: prospective owner - basic questions



tjh8402
11-06-11, 11:02 AM
As I mentioned in my MRC post, I'm looking at V8 STS's. My questions are the basic ones - what are the problem areas? What are things to watch out for? Anything particularly desirable (or undesirable?) What should I be budgeting for maintenance (assume 12-15k a year of mostly highway driving)? Based on my price range, I'd be looking at 2005-2008's. Thanks for the help.

JediSamreye
11-06-11, 12:01 PM
I have had the car for 4 months now (an 05 N* RWD) the only things that I have problems with has been the keyless entry sometimes it doesnt see my fob. Just cant find it, and I cant start the car about once every two weeks, but it always starts when i put the fob in the pocket in the console.
Only other thing is the plastic side of the drivers seat, where the lumbar and seat controls are broke off pretty quick, but from dealer the part was 16 bucks and it snaps in place. I hope this helped even somewhat :)

scott9001
11-06-11, 01:12 PM
no problems yet i have owned my 05 sts for about a month and a half now. just once you get the car make sure the intake manifold bolts are tightened to spec! also make sure no damage to headlights as they are verry exspencive! make sure you get a sts with the magnetic suspention i love the feel of this car on the road! also make sure valve stem caps are not corroted on to the valve stem becasue it is just going to be a ass down the road. if i think of anything else i will let you know!

EChas3
11-06-11, 07:48 PM
I urge anyone interested in an STS to stongly consider buying Certified Pre-Owned (CPO). Most Cadillac dealers will certify a car they sell as long as it's still under the OEM warranty. In 2008, it cost around $1,000 and added 24 months/50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage (including battery & bulbs). Since GM's reorganization in April 2009, CPO has lost some luster but it is still the best warranty. Mine paid for itself twice. A CPO STS is an outstanding value.

GMPP is next best. I like the delaer-sold third-party warranties as third best but a lot of forum members like the Internet-based or TV advertised warranries. Opinions vary but most experts advise warranties that list exclusions rather than those that list inclusions. Banking a repair allowance (i.e. a self-funded warranty) makes sense but in any case, STS repairs can get expensive; but not quite like BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, etc.

You'll find some members that don't want MRC because a pair of replacement struts will cost over $1,000 installed. A heated steering wheel is a likewise expensive replacement. These cars are generally reliable but high-end features break and are expensive to repair. MSRP's for some trim levels were well over $60,000 and repair costs are commensurate with that price range.

An STS is a lot of car for the money but is expensive to fix. There aren't a lot of used parts availble and many issues call for dealer resources. The 'sticky' thread at the top of this forum contains links to details of what can go wrong and most cars develop some issues.

Greg00coupe
11-06-11, 08:28 PM
Had my 05 v8 for 4 years next feb....72K on it now. Replaced 2 TPMS a new battery and tires, rear brakes and rotors.....no other issues. I don't believe in extended warranties but that is just the negative karma I think you create expecting problems.

EChas3
11-06-11, 10:20 PM
I don't believe in extended warranties but that is just the negative karma I think you create expecting problems.

I don't believe in karma. Machines that don't work as designed need repair. Personally, malfunctions irritate me like a nagging itch, so I don't mind making some effort to make it right. I haven't had a lot of trouble but its comforting that I can get an unpleasent HVAC sound or squeaking trunk lid fixed without additional cost. With a warranty, there are no surprise expenses.

It's nice to hear of someone that has no problems with their STS; no nagging 'personality' quirks. Once trouble becomes 'not worth fixing' a car is on the road to being a heap. I drove heaps when I was younger. My hobby car (a Triumph TR6) is a heap, but it's a hobby. One reason I work a difficult but good-paying job is so that my daily driver isn't a heap.

hemic05
11-07-11, 12:55 AM
No matter what you buy get an extended warranty one time it pays for itself these cars as with all have good ones and junk ones cover your self do a history on the car and get a contract for as long as you can extend it for

turnne
11-08-11, 09:16 AM
I don't believe in karma. Machines that don't work as designed need repair. Personally, malfunctions irritate me like a nagging itch, so I don't mind making some effort to make it right. I haven't had a lot of trouble but its comforting that I can get an unpleasent HVAC sound or squeaking trunk lid fixed without additional cost. With a warranty, there are no surprise expenses.

