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2003 Deville
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I bought my first Cadillac 6 weeks ago. Before purchasing I read all the reviews on the vehicle and studied the Carfax. Very little milage was accrued yearly, 2,000 miles or less, and the Caddy lived in Florida. (All maintenance was done in Florida. The first owners had it regularly maintained and this was their 8th Cadillac.
I bought from a dealer that advertised as “Outstanding condition inside, outside and underneath.” She does look like new. There’s hardly a ding to be found and interior leather is mint. After having the Caddy for about 2 weeks, I started seeing spots on the pavement of my driveway. I was putting oil in about every 200 miles. She’s not burning it but is leaking. Two weeks ago, while on a trip to Maine, the power steering went and I couldn’t steer. My husband drove an hour to rescue me and brought power steering fluid. He put two quarts in and it just ran out pooling behind the driver’s side front tire. It was towed back.
My mechanic says that the power steering rack is junk, that he believes the rear main seal needs to be replaced and that the tie rod ends are dry rotted and busted open. I called the dealer where I bought the car and he asked me to get it towed to them and their garage which I did. Their “certified mechanic” isn’t looking at the oil leak, he says, “It’s an old car and oil leaks are expected.” He said that the tie rid ends “are not an inspection issue.” The dealer did offer me shared cost of a rack and labor to install. They’ve had it 2 weeks now and still haven’t started the repair. The mechanic said that the junkyard is waiting on someone to take the rack out. I didn’t feel comfortable with a part from a salvage yard so I offered to purchase a certified rebuilt with a warranty but he declined. The cost of this repair is quoted as $514.
My Caddy is an 03 DeVille with 118,000. I want to know do I keep putting money in or get out? I really do enjoy her but I am concerned about reliability. What should I be looking at replacing, monitoring, upgrading next? I would greatly appreciate guidance and am thankful for other’s expertise. Thank you in advance!
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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70,670 Posts
A 2003 anything is about 17 years old. 118,000 is high mileage. Cadillacs are not inexpensive to maintain.

Steering tie rod ends ARE an "inspection issue". So is the rack/leaks itself.

Some - not all - Northstars drip oil and that can be from any of 8 or 10 sources with the fix expense set by what/where the leak really is. If it is the rear main, bring lots of money - time and parts and labor.

You need to either get out NOW or find a good, local, reliable Mom & Pop shop.
 

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92 Fleetwood 2dr cpe - FWD, 96 Seville SLS, 02 Seville
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1,016 Posts
Sounds like a car that sat for 8-10 months a year waiting for winter birds. Probably need to change all things rubber.
 

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'93 Regal coupe ('91 Fltwd coupe previously)
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434 Posts
I wouldn't nessisarily "get out now;" would still be cheaper to own than to make bi-weekly payments on a new car that is only going to depreciate in value.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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70,670 Posts
Considering that a dealership would charge about $1800.00 to replace a rear main crank seal? Parts and labor. No other necessary repairs included. The dealership steering rack is close to $700 + 3.3 hours to replace - $1100.00.

Northstar problems are hideously expensive to cure - a bit less so at a local trusted shop.

Note that the OP is not a wrencher or gearhead.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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20,097 Posts
you are getting SCREWED!
I would get the car towed to a local - family-owned independent shop - ASAP

a genuine ACDelco 36R0412 reman steering rack - including inner tie rods - is $212.78 - including shipping - and a $75 core charge - which you get back - from rockauto.com -

as for the oil leak - THAT gets expensive - BUT you won't worry about it ever again -
I had a complete reseal done - including the head gaskets - for around $2000 -
Midwest Cadillac Repair in Palatine Illinois -


 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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70,670 Posts
Kicker is, she's in or near the east side of New Hampshire. Long truck haul to Palatine. Long haul to Jake's shop in London, Ontario.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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20,097 Posts
Kicker is, she's in or near the east side of New Hampshire. Long truck haul to Palatine. Long haul to Jake's shop in London, Ontario.
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true - but they aren't the only ones qualified to do the job -
Ron93 had his HG job done by someone in New York -
 

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2003 Deville
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to comment. I realize it’s an older vehicle and was anticipating having to replace some parts. What I didn’t anticipate was having so much so quickly. She did come with a power train warranty through October but the dealer and their mechanic tells me that none of these issues is under warranty. Based on reviews I read both here and elsewhere, I felt confident that with a little attention I would have a vehicle ready for another 100k miles. When I finally get her back home, were going into week 3, I may have a mom and pop type garage take a look at her and go from there. Or may have to part with her. I teach and have to have reliable transportation. Btw, my previous vehicle was a 2014 Jeep JKU which I loved but because my husband has a JK we decided we shouldn’t have two. One off road rig is enough to put money into. ?
 

