: What To Do?



ryannel2003
04-24-11, 01:41 AM
As many of you know I adore my 2000 STS. It has really been a great car and hasn't given me too many issues that these cars are known for. However, it's starting to show age and i'm really up in the air as to what I do about it. The car has 103k miles on it now and it's in good shape. However, it does need some work. Here's what the car needs now:

*New windshield (Large crack on the driver side)
*New 3rd brake light LED (almost completely burnt out)
*New rear shocks (Old ones aren't too bad, but could stand replacement as they sag a little bit)
*New front control arms (Worn bushings; have to replace the whole unit)
*Loose steering (Possibly tie rods, possibly rack and pinion)
*New CV axle (Old one leaking a little grease)

All in all, I'm looking at about $1500-$2000 that needs to be spend to make the car where I'd want it to be. However, that doesn't include things that could go wrong in the future like transmission, A/C compressor, Alternator, etc. Probably the biggest reason to keep the car would be the headgaskets have already been done, along with the rear main seal and quite a bit of other work. It has brand new Michelin tires, new front brake pads and rotors, runs like a bat out of hell and the interior is in excellent shape for it's age. It's a 2 owner car including myself and I have all the paperwork starting from the day it hit the road on May 12th, 2000. If I did replace the car, I'd want an 05+ STS or 06+ DTS. I prefer the DTS myself but the STS's have gotten so cheap it wouldn't be difficult for me to find what I wanted at all.

Give me some suggestions as to what I should do. If I could find a '02+ F55 STS with less than 50k miles in my area with the perfect color combination I would jump on that ASAP, but those are few and far between.

77CDV
04-24-11, 01:52 AM
I'm in the same place with my 2001 ETC. I could trade up to a newer car, but then, every car will need something or other. Barring catastrophic failure or a major accident, I'm leaning toward sticking with the devil I know.

ben.gators
04-24-11, 02:07 AM
All of those items except the rear shocks are not that much expensive to fix specially if you are a DIY person and to be honest I should say they are not that much big to dump a nice car that you like. You can buy the parts or have the parts repaired for less than 800$ excluding shocks. Yes, in my calculations I use aftermarket part prices. And I am assuming your loose steering is because of tie rods not rack.

Like 77 CDV said every car comes with the possibility of catastrophic failure, well, in general newer cars a bit less, but still a possibility. The cars in your shopping list should be out of factory warranty by now and soon or late they will be in the same condition that your current STS is. I would say fix your car if you really like it.

hueterm
04-24-11, 02:21 AM
Since it's in good shape cosmetically, and you've done the HGs and RMS, I would keep it.

All of the stuff you're worried about could happen on anything else you're looking at, unless you're looking at a warranty vehicle. Plus, you'll get nothing for yours...

ryannel2003
04-24-11, 02:35 AM
I'm not a DIY'er unfortunately. I don't have any patience and the few times I have attempted to fix things on the car I wind up wanting to drive it off a cliff, so I'll leave all the work to the professionals (except for the 3rd LED). When I replace the rear shocks I'm wanting to go with a lower mileage used set of shocks off another STS. Of course I'll make sure they aren't damaged or have any problems, but if that doesn't work out I'm going to go ahead and spring for the Monroe active shocks.

The steering issue has me stumped. I had an alignment done in January with no reported problems and the car tracks straight, but the steering is just too loose. When I give the car a WOT it wants to pull left and that wasn't happening a year or so ago. I had a few suggestions in the Seville forum and one of them was the possibility of a bad steering rack, but I'm hoping that isn't the case. The tie rods were done back in 2007 so I wouldn't be shocked if they needed replacement again to be honest as it seems common on these cars.

Right now I'm leaning towards keeping it, but there is always the possibility of a newer car. My original plan was to keep the car 3 years and then upgrade to a newer Cadillac. Problem is I haven't found a car that I really want to pull the trigger on.

Jesda
04-24-11, 03:02 AM
Another used car will need anywhere from $500-$2000 in repairs.

ryannel2003
04-24-11, 03:12 AM
I was thinking of getting a certified Cadillac if I did get another... already learned my lesson the first time around with this one.

Jesda
04-24-11, 03:32 AM
In that case, then its a good idea.

ga_etc
04-24-11, 05:08 AM
Unless you just found a hell of a deal in THE CPO want, I'd just stick with what you have.