It's nice to hear of someone that has no problems with their STS; no nagging 'personality' quirks. Once trouble becomes 'not worth fixing' a car is on the road to being a heap. I drove heaps when I was younger. My hobby car (a Triumph TR6) is a heap, but it's a hobby. One reason I work a difficult but good-paying job is so that my daily driver isn't a heap.

You bring up a couple on interesting points about the warranty

These cars lose value very quickly..as you know
In fact I remember the difference for a car of the same year with and without factory warranty left was about $3-4K
This was two cars of the same year with say...45K miles( and factory warranty) and one with 52K miles( no factory warranty)

I would imagine the differences in value are still consistent today with a similar pair like I compared a few years ago

That being said...for a cash buyer( or any buyer) I guess..that is a significant difference for a car at this price point
There seems to be a fair amount of cash buyers of used Cadillacs in this forum....I did a short loan term..30 months...but I have to say it was hard to swallow to pay for the extended coverage. Coverage that has not paid for itself yet, though I still have about 16 months left of it

One could ask themselves..is it worth the extra $4K for the car that is $17K?...and even more than that is if you go CPO /GMPP or the like...then it could be $5500-6000 more

You mention driving a heap
At what point, dollar wise, is the car not worth putting more money into?
That is where it turns into a "heap" IMO...where the value of the car is so low that those MRC replacement shocks are 50% of what the car is worth

who is going fund that type of repair?

That was one of the main reason I traded my 02 in....I considered myself lucky with that car...but the clock was ticking...at 121K it would be hard to justify many repairs repairs for a car that brought me $3500

and what is an 05...fully loaded worth these days with 100K on it...7-9K?

Warren

malatu
11-08-11, 10:12 AM
Sounds like you need a new battery in the fob. I was having the exact same problem. A new batter in the fob fixed it.

Greg00coupe
11-08-11, 07:32 PM
4 or 5K for a warranty????wow I never realized it was that much. If you have a love affair with the dealer and expect the worse then knock yourself out. I still wrench when I can and find I not only save money but in many cases know the job is done right. For more challenging jobs I have a network of friends who have more tools and knowledge then me. I found an independent mechanic who worked at Cadillac. Saved me big money on my 00. Point is with a little effort you can make any repair less then what the dealer wants.

turnne
11-08-11, 08:44 PM
4 or 5K for a warranty????wow I never realized it was that much. If you have a love affair with the dealer and expect the worse then knock yourself out. I still wrench when I can and find I not only save money but in many cases know the job is done right. For more challenging jobs I have a network of friends who have more tools and knowledge then me. I found an independent mechanic who worked at Cadillac. Saved me big money on my 00. Point is with a little effort you can make any repair less then what the dealer wants.

If you buy an STS that is slightly out of warranty...say 55K..versus one that is CPO with a few less miles...there is a 4-5K difference in what the car is worth at the dealer

I agree with you...is it worth that much extra?...for the same year, equipment


Warren

MacMuse
11-09-11, 03:50 PM
Well, my CPO warranty has covered over $6,000 in repairs.

Sure, I'm being a little picky - multiple bulbs replaced, other items repaired that I would just ignore if they weren't covered - but I recovered my CPO investment... or 'bet' if you wish to look at it that way. Of course, my wife thinks I have a lemon and will be very resistant to future Cadillac purchases as a result of my excessive trips to the dealer.

Greg00coupe
11-09-11, 08:18 PM
Mac I have to agree with your wife......... Mystery of life why one car has few problems and others are nightmares......same model and years. I'm still thinking its a karma thing....... You expect the worse it happens.

EChas3
11-09-11, 10:25 PM
I don't believe in 'lemons' but many manufacturers do have poor quality control. Probability dictates that some examples will demonstrate a high percentage of trouble. In actual fact, a discriminating buyer is better off buying used because trouble may be more evident and avoidable. But is the industrial revolution in devolution?

