Hey, everyone. First off, I'm glad this forum exists, and I'm very salty I didn't think to check here 3 days ago prior to buying an Eldorado.....off of craigslist.. Anyway!
I am absolutely new to cars, I don't really know much about how to fix them, or where to look for problems, or what situations to not get into after a quick look over, which all leaded me to finding a 95 Eldorado on Craigslist, it all seemed to run well on the parking lot test drive (first mistake), and so I got it instantly, not really checking out other cars first (second mistake).
After 20 minutes on the freeway, and noticing I passed my exit, I decided to cruise for a little bit, I pulled off and hit a backstreet to see what kind of MPG I am dealing with. I was pretty satisfied... Up until my nephew started freaking out and stated, "Uhm. There is something leaking into the car..." and almost as if on queue to those words, the car started steaming out of the vent, almost seemed like it had to be smoke as well.
I pulled off into a gas station, and tried calling the person for some information, but lets just say-- this individual is completely useless and is not wanting to talk so I can't really ask him for a refund, I guess I'm too easy going.
SO after 30 minutes of trying to figure out what I am going to do, because I am asking everyone at this gas station for help because I don't know what I am doing, I decide to take it to the nearest "mechanic", which was told to me that it is just down the road, so I head off in that direction and find an entire line of... Auto Body Repair Shops...
One guy finally takes a look at it, and tells me what the heating (core? cord?) was broken and that was the issue as to why it was spewing coolant into the car on the passenger side. I asked him what I can do about that and he said it would be $300 and 8 Hours of work, to which my jaw dropped. I asked if there was an alternative and he said they could "bypass" it. I asked what that would solve and he said it would stop spewing for sure, and I asked if it would stop overheating, he said definitely, they also replaced a clamp type item that connected the vacuum hose of the engine to another part of the engine, which previously had a hole in it. The car fired up and sounded great, I paid the man and took off down the road. That's when I am now experiencing low acceleration power, and I am like.... Huh ?
I end up going back to this guy about 5 times, he reassured me that after a good sit overnight the car would be absolutely fine and not to worry about anything, the overheating message, beeping and low acceleration are all because it hasn't sat long enough after the bypass. I tell him I feel like it might have been the plug he replaced, so he took it off and said it was ok to drive with it off. (third mistake? fourth?) At about the fifth time he told me my catalytic converter was bad, and I kept hearing it was "Cadillac Converter" "Catallic Converter", so none of what he was saying made sense, and I thought this would be the last thing I needed to make sure the car was good to go, so I asked him where I get that situated, and he directed me to a muffler shop. It was about 8 minutes away. I set up an appointment and got it replaced the next day.
(somewhere inbetween all this I picked up some oil and put more oil in the car, I randomly got power back but it kept dying out at random times)
After it got replaced, I thought all of my issues were going to be solved, so I took off down the road, happy as can be. I had power again! Now, I was happy with the v8 engine in this beast, I just roared it a couple 50-100 feet. Then the power dies out again, and I just get livid. I whip around to the shop and by this point, I'm not even mad I am just disappointed in my lack of car knowledge, and I tell him that it didn't work, we get another guy involved and discover that the car is indeed overheating. We let it all cool down, run some water in it and watch to see where it is going, and after about two minutes it just starts essentially throwing the water upwards. We let it cool down once more for about 30 minutes, the water was incredibly low afterwards, and he filled it up, told me to drive it to the house and not drive it anymore until I can figure out whats wrong with it.
At this point I had gotten in contact with the guy and he states he will bring his mechanic to the car to check it out, and replace whatever it is that is broken and get it back on the road. Just kidding. No show.
So the car is sitting here, and I realize that my neighbor has the same exact car, maybe a couple years newer, and very nice rims. I talk to him about what could be the issue, learned more about (after the mechanics and I had a long talk about why nobody likes to work on cadi engines - aluminum) how they warp when overheated and its all downhill from there.
So, I come to this forum looking for anyone who can just help me out here. I am willing to invest the time into fixing it. But I want to know what I should look for to see if it is too late to even want to try, what do you guys feel the issue might be?
I came to a realization last night that if maybe the heating (core? cord?) is replaced and the bypass was ... enabled again, that should clear up any issues, especially since the car hadn't overheated prior to the bypass. That and because the Catalytic Converter (which apparently you're supposed to be able to see all the way through, was meeeeeeesssed up) was replaced.
What do you guys think? I'm sure there are guides all over to find out how to do this, but I'd like to take it from some knowledgeable people on a realistic scale.
Thank you so much.