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Cadillac STS-V Series Forum Discussion, New member needing advice on purchase. in Cadillac V-Series Forums; I've been a GM owner since I turned 16. First car was a 87 Buick GN and have owned nothing ...
  1. #1
    Dustin11 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    New member needing advice on purchase.

    I've been a GM owner since I turned 16. First car was a 87 Buick GN and have owned nothing but GM cars since, but never a Cadillac. My wife is in love with the STS cars. Her last car was a 2006 Z06 but we are wanting the larger STS over the CTS. Of course I want the V8 sound and love the V series so I have been shopping but I have no idea how reliable these engines are. I've raced the Buick GN's for years and am capable of doing mechanical work on the but as my wife's daily driver I want something reliable. Her DD Tahoe has over 200k on the clock and has been passed on to our son.

    I have found one with about 80,000 miles on it. What should I be looking for? Is this car capable of 200k as well? Do these motors have any issues I should be afraid of our need to focus on when shopping. Any help or advice that can be offered is much appreciated. I love these cars and want to make sure I'm not getting into trouble . Making a well informed decision is my goal.

    Thanks again!!

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  3. #2
    wake's Avatar
    wake is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    Well, first off it is a Cadillac so it is going to be expensive to repair when things do go wrong.

    That being said, I purchased an 07 V last year with just under 80K miles on it, 94K on it as of this week and she runs like a new car. The only scary thing about the car is the engine itself. From what I could gather a new engine is $15K from GM.

    So far mine has been as reliable as I've come to expect from GM and I have no regrets buying it.

    When shopping for a V do as you would with any other used vehicle you purchased, make sure everything works and that you don't see any fluid leaks. At 80K miles mine cosmetically was perfect in and out, I'm hoping that translates to as good a care when it came to maintenance. I usually look at that as a good indicator when maintenance history isn't available. I figure if someone takes care of the part you can see then chances are they are taking care of the parts you can't see, I've rarely seen the opposite.

    BTW, I'm jealous! A GN as your first car? I'm a Buick fan as well, hoping to add a 70 GS (GSX clone) to my collection someday.

  4. #3
    Dustin11 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    Thanks for your input. I admit I'm a little nervous about the N* engine. My pick is a 05-07 CTS-V with the LS motor but she doesn't want to DD a manual trans. I'm also leary of the 3.6 CTS due to the timing chain issues. I have thought of just picking up an 09 or 10 CTS but I want to get input from owners first of what is the best way to go.

    I've owned several Buick GN's or T's. I still tune FAST XFI systems on many of them who are raced. My dad had a 67 GS but I do prefer the 70 body style. They are beautiful cars.

  5. #4
    rbzstsv is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Find one that's well taken care of and you will be fine.

  6. #5
    1madstsv's Avatar
    1madstsv is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    My 08 is for sale with only 12,800 miles on it. It's got a long to to go till 200k.
    Thunder gray and tango red. Very rare.

  7. #6
    torched10's Avatar
    torched10 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    Wheel bushings. At 50k. Had my gps replaced twice. Couldn't shift to park when turnng ignition off. So test several times to make sure it works ok. Otherwise love my 08

  8. #7
    06 STS Rob's Avatar
    06 STS Rob is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin11 View Post
    Thanks for your input. I admit I'm a little nervous about the N* engine. My pick is a 05-07 CTS-V with the LS motor
    This N* is nothing like the one with the bad rep. These are hand built, small bore, one of a kind engines that are only found in the STS & XLR V's. from everything I've been told, the engines are the last thing to worry about if left stock.
    One thing us STS guys are proud of I'd having Cadillac engines in our Cadillacs. Not just another LS car... Yes, this makes parts and tuning much harder to come by but it's pretty sweet having such a rare ride.[COLOR="Silver"]
    mjs182004 and ben.gators like this.