Playdrv4me
04-24-11, 08:08 AM
Doesn't sound to me like there's enough wrong to warrant a new car here... but if you must scratch the itch I might be interested in it as I'm getting rid of the Expedition.

ted tcb
04-24-11, 09:51 AM
Doesn't make any sense, Ryan.

In order to avoid spending $2k in repairs on your car, you'd spend at least $10k net difference on upgrading
to a 2005 or newer STS?

ryannel2003
04-24-11, 12:59 PM
Prices for certified DTS/STS are hovering around the $17k-$20k mark right now, which are really great deals. Most of these cars are off-lease or 1 owner cars from owners that have upgraded or moved on to other cars. I'm not into buying rental cars because from what I've seen they are quite beat up compared to trade-in's. If I fixed everything on my car but the control arms and the rear shocks I could sell it for $5k around here, as these cars in good condition are rare. Trade in right now is probably $3k; I was offered $4500 last year on trade in, but the car had 90k miles and the list of problems was shorter.

Ian, if I did sell the car I don't think you would want it lol. I know you're a perfectionist when it comes to paint and this car was in a wreck before I bought it. Of course Carfax says it's clean but I know it was only because there was a brand new headlight on the driver's side and it was painted. The guys who did paint it didn't do a great job because the paint is peeling around the door handle.

I might start slowly and get the windshield and 3rd brake light replaced, and then follow up with control arms, CV joint, and tie-rods (if they are loose) at one time to save money on labor. I'm going to keep the air shocks going as long as they don't start sagging badly in the rear. They're low now but not enough to be a concern.

Thanks for the opinions guys.

ryannel2003
04-27-11, 07:41 PM
Well I'm seriously thinking about getting rid of the car. I got inside it yesterday and the driver's side a/c was blowing warm air. I had it recharged yesterday and it was great. Got back in the car this afternoon and it's blowing warm air again. I'm taking it to the Cadillac dealership tomorrow but I'm really thinking of getting rid of this car and looking into something else. I don't know where the leak is coming from or what the deal is but I think it's time to move on. At this time I do not have the cash to buy a newer Cadillac right now and I'm thinking about moving to a :shudder: Honda. I'm looking at Accord Coupe's, Prelude's, and possibly a Civic Coupe but that would be my last resort. If anybody has a idea of what type of affordable car that gets decent gas mileage for less than $7000 let me know. Chad, how do you like you're Regal? I've been thinking about those too.

gdwriter
04-27-11, 07:44 PM
I really enjoyed my '99 Accord coupe. Prices for those should be reasonable by now. That body style lasted from 1998-2002, then it got progressively fatter. And ugly.

orconn
04-27-11, 07:54 PM
If you can find a Regal LS with the touring suspension they make decent transportation with good gas mileage. The one we had for three years got around 19/20 in town, but out on the highway would consistently turn in 34 mpg. Quality was nothing like the Seville, but then neither was the potential repair cost.

ryannel2003
04-27-11, 08:00 PM
I love that bodystyle of Accord coupe. They are hard to find around here for a decent price but if I do find one I'll have to check it out. Also, I really like Prelude's but they are so rare around here that it's almost impossible to find one that I would really want.

Orconn, the Regal's are plenty around here and quite a few in GS form. I'll keep this thread updated though.

Edit: Looking around there seem to be plenty of Regal's in really great shape with low miles with less than 120k miles. Prices are great too. A nice 2001 Regal LS is going for $5k with 105k miles. That would give me all the comfort of my STS without worrying about something going wrong all the time.

ben.gators
04-27-11, 08:40 PM
I owned a Regal LS, and my thumbs are up for Regal.... LS model seems to be easier to find, and also it is cheaper. But GS is a nicer car though... Supercharged engine, better suspension system, and a longer list of standard options are the reasons making GS superior to LS. Oh, and don't forget the two tone paint on GS, I love that.

However LS has a better gas millage. LS or GS, the both are very reliable cars and they will serve you well. However I myself suggest GS model, because you have used to drive an STS. But still LS is a nice car too....

Jesda
04-27-11, 10:25 PM
I think the GS also avoids the plastic intake, yes/no? Something about the supercharged motor being resilient against LIM gasket failures?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-27-11, 10:33 PM
The GS has the aluminum intake manifold....the plastic one couldn't hold up to the boost, so yes, they don't have the intake leaking issue like the naturally aspirated 3800s do.


