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Discussion Starter #1
And I need some advice! I am about to pull the trigger on this deal on Autotrader. It's a 2002 Seville SLS, with about 87K miles, and costs about $5000.00.

I've been reading a lot about how the car has problems with "shakes/shimmies/vibration". I'm eager to know that if I get this car, how easy it will be for me to fix, and how costly.

Can anyone shed some light on whether or not you think it would be good for me to go with this deal? Does the price look too attractive (too good to be true)? Also, I'm curious about what everyone is saying about "uncomfortable seats". I've had back surgery, so I need the seats to be pretty comfortable.

Thanks for the help!
 

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2005 Escalade,1996 Eldorado
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23 Posts
First off the price does seem a little low, KBB has a range from 5300 - 6500 so I guess that is not too far off. I would definitely have a mechanic look it over for anything major. I have read a lot about vibration problems on here but have not experienced any with my car as of yet. Mine rolls ultra smooth down the highway at any speed. I can't believe anyone would say that the seats are uncomfortable??? I haven't ridden in anything that matches the ride or the comfort of a Cadillac. Everything with these cars depends on how the maintenance was handled over the life of the car. Ask for records of anything that has been done. If she was well cared for you shouldn't have any major problems. Get her checked out, look at the records and then enjoy driving :D
 

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2003 Cadillac Seville STS 73k Miles, '90 Chevy 1500 Reg Cab
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725 Posts
Well first off welcome to the forums, hopefully you can find the information you need here!

As far as the shake/shimmy/vibration problem, yes it is common, but nobody can really tell you how much its going to cost to fix it. For some people(including me) a simple tire rotation will fix it, for others it doing a Road Force Balance on all 4 tires fixes/alleviates the problem, for some its new tires, others its front wheel hubs/capsules(sealed all in 1 unit), others its a steering shaft, some have done all of the above and never truly gotten rid of it, so there isn't a one sized fits all solution for that problem....sorry.

Far as the seats, honestly I'm not that impressed with mine. Yes they're heated, yes they have a billion way power adjustment, but for me the seats in my 95 Chevy Blazer were much more comfy then the ones in this Caddy. Any drive longer than 2 hours seems to start hurting the lower back and I end up reclining the seat back a ways and tilting the wheel back and assuming a posture that is likely more appropriate in areas of town that that require Caddy's to have hydraulics and 200 spoke wire wheels in order to fit in.

Far as how good of a deal is it, hard to tell with that info, Pull diagnostic codes(sticky on the top of this section) and post here, write down the RPO Codes(bottom side of spare tire cover in trunk, put in decoder website here) and post those here also, and even though we'll have a decent idea what it looks like throw a couple pics up as well! With diagnostic and RPO codes the members will be able to give you a better idea of what you're looking at and what options it had in the first place. Find out from whoever owns the car currently what maintenance its had done, and try to get paperwork to document all of it.

Finally use the search feature here, its a valuable tool, read the Technical Archives(linked at the top of the screen), ask questions when you've got them, and good luck!
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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I had an '02 SLS. My daughter has it now. I never got rid of the vibration until I got rid of the factory tires. She just had a flat fixed and it's back. I think she needs to get that wheel road forced again. I don't recall the seats as the most comfortable I've ever had, but neither do I recall them as UNcomfortable. Best I can say is sit in it and see what you think. How easy it is for you to fix depends on your skill level.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had an '02 SLS. My daughter has it now. I never got rid of the vibration until I got rid of the factory tires. She just had a flat fixed and it's back. I think she needs to get that wheel road forced again. I don't recall the seats as the most comfortable I've ever had, but neither do I recall them as UNcomfortable. Best I can say is sit in it and see what you think. How easy it is for you to fix depends on your skill level.
What is "wheel road forcing"? This is the first time I've heard that term.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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69,431 Posts
................it's a short term for "balancing the wheel/tire assembly under static and dynamic conditions using a Hunter Road Force machine".

Go to the Hunter website (Google "hunter road force balance") and use their locator to find a shop near you with the equipment.
 

