northstar reliability
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Cadillac Reviews Discussion, northstar reliability in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; i am looking to buy a used cadillac. i like and need a big car. i've been looking at '96 ...
  1. #1
    glennpalmore is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    northstar reliability

    i am looking to buy a used cadillac. i like and need a big car. i've been looking at '96 and newer devilles. i have seen many really nice looking devilles online.
    since i've been doing my research, i have come across some horror stories about the fwd northstar engines.
    are the northstar engines junk? i understand that they are very expensive to repair.
    a mechanic told me that i would be better off with a later model ('94-'96) fleetwood with rwd and the LT-1 350c.i. engine as it has a long history of being a reliable engine?
    i just don't know if i should chance a deville with the northstar engine or not. i can get a much newer deville for the same price, or less, than a '94-96 fleetwood.
    any advice from someone with some knowledge and experience would be very helpful.

    thank you,
    glenn

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  3. #2
    Jesda's Avatar
    Jesda is offline Super Moderator
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    Re: northstar reliability

    Your mechanic is generally right. Its best to have a Northstar car if you have money set aside for head gasket repairs or the talent, time, and space to do it yourself.

    If not, buy something else.

  4. #3
    creeker is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: northstar reliability

    Up to and including 1996 devilles had the 4.9 liter engine, these are a great engine, almost bullet proof.

  5. #4
    creeker is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: northstar reliability

    The deville had the 4.9 from 91 to 96.

  6. #5
    drewsdeville is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: northstar reliability

    4.9L ended in '95. The '96 MY was Northstar only.

    It sounds like you are looking for value in the luxury segment. That's hard to come by. Like you state, sure the Fleetwoods may be cheaper to maintain, but there are two things to watch out for: the nicer examples go for more than they are worth much of the time, and the newest example is 15 years old now. It's a wash.

    If you are looking for a value, I'd have to recommend a Mercury Grand Marquis. Decent looking car, comes with most of the options the Deville did, but doesn't carry the price tag of it's sister Town Car or the Fleetwood. Quite easy to maintain.

  7. #6
    creeker is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: northstar reliability

    Quote Originally Posted by drewsdeville View Post
    4.9L ended in '95. The '96 MY was Northstar only.

    It sounds like you are looking for value in the luxury segment. That's hard to come by. Like you state, sure the Fleetwoods may be cheaper to maintain, but there are two things to watch out for: the nicer examples go for more than they are worth much of the time, and the newest example is 15 years old now. It's a wash.

    If you are looking for a value, I'd have to recommend a Mercury Grand Marquis. Decent looking car, comes with most of the options the Deville did, but doesn't carry the price tag of it's sister Town Car or the Fleetwood. Quite easy to maintain.

    Your right, I looked on carsurvey.org. to find the engine size, their first listing in 96 showed
    a 4.9, I looked in one of books and it is a northstar.

  8. #7
    02603sec's Avatar
    02603sec is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Readup on the northstar. Any vintage caddy you buy is going to nesd something.

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