2003 STS - Anything I need to know?
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, 2003 STS - Anything I need to know? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I've been eyeing an STS for a while now, but the ones for sale in my area were lackluster, but ...
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    starbond's Avatar
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    2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    I've been eyeing an STS for a while now, but the ones for sale in my area were lackluster, but yesterday an 03 black/black STS with 90k miles showed up on craigslist asking 5,000. I emailed the guy instantly, and I'm going to look at it this evening. I know the N* was redesigned, but HG failure is still possible. I'm going to pull the codes, check the surge tank and see if anything overheats, but other than that that could be the one I've been waiting for! Is there anything in particular I should be aware of for this year?

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    Nothing out of the ordinary (trunk leak, expensive active suspension) for that year to be aware of.

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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    Tough question for a 90,000 mile car. You don't have time to read the entire Seville forum, Northstar forum, and the Cadillac Technical Archive.

    If you do a test drive, for a F55 STS (2002.5 - 2003) the harder you push it the tighter the suspension and steering get.

    At least, pull the codes from the car's built-in scanner and decipher them with http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    Hehe, perhaps I should take an afternoon for some reading... :P I figured a short answer like what Ranger said is all I need to start diving in deeper to educate.

    I read up on the leaky trunk and will lookout for that, and I'll keep in mind the suspension during the drive. I'm taking it to a Firestone car inspection before I buy it so I'll see what turns up. I'll pull the internal codes too don't worry. My senses will be hyper aware for any engine issues. Driving a Deville now I know all too well what can happen..

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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    If you are prepared to deal with expensive maintenance and repairs you will be rewarded with an exceptional car, both in driving dynamics and comfort, and with what is proving to be timeless styling.
    ryannel2003 likes this.

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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    Alright so I went to go look at it. Not too bad. He's asking $5000 (KBB says 4600 new) but the car is far from cosmetically that condition, but someone is offering him a trade which he is heavily considering, so fingers crossed we can work something out.
    Lots of codes to check though, I think all were history, probably hasn't flushed in a while.
    EDIT: I just went through them, most are just Serial Data Loss, and Battery Circuit Open, but there was also RSS C0615 - LF Circuit Open and C0579 Solenoid Circuit Open. Those stood out to me, but they were also History.
    Chrome wheels are flaking at the lug nut spots, the yellow tint is peeling/separating off the drivers side mirror, and the owner and his father apparently installed a dogbone mount to the front of the engine (???) He said he got it from a junkyard deville because the STS engine was pulling or something.. Hiding a a major problem or just smart DIY?
    11.jpg

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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    The dog bone is a smart idea, even if I do say so myself, but it could be hiding a bad motor mount.
    Hope they put one on the drivers side as well.
    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...northstar.html

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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    The dog bone is a smart idea, even if I do say so myself, but it could be hiding a bad motor mount.
    Hope they put one on the drivers side as well.
    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...northstar.html
    Hmm, never knew that was a thing people did. Unfortunately he only has it on the passenger side........
    Would the car inspection that I'm planning on doing look at motor mounts too?
    He also mention the car has the "Seville shimmy" too, as well as LF tie rod that wasnt done right (by him) so the car veers. I'd rate him as a somewhat experience car guy, does his own oil and drains every 3k. Him and his dad replaced the fuel paddle thru the trunk some time ago because the gauge was bobbing. Needs new tires too. But at least there were no PCM codes. Engine seems to be ok and no sign of any oil in the coolant.
    And the tint is coming off the mirror... :sad:
    13.jpg

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    All that and a price tag of $5k???

    Walk...

    Should be able find a damn fine 2003 for cheap these days, it's an 11 year old car!

    BTW, Northstars don't mix oil/coolant with bad HG's. A block test is the only definitive answer.
    ryannel2003 likes this.
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    The pre '98 Sevilles have dog bones. They really saved the front mount. Definitely look at the 3 hydraulic mounts.

    3K oil changes haven't been necessary since the '70's. Do some reading in the technical archives about the OLM.

