: Thinking of coming over to the N* camp....

04-25-08, 02:05 AM
Ok, my FW is getting up there in miles, (gonna cross 1/4 million next week!) and thinking of a better mpg car.

I must have a 6 passenger. No way around that for a few more years.
Would rather keep a Cad. I like the 2000up Devilles.

My concerns are the head gaskets. I need reliability. I need to get some good miles out of it. I drive 35K a year, and hope to get at least 24-25 mpg. I used to do pretty well with my 91 Deville 4.9L.

Highline's Caddy was a sweet ride, and I have always liked that body, so my wife and I talked and we are thinking of going that route.

Any advice? Any ideas on what most N* owners get for mpg? I am figuring a DTS is out of the question due to the seating (unless I could find one and someone is willing to trade front bench for the buckets..... (Sorry, gotta have capability of 6 pass on a last second notice...)

Anything to avoid? Any warning signs? Anything to really insist on getting? Prices vary, seen $3K to $30K.... Lots in the $6K range with 85K to 105K miles....


04-25-08, 02:37 AM
i don't think the 2000+ have had as many problems with head gaskets as 94 - 99. I think there were many changes in the blocks during that time. I think you can see the dramatic drop in problems post 1999 from this thread located at the following link: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/northstar-performance-technical-discussion/122898-northstar-headgasket-bolt-failure-please-let.html

04-25-08, 06:57 AM
You will be please with the fuel economy of a 2000+ N*. The progressions I made over the years has been a trend of increasing fuel economy. My 94 4.9 was better than my 91 4.9. My 96 N* was better than the 94 4.9 and my 2002 N* is better than the 96 as well as runs on 87 octane. I am averaging 21.5 around overall and got 27.7 on a trip from Fla. flat roads and cruise set on 72 for the most part.
The 2000 to 2004 have fewer HG problems due to a head bolt improvement and the 2005 and newer are better yet. The 2000+ can still have half case oil leak issues, Transmission ISS P0717 and TCC P0741 issues. Also the 2000+ is more prone to crossover coolant leakage problems. They went to different gaskets that were a problem. Other common problems are crank position sensors and motor mounts.

Look for one that has been on an extended warrantee and has records indicating that most of these items were addressed.
Another minor issue is that these cars need to have their tires load force balanced to eliminate 65 to 70 mph vibration. Also window regulators break, but are cheaply replaceable and reports are that they can be modified so this does not happen again.
I also considered a Buick P.A. but since they have many less service issues, are more exspensive to buy!
These GM 3.8 cars will get 30 on the highway if you keep your foot out of them! I do actually own an old 95 Buick P.A. with 188K on it and it is way more comfortable to drive than my 96 deville but not as nice as the 2002 deville.

04-25-08, 08:09 AM
I am am thinking of the PA too, hate the idea of going Buick, but I do like the 3800, solid engine, found a PAU for around 8K with SC engine and 78K miles. One owner too. But I have seen Highline's N* the other night and sure did like it too.... Nothing like doing a burnout in a car like that! And being I have seen a wider range of price in the Cad and I like the style much better, makes me start thinking more about it.

I don't like the idea of the ISS P0717, messed with a 96 with that one and having to drop the trans to get to it. I love the FW and how easy it is to work on so much of it. And the low end torque and ability for me to tune it really makes it a lot of fun.

My 94 I have never got over 22 mpg yet, no matter how much I baby it, I have the factory 7000 lb tow package and that doesn't really help.

Are the lower case oil leaks easy to deal with? And crank sensors? Being I put mega miles on and I don't wanna get into something failure prone I need to know how much I can/can't do. But with the fuel prices getting so out of hand I am trying to do something.

Any way to know of impending HG failure? Any pressure testing that might give some clue?

04-25-08, 08:18 AM
Oh, are there 3 models of Deville?


Or is it
Deville DHS
Deville DTS

04-25-08, 09:49 AM
Oh, are there 3 models of Deville?


Like that.

04-25-08, 10:55 AM
I get 22 - 23 MPG in the winter and 24 - 25 during the summer (mostly highway).

Lower case and pan leaks are not easy to deal with. Crank sensors on the other hand are.

No way to know of an impending HG issue, but the odds are much lower in the 2000+ engines.

I think even the Deville and the DHS you be hard pressed to put 6 people in. My DHS has what is basically buckets up front. You can put the arm rest up, but there is no seat belt and you'd be sitting between the two seats. It's not designed for a 3rd occupant. You're welcome to stop by and have look.

04-25-08, 12:56 PM
I might have to take you up on that. Didn't know that the front isn't really a "seat". I have 4 kids and my wife. So if the 454 Burb is down (like, sucking too much fuel!) and we need to take a short trip across town, or something happens and the truck is down (she got into an accident a couple years ago and I had to use my car for all trans for a few weeks till we got another Burb) so I need the 6 pass.

Will have to look at it and see, I thought it was listed as a 6 pass, but that wasn't "official" listing either. Highline's struck me as a 5 pass (DHS) and I didn't even think of it at the time.

04-25-08, 09:51 PM
Yeah, basically a 5 passenger. Give me a call if you want to stop by. I should be home this weekend.

04-25-08, 10:07 PM
The internet reviews all show it be 6 pass... I hope to go find some this weekend and hopefully drive one!

04-25-08, 11:34 PM
Your Fleetwood has proven the reliability of the LT1 plus tow package.

Why not get a Buick Roadmaster LT1 wagon with the tow pack(heavy duty cooling and tranny cooler)?

My 1995 Buick Roadmaster "SS" wagon has the tow pack and 2.93 gears. I am making 18 mpg mixed city/hwy and have achieved 25 mpg on a trip to Indy and back. I can seat 8 passengers.


www.fueleconomy.gov says it costs $2848 to fuel a 2000 Deville for a year. It says it costs $2827 to fuel a 1995 Buick Roadmaster wagon for a year.

You can pick one of these wagons with 100K miles or less up for half the price of a 2000 Deville.

Just a thought....

FYI, my brother had to replace the electronic struts on his last DTS at around 110K miles and it cost him $3,000!! Compare that to the $30/shock on the D/B bodies.

Highline Cady
04-26-08, 02:09 AM
No Ranger, Deville and DHS seat 6 and do have a middle seatbealt. Pull up the second center console you should have a lap belt in there.

04-26-08, 10:59 AM
Right you are. Just checked, but that would be one uncomfortable seat.

04-26-08, 02:29 PM
The 2000 to 2004 have fewer HG problems due to a head bolt improvement and the 2005 and newer are better yet. Also the 2000+ is more prone to crossover coolant leakage problems. They went to different gaskets that were a problem.

I'm trying to figure out if my crossover pipe is leaking or not on my '02 STS. I've had it in to two local shops for service, once for the transmission (t.c.c. 'stuck off') and another shop for a second opinion. Both shops pressure tested the cooling system, but only the transmission shop said they found a leak. I have not noticed any loss of coolant in the 16 months and 22,000+ miles I have had the car. I recently flushed and refilled the cooling system, not knowing what the previous owner had done for maintenance. I also replaced the water pump last year.

So my question is, how can one shop say it's leaking, and another not? One obvious answer would be that the shop is looking for work. But do they have different methods of testing? Should I continue to monitor if it is losing coolant, or is there another alternative to finding out if it is really leaking? Should I go to the dealership to have it diagnosed now?


Highline Cady
04-27-08, 05:01 AM
Right you are. Just checked, but that would be one uncomfortable seat.

Oh ya I totally agree, but in a pinch... you're legal and a little safer and in charge of the radio. :histeric: