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Discussion Starter #1
I have a friend that swears by Cadillac. I found a 99 SLS locally that is a one owner car, no accidents, garage kept vehicle with 48k actual miles. It has heated front and rear seats. Car looks as good as showroom.

Yes, owned by elderly lady who had to go into assisted living. I can get it for $3500.

The HG issue scares the heck out of me. I do most service on my vehicles but don't need a money pit. This would be a daily driver. Are the 99's so risky that one should just walk away?

I am new here, so thanks in advance.

Chris
 

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Welcome to the Forums, Chris! Sounds like a great car, but maybe not for you. Sevilles were expensive cars to buy new and can be expensive to keep in tip top running condition. If you are concerned about the potential cost of ownership perhaps the car is not for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I had heard that Cadillacs were a step above when compared to GM vehicles in general. I have a 2003 Ford Eddie Bauer Expedition. It has been a very reliable vehicle, with over 169k on the clock. It's on its third set of rotors and tires. I have changed the oil, flushed the transmission, replaced the plugs, plug wires and coils at 150k, and changed the rear end fluid. In 169k, that's it. I would call that very good reliability. My question, in my mind, is the Seville even close to that level of quality? On the other hand, you can go into forums and read about all the horror stories that Expedition owners have gone through.

Thanks,

Chris
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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You are correct saying the forums (both these and Expedition) are full of horror stories... People don't post everything is fine today.
As for reliability these era Cadillac's are just as reliable however the are more expensive to repair. Any used car can be the best or worst regardless of model so check the car over and if concerned do a block test but there is no way to predict HG failure.
You will find people dump these high end cars when repairs or thought of the next repair cost scares them. Me it doesn't bother as I do all my own work and generally the parts are not that ore than any other car(there are exceptions of course).
Sounds like a nice car and price is good to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm going to take another look today, and take some cash. I do most of my own work, when I have time and patience. I wouldn't attack a HG replacement, though. I don't have the equipment or garage space for it. I do know a few reputable independent mechanics, though. I'm just too cheap to buy a new car, and even they can have issues. I'll make my decision this afternoon.

Thanks,

Chris
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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The '99's seem to be the worst as far as HG failure goes. That said, that is no guarantee this on will fail. It's just a risk you have to be willing to take with a pre 2000, and more so with a '99.
 

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Sounds like a nice car for the money, with the low kms, it will likely go for awhile yet before any HG issues may arise. From what I've seen, most don't have issues until around the 100k mark, if at all. I wouldn't pass it up.
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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There is zero relation between mileage (and age for that matter) and HG issues.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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I have a friend that swears by Cadillac. I found a 99 SLS locally that is a one owner car, no accidents, garage kept vehicle with 48k actual miles. It has heated front and rear seats. Car looks as good as showroom.

Yes, owned by elderly lady who had to go into assisted living. I can get it for $3500.

The HG issue scares the heck out of me. I do most service on my vehicles but don't need a money pit. This would be a daily driver. Are the 99's so risky that one should just walk away?

I am new here, so thanks in advance.

Chris
======================
99 SLS...........
with 48k actual miles................
owned by elderly lady................
I can get it for $3500.

my first thought was - what a great deal - you should jump on it -

then I gave it a little more thought -

at 48K miles -
EVERYTHING is probably original - except the oil -

and the car has been "granny-driven" it's entire life -

OK - so what?

every rubber part is now 16 years old -
all belts - hoses - bushings - seals - etc - TIRES -

all those parts could be OK -
or they could be dry-rotted and need replacing -

------------------

what happens when a granny-driven -
low mile car get put into daily service -
and is no longer granny-driven?

maybe nothing -

-------------

if you are buying this car
with the EXPECTATIONS that nothing will need attention
for a long time - you might reconsider -

you are worried about possible headgasket problems -
99 was the worst year for failures -
but that does NOT mean every 99 has HG problems -
in fact - the actual percentage of failure was VERY small -

HOWEVER -

there ARE other maintenance/repair problems
that are MUCH more common -
and just as expensive - even MORE expensive -

if the car has the F45 active suspension system -
the struts and shocks WILL need replacing -
at some point - easily $2500+

if the all too common trans code - P0741 - appears -
that's another $2500+

oil leaks are also too common -
an engine reseal is around $2500 -

these cars are cheap to buy -
and CAN be very expensive to maintain and drive -

---------------

with all that said -

you MIGHT go another 50,000 miles without ANY expenses -
except gas and a few oil changes -
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I understand your points. I have owned a lot of cars over the last 31 years. I looked it over once again. Tires are 6 months old, wipers are shot, wasn't granny driven per SE. This was her pride and joy, and babied this car and drove their Escalade daily. The owner started suffering from dementia and was put into assisted living.all service by the selling Cadillac dealer. No leaks in the trunk, every option except the sunroof and the struts appear to be functioning perfectly.

I checked on a warranty that covers all electrical and mechanical components except the struts for 5 years or 100k for $2400 ($100/mo) if I'm too worried about the risk.
 

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There is zero relation between mileage (and age for that matter) and HG issues.
Really, do you have anything to back this statement up? Mileage and engine wear have no correlation? That's a new one.

I agree there is no guarantee on anything with an older car. In my experience, when I was working at the GM dealership, generally most of the Northstar cars that had HG failure, were out of warranty and at the 70-100k mark.

If they made it past that point, they seemed to be good ones that held together.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oops, didn't mean to hit send. I purchased the car. We'll see if it was a good decision. It did have a cracked trim piece on the dash where the light sensor goes, but the family member selling the car had purchased a replacement part. I'll see how hard it is to install.

Chris
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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HG failure has nothing to do with "engine wear". There are Northstars with bolt hole thread failures, on these forums and others, at mileage ranging from under 50K-over 200K miles. They've been failing since the cars were a few years old, and they're still failing in their old age.
 

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2000 DTS 194,000 miles, 2000 DHS 203,000 miles
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Yup, my
Moms 2000 DTS failed at 170,000. My moms best friend who bought the same kind of caddy at the same time has 190,000 now and they have never failed yet
 

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HG failure has nothing to do with "engine wear". There are Northstars with bolt hole thread failures, on these forums and others, at mileage ranging from under 50K-over 200K miles. They've been failing since the cars were a few years old, and they're still failing in their old age.
Repeated stress on the engine head bolts, eventually "wear" away the weak head bolt threads in the engine block. Time and mileage leads them to eventually pull out and damage the head gaskets, this is wear and tear in my books.

While there are certainly exceptions and some do fail earlier, generally it's a far rarer occurrence compared to those with higher mileage. I don't tend dwell on the extreme cases as they are the exception to the norm.

Again, we'll just have to agree to disagree...
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Head bolt threads do not "wear" away from stress. The problem is coolant getting into the threads and causing a galvanic action between the steel bolt and the aluminum block. The threads corrode and fail.
 

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So, I'm not sure I understand Ranger...how does the coolant get in the bolt holes without stress opening them up? Is this why there were so many complaints that Dex-Cool was at fault for GM head/intake gasket failures over the years?

I was a service writer, not a mechanic, so I never really got the full story on this issue.
 
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