: Straight scoop on Cads



Jaycee
02-10-03, 09:08 PM
Hey everyone. Another newbie here. I have a broad question about Cadillacs in general. Are they as unreliable as some say? In other forums, I have heard such vehemence spewed that I wonder if the cars are really that bad or if it was just someone's sour grapes.

The reason I ask is because I've recently been considering a mid- 90s Seville STS. I've always loved the body style (so cool) and the Northstar. I mean, who wouldn't want a smooth riding luxury muscle car. But the dependability has me concerned. I expect to have to do some repairs but I want to be confident that my car will get me where I'm going.

I know I will get some replys that say buying a Caddie is worth it despite the repairs and that's fine, but this car will be my daily driver and I need to count on my "American Muscle".

Thanks for your advice,

Jaycee
A future Caddie owner!?!

Brett
02-10-03, 09:15 PM
I bought my SLS new on Jan 16 2001 other than oil changes and for 15k servicing it has not been to the dealer since, these cars are very reliable imo...the thing is every board you go to, so many people hate every car except the one they own...cadillacs are not as bad as people would have you think...the northstar seems kind outdated now(no vvt)...and thats because its been around in the same basic form for 10+ years...it is the model by which other luxury engines were built thruout the 90's.... i love Lexus and MB and BMW but Cadillac is the true American Luxury car and definitely worth a look. BTW usually if someone is ranting about a cadillac all you have to do is replace the word Cadillac with Lincoln and they'll be right on the money.

Brett
02-10-03, 09:16 PM
Oh and welcome to the board...there are a lot of good people here and it is one of the best boards ive ever visited

Dead Sled
02-10-03, 09:20 PM
I think the overall quality is very good. what you've heard is just the ever so present other brand bashing. it happens every where to every brand

welcome to the board

Jaycee
02-10-03, 09:20 PM
Thanks. It's pretty cool to hear from so many people passionate about cars.

Katshot
02-10-03, 09:54 PM
Jaycee,
Welcome! The Cadillac you have chosen IS generally a high maintenance car. And it can be very expensive to fix. All this should be expected if you buy a high-level luxury car, no matter what brand. Back to your specific model choice. The STS is the most technically advanced vehicle Cadillac (or GM for that matter) has, or does produce. That said, it is to be expected that there will be some funky stuff go wrong occasionally. The big question you need to ask yourself is this; do you want a FWD car? That is the one thing that DEFINATELY sets it apart from the competition. I would say that PERSONALLY, I don't like FWD and would NOT buy one but many people here would argue that point. It really boils down to personal preference.
Either way, I'd say it's probably the best American made car in it's class so you be the judge.

Brett
02-10-03, 10:09 PM
ya know ive never really thought about it but ive owned nine cars and they were all rwd except my current one, what have i done :banghead:

elwesso
02-10-03, 10:20 PM
I think that you will be pleased with a cadillac. They are fairly high maintenance, but it will be worth it by all the comments you will get on it. Even if you get an inexpensive one, they still look modern. If you can, get a service manual and do work yourself. That is where the dealers kill you, labor. Parts are more expensive, but not terrible.

kcnewell
02-11-03, 12:26 AM
I keep seeing posts about high maintenance and high cost! I have experienced neither...Nor have any of my friends that have Cadillacs! My ownership experience has been great. I have 154,000 trouble free miles on my Seville and one of my friends has 190,000 plus on his STS with very few problems. The key as far a I'm concerned is proper maintenance. If you take care of it...It'll take care of you! These are great cars and well worth the money.I.M.H.O.

Devil_concours
02-11-03, 01:07 AM
it's not the reliability issue that most ppl are having, it's more like dealer not being able to actually fix anything that's troubling the cad owners. Then again this applies to most german cars too.

BeelzeBob
02-11-03, 09:31 AM
If you're going to buy a used luxury car, just be sure to get a warranty on it. If you buy the car, ask us about a good warranty.. I keep forgetting the URL to a great company that seems to offer an amazing warranty... Once you have the warranty, you'll be driving an amazing luxury vehicle without spending a lot of money for repairs...

Also. For the average person, RWD/FWD doesn't make a difference.. When I got into my ETC, I didn't notice anything. It felt great. Drove great. Took-off great.. FWD didn't bother me...

kcnewell
02-11-03, 11:32 AM
I consider the dealer to be THE issue. Dealers are generally "Great" Before the sale and "SUCK" after the sale. The service dept's. are there to do the minimum they have to to get by and bill hours to the factory for warranty work regardless if they do it or not. They generally try to shuffle the customer in and out as quickly as they can with NO regard to your satisfaction. They pay lip service to customer satisfaction while all the time trying to find ways to wiggle out from under their warranty obligations by blaming everything that happens on YOU the customer! The other way they try to pass it off is to say things like "They all do that" or "That's normal" I really like Cadillacs but I have yet to find a dealer that isn't an A$$hole! One reason I keep my cars as long as I do is to avoid dealing with "THE DEALER" I'll alway drive these cars....But, I'll always consider the dealers to be a neccesary inconveniance in the car buying process!

