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I am in the market for a STS. I am considering a '99 and subscribed to this board to get some input (positive or negative) before i lay down the cash. I have a supercharged grand prix but i am a total cadillac newbie as far as its technical aspects. I know message forums hate the "newbie" that wants all the info he can get on a subject that is probably been beaten to death but after combing the net for 6 hours and getting jack, I figured I would give this a shot. I would appreciate any info regarding this car.

:banghead: Murdoc
 

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a retake on buying my first caddy

Okay...I did a search and saw the thread started by "jaycee" about the "straight scoop on the caddy".

I noticed alot debating in reference to the high maintenance and/or repair costs and that it can be really high on cads that are newer. I guess I basically want feedback specifically on the 99/00 STS in particular and whether it is sensible to buy such a technologically advanced car? I noticed that many of you have mid nineties caddy's and you have posted that they are a reliable car but I am kind of spooked by some of the posts in respect for the newer ones. How high would maintenance costs (generally) be on this new of a caddy, other than oil and regular maintenance? Are there any particular problems with the 99? I am worried about reliability since I would be using it to drive to and from work, which would be about 30,000 miles a year. I have heard from so many sources that the Northstar V8 is an awesome engine with an excellent engine management system and that one could put almost unlimited mileage on this engine with the proper care. But only real owners would actually know that.

I am used to reliability with my GTP, since it hasn't been back to the dealer since I picked it up with 3 miles on it and now it has 110,000 miles on it. The only thing I have replaced in 4 years is the tires and a thermostat. If I buy an STS with 60,000 miles on it and baby it with synthetic oils like my GTP, is it a plausable to say that I will probably get the same reliability? The GTP has a lot technology that is borrowed from Cadillac (ie. the traction control system, magnasteer, etc.) and I am trying to assume that the Caddy would give equal, if not better, the reliability I am getting currently. I know every car is different and not all parts are made the same but I would like to generalize on this point, if that is possible.

If you are wondering why I want to trade my GTP for an STS, I need something with 4 doors and I want it to be GM and I want it to have power. Getting the baby out of the back seat of a coupe is starting to become an adventure.

Murdoc
 

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Been there, done that dude. Unfortunately, the STS will probably be a little less reliable than your GTP, more expensive to fix when it does break, and maybe even a little slower than the GTP. At least the GTP can be made MUCH faster than the STS with minimal effort (Last weekend I saw 3 GTP's turning 13's at the track).
I don't much care for the late model FWD Caddy's as you might be able to figure out, mainly due to the points you've mentioned. The STS is a nice car as long as you are ready to deal with some of the negatives.
 

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Counterpoint.... I have a '99 SLS, not an STS but pretty much the same car minus 25HP. I love the 99 Seville, I have 65,000ish miles of which I have put about 15,000 on it. I have driven it easy as well as hard and on the highway for longer trips. I must say this. If you are buying an STS because of a baby and family I hope top speed is not you main consideration???

The Seville is a great car for power (especially the STS) and style. Both the STS and SLS have plenty of power compared to the average car, and both have all the luxuries you could want while continuing to drive a GM vehicle.

Yes I would agree if you want to drive a Caddy be prepared to pay a higher labor rate when you roll it into the dealer shop ( I think its around $65/hour +or-) but if you buy a good vehicle that has been maintained you shouldnt be spending a lot of time there. Since you are looking for a newer Seville '99 or 00ish my advice is to try to get a warranty. I bought my Caddy with about 50K on it and was able to get a warranty to take it out to 100K or 4 years for around $2K.

$2K seems like a lot but it covers damn near anything that can go wrong not just the engine and transmission. I think its well worth it considering I'm making payments on the vehicle, I'd hate to have a $3,000 repair bill while making payments for another 3 years as well.

If you want I can look up the name of the warrenty company for you. Just let me know...
 

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I agree with mnymaker here! Katshot! Go do a donut or something! LOL! That guy never says anything nice about FWD cars. The '99 is a lot nicer car in many ways than the '93 to '97s were and the '93 to '97s were and are very nice cars! You will like the thing and will most likely find it to be very reliable. Remember! These message boards are generally populated by guys that push their cars very hard and expect more out of them than the average guy. They are also populated by guys that come here to troubleshoot problems that they are having with a vehicle. For each Cadillac that you hear about on a board like this that may be having a problem, there are thousands out there running every day for their whole lives that have NO problems! Buy the warranty and enjoy the car! If you have have a problem with it ...come see us! We're noisy but very helpful. One more point, The engine was not designed to run on synthetic oils and most of the better Cadillac techs. that I know strongly recommend not running them.......Just some food for thought!
 

