1993 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe 4.9L Northstar V8
A money pit that's good while it lasts
Well, the car worked perfectly fine. Literally, nothing went wrong with it, until everything went wrong.
I first started noticing problems one night on a trip back from another city about 30 miles from where I lived. The RPM started jumping all over the place while on the highway. No amount of slowing down or speeding up would remedy the problem. So we pulled over, turned it off. Let it cool down for a while. After getting back onto the highway, it did it the whole way back.
Then a few weeks later it started to run hot; took it into the mechanic and he had no idea what was wrong. Kept driving it, only to have it almost overheat on my way out to the local mall. On the way out a mechanic took a look at my car (kind stranger) and told me there was transmission fluid in the engine coolant! Luckily the car was able to whimper home and I didn't have to tow it. Unfortunately it would've cost almost the same as the cost of the car to have it replaced. The transmission broke in such a way that the transmission fluid was getting into the coolant, and then cooking the engine.
Initially I was in love with the car. The interior was incredible, had pretty much every feature you could've asked for in a 93, heated seats, climate control, electric windows, sunroof, everything. The seats also were extremely comfortable and the ride was like that of a cloud. It was also really roomy (I'm 6'3") and I had no trouble driving the car and feeling comfortable. I even took some friends places in it a few times and the back seat was roomy enough for almost anyone.
Next, the power! The car had a 300hp V8, and every day it felt like it. When just driving the car casually you would hear and feel this low-end burble that would shake the car ever so slightly. It really felt like you had a monster under the hood, and every time you stepped on the gas, you knew it.
The only bad part about this car really, was the reliability. After only 3,000 miles and change, the car was "totaled" by its own bad craftsmanship. No car should break the transmission that early in life, and with only 130K. It was an incredible disappointment after liking the car so much. And because of the fact that it sputtered out after only 3 months of driving, I'll never be another Cadillac buyer again.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 2nd May, 2016
2nd May 2016, 15:37
The Northstar is a 4.6 litre. The 4.9 pushrod was the base engine, which would have served you a lot better.
2nd May 2016, 20:35
Hate to break it to you like this, but the car was not "totalled" because of poor workmanship.
It was because you flogged it on and on and on, when the radiator was disintegrating and everything on the dashboard would have been saying you should stop.
3rd May 2016, 02:22
You should've taken this car to a technician for further diagnosis. The common mistake most all used Cadillac owners make is taking this type of car to a shade tree parts changer or grease monkey. These types of 'self proclaimed' mechanics usually have little to no knowledge in diagnosing or properly repairing these types of cars. Transmission fluid in the coolant is most likely caused by a leaking transmission cooler located in the radiator. Replacing the radiator and flushing the system would've solved that problem.
5th May 2016, 06:09
You didn't have the 4.9L Eldorado. You most likely had the 4.6L Northstar.
16th Oct 2016, 04:57
I agree, I have owned 3 different cars with the 4.9 engine; it's a wonderful engine.
I have also owned a 4.6 Northstar engine, nothing but problems with it, they are way overrated with the praise they seem to get. The last Eldorado I sold had 200,000 miles on it (4.9) and it's still going strong for the new owner.
8th Nov 2017, 03:48
A 300 HP would definitely be the 4.6 Northstar; sounds like the cooler in the radiator developed a crack and allowed trans fluid to enter the coolant / radiator. Likewise water will then enter the trans and that is usually the end of the trans. When problems such as this occur, simply don't drive it until the correct repair is done.
My 1993 Eldo has same 4.6, no problems at all, they are very powerful and robust if looked after. Best thing to do to these engines is to do the head stud conversion, then you're pretty much bullet proof. I did, best insurance ever if keeping the car.
Ivan from down-under (NZ)