Brett
02-11-03, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by kcnewell
I keep seeing posts about high maintenance and high cost! I have experienced neither...Nor have any of my friends that have Cadillacs! My ownership experience has been great. I have 154,000 trouble free miles on my Seville and one of my friends has 190,000 plus on his STS with very few problems. The key as far a I'm concerned is proper maintenance. If you take care of it...It'll take care of you! These are great cars and well worth the money.I.M.H.O.

Again I have to agree with kc(which is getting a little unsettling), alright i have only had 1 cadillac and maybe that was a good experience, but since '84 my dad has had at least 6 that i can remember and those were all great cars, im not saying he never had a problem but i also know that they were extremely reliable. As far as high maintenance, i dont get it, i follow the owners manual and change the oil when the computer tells me, which in 29900 miles has been 4 times, not 10 if i did it every 3k. i get the oil changed at dealer which is ~50 bucks and i got a 15k service for 149, so thats 349 dollars in 2 years and 29900 miles not badfor a car that cost 46k to start with. I know my car does not have a lot of miles so maybe my problems are on the way, but id really like to know what these "expensive" costs are that i keep hearing about

kcnewell
02-11-03, 12:07 PM
Unsettling??? Why, I NEVER! LOL!

Elvis
02-11-03, 12:45 PM
You can set aside any discussion about reliability, performance, dealer service, warranty, etc. The Caddy is every bit as good as the competition.

But here's the scary fact:

A two-year-old Caddy is only worth about 55-60% of its original MSRP.

A two-year old Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, Infiniti, Acura, even Honda has a MUCH higher resale value.

So if you're going to get a Caddy, buy it to keep, drive, and enjoy. Don't play the "trade-every-two-years" game with a new one. It will eat your bank book on depreciation alone.

Jaycee
02-11-03, 12:56 PM
Hey guys,

I really appreciate all the input. As this would be my first luxury car, I've never had to experience all the wacky stuff that can go wrong with them. I like to think that these things happen to all complex machines whether they be German, Japanese, American, or whatever. The whole "computer-controlled" car thing is new to me. I still wax nostalgic about small-block Chevy engines without emissions. Oh well….

Here's another question for the intelligentsia. Why do you guys think the resale value is so affordable. I recently found an '93 STS in primo condition for $6000. I didn't drive it and I don't know the mileage, but I found other cars in classifieds for equally affordable prices. I just wonder why. Any ideas?

Thanks again,

Jaycee

Jaycee
02-11-03, 12:57 PM
I see Elvis just helped to answer my previous post. Thanks, E!

Elvis
02-11-03, 01:00 PM
I can give you facts, Jaycee, but I can't explain WHY things are like they are. I honestly have no idea.

kcnewell
02-11-03, 01:03 PM
They're great cars but they don't hold their value like Elvis said. A lot of that has to do with peoples fear of the technological aspects of the car as they get a little older. If they understood that they're as reliable as they are they would probably be more in demand than they are. I think it's cool though 'cause that means there are lots of good Cadillacs around at bargain prices for those who don't fear the technology!

Elvis
02-11-03, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by kcnewell
...there are lots of good Cadillacs around at bargain prices for those who don't fear the technology!

That's why Caddy is at the very top of my list next time I trade.

BeelzeBob
02-11-03, 02:34 PM
That's the only bad thing about buying domestics.. They all seem to lose value faster than foreign cars. Right? In the past, reliability has been a major issue. I don't think it's such a major issue anymore. But, the damage has been done..

It's about supply and demand.. There are much more domestics here.. Isn't that right?

Brett
02-11-03, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by Sal Collaziano
That's the only bad thing about buying domestics.. They all seem to lose value faster than foreign cars. Right? In the past, reliability has been a major issue. I don't think it's such a major issue anymore. But, the damage has been done..

It's about supply and demand.. There are much more domestics here.. Isn't that right?

