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Need Opinions on 91 Deville


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I own a 95 Seville, but I'm looking for a second vehicle since my fiance's engine blew. A local lot has a grey 91 Deville 4 dr with 113,000 miles for $1800. It looks to be in good shape, but he said it doesn't have cold AC and probably needs a compressor.

When he first got it, it was a one owner vehicle. He sold it to a guy who later traded back in to him for a 95 Towncar. He said there are no other problems. What are your opinions on it? Anything specific I should look for on it? Thanks!


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My first concern would be the cooling system. Look at the coolant in the surge tank. It should have a rusty look because of coolant supplement (Bar's leaks or similar). If the previous owner maintained the cooling system properly and added the supplement the motor should be fine. 4.9 l motor is a known workhorse.

The second thing to look at is transmission. look at the AYF it should by reddish transparent fluide with nice oily smell. Brown and burnt stuff means a bad transmission.

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Hi Jon

I traded in my 91 last sept. Had it for nine years. Good car. The AC could just be low on R12, I used to add R12 every third year. You do not have to change to R134. There is still some R12 out there.Good luck.



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I believe the 91 Deville has a 4.9 engine in it. This is a very good engine and will last a long time with proper maintenance.

First what do you plan to utilize the car for as a second car? An everyday long commuting car, short commute, family run around? Obviously if you had the service record to see what has been replaced and repaired that would be great.

The concern is the cars mileage and the vehicles age. It does not matter if the car was driven by an old lady to church on Sunday. By now it needs certain things replaced and certain things need careful inspection. I owned a 91 Seville, so while some of these things I am going to tell you to look at will seem kooky I have direct experience with a car and mine was maintained carefully before I owned it and by myself, so I have seen what can go wrong.

I assume that defective parts would be replaced, meaning that if a ball joint, tie rod, stabilizer link, axle, muffler were bad, it was replaced. We have to assume that the car passed inspection and that it is drivable, but you need to drive it and feel if anything feels wrong to you.

Check the struts carefully, if they are original they probably need replacing, the electronic struts are no longer available.

Check the brake tubing for rust and brake hoses for dry rot.

If the front end has not been rebuilt, all of the rubber bushings in the front end probably need replacing (strut rod bushing, stabilizer bar bushing, and control arm bushing). If you drive the car and the steering is loose, or the handling is jumpy or skiddish especially on turns when you hit bumps, or the car hits bumps very hard and you feel it in your seat or steering wheel, its a sign that something in the front end needs attention. For that matter given the cars age any original rubber parts probably need replacing/inspecting (dog bones, engine mounts).

Check the radiator for leaking, the side tanks are plastic, if the radiator is original, its probably showing signs of leaking.

If it has a fake convertible top, check to see if it is loose, at that age many of the Caddy's have lost their tops....as they explode off the car at high speeds as the mastic breaks loose from dry rot. When you drive the car, listen for a rattling noise from the roof, if its rattling drive it immediately to get it reglued.

Idle the engine with the hood open with it in park. Put the tach on the DIC. Depress the accelerator with moderate speed to about 1,800 RPM and release it. Do that about 3 times. If you hear any metallic slamming, its a sign that the SPRAG is bad in the transmission.

If I think of anything else, I will write further, but this is a starting point. You should be fairly mechanically inclined with an older car, if you plan to take it in for service it could get expensive.

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I'm going to check for service records when I go see him. I just called and asked a couple of questions so far. It would be for a daily commute of about 55 miles round trip. I'll check all of those things and post my findings.

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