I am looking to get a 95' or 96' STS with around 70K miles. IS this a good idea? I know that if I get an Audi, BMW or Benz with the same miles I can get another 100K out of them. I love the STS but I don't want to be sinking a ton of money into it at 100K.
don't know if this helps, but I bought a 95 sls with 132k on it. needed minor fixes and tlc. Now after 6 months and 3000 miles, it is a good ol gal for sure. Comfortable and 'hauls butt'. Course if yer married like me, the wife will claim it as soon as it is finished.
Yes, the engines and transmissions are strong. People will argue with you all day long that American cars are built to die at 100k miles and that's just not true. Truth is, European cars have the same mechanical issues that American cars have, and you have the added insult of having to go to those European car garages just to get it fixed because no regular shop will touch it!
The Northstar should be good for at least 150-200k miles. I have 112k happy miles on mine and look forward to many more. Maintenance is the key, just like with all cars. If you have two identical cars, but one a 95 and one a 96, go with the 96. Starting with 1996, all GM cars received DEX-COOL coolant, which negates many of the cooling system maintenance problems earlier cars had. With 1995 and older, coolant must be changed every 24k miles or 24 months. If this doesn't happen, the aluminum engine and gaskets can fall prey to corrosion. The DEX-COOL coolant has corrosion inhibitors to prevent this, and is good for 150,000 miles or 60 months.
If you're set on the 92-97 body style, look for a '97. They have some upgrades that are worth while to get, like extra body gusseting and improved front suspension geometry and increased front brake size. There's certainly nothing wrong with the earlier models, but if you have a lot of choices, I'd lean towards the later models (especially 1996 and newer).
Thanks Guys...I think I am going to look for the lowest mile car and not worry about the year as much. I have 10K to spend and ofcourse the less I spend on the car the rest can go into the Harley fund.
My 95 pegs 205 wailin and has No coolant problems. Why pay extra for Dex Promise?
Keep the batterey wet, and Charged...Computer secret!
Because Dex-Promise won't coat the insides of your engine with silicates like the green stuff does. The green stuff and DEX-COOL are both ethylene-glycol based coolants, but one of the differences in them is their corrosion inhibitor package. The green stuff uses silicates, which usually are depleted in an AVERAGE of 24 months/24k miles. Figure about two years and you need to replace the coolant. DEX-COOL is far superior in that it uses organic corrosion inhibitors, which have much longer life than silicates. It's recommended to drain/refill every 5 years or 150k miles for DEX-COOL vehicles.
Once the corrosion inhibitors are gone, the aluminum will begin to pit and scar and you start seeing head gasket problems. Will it always happen? Of course not. Is it more likely to happen if you don't maintain the cooling system on a pre-DEX-COOL car? Absolutely.
What suddenly becomes important when you buy a used car is you don't know the past maintenance history on that vehicle. You're always playing the odds when you buy a used vehicle. It's always in your best interest to try to minimize those odds as much as possible. You might buy a perfectly fine 1995 STS that's been maintained meticulously, but the chances of that are slim. Most vehicles haven't been maintained like they should; this is especially true with the cooling system. DEX-COOL goes a long way to protect you against past non-maintainers.
Buy a '96 or newer. Your risk of cooling system damage is much reduced, and you get the new interior for '96.
It's fine if you know the past history or if you are the original owner. It's not that the draining and refilling is the problem -- it's not knowing about the past maintenance when the vehicle is 7/8 years old and 70,000-100,000 miles.