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Along with what KC said, if it is in good condition and you take care of it, it will take care of you.

But since some of the repair costs can be high, I would get an aftermarket warranty also. Do a search for "aftermarket warranty" and there are a few threads discussing this in detail. In fact, I am going down today to get a warranty for my Q. I would rather fork over the money now, then have an even higher bill later.

If you can find a good one owner STS in good shape, with clean record and service history, you cant really go wrong. Some may be covered under MFG warranty too.
 

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kcnewell said:
I agree with mnymaker here! Katshot! Go do a donut or something! LOL! That guy never says anything nice about FWD cars.
At least I CAN do a donut ;)
You WISH you could :D
Now to the matter at hand. Don't listen to KC, he's a one-in-a-million kind of guy so his opinions are based on one-in-a-million experience. HA!! How'd ya like THAT?!
KC,
The guy HAS a FWD so I wasn't comparing a RWD to a FWD. I just said that HIS FWD is probably more reliable than the STS, AND...it's faster.
The point about the maint. cost wasn't TOTALLY about the reliability of the car, or even the higher labor-rate at the dealer (mnymaker), it was simply pointing out the fact that Cadillac parts COST more, period. Face it, there's more in them to go wrong too.
If you like a FWD sedan, the STS is probably one of the best but for less money, you CAN get better.
The Cadillac is a "special" car that brings with it a "special" ownership experience. They can provide a "unique" combination of power, ride quality, and good-old American luxury car appeal. If that's what you're looking for, the STS is probably a good candidate, maybe the ONLY candidate.
 

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I have Cadillacs and Pontiacs and the Cadillac is going to feel much richer all over than the Pontiac, I can tell you that much!
 

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The Seville and Pontiac Grand Prixes are both nice cars. One's obviously about 30% more expensive, but you probably get that back in interior refinement and overall quality. The performance between the two is so close, you won't be able to tell a difference in the field. I drag raced a '98 or so 4-door GTP from a stoplight one time. Neither one of us won -- it was a dead-even match. Had we ran up through illegal speeds (rather than stopping at 50 mph), the Seville's Northstar would have proved victorious.

It's an absolute joy to drive 80+ mph down the Interstate in. It's quiet, fast, and pretty discrete. Lots of rice boys will want to play with you. One application of the go-pedal will send them scurrying home.

The reliability should be good. Both the engine and transmission are strong. I've gotten pretty good reliability from mine. The only major thing the engine has needed has been an alternator and water pump. I put in a new thermostat when I changed the water pump this weekend. Aside from that, everything has been very good for me. All the structs/shocks on the car are still original and in good shape. The ride is very smooth and enjoyable. I really don't have a single complaint about the car.

I think you'll notice much more refinement in a Seville vs. a Grand Prix. The 98+ Seville is built on the G platforum (Aurora) and is one of the stiffest structures GM makes. If you get one, go for the Bose 4.0 system. It's supposed to make Carnegie Hall sound like AM radio. :) The 32-valve Northstar will sound and feel much smoother than the pushrod V6 in the Pontiac. It's true that the aftermarket will give you more bang for the buck with the Pontiac, but I suspect that's not necessarily what you're after. The Cadillac is the underspoken but powerful guy at the party -- and the Pontiac is the track runner who just has to let everyone know how fast he is. Both will get the job done, but both have very different styles.

I like the style of the Caddy. You don't have to put on wheels and exhaust pipes to let everyone know how fast you are. You've got it at the beckoning of your right foot if you need it.
 

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KC, why can't a person run synthetic oil in a high performance engine like a Northstar? My dad picked up his new white diamond (the most beautiful color,-black shows dust and everything else) DTS and the dealer recomended it. Don't some of the new Corvettes have a "Mobil 1 only" placque on the engine. We love synthetics up here, they flow faster, run cooler, don't freeze and stay liquid at -45 C, and coat the piston walls and valves with a bead of oil for initial start-up. P.S. I have a FWD but I wish it was a RWD. From a physics and performance standpoint, if one is racing, logic dictates that the weight should transfer to the DRIVE wheels in the rear, thats where the weight is transferred. Ever wonder why front brakes wear-out twice as fast as the rear ones? With a FWD you are lifting weight off the drive wheels. Mind you, If I want to race I'll get a Mustang or Camaro.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, firstly I have to thank everyone who gave a response. I was surprised by the depth of information, especially from a topic that is probably asked by every newbie looking to buy a Cadillac. I guess my feel for the STS (and Caddy's in general) is more positive now but I see that every agrees that buying an extended warranty is a must. Mnymaker, I will take that info on extended warranties if you don't mind. Is it North America wide for the warranty company? I live in Canada so I don't know if it will apply to me.

