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1984 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
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Discussion Starter #1
Every time I've taken my Caddy to a shop in the last few years, they've always done poor work, including: forgotten to put a part back (e.g. bracket), putting a part back wrong, NOT reassembling something (i.e. distributor), putting something back sloppily (e.g. wires drooping down), etc. I'm really getting sick and tired of this. It has happened between three DIFFERENT shops in two DIFFERENT cities. I've come to the conclusion that mechanics just hate working on these cars and simply don't care to do good work. :mad2: :rant2: After the second time, I told the shop to go back and do it right, and they did the work and told me not to bring the Caddy back. :rant2:

Honestly I wish I could be in the bay with the mechanic when they are working on my car, but who wants the owner hovering over them while they do work? Even I wouldn't want that I guess. :(

If it turns out that I have to pull that oil pan off, I really don't know if I'm strong enough to do it myself (the thing is RTV'd to the bottom of the block), not to mention that the whole underside of the caddy is CAKED in thick road grease, which would make it even more of a pain. All of this is in addition to the fact that I'd still have to find a way to take it to a rent-a-bay kind of business in Santa Clara called Pit Row. I could potentially do the work in front of a friends house, but the last time I did that, the neighbors kept coming out and staring at me and my husband while we were doing the rear shocks on it, and made sure that we felt uncomfortable about being in their neighborhood. California snobbery for ya. No one would really care if we were in AZ or back in Utah.

It would just be so much easier to have someone else do this particular project considering the circumstances. How the heck do I find a mechanic that I can REALLY trust to do good work? None of my friends have recommendations because everyone just buys a new car when something on their old one breaks, or they just take them to the dealership, and dealership mechanics aren't always the best either (I could tell you several stories).

Does anyone know of a good mechanic in San Jose?

I'm feeling kind of demoralized. Someone cheer me up. :sadeyes:
 

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87 Brougham, 1969 Calais, 95 FWB, 07 SRX, 07 ESV
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4,246 Posts
The best way to find a good mechanic for these cars is to find one that is familiar with or at least interested in older cars. This can sometimes mean going to car shows and talking to people about their cars and experiences.
You may be surprised at how much connections you can make at a car show.
 

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1984 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
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283 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Wow, I never thought of car shows. I'll start looking them up and see if I can find a mechanic for the long term. :)

In the meantime I still have to try to get this issue sorted in the next couple months.
 

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1980 FBC
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3,198 Posts
Good luck.

Hopefully you find someone semi-retired who cares AND knows what he/she is doing.

It makes little or no sense for a young person to learn about these cars repair-wise.

Most repair shops are in business to make money, not fix your car.
 

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1990 Brougham, 1990 Brougham d'elgance 1979 Coupe
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1,196 Posts
First thing I would do is steam clean the bottom of the engine.

I doubt theres very many people on the planet that have any knowledge of the 4100 engine.

You may spend some time at the "rent a bay" and ask around. Might even try Craigsilst.
 

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1984 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
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283 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
First thing I would do is steam clean the bottom of the engine.
How would I find a place that can do this for me? I don't have the equipment or the space to do this, really.

You may spend some time at the "rent a bay" and ask around. Might even try Craigsilst.
Craigslist... definitely a good idea. I'll give it a try. Thanks!
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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I have posted this several times, so I am sure some here are sick of seeing it :hide:, but here goes again!

I had good luck finding a tech in my area when I needed AC work on my 87.

I went to Delco parts website. They have a search by area for independent shops that are authorized dealers.
They put a special symbol next to shops that were high enough volume to receive Delco training for their techs.

I then took those few names in my area and checked Yelp, YP and Google for reviews.:cynic:

As a last step I went on the Car Talk website and checked their Find a Mechanic section for my town.
The list that came up for my area really impressed me.
It was literally a "Who's Who" of the best independent shops in town.:highfive:
Having lived here for 44 years I recognized almost every one as being places friends, family, or I have received excellent service in the past. :thumbsup:

I ended up finding a great honest Delco trained independent shop about a mile from where I live that I never knew was there. Even had R12:shhh:.

