About to buy a 1988 STS. Should I?
Cadillac
 

Cadillac Forums | Help Us Help You | Advertise | Cadillac Parts | Cadillac News | Cadillac Classifieds / (Old System)

Cadillac Technical Archive | Cadillac Dealers | Cadillac Reviews | Cadillac Dealer Reviews | Cadillac Vendors

CadillacForums.com is the premier Cadillac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 69
Like Tree23Likes
Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, About to buy a 1988 STS. Should I? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hello everyone. I'm new to the site so be gentle with me. Been reading these post over a week now. ...
  1. #1
    Mr.BayArea is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1988 Seville STS, 08 Acura TL
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    La.
    Age
    50
    Posts
    67

    About to buy a 1988 STS. Should I?

    Hello everyone. I'm new to the site so be gentle with me. Been reading these post over a week now. Wonderful thing you all are doing, answering all these questions for folks saving them potentially THOUSANDS of dollars with great answers and advice free of charge. Soooo, let me begin with my begging for info. I'm about 4 wks. away from buying my Fathers 1988 Cadillac Seville STS. Gorgeous on the outside and inside. Garaged from birth. 140,000 mi. Appears to run great. The problem is I can't find any info on the 4.5 block. All I know is it replaced the disaster HT4100. Well, does the 4.5 address the problems the HT4100 suffered with? Head bolts ripping out the threads in the block. Adding sealant to the coolant to seal the HG, Aluminum oil pump, intake gasket issues etc. Everything I read is about the HT4100 then skips to the 4.9. I've read about the expensive and scarce replacement parts. I'm ok with that part if the car is worth it. 2(?)questions: is it worth investing in this vehicle? And are there major issues to deal with if I acquire it? I'm tough, be honest.lol.(1 of 1499)....

  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
    Automobile(s): Crimson 2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP)
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    East Boston MA.
    Age
    26
    Posts
    20,483


    That generation Seville had some odd idiosyncrasies, but they're nice little cars, and a first year STS is a pretty rare site.

    The 4.5 is an excellent engine, right up there with the 4.9, which is arguably one of GMs most reliable and inexpensive engines to maintain. any potential problems aren't going to happen because of type of engine, they're going to happen because the car is 25 years old.
    Mr.BayArea likes this.

  4. #3
    drewsdeville's Avatar
    drewsdeville is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): none
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    5,280

    Re: About to buy a 1988 Cadillac Seville STS. Should I?

    The 4.5 updates from the 4.1 where mostly structural, which carried the series all the way to it's end in 1995. The 4.9 gets the praise due to the efficiency changes and it's extensive use.

    To put it simply, the 4.5 and 4.9 are nearly the same engine internally. I actually argue that the '88 and '89 4.5's are the most reliable of the 4.X series since the port fuel injection on the later models can be finicky. The TBI system, while not as efficient, is basically problem free.
    SilverCoupe and Mr.BayArea like this.

  5. #4
    Mr.BayArea is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1988 Seville STS, 08 Acura TL
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    La.
    Age
    50
    Posts
    67

    Re: About to buy a 1988 Cadillac Seville STS. Should I?

    BTW, Pop's want's $5,000. Any opinion on the estimated value in fair condition.(Thanks for the quick replies).

  6. #5
    J.D.Hogg's Avatar
    J.D.Hogg is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1991 Eldorado, 1987 DeVille, (R.I.P), 1980 DeVille, (R.I.P.)
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    41

    Re: About to buy a 1988 Cadillac Seville STS. Should I?

    I love all Cadillac's but I think that the '86-'91 Seville's were the greatest cars ever made. You are very fortunate to own one considering how many have diminished through the years. Like everyone above, you really have noting to worry about with that motor. They seem to be indestructible and maintenance free. My '91 Eldorado has a 4.9. The original engine was destroyed by my Uncle running used oil in it (due to carelessness and greed) and he also ran it low on oil twice before which lead to an engine replacement 2,000 miles after I purchased the car from him but the replacement engine is fabulous. I would not hesitate to take it cross country if I had to. I know that the 4.1 was not everybody's favorite but my Grandmother had one in her '87 Deville and we never did anything to it except regular maintenance. We took it all over the east coast many times with no trouble. Unfortunately, the car was stolen and vandalized.
    Mr.BayArea likes this.

  7. #6
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 96 STS, 140k
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    mpls mn
    Posts
    2,480
    Well, if you want a 88 Sts, why not pick up a 88 allante? They can be had for 5k or less.

  8. #7
    Mr.BayArea is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1988 Seville STS, 08 Acura TL
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    La.
    Age
    50
    Posts
    67

    Re: About to buy a 1988 STS. Should I?

    Good thought...But, the car belongs to my Father so I have personal reasons for wanting the car also. Guess u can tell we're not that close, he wants the WHOLE $5k up front no discount. I'll upload the pictures when I read the instructions on uploading. So u see, I've got the inside track on how well the car was pampered. Church>Grocery store>Out to dinner>then back to the garage.

  9. #8
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
    Automobile(s): Crimson 2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP)
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    East Boston MA.
    Age
    26
    Posts
    20,483

    Re: About to buy a 1988 STS. Should I?

    Upload the pictures to www.photobucket.com and post the IMG code here.

    5 grand would be fine for a low mileage car in VERY good condition. It's not low mileage, is it perfect?

  10. #9
    Mr.BayArea is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1988 Seville STS, 08 Acura TL
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    La.
    Age
    50
    Posts
    67

    Re: About to buy a 1988 STS. Should I?

