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1979 Sedan Deville
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448 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I keep thinking about getting a Seville SLS (I like the look more than the look of the STS). I only like the 1992-97 body style. From what I understand, the 1997 is the best one to get since it has an improved body structure, and a new rear suspension.

My main concern aside from how much I would really enjoy driving the car, is maintenance. I currently own a 1979 Deville and a 2003 Ford Focus. I do most of the work on them myself. Is there anything I should really be aware of that makes working on a 1997 Seville much harder than either of my other cars? I know it will have more electronics than either of them. I know the starter is under the intake, but that doesn't seem like a big deal to me. I've seen articles on studding the heads (if it needs it), and I figure I could probably do that too. Might take me a few weeks, but I'd do it.

What do you guys think? Or I could just go for a 1992-3 with the 4.9, but I like the idea of the northstar.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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69,104 Posts
Same maintenance as any other 18 year old car with XXX,XXX miles. At this point, anything can go wrong at any time. Go back through all the Northstar threads and stickys as well as all the Seville threads and stickys. You've been here since 2005 - all the bugs, fixes, problems, workarounds, labor rates, common faults should have been studied and filed in your memory. Buying a 1997, you have absolutely NO idea of the maintenance history or what has been substituted for a cheap, quick fix - UNLESS you stumble across the one in 10,000 creampuff little old lady garage queen. At this point head gaskets are the LEAST of your worries.

SLS ??? (Seville Luxury Sedan) - 2003 or 2004. Period.
 

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Cadillac 95 STS, 02 SLS
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13,792 Posts
My wife's 1993 STS cost about $1200-1500 a year for maintenance and repair. But that was having all the work done by a professional mechanic. My 1995 STS has cost about the same, of course this includes oil changes and tires and brakes and front wheel bearings. oh these cars had under 50,000 miles on them when I bought them. The '93 we owned fro five years and my '95 STS I've owned for ten years, both cars had low annual mileage while we owned them.

As far as 4.9 verses a Seville with the Northstar, I have driven both and much prefer the Northstar powered cars.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,976 Posts
If you are capable of doing a HG job, you can handle anything that may go wrong with it.
A FSM would be highly recommended as your second purchase.
 

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1994 SLS x 2 ---- 1993 Eldorado Sport ----- 1994 Deville 4.9
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1,540 Posts
"Is there anything I should really be aware of that makes working on a 1997 Seville much harder than either of my other cars"?
You should do good:)
Everything against the firewall in the engine bay is a pain. Hope you are good with braille.
Inspect the block from the bottom very carefully for oil leaks. You read the head bolt job was something.
Wait until you read about the block reseal job.
 

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2002 Seville SLS
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8 Posts
Save your money and buy something else. My 2002 is the sorriest car I have ever owned. I have driven German cars almost exclusively except for this SLS and they never caused me half the trouble this car has. I have put over 200k miles on a Mercedes with general maintenance and it was not near the headache my Seville is and it only has 108k miles.

Robby
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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And, for the flip side, I have owned my 2002.5 STS since 11/05. It has been dead-nuts reliable, driven hard, exercised regularly, maintained by me and (occasionally) Fitzgerald Cadillac. To date it has had 3 "faults" - driver's seat heater, water pump drive tensioner pulley replacement and a RF hub replacement (warranty) as well as the earlier fuel tank pressure sensor recall (warranty). A Cadillac salesman friend and I found the car by using the dealer net trade-in database, so I know not only the car's total service history from new but also am acquainted with the original owner - I bought it a week after he traded it for a newer Deville.

The German, Swedish, Italian and British cars I have owned in the past have all been money pits - as have several GM cars, so this STS is a refreshing vacation from expensive car ownership - and "expensive" car ownership is relative to the car make and model, your driving habits and your knowledge/capabilities for DIY maintenance and repair.

You want to avoid the maintenance and up-front repair costs ???? NEVER buy a used car - either lease or buy new, let the warranty work for you, and unload it before the warranty runs out. "What about the expensive monthly payments ??". Tuff muffins - you either pay the money up front or you maintain a used car. "But, Sub, I want to drive a used car, bought cheap, with no costs other than gas/oil !". Lotsa luck. You wanna drive a Cadillac or any other so-called "high end" car and you gotta pay to play.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Is there anything I should really be aware of that makes working on a 1997 Seville much harder than either of my other cars?
what's easy on one car is a PITA on another and vice versa. A HG job requires a drivetrain removal and a crossover manifold gasket is a knuckle busting bitch of a job.

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Save your money and buy something else. My 2002 is the sorriest car I have ever owned. I have driven German cars almost exclusively except for this SLS and they never caused me half the trouble this car has. I have put over 200k miles on a Mercedes with general maintenance and it was not near the headache my Seville is and it only has 108k miles.

Robby
I've found a nice '04 SLS for my daughter last year with about 135K on it. I usually sell rather than buy them by that point, but decided to buy it. She just moved to PDX and I drove it cross country with her (last week). Pulled into PDX just a few miles under 160K. She cruised cross country at 75 MPH a beat all the way and never skipped a beat. I am quite comfortable that the car will server her reliably (as it has for the last year other than normal wear items) for some time to come.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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:noidea: You'll probably get varying opinions on that.
 

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2003 Cadillac Seville STS
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6 Posts
Any used vehicle over ten years of age is a risk, especially a luxury car. If you're willing to pay the initial repairs, the Seville is a great car.

I've been daily driving my 2003 Seville STS for over close to 2 years now with almost no trouble, which is surprising considering the previous owner rarely maintained it.
 
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