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Hi everyone. I'm considering a 1996 STS. Cosmetically it's georgous, garage kept, the interior is showroom quality. Besides what I've read on the forum reagrding some elecrical problems and the ole BHG problems. I'm a current owner of a 95 Acura Legend so I am all too familair with Head Gasket problems. Is there anything else to look out for? The car has 140,000 on it, but the guy bought it new and has every service record performed on the car.
He's asking $4000. Any info would help. Thanks.
 

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1996 Eldorado Sport Coupe, 2009 Black Navigator
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5,032 Posts
There is a thread in the tech tips section page two called "What to look for when buying a cadillac", it might help. I cant seem to be able to post the link. Sorry.
 

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1997 Polo Green Cadillac Seville STS
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685 Posts
If I were you I would ask the guy if he has and how many times the coolant has been changed. At 140K if he has not changed the coolant yet, the head gasket on that car could be weakened. It's been said time, and time again on this forum that it's recommended to change the coolant every 2 years on these early Northstars... Regardless if it's got green or orange coolant... Check the OBII codes . (Instrustions on this forum). Check all the electrical equipment on the car to ensure it's operating like it should. Check the engine compartment for signs of leaks of any kind.

If you take it for a test drive, Make sure you go for a trip long enough to check out the cooling system. Get it on the freeway and GET on it...5000-6000 RPM's. This would be one way to know if the cooling system is working and if the head gasket is good. If the car overheats after a high speed run, it could mean head gasket trouble.

Check for the presence of water in the spare tire well at the bottom of the trunk. At the mileage shown, it might be needing new struts... Check to see if the current owner has replaced them already. That's all I can think of at the moment!!
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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Even if he's got all the service records and the car is mint, I still think 4000 is a little high for a 12 year old car with 140,000 miles. As in the previous posts coolant changes are key, a headgasket repair is 3000-4000 dollars. Another common issue with sts' and devilles is the road sensing suspension. Unless you plan on converting to a passive system (still pretty pricey 600-700 dollars for parts) a replacement shock is 1000 dollars, I kid you not. The sensor for each shock is 400-500. This is just for parts. Nothing on a caddy is cheap to repair or replace. Even regular oil changes cost more, since the northstar takes 8 quarts of oil. For some extra insurance I would go buy the coolant test strips (pepboys, autozone,napa) that will test the coolant for exhaust gases. Read through the forums, you will get a good idea of what its like to own one of these cars.
 

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1995 SLS, 1996 STS
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Too much. I bought my 1996 STS with 47,000 miles on it for $4350. Granted it turned out to have a blown head gasket so maybe that's why it was priced really low, but still, you could get a 1996 STS with less than 100,000 miles for less than $7,000.

$4000 for 12-year-old car that has 140,000 miles is nuts. I'd rather pay $2,000 more and get something with half of that mileage.

Although, if the head gaskets were already replaced, and the switch to a passive suspension has already been done, I'd consider it for $3500. Otherwise, I'd stay away. These cars require a ridiculous amount of maintenance. Go on ConsumerReports and check the reliability ratings for Cadillacs and compare it to that of Acuras. Like night and day...

I'll never buy another Caddy again unless it's a 70's model or comes with a warranty.
 
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