I love my GS and would highly recommend one. I've had it for 24,000 miles and 22 months, and it's only needed one repair, a faulty LR power window regulator....$450 and I declined repair. Other than that, it's been rock solid and I make liberal use of the throttle pedal. 21-22 mpg in town and 27-28 highway at 65-70mph. It gives you 80% of the luxury, power and style of the STS with 40% of the cost.

orconn
04-28-11, 12:18 AM
The key to getting the handling more similar to a Seville is finding a LS with the touring suspension (same as GS). The LS we had had all the equipment that the GS had except for the supercharger. The only reason to opt for the LS over a GS would be if highway mileage was important to you, otherwise the GS might be more to your liking.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-28-11, 12:24 AM
If you could find a Joe Abboud edition...that would be the cat's meow.

drewsdeville
04-28-11, 12:32 AM
I think the GS also avoids the plastic intake, yes/no? Something about the supercharged motor being resilient against LIM gasket failures?

I think you are thinking of the upper manifold, which doesn't change the gasket problem. Don't forget that the 3800's intake is a two piece system.

The SC variant is no less resistant to LIM gasket failures...both the NA and SC engines use aluminum lower manifolds bolted to iron heads, which create scrubbing issues with the LIM gaskets.

However, the plastic UPPER manifold used on the NA is prone to cracking, and that is eliminated on the SC engines.

ben.gators
04-28-11, 12:39 AM
If you could find a Joe Abboud edition...that would be the cat's meow.

:yeah:

You need a car like this:
http://www.tothakron.com/VehicleDetails/used-2002-Buick-Regal-4dr_Sdn_GS-Akron-OH/999862873

And this is the best online forum for Regal: http://www.regalgs.org/

There are good people there and you can find an answer for any question you have... There are some listed cars for sale in that forum, but for some reason they are usually overpriced....

ryannel2003
04-28-11, 12:50 AM
I've driven Regal's before and they were great cars. I'm having this problem right now because I haven't found anything I really like. Regal's around here have 100k+ miles and while I know the engine will go forever I want something with less than 100k miles. The passenger side a/c is now blowing warm so I'm not sure what is going on. It could be a freon leak, but it could also be the compressor. I've been weighing my options and I'm really thinking about getting a small loan and getting everything fixed. I love the car to death and if I get everything i have listed fixed it would be damn near perfect for a 100k+ mile Seville. I know the full history on the car and I've done alot of work to it. I'm not too sure I want to get into another car that has the potential for problems as well. $2,000 would cover everything and more, and that would allow me to have less worries about the car getting older.

Give me some ideas. Everything on my car is easily fixable, it's just the matter of if it's worth it or not.

drewsdeville
04-28-11, 12:59 AM
Most of the problems with your car are chassis and accessory related. These repairs shouldn't be surprising at 100k, whether it's a Cadillac, Buick, Toyota, or anything else. If you substitute another car nearing 100k for this one, there is a chance you'll end up replacing cv joints, control arms, and repairing AC anyway.

If these are the extent of your problems, I don't see why it would be necessary to bail on it. The repairs aren't out of whack for it's age/mileage. While I too would recommend a 3800 over a N* for cost of ownership, a Regal is just as prone to the same chassis and accessory problems as your Cadillac's

orconn
04-28-11, 01:02 AM
If you really love the car, get it fixed you can't come close to as good a car as you have for the amount that would cost to fix your car. This is especially true since the HGs have already been done and your are looking at items to be fixed that really are accessory items not things that woulprevent you from using the car while your are getting them fixed.

Jesda
04-28-11, 01:03 AM
You could always step down a class of car and get lower mileage for less money. A late-model Civic should do you well.

ben.gators
04-28-11, 01:18 AM
As I have said in that thread before, repair your car... The listed problems are not big enough to dump a beloved car!
About AC problem, are you sure you are low on freon? Cold passenger side, hot driver side can be because of low freon, or because of a bad blend door actuator in driver side. Pull your trouble codes....

ryannel2003
04-28-11, 04:15 AM
Checked codes for the blend door and there is nothing there. I just had the driver's side blend door replaced last year so that shouldn't be the problem. Both sides of the a/c are now blowing warm air; the compressor still engages and the lines look fine but the leak probably wouldn't be noticeable to me anyway.