I was so impressed I mobile bookmarked the Car Talk site when I took Guido on the trip to Cadillac Museum opening last fall just in case I broke down out of town.:yup:(Oh course, Guido would never do that to me!:D)
 

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1984 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
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283 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I went to Delco parts website. They have a search by area for independent shops that are authorized dealers.
They put a special symbol next to shops that were high enough volume to receive Delco training for their techs.

I then took those few names in my area and checked Yelp, YP and Google for reviews.:cynic:

As a last step I went on the Car Talk website and checked their Find a Mechanic section for my town.
The list that came up for my area really impressed me.
Wow, I didn't even know about the Car Talk website or the fact that you can find certified mechanics on the Delco parts website. o_O I'll get right on searching there! :D THANK YOUUU :D

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Check full-service car wash places in your area. I've had it done before at a place that does car washes and detailing.
Okay. We have a few of those around here. I'll start calling around.

YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME :D
 

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81, 87 and 95 Fleetwoods, 89 Brougham
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305 Posts
Hello! The thing with Cadillac ownership us that it attracts all sorts of thoughts and questions ! Here's a good example.
A guy ran out of gas in a coupe. I offered help, and a year later I'm the "old Cadillac mechanic" he can count on. Maybe a quick way to find a mechanic for your Cadillac is to open the hood and wait to see who offers help. In my city, I'm the "old Cadillac guy", which has given me access to great deals on parts, paint and bodywork, and tools. It never hurts to comment other's cars even if its not a Cadillac. If they see respect and admiration, wouldn't your Cadillac benefit from the same attention? I'm practical with these old cars. What if you remove the 4.1 and transmission for the scrub of a lifetime?? Service the transmission, replace gaskets, add paint and the finished product won't scare mechanics away. maybe the grease is what freaks others from working on it. Picture a perfectionist with a dirty engine.....
Good luck!
 

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1984 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
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283 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Maybe a quick way to find a mechanic for your Cadillac is to open the hood and wait to see who offers help.
LOL Interesting tactic :) Yeah, I suppose I could do that, but here in snobby silicon valley, not many people care enough about old cards to be motivated to stop.

It never hurts to comment other's cars even if its not a Cadillac.
Yeah, I should really go out and make friends with people who drive and restore old cars.

Service the transmission, replace gaskets, add paint and the finished product won't scare mechanics away. maybe the grease is what freaks others from working on it.
Yeah, I'm going to first try to get the underside washed. After the low oil pressure problem is resolved (or confirmed resolved), then the next thing is body work and paint. Isn't it sad that people judge a car by it's outer appearance? :( I have to make sure it's mechanically sound before I drop $3k+ on body work and paint. :/

Anyways, thanks!! I'll keep moving along little by little with this Caddy, one way or another.
 

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1985 Seville
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330 Posts
If they will let you hang around and watch them that's what i do on small things but i've known him awhile. Also its a good idea to ask for your old part back that way you know they replaced it.

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I asked for my old part once now every time he changes something he ask me if i want it.
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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Wow, I didn't even know about the Car Talk website or the fact that you can find certified mechanics on the Delco parts website. o_O I'll get right on searching there! :D THANK YOUUU :D
I would love to hear what you find if you check a city you know like your old home.
Any others out there ever check Car Talk for local mechanics I would love to hear if they are as spot on as I found.



YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME :D
...AWWW....shucks....:smilewide:
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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It's usually smaller shops that are off the main roads that look like they've been around a while that are good. You can sometimes tell if they'd be a help to you or not by what's in their parking lot. Checking out car shows and talking to people there is a good idea because even if they do their own work they usually have the odd repair they've farmed out to someone else to do.
 

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1984 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
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283 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I know just find a boyfriend that knows how to work on cars and use him.
I'm married. And yes, my husband can help me with the repairs, but we still don't have our own space to work on the car.

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It's usually smaller shops that are off the main roads that look like they've been around a while that are good. You can sometimes tell if they'd be a help to you or not by what's in their parking lot.
Good idea!! I think I might have to go drive around a bit. :)
 
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