1986 Cadillac DeVille Base 4.1 liter V8 from North America


It's still a Cadillac


The air conditioning didn't work.

The cruise control didn't work properly.

The aerial was broken, so the radio didn't work properly. The tape player wore out.

The driver's door power window did not work properly.

The electric seat control was worn out.

The trunk could only be opened from the inside.

The speedometer did not work.

The bumper trim was badly chipped.

The car was generally starting to rust out.

General Comments:

This poor car had been damaged during a tornado, which could explain why so much did not work. That said, I really miss my Caddy (it was stolen), because even with all that was wrong with it, it still had the light handling, the quiet, smooth ride, and the understated elegance of a Caddy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st January, 2005

24th Jan 2005, 08:21

Wow, how long did you need to leave it running with all the windows down before somebody finally took it?

22nd Jul 2005, 05:11

Have an '85 coupe myself and an '89 sedan planning to do the 4.5 engine swap to the coupe. If your car ran anything like my coupe does now, I'd like to know what the hell the thief was thinking.

1986 Cadillac DeVille 4.1 V8 from North America


Great value and luxury for the price


Fan control module. Replaced with Pick-a-part unit for $10.00 and (1) purchased for a spare @ 61000.

Battery @ 61000.

Tinted ALL windows at 5% (dark). Looks cool! @ 61000.

Installed alarm system @ 6100.

Converted to 15" 1990 aluminum wheels and new tires @ 61000.

Serpentine and A/C belts @62000.

Rear shocks (auto level control) @ 65000.

Water pump and belt @ 75000.

Re-died side and front & rear bumper trim moldings. Detail polished exterior. @ 75000.

A/C conversion to 134A @ 90000.

Alternator @ 95000.

Brakes @ 100000.

Spring under horn pad (caused turn signal, horn and relay problems) @ 10500.

General Comments:

Purchased from a little old lady. Garaged kept whole life and pampered with her bathroom towels.

Immaculate condition.

Short on power.

Long on fuel economy (cent. California to L.A. gets 26.5 mpg every time.

Great car even has the dealer installed Rolls grille. A real head turner.

Sorry to let it go, but will be buying a truck in '05. Should go for $3,500.00 to $4,000.00 at 18 years old.

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

Review Date: 30th November, 2004

1986 Cadillac DeVille 4.1 liter from North America


A perfect teenager's car - safe and cheap


This engine had a very bad reputation for blowing up from sucking in coolant from defective manifold gaskets. We never replaced them, but did keep watch on the oil, which warns you by changing appearance to a foamy chocolate milk look when they leak.

I had the advantage of meeting the best service advisor in the industry. With his advice and guidance I saved a lot of money, and began a love affair with Cadillac's. In nine years I've owned eight of these cars, two to four in the driveway at one time.

I am just an average guy, who never even took shop classes, but with Cadillac's onboard diagnostics and the Cadillac shop manual, there wasn't anything I couldn't do. Cadillac's best kept secret is the onboard computer diagnostics. Two fingers and the manual is all that's needed. No other car has this feature. It tells you when it's sick.

This car was garaged in Arizona for most of its life. Before I bought it in Kansas City, every rubber hose was replaced. Sun had damaged most of the plastic interior parts, but there was no rust.

Although a grandma car, it had been T-boned in an accident. When rebuilt it had a lot of windnoise I corrected by replacing the door gaskets. It had also been stolen at least twice from the parking lot of the nursing home. It had 42,000 miles on it when I purchased it in 1995.

Parts are half the price of a Mazda, and one quarter that of Lexus, and they are not a dealer only item. Also GM has no fixed prices, so different dealers quote different prices.

The most difficult repair is the water pump $550. It requires moving the engine, and is complicated by Torx bolts that invariably break off or seize up and in my case cracked part of the block, which meant drilling it out and rethreading a new longer hex bolt.

The most expensive repair is the air conditioning pump which runs about $1500. but is warranteed for life if the dealer does it. The A/C went out at 120,000 miles.

We donated the car when the cam flattened out at 138,000 miles.

It rode beautifully, had velour upholstery, and was delightful in size, and gas mileage.

On the negative side, the car is so complex and sophisticated that things do break, but five minutes in an econo box will convince you Cadillac's are every penny.

Also because Grandma doesn't get drunk and run into people the insurance rates on Cadillac's for teenage drivers are ridiculously low. It is always a good idea to put more sheet metal between your teens and their opponents.

General Comments:

Repairs especially if you do them yourself are the smallest part of ownership costs. Depreciation is the killer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th March, 2004

18th Nov 2004, 20:57

I HAVE A 1986 SEDAN De VILL,128,000 miles, runs great, but now I have an over heating problem. The solenoid is new, as is the thermostat, the water pump, and the radiator. It seem the electric fan won't go on when necessary. I was told check the sending unit. Should I do this or have the whole electrical system checked for a short. The fan does come on from time to time, but cuts off thus resulting in over heating. When on the free way there is no problem. Any help would appreciated. wilanan@sbcglobal.net.

11th Sep 2011, 12:49

I own a 1986 sedan Deville, and had the same problem. I would check the temp sending unit. You can even have the car tell you what's wrong by using the on-board diagnostics. It's done thru the climate control unit.