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Should I buy a 2001 SLS


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Well I really wanted to buy this cadillac, but it has 120,000 miles. After reading about all the blown head gaskets and the work it takes to replace them, is it something that was fixed by 2001 or am I going to have to fix em? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Oh yeah and what other problems should I look for before buying? Thanks.

Edited by davidmfio
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A lot depends on the condition of the vehicle, your budget, and your ability to do repairs & maintenance or have them done.

IF you want a perfectly reliable vehicle I would not start with a 2001 model with 120K miles. On the other hand, if you want and would get a great deal of enjoyment out of a luxury vehicle that is a terrific bang for the buck, the 2001 might be the car for you. If ALL of your budget is a stretch to pay for the 2001 Cadillac, it may not be the right car for you. If the purchase price is a portion of your budget, and then you can afford some repairs and fix up items, it might be.

A new Cadillac like the 2001 SLS costs around $45K (the current DTS). I assume you would be paying a small portion of that for the 2001 SLS. If you don't get a lot of joy out of that, it might not be a good car for you.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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With the current economic situation, gas prices and all that, I have no doubt that, if you spent some time looking, and are willing do drive around some, you could find one with alot less miles.

I looked for a long time and found a 2002 Eldorado with 28k miles. It cost about 2 grand more than a normal-mileage car, and I have no doubt that over time it'll be 2 grand well spent.

120k miles on a complicated car is alot - that's about the time that alot of parts start to wear out as the natural course of the life of the car.

Bruce's post is right on - you have to consider all of that, and whether you're willing to take the risks associated.

If the price is like 3 grand or something, you've got a lot of room - but more than that, you could be into more than you might want to be over time.

For the hell of it, I looked in LA Craigslist - and found this one with 18k miles: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/ant/ctd/1627146060.html

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actually I can pick it up for $2200 plus whatever a passenger headlight costs, from a friend of mine and i consider it an upgrade from my 2002 Ford Taurus with 170K. I do plan on keeping the Taurus also and then if I need the money for repairs on the Caddy I could sell it. Thanks alot and more information is appreciated. Or if it would be something too expensive for me to fix I could just call the $2200 a loss, sell it and try to recoup some of my money back and go back to the Taurus.

Edited by davidmfio
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But doing head gaskets scares the hell out of me, I'm pretty mechanically inclined but no way I could do that. Sorry for rambling but Ive never owned a Cadillac and it gets pretty excited to get the chance, so I'm using you guys to talk me down.

Edited by davidmfio
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....actually I can pick it up for $2200 plus whatever a passenger headlight costs....

If you can find a 'new' headlamp assembly you might pay $300 - $400. A used unit would be less than half that amount.

The engine mileage (head gasket) issue is blown out of perspective on internet car forums. Owners come to these forums seeking help with problems; not to report high mileage engine success stories. Ask yourself what would motivate owners of high mileage Northstar engines to locate Cadillac internet sites to report zero headgasket failures. (?)

You can buy a 9 year year old (fill in the make_model) for more or less than $2,200. But you sure as ---- could not buy my 12 year old Seville for that money because it's not for sale.

At 191,xxx miles and counting. Every day.

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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Well thanks everybody for your input I'm pretty sure I'm gonna buy it so if anybody has a used headlight let me know, and I plan on spending more time on here, I just found this site today and I love it

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Also check http://www.1aauto.com (one of our sponsors), and http://www.gmotors.com to see what a discount new GM part would cost.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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I looked at your original posts and realized that we hadn't specifically answered a couple of your questions - so:

The post-2000 Northstars had changes that seem to have taken care of alot of the head gasket problems. For 50 bucks, you can purchase a coolant combustion tester from NAPA that'll tell you if it's currently bad. Or, take it to a muffler shop that has the kit - I don't know what they'd charge you to test it. Also, my vague recollection from reading alot of the posts about people with head bolt (gasket) problems is that they seem to go out at less than 120k miles, so, if it's gotten that far without problems, perhaps you're in the clear. If the car has ever overheated, I think it's more prone to the problem. So, if your friend has owned the car for some time, ask him about that. For instance, if the water pump or a hose or something has been replaced, ask him how hot it got before he turned it off. And, if you ever have a cooling problem at all - do NOT let it get hot - for instance, don't let the needle get past the first notch to the right of the center temperature notch. Turn it off immediately and let it cool and baby it home or call a tow truck. Hoses and water pumps are cheap; head bolt/gasket replacements are expensive.

Is the coolant green or red? If the red coolant has been changed to green, then, you'll have to change the coolant more often. Search the site for dexcool and you'll find out all about the coolant situation.

Also - check the codes that are in the diagnostic system. Here is how to do it: http://www.caddyinfo.com/readingcodes.html

Do that and post the codes for the gurus here to comment on.

Inquire from your friend about the maintenance that's been done - if the coolant and trans fluid have never been changed, for instance, you're more on the risky end.

There's a way to change the readout for the Driver Information Center so that it will read out the actual temperature of the engine coolant as you're driving. Look it up here on post #9. It says it'll only work for pre-2000 cars, but I used it on my 2002 and it worked, so give it a shot: http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=26985&st=0&p=161569&hl=change%20dic%20readout&fromsearch=1entry161569

Drive it around some with the Temp readout showing - see if you can find some long steep hills, or if not, then get on a highway when no one else is around and go from low speed to Wide Open Throttle a bunch of times and see if the temp goes past 230 or so - it's a pretty good diagnostic.

Also, search the site for the WOT (wide open throttle) therapy - it's great for these cars.

For 2200 bucks, there's no reason to talk you down - assuming the car's well kept cosmetically, it sounds like you've got a fine deal, and it'd be hard to talk any sane person out of that.

My mother has a 2000 Sable, which is basically a Taurus with better trim - and at 81 years of age, she LOVES to borrow my Eldo. I drive hers on occasion and I'm always itchin' to get back to my Cad. She's got 90k miles on hers, and I had a 98 Eldo with the same miles before it got ripped off, and my car was less troublesome than hers by far over time.

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Nice summary Coolness

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Well I really wanted to buy this cadillac, but it has 120,000 miles. After reading about all the blown head gaskets and the work it takes to replace them, is it something that was fixed by 2001 or am I going to have to fix em? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Oh yeah and what other problems should I look for before buying? Thanks.

GM lengthened the head bolts in 2000 and then went to a coarser thread pitch in '04. The HG failure rate after 2000 is MUCH lower, though not unheard of. Like JimD said, it's a little out of proportion on forums.

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Well thanks everybody for your input I'm pretty sure I'm gonna buy it so if anybody has a used headlight let me know, and I plan on spending more time on here, I just found this site today and I love it

You might want to check out this headlight on ebay.

Is this headlight what you're looking for?

As you can see, there are a couple of days left for bidding. If it's the headlight you need you should follow the bidding and see where it goes.

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I would recommend having a radiator shop test the cooling system for exhaust gasses before you buy it. If it fails the test, walk away. If it passes, then you know the headgaskets are intact. The money spend on the test would be well worth it.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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