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Buying tips for a 98 onwards STS


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Hi all.

I'm looking for some info on buying tips and what to watch out for with the 98 onwards Seville STS's.

I'm in the UK so will be looking at local RHD models, but apart from that I think they are quite similar.

I've heard people say about HG failures, is this really an issue with these?

What else should I be worried about?

Thanks

Matt.

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Hi Matt,

I am in the UK too and own a 1999 Seville STS and have also been breaking a couple of cars for the last year so have come to be quite familiar with them. The first thing that many people ask when looking to buy a car like this is 'what is it's real world MPG'? I average about 16 mpg which is pretty much an honest figure for running around town in a moderate driving style. On a run you can get aboout an average of 24 mpg at 70mph.

Another major concern is head gaskets, part of the problem here is with cars that have been run on DEXRON coolant, my car was flushed of DEXRON early on in it's life and a high quality coolant used instead. I have my car serviced every 10,000 miles (US service schedule calls for every 12,000 miles) but usually the oil and coolant is changed more frequently as I go by the cars driver information centre that gives you in percentage how much life remains in engine and transmission oil (transmission oil only needs to be changed on the 100,000 mile service as do the spark plugs).

The thing to bear in mind too is that you are buying a custom built car, i.e. there were only a limited number of right-hand drive cars built which means any right-hand drive specific parts cost alot more than parts for LHD cars. An example of this is the steering rack; you can easily get a replacement steering rack in the USA for around $600, even less. For a RHD car you are looking at $2000 plus shipping (Bauer Millet in the UK want £1700 + VAT for a new one).

Other expensive parts are things like front lights which are UK specific and usually one of items that gets damaged easily through parking accident.

Be careful with gas conversions too, personally I would never touch a car converted to LPG, if you can't afford the petrol don't but the car! LPG ruins the cylinders and heads. They are great cars to drive, but buy carefully, there have been several on ebay recently and several of them will be a real bag of nuts for the new owner, I think it's fair to say that people have got carried away. One person spent over £1200 on a car with engine trouble and it had body damage from a tree falling on it!! That is worth no more than £500 and buying it for parts.

Soon as you see a car that has any kind of engine issue, which will usually be over-heating, my advice is walk away, no matter how cheap the car is, buy one that has been cared for and runs perfect.

My own car is an ex-Pinewood Studios car they used to run actors to and from the airport, still has the film crew stickers to allow the car on film sets. I have babied it, it's got custom made luxury car mats with Caddy emblems embroidered on all four mats, I have many spare parts, including a full set of genuine GM brake pads with two full sets of brake sensors (only buy genuine GM pads, brake sensors will not fit aftermarket pads properly and you will get 'service brakes' warning message on driver information centre), plus a full set of Summit Racing extreme drilledf brake discs which have yet to be fitted.

Car has a great service history and since I'v owned it has been cared for by Paragon Automotive in Northampton (I live in North Buckinghamshire). I may be willing to sell it as I am currently looking at SUV's, just email me at CraignDes@msm.com if interested.

Bt if you need any more info. just feel free to contact me.

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The head gaskets are the weak link. '99's seem to be the worst. GM lengthened the head bolts in 2000 and the failures went way down. Nothing wrong with Dex-Cool. Just change it more often than recommended to be safe. I'd look for a 2000+ if I were you.

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Nothing wrong with Dex-Cool. Just change it more often than recommended to be safe. I'd look for a 2000+ if I were you.

If there is nothing wrong with Dex-cool why have there been so many law suits for it being not fit for purpose? The American car specialist I take my car too will tell you as will many others to flush Dex-cool and never use it, that IS the safest way as there are other much better coolant products out there and for the cost it should be a no-brainer to do rather than risk engine failure.

Ranger said to look for 2000+ car which is good advice but if you can still find a pre 2000 which has been looked after properly you should have no problems, but remember whichever model year you choose you are buying a car that is +/-10 years old and like all cars of this age you are going to start noticing failures due to wear and tear and with these cars being notoriously labour intensive to work on unless you are mechanically minded and have access to a workshop, labour costs to repair can be very prohibitive (that's how I got into breaking cars for parts, other owners just could not justify the labour costs).

