: Who Should Own a Used Cadillac?



dr1994sts
02-11-05, 11:33 PM
This forum is a great source of information and I'm impressed that there are so many Cadillac owners willing to help each other. But, it seems to me that the happiest owners are those with the skills and ability to service their own cars, those that don't have to have their cars serviced by the "stealer." I'm not mechanically inclined, so I'm starting to think that the little things that the rest of you can repair yourselves are going to end up costing me a fortune. And then there are the big repairs, like the ride control system message I've seen a couple of times. So, generally speaking, of course, is it cost-effective for a non-mechanic to own a used Cadillac? Thanks a lot.

kmhebert
02-12-05, 12:11 AM
Heh, this may be the one forum question I am qualified to answer! I have had a few things done on my Brougham, I had the catalytic converter, oxygen sensor, thermostat, and alternator replaced. I am lucky that one of my close friends owns a small dealership and is a pretty good mechanic in his own right. He charged me for the parts and labor but it was well within reason and I knew he wasn't ripping me off. I would like to be able to do more myself, I flushed out the radiator on my own as one example. I just fear that I will make things worse than they were when I started. I am lucky to have someone I know who I can go to for necessary repairs; on the other hand, I don't think I'll be able to drive anything but Cadillacs from here on out; I guess I'm spoiled? The repairs haven't been too costly and were pretty much in line with what I would expect to pay for any used car (especially 17+ years old) with a little wear and tear. My car only has about 65k miles on it so I am hoping I will be able to have it for a long, long time without any major repairs required. This is all a roundabout way of stating my real opinion, which is that the joy of driving Cadillac is worth it for a mechanic OR non-mechanic. :thumbsup:

EcSTSatic
02-12-05, 10:59 AM
For a single income homeowner / family earning under $100K, there's not always enough descretionary funding to finance large repair bills. I decided a while back that even though I do most of the repairs, to give up driving older Mercedes, or any European cars for that matter, because of the cost of parts. From then on I drove American cars because they were cheaper to repair, all things considered. We decided last year to treat ourselves to another luxury car for road trips. We chose the Seville because it was the best American car to fit our wants. There are a lot of bells and whistles to potentially break. Hopefully we made the right choice.

To answer the question:I'm a pessimist, I don't think I would have bought it if I couldn't do the repairs myself. Don't get me wrong, I'd still love to own a Porsche 928 or Jaguar XKE, but with other obligations I have to be practical. In the meantime, with the right emphasis in every area, I'm still able to own a 26' sailboat that we relax with on the weekends.

91TexasSeville
02-12-05, 11:51 AM
dr1994sts

I would think the question should be not whom, but why should one purchase a Cadillac?

This forum is a kindly "enthusiast" style of forum which means that most people here own, drive, restore, or just plain love Cadillacís. You don't have to be a master mechanic to enjoy a Cadillac. Every Cadillac written about in this forum is either now or once was a cherished member of the family. They are loved and cared for.

People who hate Cadillacís are busy posting in other forums....LOL

Anyway, vehicle ownership and maintenance costs are not often taken into consideration at the time of purchase. More often emotional issues persuade the sale. My 1991 Cadillac was a freebie pile of junk abandon on my property about a year ago. It is now a fully functional great little V8 powered sedan that receives compliments and notice when it is parked. I have not as yet invested $1000 US to bring the car back to a safe dependable ride. If the $900+ US dollars I invested in this car would compromise the future of my childs education, then no, I would have salvaged the car and met a higher priority.

Any luxury car is expensive to purchase and maintain, hands down, that is why they are luxury cars. Lavish incomes tend to easily support luxury items and pay for custodial care. If you care to take on some of the responsibility yourself, then yes, you can do the custodial work yourself. And yes, you can learn if you don't currently possess that kind of skill. Nobody is born knowing how to mow a lawn. It is a learned skill that is required if you don't wish to pay someone to do it for you.

