1987 Cadillac DeVille Sedan 4.1 from North America


Nice riding car with many issues


Exhaust system, water pump, engine, transmission.

General Comments:

I purchased the car from the original owner; it was in good shape for a car over 30 years old. It ran fine and shifted good. Repainted the whole car, did some interior work, and put in a new A/C compressor.

Within a month it began to cause problems. Replaced the water pump and exhaust. Then the engine went. I replaced it with a re-manufactured engine from Jasper with a 3 year unlimited mile warranty ($6,500). I thought I was all set, and a few weeks later the transmission went. Now it's sitting in my garage. I have almost 15,000 total invested and I can't drive it. I have to fix it and hopefully it will be fine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2020

29th Mar 2020, 03:09

The former owner may have seen this coming. So new engine, new trans, new paint, new A/C? Please get a knowledgeable mechanic when shopping. These stories are hard to read. They can still happen, but it's worth paying someone for a couple hours time.

30th Mar 2020, 22:07

The reviewer does not disclose the mileage on the car at the time of purchase... was it 50K miles... or 250K miles? Spending 3x the car's book value on a Jasper engine, if the car had high mileage, is folly.

31st Mar 2020, 18:58

I'd bet money the car was barely driven. That's really bad for any car. Fluids, rubber, gaskets, hoses and other stuff will rot and in turn make the drivetrain more prone to failure. He mentioned the water pump had failed. What would you bet the coolant was ancient and corroded the heck out of the block? That, and with automatic transmissions, if the lubricant was allowed to sit forever, that would clog up the intricate passageways leading to overheating.

31st Mar 2020, 22:19

The car had 78,000 on it and I have all the service records of everything that has been done on the car since it was purchased.

1st Apr 2020, 21:00

I believe these came with an HT series of engines. These were of a mixed aluminum and cast iron design. Not a good combination since that means galvanic corrosion. That and the bolts tended to work themselves loose.

3rd Apr 2020, 17:27

The early "HT" 4.1 RWD engines were junk. Used in a 4,000 lb car they were underpowered with many mechanical problems.

The FWD versions starting in '85 were a little better, then came the enlarged 4.5 in '88 and the 4.9 in '91. Those were vastly improved as far as power and reliability. Change the coolant religiously every 25k and add the GM sealant tablets and they are 200k mile engines.

4th Apr 2020, 19:07

Correct, I have the same '87 Deville and I drive it as much as I can. I changed the passenger axle, got a new alternator, and tension belt. I'm doing preventative maintenance. This car runs better than my '13 Passat LOL.

1987 Cadillac DeVille 4.1 from North America


I take care of it and it takes care of me


Because I enjoy not having a car payment, I have replaced the following parts to make this a sweet SDV:

All brake lines.

All fuel lines.

Fuel tank & sender.

Heater core.

Front hubs.

Front brakes and calipers.

Rear brakes and cylinders.


Cap/rotor/wires/plugs (smooth idle now).

New headliner and A-pillar cover.

A/C compressor seized... Installed a dummy one.


Have snows on separate wheels to save $$$.


I'm the 3rd owner, and I don't believe that the back seat has been sat in too much... like new.

General Comments:

The thing I really love about this model is that it rides like a dream for a 26 year old car, and has great heat in the winter.

Has a little rust around the edges, but is still respectable.

A beast in the snow in New York when driven safely.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd March, 2013

22nd Jul 2013, 13:44

I am having trouble with my 1987 Cadillac DeVille going dead while on the freeway.

25th Jul 2013, 13:03

I think your engine is reaching the end unfortunately.