Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi all, I'm going to look at 96 Seville SLS soon, its loaded with all options, 130K miles on it, ...
  1. #1
    brockweberlcc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1996 Cadillac Deville
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    Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS

    Hi all,

    I'm going to look at 96 Seville SLS soon, its loaded with all options, 130K miles on it, owner is stating its in excellent condition with new alternator, plugs & wires, and both mufflers (owner said there was a hole in it). He's asked $2000 for it and I think I can get him to move down a few hundred more (KBB is around $2000 in excellent condition). Exterior-wise I haven't seen any blemishes from the pictures.

    So, my questions to you all, what would you look for if you were buying this? What areas should I be checking more thoroughly than others? After my test drive, can you pull codes off these like a Deville? I want to make sure I give this ride a good inspection and hopefully come away with a decent ride. All suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks for all your help!

    - Brock

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    vincentm's Avatar
    vincentm is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, slap in a big stereo
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    Re: Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS

    If you own a 96 Deville and have been involved in hands-on maintenance of that car then you have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of a similar Seville.

  6. #5
    N*Caddy's Avatar
    N*Caddy is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS

    '96 is a one year only many things like:
    Struts/Shock
    Some of the control modules

    It is the first year for OBDII, but it was rushed in so is not 100% OBDII, this makes a bit difficult to diagnose (some codes are OBDI some are OBDII).
    From this point of view I would look for a '97 because is the first year fully OBDII compliant, the struts/shocks are common with '97-'02 Eldorado and are also available in aftermarket (Monroe) full CVRSS.

    Other than that, if you know Deville you know Eldorado/Seville, roughly the same car just slightly different shape.

  7. #6
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS

    Take it for a good long ride. Watch the temp gauge. Do a hill climb if there are any and a WOT if the owner will let you. If the temp gauge moves off 12:00, I'd walk.

  8. #7
    brockweberlcc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS

    I could do a block test, where is the closest vacuum line I could use for that? Anyone have a pic or YouTube video of finding one, I've never done one before, but it looks simple as far as adding the test fluid and plugging the test tube into the reservoir.

    Is there any signs or tests I can do for the rear struts/shocks to make sure they work well?

  9. #8
    Jwither's Avatar
    Jwither is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS

    Quote Originally Posted by brockweberlcc View Post
    I could do a block test, where is the closest vacuum line I could use for that?
    If you get the kind of block tester that has a turkey-baster type bulb at the top of the cylinder, you wouldn't need a vacuum line.

  10. #9
    vincentm's Avatar
    vincentm is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by brockweberlcc View Post
    I could do a block test, where is the closest vacuum line I could use for that? Anyone have a pic or YouTube video of finding one, I've never done one before, but it looks simple as far as adding the test fluid and plugging the test tube into the reservoir.

    Is there any signs or tests I can do for the rear struts/shocks to make sure they work well?
    Read my post again, i posted a video link. Read man..

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    Jwither's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS

    Quote Originally Posted by vincentm View Post
    Read my post again, i posted a video link. Read man..
    If you turn down the volume, so as to ignore the BS coming out of that guy's mouth, it's an accurate depiction of how a block test is done.

  12. #11
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS


  13. #12
    brockweberlcc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS

    Last question: Is there any signs or tests I can do for the rear struts/shocks to make sure they work well? Anything I can look or listen for to as tattletale signs that there's issues? Thx.

  14. #13
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, slap in a big stereo
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    Re: Purchasing Q's on a 96 SLS

    The rear shocks incorporate air bladders and an automatic inflation/exhaust system to compensate for extra weight in the trunk or back seat. Turn the key: ON. About 6 - 8 seconds later you should hear the system compressor run for ~2 seconds to do a prove-out test. OK ? Leave the key ON, pop the trunk and 3 of you sit on the open lip. The system should run and level the car. OK ? All hop off and you listen for escaping air in the RR fenderwell as the system bleeds the shock bladders to again level the car. OK ? Great - the ALC system is OK, and the system should hold proper level for at least 24 hours.

    Shocks as shocks - the old "bounce it (each corner) 4 times and watch the damping" operation - more than one bounce/rebound and the shocks are worn. Same bounce test for the front struts.

  15. #14
    brockweberlcc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409
    The rear shocks incorporate air bladders and an automatic inflation/exhaust system to compensate for extra weight in the trunk or back seat. Turn the key: ON. About 6 - 8 seconds later you should hear the system compressor run for ~2 seconds to do a prove-out test. OK ? Leave the key ON, pop the trunk and 3 of you sit on the open lip. The system should run and level the car. OK ? All hop off and you listen for escaping air in the RR fenderwell as the system bleeds the shock bladders to again level the car. OK ? Great - the ALC system is OK, and the system should hold proper level for at least 24 hours. Shocks as shocks - the old "bounce it (each corner) 4 times and watch the damping" operation - more than one bounce/rebound and the shocks are worn. Same bounce test for the front struts.

    Thanks Submariner409 that's very handy and simple to do!

  16. #15
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwither

    If you turn down the volume, so as to ignore the BS coming out of that guy's mouth,
    Referring to the "$6,000 repair" and "9 out of 10" comments?

    My engine cost ~$5,000 to stud, but that was after one shop screwed up the original block, I bought a second engine, and had the car shipped from Boston to Ohio AND BACK! AND I had the engine disassembled and inspected, resealed, replaced the TCC solenoid and a couple of other transmission related items replaced at the same time.

    $6,000 is a dishonest dealership price.

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