1990 Cadillac Eldorado Reviews from North America

1990 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Gold Edition 4.5 MPFI

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 4.5 MPFI Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired200000 miles
Most recent distance201000 miles
Previous carOldsmobile 88

Summary:

Highly recommended

Faults:

Besides paying $450 for a running and driving car, the car needs to be tuned up, oil changed, needs a brake ABS pump, engine mounts, A/C work, paint job, valve cover gaskets, catalytic converter needed replacement, as well as drive belt and tensioner.

General Comments:

Overall it has been great these past couple of months I had it. It rides very comfortably, the handling is great, it has the get up and go, and starts every time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th October, 2012

1990 Cadillac Eldorado 4.5 Liter

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 4.5 Liter Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired96000 miles
Most recent distance99000 miles
Previous carToyota Avalon

Summary:

The car is really nice, but may cost a bit to get it where it's really nice

Faults:

The air struts are shot. The car bounces. It's next on my list to fix.

The hood struts weren't working, along with the hinge on the driver's side. I needed to get a new hinge, and it works better now. The failure to change the hood struts when needed is what bent the hood hinge. That was just a shame.

The wire rims were rusted. I bought used rims, but have since found out that they are warped a bit, and jump up and down when riding fast on the highway. I will have to get rims that may not look as fancy, but work better.

A gas line in the engine compartment was disconnected, and it allowed fumes into the inside through the vents. Simple fix was to reconnect the line and clamp it.

The alternator died at 98,000 miles, and was replaced.

The side trim is falling off because it was never treated with any silicone or lubricant. It just dried out. Proper maintenance would have prevented this as well.

General Comments:

This car looks very nice, and stands out because of its yellow exterior and interior leather seats.

The car has enough power with a 180 horsepower 4.5L engine.

The workmanship is really old school. I like it a lot.

The doors are heavy, heavy, and the paint is absolutely beautiful. You would never think that it's 22 years old. It looks great!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th June, 2012

1990 Cadillac Eldorado "Loaded" Base model 4.5 PFI V8

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 4.5 PFI V8 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance101000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Camaro

Summary:

Solid, reliable, comfortable vehicle that will take you far if properly maintained

Faults:

Nothing that doesn't go out on any other vehicle. I am a service manager so labor is not an expense for me.

Replaced alternator @100K. New serpentine belt while I was at it.

Brakes front and rear at 95K.

New front struts at 92K.

I converted the A/C to 134A at 97K.

I am going to replace the intake and valve cover gaskets in the next 10K miles or so. The rear valve cover is leaking a little, so I figure I will knock it all out at one time.

Note that none of the above repairs were failures. I like to replace common problem parts around 100K before they leave me on the side of the road at an inopportune time. The brakes were simply getting close to the wear marks, so I replaced them before they starting grinding so I could avoid buying rotors too. Other than that, just gas and routine maintenance.

General Comments:

I really like older Caddy's. The 90+ 4.x engines are very reliable and make good power. They are hard to beat for V8 fuel economy. I average 17.5 mpg around town and 27mpg cruising at 72mph on the highway! A very comfortable car that cruises great. My wife and I usually drive the Caddy on trips instead of our relatively new car because it is so comfortable. The Eldorado's have a classic look that ages very well. I get compliments on my car at the gas station pretty routinely.

The interiors do have a few more plastic parts than some luxury cars. However, this is my second Caddy of this vintage and I have not had any problems with broken pieces. From what I see in my profession, many broken interior trim pieces are the result of misuse or abuse. In other words, don't jab at the various control surfaces like you are trying to punch Mike Tyson and run. My wife was guilty of this when we first started dating and would give me a hard time for asking her to be gentle with the buttons, then wonder why my older car was so much nicer than her 10+ year newer one.

I think that most older Caddy's get bad reps for being money pits because the previous older owners are so tight with money they do not maintain the vehicle's like they should. (Ask me how I know) Other than oil changes, you typically cannot talk a older Caddy owner into maintaining the car.

The key is to get one that has been well maintained, with problems being taken care of as they happen as opposed to being ignored because the car still "drives OK".

Proper care of the cooling system with GM seal tabs is VERY important. As long as you find one that has had routine oil changes and proper coolant flushes, you will more than likely be in good shape.

Transmissions need to be serviced every 30K with fresh fluid and filter. Failure to do so will result in the tranny failures that everyone complains about. Ask those same people if they know whether or not the tranny has been serviced routinely and I am sure that you will get a "I dunno" answer. These transmissions are built very well but are subjected to a tremendous amount of low-end torque. Any abused tranny stuck behind a torque-monster V8 will fail sooner than later.

I didn't mean for this to end up sounding like a tutorial. I have been in the automotive service industry for 10+ years and have grown tired of the "Japanese cars are better" line. Any car that is not maintained, be it Japanese or American made, is going to cause headaches for the next owner. I think that most people who own American made cars don't maintain them as well because they are told that they won't last as long anyway, whereas Japanese car owners maintain their vehicles pretty well because it is an "accepted" standard. I have worked for nearly every major Japanese car maker out there, and they build a good car. However, they have problem areas just like any other car. Moral of the story, take car of your car and it will generally take care of you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2009

10th Jun 2009, 11:55

Nice review of a car that you obviously enjoy driving and owning, I know exactly what you mean about people not maintaining their cars and the problems that ensue. (I am a technician for a major Korean car dealer, the one with the crooked H logo). Your attitude on foreign vs. domestic is a breath of fresh air. Any car, not properly maintained will fail at times. I own three old Mark V's from the 70's and I face the same thing. My 78 has over 100k and still going strong, but my 79 with 65k needs a motor, the difference is how they were maintained. Oh, my girlfriend has a 2003 mitsu eclipse and she has more interior pieces broken than my 78 Mark. I think it's a chick thing to be rough with controls and stuff. LOL.

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 5 reviews