz.

At Chad's age, I wanted sports cars with lots of personality.
Now, I want supreme luxury and refinement. The car will go 0-60 in just over
6 sec, and top out at just over 150mph. No shaking, almost no wind noise, killer stereo and seats.
Its boring, it never leaks fluid, it never hiccups or misses a beat. Just fill it up and occasionally change the oil.
The LS400 meets the goals of its designers.
If you want a rip snorting ride with a temper, then yeah, the LS400 isn't for you.
If you want to basically change fluids and drive for 500k, then find a good LS400 with full service history. Its not all hype. Many consider the 98-00 series to be the best built cars in history. Even Toyota engineers consider this series to be in a different class of quality from other Toyotas and Lexus products.
Their reasoning is that stats back up that failures on this series are random and rare ... with other products, they can track the failure rate and frequency quite closely and determine a pattern of mechanical breakdown ... the LS simply put, has a phenomenal track record if fluids and belts are changed on time.
Some say you'd better put the car in your will ... my car is 8 yrs old, our roads are covered in pot holes, and I still don't have a squeakor a strut noise ... it drives as new. Other Japanese cars I've owned showed their age quickly, but not this one. I've owned over 45 cars, all American or Jap, and the LS is completely unique in terms of solidity and retained performance.
Boring as hell, in that nothing seems to change.

You need to honestly determine the order of your priorities and expectations.
I agree that a LS400 isn't an S class Benz, nor is it a Seville. They all accomplish different tasks. If you want luxury, dependability, and superb resale, don't scoff at an LS400 just because of its country of origin.

An interesting aside ... back in 2000, I golfed weekly with a friend who owned
5 dealerships, but was best known for his Cadillac dealership.
I asked Bill what car he would drive if he was on a budget ... answer was a Buick Regal with a 3.8. I then asked what would he drive if there was no budget, and if he wasn't in the biz ... his answer was a 2000 LS400.
I was surprised that he didn't say Deville or STS, but he explained his answer in terms of cost of ownership and build quality, that the Lexus was simply on a higher level than the Cadillacs he sold. He hated supporting Japanese cars, but had to give the LS400 its due respect.

This is the most intelligent and thought provoking post in this thread.

I would pretty much agree with the above.

I also agree that every car is different, and more than anything your used car experience is going to be based entirely, or almost entirely on the maintenance the car had previously.

Range Rovers are universally panned for being the worst offenders in the reliability department. Well, 92000 miles on my 2003 and it runs like a 30000 mile car. Why? Because it was dealer serviced literally every 6000 miles or less. The previous owners took it to the SAME dealer for EVERYTHING that broke and for the Oil, Inspection I and Inspection II services. On the balance, BMW products are more reliable than comparable Mercedes products, but it mostly comes down to MAINTENANCE. Sometimes you get lucky and just get a good car that doesnt need anything (we call these "Wednesday" cars), but not usually.

If it werent for the fear of approaching 100k miles and the associated resale abyss, I would keep this thing, its RARE in the Land Rover world, and the next owner is going to be very happy with it.

AMGoff
12-20-07, 02:26 AM
Upgrade in terms of overall performance, reliability, features (to some extent) and fuel economy, but a downgrade in terms of luxury feel, materials and build quality. It all comes down to what you prioritize...if you're about performance and 1/4 mile times and stuff like that, then the W-Body is the definite upgrade, but if luxury and feel is your main concern, then the Cadillac is the winner.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one my friend... I look at the overall package. I think you should know by now I'm not all about rip-roaring power... don't get me wrong, it's nice to have and the GS has plenty of it. Beyond that though, the ride is super-comfortable plus you've got things like heated seats, dual-zone climate control, heck - even steering wheel mounted controls. About the only thing an early-90s Deville has that's not on the GS is a column shifter and faux-wood veneers slapped around the cabin - and even that can be remedied with a dash kit.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the Devilles of that era... I'd still love to get my hands on a '91-'93 Coupe Deville. But compared to the luxury market of today, features/content-wise it would only be considered a "premium" car... which is exactly what the GS is. So for me at least, going from an older premium car to a newer premium car that is more powerful and more feature laden would be considered an upgrade.

Then again, it's a moot point since no one's recommending you ditch the Benz for one. Luckily though, you and I can disagree without getting our panties all in a bunch :)

gdwriter
12-20-07, 02:37 AM
Let's not get get too emotional about this, after all, I am keeping the car.Aw, rats. I was hoping you were feeling so nostalgic for your old DeVille that you'd want to make an even swap with me.



OK, not really, but I thought this thread was lacking in snarkiness.

MN-STS-LOVER
12-20-07, 02:43 AM
Sorry to hear about the problems with the Benz...but having ridden in it I would say hang with it. You know I had a few issues with the STS right after I got it but since then it's been an awesome joy!

Just my opinion but the only thing I would replace the benz with would be a DTS or if you feel really rich a Bentley!

Cadillacboy
12-20-07, 08:48 AM
Oh, so X300 is the internal name for that style XJ? I always wondered...


It's like what W140 S Class is to MB ,X300 is to Jaguar / Daimler . All '95-97 XJ Sedans are called X300 .Not to confuse with "98 and up V8 sedans .They're X308

Playdrv4me
12-20-07, 11:52 AM
It's like what W140 S Class is to MB ,X300 is to Jaguar / Daimler . All '95-97 XJ Sedans are called X300 .Not to confuse with "98 and up V8 sedans .They're X308

And 2004 and up is X350.

AMGoff
12-20-07, 02:43 PM
And 2004 and up is X350.

I thought that was some Hyundai... lol.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-20-07, 02:58 PM
That's the XG350 Adam. lol

Playdrv4me
12-20-07, 04:15 PM
I thought that was some Hyundai... lol.

Nice!

JimmyH
12-20-07, 07:27 PM
Lexus is a great car, if you don't like driving.

ted tcb
12-20-07, 07:36 PM
Lexus is a great car, if you don't like driving.

Why do I bother posting with such insipid, moronic statements such as this.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-20-07, 08:45 PM
Or it's a great car if you desire build quality that's better than "decent at best".

Jesda
12-20-07, 08:56 PM
Why do I bother posting with such insipid, moronic statements such as this.

Roll with it, my friend. :cool:

JimmyH
12-21-07, 02:15 AM
Why do I bother posting with such insipid, moronic statements such as this.

Sorry, apparently I am insipid and moronic enough not to believe that Lexus is truly a driving enthusiasts car.

clarkz71
12-23-07, 01:13 PM
Chad, the HVAC vacuum valve assembly is behind the glove box.
You can change it yourself in less then an hour.
However I think they left off a vac line somewhere. There's one on the rear lower intake
that gets knocked off when changing the oil filter.

Let me know if you need instruction, I have the WIS program
and the W140 disc.

Oh, here's me getting my new toolbox at work, only $6800.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k120/clarkz71/ClarksnewSnapOntoolbox008.jpg

clarkz71
12-23-07, 01:40 PM
Here's the instruction from WIS.


http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k120/clarkz71/W140HVACvalve.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-23-07, 01:53 PM
Thanks Clark!! Hopefully I'll get that Service Manual CD-Rom for x-mas....it was on my list!

Cadillacboy
12-23-07, 03:03 PM
Those're amazing posts , you rule this thread ckark :thumbsup:

clarkz71
12-23-07, 04:15 PM
Thanks, most of the tech's on this forum help out with info, AJ and ewill3rd
come to mind for Cadillac.