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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a triple black coupe with the 4.9 of course, and 73000 miles on it. The car lot has a sale price of $3995 on the windshield.

What problems should I be looking for when I go to see the car and test drive it. I don't need another lemon like my 96 Aurora with blown head gaskets!
 

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2008 SRX
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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

Just check it over well. Test all A/C functions, look for oil leaks, look for signs of poor previous workmanship, listen for the usual #1 main knock. All 4.9 cars are good, but they're getting old and needing more reg. maintenance. Check the radiator side tanks for cracks, the coolant hoses for dates (original ones will definitely have something like 08/23/92 on all of the hoses,), check for a clunk on accel.(engine mount). Not that these cars are riddled with problems, they just have a tendency to be neglected and things can build up.
'93 was the last year for the Coupe DeVille and it should be an awesome, comfortable ride with plenty of power.
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

'93 Coupe. I'm very jealous! What kinda color combo?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

Just check it over well. Test all A/C functions, look for oil leaks, look for signs of poor previous workmanship, listen for the usual #1 main knock. All 4.9 cars are good, but they're getting old and needing more reg. maintenance. Check the radiator side tanks for cracks, the coolant hoses for dates (original ones will definitely have something like 08/23/92 on all of the hoses,), check for a clunk on accel.(engine mount). Not that these cars are riddled with problems, they just have a tendency to be neglected and things can build up.
'93 was the last year for the Coupe DeVille and it should be an awesome, comfortable ride with plenty of power.
What's the usual "#1 main knock"? I did a search and didn't come up with anything.
 

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93 Sedan Deville 4.9L
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Think it is also referred to as the "main bearing thump" Ive herd it mentioned here, If its the same I understand its basically harmless, just an annoying noise.

Be sure to check for codes using "off + warmer" buttons on the climate control, look to the fuel data center for the codes to appear.
 

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2008 SRX
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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

Almost all 4100 , 4.5, and 4.9 engines have, or will develop a #1 main bearing knock. You would hear it in gear at a stop, especially with light throttle. No big deal if it is only slight. My 4.9 has had a slight knock for a long time. Some people get real nervous about that Heartbeat Of America sound, I don't.
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

I've got the #1 main bearing thump, have had it for 36,000 miles and have had NO trouble at all due to it. It's just an annoyance. I run Delco Rotella 15W40 in it and that quiets it up a lot compared to the 10W30 I ran in it when I bought it.

So nope, it's nothing to worry about.
 

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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

Wow, a Caddy that you need only check for NORMAL wear and problems on! Hehe... that is what I do love about the trusty old 4.9. Good luck and take pics once you bring it home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

Well, I looked at it and the body, interior, and paint were real nice.

The only problem was that the metal the door hinges are attached to is so badly rusted that if you opened the door with too much force or the wind caught it, it probably would've flew off! Is that a common problem?

I decided to pass.
 

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93 Sedan Deville 4.9L
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Well, I looked at it and the body, interior, and paint were real nice.

The only problem was that the metal the door hinges are attached to is so badly rusted that if you opened the door with too much force or the wind caught it, it probably would've flew off! Is that a common problem?

I decided to pass.
Guess your up north or it spent its life up their. I can only say that on my Texas '93 their is no rust whatsoever. I dobut its a real common problem so passing was probably a good idea, unless you could signi***antly talk the price down
 

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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

Sounds like it was neglected for a few years which explains the low mileage so it was a safe pass I would think. I have seen that level of rust once. I would open the door and the rusted mounting area flexed. A definite pass for me.

Too bad to hear this but there are still low mileage nicely kept devilles floating around. Just gotta find another one.

Or if they'll take 2500 Id go for it.
 

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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

You must live in, and/or the car is from the East or NE. I'm spoiled to live in a rust free zone. Most rusty cars I see are from Michigan.
 

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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

Lucky bastard. Its sad to see such nice cars killed by salt and sand.
 

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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

Also look for the driver's door armrest to be cracked around the switches and the armrest seams splitting. As I found out new driver's door armrests are not available from Cadillac. Just thought I'd stick my 2 cents in....
 

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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

Smart move as there is no telling how much rust there is unseen. As an owner of a 1990 Coupe, I know how much you can like these cars. It was one of the best I ever owned. Keep looking...once you find one you will be glad you waited for a good one.
Regards,
 

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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

I would kill for a clean 4.5 or 4.9.

Do this on any and all cars you consider buying. Check for body work. Run fingers along edges of panels. If many small bumps, then that panel has been repaired/replaced.

Look underneath car for rust, body damage, etc. Tap on exhaust system looking for pipes ready to rust through.

That is a $2500 car, especially with gas being so expensive. Large cars are not selling.

Plan on spending an additional $1500 for tires, brakes, hoses, belts, fuel filter, air filter, a/c work, etc--on any car. That is true if car has only 20 or 30 k miles on it. If car has higher mileage, plan on spending more.

Good luck.
 
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Re: I'm looking at buying a 93 coupe deville tomorrow. What problems should I look for?