I feel the pressure on cost control is so high that few decision makers have room to make the decisions they know to be right. Crap sells just as fast (or faster) than quality and it all gets thrown away so soon.

Sure, most cars that break still get fixed. But look at all the other 'durable goods' that just get junked when they break. Less costly cars that ours are already considered disposable.

I like warranties. Dealer visits can be fun as long as thre's no 'out of pocket'. Loaners are entertaining and no-one dies wishing they spent more time at work.

turnne
11-10-11, 08:00 AM
Well, my CPO warranty has covered over $6,000 in repairs.

Sure, I'm being a little picky - multiple bulbs replaced, other items repaired that I would just ignore if they weren't covered - but I recovered my CPO investment... or 'bet' if you wish to look at it that way. Of course, my wife thinks I have a lemon and will be very resistant to future Cadillac purchases as a result of my excessive trips to the dealer.

You have gotten your moneys worth...you no doubt paid more for the car initially...but it seems you have recouped the extra cash outlay

My question is

would you have spent your own money to repair the car?

and

if so ..at what point is the car not worth fixing?



Warren

turnne
11-10-11, 08:10 AM
Less costly cars that ours are already considered disposable.
work.

I am not sure that is dictated by so much as cost...as by what the car costs to fix vs what its worth

Look at the Honda Civic for example....inexpensive to buy ..holds value well...and seems to be a lot of 15 plus year old ones on the road

Looking at luxury....I see a lot of 90's era LS400's on the road ( and for sale) with over 200K....heck even on the Lexus dealer's used car lot

I assume its a pretty expensive car to fix?...though its still worth a few $$ relatively speaking
The STS was only about 2-3K difference, in price, of the Lexus LS400 in the early 90's
Do you see a lot of 90's ers STS's on the road with over 200K( or for sale)?.

I don't...and the ones that I see that are 15-17 years old are "heaps"...with obvious body and mechanical damage

Then there is the insurance factor..based on the value these cars lose...it would take much for an insurance company to total it
As I said in another thread...that makes replacement parts...tailights, wheels etc...easy to procure

Warren

MacMuse
11-11-11, 03:10 PM
My question is

would you have spent your own money to repair the car?

and

if so ..at what point is the car not worth fixing?

Warren

Fair enough. 2nd one first - when repairs over three months cost the same as a car payment it's time to move on in my world.

My CPO has covered - would I fix without CPO:

basic bulbs, multiple - some
weatherstripping - no
heated steering wheel - no
water pump - yes
rear diff leaks, multiple - no (if no driving impact, these were recall/TSB issues)
headlight unit - no (dealer damaged during service)
rack & pinion - yes
EVAP - yes
oil manifold - maybe, dealer discovered leak
seatbelt tensioner - yes
Cam Sensor / ECM - yes
motor mount - yes
battery - yes
A/C o-ring - maybe
Shift control assembly (frequent Shift to Park erroneous message) - no
thermostat & housing - yes
intake manifold "runner seals" - yes
A couple of the big ticket items in the list would have left me with no future Cadillac interest if repairs came out of my pocket. With coverage, I'm left to focus on my enjoyment of this car's outstanding creature comforts.

turnne
11-11-11, 05:04 PM
Fair enough. 2nd one first - when repairs over three months cost the same as a car payment it's time to move on in my world.

My CPO has covered - would I fix without CPO:

basic bulbs, multiple - some
weatherstripping - no
heated steering wheel - no
water pump - yes
rear diff leaks, multiple - no (if no driving impact, these were recall/TSB issues)
headlight unit - no (dealer damaged during service)
rack & pinion - yes
EVAP - yes
oil manifold - maybe, dealer discovered leak
seatbelt tensioner - yes
Cam Sensor / ECM - yes
motor mount - yes
battery - yes
A/C o-ring - maybe
Shift control assembly (frequent Shift to Park erroneous message) - no
thermostat & housing - yes
intake manifold "runner seals" - yes
A couple of the big ticket items in the list would have left me with no future Cadillac interest if repairs came out of my pocket. With coverage, I'm left to focus on my enjoyment of this car's outstanding creature comforts.