Dont forget the rental fleets, which destroys the resale on devilles and that trickles down to all cadillacs(why pay 35k for a used seville when you can have a deville for 25k) . A rep from cadillac recently said they are very aware of the resale problem and one of the first steps they are taking is to cut sales to fleets by 20% this year and 20% next year in hopes of bolstering resale value

Katshot
02-11-03, 04:59 PM
Gee, let's see. The HT4100, GM Diesel, V-8-6-4, the Allante, the Cimarron, the '85 Deville.....should I go on?
Face it, Cadillac has managed to shoot themselves in the foot so many times in recent years that it's quite understandable how most people might think they are problematic at best.
Cadillac has some very nice cars that unfortunately are NOT the most reliable cars around. Is that because they aren't built QUITE as well as they should be? Yes. Is it because the dealer doesn't usually fix the car right the first time? Yes. Is it because the AVERAGE Cadillac owner over the last decade or so tended to be the kind of person that just takes the car to the dealer to fix every little thing? Yes.
Unfortunately, the AVERAGE Cadillac owner is NOT a do-it-yourselfer. Also, don't forget that the ONLY Cadillac owners that figure into the statistics that give us the bad rap are NEW CAR OWNERS. Again, not your average do-it-yourselfer. Everytime a car shows up at a dealer and generates an RO, it sinks the reliability record that much more, whether it's there for a bulb, or an engine.

Brett
02-11-03, 05:36 PM
Originally posted by Katshot
Gee, let's see. The HT4100, GM Diesel, V-8-6-4, the Allante, the Cimarron, the '85 Deville.....should I go on?
Face it, Cadillac has managed to shoot themselves in the foot so many times in recent years that it's quite understandable how most people might think they are problematic at best.
Cadillac has some very nice cars that unfortunately are NOT the most reliable cars around. Is that because they aren't built QUITE as well as they should be? Yes. Is it because the dealer doesn't usually fix the car right the first time? Yes. Is it because the AVERAGE Cadillac owner over the last decade or so tended to be the kind of person that just takes the car to the dealer to fix every little thing? Yes.
Unfortunately, the AVERAGE Cadillac owner is NOT a do-it-yourselfer. Also, don't forget that the ONLY Cadillac owners that figure into the statistics that give us the bad rap are NEW CAR OWNERS. Again, not your average do-it-yourselfer. Everytime a car shows up at a dealer and generates an RO, it sinks the reliability record that much more, whether it's there for a bulb, or an engine.


yea but.....oh forget it...six examples big deal:nyanya:

elwesso
02-11-03, 05:37 PM
Like i said earlier, get a service manual and do it yourself. Even if your not the most mechanically inclined, the manual explains stuff so you can do it. I think that you could do it.

Along with what Kat said, not only do dealers do bad jobs on repairs, but they often do unecessary work. One common thing is the "service ride" message. If you take it into a dealer, 9/10 times they will want to replace the entire strut(s), which can be $700 per strut. A lot of times, it may just be a sensor or solenoid. Just one example. The thing i like better about domestics is that they use english sizes, so you dont have to go buy a new set of wrenches.

BeelzeBob
02-11-03, 06:10 PM
Well, I'm glad we have the internet. Next time I buy a Caddy, I'll be sure to get the service manuals and try fixing things myself..

But, facts are facts.. People who drive Cadillacs bring them in for every little thing...

kcnewell
02-11-03, 06:15 PM
Most of the problem mentioned are old ( See....The '80s ) However the public has a long memory. The newer Cadillacs are FAR better cars than their predecessors of ten to fifteen years ago! But there are still enough P.O.S. HT4100's, 8-6-4's and Cimmarons around to remind people of just how bad it can be. That has every bit as much to do with resale as anything!

Brett
02-11-03, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by Sal Collaziano
Well, I'm glad we have the internet. Next time I buy a Caddy, I'll be sure to get the service manuals and try fixing things myself..

But, facts are facts.. People who drive Cadillacs bring them in for every little thing...

I suspect people who drive MB, BMW, Lexus bring them in for every little thing as well, I wouyld. maybe there are less little things that go wrong with these cars(except new 7-series)i dont know, but again kc is right these problems seem to be in the past. To me its a perception, something goes weird on a cadillac and its "Well what do you expect from an american car" you buy a new 7-series and every electronic gremlin imaginable pops up and people say "Oh no big deal, its a BMW im sure it will be fine"...meanwhile there are a bunch of germans sitting in munich scratching their heads in a room filled with blown engines and haywire computers.

BeelzeBob
02-11-03, 06:49 PM
Good post, Brett. :)

elwesso
02-13-03, 10:22 PM
On BMWs i have heard that the car does not do anything if the computer does not work!

kcnewell
02-13-03, 10:30 PM
Let the computer on your Cadillac quit working! Then get back to me!

Dead Sled
02-13-03, 10:46 PM
no computer = SOL

more wires more to go wrong

elwesso
02-14-03, 05:52 PM
But the car will run at least, correct?

kcnewell
02-14-03, 08:41 PM
NO!

Dead Sled
02-16-03, 07:02 PM
Car might barely run but most liokely won't

Katshot
02-16-03, 11:43 PM
Dude, if ALL the computers in your car go bad, it won't even crank, let alone start.