Why Cadillac? With a factory manual, this forum, and a few tools there is not a problem you can not solve. Can I say that about Lincoln? No, you will need more than simple hand tools and a manual.

dr1994sts
02-12-05, 01:10 PM
Thanks for such thoughtful responses. I have to admit that when I first bought the car I looked for reasons to sell it. Now, I look for reasons to drive it as often as possible. Every time I step on the gas and hear the roar I feel 295 reasons to keep it! This forum has given me lots of information so I know what to expect and how to fix things, and that's really important. My service manual is on the way, and that will be a relief. I think everyone that's new to Cadillac or is considering Cadillac should visit this site, because your enthusiasm is contagious. This forum can really change perceptions. Thanks.

Mark G
02-12-05, 10:04 PM
Couple things:

1) These cars are well built and can last a long time if well maintained. A lot of the things you are likely to run into as the car get's on in mileage, when you do have problems, will probably and hopefully fall into the "nagging" category. That is - you can still drive the car fine, but the said repair can be dealt with when you get at it. By and large, these cars are rock solid mechanically. Whenever you add all the electronics and "doo-dads" you add layers to the complexity matrix. There's more to go wrong. I've to big miles on both my Caddy's now and I've got to say they've been about the most trouble-free cars I've ever owned.

2) You can learn to do many or most of the repairs yourself. Make sure your manual is a Genuine GM factory service manual. Haynes and Chiltens don't havent the electrical diagnosis in them.

3) Texas Seville, was right - people weren't born knowing how to mow lawns. Years ago, a girlfriend from Brazil ...and my sister's boyfriend from Spain mowed our parent's lawn (different years). They were driving the rider in a completely random fashion! Looked like a bumper car with no other cars out there! Neither one of us married our girlfriend/boyfriend, but we still laugh at the sight of them going in circles!

Enjoy your new ride!

turbojimmy
02-13-05, 08:34 AM
I don't think the Cadillacs are any more trouble-prone than any other car, domestic ones anyway.

Personally, I think part of the joy of car ownership is understanding how they work and doing my own repairs. Most people, however, don't subscribe to the same philosophy - that's whey there are dealers and service stations.

If you make a major investment in a vehicle, you should make a relatively small investment in a set of factory service manuals. Even if you don't do your own repairs, you can at least troubleshoot any problems and educate yourself before you go to the dealer. That way, for example, when a code appears you can determine what malfunction caused it and how the systems relate to each other. It's really pretty interesting.

These forums are not great measures of a car's reliability. If you were to take them at face value, you'd come to the conclusion that Cadillacs are pretty unreliable cars. You have to consider the fact that most people come here for help. They come with a problem. I also think that most people who come here with problems are also the types that do repairs themselves. Otherwise they'd just bring the car to the dealer and say "fix it". So, I can see why, based on what you see here, why you'd think that Caddys are trouble-prone and that only DIY'ers should work on them.

Good luck with yours - I'm sure it will provide many years of reliable service.

Jim

dr1994sts
02-13-05, 01:27 PM
TurboJimmy

I agree. In a lot of ways visiting this forum to see how reliable Cadillacs are is like going to a doctor's office to talk with healthy people. We're here for help! And to share our enthusiasm, of course. Also, I had no idea that people were putting such huge miles on their Sevilles. To me that's a real indicator of quality and reliability.

My factory service manual should arrive this week, and then I'll really be able to learn about my car and enjoy it more. Knowledge is power! Can't wait to see the Cadillacs at the Chicago Auto Show this week. Thanks.

iametarq
02-14-05, 04:03 PM
I'll throw in my two cents here also, i hope no one minds. ;)

I just bought my 1998 Seville SLS about two weeks ago. I am 23 and don't have the most fantastic income, and i own two cars, pay my rent, and all my other bills on time.

i have wanted to have a cadillac since i had to give up my first one. I was lucky enough to inherit my father's 1989 Sedan Deville when I was 18. It was the greatest car ever. it required very little extra maintenance, but all cars in my family, are always well maintained, and never neglected. The 89 had to be retired at 230,000 miles after a head gasket failed and my dad did not have time to replace it himself, though he really wanted to.

