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Discussion Starter #1
Its time for my 98SLS to get new front struts. I'm not surprised at all by this. it's almost at 100,000 miles. In a local dealer lot there is a 98 STS with 98K miles for $8990.

I still owe on my SLS, but for $1666 should I keep it or see what I can do with a trade? I read about people trading in cars they owe money on all the time, how does that work?

I could keep the SLS replace the struts and it'd be virtually perfect again, minus a few cosmetic issues. I have put almost 30,000 problem free miles on it, so i know it's reliable. Given that I don't know the history of the STS (assuming i got a good price on it with a trade for a fairly similar car) it doesn't seem logical.

Input and ideas are appreciated :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gary, thanks for that post!

Wow! I checked last week and they weren't there.

i wonder if that price is less than gmpartsdirect.com after shipping. I've added it to my watch list. I don't know if i have the confidence to do them myself. I don't have that tool to compress the shock spring, and would I have to buy additional parts like bushings or nuts and bolts to put new struts on?


I haven't searched the forums yet for any hands on words of wisdom from the DIY garage, but I will shortly.
 

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When I did the struts on my '02 SLS (this is the first time I did struts), all I bought was the bolt type spring compressors. They can be had on Ebay for less than $20. You simply remove the strut as an assembly. Compress the spring, remove the upper nut, and disassemble the strut. Position the spring and associated parts on the new strut, and release the spring compressor. Install back in the car. After I did this, I took it for an alignment. The car checked out perfect, and they did not even have to put a wrench on it. There doesn't seem to be an adjustment on these frontends. I do not know if that is a good or bad thing, but, I did not have to pay for an alignment. Being the first time I did struts, the job took me about 1.5 hours. Very easy job.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don,

thanks you've convinced me.

I just posted this in the other tech discussion:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=555479

I'm going to call my local parts store and see if they have the bolt type spring compressor to loan (that sounds safer than the one used in the Haynes manual) If they don't have one to loan i'll try and find one on ebay. I don't think i'll be getting to this until the end of january since I don't have a garage and I use a friend's garage when I do my work in the winter now.

plus the detroit international auto show is in a few weeks and i'm not missing that!
 

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To trade in a car you still owe money on. How does it work? Real well. The dealer adds the amount of money you owe onto the price of the car you are buying. There is no free lunch.
 

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dalegperry said:
To trade in a car you still owe money on. How does it work? Real well. The dealer adds the amount of money you owe onto the price of the car you are buying. There is no free lunch.
Only if you are upside down on your loan. If the dealer gives you more than is owed, the dealer will pay off the loan for you, and the balance of the trade, will be removed from the purchase price of the other car. The key here is to know what your car is worth, know what you owe, and insist you get what you want for your trade. If the dealer doesn't want to work with you, leave. Many dealers will talk people out of several thousand dollars this way. Do not fall victim.

Don
 

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I would keep the car and fix the struts. You already know that this car is well maintained. Why give someone else the benefit of your hard earned maintenance. One thing about those bolt type spring compressors, be very careful, when you compress the strutspring, you will be holding a bomb with the potential of 2 sticks of dynamite. Make sure you get a good quality tool and not a crummy made in China look alike. Good luck with it
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've decided to stick with what i've got. I think I was in slight shock over having to take the car in to get the struts replaced. now that I am 90% confident I can do it myself, i'm staying.

I've put 30K onto mine with zero problems, and by mean problems I mean things like "what the hell, the car suddently wont start, run, brake, steer, name some other random failure here" I've only done wear and tear repair this far. Who knows if I did trade i might only get 10K before a head gasket or something on a different one.
 

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iametarq said:
Its time for my 98SLS to get new front struts. I'm not surprised at all by this. it's almost at 100,000 miles. In a local dealer lot there is a 98 STS with 98K miles for $8990.

I still owe on my SLS, but for $1666 should I keep it or see what I can do with a trade? I read about people trading in cars they owe money on all the time, how does that work?

I could keep the SLS replace the struts and it'd be virtually perfect again, minus a few cosmetic issues. I have put almost 30,000 problem free miles on it, so i know it's reliable. Given that I don't know the history of the STS (assuming i got a good price on it with a trade for a fairly similar car) it doesn't seem logical.

Input and ideas are appreciated :)
You will do better to sell the car to private party, then go buy your other car with that money. To see the price differences, check out kelly blue book for retail dealer prices, private party price, etc.. kbb.com.

Never pay what they are asking. Some say rule of thumb is 2000 under asking price. Find out what they paid, to be informed you can use internet, kbb.com, edmunds.com, etc.. Tell them you know the price of the car they paid, that you did your research, and the most you will pay is 300 over that price. Bring the kelly blue book print out with you. If you really like the car, go as high as 600 over, but never tell them you like that car. Be prepared to argue over the price for 2 hours.

