1988 Cadillac DeVille from North America - Comments

24th Nov 2007, 22:00

The car was bought in 2000 with less than 100,000mi and was very well maintained by the previous owner. There was documented maintenance that came with the car from the dealer that did all the maintenance on it.What's out of the norm is the fact that despite the use of the GM seal tablets,"radiator pellets",the engine still blew a head gasket and had to be replaced at only 91,000mi.My other cadillac was a 1987 Brougham and at 91,000mi it looked and ran almost like new and the engine lasted over 200,000mi.

12th Dec 2007, 03:36

I think the original reviewer here is right: Cadillacs in the 1985-1988 model years were pretty bad. I have family members and a friend who have all owned 1985-86 Cadillac deVilles and they all had major engine problems, transmission problems, or both, and I know of at least one more that also had major engine problems. I clearly remember looking for a car back in the early '90's and over and over again I'd see these advertised with rebuilt engines. Whenever you see a relatively recent model car (which these were at the time) frequently advertised with rebuilt engines, you know there has to be an issue. I'm referring to the 4.1 liter V8 engine. The 4.5 was better, but the rest of the car still wasn't anywhere near Cadillac standards. They didn't really start making decent deVilles again until around 1990 or so.

30th Jan 2008, 23:38

I too fully concur with the original reviewer. If you research back into Cadillac history, the 1980s wasn't a good decade for Cadillac quality. In the early 80s you saw the 8-6-4 engine in nearly every model, which put brand new Caddy owners in misery sometimes from the same day they drove off the lot. Poor quality continued for Cadillac all the way through the 80s.

28th Oct 2008, 19:14

I had a 1986 Deville 2 door. A very beautiful car, however looked a bit small for a Cadillac. The engine needed an oil pump and a water pump with less than 45K miles, out of warranty. Performance was poor, acceleration was a joke. About the same performance as my 84 Camaro with a 6 cylinder.

At 70K, engine was not getting oil and was ruined. Really a poor car.

30th Mar 2009, 11:49

I own two 1988 Cadillac Devilles, and I believe they are great cars. If you're having problems with yours, then you should treat it right. If you treat your car good... your car will treat you good.

Not all cars will be perfect. Especially one that's twenty years old. The 1988 Deville was pure luxury back in the day, and still is now. The car is stylish and unique, and I have never heard any negatives of my cars.

2nd Jul 2009, 06:31

I bought my '88 Coupe De Ville 1n '92 with 57K. Today (7/2/09) it has 230K. Head gaskets replaced at 172K, oil & filter, etc. every 3K religiously, and normal wear maintainence / replacement (none major) and she's still like new. I wish the 4.5 @ 155 HP had the giddy up of the Northstar, or even the 4.9, but you can't have everything.

16th Apr 2010, 16:51

I have owned 11 Cadillacs. I had a 1988 Coupe DeVille for 5 years; no trouble with it. Oh by way, only 80 81's had the 4 6 8.

Had a 1981 Fleetwood; no trouble. The best I still have is my 1994 Fleetwood, which I have had 10 years.

22nd Oct 2010, 17:22

I have a 1988 Cadillac DeVille. It's perfect. I just had have a problem; this year it happened three-four times. Starting problem. Last month I tried to start it, but no result. I waited 25-30 minutes, and I tried again; it worked!

This is the fourth time that it happened this year, and I did start it again after I waited like 30 minutes. Everything looks fine; battery, it's new. I also looked at the Fuji's, they are fine too.

I don't believe the problem may be the starter, because there are no miles on this car; it's an '88, but there is only 69,000 original miles on it.

I like this car, because it runs perfect, but when leaves me waiting, I really hate it! I don't know what to do.

29th Oct 2010, 09:09

First time 88 Deville owner.. With my back pain, I love it.. I just wanted to point this out for any weird electrical problem.. If you disconnect the battery for a minute or so, the computer will reset itself, which has solved a lot of problems for me. A/C, starting, cruise control, radio.

3rd Feb 2011, 17:09

Excuse me? Are you saying European cars from the end of the 80s have a bad reliability? That's so not true, the best Mercedes ever made came from late 80s and early 90s, which last for over 500 000 km's, same with BMW, and Jaguar (although Jaguar had some quality problems in the late 80s, I admit).

I drive an 300 000 km Volvo 960 that still has original engine, transmission, and everything on it works perfectly.

30th Aug 2012, 15:31

Old post, but I concur with this.

The MBZs and BMWs of the 80s were notorious for being doggedly reliable. Look online, and you'll see many in tip top shape, and going beyond 200,000 miles on the clock, running like new, with nothing more than normal maintenance.

Even ones that aren't maintained refuse to quit. Everything on those cars was heavy-duty built (besides the time when some MBZ engineer got high and put a single row timing chain in the 380.). But even then, they engineered the car so it was simple to convert it to a double chain.

I've had dozens of cars, and the only ones that never gave me a single lick of problems were the pair of MBZs of a 1988 420 and a 1989 560, and the 1988 5 series, and 1984 and 1987 7 series. They ran like clockwork. The 560SEL even went with me to Germany with 250,000 miles on the clock, and passed all of their stringent safety/emission test and ran the autobahn at its top speed (150 odd mph with no issues), and apparently even over there, the 560 is revered for being a car that will run like new forever. Although the German mechanics and US mechanics say that reason why the US versions have so many problems, is because lots of times the little problems are not fixed properly in the first place, or are worked on by someone who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a device with 4 wheels.

One as I quote said "Well nowadays you have these pimple faced kids with all the certifications in the world out of school, but they can't turn a wrench to save their lives." And I came across some of those types at dealerships. Calling me a few hours after dropping my car off asking me "where is the OBD2 port?" or "how do you open the hood? (on the BMW 733i) " or putting regular power steering fluid in the 735i steering system, when it's common knowledge for any E23 owner that only transmission fluid goes in there. That is how cars of those types get wonked up.

5th Jun 2013, 20:10

Have you tried a Mercedes W126 1988?

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