: 2006 - 2007 -2008: Which to choose?

04-13-13, 12:38 AM

After 18 years of devotion to my crimson 91 ETC, it's time to upgrade; and STS sure looks like the way to go. First, I see that the 2008 makeover was seen as quite worthwhile, and the 272 ft/lb torque of the V-6 is closer to the 275 I have now with my 4.9 (and a 102 HP gain!).

The reviewers argued the extra weight and cost of the North* wasn't worth the upgrade for 2008 -- although the price difference isn't that big a factor now, and I also see a lot of people on this forum say they'd pick the North*. I'm sure tempted to go that route, but I'm still a little nervous, thinking it might be more prone to problems and expensive to maintain than the V-6. Is there a consensus yet on the reliability of the V-6 v. the North* used for 2008?

Now, all that said --I'm frankly tempted by 2006/7 because of Redline paint option, a little bolder to my eye than the Crystal Red Tintcoat on the 2008. I'm also not wild about the chrome exterior trim added for 2008. The trade-off, of course, would be the 2007's 255 HP (still +55 from what I have now) but...20 ft/lbs less torque!

Therefore -- I'm wondering if I might be happy enough with a 2007 North* (unless they're notorious)? Or was the 2008 makeover a big enough advance overall to go with that but just a V-6?

Thanks for any and all thoughts and sorry to go on so long, but I respect the opinions of our members and wanted to let you know what factors I am weighing. And hey, no matter what it looks like I can finally stop buying premium gas!

04-13-13, 12:31 PM
The 05-07 V6 are very well known for timing chain issues, not good, if you decide on a V6 get an 08+.

In 2008 the V6 got Direct Injection which bumped the HP up to 310 from 255.

The N* was redone for 2005. The HG issue is no longer a problem. The head tech at my local GM dealer said they've never done one. Only major concern is the half case seal, that's still an issue, but not nearly as common as it used to be with the pre-05 N*.

I went with the N* because of the added power and torque, plus that V8 growl :) A Cadillac shouldn't have a V6 in it IMO....

04-13-13, 05:54 PM
Thanks for the input. I thought the 08 V-6 was only bumped to 302 HP? And yes philosophically I agree about the V-8! :thumbsup:

I checked Consumer Reports today (for what that's worth). For 06-09, all got black dots for totals except 06 with half-black. The 09 came off best, but got black dots for fuel, electrical, body hardware and power equipment. For comparison, CR found the 08 DTS to be very good. Now I'm really hesitant, since the big reason for getting rid of my 91 is to hopefully avoid lots of repairs. Kelly BB has 09 STS N* at $23,350. That's a little more than I'm looking to spend.

I'd had my eye on a low-mileage 2006 V-6 -- but given your comments about timing chains, now not so sure. And Jeeze the DTS just screams Gramps. Heck, I might just keep the ETC after all. But still disappointing because there's so much to like about the STS...

Update: I read through the threads here on timing chain issues and did more online research. This is a problem with the chains apparently stretching, possibly because of a manufacturing flaw, and a replacement kit is available. Cadillac doesn't want to do a recall so has extended some warranties. Sounds to me like if you are well-aware of this problem you should be OK. I feel a little better.

04-13-13, 06:22 PM
Just go V8

04-13-13, 07:10 PM
The V-6's have their fans but the DI didn't boost torque much or eliminate the tendency for timing chain & oil consumption complications. Some options were still only available on V-8 equipped trim levels. But opinions and experience still vary.

04-13-13, 07:16 PM
Yeah I also found one opinion that "Replacement of the timing chains on this engine is very labor intensive. Labor time is around 13 hours. Average labor cost per hour is $80 (around $120 at the dealer) Parts for the replacement (chains, guides, tensioner, gaskets, fluids, etc.) will run another $450-500. Overall cost of repairs will be in the range of $1500-2000 depending upon the labor rate of the shop that you choose to do the repairs."

So it's looking more and more like a 2008 N* would be the answer...

Here is the first Service Campaign letter to owners from February 2012 (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM420100/CSC-10043854-5501.pdf) about the 2007 STS.

Here is the April letter (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM421554/CSC-10038598-6093.pdf).

Here is the follow-up letter to owners from May 2012 (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM422873/CSC-10043857-8394.pdf) about the warranty extension. Here, the year range was expanded to 2007-2009.

And one from November 2012 (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM432703/CSC-10043857-7523.pdf) about reimbusements.

04-14-13, 01:19 AM
For some members, this 'Service Campaign' was more about a reflash of the OLM to call for more frequent oil changes than extension of warranty coverage.

04-14-13, 11:36 PM
Yeah I also found one opinion that "Replacement of the timing chains on this engine is very labor intensive.


Timing chain replacement is very labor intensive on any motor, and that much more on an over head cam engine. I have done timing chains on a 1989 Oldsmobile with the 3800V6, which was push rod, so simplier, but still a lot of work to get too. And on a 2002 Jetta VR6, which was pretty miserable. I've also had to do belts on a Miata and a Saturn Vue. Neither of which were a walk in the park, but were much easier overall compared to any timing chain job I've ever done.

Another Vote for the Northstar here. Gotta love the sound of a V8 :)

Charles Warren
04-15-13, 09:13 AM
07 v8 since it has 6 spd trans. heard 5l50(05,06) was more reliable by a tech at capital cadillac but thats his experience but it was based on what he has repaired so in a way it has credability