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Discussion Starter #1
Im looking at an 05 ESV Platinum AWD with 105k miles in good to very good condition. What are issues I should look out for on these SUVs. It has no check engine light on and my code reader confirms that all monitors are ready. On the test drive the only concern I had was a slight clunk noise in the drive train when accelerating from stop. Carfax is clean and its a southern car with no rust issues. Seems solid other than that clunk. Thanks for your help.
 

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2004 Escalade 6.0
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1,173 Posts
Pay an independent mechanic to check out that clunk and give it a once over. Could be expensive.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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1,398 Posts
Im looking at an 05 ESV Platinum AWD with 105k miles in good to very good condition. What are issues I should look out for on these SUVs. It has no check engine light on and my code reader confirms that all monitors are ready. On the test drive the only concern I had was a slight clunk noise in the drive train when accelerating from stop. Carfax is clean and its a southern car with no rust issues. Seems solid other than that clunk. Thanks for your help.
Oil leaks from the various gaskets. The most concerning would be the rear main seal gasket which can have a slow leak that covers the oil pan and transmission bell housing. The clunk could be from a bad driveshaft u-joint. Like mentioned before, have a mechanic do a proper inspection before you buy it.
 

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2003 Escalade
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134 Posts
Not sure where you are or where the truck is from but rust can be a big issue. Get under and check out the inner fenders, wheel wells and door sills. Frame surface rust is not a huge issue but make sure there are not rotted out parts. Completely agree with the above by getting it inspected by a mechanic.
 

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2004 ESV
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856 Posts
Guaranteed the brake booster is leaking power steering fluid. And good luck finding one that doesn't leak. If it doesn't cause too much drama, pull up the sill plates and check under the carpet for water intrusion. These platforms are notorious for leaking from various places (sunroof drain, old weatherstripping, AC condensate drain, third brake light). Seat heaters are also common failure points.

Put an endoscope camera down the oil fill tube. If you see sludge (no oil changes) or the oil looks orange and is muddy (antifreeze in oil), run away.
 

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Escalade
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74 Posts
The 2005 and 2006 years are the best years for an Escalade in my opinion. It's pre active fuel management. And the 6.0 lq9 is a trouble-free engine that doesn't burn any oil.

That clunk from a stop is likely the driver side motor mount like it was for me. Heavy truck powerful engine and they will tear. Some people use a Hummer motor mount to resolve it.

Rear air shocks and compressor may need replacement. Very common for that to go. The rubber airbags on the shock get holes after a while. And then the compressor wears out trying to pump up shocks with holes in them. There is some cost here but it's not too bad there are aftermarket options.

Like others said depending on your location. If you're in the rust belt look underneath. brake lines could be an issue sooner or later. It is regardless. That's not a Cadillac thing that's a environment thing. All brands can do this.

Wheel bearings will also be an issue at some point. That's true for any gmt800.

These trucks are easy to work on and will need stuff. But for the most part you should get another 200k out of it if you treat it right
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. This one has no major rust issues. Carfax puts it in Orlando for 12 yrs then Tennessee. I like the 6.0.....read nothing but good about that engine vs the 5.3 and piston slap issues. Looks like the rear suspension has the issues mentioned above, The brake booster has been replaced already as far as I can tell...it looks new. Anyway Im taking it to a place to get it checked out tomorrow....if all is good Ill make an offer on it. Hopefully the clunk is the motor mount which I can replace myself.
 

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2005 Escalade ESV
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16 Posts
I got my '05 a couple months ago with 150K on it. It's been beat on some, but nothing I can't fix. I have already had it on a 3000 mile trip pulling a 4000 lb trailer with out any issues. I did replace all the shocks before the trip. I put standard shocks on the front and air shocks on the back and disabled the air leveling system to get rid of the warning light. I may eventually go back to the factory set up, It can all be replace from Amazon for about $800. I do surprisingly well in the MPG rage for it being AWD. Overall average is 18 with about 90% highway driving. I got 13.3 on my long trip with trailer. The best part is about once a week my wife tells me how much she enjoys driving it, I don't think she ever said that about the '99 2500 Suburban I replaced this with.
 

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2004 ESV Platinum
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6 Posts
Look over the brake lines, my Escalade from inland North Carolina and the lines needed to be replaced. I had a line blow at the LR wheel on top of the frame. I bought Nicop lines which are supposed to be more corrosion resistant than stainless steel, changing these I would not want to do twice in the lifetime of the truck. My Escalade was cared for and it has the brake booster leaks and oil leaks mentioned above but has 250k and purrs like a kitten.
 
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