  9. #8
    Dustin11 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 06 STS Rob View Post
    This N* is nothing like the one with the bad rep. These are hand built, small bore, one of a kind engines that are only found in the STS & XLR V's. from everything I've been told, the engines are the last thing to worry about if left stock.
    One thing us STS guys are proud of I'd having Cadillac engines in our Cadillacs. Not just another LS car... Yes, this makes parts and tuning much harder to come by but it's pretty sweet having such a rare ride.[COLOR="Silver"]
    I did read where these are hand assembled just like the LS7. With my mechanical experience I always look at how complicated the engines are. As far as I can tell these are reliable engines when the oil is religiously changed. The cam phasers need clean oil. We are excited to find one not far from home and are planning to drive it today.

  10. #9
    Dustin11 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    I bought the 08 V today. It was at a local Toyota dealer that was traded in. Price was right in line with all others I've found online but they offered me a 24k 24 month warranty covering bumper to bumper and a lifetime warranty for anything that's lubricated as long as I own the car. Motor, trans, rear end and all bearing hubs are included. Fantastic car, drives as smooth as anything I've owned and I love the power it has.
    mjs182004 and Guy.Seminerio like this.

  11. #10
    Guy.Seminerio is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    Excellent. Congratulations. Make sure you hit up the STS-V registry thread so your car's info can be updated/added. Enjoy the car.

  12. #11
    parkeraire's Avatar
    parkeraire is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    congrats on your new car. I hope you will enjoy it for a long time.

  13. #12
    rbzstsv is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Well I'm going to need some photo evidence proving ownership
    Ludacrisvp likes this.

  14. #13
    CMNTMXR57 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 06 STS Rob View Post
    This N* is nothing like the one with the bad rep. These are hand built, small bore, one of a kind engines that are only found in the STS & XLR V's. from everything I've been told, the engines are the last thing to worry about if left stock.
    One thing us STS guys are proud of I'd having Cadillac engines in our Cadillacs. Not just another LS car... Yes, this makes parts and tuning much harder to come by but it's pretty sweet having such a rare ride.[COLOR="Silver"]
    What the hell is wrong with an LSx motor?

    And an FYI, you don't have a "Cadillac" engine in your car. You have a "GM Powertrain" engine in your car, which is the same as the LSx engine which is also a "GM Powertrain" engine. The N* isn't a Cadillac only engine. It has been used in Pontiac's (Bonneville GXP), and Buick's (Lucerne), too! The last time any engine in GM's portfolio was a division specific, privately owned engine, was probably the mid 80's and even that would be a stretch. Otherwise it would be the 70's.

    Back on point though, Northstars and or Derivatives like the Aurora V8, and the Shortstar are all subject to cam cover oil leaks, cam cover gaskets, freeze plug coolant leaking, water pump drive issues, and other little things. The one thing nice about it, which can be pretty much said for the LSx engine, is that it is a "modular" engine. Meaning that it is actually pretty easy to service and maintain as parts are remove and replace and they're simple parts (like a singular coil module that eliminates plug wires completely), wiring harnesses, etc... The issue is, this is a size 10 engine, and in the case of the FWD platforms true Northstars are, in a size 5 dress. This is where the cost comes in as labor on said combo can sometimes be a little higher. Early Northstars (long before anything we have), also had head stud issues along with warped heads/deck issues. That was mostly solved by late 90's early 2000's.

    The LC3 is nothing more than a Northstar in name. It is not the same Northstar as used on other applications (LD8's and LH2's). Yes, it is of very similar design and as such, subject to much of the same issues. Leaking cam covers, leaking VVT phaser covers, etc... and generally because it is a low volume, hand built engine, anything part is going to be costly and it is hit or miss in terms of labor in this RWD platform. Anything on the top passenger side, or front of the engine is difficult to work on. Anything on the drivers side, or from underneath, are fairly easy. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Personally, from years in a GM service department, I tend to shy away from any N* with 100k or more on it. It's not that it will fall apart at 100k, rather it just becomes more "needy" from thereon out. I know I've said that here before. And before all the hate mail/posts start coming, I know I'll see 50 posts going "well, I got 500k out of mine, you don't know what you're talking about..." Again, they still run, they're just typically more "needy". Couple that with a higher labor cost to feed their "needy" needs, I advise to go with caution. Personally at this point I would go with an LSx engine over it. They're common, parts are cheap, aftermarket support is infinite, and it's hard not to find any engine shop that doesn't have experience with GM's latest small block V8. Same can't be said with a N*.