I also run a forum exactly like this one for Chrylser Sebring Convertibles (www.sebringclub.net) and the people on both of these sites are extremely helpful and the knowledge one can find from places like these is incredible.

I think anyone can own a Cadillac, if they are willing to put in the time and effort to keep it up, and maintain it. but i think this goes for any car. if you will not take the time to maintain a vehicle then you don't deserve a drivers license.

This site, along with a set of service manuals will take you and your cadillac far. I just purchased my set on ebay today actually! I also have one for my Chrylser. Having a little bit of mechanical know-how is always a plus, but that can always be learned, and with the ability to adapt to small, confined spaces. :)

Anyone can own a cadillac, but it takes a different person to own *and* love a Cadillac.

Murphyg
02-14-05, 06:19 PM
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Anyone can own a cadillac, but it takes a different person to own *and* love a Cadillac.

Well Said
:band:

cl1986
02-14-05, 11:02 PM
[QUOTE=turbojimmy]I don't think the Cadillacs are any more trouble-prone than any other car, domestic ones anyway.

Hmm, from what i can see, all these damn foreign cars like HONDA are all junk, there are so many around here and all of them are in the shop. I wouldnt buy a piece of dog doo like that ever. THe shops around here are like "head gasket on a cadillac" never seen one, heard about it one time. My local gm tech said he never sees cadillacs repaired, unlike all the hondas he does. I think eveyone around here just takes better care of their cars, esp cadillacs, all the hondas are all rodded to hell and are all junk, you cant even buy a good "certified used" honda around here. Big bucks they want to fix them too.

Jesda
02-17-05, 03:10 AM
If I didnt have the help of the Internet (NICOclub.com) and people like Wes and others, I would have sold the Q. Heck, I even put it up for sale once before. Im not mechanically inclined and I dont have a tremendous budget, but because of other people I was able to find an affordable way to keep it and enjoy it.

kklinger
02-17-05, 08:17 AM
Just bought my 96 Deville 2 years ago. I'll never go back to Fords, there is NO comparison. Probably will never be able to afford a new Cadillac but used is fine for me!

turbojimmy
02-17-05, 08:39 AM
Hmm, from what i can see, all these damn foreign cars like HONDA are all junk,

I don't have any real experience with foreign cars, so I chose not to compare them to the Caddy. I didn't mean to imply one or the other (foreign or domestic) was more reliable than the other.

I do have a 2004 Toyota. It's my first foreign car ever. I bought it after GM totally screwed my sister on her minivan. I will never buy a new GM car again as a result of her experience, and I encourage others not to either. They treat their customers lik sh*t. Plus, I have to say the Toyota is put together better than any GM I've ever owned. Including the Caddy. I've only got 9k miles on the Yota so I can't comment on reliability. It's been recalled twice, which is less than new domestics I've owned but it's still young.

Jim

patgizz
02-17-05, 07:06 PM
it helps to do the work yourself just for the fact that a shop sees a caddy coming and the dollar signs flash in their eyeballs like a cartoon.

i bought my deville in june from an old guy for $100 not running but in darn near mint condition, had sat in a dry barn for 10 years and stored every winter before that since it was new in 78. i put in a starter, battery, fuel filter, did a tune-up, filled the tank with new gas, and fired it up. after that i tossed on a new master cylinder and calipers/pads. new tires cause the old ones were dry rotted. i had everything on the shelf except the fuel filter. have put 2,000 miles on it so far(stored for winter currently) and i get compliments everywhere i go. it was 60 and sunny one day last week so i took it out, and a guy yelled "hey nice caddy" from across the parking lot.

