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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings Forum,

I am looking to buy a 2000-2002 Deville, DHS, or DTS with over 100k. I would like to hear from anyone that has a Deville with over 100k. I would like to know what problems were encountered over 100k. Also, I would like to know if anyone believes the Deville is reliable after 100k.

In my life, I have only owned Toyota cars (4Runner and Camry) and these cars are reliable up to 250k with only oil change and some maintenence. I expect to have to pay out some money but I trying to figure out if an entire Northstar engine, transmission, and other big items will be needed after 100k. I expect to drive this vehicle occassionally.
 

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2007 SRX
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I purchased a '97 DeVille (Northstar) a little over 3 years ago with 105K on the clock. I sold it last month with 175K. During this time, I spent just under $3000.00 on repairs, with the biggest ticket item being an AC compressor (almost $1500.00 dealer supplied and installed). So, overall, this car had very low maintenance costs, in my opinion. They would have been higher, but thanks to this board, I was able to handle many of the minor repairs myself. Some research of the archives will verify that the Northstar will run forever, as long as the cooling system is properly and regularly maintained. The hard part is finding a 100K car with a regular service history that you can track. I have replaced my '97 with a 2001 DTS with 77K on it, and I plan on also keeping it for 3 years or so and getting it up over 150K. Aside from some steering problems that I have been unable to properly diagnose and rectify, the drivetrain has been great.
 

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01 Eldo ETC, 02 Deville SOLD!
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I bought my '02 Deville in late October 2004, it had ~80K miles on it, had been leased by a NJ state senator. It was in pretty good shape overall, the back seat had never been sat in, it appeared. Paid $15,500.00
I put Pads and Rotors on all around from Meineke ~$700
Last spring we had the AC Compressor and other parts replaced, mostly warranty coverage except for some parts that are considered "wear and tear", ~$650
A Couple of oil changes, and ~1 quart every 1500 miles or so.
New wiper blades.
Car has 124,500 miles on it now, thus about ~42K miles in one year. Mostly highway driving, my fiancee uses it for work, so she drives from Salem to Princeton, and Bayside, Long Island on a regular basis, and all around north Jersey. Her employer pays for gas. (one benefit of working for a petroleum company..lol)
So, $1500 in "repairs" divide by 44K miles leave us with about 3.4 cents per mile. I can't complain. She gets 21.4 mpg overall.
I WOULD recommend an extended warranty - not so much because things go wrong, but when/if they do, the $$$ can mount up real fast. When I bought the car, the B to B warranty added $1200. The A/C repairs would have more than eaten that up.
Later this year, we'll probably be looking for a replacement for it, depending on how things go. I'm actually almost hoping for something to go wrong, so the warranty coverage can do some more good. It runs out at 135K miles... lol

Oh, yeah - your last line:

I expect to drive this vehicle occasionnally.
Not good. Drive the heck out of it. It'll last much longer. If you search some of the archives here, you'll find that the N* loves to be driven, and driven hard. Babying a Caddy around town at 30MPH is not what she wants to do. Both my Deville and the Eldo get at least weekly, if not bi-weekly, hard, full throttle run ups from 50 to 80mph and a dozen or so miles of good 75+ cruising on the freeway. Last week I got the Eldo to 120+ (shhhhhhhhh) on a nice, long, straight, dry, farm country road out the middle of nowhere, before I ran out of road.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Terry, this was very helpful. I will look into what others have to say about problems with the AC compressor.

I really like the DTS, also. The only difference is the powerful engine and the fog lights in the front. If the standard Deville and DHS had the fog lights, I would not be stuck on the DTS as much.

What kind of steering problems do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Jim for your comments. It sounds like your wife drives as much as I drive. I travel about 80 to 100 miles a day. I bought my current car in 2002 with 8 miles on it and it now has 98,000. I drive the heck out of my cars and it would not be a problem to get the juices going in this ride. It seems like the AC Compressor is an issue.

What company do you recommend for the extended warranty?

So, later this year you and your wife will be looking for a replacement for DTS?
 

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Re: Warranty - I had one from Continental on my '99, it paid for itself. I forget where the one on the '02 is from, sorry. The '01 Eldo got GMPP from the dealer where I bought it. There are a lot of after market warranty companies out there, do a Google and you'll find dozens. Just takes a bit of research. There are even a couple of warranty-review sites.

Oddly enough, I had the AC system replaced on my '99 at about 40K miles, under warranty. The '02 needed it at 110K. So far so good in the Eldo...:)

Coolant maintenance is the big thing with Northstars - they must be kept up. Lots of info in the archives here.

It looks like you may be a new member here, I'd suggest you devote a day or so to absorbing the tremendous amount of information available on the site. There are a couple of dozen guys here who really know what they're talking about. One thing to remember though, is that it might seem by reading posts here that everyone has problems with their Caddys - but remember that we are a tiny, tiny segment of the overall Caddy owners population, and people tend to find this forum when they have a problem - there are dozens of millions of Caddys on the road with very few problems, and their owners aren't represented here. So keep that in mind.

