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HELP: is my deville worth it? Lifter, bad tires, replacements, etc


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Heyo everyone,

Im 18 and going to college. I have grown up in a life sheltered from nice things, so when I got my first job at 16 I made sure to save to buy nice things. And viola I found a 92 cadillac deville touring. Beautiful car. Honestly a dream car type of feeling. Bought it from a local owner who sold it “for a friend.”

So before I talk about what’s wrong with the car and everything, I gotta say the actual circumstances is more screwed than the car, so that’s honestly the advice I’m asking for. I’m super new to this realm of conversation.

So I bought it from this guy for $3,200 a few days ago. Bit pricey but mileage was low and he held it for me for a few days while I got my bank situated. and he said it just needed an oil change. I took it for a test drive and it sounded like a tick, but again he said it has just been sitting there and needs fresh gas and oil, as well as filters and whatnot. Tuneup stuff shouldn’t be too bad. 

Well first problem is he didn’t give me a door key, and I ended up triggering an alarm every time I opened the door until i went to a locksmith the day after. Let it slide cause I’m chill  

Then yesterday took it to the shop for oil change to see if the ticking would stop. They gave me a service report saying I need two distributor caps and a rotor, all new spark plugs and wire set, air filter, maybe a suspension joint or something. 

Ok and then they said the tires were cracking, and they could be a safety hazard. then they said the ticking may be a lifter problem. That’s not cool. I’m not good with cars but I’m good at research and a lifter job is not a joke! $2k professional job and if I did it myself i would have to do it correctly, which I’m hearing is not as easy as grandmas pie.  And a set of tires is notoriously $600, and that’s not including the alignment I might need to get. 

i conclude I’m completely jipped with this deal. I ask the guy who sold it to me to talk to his friend to see if he’ll help me cause I’m now in a rock and a hard place as a young person. had my job close down around Christmas too so I don’t have income. I just asked for about one thousand to compensate for the broke crap in the car. He basically said he gave the money to his friend but he’ll see what he can do. 

I know a friend of his and this friend’s social media was filled with them buying crap and throwing a party tonight? Basically indicates that this may just be a big ole fashioned scam  

Im so sorry for the length bare with me. Almost done. 

I basically go on Monday to get the tires done for safety reasons. The thing is registered and whatnot. 

My big dilemma is: what the hell do I do? I have 2.7k left in the bank for now until I get a job again. Is this worth it if you were in my position? Do I retry for another car and try to sell the one I own or do I suck it up and invest in the caddy? The past few days tell me nothing about how it may do in the future, but all I know is I probably got taken advantage of  

again im new to Cadillacs and cars in general. I really need some help in weighing pros and cons of spending so much on the car. It’s a lot of money for me, and the economy my age group is entering is so ruthless, so I just don’t know where to begin. 
 

Thank you everyone who took the time to read. 

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Generally, used cars are sold as-is, where-is, with no warranty.  So buyer beware, and good to check out a car fully before purchase, or pay to have a mechanic check out the car if needed.  This is why some people shop at the dealer for certified used models.

Okay, all that said, what you describe is not all stuff you should do anything with for now.  A lot of it sounds like just enjoy the car stuff.

Door key issue -- yes, would have been nice to get the key as they are expensive, but does the car have a remote with remove locking?  Often the alarm is triggered if you lock it one way and unlock it another?

Laundry list from oil change place - distributor caps, rotor, spark plugs, wires, filters -- just ignore all that.  Service places are great at telling you that you don't have a new car.  Until you or someone you trust has reviewed wear items and determined if they need to be repaired, just ignore.

Tires -- sidewalls cracking -- Are the tires original to the car?  Is there a receipt for tires in the glovebox perhaps?  Go to a tire place, like Discount Tire, and ask them to evaluate.  Or simply go look at the car and see if the tire sidewalls are actually splitting or not.  I suspect based on the other report that this is normal wear as well but look and see.  There is a code on the side of tires (google it) to determine when the tire was manufactured.  LINK

LIfter ticking -- maybe what you hear is a lifter noise.  Maybe not.  May need attention over time, maybe not during the years you enjoy the Cadillac.  Note it, note if it changes, and keep clean oil in it, as you are.  Otherwise, drive the car and see. 