I agree about buying another 100k mile car though. That's why I'm thinking about just fixing this one and driving it for awhile. I do love it. I'll report back with what Cadillac says about the A/C in the morning.

hueterm
04-28-11, 11:26 AM
When the compressors went out in both the ETC and the Concours, I got the dreaded "Very Low Refrigerant" warning... Has that shown up?

ga_etc
04-28-11, 12:45 PM
At one point my ETC developed a problem where sometimes the A/C would work and sometimes it wouldn't. I was worried that the compressor was going out, but it turned out that one of the wires on the compressor, the ground I guess, had worked loose and was only making contact part of the time. Had that tightened up and never had another problem.

ryannel2003
04-28-11, 01:05 PM
When the compressors went out in both the ETC and the Concours, I got the dreaded "Very Low Refrigerant" warning... Has that shown up?

The '98+ Seville's are weird when it comes to that message... my car has never shown that message even though I know the freon is low. I'm really starting to think it's the compressor; it's been making some rattling noise for about 2 years now but nothing has ever started given me problems until last year. The dealership is gonna call me back after lunch, so I'll know the situation then.

drewsdeville
04-28-11, 01:13 PM
Receiving or not receiving that message really doesn't mean much. The clutch can fail and you'll lose AC without that message ever displaying.

ryannel2003
04-28-11, 01:22 PM
Receiving or not receiving that message really doesn't mean much. The clutch can fail and you'll lose AC without that message ever displaying.

That's what my buddy said. ACDelco compressors are reasonably priced at $330 on RockAuto. I'm not sure how much labor would be involved, but I'm thinking at least 2 hours to install. In the meantime I'm thinking that keeping the car and fixing everything right now is much better than buying another potential problem child.

ryannel2003
04-28-11, 02:51 PM
Just got a call from the dealer... the a/c high pressure hose is leaking freon and they want $650 to replace the part with an aftermarket brand and to recharge the a/c. I declined the offer and am going to start looking online to see what the cost is. Not sure how much something like that would cost but there is no way in hell I'm paying $650.

hueterm
04-28-11, 03:28 PM
That's what my buddy said. ACDelco compressors are reasonably priced at $330 on RockAuto. I'm not sure how much labor would be involved, but I'm thinking at least 2 hours to install. In the meantime I'm thinking that keeping the car and fixing everything right now is much better than buying another potential problem child.

$1400 twice...for new compressors...albeit at dealer pricing/labor. The DCM RMW was $1000 at an indy shop.

Almost every vehicle I've owned has had to have the compressor replaced...Dad's (my old) Riviera, that I'm trading him my Concours for, is blowing warm. He said "oh, it probably just needs charging"...I'm saying Pfftt...whatever...I've NEVER had that be the case.

So, probably another $1400.... Oh well...

drewsdeville
04-28-11, 04:17 PM
Wtf? $1400? Not sure about the LT1, but I did the compressor on a '92 RM 350 last year and it was right on top, plain view, no games. Took an hour to replace and recharge. Compressor itself was $300 or something like that.

orconn
04-28-11, 04:27 PM
I think you got stiffed by your local dealer. I payed $1200. for the the compressor to be replaced on my wife's '93 Seville STS at Cadillac in Tysons Corner, not exactly a low rent district. The Compressor was replaced two years later under a"goodwrench" part warranty for $600/labor only. I would think the compressor on a Buick Roadmaster would be considerably cheaper than a Seville especially considring labor/time.

hueterm
04-28-11, 04:54 PM
$1400 was for the ETC and the Concours.

hueterm
04-28-11, 04:55 PM
TThe RMW was $900-1000 ish.

ben.gators
04-28-11, 06:14 PM
It is not just about compressor! If a compressor breaks, there is a very good chance that the AC system is contaminated with metal debris, and if you just replace the compressor it will fail sooner or later because of those metal debris in the system. A Correct repair involves replacing oriface tube, condenser and accumulator as well as the compressor itself. Add the labour costs to this long list of required parts and you will see 1400$ bill makes sense.... Orconn has got a very good deal from his local dealership!

Just back to the thread, ryannel2003, you can have that high pressure line replaced for less than 400$ in a reputable shop. 650$ is definitely too much.
As far as I remember the hose itself was about 220$ or 230$. It is not that much hard to replace the hose. But you need to go to a mechanic shop to have them evacuate the freon of the AC system, then return back home and replace the hose and then go to the shop again to evacuate the system and then charge the system. You may find this a bit inconvenient, and I bet the final cost will be near to the case that you have a shop to do everything for you in the first place....

