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Evenin' from Pensacola,

I'm still shopping for my first Cadillac and I'm seriously considering an '02 SLS in the NE with 98K miles, one owner and then the Dealer that bought it 2 months ago at auction. I ran the VIN with Carfax and Cadillac Customer Support...all clean and no open recalls. New tires, oil and filter, detail, etc...Original owner's manual and one key with remote.

What I am going to do this time that I did not on the first 3 STSs' I tried to buy on eBay is hire the SGS Automotive Inspectors Company to formally inspect and test drive the vehicle for me and report to me only. $99.50 and hopefully no surprises.

What I would like to know from anyone wantin' to kick in their two cents is IF you had it to do all over again what would you do about this purchase. Yes the mileage concerns me but the vehicle has been maintained, is a non-smoker, and the overall the car shows very well. The NE environment also concerns me with the friggin' salt on the roads and the atmospheric pollution effects on paint jobs.

Y'all are the subject matter experts...I respect you and your wisdom shared on this forum.

Thanks,
JP


Any warnings out there? I have test driven 17 Sevilles now and learned a few things about the cars...'98-04 only.
 

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why not buy one local? why get one all the way up there if your so worried about things being defunct with it?
 

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I agree with cadillacETC1997 It seems the majority of cars listed are from Fla there seems to be more Caddies then owners for them
 

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Personally, I would not touch a Cadillac with 98K miles on it. The best days are way behind that one. I agree with CadillacETC1997 ... there are plenty of Cadillacs out there to choose from with low mileage. Take your time and pick a good one. I would stay away from this one.
 

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Texas....its a northstar bud. 98k is just broke in man. That engine has atleast 150k left, if not WAY more. But, i would go with ETC1997 and stay local. I got a Flordia Caddy from an old lady in NY, local for me. No rust, got her with 86k on and she is runnin strong. I guess i got lucky though
 

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Jonny5 said:
Texas....its a northstar bud. 98k is just broke in man. That engine has atleast 150k left, if not WAY more. But, i would go with ETC1997 and stay local. I got a Flordia Caddy from an old lady in NY, local for me. No rust, got her with 86k on and she is runnin strong. I guess i got lucky though
Have to Agree 100% with Jonny5 on life left in that car... But I wouldn't buy one of these without driving it at Highway speed... Every 98-03 STS/SLS I have driven (Including mine.. 02 STS) shakes at 65-75 MPH... I'm convinced that the issue is tires... and will replace mine early next year... but note that some of these cars shake A LOT worse than others... on my 02 you can barely feel it... but on an '01 I drove the car felt like it was coming apart.

You will never know how bad the car is unless you drive it on a flat freeway... If you buy it on eBay it will be too late.

By the way... even with the shake these cars are AMAZING

Good Luck...
 

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You can learn alot by browsing this forum. My '02 SLS was bought 13 months ago, when it had 50.040 miles on it. It currently has 73,xxx, and is running perfect. I have the 62-75 shimmy, and struts / shocks did alot to get it to a "liveable" level. I had the trunk pool. That was fixed with a new gasket, and alot of gasket sealer. I had to change the MAP sensor. The water pump cover gasket was leaking when I bought the car, and I replaced that. All of these were fairly easy, and inexpensive, repairs. If you ask me would I do it all over again, my answer will be hell yah! This is a wonderful car, and I love every mile that I drive in it.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Evenin' Gentlemen,

Great advice. Seriously. Seems like the ole 6 man jury with a split decision. Here's where we're at. SGS confirmed the inspection is a go for tomorrow. Since I too felt the shakes in 13 of the 17 Sevilles I have test driven so far I demanded a test drive at or above 70mph traffic and laws permitting. I also insisted on a bare hand swipe of the trunk because I have found the 'pool' also in 6 of the test drives (that includes interior carpet). I also insisted on two more issues as a must...1 everything in the car had to be tested including the DIC for any possible fault codes; every switch, every knob, every lever, cupholder, system and subsystem...2 The N* had to be leak checked at least 15 minutes after shutdown.

In response to 'Buy Local'. That's a long story that I'm sure no one here wants to hear but the bottom line is I got evicted from the used Cadillac Dealership here in Pensacola...Vince Whibbs Cadillac. Seems the Used Car Sales Manager thought I was trying to sabatoge a sale with another retired military aviator I was talking to and he 'Evicted Me from the Premesis'. I wrote the letter to Mr. Whibbs, the matter was investigated, and I got a formal apology from the owner...huge misunderstanding. I was there to test drive and then buy(Assuming it was the 'One') a CPO '03 SLS they had just bought at auction in South Florida. The other local cars have been...someone elses' headaches.