This car has the 4.9L OHV engine?  Those are nice, and generally give good service.

 

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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3 hours ago, Bruce Nunnally said:

Generally, used cars are sold as-is, where-is, with no warranty.  So buyer beware, and good to check out a car fully before purchase, or pay to have a mechanic check out the car if needed.  This is why some people shop at the dealer for certified used models.

Okay, all that said, what you describe is not all stuff you should do anything with for now.  A lot of it sounds like just enjoy the car stuff.

Door key issue -- yes, would have been nice to get the key as they are expensive, but does the car have a remote with remove locking?  Often the alarm is triggered if you lock it one way and unlock it another?

Laundry list from oil change place - distributor caps, rotor, spark plugs, wires, filters -- just ignore all that.  Service places are great at telling you that you don't have a new car.  Until you or someone you trust has reviewed wear items and determined if they need to be repaired, just ignore.

Tires -- sidewalls cracking -- Are the tires original to the car?  Is there a receipt for tires in the glovebox perhaps?  Go to a tire place, like Discount Tire, and ask them to evaluate.  Or simply go look at the car and see if the tire sidewalls are actually splitting or not.  I suspect based on the other report that this is normal wear as well but look and see.  There is a code on the side of tires (google it) to determine when the tire was manufactured.  LINK

LIfter ticking -- maybe what you hear is a lifter noise.  Maybe not.  May need attention over time, maybe not during the years you enjoy the Cadillac.  Note it, note if it changes, and keep clean oil in it, as you are.  Otherwise, drive the car and see. 

This car has the 4.9L OHV engine?  Those are nice, and generally give good service.

 

That’s kinda what I’ve been told by everyone, is that it’s buyer beware, and that I understand. But as I said in the orig post I did not grow up around money or leasing or buying a good car, so I don’t have options I have to buy used. The seller needs to help me out a bit because the car I bought is the car they told me it was yknow. 

They didn’t give me the fob either, which kinda makes the key situation more screwed up imo, but that’s over and done with now. 

The tires are cracking substantially, and the sparks I’m not the most worried about. I did look at them and I think I can make it to the tire shop without an issue. Of course, this just started because the tires are old. Everything is. So I’m guessing this vehicle has been sitting around for a couple years.

No paperwork came with the car except the title. Don’t even have a manual. so no receipt for anything. I think I kinda just freaked for a bit because I’m running out of cash to keep up with the one problem after another. There’s electrical issues too because they tried to hook subs in a car that’s made of darn wires, but those are easy to fix and cheaper than mechanical stuff. 

i might just add additives to the oil since it just got changed, so I’ll play the lifters by ear for sure, thanks for that. I heard a trick that ATF could be used to quite the noise at least and stop and lubricant issues. In Chevy at least. Does this work for this car as well? Can find any info in the internet about that. 

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It does sound like the car has been sitting.

Unless the tick is bad it may clear up on its own. You have to figure if it has been sitting that the oil has not been to the top end in awhile. A shot of marvel mystery oil may help to clear any sludge.

Is the engine running ok? Or does it feel like it has a shudder? If it runs fine disregard the tune up stuff for now until you are better able to do so.

Tires need to be judged by someone experienced. If they are aged badly you could have one unexpectedly fail.

A door key should not be expensive. It is the ignition key that can be pricy (if it has pats, chip)

If the body and underside are clean and it runs and drives it was not too bad a deal. When you buy a car that is 30 years old you have to expect a list of age related repairs.

I highly doubt you will get anything back for the car. People are not generally as reasonable, especially if you did not deal with the actual owner

This might sound crazy but I have dealt with buying, restoring, selling, and enjoying cars all my life, the worst ones I bought had the lowest miles. I swear that's no joke. My 200k-300k beaters are my best running and most reliable. 

Welcome to CaddyInfo

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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To back up Rockfangd... Marvel Mystery Oil is amazing.  If the ticking lifter is at all related to gum, varnish or sludge, it will clean it up.  And your idea about ATF?  If I didn't have the $$ for Mystery Oil I'd grab some ATF off the shelf in the garage and run with it.  It would pretty much accomplish the same thing.  But the mystery oil is better suited for the job.

