2001 Cadillac DeVille Northstar from North America


Cheap to buy, enjoy, and eventually dispose of


Center console cover hinge broke.

It leaks a little oil.

Burns some more oil.

A poor reinstall of the engine after a torque converter replacement left the brake line to rub on the engine and eventually fail.

The space between the engine and body of the car is tight so it was easy to botch the install. The front brakes failed as a result.

Misc clips in critical places are failing as the plastic decomposes or breaks down in the heat of the engine compartment.

The clear coat on the hood is failing and leaves some odd designs in the appearance of the hood.

The trunk lid had water in it, so I had to pop the plugs out so it stays drained now. It's no longer an issue. The seal around the third brake light is the culprit for the leak.

Sometimes it doesn't start, even though it cranks over without a second try. It has a feature where you bump the key and the system takes over and it will then start.

There were a few times where it would not even turn over. This was a security system problem. Eventually, after a few tries, it started. Hasn't done this in along time.

Sometimes the windshield wiper hangs up and or jitters across the window if it's too dry.

One of the rotors is warped, but this can happen on any car.

General Comments:

Even with all of these nuances, I love the ride. It's roomy and feels solid as far as American cars go. It's a pleasure to drive down the highway and yet it doesn't feel like it's going to come out from under you when you turn a little sharp. It's got plenty of power and it's also fantastic in the snow (front wheel drive).

This is a car, that if you are willing to overlook the problem areas that don't leave you stranded, is a true highway road car that you can ride in for hours and be comfortable.

Repairs could get expensive under the hood, but if you can do the repairs yourself, or if you get it at a bargain price and can afford to walk away from it if it leaves you stranded or finally dies, you will not regret at least sampling what is the last of the big body cruisers that still have some real room inside.

I have purchased a smaller Mercedes for commuting, and I think I will keep this one for the longer weekend trips and drive it until it dies.

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

Review Date: 19th October, 2015

2001 Cadillac DeVille from North America


Great car; I blame the dealership and manufacturer :-(


The major thing, is really big. It was leaking oil, it was on my garage floor, it was an ongoing thing. I took it to the dealer I purchased it from; they told me $4,600.00 to repair a blown head gasket, and I was told not to drive it as it could catch on fire. My husband had recently passed, I went home totally depressed. I called Cadillac with no results whatsoever.

I took to other reputable mechanics; it was not the head gasket, it is a fault in the Northstar engine. It did use a lot of oil (about 1 quart per month). The kicker to this is the dealership charged me $50.00 dollars for the diagnosis. I did sell the car with full disclosure of my problem. I had to sell cheaper than if in good condition.

I failed to mention that I called Cadillac many times. I was told by a supervisor that it is old anyway. Wow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th June, 2014

29th Jul 2014, 20:54

I currently own a 2002 Deville with 72K miles. Bought it as a certified car in 2005. It uses a quart of oil in 1K miles. Supposedly normal. Otherwise, it's a great car. If it was driving well, I would not have sold it. Just add oil as needed.


1st Oct 2015, 07:27

Thank you for the info. Have the same problem. You are correct, it is a badly designed engine; all of them will develop the same problem! You can't just replace the head gasket; the head bolts will come loose and will come out with the threads!!! All of Northstar engines will do it around 90K miles. Well... welcome to the club. Never again will I buy a car with a Northstar engine. NEVER!

4th Oct 2015, 16:21

Northstar engines aren't the kind of engines that one can repair/rebuild. They're too complex. If something goes bad on them, the entire engines have to be tossed and completely replaced.

5th Oct 2015, 05:20


This guy seems to know how to rebuild them.