Also, Pensacola is a very LOUSY market for used Cadillacs. All of the deals are in either South Florida, 700 miles away, or Dallas/Ft. Worth, 930 miles away. The ones that are for sale locally are few and far between and when they are available they sell for either TOP dollar or not at all. I've tracked a few sales. I have tracked every eBay sale over the past 4 months. NOT One 98-04 Seville on eBay with either a 'Buy it Now' or a Reserve Price has sold. Zero, zip, nada...The ONLY Sevilles trading are the ones with 'No Reserve'.

On to the mileage issue. I'm reading every one of your words very carefully and I'm split as of tonight. I know this car was leased by a major NE bank and the executive that traveled the NE area averaged 25K a year with ALL required Cadillac Services performed. I guess the way I look at hwy mileage is I prefer a higher mileage car with regular professional service to a stop and go car with piss poor service. 'Low Miles' in my short 4 months of shopping for my first Seville has usually meant 'I've spent most of my life in the shop OR my owner doesn't want to drive me because he/she is afraid I will break down or I vibrate too much'.

I fly for a living offshore in the Gulf and gentlemen I can assure you that we have some of the highest time helicopters in the world still in service. Helicopters that sit around are the ones that break, leak, vibrate, etc....Y'all have heard the ole sayin' "If you don't use it ya' lose it".

I guess I am looking at 98,500 miles in a relative manner. I have studied the Technical Section on the Forum and I agree that with proper maintenance the N* in this SLS should go 200-300K. Will the car need a new starter, a/c compressor, alternator, suspension work, brake work, tires, all fluids and filters, possible ECM, over the next 100-200K miles. I'd bet on it.
I'd also bet on doing 90% of the work myself.

So, the mileage consideration is relative, in my humble and NO Cadillac ownership experience. I was ready to pay $24,500 for a Certified Pre-Owned '03 SLS with 31K miles and the 6/100K Bumper to Bumper. Today, I am seriously looking at an outright cash purchase, $8,500, IF the SGS Inspection and Test Drive come back thumbs up. I figure I can buy a lot of maintenance, parts, and fluids for the $16,000 difference, not to mention the insurance difference between the two. Remember, that CPO '03 did NOT include ANY tires, fluids, filters, pads, or batteries. My one way ticket price quote is $230 and my return total cost over two days will be about $200...I eat good. Shipping quote is unacceptable...$1,100.

Enough for now. I WILL post again when I have the results of the SGS Inspection. Buying my first Cadillac over the internet has NOT been a very positive experience and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to find one locally. This seller admits that the 1st eBay buyer 2 weeks ago showed up, drove the car, got out, walked away, and never came back or communicated another word. That guy walked away for a reason. I intend to find out.

To be continued....

JP
 

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Let me through in my $0.02.
The vibration can be cured with a road force balance.
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58427

I don't know what you are paying for this car but 98K is high miles for an '02. I just bought an '02 SLS in Oct. with 13k on it, GM certified til Feb. '08 or 100K. I found it in Ohio and flew out to drive it home to Ill. (450 miles). It did have the trunk leak but when I got it home I took it to a local dealer and had it fixed under warranty. It also had the vibration. A spin balance did not cure it but the road force balance did and the selling dealer sent me a check for both balance jobs when I informed them of it. I got it for $20K. Bought it from Progressive Cadillac in Massilon Oh. Below is their link. Do an advanced search, they had several Sevilles listed with much lower milage. If you call them, ask for Art Lewis and tell him Larry sent you.
http://progressiveautogroup.com/caddypreowned.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mornin' Ranger,

Thanks for the referral. I'll post the results of the SGS Inspection probably tomorrow night if I have access to a computer. If the inspection is highly favorable and the car is indeed 'as advertised' with no major surprises I'm going to offer $8,250. The guy wants $8,700. If the inspection results reveal more problems than Carter had peanuts I eat the cost of the inpsection and continue to march towards Ohio.

To be continued,

JP
 

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Oh ya bud. check the 3rd break light. those are from what i hear, impossable to fix. If its out, you have to buy a new one. which if not found on ebay can be upwards of $400. Good Luck!
 

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JP, not sure if you are interested, but I'm thinking of selling my 2000 STS with 72k miles, which was from South Florida, and has not been driven in the CT winters. It has the remainder of a 100k mile warranty good through 8/07. If you're interested, let me know! [email protected]
 

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Round $8,500 for that milage...And that year......
I think that is fair, Maybe even a bit more than than fair,
As long as there are no unforseen surpises as you have already stated.