ok..based on some of those items in the list that you would not fix..ie..leaks etc

The car could become what some would call a " heap" pretty quickly....as that is always the type that seem to have had their check engine lights on for years

when you say 3 months repairs equal to a car payment
That would have you moving on pretty quickly in an older Cadillac...though you didn't say if that meant payments on the car you had or what payments would be on a new car

Payments on a used 3-4 year old STS are not what I call high..in the grand scheme of things

I say ..maybe $600..max...and that is with nothing down or an extremely short term loan

That means if you had the "chuggle" issue like so many of us with the V8 AWDs...many( like me) have had the torque converter replaced to fix that. Some have needed their tranny rebuilt as well

That repair is well over $1800 for the torque converter

so that means you would get rid of the car and not fix the torque converter?

I use that as an example..but there are several other common ones that could easily beat your 3 months rule

That was part of my point...and if you truly would live by that rule you would not be doing many repairs to a Cadillac sedan

Warren

MacMuse
11-11-11, 06:39 PM
When my previous car needed an engine for about $2K after 160K miles - I sold it to the mechanic and bought my STS.

My use of months instead of $$ was purposeful to indicate a tolerance level based on the constraints of our current budget / income. But yes, those kind of numbers work too. The other factor is we traditionally maintain 1 car payment while operating 2 cars.

This car is not a toy - I need its ability to transport me to generate the income needed to operate the car. I prefer the luxury of the STS, but if I can't afford it then I have to drop into something more affordable and hopefully cheaper to repair. We'll see how long I can keep it after the CPO runs out.

turnne
11-12-11, 11:28 AM
When my previous car needed an engine for about $2K after 160K miles - I sold it to the mechanic and bought my STS.

My use of months instead of $$ was purposeful to indicate a tolerance level based on the constraints of our current budget / income. But yes, those kind of numbers work too. The other factor is we traditionally maintain 1 car payment while operating 2 cars.

This car is not a toy - I need its ability to transport me to generate the income needed to operate the car. I prefer the luxury of the STS, but if I can't afford it then I have to drop into something more affordable and hopefully cheaper to repair. We'll see how long I can keep it after the CPO runs out.

got it...sounds like we are on the same page

I would have traded an older Caddy with 160K as well that needed a 2K repair

I did the same thing when I traded my 02 STS with 121k...I got $3500 for it

Not a lot of money...but I felt like I was driving a ticking clock and something was just about to happen that could be 50-75% of what the car was worth to fix
And...would not be an item that did not subtract further from the cars value

Warren

RippyPartsDept
11-12-11, 12:06 PM
CPO usually won't go higher than $2200 (or so) unless you're getting ripped off - there is a dealer flat cost and some dealers don't mark it up at all if you know to negotiate down (and not too far down - hey, let the salesman make some money, will ya ;) )

not sure where you are getting your pricing Warren, but I just talked to my sales dept and asked "what's CPO going to cost on an '08 STS?"
i was very surprised by their answer, i thought they were going to say 'well it depends... blah blah blah' but it was just a number
flat price and the dealer/salesman get's to set their own price
and the buyer get's to try and negotiate it (if they choose to)

MacMuse
11-12-11, 01:31 PM
I paid $2,000 for my CPO in early '09 for my '06 STS.

RippyPartsDept
11-12-11, 02:02 PM
an i'm using the term 'ripped off' very loosely here ... over-charging is a moral issue and everyone's got different interpretations

KRSTS
11-12-11, 02:12 PM
No pun intended Rippy?

RippyPartsDept
11-12-11, 02:20 PM
ha !

malatu
11-12-11, 05:56 PM
I paid $2,000 for my CPO in early '09 for my '06 STS.

