: hey.....im new



C4BigD
01-22-11, 03:19 PM
im new to this forum, actualy new to all forums, so please forgive me if im not doing this right. i am also new to cadillac, or i should say, soon to be new. I am looking at a 2001 STS. it has about 85,000mi and around $7000. I would like to know what kinda things i should look for when buying this car. Also i would like to know common problems, and reliablity factor. i know that there will be some general maintnece at this milage. Also cansitering the devill sadan. Any helpful words on either would be great.

ps. sorry for my bad gramer/spelling

Ranger
01-22-11, 05:07 PM
:welcome:

Where are you from?

blue07cts
01-22-11, 05:56 PM
Welcome!!!!

Submariner409
01-22-11, 07:24 PM
Hi..................

Your best bet is to begin by reading the entire Cadillac Technical Archive up in the black bar ^^^, going down to Discussions, Engines, Northstar Performance: Technical Tips and read as much of that as you can digest, then start wading through Seville threads - many, many, many pages of advice, remedies, diagnosis, fixes and problems.

Know that the 2001 STS sold for about $50,000 and that's where your care and maintenance level of cost will fall - not at $7,000. Not even close.

Enter the car's VIN into the sticky post ^^^ "VIN to RPO converter" to find out what Regular Production Options are in that particular car. It will NOT be a "rare" car - some hidden RPO's will trigger a "1 of XXXXX" figure. Not so. Yes, the car bucked the production line at XXXX time on XXXX day, but that doesn't make it rare.

creeker
01-22-11, 07:28 PM
Welcome, the top of the list is the cooling system, see if the seller has any records of cooling system maintenance,poke around here awhile and you will learn why.

EChas3
01-22-11, 07:49 PM
Welcome and enjoy. You are looking at a car with great lines and a lot of fun to drive. My wife had a white 1998 STS and it was a great car. It had some problems but the only serious one was Head Gaskets. HG's and replacing the head bolts are the leading cause of demise of cars with the sidewinder Northstar's.

That's why creeker warned of cooling system service. It's probably just fine, later models are better. But once it ever overheats it may soon need a major repair.

C4BigD
01-22-11, 10:41 PM
wow thanx for tha fast info....seems like the HGs and cooling is main thing....also looking at 2000 deVille 4door....would that one be same kinda issuses? i beleave its the same engene and trany....right?
oh...and im from Portland,Oregon

77CDV
01-22-11, 11:35 PM
:welcome: All FWD Northstars are prone to the HG/cooling system issues, though they say it gets better in those built after about 2000.

EChas3
01-22-11, 11:36 PM
I talk to Portland all the time for business. Fiserv is one of our business partners.

I can't help much with the other models... We're an STS family! I don't even know when the SDV's got the Northstar.

You will find a lot of N* critics. More than a few have unpleasant memories of expensive repairs or worse. Almost everyone who knows them will admit that early ones used more oil than they should (cross-hatch etched piston skirt?). The HG problem is related to what may actually be a block alloy and/or casting issue, Dexcool or thread pitch issue. What everyone will agree is that Cadillac had a great oppotunity to provide first class suppport for a common issue (i.e. a factory paid recall) and failed to do so.

On the other hand, they can be fixed correctly. N*'s have a great sound, smooth strong power and by 2005 are tight & solid. I'm a believer that it takes time to figure out a design. By the time it's discontinued, that's the time to buy one. Obsolete = perfect in my book!

C4BigD
01-23-11, 12:46 AM
thanx again for tha info...i am gunna look around more, and some more resreach. if i get one of these fine cars i will be back to talk about it....and i will keep checking back for more info and to ask questions.

Playdrv4me
01-23-11, 03:49 AM
All N*s have the potential for headgasket failure with the exception of the RWD N*s that debuted in 2003 as 2004 models. There were supposed improvements in 2000 and 2003 to improve the problem, but the best course of action to take with any FWD N* is simply to take your purchase price (hopefully on a well maintained car), and add a mental sticky note of an extra 3-4k in reserve for repairs. So if you are looking at a car that this is 5000.00, consider it 9000.00 and plan your finances accordingly. If you never have to use that extra savings, then all the better, but it is NOT fun to be blindsided with a major repair on what might be your primary transportation. Like Jim said, a 50,000.00 car bought for 7,000.00 does not suddenly become a 7,000.00 car.