  15. #14
    Dustin11 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbzstsv View Post
    Well I'm going to need some photo evidence proving ownership
    Let me see if this works. Black on Black.



    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CMNTMXR57 View Post
    What the hell is wrong with an LSx motor?

    And an FYI, you don't have a "Cadillac" engine in your car. You have a "GM Powertrain" engine in your car, which is the same as the LSx engine which is also a "GM Powertrain" engine. The N* isn't a Cadillac only engine. It has been used in Pontiac's (Bonneville GXP), and Buick's (Lucerne), too! The last time any engine in GM's portfolio was a division specific, privately owned engine, was probably the mid 80's and even that would be a stretch. Otherwise it would be the 70's.

    Back on point though, Northstars and or Derivatives like the Aurora V8, and the Shortstar are all subject to cam cover oil leaks, cam cover gaskets, freeze plug coolant leaking, water pump drive issues, and other little things. The one thing nice about it, which can be pretty much said for the LSx engine, is that it is a "modular" engine. Meaning that it is actually pretty easy to service and maintain as parts are remove and replace and they're simple parts (like a singular coil module that eliminates plug wires completely), wiring harnesses, etc... The issue is, this is a size 10 engine, and in the case of the FWD platforms true Northstars are, in a size 5 dress. This is where the cost comes in as labor on said combo can sometimes be a little higher. Early Northstars (long before anything we have), also had head stud issues along with warped heads/deck issues. That was mostly solved by late 90's early 2000's.

    The LC3 is nothing more than a Northstar in name. It is not the same Northstar as used on other applications (LD8's and LH2's). Yes, it is of very similar design and as such, subject to much of the same issues. Leaking cam covers, leaking VVT phaser covers, etc... and generally because it is a low volume, hand built engine, anything part is going to be costly and it is hit or miss in terms of labor in this RWD platform. Anything on the top passenger side, or front of the engine is difficult to work on. Anything on the drivers side, or from underneath, are fairly easy. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Personally, from years in a GM service department, I tend to shy away from any N* with 100k or more on it. It's not that it will fall apart at 100k, rather it just becomes more "needy" from thereon out. I know I've said that here before. And before all the hate mail/posts start coming, I know I'll see 50 posts going "well, I got 500k out of mine, you don't know what you're talking about..." Again, they still run, they're just typically more "needy". Couple that with a higher labor cost to feed their "needy" needs, I advise to go with caution. Personally at this point I would go with an LSx engine over it. They're common, parts are cheap, aftermarket support is infinite, and it's hard not to find any engine shop that doesn't have experience with GM's latest small block V8. Same can't be said with a N*.
    The LS is hard to beat. I would love to have an 09+ CTS-V but I'm over the car payment thing. My wife's last car was a 10,000 mile C6 Z06. Had to sell it for insurance reasons with a new driver in the house. I plan to drive cars until the wheels fall off so having a reliable foundation is what I look for. With this warranty offer I have on this V it was hard to pass up. I just have to do my part and let the local service department handle the oil changes and regular maintenance. So far I really enjoy this car.
    mjs182004 and theotherguyssn like this.

  16. #15
    CMNTMXR57 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: New member needing advice on purchase.

    It is a great car.

    Since I have kids, I needed the bigger backseat than a CTS offers. So I told the Wife I was sacrificing performance to accomodate the kids.

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