Anyways, now the bad news. The STS was sold while I was trying to make a deal on trading the GTP. My wife was totally bummed out. It did give me a chance to reassess what I was doing and I figured I would keep the GTP and maybe buy an older Caddy until my GTP was paid off. (the dealer only wanted to give me about 50% of what I owe on the GTP as trade due to the high mileage)

I will still definitely buy an STS within the next 12 to 18 months so the info you guys gave me is still appreciated. KC, you mention the 93 to 97's....what Caddy's in that time frame have proven themselves as nice (dependable) cars that are pretty reasonable to maintain? What's the dif between the STS and the SLS? I know the price is different but is the level luxury below the STS? I noticed that alot of you guys drive the SLS's. The performance factor isn't as important now since I will still have the GTP in the driveway to burn up the roads with. If you guys were going to buy a 90's caddy, which ones would you look at?

Anyways, I guess that's it for now....I know I will more questions....

Thanks,
Murdoc
 

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The differences in the SLS and STS are for the most part attitude. The performance difference is very slight and in the real world, you won't be able to really tell.

The SLS is the more "traditional" Seville. It has a hood ornament, some chrome accents on the body, and very limited plastic along the bottom of the body. The taillights also fill the rear end (vs. the STS taillights, which are smaller and leave a gap, required by export requirements). The STS is very monochrome. It doesn't have a hood ornament, and it has a lot of plastic cladding on the body. Interior differences are few, but they are there. The STS doors have full wood accents, where the SLS has partial wood on the front doors, and no wood on the rear doors. The STS also has a wood surround for the shifter where the SLS is a matte plastic.

I like the exterior of the SLS better, and the interior of the STS better. Too bad there's not a car that blends both. :)

I have lots of pictures of an SLS on my site. Use these to compare to pics of STSes and compare for yourself. Major options (like seat heaters, moonroofs, chrome wheels) were options on both cars, so they're very much the same there.
 

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I agree with Jason, liking the exterior of the SLS and interior of STS.
I would make a list of "must have" options and/or colors and then buy the best Seville available at the time, the SLS or STS.

I did that, and would do it again; in my case, I "really" wanted a moonroof and really "didn't want" a boring color paint, aka: beige, etc.....I ended up with a black SLS. White would have been OK for me too.

One side note: This is my first black car with chrome wheels. I have entered car buff zone which I didn't know existed, consisting of people who really like this combo.......everything from rice burners to the SLS, to pickups, etc. Now, I want my next car to be this combo, black with chrome. Understated elegance......even makes Hondas look kind of good!

Zoned out,

Paul Gayda
 

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The newer SLS's '98+ aren't any different in body styling than the STS's. My '99 SLS doesn't have a hood ornament either. The only difference that I notice are the 98+ STS have the 5 or 6 spoke chrome wheels, 25 more HP, fog lights, and wood on the steering wheel and shifter knob.

Otherwise the cars are identical. The SLS's ride softer then the STS's because the STS's have the performance package on them.

So like someone else mentioned. Its more about attitude. I wanted the STS as well but at the time I weighed the fact of did I want to pay $5K for fog lights, wheels and 25HP and decided not to. The SLS's are fast just not as much torque and growl as the STS.
 

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Yep -- the styling differences are on the 92-97 years. Thanks for the correction.

Actually, concerning power, your SLS makes more HP and more torque than the STS does---up to about 4500-5000 rpm. The camshafts in the SLS engine focus the power lower in the power band. The SLS makes more power up to about 4500 rpm. The STS makes more power above that.

http://jadcock.oldsgmail.com/cadsls/images/46_comp.gif

This has been discussed at length in other threads...peruse the site if you desire to unlock all the discussion. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Alright then...thanks for everyone's inputs. I will use all this info for aquiring my first caddy.

On a side note, I would like to ask Sevillius (Paul Gayda) where the website is for that car buff zone. My GTP is that combination of black and chrome rims. I would be interested in checking that out.

Thanks,
Murdoc
 
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