Until a few months ago, there was a highly respected Cadillac Northstar engineer on the forum who provided volumes of useful information on the cars - much of the technical archive info came from him.

The basic rules are : Check oil and coolant levels one a week. Keep an eye on little things like hose connections and outer-engine gasket seals (e.g. water pump, etc). Don't put anything else in the gas tank but gasoline. Don't put anything else in the oil filler except Oil. Drive it hard.
Use OEM replacement parts (e.g. AC Delco plugs, etc). The transmission is damn near bulletproof. If you get an '01 or '02, check to see if the Crank Sensors were replaced, if they were in the model VIN ranges suggested by the TSB. Get a Factory Service Manual if you want to play with it yourself. Haynes/Chilton are junk. And overall, absorb as much as you can from this forum. Become a contributing member and help keep the Dream Alive.. :)
 

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Dr. WEJ, I didn't mention in my initial post that I actually had to replace the AC compressor twice in less than a year, but the second time it was under warranty. I don't know if there is a chronic problem with these AC Delco units or not. The initial replacement was somewhat noisy right out of the box, and I finally took it back to the dealership after about 8 months to have them listen to it, and they confirmed that it was self destructing.

Regarding my front end problems, I don't mean to suggest that this is a cause for concern on these cars. Mine was in a front end collision before I bought it, so my current issue may be related to that. I have about an inch of play in my steering wheel before steering input translates to front wheel movement. One dealership did a four wheel alignment, and indicated that the rt front hub had some play in it. Due to general disatsifaction with this dealer on how they handled some other repairs, I went to a second Caddy dealership to have them diagnose the steering problem. They replaced the power steering pump and the steering gear at a cost of $1500.00, and there is no improvement in the steering. They also mentioned the play in the rf hub but did not replace it. I will have the hub replaced in January, but don't see how one worn hub translates to steering wheel play to both front wheels. Some on this board have suggested that the steering is more sensitive in a DTS and requires constant steering corrections as you drive down the road, but I have had other Cadillac owners drive this car and they all feel something is not right. Now that I have purchased the 3 book GM shop manual, I have found a myriad of possible issues listed that could cause my symptoms, all being in the steering column and shaft. My perception is that some of these dealership mechanics are too quick to diagnose problems and replace parts that they have a comfort level with, and then when it doesn't solve the problem, they will say that the parts needed replacing anyway. When I picked up the car from the last repair, it was showing a "service suspension system" message on the DIC which wasn't there when I took it in. I pulled the codes and there was a current RSS C0615 code. I made a u-turn and went back to the dealership. The mechanic denied responsibility and said that the solvent he used to clean the cv joint grease off the sensor must have caused a temporary short. He had me clear the code, and when it didn't come back on, he said it looks like it is "fixed." Of course it didn't come back on, the car was sitting still and the code was suspension related! DUH!!! And this guy is a front end specialist? As soon as I drove the car again to the end of the dealership driveway with the suspension "active," the code and message set, again. I drove the car home, put it up on ramps, and found out he had forgotten to reconnect one of the sensors when he replaced the rack. I will try a third dealership next month and make another attempt to get this problem properly diagnosed and repaired. Sorry to get off topic, I get a little frustrated over this!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello Terry, I was referring to the AC Compressor when I stated that this seems like a concern for these cars. As far as going off topic, I appreciate you sharing your experience. This is helpful because each time I test drive one, I going to look out for the things mentioned in this thread and throughout the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello Jim, I will definitely conduct a google search for Warranty programs.

Also, good point about the ratio of the cadillac forum to owner population.

Yes, I am a new member and I have been reviewing many threads before starting this one. So far, they have been bery informative.

Thanks for the basic rules! I have a couple of questions:
Will it be easy for me to view the hose connections and outer-engine gasket seals (e.g. water pump, etc)? Do I need special tools to keep an eye on these items?
 

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The water pump is on the front right side of the engine, as you look at it from the front of the hood. Can't miss it, there should be a largeish radiator hose going into it. The other rad hoses are easy to see and find.
After I got my Eldo, I switched out all the factory installed pressure clamps for double screw-type clamps on every hose I could see. Some people like the plier-type clamps, but I prefer the screw types. Especially doubled. My Eldo doesn't drip a drop of anything.
Probably the best thing to do is park the engine over a large piece of cardboard overnight (unless you have a good clean garage floor or something) to test and see if you have any drips. I did this with both the cars soon after I bought them, and found a couple of coolant drips that required a bit of a tighten.
Keep an eye on the nipple on the expansion tank where the hose comes out and leads over to the intake manifold area. This is a weak spot, sometimes the land where the nipple meets the tank develops a slight crack that only blows out coolant when the engine is hot - my 99 developed this, and required a new expansion tank.
Some caddy owners have experienced the semi-dreaded "half-case leak", which I believe is a leak between the upper and lower halves of the engine. It is not an easy fix, unfortunately. Others have mentioned slight oil drips here and there, which, so long as they don't turn in to a torrent or begin to resemble a pelican near the Exxon Valdiz, are probably not worth the expense to track them down and repair.
Generally, I just keep an eye on things. The engine bay is not exactly what you'd call 'wide open', so sometimes it's a matter of peering down and around and under things - but after a while you get to know where to look...
Obviously, coolant leaks are easy to discover - not always easy to find. Oil levels dropping could be normal (as you've discovered if you've read the archives about N* oil use), could be a leak. Only the eyeball test will tell.
Good luck and keep us informed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jim, what do you think about the 2000 Deville model year in regards to purchasing? I always heard that a buyer should never purchase the first or last year of a model series. For example, let's discuss the 2000-2005 Deville. It isn't wise to purchase from the 2000 model year because all of the "kinks" have not been worked out. It isn't wise to purchase 2005 model year because all of the attention was put into the 2006 model during 2005. So, anyone purchasing a 2000-2005 model Deville should purchase 2001-2004. Out of the four years, it would be wise to purchase a 2002 or 2003. 2002 is a good choice because all of the "kinks" from 2000 should be worked out. 2003 is good because it is right before they start adding more equipment before model phase-out.