Personally, I would hang on to your current car, and fix it. What you buy at dealer, or private party you can never know the true condition of the car. Does it burn oil, leak, need shocks, transmission problems, needs a major tune up, blow head gasket?

Good luck.
 

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rfishing said:
You will do better to sell the car to private party, then go buy your other car with that money. To see the price differences, check out kelly blue book for retail dealer prices, private party price, etc.. kbb.com.

Never pay what they are asking. Some say rule of thumb is 2000 under asking price. Find out what they paid, to be informed you can use internet, kbb.com, edmunds.com, etc.. Tell them you know the price of the car they paid, that you did your research, and the most you will pay is 300 over that price. Bring the kelly blue book print out with you. If you really like the car, go as high as 600 over, but never tell them you like that car. Be prepared to argue over the price for 2 hours.

Personally, I would hang on to your current car, and fix it. What you buy at dealer, or private party you can never know the true condition of the car. Does it burn oil, leak, need shocks, transmission problems, needs a major tune up, blow head gasket?

Good luck.
Not sure what part of the country you are from, but that will never work in NJ. A used car will sell for what the dealer wants for it. They do not care if you know what they paid for it, they will have a bottom price, and they will not deviate. Most used cars here sell for about 4 -5000 over what was paid. If you don't like it, move on. They will sell it to someone. Remember, a used car can sit as long as the dealer wants it to. New cars are a different story. Dealers are on an allotment. They can only order what has been sold. So that is why new cars can have prices dropped so much.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #12
rfishing said:
Personally, I would hang on to your current car, and fix it. What you buy at dealer, or private party you can never know the true condition of the car. Does it burn oil, leak, need shocks, transmission problems, needs a major tune up, blow head gasket?
i agree. just needed some 'moral support' :histeric:
 

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How are going to find out what a used car dealer paid for a car?

You can haggle a used car dealer off his price, just can't do it as easy as if it was a new vehicle.
 

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Dadillac said:
Not sure what part of the country you are from, but that will never work in NJ. A used car will sell for what the dealer wants for it. They do not care if you know what they paid for it, they will have a bottom price, and they will not deviate. Most used cars here sell for about 4 -5000 over what was paid. If you don't like it, move on. They will sell it to someone. Remember, a used car can sit as long as the dealer wants it to. New cars are a different story. Dealers are on an allotment. They can only order what has been sold. So that is why new cars can have prices dropped so much.

Don
Where you at in N.J. I was raised up there, in woodbury, South Jersey.

Kelly blue book tells you what others are paying in the area. here in california, dealers want you to think the same way. Call there bluff, make a good offer, they will claim they will only settle for msrp, or sticker price. Tell them you know of same car selling for your lower price else where, and your going over there to buy it, and start walking away if they dont want to negotiate. Insist the car is there, and for $$$$$ less you dont want to mess around.

I did that same routine and had dealer running down street to get me back inside. Out here everyone buys Mercedes top dollar, or at best 2k under msrp. I got mine for 2k under retail price. Just tell them other dealer already made you that same offer, and you got to go because offer expires today. Most likely they will match it, or attempt to bs you. This one guy told me, I know that dealer you are refering to and his inventory, and he does not have that car you are talking about. I got back at him, that he is ordering it from another dealership today, but I have to get there before its to late to do the exchange, then start walking away. Turn and tell them, I only came here to see what the competition is offering, but I promised that guy, if you cant beat him, im going back there. That closed the deal for me, I had to start driving off, but the sales rep ran after me to close the deal.

Seriously though, you have to do your homework on pricing. Go to the biggest dealership you can usually helps.

I agree used cars are harder to figure, but you can get good idea with similar cars advertised in news papers, kbb.com, edmunds, autotrader.com, etc..
 

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rfishing said:
Go to the biggest dealership you can usually helps.

I agree used cars are harder to figure, but you can get good idea with similar cars advertised in news papers, kbb.com, edmunds, autotrader.com, etc..
Not sure I understand what you mean by "go to the biggest dealership".

In my neck of the woods... The big dealerships give the best prices on new but not on used... It has been my experience that the little dealers tend to be willing to move more on used cars.

When I bought my '02 STS (from a 'little' dealer) their asking price was over $8,000 less than an identically optioned '01 STS I had driven at the biggest dealer in my area. The only difference was my '02 had fewer miles, more warranty left, and had less of the 68 MPH vibration. The only other difference was one was Otter Grey and mine is Dark Blue Chip...
 