Also, a 2001 with 85k miles at 7k is only a good deal if it is a MINT well maintained example, and preferably with the luxury performance package (17" wheels, Xenon headlights, sonar parking sensors).

orconn
01-23-11, 04:16 PM
To put the purchase of a N* powered Cadillac in prospective, despite what you might hear from their infatuated owners, all luxury cars have their weaknesses and in most cases these weaknesses lead to expensive repairs. The good news is that with Cadillacs they are relatively less expensive to repair than a Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar and even a Lexus. But never the less you will be repairing a car whose original cost was between $40 and $50 thousand dollars.

While, if you are one of the unfortunate ones whose car needs a head gasket repair, you will be looking at at a cost of $3000 to $4000, to put this in perspective, I have heard that a broken window regulator on a Mercedes or Audi will set you back around $1500. (and this is a recurring problem, two such repairs and you are looking at the cost of repairing a N*). The sophisticated suspension systems on the cars can also cost a lot to refurbish, and this will need to be done on high mileage cars, but so do the suspensions on other "luxury" cars. In my opinion, if you can afford to won a "luxury" (meaning as SUB say, you can afford to maintain a $50,000 automobile) and you like what Cadillacs deliver in the way of overall performance, then they make good sense as used cars. A well maintained old Cadillac can be a very pleasant "luxury" car experience ..... choose wisely, keep it in tip top condition and it will return great transportation value!

Playdrv4me
01-23-11, 05:06 PM
While, if you are one of the unfortunate ones whose car needs a head gasket repair, you will be looking at at a cost of $3000 to $4000, to put this in perspective, I have heard that a broken window regulator on a Mercedes or Audi will set you back around $1500. (and this is a recurring problem, two such repairs and you are looking at the cost of repairing a N*). The sophisticated suspension systems on the cars can also cost a lot to refurbish, and this will need to be done on high mileage cars, but so do the suspensions on other "luxury" cars. In my opinion, if you can afford to won a "luxury" (meaning as SUB say, you can afford to maintain a $50,000 automobile) and you like what Cadillacs deliver in the way of overall performance, then they make good sense as used cars. A well maintained old Cadillac can be a very pleasant "luxury" car experience ..... choose wisely, keep it in tip top condition and it will return great transportation value!

While I whole-heartedly agree with you, I think the crux of this analogy lies in the fact that with *most* of those cars, the average failure won't necessarily leave you stranded with an unusable vehicle. Yes, the Mercedes evaporator repair for the A/C system on W140s costs as much if not more than the average Northstar repair, but you can still drive the car without A/C and with broken window regulators. Certainly things do break on those cars that are catastrophic too, and insanely expensive to repair, but the difference is they're not typically the same component (say, a transmission type) failing over and over and over in predictably in many cars.

As far as the likelihood of major expense repairs on luxury cars I'd say the list basically goes like this... from best to worst on frequency of repairs, severity of repairs, and cost of repairs when they do occur...

Lincoln
Lexus
SBC or V6 powered Cadillacs
BMW
Mercedes
FWD N* Cadillacs
Jaguar
Land Rover
Audi

orconn
01-23-11, 06:06 PM
Your list is interesting, but from what I've read over the last ten years, both Mercedes and BMW fall below Jaguar in frequency of needed repairs (quite a feat on Jaguar's part and Ford's supervision). It is well known the from 2000 to at most a couple of years ago Mercedes were plagued with electrical and mechanical problems, to the point that they lost their "recommended" status on several ownership surveys. This was certainly born out by what various Mercedes mechanics had to say to me personally during the first decade of the new century. The 7 series BMWs were also plagued with problems, and as any problem with one of these makes is expensive to fix I would definitely beware of owning one of these makes if cost of maintenance was a consideration.

As far as the car letting you down, so that it was not drivable, have you ever been saddled with a car with a broken power window in the down position? It is not advisable to leave such a car in a city parking lot or out in the rain. A broken air conditioner, from what I hear from members of this Forum, is a "total failure" that cannot be tolerated for long! And this goes on etc., etc.!