Regards,

Caddys-R-Us

Edited by DJwerkz
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If there is nothing wrong with Dex-cool why have there been so many law suits for it being not fit for purpose?

Because that's how lawyers make money. If Dex was that bad, how come my wife,s '96 Bonneville with 165,000 miles on it has never had a cooling system gasket go bad, much less a head gasket? Why only the head gaskets and not the water pump or thermostat gaskets? Why don't ALL Northstar head gaskets fail? Why don't ALL GM head gaskets fail for that matter?

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If there is nothing wrong with Dex-cool why have there been so many law suits for it being not fit for purpose? The American car specialist I take my car too will tell you as will many others to flush Dex-cool and never use it....

Just to add a few facts to the undocumented, and possibly unqualified, words of the "specialist" and the "many others".

Not a one of the several class action suits filed in the various jurisdictions in the US have cited the Cadillac Northstar 4.6L engine in a complaint. Had GM chosen to pursue the issue through the court system, there is a better than even chance GM could convince a jury that Dex-Cool was not the "cause" of whatever the litigants were asserting. The cause could also be owner neglect of the cooling system.

Which raises the question - why did GM settle out of court? Economics. GM was bleeding cash at the time and one ongoing leak they could plug was the internal and external legal fees of defending the class action suits.

With or without the global economic disaster of several years ago, GM could see bankruptcy coming over the horizon and they were taking prudent steps to prevent/avoid.

Speaking as the original owner of a '98 Seville approaching 200,000 miles experience with Dex-Cool.

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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Speaking as the original owner of a '98 Seville approaching 200,000 miles experience with Dex-Cool.

Excellent, good to hear! I am just glad my own car however was flushed from an early age and a higher quality coolant was/still is used more frequently than US service intervals call for.

Even if there is nothing wrong with Dex-cool what's the harm in using a higher quality product, personally I prefer that extra bit of peace of mind.

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If there is nothing wrong with Dex-cool why have there been so many law suits for it being not fit for purpose?

The American car specialist I take my car too will tell you as will many others to flush Dex-cool and never use it,

I have had Dex Cool in 8 different vehicles since 1998.

Some of them were used in my business.

They have ran for a total of "OVER" 900,000 MILES.

I have had -0-, ZIP, NONE, NADA, gasket trouble out of "ANY" of them.

I did have to replace a water pump on one of them at 225,000 miles.

I reckon that was caused by the "INFERIOR" Dex Cool that I always used in it...after all, it "DID" fail and with "ONLY" 225,000 miles on it.

You can always state your "OPINIONS" ...but please note that is what they are..."OPINIONS"..:)

My "OPINION" is that there is nothing wrong with Dex Cool coolant...:)

Obviously you are entitled to your opinion but so am I..:)

Thank you.

PS:..My DTS with 90,000 miles on it may blow a head gasket tomorrow...but I rather doubt it..:D

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Even if there is nothing wrong with Dex-cool what's the harm in using a higher quality product, personally I prefer that extra bit of peace of mind.

Absolutely nothing. You are not the first to not trust or like Dex, but I have to ask, how do you judge the "quality" of a coolant?

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Obviously you are entitled to your opinion but so am I..:)

Thank you.

PS:..My DTS with 90,000 miles on it may blow a head gasket tomorrow...but I rather doubt it..:D

Exactly, as Dirty Harry once said,..."Opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one" haha.

I sincerely hope your head gasket does not blow tomorrow, would not wish that on anyone! My car is a '99 and has approx. 82000 on it and runs great although about to fit a new water pump as just noticed the original one is weeping (noticed it while car was up on ramp inspecting the front motor mount). Coolant loss is not an issue, hardly notice any loss at all so glad to get it done early. Bought the whole water pump kit so will be replacing thermostat too (all genuine GM parts).

With regard to coolant selection, I just leave in the hands of the American car specialist I take my vehicle to, they are a real nice bunch of guys who race American cars and have a real passion for them. In other words, it's in the best possible hands.

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