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Discussion Starter #1
Well its listed in my area for $4500 and looks in great shape, black/black with 108K miles.

The price seems good, but Im a little scared of the miles this high on an American car.

Also, what kind of REAL MPG do you get from the STS, I drive normally/slightly fast but I never punch it!

What do you all think? How long does the Northstar go if its taken care of before it falls apart?

Is the STS a high-maintenance car? Ive read a couple of things about the electronic issues with sensors and etc.

So Im debating whether to switch from German to US!

Thanks
Corey
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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German, Japanese, American, Thai, Korean, From the Moon... it doesnt matter. If the car was not properly maintained then you will be buying headaches.

The Northstar can go well in excess of 200k miles when properly maintained. It does not "fall apart" but generally what does most of them in is headgasket failures. You need to ensure that the proper coolant maintenance has been performed on this car above anything else. For a '96 this would be in 2000 and 2004 if its got the orange coolant. If the green stuff is in it, then it should have coolant changes every 2 years.

Other than that, general used car common sense applies. Check all buttons/switches and make sure the A/C works properly and blows cold, check the operation of all vent modes and move from heat to cold several times to ensure the entire mechanical portion of the A/C system is functioning as well.

Also, third on the list after that would be the suspension. Make sure the car is not throwing any suspension related errors on the DIC. Check that the air leveling system is operating (youll hear a low hum when you first start it) and that there is no harshness in the ride. Suspension parts can add up $$$ quick. Do a search for "check codes" on our search feature as well, and write down any codes that appear. These can prove invaluable in determining a little history about the vehicle's mechanical shape as well as the current status of all parts that can be monitored electronically.

If youre on a limited budget, even if the car is in perfect condition, I would recommend looking at something else... maybe a Japanese or basic american car like a Ford Focus etc. I dont mean that in a negative way, I really hate seeing people get bitten buy their vehicle's maintenance and then being stuck in an emergency with no reliable transportation. This car WILL require attention consistently at that mileage, most of it will be small things, but you need to be able to budget for anything major that comes up.

Most people who complain about Cadillacs being unreliable cars, are those who purchased them for next to nothing and then expected to get Honda Civic levels of reliability for a daily driver. These are excellent vehicles, but they require proper maintnenance to fully enjoy their potential.

Good luck and Welcome to the Forum.
Ian.
 

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White Diamond 2001 STS
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I had a '97 (same body style) and loved it. Mine was an SLS, not an STS, but very similar. My average was 19-20 mpg in town and 28-30 mpg on the road. STS will be somewhat lower... My current '01 STS averages about 18 mpg in town and 25 mpg on the road.

As the others have said, proper maintenance is key. I don't know how Playdrv4me meant it, but I would agree that headgasket issues are the reason in most FAILED engines. MOST Northstar engines will run reliably for hundreds of thousands of miles untouched (save for good fluid maintenance). If you did a cross section of only engines that failed, the headgasket is most certainly at the top of the list.

Depending on from which German marque you are coming, I would think that you will see a nice change in the maintenance requirements in the Cadillac brand. The only real maintenance required is oil changes and coolant changes. Spark plugs are good for at least 100k miles, as are the plug wires. If you buy it, I'd go ahead and change the oil and the coolant. I might also change the transmission fluid, not knowing the car's prior history. The tranny fluid in my '97 SLS was (and still is) original, and it's got almost 160k miles on it now. My brother now drives the car daily in Tucson, AZ.

These are wonderful cars. If you buy that '96, I'm sure you'll thoroughly enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I am on a limited budget, but I want a nice car, not a Civic (though nothing against them, theyre very reliable) but I like to stand out.

Im coming from a 93 Audi that I havent had many problems with.

The fact that you said constant attention worries me. My dad is fairly mechanical and he has been able to do everything on my car (o2 sensors, thermometer, timing belt change(bleh)) without a problem. The one thing he couldnt do was when the catalytic converter failed, but that ended up being covered by a recall. ($396)

I know the parts are cheaper for Caddy than Audi, but I have this image in my head that I would need alot more of them given the complexity of the Cadillac electronic system and all the little things that would probably go wrong, in addition I was not aware it had air suspension (I think of Land Rover headaches when I hear that). Are problems with the air susp. common?

Given that I have a limited budget and would like a fairly low maintenance car, maybe I should just get another Audi (A4) or switch to Lexus, which I was also considering (theyre just hard to find without 1545050 miles).

Thanks for the welcome! And btw, the Northstar seems like its going to get better MPG than the 2.8 v6 that is in my current car.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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Well I am on a limited budget, but I want a nice car, not a Civic (though nothing against them, theyre very reliable) but I like to stand out.

Im coming from a 93 Audi that I havent had many problems with.

The fact that you said constant attention worries me. My dad is fairly mechanical and he has been able to do everything on my car (o2 sensors, thermometer, timing belt change(bleh)) without a problem. The one thing he couldnt do was when the catalytic converter failed, but that ended up being covered by a recall. ($396)

I know the parts are cheaper for Caddy than Audi, but I have this image in my head that I would need alot more of them given the complexity of the Cadillac electronic system and all the little things that would probably go wrong, in addition I was not aware it had air suspension (I think of Land Rover headaches when I hear that). Are problems with the air susp. common?

