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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!! I've been browsing this site for a while now and I finally registered because I am SERIOUSLY considering purchasing a 2000-2005 DTS or DHS within a month of two and could use all the knowledge I've witnessed on this site. I absolutely love this/these Cadillac models and want one real bad. My budget is up to $16,000 and no more than 70,000 miles. With that being said, the DTS/DHS is my absolute number one choice (DeVille is not an option), but if it is going to be a headache as I'm perceiving, I would rather go with a Chrysler 300 or a Nissan Maxima.

I like the DHS because of the luxurious qualities. More chrome on the exterior, the plush "gathered" leather interior, the rear shades, vanity mirrors, wood on the back of the front seats...basically a bunch of sexy extras.

I like the DTS because it's looks are so fundamental and it's more "sporty". More HP, solid body color (the grille is same as body color and it doesn't have that gray thing underneath the rocker panels), I love the center shifter with wood accents, etc.

So what I'm asking from the members of this board is that they do me a HUGE favor and inundate this thread with all the relevant information a noob could use to the 2000-2005 DTS/DHS. Such as the differences between the DTS and DHS (I know i missed some, but I'm new). And then the typical problems of this model of Cadillac. I have read horror stories involving the head gaskets on these bad boys and I would like to know as much as possible as to what exactly I'm getting into if I do decide to purchase this vehicle(s).

Any and all help/info will be GREATLY appreciated. To reiterate, I LOVE the DTS and DHS and my decision between the two will most likely come down to what type of ride I desire most (the sporty or the cruiser). But please, help me in my transition into joining the Cadillac fraternity.

Thanks in advance.
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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1,300 Posts
Supposedly the headgasket issue was fixed on 03's and up. It may sound nuts, but I would buy a cheaper, higher mileage car, and replace the engine. Service records will give you some peace of mind, if the coolant was changed religously. The DHS is more of a luxury oriented model, softer suspension, tick less power, column shifter. The best way to decide which you like better is to drive a dhs and a dts back to back. Repairs and parts are far far far from cheap, at least compared to a maxima. BTW my friend has a 95 maxima, 227000 miles, NO major repairs. The engine in the maxima has cosistenly been ranked one of the best in the world and is in almost every nissan/infiniti. Just my two cents.
 

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2010 DTS
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87,559 Posts
It comes down to your persaonal choice. Luxury (DHS) or performance (DTS). My choice was obvious. The only thing I would like (and am trying to find) is the console & floor shifter. DHS will get slightly better milage and ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
misfit6794: "supposedly" on the head gasket issue is a big variable, anywhere I can research that for the 03's? What exactly do you mean religiously? what type of repair associated costs can I expect? thanks for the info though.

I agree with you Ranger, if I do decide to go with the 'llac, then I will most definately test drive the DTS and DHS and see which one I like more.

I really want this car and I would like to know if it's reliable enough to last me at least 2 years (while I'm in school) with just the regular upkeep (brakes, oils, etc.).

My options as of now, based on some research are:
1)2000-2005 Cadillac DHS/DTS (I LOVE IT!!!)
2)2004-2006 Nissan Maxima (those gawdam Japs make a nice car)
3)2005-2007 Chrysler 300 (I've heard that the German engineering has helped but I don't want to drive what everybody else is driving)
4)2002-2007 Mercury Grand Marquise (love the exterior, but interior looks like trash)

So any more info on this Cadillac will be greatly appreciated.
 

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2010 DTS
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There where up grades made to the Northstar in 2000, one of which was lengthened head bolts and a different thread pitch. It helps with the head gaskest issue, but no aluminum engine is immuned. I am not sure what Misfit is refering to on '03. Perhaps there where changes then too that I am unaware of.

By religously, he means at very least, every 5 yrs per the manual (or sooner). If by "repair associated cost" you mean head gaskets, $3000 if they fail.

Generally speaking, they are very reliable with proper maintenance. That said, there is an exception to every rule. If the Caddy is what you really want, find a nice well maintained one and go for it. You won't be sorry.
 

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95 Fleetwood Brougham / 01 DTS / 11 CTS Lux / 11 DTS Platinum
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I don't want to scare you off because the DTS and DHS are both beautiful cars. You'll love both of them for what they are and it really will come down to personal taste.

Additionally I would like to say with any Northstar powered car

GET A WARRANTY.

You'll be glad you did. I'm not saying the cars are problematic at all BUT all it takes is one thing to happen and the warranty will pay for itself. As previously mentions repair are far from cheap on these cars.
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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There were no upgrades in 03, just 2000 like ranger said, I always get it mixed up. As stated above an extended warranty will likely pay for itself on the first repair, definetly worth the money. Do yourself a favor and look up some prices for parts for a deville, you will see what its like to own one. Oh and the maxima will smoke the deville. My grandfather has a 300, very nice car, and fast. The grand marquis is riding on a 15 year old design, granted its been revised, but its not even in the same league as the other three you are looking at. Not too mention those plastic intake manifolds they've got.
 