As to where it is coming from and the weather/salt etc conditions that it has been exposed to.

I just traded in a 93 that had spent its whole life in Southern Ontario. You want to talk bout salt and weather. We have it and it took it.
That 93 was taken care of. I had only to attend to 2 small rusting areas after all those years. That was done the beginning of last summer.

I have just purchased a 2001 that has also spent all its years in this same enviroment.
It is pristine clean ! :D
The previous owner had cared for it knowing the conditions it was to be subjected to.
All the undercoat, rust protection, etc..... (actually surprised the salesman when I pointed that out to him. according to him that is uncommon on a leased vehicle).
I personally think it was because Cadillac owners just care a bit more ;)

Just because it has been subjected to a harsh enviroment doesnt mean the previous owner didnt take that into consideration.

See if you can get the SGS inspectors to E-Mail you pics of the vehicle. "All" the underbody, panels, windshield seal, hood for paint chips etc.......

Sounds like you "could" be getting a very good deal.
If its been cared for as a Cadillac should be.
 

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Was just wondering if it is possible to request an inspector that is familiar with Cadillacs ?
Ask if he can perform a WOT or 2 during the test drive.

Just a thought
 

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Murphyg said:
All the undercoat, rust protection, etc..... (actually surprised the salesman when I pointed that out to him. according to him that is uncommon on a leased vehicle).
I personally think it was because Cadillac owners just care a bit more ;)
I personally would NEVER buy a car that has been undercoated. Study after study has shown this does zitch for rust protection.... PLUS if it is not done immediately after manufacturing... i.e. prior to delivery.... Undercoating has been PROVEN to trap moisture against the body and will increase the severity of rust damage...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Merry Christmas Gentlemen,

I apologize for the delay. The SGS Inspection finally took place, the results posted, and about the time I was finishing my response yesterday the air base took a real bad direct hit by lightning and fried the big modem...no more internet until this morning and here I am with 28.8kbps dial up...remember those days?

The SGS Inspection and Test Drive did not support the Seller's 'Showroom Excellent Condition' ad. The Inspector seemed to be somewhat anal retentive on the exterior moreso the mechanical and interior. Multiple write ups on paint overspray, scratches, road rash, etc....that was partially explained by the Seller. The SGS pictures and the ad pictures show an extremely shiny paint job and the guy had to get within 18" to even capture some of the scratches. Overall it looks like a road warrior with 98,800 miles.

The Bad news is ONE writeup regarding the interior and the test drive. The 'Suspension System' warning kept popping up on the DIC while they were driving. No other complaints on anything and everything. NO oil leaks, rattles, squeaks, squeals, VIBRATIONS, or any systems that did not work. Everything but the CVRSS seems to be OK.

So, here I am with my first SGS Automotive Inspection report and I do have more questions than answers. Unfortunately, SGS does NOT give out the phone number of the guy doing the inspection. Lesson learned.

I just finished researching the CVRSS system and this forum for info and what I do know is this. A 'Suspension System' warning message on the DIC without a CODE could be anything from a bad accelerometer to a bad damper solenoid valve in one of the shocks to a BAD CVRSS Control Module to a bad Powertrain Control Module. I just don't know and the Seller hasn't responded to my 12 hour old email asking for a code or a formal Cadillac Diagnostic evaluation.

I also do not know if this warning message will affect the overall ride quality enough to prohibit a road trip home to NW Florida from the NE.

So, I have some more research to do and then a decision to make. I do know that as much as I want a formal Cadillac Diagnostic on this car I probably won't get it. Is the seller willing to knock off $1,000 from the asking price of the car to 'Just get rid of it???' Once again, I don't know because I'm not about to make an offer until I get some more info.

That's it guys. The car apparently runs out strong, has signs of a really lousy touch up job on the bumpers that oversprayed onto the quarter panels, a few scratches, and a 'Vehicle Suspension System' warning message on the DIC. The car has just under 100K miles and even though that is high for an '02 it has been maintained UP until this guy bought it at auction 45 days ago.

To CaddyDaddy, thanks for the offer on the STS but my lower back is going to stay with the SLS suspension system. After 17 test drives I definetly notice the difference. I like the STS equipment package a LOT more but the ride and the adaptive seat package is what I am after.

Once again I wish you all a Merry Christmas from the Gulf of Mexico. I am still undecided on this car because it has about 100 positives and only 2 negatives. For a used SLS it might just be worth making an offer of $7,000 as is and I'll fix it.

TO BE CONTINUED.............

JP
:stirpot:
 

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A few things here...

