1988 Cadillac Brougham Base Olds 307 cid 5.0L V8 from North America


Great, but flawed...


Belts needed tightening.

Oil leaked out of head gaskets (typical problem with this engine).

Speedometer gears needed lubrication, otherwise it would make a loud noise during acceleration.

Headliner fell (common problem).

Radiator blew at about 80,000 miles, very bad situation. The coolant is brown, have flushed it but I think it just keeps coming back. Needed a whole new radiator.

New front shocks.

New cruise control module and servo (very costly).

One mechanic misplaced all the vacuum hoses and needed it redone by another.

Radiator hoses needed to be replaced at around 85,000 miles. The upper hose blew recently, another bad situation.

Carburetor needed a rebuild.

The south top sucks, just gets dirty and is hard to clean.

Needed to replace a headlight.

Minor exhaust leak needed a fix.

ECC module needed replacement, the A/C went on and wouldn't turn off while the car ran (costly).

Needed a new transmission mount.

One tire needed replacement.

Overall, well over $4,000 worth of work.

On a good day, the car will return about 21 MPG on the highway, but on a bad day, mileage will fall to about 15 MPG.

General Comments:

The car is extremely comfortable and is one of the finest looking cars on the road.

Despite what some other reviewers may say about the Olds 307 on this site, it's an alright engine. It never feels like it can't deliver. Although, on the highway with cruise control, it will lose 5-10 mph on a hill. It is wheezy but overall a good, sturdy engine. I love the quiet roar it makes while cruising.

Handling isn't great, but what else do you expect when you have 121.5 inches of wheelbase? It's not the worst though.

The power steering is extremely loose, making turning and maneuvering effortless.

Why does the gas gauge have to slide to the E part during a turn? How lame...

The ride quality is top notch. Nothing rides better in my experience, the new Cadillacs don't even come close. Although I haven't rode in the 1970s cars, so this title is open to usurpation.

The body paint completely sucks in my experience. It chips and comes off on the tops on the doors, under the trunk lid, and on the sides of the doors. It is really bad with this, and you will have to work to keep it under control.

Overall, this is a great car. I just don't like that I've had to put so much work into it and can't fully trust it for more than going around my area of the state, which isn't much. Build quality isn't the finest in the world, and from friends' experiences, Lincoln is the overall better car. The bodies are tougher, parts are easier to get, and they're just more readily available than the Brougham. I've also heard that the Arlington built 1990+ models are a world of improvement as well. The car is nice, but I just can't fully appreciate it when I'm always wondering what will go wrong next.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 16th September, 2013

17th Sep 2013, 08:51

I owned an 87 Brougham quite a few years ago. Your experience sounds similar to mine. Those problems you listed are not unusual with a car that is 25 years old. At that age, even a low mileage car will have problems. It's just an old car that needs some minor odds and ends.

1988 Cadillac Brougham D'elegance 307 Olds V8 from North America


Luxury boat of the highway!


Cruise control doesn't work.

Power locks do not work.

Odometer only partially works.

One rear seat belt does not work.

Had to replace the fuel pump as it started to leak.

Had to replace the front brake hoses.

Heater only partially works, will not blow out the vents.

Steering wheel was loose and had to be tightened.

Tape deck needs replacing as I only get one speaker when listening to a tape.

General Comments:

I bought this very nice 1988 Cadillac Brougham D'elegance at Pick n Pull in Calgary. I picked it up because it was only $742 after taxes.

The car is in very good condition. It looks like it was garaged most of it's life. The exterior and interior are silver. The exterior still has a bit of shine to it in some parts. There is only about 4-5 spots of rust (around door handle, lock, etc.), just small though.

The underneath of the car is very good. Nothing is rusted out and exhaust is still in good condition. The car has the Olds 307 V8. It is a good engine, but not much power and the gas mileage isn't very good compared to my '05 Cavalier.

The interior is in pretty good shape. A bit of wear on the front doors and a couple of little cracks in the dash. Otherwise is almost like new. Car had about 191,000 KM's when I got it and has almost 192,000 on it now. I am not sure if this is the right amount or not as the odometer doesn't work some of the time. It just takes and clicks when changing from the 9 to the 0.

The only major problem with it was the fuel pump leaking. There are a couple more problems which I have to figure out, the cruise control doesn't kick in. I can't get the heater to blow out the vents, only the defrost works and the outside temp always reads -45. The power door locks also don't work. This car has the sunroof, but they sealed it shut as I believe it was probably leaking.

The steering wheel also came loose and took about 2 hours to fix (tearing apart and reinstalling.) The stereo has to be replaced as well as I only get one speaker when I put a tape in.

Even with all of these down faults it is still an awesome car! It drives wonderfully and it is a head turner. At 18 feet long it is fun to park! The seats are very comfortable and the tilt steering wheel is nice.

I would very easily recommend this car to a friend. It is a part of history and I am glad to be the owner of such a nice car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2006

21st Dec 2008, 17:59

The design of the Electronic Climate Control System doesn't allow the heat to come from the dash vents. Heat only comes from the floor vents and defrost vents. I know it's a strange design, but it's been that way since Cadillac started using electronic climate control. I think the newer Cadillacs allow more manual controls of the vent selection.