Even those who have suffered head gasket failure, and to date I have not seen a reliable percentage figure, there seems to be plenty of evidence on the Forums that this condition is coming on so the owner can't art least get home or into a repair facility. I am also not sure the European and Japanese makes aren't also prone to failures that result from defective aluminum casting in their engines. I know that Mercedes for many years had trouble with blown head gaskets, not to mention having to have their engines valves ground and adjusted as part of their regular maintenance.

I am not down on European and Japanese "luxury" cars, but I think often they are given credit where credit is really not due. Essentially the Northstar engine is a high performance four overhead cam engine capable of superior performance, that it would suffer some of the same problems that European engines have had for years stands to reason. I personally find the N* engine to be out sanding for the uses I put it to, would I recommend a car with a N* to a buyer who is not financially able to support a higher dollar car, certainly not!

Playdrv4me
01-23-11, 06:29 PM
I think that overall the point is that it isn't good to be part of the second half of that list. If I am not mistaken in recent years Cadillac has jumped way up the ratings from where they were in the '90s and early 2000s. Even the sole remaining FWD powered N* Cadillac miraculously managed a "Recommend" from the typically domestic hating CR in the yearly vehicle issue. Time will prove out whether these DTSs will be as solid as their RWD counterparts have been. As for the headgaskets being drivable, I think that is the case when you have very diligent owners like myself who caught the coolant loss at an extremely early stage. Unfortunately, there are many who purchase the cars used, on the cheap, at a point where they are fine on the test drive, but the overheating stage is either so close or has already begun so that overheating and massive coolant loss are the first signs that typically bring the new N* owner to our forum.

You shouldn't buy ANY luxury marque without the financial ability to maintain it, but the irony about THAT statement is that N* failure extend to the Aurora and Intrigue as well. So for those that insist on paying tiny dollars for a luxury car, they're still going to be best served by getting the Lincoln or Lexus. And for the record, Lexus has never had casting problems with any of its aluminum V8 engines, which is quite amazing when you consider the LS400 was their first time at bat with both the car itself, AND the engine! Likewise, the DOHC 4.6 Ford motor has never had internal problems of that magnitude either. The Europeans on the other hand, and really Mercedes in particular, have definitely had their share of cooling/headgasket problems. The FWD N* is a world class engine with some unfortunate engineering flaws. Like I said, buy one of these cars and budget in 3-4k for future expenses, this is the safest and most worry free way to enjoy them. So am I saying not to buy one? Absolutely not, they are among the best bang for the buck out there and a satisfying ownership and driving experience regardless the problems, but you must keep future repairs in mind, or own it as a secondary vehicle.

C4BigD
01-24-11, 03:31 PM
ok....so i get tha fact that tha repair cost will not reflect a 7000 car, cuz it was 50,000ish new. but wit that being said...i hav never heard of a new car going for 7000. so i must asume that any used car will not hav tha repair cost of a 7000 car. this was not really tha question. wut i really wanted to know is tha likelyhood of sumthing major going wrong wit it at it current point n life, consittering that tha car was taken care of just as it should b. is there any info that should suggest tha mileage at witch this cooling/HG problem usealy happens.....i know no one could say exactly but mayb around about idea. With it being 70,000-80,000 miles is tha chance high that this car(s) will hav tha problem?
p.s. i hav really enjoyed all tha comments from every one....tha back and forth iz really helpful...thanx

C4BigD
01-24-11, 03:35 PM
oh and sum has been said about lincoln and lexus...would these still be faily reliable past 100,000miles?

ben.gators
01-24-11, 04:04 PM
ok....so i get tha fact that tha repair cost will not reflect a 7000 car, cuz it was 50,000ish new. but wit that being said...i hav never heard of a new car going for 7000. so i must asume that any used car will not hav tha repair cost of a 7000 car. this was not really tha question. wut i really wanted to know is tha likelyhood of sumthing major going wrong wit it at it current point n life, consittering that tha car was taken care of just as it should b. is there any info that should suggest tha mileage at witch this cooling/HG problem usealy happens.....i know no one could say exactly but mayb around about idea. With it being 70,000-80,000 miles is tha chance high that this car(s) will hav tha problem?
p.s. i hav really enjoyed all tha comments from every one....tha back and forth iz really helpful...thanx

