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Thread: Looking for a 2003 STS. What about the condition should I not tolerate?

  1. #16
    Caddydrummer67's Avatar
    Caddydrummer67 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): '02 ETC 32,000 miles 2002 F55 STS 78,000 miles
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    Re: Looking for a 2003 STS. What about the condition should I not tolerate?

    Frankly, if you find one that is pleasing to the eye, I'd then conentrate on mechanical stuff. Do a block test. This is the difinitive test to see if the head gaskets are blown. Check the vehicle profile and position of the rear wheels in relation to the fender. The vehicle should have a slight rake forward. (See Submariners pics) If the rear seems to be sagging the shocks are probably bad. Also check for leaks in the front shocks. The 2003's are all F55 magnaride cars and the shocks and struts run about $600 a piece. Test drive it and feel for vibrations being tranmitted through the wheel at various speeds. These cars are very sensitive to out-of-balance conditions. This can usually be fixed with a good road force tire/wheel balance, but there are a lot of things that can cause this and it can be a nightmare to diagnose. Check underneath where the car has been sitting for a while and note any fluids pooling on the ground. These cars are also known for leaking half-case seals and water cross-overs, the '03's probably less than earlier models. I'd beware of any aftermarket audio add-ons. They are problematic and probably weren't done correctly.

    OK, so now that I've scared you, you should be able to find a decent one out there and they are fantastic cars. Fast, comfortable, safe, great audio, good in foul weather, great handling with the F55 option and they can be had relatively cheap. Just know they are not cheap to maintain.


  2. #17
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    I looked into those sites that sell aftermarket replacement "covers". They usually don't fit correctly. They look a little better when an upholstery shop installs them, sometimes some work has to be do e to the foam, but they still don't fit like the original leather. I would definitely recommend having a good upholstery shop make and install new covers.

  3. #18
    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    03 with 60k miles was for sale for 2-3 months near me. Is gone now. $6k range. Low miles units are hard to find

  4. #19
    vacuumbed is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Looking for a 2003 STS. What about the condition should I not tolerate?

    My biggest disadvantage is that they are all in far places and I have to rely on things like pictures, an honest seller, and Carfax. I don't really have a choice when I want something so specific like an 03 Seville STS black on black. There's one in New York with Nav that was a southern car most of it's life that has 108K miles on it. Carfax shows it had a bunch of owners and the seats seem to have more wear than I like. I may just have to go with that one.

    It's my fault for selling my 03 Seville that I had, so now I have to get what I can find to replace it.

  5. #20
    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Looking for a 2003 STS. What about the condition should I not tolerate?

    Quote Originally Posted by vacuumbed View Post
    My biggest disadvantage is that they are all in far places and I have to rely on things like pictures, an honest seller, and Carfax. I don't really have a choice when I want something so specific like an 03 Seville STS black on black. There's one in New York with Nav that was a southern car most of it's life that has 108K miles on it. Carfax shows it had a bunch of owners and the seats seem to have more wear than I like. I may just have to go with that one.

    It's my fault for selling my 03 Seville that I had, so now I have to get what I can find to replace it.
    -------------------------
    are you REALLY that desperate for a car -
    you are willing to settle for a high mileage -
    multi-owner car with a trashed interior?

    did that work? - NO? - OK how 'bout -

    at 100,000+ miles -
    you KNOW it's going to need struts and shocks - SOON - if not NOW -
    and if you don't come up with $2500 PLUS labor - you might as well get an SLS -

  6. #21
    orconn's Avatar
    orconn is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Looking for a 2003 STS. What about the condition should I not tolerate?

    If it is a NYC car it is sure to be beat to shit and ready to sleep with the fishes!

  7. #22
    Caddydrummer67's Avatar
    Caddydrummer67 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Looking for a 2003 STS. What about the condition should I not tolerate?

    I'd wait. Sooner or later one will emerge from a grandmas garage somewhere in immaculate condition with 50K or less, and you'll be kicking yourself for jumping too soon.

  8. #23
    vacuumbed is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Looking for a 2003 STS. What about the condition should I not tolerate?

    I found an 02 Seville STS. Build date is 3/02. The car has 62,000 miles on it. California car. Clean Carfax, two owners, but same family. Black on black. Only problem is a big dent on the drivers side front fender. I'm going to get it!
    Last edited by vacuumbed; 04-01-14 at 04:38 PM.

  9. #24
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
    Automobile(s): 2002.5 F55 STS - 67,500 miles, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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    Re: Looking for a 2003 STS. What about the condition should I not tolerate?

    That's a F55 (Magnetic Ride Control) car. IF you teach yourself to drive the thing hard and fast on tight roads you will be flat amazed. Also study Performance Algorithm Shifting.

  10. #25
    vacuumbed is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2004 Seville STS
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    Re: Looking for a 2003 STS. What about the condition should I not tolerate?

    The 2003 Seville STS that I used to own was also an F55 car. It will be interesting to see if this one drives any different.

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