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rfishing said:
Where you at in N.J. I was raised up there, in woodbury, South Jersey.
Kelly blue book tells you what others are paying in the area. here in california, dealers want you to think the same way. Call there bluff, make a good offer, they will claim they will only settle for msrp, or sticker price. Tell them you know of same car selling for your lower price else where, and your going over there to buy it, and start walking away if they dont want to negotiate. Insist the car is there, and for $$$$$ less you dont want to mess around.
I did that same routine and had dealer running down street to get me back inside. Out here everyone buys Mercedes top dollar, or at best 2k under msrp. I got mine for 2k under retail price. Just tell them other dealer already made you that same offer, and you got to go because offer expires today. Most likely they will match it, or attempt to bs you. This one guy told me, I know that dealer you are refering to and his inventory, and he does not have that car you are talking about. I got back at him, that he is ordering it from another dealership today, but I have to get there before its to late to do the exchange, then start walking away. Turn and tell them, I only came here to see what the competition is offering, but I promised that guy, if you cant beat him, im going back there. That closed the deal for me, I had to start driving off, but the sales rep ran after me to close the deal.
Seriously though, you have to do your homework on pricing. Go to the biggest dealership you can usually helps.
I agree used cars are harder to figure, but you can get good idea with similar cars advertised in news papers, kbb.com, edmunds, autotrader.com, etc..
I am in Woodbridge, at exit 11 NJTP, and 127 GSP. Most car dealers in NJ, whether used or new, will not bend alot on a used vehicle. There are huge profits to be made in used car sales. They purchase them cheap (low trade), and sell them for right about what KBB shows. Also, here in NJ, KBB and the other public car pricers, are useless. No dealers use them anymore. They use "GALVES" (sp). This is basically auction pricing. It is nausiating at what they give for trades here. Just an example: When I bought my Seville, in November 2004, I traded a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 4x2 quadcab pickup, with a Hemi, and hooked up. Sticker on the truck was right at $30,000. I paid about $24,500 for it. The trade was $13,500, and that was the highest trade offer, from three dealers I went to. KBB had the trade value at $16,500. Not one dealer would even consider offeering more. Luckily for me, I had alot of equity in the truck, and I wanted the car real bad, so I but the bullet. Anyway, I am certain that they sold the truck for at least $19,000. No doubt in my mind.

Back on subject. Used cars, like I stated before, do not have to move quickly. Dealers can let them sit if they want. Due to the dealers allotment of new cars, they make thier "new car" money from volume. The "used car" money comes from high pricing. That is just the way that it is. The buyer always has the option to turn down a deal. And most car dealers (whether new or used) will let you walk away, on a used car purchase, if they aren't making top dollar.

Don
 

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My philosophy is to hold on to a car as long as possible. If I can't sell it privately, I am not going to a dealer to look for a trade-in. They never will give you what it is worth.

Back in 2002, I took my wife's 94 Altima to a dealer where we were looking at a Montero. Dealer offered me a mere $1000 for the car and would not offer any more. Man, I was furious. I am sure I was red. We walked out. I sold the car privately, that same month, for $2700. Went and bought the Expedition at a different dealer. My wife went by the Montero dealer to show out on them with her new ride.

Sold my 72 Olds for $2500 privately. I imagine a dealer wouldn't have offered even near $1000.

Keep your car, iametarq. Why even think of trading in a 98 for another 98? Even if it is an SLS for an STS. It is still a bundle of parts that you hope there isn't anything wrong with.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm staying.

I just bought new OEM Struts from the auto parts store listed above in this thread for $995.00 WITH shipping included!! gmpartsdirect.com after shippiing costs was $1,100 or a bit over that, I looked last night and I don't remember what the total cost was exactly.

With the help from Dadillac and my FSM, I think I will be able to tackle this repair on my own. I need to get the spring tool, but waiting for an auction on ebay to end. :D
 

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Im not familiar with suspension prices, but that price seems steep. Is it much more to have a pro do this job?

If I ever get my cooling system straightened out (overheating up hills, discussed in "Thermagasket" post on here), then I will be looking into the same suspension replacement for 94 Seville STS. Currently I have error codes S036, S060 and front end bounces alot over bumps.


About the car buying:

Glad im not having to buy car in N.J., from what everyone is indicating highway robbery indeed. My brother is still living there in woodbury, and he pays 3 times what I do for car insurance as well. When I left N.J. my wife of that time, yelled at me to stop the car at end of delaware bridge. She gets out and kisses the ground, then thanks God for getting her out of New Jersey. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #20
rfishing,

believe it or not that is the cheapest (the $995) that I have seen yet for OEM struts. Napa had some after market ones that supported all the electronics in the Seville but were over $500 each.

The shop I took it to have it inspected quoted me at $1666 for parts and labor and doing at it myself I'll save the $666 in labor, not to mention the priceless experience of learning how to replace the struts. I'm sure my father's deville will be in need of it soon.
 
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