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'87 Brougham d'Elegance, '97 ETC, '10 Cobalt SS
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Discussion Starter #1
As the title says, I am going to go look at a '97 Eldorado tomorrow. It is a 6 hour drive (blah), but sounds like it was taken care of. I was up for probably half of last night thinking about this car, and being excited for it.

It has 195 000kms, was told never winter driven, and had the oil pump replaced recently. Other than that, don't know anything else about it other than I was told it is near mint condition.

Now I don't know a damn thing about these cars (other than I really like the styling), so I am wondering what are the common problems for these cars, and if there is anything specific to these models that I should be checking out. If I do buy it and bring it home, it will need to go through a safety (as it is an out of province car), and I don't really need (well want) any unexpected surprises. Any tips/tricks are welcome. Thank you for looking. :)

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/red-deer/1997-cadillac-eldorado-coupe-2-door/1068461267?mobile=false&siteLocale=en_CA#
 

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'02 ETC 34,000 miles 2002 F55 STS 83,000 miles, 2016 Challenger SRT 392, 6 Sp.
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264 Posts
I had a '97 Eldo for many years., best car I ever owned. However, head gaskets failed at 130,000 miles. This is a common problem in these cars. Actually the head bolts pull out of the block, but it's at least a $2,500 repair
to fix it properly. Do a block test. Available at you local auto parts store. It is the definitive test to check for bad head gaskets. Is it an ETC or ESC. I'm not even sure they had the ESC designation yet in '97 but if it is an ETC it has the Continuously
Variable Road Sensing Suspension. Cool and great for the twisties, but the shocks and struts tend to fail and are about $600 per corner just for parts..........if you can find them which is becoming nearly impossible. If it isn't an ETC., no worries on the
suspension.
That car is
about at the point that I would start to worry about these things. On the other hand., it could go tens of thousands of more miles without a problem. Check for leaky oil pan, coolant leaks, etc., Probably a good idea to have it thoroughly checked over by
someone who knows these cars. Make sure the interior door panels are tight. Pull the diagnostic trouble codes. There's a sticky at the top of the page that tells you how. If it has a lot of them, walk. Watch for P0741, not good. Check the undercarriage
for rust. Take it for a test drive and drive it hard. Make sure the tranny shifts smooth and strong. Watch the temp. gage and if it goes more than a tick over the 12 o'clock mark, walk. Make sure the A/C blows cold. Make sure everything else works in
the interior. As with any car purchase look for clues that the car was well maintained. Does it have cheap tires on it? Not a good sign.
Can't think of much more., but I'm sure others will add more and elaborate on the things I've noted.

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After looking at the pics. it is definitely an ETC...............looks pretty clean.

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And, if everything looks good, $3,000 is not too bad a price............but offer $2,000 to start.

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Also, keep in mind there are no perfect cars available at this price.
 

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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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19,292 Posts
As the title says, I am going to go look at a '97 Eldorado tomorrow. It is a 6 hour drive (blah), but sounds like it was taken care of. I was up for probably half of last night thinking about this car, and being excited for it.

It has 195 000kms, was told never winter driven, and had the oil pump replaced recently. Other than that, don't know anything else about it other than I was told it is near mint condition.

Now I don't know a damn thing about these cars (other than I really like the styling), so I am wondering what are the common problems for these cars, and if there is anything specific to these models that I should be checking out. If I do buy it and bring it home, it will need to go through a safety (as it is an out of province car), and I don't really need (well want) any unexpected surprises. Any tips/tricks are welcome. Thank you for looking. :)

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/red-deer/1997-cadillac-eldorado-coupe-2-door/1068461267?mobile=false&siteLocale=en_CA#
===========================
I was up for probably half of last night thinking about this car,
and being excited for it.

be prepared to WALK AWAY -

$3000 asking price is too cheap
for a "near mint" ETC -


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It has 195 000kms,
120,000 miles - not too disturbing -
but nothing special

was told never winter driven,
well - maybe -
put it up on a hoist - look for rust on brake lines etc -

and had the oil pump replaced recently.
Hmmmmmmmmmmm -
NEVER heard of a Northstar motor needing an oil pump - ever -
starting to smell a rat - :stirpot:

I was told it is near mint condition
that's a relative/subjective term -
and ALL used Eldos currently for sale are "near mint condition" - :rolleyes:

mint condition means "like new" - virtually unused -

while it MIGHT be in very nice condition FOR IT'S AGE/MILEAGE
I doubt it will actually be in near mint condition -