Shop around, I bet you will find a good reputable place that desire to do this job for you for even 350$

ryannel2003
04-28-11, 07:21 PM
Well it turns out I have a bit of luck... the part was just replaced last year and the dealer who did the work is going to cover the cost of getting it replaced. Should have the car back tomorrow. I'm friends with the tech and he is also going to check the steering out since I said it was loose when I started the thread. Looking forward to having the car back and getting some feedback on my issues.

77CDV
04-28-11, 09:38 PM
I think you're on the right track about fixing the car up and keeping it, Ryan. You're right about not being able to find as good a car for the monetary outlay, and like you said, nothing out there is jumping up and down pleading "buy me!".

ltdltc
04-28-11, 09:53 PM
If you do decide to go to a DTS from a STS I'd strongly recommend getting a Performance Sedan. You may not like the floaty nature of the base suspension. I gave up on my Lux II because it was to damn bouncy and moved up to a Performance just because the aftermarket alternatives just don't work all that well (though the Monroe I put in shocks did work much better then the AC Delcos).

ryannel2003
04-29-11, 03:31 PM
I've driven a few rental DTS's and while the suspension is softer than my STS I actually like that for some reason. The old Deville's were way to soft for my liking and it's obvious Cadillac firmed them up when the 2006+ models came alone. I have driven a DTS Performance and actually found it harsh, at least compared to my STS and the base DTS's. It picked up every little imperfection in the road and it just didn't seem to ride like a Cadillac should. My STS does have 103k miles so the suspension is a little worn out but even when I bought it with 54k it didn't seem as harsh as that DTS did.

On a good note I just got my STS back and everything is working great. I need a windshield ASAP though as the crack on mine keeps growing. But for now, I'm going to see if the car continues to behave itself before I make any more actions about getting rid of it. I really would like to stick to the Cadillac brand and pick up another one, but I would have to really be drawn to another one before getting rid of the STS.

He said the suspension seemed tight, so I don't know why the steering feels so loose. There is a possibility of the steering rack but I'll cross paths with that when it comes time.

77CDV
04-29-11, 04:46 PM
Well, that is good news. I'd pop the couple hundred for the windshield anyway, just for safety's sake. Keep us updated.

ben.gators
04-29-11, 04:51 PM
You can find very good deals for windshield in Craigslist, e.g. about 150$. It will be a Chinese glass, but still better and safer than driving with that cracked windshield.

ryannel2003
04-29-11, 04:54 PM
There is a place here in my town that will do a replacement for $230, which I plan on doing in the next few weeks. Looking forward to getting that done.

77CDV
04-30-11, 03:13 AM
Oh, hell, Safelite did my ETC for less than that! And they came to me!

ryannel2003
04-30-11, 10:25 AM
I'll have to check that out but when I got a quote from Safelite it was around $290, so i might have to call them and see. I don't know if that has anything to do with the Rainsense wipers either, but the ones I have on my car haven't worked since I had the windshield replaced in late 2008.

ben.gators
04-30-11, 04:09 PM
I guess they have used a wrong adhesive product to paste the sensor on the windshield. It should be an special product to insure that it won't interfere with sensing operation of sensor.

77CDV
05-01-11, 12:32 AM
My ETC has Rainsense, and it works as well as ever, even after the windshield was replaced.

ryannel2003
05-01-11, 02:26 AM
Mine starts out working for like a minute then stops... I end up controlling it myself. When I bought the car it was placed lower on the windshield but when I got it replaced last time they moved it up closer to the rearview mirror and that's when it stopped working. Maybe it's not in the right spot? Anyways, I'm not too concerned about it as long as the windshield wipers still work I'm happy haha.

How much did you pay for the glass in your ETC if you don't mind me asking? The lowest quote I had was $230, and Safelite was the highest at $295. Not sure if it has anything to do with the Seville body being different on the 98+ but I wouldn't think that would make a huge difference.

77CDV
05-01-11, 10:41 PM
Well, after consulting the Magic Drawer O'Invoices, I paid $219 to replace the windshield on the ETC a year ago. So, a bit more than I remembered, but still not horrid, and I love that the guy came to me instead of me having to schlep the car down to a glass shop, leave it overnight, and have to go back for it. If you have AAA, I think they give you a discount, so ask about it.