20th Jun 2007, 12:41

We've had our '97 Deville for a couple years now. Bought it in 2005 for 7k with 98k miles on it. She's now a seasoned 130k mile pearl white beauty with MOON roof. In town MPG is 23.5 to 24. Our oil consumption is 1-2 quart (Valvoline 10-30 mineral) for every 3-5k oil change. I believe what others say about regularly "airing out" the Northstar and it helping oil consumption. We only use Valvoline. No leaks. We get into the Northstar frequently with rude drivers and on ramps. Many times we dog young punks with their rice burners, just to put them in their place! As a youngster, you haven't really been dogged until grandma makes you eat dust in her Caddy!

Maintenance is my job, and I've been able to do it all so far with no service manuals and just the Hayes (Chilton) manual.

Biggest job to date has been to install both front wheel bearing/hub assemblies. Not a hard job if you have a fair assortment of tools. This was at around 125k after having to listening to a growling noise coming from the front end for say 500 miles. My time (2.5 hours / side) and $300 later it was finished. I put new ceramic pads up front at this time.

Just recently (125k) put in a new radiator, and now she holds coolant at a rock solid level. This has also helped with coolant temps and has helped with gas mileage. Go figure. The computer must like the lower temps and is rewarding us with higher MPG :)

At around 115k, one of the electronic air box mixing units went bad (plastic parts inside) driving us crazy with its click, click, click noise. Each unit was $65 from rockauto.com - I knew the other box was going to go soon so I changed both.

At around 120k I was getting a trouble code for the temp sensor, so I changed that. *Be sure* to fully engage the plug clip back on or it will pop back off on your first pothole and give you 3-4 less MPG. I ended up having to fenangle a zip tie around the clip to keep the tab down. Wife's idea... smart gal :) Note: this temp sensor is a b*tch to get to - patience is a MUST!

Shocks need replaced in the worst way. I'm not going to give in to the high replacement cost for OEM though. Have read about others going *passive* and am going to do the same. From what I understand, it's just removing the old shocks and saving out the electronic sensor. Past that it's installing standard shocks and you save a bundle with very little ride difference. New coils will go in at that time.

Other than that, we are quite pleased with this car. Getting it for 7k was a steal with less than 100k on it. I will be getting a set of service manuals soon so as more in depth problems arise, I can take care of them and not have to rely on those 70/hr shop fees to keep her rolling. The manuals are expensive, but think of it this way, one fix and those books are paid for.

Anyhow, I give these cars a thumbs up. I do work on my own vehicles, so that's a plus. Airing out your Northstar frequently IMHO is the key to low oil consumption. And it's FUN!

Happy Cadillac trails to you all :)

Gary cadillac@affordablekeepsakes.com.

PS - I also subscribe to rockauto.com being one of the best (if not the best) outlets for Caddy parts on the internet - check them out... no, I don't work for them.

4th Sep 2007, 17:05

Hi, I have a 1997 Sedan De Ville. I was told by a Caddy dealership I had a blown head gasket. It was a hole in the heater core. I was told I needed a new oil pump. "Turn off engine now", the computer said. It was an oil sensor, fixed for 39.99. So now it does not use that quart of oil anymore!I love my car and I just keep repairing it as needed.


7th Oct 2007, 20:02

I own a 97 Deville with 201k - It finally stopped running; I believe blown head gaskets.

Advice to anyone buying a used Cadillac - I advise not to buy anything older than a 2001 as that is when they changed their heads from aluminum to ceramic.

The resale value on Cadillac’s is so low for a reason - Used car dealers stay away from them at auctions because they don’t want to deal with the headaches from the complaining customer that bought them.

The replacement shocks (passive) are not nearly the same ride - I changed mine out for $450 total as opposed to the $2200.00 the caddy dealer wanted for the rear shocks.

The lesson is that this is a fantastic car from 0 miles to around 90,000 miles - that’s when the problems start from the ABS, speed sensors, vacuum sensors, leaking coolant, excessive oil consumption, blown air shocks.

If you don’t mind a consistent pattern of mechanical problems and the bills that come along - then don’t buy a used caddy. Why should you have this wonderful looking car that you spend half your time trying to figure out what is wrong, and then attempting to fix it as the dealer is overcharging you. Not worth the headache.

1st Nov 2007, 13:45

I thought I'd also use this forum to see if anyone has a 1997 Cadillac Deville CONCOURS grille? (MUST have the Cadillac Emblem mounted in the center (specific to the Concours model). I check the comments regularly and can provide contact information at that time.

27th Nov 2007, 02:32

I just bought a 1997 Caddy from my mother-in-law, who is the owner of a body shop in San Bernardino California. My car has 130,000 miles and it was only 1,000 dollars. From reading all your comments, I am unsure if 1,000 dollars was a good deal. I will keep you guys posted throughout my journey.

9th Dec 2007, 19:11

If you drive a Cadillac then you should be able to afford one quart of oil about $1.50 for every 670 miles. You should switch to one grade heavier oil so if you are using 10w-30 then go 10w-40. Light oil burns faster and gets pass those worn out rings and spaces. And last, but not least the rich drive new Cadillacs and after a couple of years sell it to people like you and don't care about engine service or tune ups.

22nd Jan 2008, 23:05

I bought a 1995 Sadan Daville four years ago. She had 130k on her. She now has 220k. Up until 200k plus I had NO problems. I recently put a new blower motor in. Id say over 4 years I put around 1k into her.

Not bad!

21st Feb 2008, 10:51

The '97 deVille overheating described above sounds like a bad water pump to me. It's an easy fix, too! Just make sure to get the water pump removal tool (it's a big socket thingy-$25) when you put in a new pump (about $60). And put in a new gasket.

21st Mar 2008, 21:58

Sounds like all the same problems I just got one 2. well have to start on the coolent temp and go form there.