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2001 Seville SLS 140k miles
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50 Posts
If i were you, I would NOT buy the car. A lot of people will call me crazy but at 19, all i ever wanted was a caddy and it was one of the biggest mistakes...unless you have tons of money. A mechanic from the cadillac dealership even quoted "you shouldnt have a caddy unless you can afford to drop it off and pay for whatever it needs". I have an 01 SLS and yes i do love it but I swear it seems like at least once a week theres a new noise or code appearing. Ive had it all replaced, from the torque converter that turned into a new tranny, wheel hubs i swear seem to go bad every 3 months, stabilizer links, and now because of the goofy air ride suspension my seville is sitting up in the back as if it were a custom drag racer :( I still do love my car, and the neighborhood envys me ;) but i would be rich if i had back all the money i have put into this car just in the last year. Buy an aftermarket car warranty, some say their crap but it saved me at least $5000 in just 1 year
 

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'00 STS
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154 Posts
If i were you, I would NOT buy the car. A lot of people will call me crazy but at 19, all i ever wanted was a caddy and it was one of the biggest mistakes...unless you have tons of money. A mechanic from the cadillac dealership even quoted "you shouldnt have a caddy unless you can afford to drop it off and pay for whatever it needs". I have an 01 SLS and yes i do love it but I swear it seems like at least once a week theres a new noise or code appearing. Ive had it all replaced, from the torque converter that turned into a new tranny, wheel hubs i swear seem to go bad every 3 months, stabilizer links, and now because of the goofy air ride suspension my seville is sitting up in the back as if it were a custom drag racer :( I still do love my car, and the neighborhood envys me ;) but i would be rich if i had back all the money i have put into this car just in the last year. Buy an aftermarket car warranty, some say their crap but it saved me at least $5000 in just 1 year
Sounds like a string of bad luck. The good extended service contract are very expensive, usually $2K-$4K. There's usually all sorts of prices caps on both labor and parts.

Like anything else, it's about odds. Odds are a $5K, 87K mile Toyota/Honda product will outlast a SLS. But the SLS is a cooler car. Also I will say while redesigned, no 2000-2002 is safe from the blown headgasket, mine went at 110K
 

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98 Deville, '15 Ford Fusion Hybrid Titanium, '12 Ford Escape
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I had the shimmy on my 98 but new tires fixed it. Any time you buy a used car you take chances, doesn't matter who makes it. It depends on your pickiness and what you will put up with if you do find "problems" and your willingness to fix them yourself or pay someone. Anyone can own a Caddy or a Benz, you just have to be honest with yourself and ask if you can afford any future repairs or parts, or do it yourself if you have the skill set.
 

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2002 Cadillac STS w/ F55
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42 Posts
The only thing that bothers me about my seats is the sound of that cheap plastic rubbing together in the headrest. It's comfortable and supportive, but I just hate the brittle plastic-on-plastic squeak everytime I relax my gourd
 

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not anymore 2007 Lexus ES350
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7,700 Posts
growing up i was always a Lincoln kid i loved Lincolns would spend fortunes and fortunes 2 times ina row fixing them my last Lincoln was a 1995 Continental I think it had 190k and the last year i had it i spend over 13k fixing it
and then there was an accident and it was only Worth 1400 to the insurance company so i got screwed

i just bought a 2000 SLS with 106k i payed after interest and financing and taxes and everything its like 9200 i know i over payed but i had to have it loved it from he second i drove it
luckily when i found the problem with the misfire because the Plenum was bad and causing it to run ruff and lean
well i did not get a warranty on the car but dealer did fix it at no cost to me i thout i was going to have to pay half he said at first but then he decided to pay for the entire thing
so i lucked out so it seems to be all worth the money so far
will know in the next year once i have put about 30k on it by this time next year
i love this car

Ross G
 

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98 STS
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295 Posts
Before you buy the car take it to a garage that does block leak down tests they are under $50.00, that will tell you for sure if you have the dreaded head gasket failure or not, if it passes i would definatly jump on it for 5K
 

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1998 Cadillac Seville STS
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13 Posts
I wouldnt fret over the repair costs. Ebay has a plethora of new and used pasrts for cheap money. I just saw a transmisssion go for .99 cents with 35k miles on it. Thanks to ebay, I got my car running great and looking great as well.
 
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