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Now I don't know a damn thing about these cars
used Cadillacs are cheap to buy -
but very expensive to own and drive -

you will be on a very steep learning curve - or disappointed and broke -

I am wondering what are the common problems for these cars,

failed head gaskets are not uncommon - a $3000+ repair -

oil leaks are all too common -
there are a couple cheap fixes -
unfortunately - most of the bigger leaks require engine removal -
yes - another $2000 repair -

the ETC model Eldo has the electronic F45 struts and shocks -
at that mileage - if parts are original - they are most likely worn out -
struts and shocks are another $3000+ to replace -

there is an all too common trans problem
resulting in the P0741 fault code -
check for codes - if this code is present -
yup - another $3000 repair bill -

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'87 Brougham d'Elegance, '97 ETC, '10 Cobalt SS
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the help. That is what I was looking for.

If I feel I should walk away from it, I will. I don't need another vehicle that I need to dump money into.

Unfortunately I don't know anyone where the car is located, so it will be difficult to have anything checked out that I can't do. I also doubt many shops will be open on a Saturday. It would be nice to get it looked at before I buy it though.

One thing I noticed around here, is the prices for these cars are all over the place. You have some for $2000, some for $8000, and some around $12 000.
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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68,533 Posts
Used car pricing, private sale, varies all over the place because the current owner wants as much money as he/she can get on the barrel head and their perception of what the car is really worth is clouded by ownership.

Be objective and use this for the ballpark - or some other "blue book" site. www.kbb.com

NO car with 120,000 miles is in anything near "mint" condition. Good to Very Good. If the car is in "mint" condition, ask for a 5 year 50,000 mile bumper to bumper written warranty, no conditions or holdbacks.

On my 2002.5 STS with 65,000 miles I would give you a Golden 90 Warranty - 90 seconds or 90 feet, whichever occurs first. "Mint" condition.

EDIT: The ETC in the advert - $4600 top dollar USD in the Washington DC high-dollar market.
 

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'16 VSport (wife's), '10 Escalade, '97 & '02 SS Camaro's, '15 Silverado LTZ
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1,131 Posts
The AD link is dead. He must have bought it!

FWIW, I have a '97 ETC Crimson Red Pearl w/ 65,000 miles and it is in near mint condition. Always garaged, has been driven in the winter but I would have no idea how it goes in the snow or ice as it has never been taken out in foul weather and has seen very, very little rain. It's a fantastic car and has only had to have minimum service. Good Luck!
 

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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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19,292 Posts
The AD link is dead. He must have bought it!

FWIW, I have a '97 ETC Crimson Red Pearl w/ 65,000 miles and it is in near mint condition. Always garaged, has been driven in the winter but I would have no idea how it goes in the snow or ice as it has never been taken out in foul weather and has seen very, very little rain. It's a fantastic car and has only had to have minimum service. Good Luck!
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want to sell it for $3000?
 

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86 Bronco, 74 Ford LTD,1999 Deville, 1977 Coupe Deville
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305 Posts
I just missed a 95 that was VERY VERY nice with only 50,000 miles on it when it started over heating. Went for $1,500.00 .
I think these look GREAT & will own one someday. If I lived closer to Jakes or another approved Northstar Performance vendor, I'd have a yard full!
I need to try it myself someday. Great excuse to get that two post lift I dream of! Heh..Heh
Bought two Caddy's in the last two months & wife say's I need an intervention.....................
Going to look at a 62 sedan Deville next week.................
 

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'87 Brougham d'Elegance, '97 ETC, '10 Cobalt SS
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The AD link is dead. He must have bought it!

FWIW, I have a '97 ETC Crimson Red Pearl w/ 65,000 miles and it is in near mint condition. Always garaged, has been driven in the winter but I would have no idea how it goes in the snow or ice as it has never been taken out in foul weather and has seen very, very little rain. It's a fantastic car and has only had to have minimum service. Good Luck!
Yup I bought it. I would have loved that colour, but this one really isn't in bad shape. Needs a bit of interior work, but it passed the block test, and no code for the transmission. It is not near mint (wasn't expecting it to be), but I'm pretty sure the drivetrain is good right now. It actually started to run better on the way home. It is amazing what highway driving can do for a vehicle.

I fully believe this person took care of the car. Tires are even damn near new Michelin's with a lifetime warranty.

However, the rear shocks will need replacing soon (hoping they'll still pass the safety), if not, I know a place that can always get parts in, and if I deal with one of my uncles there, shouldn't be toooo bad for price. My one uncle also knows a inexpensive mechanic that does quality work. That's if I can't do it. It did drive pretty good on the 6 hour trip home. Felt like I could have gone to sleep driving it. Haha.
 
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