Tires:  Have a tire shop look at them.  Replace if needed. 

The rest of it... If it runs good drive and enjoy.  The other stuff, resolve over time.

Don't panic and don't spend a ton of energy on trying to get the seller to give back.  People are generally not reasonable and will hide behind the buyer beware argument.

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14 hours ago, rockfangd said:

It does sound like the car has been sitting.

Unless the tick is bad it may clear up on its own. You have to figure if it has been sitting that the oil has not been to the top end in awhile. A shot of marvel mystery oil may help to clear any sludge.

Is the engine running ok? Or does it feel like it has a shudder? If it runs fine disregard the tune up stuff for now until you are better able to do so.

Tires need to be judged by someone experienced. If they are aged badly you could have one unexpectedly fail.

A door key should not be expensive. It is the ignition key that can be pricy (if it has pats, chip)

If the body and underside are clean and it runs and drives it was not too bad a deal. When you buy a car that is 30 years old you have to expect a list of age related repairs.

I highly doubt you will get anything back for the car. People are not generally as reasonable, especially if you did not deal with the actual owner

This might sound crazy but I have dealt with buying, restoring, selling, and enjoying cars all my life, the worst ones I bought had the lowest miles. I swear that's no joke. My 200k-300k beaters are my best running and most reliable. 

Welcome to CaddyInfo

 

9 hours ago, RubberCarrot said:

To back up Rockfangd... Marvel Mystery Oil is amazing.  If the ticking lifter is at all related to gum, varnish or sludge, it will clean it up.  And your idea about ATF?  If I didn't have the $$ for Mystery Oil I'd grab some ATF off the shelf in the garage and run with it.  It would pretty much accomplish the same thing.  But the mystery oil is better suited for the job.

Tires:  Have a tire shop look at them.  Replace if needed. 

The rest of it... If it runs good drive and enjoy.  The other stuff, resolve over time.

Don't panic and don't spend a ton of energy on trying to get the seller to give back.  People are generally not reasonable and will hide behind the buyer beware argument.

Gotcha, this helped me tons! The engine should be fine in the long wrong, but I think driving it around more may help it out a lot as well, since it’s been sitting.
 

I am going to replace tires tomorrow morning and I’ll put that Marvel in, I’ll be ready to go for now. 

My family never taught me this stuff so I appreciate it tons. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Travis! Just my two cents worth....At one time or another, we all have been in your exact same situation. I still pour thru TONS of ads, for all kinds of vintage cars, but particularly vintage Cadillacs, just like yours. I am addicted to seeing what's out there, looking for that "creampuff", or "must have". My two cents worth is this- run away as fast as you can, when you see a car "being sold for my friend"....it's a ton of crap, more than likely! SERIOUSLY. These a- holes have a car that they want to sell, they know there is something wrong with it, and feel they can take advantage of someone new, or inexperienced, so when something goes wrong, they don't need to be responsible or feel guilty.  Another RED FLAG, is when a seller bought the car, intended on "fixing it up", or bought it for a family member, and then never bothered to register the vehicle, and it just sits in their back yard. Don't lose hope, it sounds like you may have a decent car to work with, there will be others! Keep us posted, on your progress. Good luck- and don't give up!    Bill in VT   PS- for what it's worth, nearly all the low mileage vintage Cads I've bought needed TIRES. Many of them came with the original tires, or tires that looked like new, but were 20 years old....

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Sounds like that shop you visited tried to use the "sell-sell scare tactics" on the inexperienced !

The "tick" might be a lifter or even a exaust leak.

ME.........I would drive it and keep a ear to that tick.

As far as the tires if they have good tread and it tracks good, no shakes then I would drive them till they pop!

If when you need tires check out your local wally world.

Best deal on the Douglas 215-70-15s on your Deville.

USA made and better temp and wear ratings than the mexico made Goodyears i Had on my Deville.

I love wally world for their good deals on tires and batteries and their $20 oil, filter, lube !

93 DeVille-13 Chevy Impala

72 GTO - 77 Triumph Bonneville

84 Z-28

Syracuse NY

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