i've got around $200 into it including the price ofthe car. i've gotta fix some little things, one of the seat motors in the pass seat quit, carb needs a rebuild, and fuel pump loses prime if it sits overnight, but this is nothing i can't do. that, and switch the tires around so i have whitewalls again(but i have a tire changer and balancer). i custom bent my exhaust, and i'm getting ready to remote mount a CD player so i don't hack up my dash. i'm probably on the opposite end of the spectrum as most cadillac owners(and most people in general), but i won't take anything to a shop to be fixed. i'd rather spend that money on specialty tools to do the job and learn how to do it myself.

the caddy was gonna be a quick buck car, and i drove it for a month with $2500 on for sale signs on the windows, but i started getting calls and started turning people down because i fell in love with it.

90Brougham350
02-18-05, 03:05 PM
I think one reason a lot of people buy Caddies is because of the "aura" that goes with them. For as long as I can remember, all the guys in all the shops I've ever talked to had a fond memory of a classic Caddy. They're beautiful vehicles, and let's never forget, at one time, long ago, The Standard of the World, and perhaps one day will be again. What pops into your head when you hear the word, "Cadillac" ? When I hear it, I think of great American cars. It's also a blast to work on and to learn from, but I'm glad my Caddy wasn't my first car, because I ripped my Pontiac apart and did things I shouldn't have trying to learn everything I could. It took driving other vehicles and learning about the one I'm driving now to fully appreciate the certain things about it I love. I love the molding package on my 90, I think the 90-92 Brougham molding and trim is some of the prettiest GM ever made. I love my vinyl top, it looks gorgeous when she's freshly washed. But above all, I love the fact I spent a lot of time researching, asking, reading, anything I could about this car before I bought it, and because I take care of it, it takes care of me. Nothing puts a smile on my face like hearing a complete stranger saying, "whew, beautiful car, man!" And since it's a Caddy, I know it is. :cool:

Brian

cadillacmike68
03-01-05, 04:46 PM
it helps to do the work yourself just for the fact that a shop sees a caddy coming and the dollar signs flash in their eyeballs like a cartoon.

i bought my deville in june from an old guy for $100 not running but in darn near mint condition, had sat in a dry barn for 10 years and stored every winter before that since it was new in 78. i put in a starter, battery, fuel filter, did a tune-up, filled the tank with new gas, and fired it up. after that i tossed on a new master cylinder and calipers/pads. new tires cause the old ones were dry rotted. i had everything on the shelf except the fuel filter. have put 2,000 miles on it so far(stored for winter currently) and i get compliments everywhere i go. it was 60 and sunny one day last week so i took it out, and a guy yelled "hey nice caddy" from across the parking lot.

i've got around $200 into it including the price ofthe car. i've gotta fix some little things, one of the seat motors in the pass seat quit, carb needs a rebuild, and fuel pump loses prime if it sits overnight, but this is nothing i can't do. that, and switch the tires around so i have whitewalls again(but i have a tire changer and balancer). i custom bent my exhaust, and i'm getting ready to remote mount a CD player so i don't hack up my dash. i'm probably on the opposite end of the spectrum as most cadillac owners(and most people in general), but i won't take anything to a shop to be fixed. i'd rather spend that money on specialty tools to do the job and learn how to do it myself.

the caddy was gonna be a quick buck car, and i drove it for a month with $2500 on for sale signs on the windows, but i started getting calls and started turning people down because i fell in love with it.

Let me see...
For $100.00 you bought a starter, battery, fuel filter, spark plugs, master cylinder, brake pads and new tires????? :hmm:

I realize that you said that most of it was "on the shelf" but it still had to cost you tp put it "on the shelf"...

patgizz
03-01-05, 09:11 PM
actually the new tires came with my truck when i bought it, and i didnt want to run them on it cause they are passenger car tires, so no cost there. the other stuff was all from past projects that more than paid for themselves.