: Looking at a 2004 XLR

12-31-12, 03:58 PM
Hi all, just sold my 2005 STS, wonderful Cad no problems with it. Now, I am looking at an XLR, 68K miles, Pros and Cons on an XLR.

Thanks all,

01-05-13, 11:47 AM
Read, read, read. There's plenty of info to help you with your buying decision on this and the other XLR forums threads out there. Google is your friend.

In short, the XLR is not a DIY car. You need a GM tool to analyze it. The 2004 is the least reliable of all years made. Subtle improvements kicked in with the 2005 model year. Have a dealership run the VIN and print out the car's Service History so you know what you're signing up for.

This car must be serviced by Certified XLR techs. Not all dealers have them.

Parts can be hard to find. Some modules (there are 23 of them) can be back-ordered for months. Keep this in mind if you plan to use this as a daily driver. Shocks are almost $1000 each. This is not a cheap car to own if repairs are needed. If you're on a budget, keep looking.

The car is almost impossible to upgrade properly with aftermarket electronics. The infotainment system (ie: Nav) is very primitive. Upgrade DVDs are $200. You can buy a Garmin that runs circles around the stock Nav system for that. I keep mine in the center console.

No USB support for modern music storage. Aftermarket add-ons are kludgy and don't properly interface with the car's control features. Some like to drain the battery.

Steering and suspension are okay, but not great. It's cheap and easy to add a rear stabilizer bar, which helps a little to keep the rear end planted.

Visibility (top up) is limited. You need to be extra careful when changing lanes. The car sits very low, so you have to watch for others changing lanes into you as well.

That said, the car's biggest pro is it's an eye catcher. Very unique looking and often gets a conversation started when filling up. The engine is smooth and fast enough; the V model (2006 and up) even more so.

The HUD is good; (improved in later years) this is a feature I want in all subsequent cars I buy. When/if the CUE gets fixed, I'll probably trade for an XTS. I'm nervous about future GM support for this car. After all, it's a ten year-old car. Many of the 2004's were built in 2003. (Look at the door sticker for the build date.)

Again, the more you read, the better off your purchase decision will be.

Hope this helps.


01-05-13, 03:05 PM
Thanks ccclarke, Yes that helps a lot, it will not be a daily driver and having had 5 Cadillacs I am awear of all the North* issues, My concern is the retractable hardtop. P.S. I am now looking at a 2006 with 98K. If need be, A great reason to invest in a TechII.



Thanks ccclarke, Yes that helps a lot, it will not be a daily driver and having had 5 Cadillacs I am awear of all the North* issues, My concern is the retractable hardtop. P.S. I am now looking at a 2006 with 98K. If need be, A great reason to invest in a TechII.


01-05-13, 08:51 PM
Glad to be of help Chris.

The improved Northstar in the XLR was the best of all. As such, problematic engine reports are minimal. The water-cooled generator was relocated and is a major job to replace though.

As far as the top goes, the majority of the horror stories are from the first two years (04-05.) Later sensor improvements (that can be retro-fittrd) made the top much more reliable. Whichever year you decide, you have to keep the drain in the left/rear trunk compartment clean or water can fill it, frying the modules that live there. Big bucks. As in thousands . . . Totally avoidable, but I read post after post about it happening.

Shop manuals and a Tech II are a must if you want to ever work on the car yourself.

Good luck!


02-15-13, 03:38 PM
Well Chriss all I can say is I traded my 03 CTS for a 05 XLR and the only thing I regret is not doing it sooner. That is the only con I have (so far). If you want to attract attention every where you go, effortlessly accelerate and feel you are driving on a cloud (a fast cloud) then go for it. The pro's are too numerous to list. If I do not drive it for a couple of days I get withdrawals. I got it 6 months ago. They are hard to find. I did a search in a 500 mile radius and found only 3. Here is a pic ofher. I am like a proud father................


02-18-13, 06:26 PM
Biggest pro...a real head turner.

Invest in a trickle charger...sitting three weeks can drain the battery...make sure you get the emergency trunk key from the owner...it will come in handy.

Not a good ideal to open trunk with beaded water on trunk lid...drains right into the trunk. As mentioned above, check the compartment located in the trunk...bottom left corner...pull up carpet and a cover...you will see the hydraulic unit and a crapload of hoses and modules. The drain for this is a little tiny hole...needless to say...look for any signs of moisture.

Keep after the rubber pieces and other moving parts...I have been using a Honda product ( originally for a 95 del sol ) called shin-etsu pure silicone grease .

Check coolant...use dexcool and change often .

I know the V takes about 7.5 quarts of Mobil 1...synthetic is always a good ideal.

If it wasn't for this site and all of the great ideals and such, I may have been a bit overwhelmed myself...I say go for it!

02-23-13, 12:25 AM
I've got for sale, what you're looking for.

Check the Classifieds.

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