OK, let me give you a partial answer. It is not just major repairs that may end up in very costly repair, small repairs here and there can sum up to 2000$ each year and that is the average costs that you can expect to spend each year just to keep the car in good condition, if no major problem occurs.
Major problems can be blown HG, bad struts/ shocks, a bad HVAC compressor, or a bad steering rack....

druddell
01-24-11, 04:32 PM
welcome!

orconn
01-24-11, 05:40 PM
Some of us have had relatively good luck with our used Cadillacs ..... others have had frustrating experiences. In my own case my wife and I have owned three used Sevilles over the last eight years.

A 1993 STS bought with 48,000 miles on it, this car despite its' relatively low mileage has cost, on average, about $2000/year to own and operate over the seven years we had it. Repairs included two new air conditioner compressors (one covered under "Good Wrench" warranty) two new front wheel bearings, new fuel pump, new fuel tank gage. The car had had its coolant changed every two years, with brake fluid changed at three year intervals, even though the car had still not reached the 100,000 mile full tune-up point this was done at 87,000 miles (a $1200.00 service at the Cadillac agency). The car was sold at 96,000. after seven years of daily use and was in excellent condition when sold. Cost of normal maintenance (oil change, tires, brakes, etc) was around $2000/year.

I purchased my 1995 Seville STS in 2004 with 58,000 miles on the clock. The car was a one owner Florida car that had been service throughout its life by one Cadillac dealer. I purchased it in the Miami area and drove it back to Virginia. The car was in excellent condition. Even though the car has been my daily driver it has only accumulated 78,000 miles to date. This car also had its 100,000 mile tune up early as at one point it developed a miss at idle (it later turned out to be a faulty ignition pack), the car has required no major repairs other than both wheel bearings being replaced. Again yearly cost of maintenance has been around $2000. to keep it in tip top shape. The car is driven at least weekly both for errands and on the freeway.

We were so pleased with the outcome of our fourth series Seville STS ownership that we decided to find another one to replace the 1993. After a long net search I found a 2002 SLS with only 23,000 miles on it that was an estate sale. Having had the two STS's I prefered o find an SLS due to the less expensive suspension set up and its' better gas mileage. The car was shipped from New Jersey after brief negotiations and assurances. The car turned out to be even better than than described, with a flawless "like new" exterior and an interior that was showroom fresh. This car has only required a front wheel bearing and a brake job. Normal maintenance has run less that $2000./year, but is expected to increase as mileage is accumulated. I payed $12,000 plus $500. for shipping for this car.

I feel strongly that Cadillacs in general, and Sevilles in particular should not be bought as "fixer uppers"; i.e. the cost of parts and repairs can more than offset the additional cost of a well maintained low mileage car. With a little effort on the net very good cars can be found at reasonable prices. If I had it to do again I would look again at a Florida car, even considering shipping cost (if I couldn't fly down to pick it up). There seem to be a good supply of well maintained, low mileage Cadillacs coming to market on a regular basis. Keep in my, as another member recently said, that these cars present very well cosmetically and that their appearance is not necessarily a certain sign of careful mechanical maintenance and overall good condition.

Having owned Jaguars and Mercedes and other European cars over the years I will say that in comparison that Cadillacs are less expensive to maintain in excellent condition .... and, to be honest, that is one of the reasons i have chosen to own Cadillacs.

C4BigD
01-25-11, 01:39 AM
now this is sum good info...thanx orconn

Playdrv4me
01-25-11, 02:19 AM
oh and sum has been said about lincoln and lexus...would these still be faily reliable past 100,000miles?

Assuming they've been well maintained, these are both very solid and reliable used car buys over 100k. The thing to look out for on the Lincoln's is the air bag suspensions. I would prefer a car that either the seller can prove the airbags don't leak overnight OR that has been converted to coilover suspension. Even if you do get a bad one, the coilover conversion is very inexpensive.