Look for a rust free car in east Texas if you want a good clean car. I passed on a clean Fleetwood on ebay that was near Chicago, it looked really good everywhere except the bottom was all brown and rusted, probably a lot more than I could see. TexasCadillac
 

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Look for a rust free car in east Texas if you want a good clean car. I passed on a clean Fleetwood on ebay that was near Chicago, it looked really good everywhere except the bottom was all brown and rusted, probably a lot more than I could see. TexasCadillac
I have the elusive rust free, fairly low mileage, 4.9 Deville in east texas. $5000 and its yours ;)

Actually had someone stop as they were driving by my house today when I was working on it and ask me if it was for sale. I said nope, but should have asked what they were willing to offer me lol
 

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For future reference: check the coolant, motor mounts, transmission fluid, OBD-I codes, and rear suspension.


Coolant: Check their coolant. If you see a light-chocolate-brown color coolant that means they used sealant tabs (very good. But don't confuse it with Orange Dexcool). If the car was serviced by a dealer, request to see the coolant changing schedule. If they did it themselves, ask them: How often, what kind of coolant they used (you want GREEN coolant, not Dexcool), if they used any sealants (BARS seal tabs), and what percentage mix they used (eg. 50/50). The reason I include the percentage mix is I believe this would be a good way to feel out if they used distilled water or not... If you ask them "Was distilled water used?" it would be very easy for the seller to lie... So try to figure out if they used distilled water.
Key points: Yearly flushes, green coolant, sealant tabs, distilled water. Using tap water will play hell with a radiator.


Motor mount check: pop the hood and start the car. Hold down brake and put into drive. Slightly push the accelerator; this will test the motor mounts. The car should not move, nor should the engine move very much. Abit of flex is okay, but my mounts are shot and the engine shifts up probably an inch. You can also tell by popping the hood and rapidly shifting from R to N to D. If you see the engine flopping around quite abit, the mounts are likely shot. The car will also thump (like you have a brick sliding around in the trunk) when you accelerate. The best way to test this is to let off the brake, let the car inch forward until about 2 mph, then give it moderate throttle (75%) (I have shot mounts and this makes the bastard thump... HARD).


Transmission fluid: The fluid should be pink. If it's not pink it may be worn (not necessarily bad). If it's brownish red (sorta like rust with less orange and more red tone to it) that means the fluid has been in there WAY too long. I got burnt on this myself. The fluid hadn't been changed in who knows how long and now my parking gear doesn't work. Also smell the fluid -- If it smells burnt, unless the rest of the car is great, you should probably pass and wait for another car to go on sale.


Service Engine Soon codes: Have pen and paper ready. Put the ignition to "ON" and hold the off & warmer buttons on climate control console at the same time for around 3 seconds. The fuel tank gauge will display "888" and list off codes.
The codes flash letter(s) and then a number. The first code that will flash is E52 more than likely. When it flashes, it will display "E" for about 1 second, then the number for about one second.
Here is an example of OBD-I output on the fuel gauge: "888" displayed... E ... 52... E... 98... EE... 49.
There are many posts explaining what the codes are. "E" means history (ie. not a problem at the moment). "EE" means that there is a fault present and the vehicle will not be operating correctly.
(Also, a side note: You can check the codes with your car on too. Just start the car and hold Off/warmer and the codes will scroll just the same. If the car is driven in diagnostic mode, problems appear from my experiences to become less significant... Just my personal experience).


Rear suspension: Air suspension test. My rear suspension is shot. One way to test if the air ride suspension is properly functioning is to set the ignition to "ON" (you can start it if you want), pop the hood, open the trunk, and put your knees/sit on the bumper. The air pump should kick on (there may be a delay. If the pump doesn't kick on within 15 seconds, push the bumper up and down hard. Then continue to sit on the bumper). The pump is fairly loud -- It sounds like a fish aquarium pump. You should hear it while applying weight to the trunk. The air pump is located near the top coolant hose running to the thermostat (driver's side), towards the fender. It is near the air filter housing. It looks like this:

except the ones on Cadillac vehicles are black.

If the air pump doesn't kick on, this would be something to investigate. Check the hoses running to the pump to see if they're broken. Push the trunk down hard repeatedly. If it looks like a pogo stick, the suspension should be investigated (I'm not sure if this would indicate it being shot, but that's what mine does, and mine is shot.) The repairs can be expensive (strutmasters offers conversion kits, but it would still suck to buy a car thinking the suspension works fine). The plastic tubes going to the air pump were broken in my car (in addition to the connectors to the bags in the back being broken) and my back tends to bottom out very easily.
A way to test the rear suspension is to find a road that is curved and has bumps (or just take left turns going fast). If you're steering through a turn and hit a pothole/bump, it'll feel like the back end is going to slide out (that's how it is with my car).



This post is long, but for any Deville you must check all of these if possible. The most important is the coolant. If the coolant was properly maintained, these engines can last 300K+. Headgasket failure is the Achilles heel for the Deville.

Nothing beats this kinda information PLUS a mechanic. If you can gather tips off the web like this, then get a buddy who works on cars, this will make it much easier for them to sniff out problems (although they should sniff them out quickly without them...) Also, use the search function for the forum... Except, use google. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site:www.cadillacforums.com
Just type your search keywords after "site:www.cadillacforums.com"

(I also made this post long because I don't post on here often, but when I do, I save my posts in a .txt file for future reference... hehe.)
 
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