I paid 1295 or 1395 for mine in Dec of 2009. I settled on the price of the car and then inquired about the cost of the CPO. I typically don't buy extended warranties but I figured it was worth that amount. The car is under warranty until of August of 2012 or 100k miles, whichever comes first. Aug will come first, but I anticipate I'll be pretty darn close to 100 k miles.

turnne
11-12-11, 06:53 PM
CPO usually won't go higher than $2200 (or so) unless you're getting ripped off - there is a dealer flat cost and some dealers don't mark it up at all if you know to negotiate down (and not too far down - hey, let the salesman make some money, will ya ;) )

not sure where you are getting your pricing Warren, but I just talked to my sales dept and asked "what's CPO going to cost on an '08 STS?"
i was very surprised by their answer, i thought they were going to say 'well it depends... blah blah blah' but it was just a number
flat price and the dealer/salesman get's to set their own price
and the buyer get's to try and negotiate it (if they choose to)


compare a CPO car of the same year and equipment...then find one that is just out of warranty of the same year

that is where I am getting my numbers

Its pretty easy on say comparing two cars of the same year model...one has 45K with CPO and the other has 52K and no CPO

I bought my car under this scenario,,,the same car with 6K less miles and CPO was $5K more....the Cadillac dealer literally had two 1SG AWD's on their lot when I was looking

Part of the reason is that as soon as the car rolls out of warranty it takes a value deduction...I would say at least $2-3K
Take the difference of a car still in warranty and then add CPO

See what you come up with


Warren

turnne
11-12-11, 06:57 PM
I paid $2,000 for my CPO in early '09 for my '06 STS.

that really doesn't tell the whole story
Not sure of the mileage on your car at the time of purchase....$2K on top of what price you paid for the car?

Dealers can slice and dice things anyway they want to show the right numbers

I had to really "cut through the BS" with my dealer to get to his real number..ie..minus all the services

I prefer a "cafeteria" plan where I can pick and choose all that I want on my plate...and pay according to what I have selected

Warren

turnne
11-12-11, 07:01 PM
I paid 1295 or 1395 for mine in Dec of 2009. I settled on the price of the car and then inquired about the cost of the CPO. I typically don't buy extended warranties but I figured it was worth that amount. The car is under warranty until of August of 2012 or 100k miles, whichever comes first. Aug will come first, but I anticipate I'll be pretty darn close to 100 k miles.

My local dealer had already CPO'ed the cars
There was not an option to "unbundle"..it

I asked....as I was familiar with how Mercedes does it...and they add significantly to the cost of the car and try to tell you they have done the 101( or what ever point inspection) for a car that has low mileage and is still in factory warranty

I can more stomach this when they certify a 6-7 year old car...which Cadillac does not do...but not on 1 that is 2 years old with 15K

Warren

Greg00coupe
11-12-11, 07:55 PM
I don't believe in 'lemons' but many manufacturers do have poor quality control. Probability dictates that some examples will demonstrate a high percentage of trouble. In actual fact, a discriminating buyer is better off buying used because trouble may be more evident and avoidable. But is the industrial revolution in devolution?

I feel the pressure on cost control is so high that few decision makers have room to make the decisions they know to be right. Crap sells just as fast (or faster) than quality and it all gets thrown away so soon.

Sure, most cars that break still get fixed. But look at all the other 'durable goods' that just get junked when they break. Less costly cars that ours are already considered disposable.

I like warranties. Dealer visits can be fun as long as thre's no 'out of pocket'. Loaners are entertaining and no-one dies wishing they spent more time at work.

I believe in Lemons!! Been there done that! 68 mustang vert bought used 9 months old. Original owner came by a week after I got it. Gave me his issues with it. I thought no way. Was I ever wrong.

I've had a 2000 STS and my 2005 now. Same story deep discount cars came off 3 year lease. I've done nothing to either car except wear and tear items not covered by any CPO. So I've driven an STS for 8 years and never had a major issue.

MacMuse
11-12-11, 10:04 PM
that really doesn't tell the whole story
Not sure of the mileage on your car at the time of purchase....$2K on top of what price you paid for the car?

I don't buy cars often, and don't claim to be good at doing the deal - part of the reasons I joined this forum to learn about this complicated car I bought.

$20K for a 2.5 yr old car including the CPO. It was advertised as a CPO car, so I really didn't learn about the CPO charge until we were doing the final paperwork. I did notice in the months that followed that any similar car was going for 25-29K, so I was happy with the overall deal.

