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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys need to know what to look for before buying a 1998 STS. It has high miles (135k) but it's listed at a good/affordable price. If i take the car to a mechanic to check for the notorious head gasket problem will I be assured that I won't have a costly repair down the road, or atleast in the near future? Let me know what to look for so that I can get in this beautiful caddy and call it mine, without any headaches. Thanks for the help!
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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There are no guarantees. Make sure the coolant has been changed according to schedule (should have been done in '03) and you will hedge your bets.
 

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02 STS
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Head gasket is the least of your worries...

Start with the basics...
First, how leaky is the trunk? Did the previous owner have it fixed?
Second, Goodyear tires still on it? They cause the 65-75MPH shake.. This is a rare case of worn-out tires is not a bad thing... If it wears new Goodyears you'll have to put up with some degree of shake for about 40,000 miles.

If you can, try some WOT runs during your test drive... This will cause two things to happen... 1) You will fall in love with the 300HP and 2) If it chugs black smoke the previous owner "babied" the car... And if you read this forum you will see that babied Northstars are not happy Northstars...

Good Luck...
Awesome Car!
 

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1998 Seville STS
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20 Posts
Don't make the same mistake I did on the '98 STS I just bought. I didn't pay enough attention to the rear end. At least the shocks are shot, and maybe the compressor and ride height sensors as well. This could end up costing $1000 even if I do the work myself and use passive replacements. If you read some of the threads on here, you'll see it's a common problem, but there are a lot of options with various prices that can fix the issue. Make sure the car looks fairly level front and back, and then with the car running, sit in the trunk, or throw 100 lbs. of weight in there, and make sure the compressor engages to raise the car back up after a minute or so. Pull out the weight, and make sure it lets out the extra air after a bit. At least you'll know what you're getting into, and you can use it as a negotiating tool if you're still interested.

You might ask if it uses oil. That's not uncommon, or really even a negative if it only uses a quart or so between changes, but it's something good to know so you're prepared. Mine doesn't seem to use any.

Also, I guess the third brake light for the early years of this generation Seville are notorious for taking on water and wrecking the LED's. Only about half of the sections of mine work. There's a company that rebuilds LED's, but they don't even touch these since they leak so bad. I've noticed quite a few Seville's that this is the case.

Be prepared for the cost of parts on these cars. The word Caddy adds at least $50 to the price of anything. I spent $140 to buy Delco Platinum plugs and good wires at Advance Auto.

I've been very happy with my purchase though, and I too got a fairly good deal (I think). I paid $6400 for it and the interior and exterior are in beautiful condition even though it has 108k on it. The trunk looks like it wasn't even used. All the fancy little features work as well. When all is said and done, I'm going to end up with a great car for a decent price, so I'm not unhappy. This site has tons of information, as well as links to other sites where you can get more information. If you buy the car, you won't lack for assistance or information about your car.
 

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1996 Cadillac Seville STS (167k)
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473 Posts
any problems you have this site can help you fix them. some problems may be cheap and others expensive. good luck and maintain that caddy.
 

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2005 DeVille
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1,043 Posts
dons96vette said:
Don't make the same mistake I did on the '98 STS I just bought. I didn't pay enough attention to the rear end. At least the shocks are shot, and maybe the compressor and ride height sensors as well. This could end up costing $1000 even if I do the work myself and use passive replacements. If you read some of the threads on here, you'll see it's a common problem, but there are a lot of options with various prices that can fix the issue. Make sure the car looks fairly level front and back, and then with the car running, sit in the trunk, or throw 100 lbs. of weight in there, and make sure the compressor engages to raise the car back up after a minute or so. Pull out the weight, and make sure it lets out the extra air after a bit. At least you'll know what you're getting into, and you can use it as a negotiating tool if you're still interested.
I was behind an STS that had a bad pump in the back this morning. It looked like a Lincoln when the front air bag suspension goes bad. It looked like it had a bad front tire, too. The car was all over the place. It was a shame because otherwise, it looked good.

To the buyer:
I've only got a '92 but a lot of the same issues still apply. I stole my good car for what I paid for it but that doesn't mean it doesn't need anything. So far I've got about 500.00 in to it for brakes, serpentine belt, various other "little things" that add up. I'm having the AC fixed as we speak to the tune of better than 700.00. After that it goes in for new tires and an alignment. Even a car that looks and runs great can still have 2k worth of needs. I knew this going in but if you don't have the cash on hand to do this stuff I'd avoid any car you mechanic tells you needs these sort of things.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
They're asking $6,000 figure I can talk them down at least a thousand or more because I'm paying cash. I'll make sure to look out for what has been mentioned so far. I just don't want to buy a money pit, considering I'm in college.
 

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1998 Seville STS
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20 Posts
That sounds like a pretty good deal. If it doesn't have any major engine problems, you better buy it quick. And don't tell anyone where it's located! ;-)
 

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1998 Seville STS
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That sounds like a pretty good deal. If it doesn't have any major engine problems, you better buy it quick. And don't tell anyone where it's located! ;-)
 
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