Dead Sled
02-16-03, 11:58 PM
they can go bad with out becomming compleetly defunct but then usually totally crap out.

kcnewell
02-17-03, 12:42 AM
Originally posted by Katshot
Dude, if ALL the computers in your car go bad, it won't even crank, let alone start.

I've been trying to tell them but they just won't listen!!!:banghead:

Dead Sled
02-17-03, 01:24 AM
Originally posted by kcnewell
I've been trying to tell them but they just won't listen!!!:banghead:

us or the computers?

Ive had computers go bad but only affect certain functions

kcnewell
02-17-03, 01:39 AM
ON What?

Dead Sled
02-17-03, 01:20 PM
go bad as in sizzle pop smoke? or just need to be flashed

I used to be a chrysler tech. most often Id see that most computers don't "go bad" they just kinda forget what their suposed to do and can be fixed by flashing them. Newer computers are much more reliable OBD 1 had some issues and you havent seen computer / electronic carburator problems unless you had Chrysler lean burn.

mnymaker
03-18-03, 05:50 PM
As the previous owner of a
1994Camaro
1986 IROC Z28
1988 Cutlass Supreme
1986 Corvette
1991 Chevy Astro Van
1995 Chevy S-10
1990 Nissan Maxima
1971 Chevy Pickup
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd
1999 Grand Cheorkee Ltd.

In no particular order. I must say that the 1999 Cadillac Seville SLS is the best and most exciting vehicle I have ever owned. I loved the Vette too but the Caddy has power, style and grace and doesn't ride like a fast horse drawn carraige. I haven't had any problems with it and it has about 65K on it.

Just my 2 cents...

Oh yeah and a 1993 Jeep Wrangler Sahara (what can I say I like cars)

lev
12-25-03, 01:42 AM
Hey Jaycee.

I realize that this thread is about million years old, but I felt I should add my couple of pennies. Let's separate facts from opinions. There is an opinion that Cadillacs are overpirced pile of junk that will send you to a poor house on endless repairs. There is an opinion that Cadillacs, if properly maintained, can outlast anything from the land of the rising sun. I will give you some facts and let you pick an opinion.

I drive a 1994 Fleetwood Brougham, just like in my little picture by my name (avatar). I had this car for three years and over all spent $10000 on various repairs. That car has a very reliable engine, but come late 80- and 90000 miles all the expendable parts like alternator, front end, water pump and others go bad and cost serious triple digit numbers to repaire/replace. My car left me stranded only twice, battery died and alternator died, each on its own occasion. When it come to causes for troubles, I will classify them as:

5% - poor craftsmaship/assembly
10% - abuse/neglect by me
85% - age

I just wanted to put this in here in case you are still researching.

BeelzeBob
12-26-03, 12:10 PM
I wonder if he bought a Cadillac...

Matt427
12-31-03, 12:13 PM
Since I bought my '68 Coupe deVille about five weeks ago, I have replaced the water pump (day after purchase), the muffler, changed the points and condenser to an electronic breakerless setup, changed the coil and ignition wires, replaced the blower motor, and now the A/C compressor is acting up. All that work and money and ya know what, I still love the car. :cookoo:
I know my car isn't in the same category as the cars being discussed here, but I just wanted to add my two cents.

BTW, this is a car with 40,000 original miles, not a beater. :tongue2:

1toycad
01-01-04, 11:16 AM
...your car, go to this website:

http://autos.msn.com/home/reliability_ratings.aspx

I checked the reliability index for my car, and I compared it to other similar cars. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well my car (a 1999 SLS) compared to other cars.:cool:

Vesicant
01-02-04, 11:42 AM
IM going to play the blame game and some people wont agree with me... but thats ok.

General Motors is an ok company, but the solutions they come up with for their new age cars... is down right stupid. The use of parts bin parts, terrible designs and wait; terrible designs for not only mechanicals, but body and engine. I believe, that if Cadillac was not GM owned the reliabillity for everyone would skyrocket. And guess what, because the engines and designs for atleast the body, arent parts bin... you would still have the same car but with different mechanicals and the same emphasis on quallity but more easily aquired because some committee doesnt say "Oh lets use the door accessories from an oldsmobile here, fuel pump from a caprice here"...

Maybe if they took more time to do research on reliabillity for even their parts bin parts that they put into their cars, maybe GM would be even more reliable and more bang for the buck. :confused:

DaveSmed
01-02-04, 02:23 PM
I agree. The idea, if properly executed is smart, using field proven components, which already had the R&D and should be a good reliable choice. But the problem comes in when they take that design, and cheap out on the construction or screw up on the design somewhere. Then it makes ALL of the cars using that part look like crap.