And I continue to enjoy every session behind the wheel of this car.

turnne
11-13-11, 10:35 AM
Not sure of the equipment level of your car...

But..I bought a fully loaded every option 1SG AWD...2.5 years ago for $18750 with 54K on it...sticker was $67,200

The same dealer had the exact car..minus the white diamond paint color(black/black combo) ...40K miles....$23,200 CPO

There were the prices I negotiated...not asking prices...mileage would account for maybe 1K difference..if that.
They were both in excellent condition and I am not sure if the white diamond paints adds any value to a car

I bought the white diamond one...bought an aftermarket warranty that is 99% of the CPO but 2 years longer and 15K more miles for 3K

I am not exactly delighted with the car...but that is not really the cars fault..I guess
But..I bought the car because it was the least expensive luxury midsize( for its year and equipment level)

So..to that end I am satisfied..its worth what I paid for it


Warren

RippyPartsDept
11-13-11, 10:59 PM
warren... the CPO costs a flat amount - dealers can mark it up or not

i do see your point about the price drop after it's out of warranty but the CPO only costs a flat fee

STS guy
11-14-11, 03:15 PM
I have a 2006 STS with N*. Bought it with 25,000 miles on it. It has 73,000 + on the clock now. So far I have replaced the torque converter, MAF sensor, water pump, lumbar support on driver's side, tires, and battery. All of this was covered under the bump-2-bump warranty except for the tires and battery. I really like the car but, I am less than impressed with all those repairs. Thankful for getting the bump-2-bump warranty. Water pump alone would have been in the $800 range. Don't know what the torque converter would have cost. My wife and I drive conservatively. Will replace the STS when the warranty runs out. Thinking strongly about a Toyota Avalon.

cadillacmike68
11-17-11, 01:10 AM
4 or 5K for a warranty????wow I never realized it was that much. If you have a love affair with the dealer and expect the worse then knock yourself out. I still wrench when I can and find I not only save money but in many cases know the job is done right. For more challenging jobs I have a network of friends who have more tools and knowledge then me. I found an independent mechanic who worked at Cadillac. Saved me big money on my 00. Point is with a little effort you can make any repair less then what the dealer wants.

you're not paying that much for a warranty, that's an (exaggerated IMO) cost differential b/w two cars one with lower miles and factory warranty remaining and one without.

CPO certification costs the dealer approx $1,000 plus required repairs (brakes and tires most of the time).

Get an 08 or later with CPO to save you headaches. I just picked up a 2009 STS V8 NorthStar, premium and Platinum edition with only 11,000 miles on it. I now have 89,000 miles or 38 month new car warranty. It's a Florida one owner lease return and i'm going to drive it all over creation. The dealer put new tires on it and new brake linings. there's a few minor isssues, and it'll be a great car for me.

EChas3
11-18-11, 09:12 PM
Congratuations on your purchase.

turnne
11-19-11, 08:23 AM
warren... the CPO costs a flat amount - dealers can mark it up or not

i do see your point about the price drop after it's out of warranty but the CPO only costs a flat fee

Understood

My point is there is a definite drop in value at 50,001 miles

The difference between a car with 50,001 miles and one that has 40K and CPO ..if they are equipped the same...is about 4K

is it worth it?

Warren

turnne
11-19-11, 08:26 AM
I have a 2006 STS with N*. Bought it with 25,000 miles on it. It has 73,000 + on the clock now. So far I have replaced the torque converter, MAF sensor, water pump, lumbar support on driver's side, tires, and battery. All of this was covered under the bump-2-bump warranty except for the tires and battery. I really like the car but, I am less than impressed with all those repairs. Thankful for getting the bump-2-bump warranty. Water pump alone would have been in the $800 range. Don't know what the torque converter would have cost. My wife and I drive conservatively. Will replace the STS when the warranty runs out. Thinking strongly about a Toyota Avalon.

I have had those same repairs minus the MAF

As I recall torque converter was about $2400.....replaced with a GM factory rebuilt one at the Caddy dealer

My warranty has paid about $3400 to date for repairs...they have all been done at the Caddy dealer I bought the car from


Warren