1985 Cadillac DeVille Sedan HT4100 from North America
Oh, woe is me!
Note: I will reference a few mileages that are prior to the mileage I got the car at. That is because I am aware of problems since my mother had the car before me.
The alternator had to be replaced 3 times.
The fuel pump went around 80,000 miles or so.
The fan motors were not designed properly, and the modules that controlled them had to be replaced.
The coolant temp/fan light would come on if the engine was taxed in hot weather.
The computer went a couple of times and needed replacement.
A cooling sensor went around 105,000 miles.
The left rear brake light had a short, and would only function some of the time.
The glove compartment light had a short, and would only function some of the time.
The tape deck wouldn't play tapes very well, and would even screw up the occassional tape.
The rear-right speaker ate it, and made spitty spatty noises is all.
The brake rotors bit the dust around 70,000.
The power antenna bought the farm around 60,000 (but don't they all? haha).
The power-controlled mirrors worked part time, and eventually (not sure exactly when), the right one kicked the can completely.
The dimming control for the dash lights had a short in it, and you'd have to jiggle it a little when they went completely off.
The power steering was a little erratic in the later years. It would groan when turned fully, even with proper fluid level, and would be really tough to turn once in a while.
The washer fluid pump had to be replaced around 125,000.
One front and one rear spring broke around 130,000 (yeah it's true).
The interior lights stopped coming on when opening the front passenger door.
The power locks were sticky, and were fixed once, then were sticky.
The latch for the right-rear door slipped so you could not open that door.
The catalytic converter clogged around 125,000.
The brake line ruptured once...
In the end the transmission totally went all of a sudden. It would disengage and be like in neutral in the middle of accelerating.
At the same time, the engine was swallowing oil.
It is now crushed. *salutes*
Needless to say, this car has more problems than there are regulations in the tax codes. However, I don't wish to stain Cadillac's reputation with it. It is simply the king lemon of the group.
Some of the virtues of it included being quite comfortable, very smooth-riding, and overall, it was just a pleasure to drive when it was working. In it's day, the power of the HT4100 was plenty for the car, contrary to popular belief. The problem is, that didn't last long because of the abysmal design. It was Cadillac's first attempt at an aluminum block engine, and also a new model. No kinks had been worked out, and it just happened to be their largest mistake.
This car is great... when it's new. The whole time I loved the idea of having a luxurious Cadillac, and I could think of what a great car it would be if such and such weren't the case all the time. To whomever reads this review, Cadillacs are fine cars, but you must avoid the era of the HT4100 engine, and ESPECIALLY the 1985! Save your energy... save yourselves. Avoid the 85 at all costs. Farewell...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th December, 2003
19th Jan 2004, 08:19
Well I totally agree with you, on the 85 cadillac's. mine is fixing to go to the junk yard. can't get a trade in for it. nobody wants it and me neither.
18th Apr 2004, 14:32
My parents bought an '85 Fleetwood brand new in the fall of '84. Same car as a DeVille, only with upgraded trim options. What a beautiful car, for being a small Cadillac.
Very comfortable, and contemporary styling as well- but yes we all remember the electrical problems that it had from day one. A never ending nightmare! Ranging from the power seats & windows malfunctioning to the engine computer needing replacement, it seemed that 1985 was definitely the year to avoid.
They originally traded in a '79 Lincoln Town Car (BIG) for this mid-size Cadillac, and then finally in the end traded in the Caddy for a new '88 Lincoln.