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2000 Deville Base, 2019 Corvette Grand Sport
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1,122 Posts
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true - but they aren't the only ones qualified to do the job -
Ron93 had his HG job done by someone in New York -
Actually Pottsville PA. Highly recommended Northstar mechanic.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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70,670 Posts
I hate to say this, but you would be much better off with a Ford Panther model - Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, Town Car.

There's a good reason that many, many State Police and County Sheriffs drive/drove them - instead of a Deville.
 

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2000 Deville Base, 2019 Corvette Grand Sport
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1,122 Posts
I hate to say this, but you would be much better off with a Ford Panther model - Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, Town Car.

There's a good reason that many, many State Police and County Sheriffs drive/drove them - instead of a Deville.
Oh I totally agree. Me personally I think they are better than a Deville in every way. I had two Grand Marguis in the past and they rode and drove great. The only reason I went Deville after awhile for my second car (EVERYDAY DRIVER) was because they are front wheel drive and I need them to better navigate thru snow. Having two rear wheel drive cars now is not a option (my Corvette being the other one)
 

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Super Moderator
2003 Deville Base
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5,318 Posts
Oh I totally agree. Me personally I think they are better than a Deville in every way. I had two Grand Marguis in the past and they rode and drove great. The only reason I went Deville after awhile for my second car (EVERYDAY DRIVER) was because they are front wheel drive and I need them to better navigate thru snow. Having two rear wheel drive cars now is not a option (my Corvette being the other one)
I agree as well. My wife drives the MGM and loves it. Because there were so many Panther platforms built, I imagine parts will be available for years to come. Hard to compare the Deville and the Mercury as they are two very different cars.
 

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92 Fleetwood 2dr cpe - FWD, 96 Seville SLS, 02 Seville
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1,016 Posts
. . . She did come with a power train warranty through October but the dealer and their mechanic tells me that none of these issues is under warranty. . .




Hmmm, (consulting corruption, shade tree mechanic, beer drinking hat on) Run it until oil leaks out and engine fails, then claim warranty?
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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20,097 Posts
. . . She did come with a power train warranty through October but the dealer and their mechanic tells me that none of these issues is under warranty. . .




Hmmm, (consulting corruption, shade tree mechanic, beer drinking hat on) Run it until oil leaks out and engine fails, then claim warranty?
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Run it until oil leaks out and engine fails, then claim warranty?
NOPE - that's considered neglect - VOIDS the warranty = NOT COVERED -
 

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92 Fleetwood 2dr cpe - FWD, 96 Seville SLS, 02 Seville
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1,016 Posts
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Run it until oil leaks out and engine fails, then claim warranty?
NOPE - that's considered neglect - VOIDS the warranty = NOT COVERED -
Yep, neglect clause.

Trying to figure a way to get them to honor a warranty. Probably need to read the fine print on the warranty.

Problems with the used car world. Old cars are not worth the legal fees to sue on, so the contract problems just get worse over time.
 

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2003 Deville
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
is the car being used for daily dependable transportation?? if yes then i,d buy a new car
. . . She did come with a power train warranty through October but the dealer and their mechanic tells me that none of these issues is under warranty. . .




Hmmm, (consulting corruption, shade tree mechanic, beer drinking hat on) Run it until oil leaks out and engine fails, then claim warranty?
I could have easily ran it out of oil because it leaked so much. I drove to Rhode Island and on the way back checked it on a whim. I had to put 1.5 qts in.
 

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2003 Deville
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Yep, neglect clause.

Trying to figure a way to get them to honor a warranty. Probably need to read the fine print on the warranty.

Problems with the used car world. Old cars are not worth the legal fees to sue on, so the contract problems just get worse over time.
I just want the dealer to stand behind their advertisement. If a vehicle is in “Outstanding condition inside, outside and underneath,” wouldn’t that imply zero mechanical
Defects?
 

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92 Fleetwood 2dr cpe - FWD, 96 Seville SLS, 02 Seville
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1,016 Posts
(Legal hat on)

They claimed the rear main seal is a maintenance item.

Courtroom questions:

Where in the factory recommended owner manual does it show the rear main seal is to be replaced?

If the seal tore, making all oil in 5 minutes causing the engine to blow, would it be covered?

What if that happened on a 2019 vehicle purchased new? Would the seal be considered a maintenance item then? What if it was installed incorrectly at the factory?

A rear main seal is in a protected environment, ie no sticks, rocks etc? If kept lubricated, they should last the life of the engine.

Bearings are installed in a protected environment as well? If a bearing failed on a new car, the engine would be repaired under warranty, yes?

An oil pump is used to ensure oil is being circulated. If it failed, it would be repaired under warranty, yes?

An oil seal is used to keep from leaking, ensuring oil is available for circulation. Why should it be treated differently under warranty?

If the oil seal is to replaced regularly, then every seal should identified to the owner to ensure they are replaced regularly. Are front seals, head gaskets, valve cover gaskets, camshaft seals all listed as regularly scheduled replaceable items?

Please list the regularly scheduled replaceable items here. . .

(Legal hat off)
 
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