    Tie rod ends can not be replaced correctly without an alignment machine. Even measuring/counting threads doesn't quite cut it.

    That's not tint on the mirror. The rear view and drivers side view mirror are electrochromatic dimming. There's liquid between two pieces of glass. The seal has broken. It has to be replaced.

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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by curtc View Post
    All that and a price tag of $5k???

    Walk...

    Should be able find a damn fine 2003 for cheap these days, it's an 11 year old car!

    BTW, Northstars don't mix oil/coolant with bad HG's. A block test is the only definitive answer.
    I wish it were so. This is the first 2003 STS I've seen in my area in over a year, and the 90k miles is what drew me to it. Most STS here are older with over 150 miles, and that's not good enough for me.

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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    And that mirror needs to be replaced.

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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by starbond View Post
    Alright so I went to go look at it. Not too bad. He's asking $5000 (KBB says 4600 new) but the car is far from cosmetically that condition, but someone is offering him a trade which he is heavily considering, so fingers crossed we can work something out.
    Lots of codes to check though, I think all were history, probably hasn't flushed in a while.
    EDIT: I just went through them, most are just Serial Data Loss, and Battery Circuit Open, but there was also RSS C0615 - LF Circuit Open and C0579 Solenoid Circuit Open. Those stood out to me, but they were also History.
    Chrome wheels are flaking at the lug nut spots, the yellow tint is peeling/separating off the drivers side mirror, and the owner and his father apparently installed a dogbone mount to the front of the engine (???) He said he got it from a junkyard deville because the STS engine was pulling or something.. Hiding a a major problem or just smart DIY?
    Attachment 209161
    =====================================
    He's asking $5000 (KBB says 4600 new)
    but the car is far from cosmetically that condition,

    that alone should tell you to WALK AWAY

    Lots of codes to check though -
    lack of maintenance - another BIG red flag -
    telling you to WALK AWAY -

    hasn't flushed in a while -
    that is a BIG no-no - displaying more neglect -
    and another red flag -
    there was also RSS C0615 -
    LF Circuit Open


    you got the code definition wrong -
    C0615 - Left Front Position Sensor Malfunction

    and C0579 LF Solenoid Circuit Open -
    the car needs front struts -
    around $1120 - not including labor -
    and that is a deeply discounted on-line price -

    Chrome wheels are flaking -
    a used set of wheels $400 - PLUS mounting and balancing -

    the yellow tint is peeling/separating off the drivers side mirror,
    the mirror needs to be replaced - $????
    can YOU pull the door apart and replace it yourself?
    if NO - $200 - MINUMUM - with same color used part -

    the owner and his father
    apparently installed a dogbone mount to the front of the engine
    He said he got it from a junkyard deville
    because the STS engine was pulling

    ya - he hacked in a $10 junkyard part -
    rather than spending $200 to replace the broken motor mount -

    NOTE - the big plastic air deflector is missing -
    because it will NOT fit with the dogbone in the way -

    custom hackery at it's best/WORST - another reason to WALK AWAY -

    this car has been neglected - and RIGGED -
    is going to be a MONEY WELL -

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    Re: 2003 STS - Anything I need to know?

    Ok, so the consensus seems to be walk away. Fair enough. Let me ask this, are the 2002 and 2001 models relatively the same as the 2003? Do they have all the amenities like what the 2003 has? (assuming the original owner requested it)

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    From '00 up, the main difference is suspension. STSs built before 2/15/02 have F45/CVRSS. An electric actuator controls a variable orifice inside the shocks/struts to bart damping force.

    Cars built on or after 2/15/02 have F55/Magneride. Electromagnets vary the viscosity of magnetorheological fluid in the shocks/struts.

    Different navigation system for '02 up, different badging too, the optional 17" rims became standard for Magneride cars, 01 and older cars have unusable Onstar, a voice command/end button replaces the fan speed control buttons on the steering wheel in '02+ cars..... There are other obscure differences, but nothing that a normal consumer would be concerned with that I can think of.

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