I read this in an automotive magazine years ago. Since then, I have heard people talk about not purchasing the first model year but not many referencing the last model year.

I haven't heard to many members discuss issues with their 2000 so I am interested to hear what owners of the 2000 model year have to say. By the way, I know you are not an owner of 2000.
 

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:hmm:

Gosh Doc, I don't really know - I remember that old saw about not buying the first year of any new model either, I think it germinated in about 1955 or so...as well as the "Don't buy a car made on Fridays or Mondays because that's when plant absenteeism leads to temporary workers putting coke bottles in the doors and half-tightening all the screws" - I'm not sure that it's just one of those barely-based-in-truth old wives tales, or actually backed up by statistical evidence. I suspect the former.

I'd suspect that there shouldn't be too/b] much to worry about. If the car has a documented service history, and the miles are commensurate with the age, and the price is fair, there's not much more you can do other than cross your fingers. Which is true with anything, really.

My feelings on extended warranties are well documented in this forum. Depending on your particular circumstances, a warranty, if available, could be a worthwhile item.
 

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DoctorWEJ said:
I haven't heard to many members discuss issues with their 2000 so I am interested to hear what owners of the 2000 model year have to say. By the way, I know you are not an owner of 2000.
I have ran into the following with my 2000 DHS:

Driver's side heated seat (elements are bad).
Center/Right air vent, the wheel that closes the vent will not stay open when air is blowing.
Heater/AC Fan making noise when on speed two or greater. Especially
when turning (g forces on the fan).
Load leveler activates to often. Possible leak in one of the lines.
Rear vent (for the back seats) does not blow warm air when heater
is on. Will cold air work?
Passenger front seat lumbar only goes up and down. Forward and reverse
on the switch does not work.
Dash is starting to curl up on the edges.

I bought it with 92,000 miles. Previous ower had the water pump replaced at
around 40,000 miles I think. Crankshaft sensors replaced as well. I think if
you get a 2000 model with 90k+ miles your getting one with most of the
expensive bugs worked out. The things I listed could happen to any model
year.
 

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DoctorWEJ said:
I really like the DTS, also. The only difference is the powerful engine and the fog lights in the front. If the standard Deville and DHS had the fog lights, I would not be stuck on the DTS as much.
Don't forget these things:

DTS-specific:
- perforated, stiffer leather
- bucket seats
- console (floor) shifter
- standard StabiliTrak
- 17" wheels
- really cool analog gauges

DHS/DTS:
- real wood (base Deville is plastic)
- tire pressure monitors (2001+)

Jim
 

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i have a 2000 DTS with 93K on it. Had it for many miles. No problems at all yet except for a window motor. I also ahve the curling dash. If you get meguiars dash trim foam, and use that it will block out the UV rays that amke it curl. That shoiuldnt have happened if the prev owners cleaned the car more often. Great car, buy one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys, this has been helpful. As some of you know, I am stuck on getting white Cadillac Deville DTS with NightVision. By the way, navigation would be great, too!

Anyway, I found this 2000 DTS without NightVision and Navigation with 68K for $13,500. I had JoCan run the Carfax and it came up clean. The car had two owners. One in January 2001 and the second in 2004. At $13.5, this appears to be a deal that I should not pass up. Based on the archives, I should have the dealer run the detailed maintenance reports. This car is being sold by a Ford dealership so I believe I have to go to a GM or Cadillac dealer for the detailed reports...right?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Jim, you are correct. I didn't forget about the other items; I just didn't mention them. I love the DTS rims just like the 1995 Eldorado rims. I can't forget the wood shifter. There is too much to name. If the standard Deville and DHS had the foglights, I would just add the DTS rims and call it a day.
 

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JIm Hare

I am interested in hearing more about your reply to this thread.


Am I understanding the reply about replacing the orig factory plier type
HOSE CLAMPS w DOUBLE SCREW THREAD types to mean that the lower hose on your eldo would have two screw clamp types side by side at each end for a total of FOUR clamps on the single lower hose? Please clarify.

Additionally do you think an owner could resell his Deville for a little more money if he had a separate COOLING SERVICE LOG to substantiate regular quality maintenance?
 
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