The car will not display a Suspension warning without a code. But if you can get $1000 off of the price you should be able to get suspension fixed for that.. (shocks on this car are $600 a corner installed) If you take the car in have them fix both sides...Save yourself a trip a couple of months later...

In a lot of cases bad CVRSS errors are the sensors becoming unplugged from the suspension... Fixing this is... well... Free!

Driving a car with a bad CVRSS is not an issue nor is it dangerous. Theses cars will reduce their top speed to less than 90MPH with most suspension codes... Smart Car...

But given what you have found...

I'd buy something else IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Gentlemen,

Thanks for the feedback and wisdom. I double checked on the DIC warning message and tone and the Inspector claims he saw a 'Service Stability System' without a code? Could be the Christmas traffic had him distracted BUT I have taken a stance and here goes.

1. The Seller never replied to my 3 emails requesting a confirmation of the DIC warning message or the code.

2. The auction ends tonight, 26 Dec, in 3 hours.

3. I placed a bid for $7,750, notified the seller via email, and have allready been outbid by another potential buyer.

4. The seller just received another negative feedback rating on a Deville he sold 2 weeks ago...basically accusations of false advertising.

5. I'm not willing to buy the car for $8,700 not knowing what the exact warning message is and what the code is in order to put a possible price tag on repair.

That's it. Right car with the right equipment and right options but the wrong seller.

To be continued,

JP
 

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Ur7x said:
I personally would NEVER buy a car that has been undercoated. Study after study has shown this does zitch for rust protection.... PLUS if it is not done immediately after manufacturing... i.e. prior to delivery.... Undercoating has been PROVEN to trap moisture against the body and will increase the severity of rust damage...
Also depends on the brand of undercoat, as well as who does it.

Had My buddy go over the car. He's a top rated body man that is constantly in demand from other companies. He's basically been able to set his own price for quite a few years now. He is curently with Lexus but is again in the process of negotiating with some other competitor.

He had nothing but :thumbsup: thumbsup when he went over it. And he went over it with a fine tooth comb.
I was quite impressed at how he looked and felt along all edges and surfaces.

He was quite impressed with the rust protection and undercoating that was done as well.
Wasnt just an oiling and sub-par coating.
Told me that whom ever had it done, had it done with the right products and by the right people.

I can trust what he tells me. Hes not one of those that like to spew verbal diareah just to hear themselves speak and try to impress others.
He tells it like it is and will only back up what he knows.
And If he doesnt know, then he will say so.

BTW: my last Cadillac was undercoated "after" it was purchased "used" at bout 3yrs old.
Was a 93 and traded it in last year with no rust.

sjpi1954 said:
.......That's it. Right car with the right equipment and right options but the wrong seller.

To be continued,

JP
Good stuff JP. Take your time to get it right.
Is amazing how many people go into some kind of euphoric haze:bonkers: when purchasing a vehicle, and then end up regreting it.:ripped:

Is good to see that some out there still follow the old adage "Buyer Beware"
 

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sjpi, I like your cautious approach....

Just my .02 cents, I agree with Ranger.... find something near you that you can drive to, and put your hands on, and drive for yourself.....

My Dad (retired guy) is in the Tampa - Fort Myers area, and last time I was down there, 1 month ago, I shit you not, I had to restrain myself from buying a car. Tons of nice Cadillacs down there. At nice prices.

Not so many Eldorados, which is more my thing, but piles of Devilles and Sevilles everywhere. Lots full of used ones.

IMHO, a 300 mile drive to look at one yourself is better than paying $100 to an inspector, which only created more questions.....

If the Seller has negative feedback, walk away. Also, the alarm bell went off in my head when you said "Someone else looked at it and walked away".

I like to drive it myself. That's just me. I've also been known to swing into a GoodYear Auto Center on a test drive. For $50, they'll put it on a rack and inspect it. If you slide the tech another $20 in cash, you can often get a lot of straight talk. Which can be priceless.

So, keep looking. Patience is the key! People ask me all the time "How do you get these deals on these cars???" Patience. Keep looking. Be ready to walk away. If it's not right, walk away.

Ranger's approach is not a bad approach. He just paid $20k for a barely used car that someone not too long ago paid $50k for. And he's got warranty. All in all, it's hard to fault that.

I think from just looking, there are some nice examples floating around in the 13k-15k range... they will have more like 50-60k miles, and be older, but that's still a pretty fresh car, that can probably have a warranty written on it, if you feel the need.

We're all trying to balance "how old is it, how many miles" with "how much is it gonna cost"... and that is a different balance for everyone.

But I like your careful approach. Look around in Florida, though, I think you'll find something nice.

Good luck!! Let us know what you find!
 
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