Given that I have a limited budget and would like a fairly low maintenance car, maybe I should just get another Audi (A4) or switch to Lexus, which I was also considering (theyre just hard to find without 1545050 miles).

Thanks for the welcome! And btw, the Northstar seems like its going to get better MPG than the 2.8 v6 that is in my current car.


Well my intent was certainly not to scare you away... I think that if your pop is fairly proficient with the things he has helped you with before, then you should be ok with the Northstar. Little sensors and stuff like that are not that much harder to change out then any other car. Its the major repairs where things get complicated.

Most people think of a headgasket repair on any V8 as a quick get in and get out in a day type job, with the Northstar its a MUCH more involved process which is why its so expensive.

When I said consistent attention, little sensors and things of that nature are precisely what I was speaking of, so if you and your dad have experience changing things like that out, dont sweat it. Just be aware that with 108k miles, its going to need those types things more often than a 40k mile car as they wear out.

Surprisingly, the electronic modules themselves usually dont pose to much of a problem either, I mean you dont get crazy crap like Mercedes where you push the seat button and the radio turns on :eek: .

As far as the suspension. Its not quite as sophisticated or costly as the Land Rover or even the Lincoln airbag systems in that the car is still relatively driveable even if it fails completely. In addition to that, there are companies like Arnott and others who make complete aftermarket retrofit kits to change these cars over to coilover style suspensions and eliminate the electronics altogether.

I have nothing against Audi's, I think the A4 is a great little car. But if youve had success with an Audi (which most people usually consider a nightmare, especially the older ones), then I dont see why you cant enjoy the Cadillac.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I think I probably got lucky in that area, as I had an 87 5000S before, and it was an electrical mess (think lights/climate control). Well I might go look at it since the price seems good? Keep in mind this will be the first American car I have ever considered driving (Id like an Eldorado of this similar vintage but cant seem to find one at a reasonable price)

Here you can have a look - lol I hope noone from the area poaches it from me.

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=224170070&dealer_id=60368487&car_year=1996&model=SEV&num_records=25&make3=MB&make2=VOLVO&start_year=1996&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&search_type=both&distance=50&marketZipError=false&model3=&model2=&search_lang=&make=CAD&color=&page_location=findacar::ispsearchform&min_price=&drive=&default_sort=priceDESC&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=47025&advanced=&end_year=2008&doors=&transmission=&max_price=5000&cardist=35
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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History report checks out...

VIN: 1G6KY5291TU832960 Class: Upscale - Luxury
Year: 1996 Engine: 4.6L V8 MPI
Make: Cadillac Country of Assembly: United States
Model: Seville STS Vehicle Age: 11 year(s)
Style/Body: Sedan 4D Calculated Owners: 4

This vehicle's AutoCheck Score
48

This vehicle is AutoCheck Assured™ and qualifies for Buyback Protection



What does this mean?
Section summaries

Title and ProblemCheck: Your vehicle checks out!
OdometerCheck: Your vehicle checks out!
Vehicle Use and EventCheck: Specific vehicle use(s) or events reported
Full History: Detailed information available



Title and ProblemCheck
Your Vehicle Checks Out! AutoCheck's database for this 1996 Cadillac Seville STS (1G6KY5291TU832960) shows no negative titles or other problems. When reported to AutoCheck, these events can indicate serious past damage or other significant problems.


0 Problem(s) Reported: 15 Title/Problem areas checked:
No abandoned title record
No damaged title or major damage incident record
No fire damaged title record
No grey market title record
No hail damage title record
No insurance loss title record
No junk or scrapped title record
No manufacturer buyback/lemon title record
No odometer problem title record
No rebuilt/rebuildable title record
No salvage title or salvage auction record
No water damaged title record
No NHTSA crash test record
No frame damage record
No recycling facility record


OdometerCheck
Your Vehicle Checks Out! AutoCheck examined the reported odometer readings reported to AutoCheck for this 1996 Cadillac Seville STS (1G6KY5291TU832960) and no indication of an odometer rollback or tampering was found. AutoCheck uses business rules to determine if reported odometer readings are significantly less than previously reported values. Not all reported odometer readings are used. Title and auction events also report odometer tampering or breakage.


0 Problem(s) Reported: Mileage Date Reported
20 06/17/1996
33,560 06/23/1998
33,919 09/04/1998
33,940 10/19/1998
92,000 06/07/2004
95,000 03/07/2005


Vehicle Use and EventCheck
Information Reported! AutoCheck shows additional information reported to AutoCheck about how this 1996 Cadillac Seville STS (1G6KY5291TU832960)has been used and other events. This includes reported accidents and corrected or duplicate titles and storm area registrations.