    I'll have to redo pix the photo bucket way. The 140,000 miles are "ol man" miles. My Father drives extremely slow. The body is an 8(cosmetic stuff), the interior is a 9. Engine runs smooth, transmission changes gears smooth. Air conditioner needs to be fixed and upgraded. I think I'll let Cadillac lift the car up and give me the lowdown. I guess I basically wanted to find out if I was purchasing a car that the Cadillac community considers a "lemon". If u folks in Cadillac Land say that the 88 Seville STS was a decent vehicle,(at birth)then I'm writin a check.(after the Cadi mechanic inspection).

  11. #10
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 96 STS, 140k
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    mpls mn
    Posts
    2,480
    I see one 88 eldo Biarritz w/94k miles for 3500 or offer. Has a dozen pics. Owner swears it is mint. Looks pretty nice. So ur 5k price is not out of line
    Mr.BayArea likes this.

  12. #11
    bwv565 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2007 Ford Mustang, 2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata GT
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    541

    Re: About to buy a 1988 Cadillac Seville STS. Should I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.BayArea View Post
    BTW, Pop's want's $5,000. Any opinion on the estimated value in fair condition.(Thanks for the quick replies).
    I can't answer your question, however it makes me wonder how someone could ask (and maybe get) $5K for a 1988 STS, even with low mileage for that old of a car, when 2001-2004-ish STS only get between $2000 and $2500. Boggles the mind.
    SilverCoupe likes this.

  13. #12
    Mr.BayArea is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1988 Seville STS, 08 Acura TL
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    La.
    Age
    50
    Posts
    67

    Re: About to buy a 1988 STS. Should I?

    I believe it's a "rarity" issue. Officially, the 1st Seville STS's didn't roll off cadillac's assembly line until 1989. In 1988, due to lagging sales, cadillac sent 1500 Seville's to "Cars and Concepts" to be customized.(the entire interior was gutted). These 1500 1st edition STS's were shipped around the country for "show". In 1989 Cadillac began the actual manufacturing of this model with an actual VIN number and all that. SUPPOSEDLY there are less than 10 or 15 still alive today. This car is 1...
    bwv565 likes this.

  14. #13
    bwv565 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2007 Ford Mustang, 2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata GT
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    541

    Re: About to buy a 1988 STS. Should I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.BayArea View Post
    I believe it's a "rarity" issue. Officially, the 1st Seville STS's didn't roll off cadillac's assembly line until 1989. In 1988, due to lagging sales, cadillac sent 1500 Seville's to "Cars and Concepts" to be customized.(the entire interior was gutted). These 1500 1st edition STS's were shipped around the country for "show". In 1989 Cadillac began the actual manufacturing of this model with an actual VIN number and all that. SUPPOSEDLY there are less than 10 or 15 still alive today. This car is 1...
    OK well that kind of makes sense. But parts and repairs I would imagine would be more difficult to obtain, for as we all know, it's not even possible to get some parts for 'newer' Sevilles. I guess you're right, though, it's a matter of supply and demand. Thanks for your ideas!
    Mr.BayArea likes this.

  15. #14
    delerium75's Avatar
    delerium75 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1991 STS, 1992 Fleetwood, 1987 Maxima wagon
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Bay City, MI
    Age
    39
    Posts
    207

    Re: About to buy a 1988 STS. Should I?

    Personally I think $5K is a tad high for a 140K STS with non-working A/C but I also haven't seen it. There was a black '88 or '89 STS for sale on eBay earlier this year...low mile car (60-80k?), best wood I've seen with no cracks and minimal fading but missing a couple of the body-color door moldings. I think that sold for the mid- to upper-4s. But again, that was low mile. As far as the rarity part, '88s are certainly rare but would someone buy this because it's an '88 or because it's, more broadly, the first STS? I looked specifically for my '91 because of the 4.9L and the 3-person back seat...but I suppose each person has their own reasons why they look at specific years of cars.

    I like to think these are part of that small selection of 80s and 90s GM niche cars...like the Riviera XX or Riviera with the W15 package, the first Olds Ninety-Eight Touring Sedan or first Park Avenue Ultras...they were so much more than their respective base cars and because of their additional cost when new, all of them are quite rare now. I just wonder when these are going to start going up in value!

  16. #15
    STS_Seville_Hunter is online now Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 91 ETC, 91 STS, 98 Eldo Convertable, '93 Seville
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    DHS/Palm Springs, CA
    Age
    26
    Posts
    624

    Re: About to buy a 1988 STS. Should I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.BayArea View Post
    I believe it's a "rarity" issue. Officially, the 1st Seville STS's didn't roll off cadillac's assembly line until 1989. In 1988, due to lagging sales, cadillac sent 1500 Seville's to "Cars and Concepts" to be customized.(the entire interior was gutted). These 1500 1st edition STS's were shipped around the country for "show". In 1989 Cadillac began the actual manufacturing of this model with an actual VIN number and all that. SUPPOSEDLY there are less than 10 or 15 still alive today. This car is 1...
    Are you getting your info off of Larrys out dated site? lol.
    The '88s interior was hand assebled much like the Oldsmobile Touring Sedan, to a total of 1,493. They do have there own vin and rpo code as well. And those estimates are I have personally documented nearly 50 '88s, I didn't get my screen name for nothing
    Honestly the price is up there with out functioning a/c I'd say $2,500 maybe $3k if it has a documented trans rebuild. Please though post some pics
    Cadillac_Fan likes this.

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Bookmarks

Cadillac Posting Rules

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Read about Lincoln | Buick | Kia Forte Forum
Need products for your Cadillac? Check out your options at the links below:

custom floor mats | Cadillac Chrome and Black Chrome Wheels | window tinting