Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Questions about a 1992 STS purchase. in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hello everyone, Please forgive me if this is posted in the wrong place, but I am considering the purchase of ...
  1. #1
    Cobrajet25 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    Hello everyone,

    Please forgive me if this is posted in the wrong place, but I am considering the purchase of a 1992 STS and was wondering if you might be able to offer me some pointers on trouble areas and what to look out for.

    The car has 108k, and was purchased new for just over $43,000 in Seattle by a lady named Susan. Susan traded in a 1990 Allante on it! She LOVED this car, and owned/drove it for 24 years. When she died in 2016, the car was willed to her good friend/caregiver. He loved it as much as she did. He recently passed away as well, and his son has no use for the car. That is where I come in.

    Here she is...





    I think this car is GORGEOUS, and worth the $2,600 price tag. There is barely a mark on the thing! But I am happy to be corrected. Thoughts? Concerns? Advice? Problem areas? I noticed when poking around under the hood that the serpentine belt tensioner is making noise. I also noticed a Jasper Transmission tag on the front of the transmission case, suggesting a reman, but I don't know when. Carfax is good, but not perfect. It does show a lot of dealership maintenance, and the current owner has a folder full of stuff his dad had done at indy mechanics over the last few years. There is a $900 write-up from a mechanic suggesting the rear struts may need to be replaced (the rear end did feel a little jumpy on the test drive). The only warning I recall seeing in the instrument cluster is "Low Refrigerant: Service AC Soon". It does blow cold. All of the electrical do-dads I tried worked, but I doubt I tried them all. The parking brake pedal, which I was told is supposed to release itself when the car is shifted into drive, doesn't come back up.

    Car drove quite well, shifted smoothly, and seemed to have plenty of grunt.

    This will be my first Cadillac, should I purchase it. As such, any advice would be welcome, and most appreciated. Thank you!

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  3. #2
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, install a sound system
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    Welcome Aboard !!!

    Nice looking car; bring money. Old Cadillacs are cheap to buy and scary expensive to maintain - and that car is very close to 28 model years old

    The reman transmission is probably OK for the car's age - hard to say what caused the switch. The rear shocks (front struts) are active suspension control types. They incorporate rear level control air bladders and an air compressor system - it is NOT "air ride" - it's level control for extra weight in the trunk or rear seat. $$$. The parking brake release is a vacuum diaphragm affair that uses part of the HVAC stack door control vacuum - either the diaphragm is ruptured, the hose(s) are rotted, or the vacuum source (usually from the passenger end of the intake manifold) is leaking/disconnected. Low refrigerant - a 1992 should use r134a, so a decent A/C shop could get it going for a few hundred $.How old are the tires? Over 5 years - it's tire time.

    A 1992 STS is not "worth" $2600. $1500 - $2000 maybe.

    You have a TON of homework to do in here (Seville) and in Engines; Northstar or 4.9.

    Look at parts pricing in www.rockauto.com. What's built into THAT car is in the codes on the sticker under the spare tire cover. Google "1992 cadillac rpo code list" to decipher those codes. An online GM/Cadillac service manual is in www/.alldatadiy.com.

  4. #3
    Harry Yarnell is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    Was '02 the first year for the Northstar in an STS?

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    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is offline Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Yarnell View Post
    Was '02 the first year for the Northstar in an STS?
    =================================
    no - the 1992 still ran the 4.9 motor -
    the first year for the Northstar was 1993

  6. #5
    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is offline Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    I have one question for you - how deep are your pockets?

    you are dealing with a 27 year old car with over 100,000 miles on it -
    maintenance and repairs are based on a $45,000 car -
    NOT a $2000 used car -

    no matter how well maintained the car is -
    anything that has NOT been replaced is probably overdue -

    struts - shocks - brakes - hoses - belts - fluids - etc are all the easy parts -
    control arm bushings - sway bar bushings - cradle insulators -
    and other rubber suspension parts are the harder/more expensive parts to replace -

    the BEST thing about this car is that is has the 4.9 motor -
    one of the very BEST Motors Cadillac ever produced -

  7. #6
    Cobrajet25 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    Thanks, everyone! As far as 'deep pockets', I make good money. I have also been turning my own wrenches since I was about 12 years old, and I was 12 before this car was even built.

    I am not scared of working on it, and I have tools. But am worried about some electronic module going out that was hideously expensive when new and is basically 'unobtainium' now. As for the tires, they are near-new Goodyears. It is an R12 system, according to the sticker under the hood.

    I am not really concerned about bringing the car back to as-new condition. I really just want a comfortable, relatively inexpensive, reliable, good looking car to occasionally drive 60 miles to see my dad at the Veteran's Home. Carfax says it had a 60k service done at the dealership, as well as a 75k service. It also got a maintenance inspection at 84k and again at 87k. The last person to drive the car regularly...the 'caregiver'...has lots of records of things that were done in the past few years, totaling over $7,000.

    Anyone here think this car will fit the bill, or should I try to find a '90s Lexus?

  8. #7
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, install a sound system
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    Given the previous caveats and your situation/ past wrenching experience, I would buy the car and enjoy it. The world is full of junkyards and car parts - the 4.9 is a tough engine to start with............ www.car-part.com, www.cadillacheaven.com.

    It will be fun and commented on, but once in a while (as in any other car) you'll have something pop up that makes you tear your hair out. The 60 mile trips will be better for the drivetrain than a short hop to the grocery store and back.

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    cadillac_al2 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    It's a fine car that has been taken care of but it still needs a little work. Knowing that, I think it would be a nice buy at around $2k but if you love it, it might not be worth haggling over a few hundred bucks.

  10. #9
    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is offline Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobrajet25 View Post
    Thanks, everyone! As far as 'deep pockets', I make good money. I have also been turning my own wrenches since I was about 12 years old, and I was 12 before this car was even built.

    I am not scared of working on it, and I have tools. But am worried about some electronic module going out that was hideously expensive when new and is basically 'unobtainium' now. As for the tires, they are near-new Goodyears. It is an R12 system, according to the sticker under the hood.

    I am not really concerned about bringing the car back to as-new condition. I really just want a comfortable, relatively inexpensive, reliable, good looking car to occasionally drive 60 miles to see my dad at the Veteran's Home. Carfax says it had a 60k service done at the dealership, as well as a 75k service. It also got a maintenance inspection at 84k and again at 87k. The last person to drive the car regularly...the 'caregiver'...has lots of records of things that were done in the past few years, totaling over $7,000.

    Anyone here think this car will fit the bill, or should I try to find a '90s Lexus?
    =============================
    with your background - I'd say GO FOR IT -

    you're gonna need the FSM - Factory Service Manual - and I just found a KILLER DEAL for you -
    $10 - with free shipping -
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1992-Cadill...QAAOSwaANcud6N

  11. #10
    92WHTSTS's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by basscatt View Post
    =============================
    with your background - I'd say GO FOR IT -

    you're gonna need the FSM - Factory Service Manual - and I just found a KILLER DEAL for you -
    $10 - with free shipping -
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1992-Cadill...QAAOSwaANcud6N

    Nice segway Basscat….

  12. #11
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, install a sound system
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.

    basscatt likes this.

  13. #12
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    Re: Questions about a 1992 STS purchase.


    Thanks for the correction.

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