1 Event(s) Reported: 10 Vehicle uses checked:
No rental record
No fleet record
No fleet and/or rental record
No fleet and/or lease record
Lease record(s)
No taxi use record
No police use record
No government use record
No livery use record
No driver education record
1 Event(s) Reported: 9 Vehicle events checked:
No accident record reported through state agencies or independent sources
No corrected title record
No duplicate title record
Emission/safety inspection record(s)
No lien record
No fire damage incident record
No repossessed record
No theft record
No storm area registration/title record


Full History
Below are the historical events for this vehicle listed in chronological order. Any discrepancies will be in bold text.
Report Run Date:: 06/25/2007
Vehicle: 1996 Cadillac Seville STS (1G6KY5291TU832960)
Event date Location Odometer reading Data Source Details
06/17/1996 NORTH OLMSTED, OH 20 Motor Vehicle Dept. TITLE (Title #:1801691307)
06/20/1996 CHAGRIN FALLS, OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
03/26/1997 CHAGRIN FALLS, OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
03/25/1998 CHAGRIN FALLS, OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
06/23/1998 EASTERN REGION 33,560 Auto Auction REPORTED AT AUTO AUCTION
07/07/1998 SHARON, PA Motor Vehicle Dept. TITLE (Title #:52179988)
09/04/1998 CINCINNATI, OH 33,919 Motor Vehicle Dept. TITLE (Title #:3102102621)
10/19/1998 WEST CHESTER, OH 33,940 Motor Vehicle Dept. TITLE (Title #:0900814396)
10/27/1998 WEST CHESTER, OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
10/27/1998 OH Motor Vehicle Dept. PASSED EMISSION INSPECTION
10/27/1998 OH Motor Vehicle Dept. PASSED EMISSION INSPECTION
05/25/1999 WEST CHESTER, OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
06/14/2000 WEST CHESTER, OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
07/05/2001 WEST CHESTER, OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
07/17/2002 OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
07/08/2003 OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
06/07/2004 OH 92,000 Independent Emission Source PASSED EMISSION INSPECTION
06/14/2004 OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
03/07/2005 MAINEVILLE, OH 95,000 Motor Vehicle Dept. TITLE (Title #:1301184908)
06/02/2005 WEST CHESTER, OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
06/12/2006 MAINEVILLE, OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
05/16/2007 MAINEVILLE, OH Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey thanks for that report! So it looks good then.

Ill haveta call about this one, even though its like 50 miles from me lol.
 

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Yeah, like Playdrv4me said, the air suspension really doesn't pose a problem. It's really only air assist, and only in the rear. The vehicle is still supported by four real coil springs. Unlike the Lincolns and Rovers, which are fully-bagged, and which REQUIRE repair to make them driveable when the bags go out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok well that helps my peace of mind about that issue.

I guess I really need to read up on things to check out about those engines and etc before I go and look at it, in addition to the things that have been mentioned here.

Oh I meant to say before - I was just hoping this isnt one of those cars that is going to nickel and dime you to death, cause that can be worse than big problems eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have another question, and I dont intend this one to open up a big can of worms!
:::

Does the N* need premium fuel like they say in manuals and on the dashboard? Sometimes I think they put that there just to make the car seem more elite LOL (My Audi has always run well on regular and it recommends premium)
 

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I have another question, and I dont intend this one to open up a big can of worms!
:::

Does the N* need premium fuel like they say in manuals and on the dashboard? Sometimes I think they put that there just to make the car seem more elite LOL (My Audi has always run well on regular and it recommends premium)
You can put regular in it, it adjusts the timing to compensate. I wouldnt do it if you plan to keep the car for several years though, even a little detonation before the adjustment is made can deteriorate the engines performance over time.

The short answer to your question is YES its ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
But the better answer would be NO it isnt; right? Id plan on keeping it for about 5 years I would say. (Ive had my 90s for 4 years, and put 13,000 mi. on it) I dont drive around alot (but have highway speeds every week or so).
 

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I have another question, and I dont intend this one to open up a big can of worms!
:::

Does the N* need premium fuel like they say in manuals and on the dashboard? Sometimes I think they put that there just to make the car seem more elite LOL (My Audi has always run well on regular and it recommends premium)
Some members, (including me) have reported better mpg with premium. Others swear they don't.
 

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I don't get what the deal is with miles. In Texas, you are going to be driving a minimum of 40 miles round trip each day for work. Hell my dad frequently drives 200+ round trip to work and it's all highway.

I have a 96 Blazer with 175K on it, a 90 Towncar with 171K, and a 98 Seville with 120K on it.

The Blazer looks and drives like it has 70k on it, the TC is the same, and the Seville is like 40K.

The really funny thing is that I had a lebaron with 90K on it, complete POS. Blown motor and tranny and needed suspension work. Low miles doesn't always mean great quality.
 

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1997 Polo Green Cadillac Seville STS
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The car listed on the report lived all its life in the North, I would be wary of rust and suspension/salt related problems.
 

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yeah be careful bringing a northern car south it dosn't usually work out well. It may not have rust now but it sure will very quickly. Head gaskets is the only thing you should look out for. If the suspension goes bad you can always get passive rear shocks and they are relatively inexpensive.
 

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Alot of people think babying the Northstar engine cars is the way to go. They don't realize they are doing more damage by way of carbon build up. That Northstar needs to be run wide open on ocassion. And oh boy is it ever fun !
 
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