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'04 Base Deville, Light Platinum - blew HG & SOLD
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I really want this car and I would like to know if it's reliable enough to last me at least 2 years (while I'm in school) with just the regular upkeep (brakes, oils, etc.).

Are you a full time student?
When I was in college, I just needed something reliable to get me to class and I didn't need any distractions.

Just make sure this car doesn't get in the way of your dreams.

Just my 2 cents.

-jasper
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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I had a 98 Olds Intrigue at school, loved that car, never had an issue, in my opinion the 3.8L is the best motor gm ever made. The thing about a Deville or any car for that matter, is that there is no garauntee that a 1000-2000 dollar repair isn't around the corner. If you really want a deville, spend the extra 10-20 dolllars a month (they can work it into the financing) and get an extended warranty. The worst decisions are usually ones you make with emotions instead of your brain. If you don't want to spend money on repairs, buy a camry.
 

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77 CDV, 06 DTS III, 69 FWB
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Having owned an 03 DHS, I can say they are very fine cars, BUT, you must maintain them properly, and that is not an inexpensive proposition. And, as with any car, new or used, there is always the chance that something will break. If the Caddy is what you really want AND you have the wherewithal to look after it the way it ought to be, then I would say go for it. You will have a very special car that you'll enjoy for many years. Good luck making your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
where would I go to get a good warranty? like a solid bumper to bumper one.

jasper60103: yes, ill be taking 5 classes a term at the University of Miami. I'm serious about my schooling so I really don't want any headaches to derail my concentration but at the same time I've been breaking my back working this summer (full time 7 days a week) and I want to reward myself with a nice car.

misfit6794: is the 2004-2006 maxima a rock solid choice? u said 95 but I'm only looking at 2000 and up. does this model maxima have that "one of the worlds" best engines? even if not is it still a great car? and also, I'm planning to get a loan from a bank. then once I have the check I plan to go car hunting. So in essence I'll be financing my car through a bank instead of a dealer. How exactly do I go about it buying a warranty (a great one) and then financing that so I only pay around $20 a month, because then with this option I will definately get the Cadillac no question.

once again thanks everybody for your input. I really find it useful.
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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I am not that familiar with extended warranties, whereever you buy the car from should be able to give you better info. If you plan on getting your loan from the bank instead of the dealer, I'm not sure you will be able to finance the cost of the warranty.

As far as the maxima, it is fundamentally the same engine in every generation of the car. The only thing thats been changed is the displacement was pushed from 3 liters to 3.5. And yes, it is still an amzing engine, thats why its in the 350z,G35,M35,FX35 and the maxima, not too mention the V8 in the titan and M45 is the same engine, just with 2 more cylinders. Nissan has been producing that engine since the mid 80's, it was first in the 84 300zx. When an engine is around that long, all the bugs tend to be worked out of it. Really the only thing I dislike about the newer maximas is the interior. But other than that it is a great car, fast, awesome handling, good quality. Not to mention it will actually be worth something when you are done paying for it, caddys tend to have horrible resale values. Mainly because of the high cost of maintaining them.
 

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1997 Dark Adriatic Metallic Blue Deville Sittin on 20 Chrome
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Nissan has been producing that engine since the mid 80's, it was first in the 84 300zx. When an engine is around that long, all the bugs tend to be worked out of it. Really the only thing I dislike about the newer maximas is the interior. But other than that it is a great car, fast, awesome handling, good quality. Not to mention it will actually be worth something when you are done paying for it, caddys tend to have horrible resale values. Mainly because of the high cost of maintaining them.
If that ain't the truth... I just picked up a 2004 Maxima this week and I'm loving it already... I'm starting to wish had when with a Nissan the first time around... But all jokes aside any used car is a gamble, I took a gamble on a 97 Deville and lost even with a extended warranty... The only thing I can say is do you research and get an extended warranty...
 

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2000 Crimson Pearl DTS
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I'm planning to get a loan from a bank. then once I have the check I plan to go car hunting. So in essence I'll be financing my car through a bank instead of a dealer.
If you plan on financing at a bank - all taxes, warranty's and licensing will be put on top of the value of your vehicle (what they will lend against it). The dealer will fill out a purchase order for you showing this; you will need to give it to the bank for the loan.

I bought a clean 2000 DTS with 56k miles for 12.5k, the heads blew a month after I got it (cost 2600), but I love it. It wigs me out now and then when I am driving it (my wife is sure something else is going to happen), but it is still such a sweet ride. :thumbsup:

Like everyone has said previously, do your research, and if you are buying from a dealer be sure to get a warranty and that they have a good repair shop. :stirpot:
 
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