1994 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Edition 4.6 32 valve Northstar from North America


Beautiful car, but a piece of junk, which is such a shame!


Oil leaks - rear main and o-ring seal - never resolved.

Alternator went out - was reasonable to replace.

Total suspension strut failure - very expensive.

Water pump went out, breaking the belt it rides on - a nightmare!

Leaking overflow to radiator - cost a fortune to replace.

Blower motor failure - a fair price to be replaced.

Windshield wiper motor went out - a fair price to be replaced.

Starter replacement - inside intake manifold - costs a fortune if you don't do it yourself.

Security system failed - too expensive to replace - had to bypass it.

Air bag light would never go off - would block out the display from reading information -- serviced but never resolved.

The car would stall - dealer could never resolve it - reset the computer and it would mysteriously go away for months, then return.

Push out ashtray broke off.

Plastic strip below driver's door flew off.

On cold start ups, the engine had noticeable piston slap

General Comments:

Hello. Before judgement is made... Please know I take 100% by the book and beyond care of my cars. Owning Cadillacs over the years, I have always wanted an Eldorado. I had excellent experiences with Broughams 307, 350 or LT1 engines, and Devilles with the 4.5 and 4.9 engines. I bought a 1994 Eldorado with the Northstar V8 with only 78,000 miles from the original owner. The car had never been abused and was maintained perfectly. Mint condition. Every service record was available showing how it was religiously maintained.

By 79,500 miles I began to notice an oil leak on the garage floor. I took it to 2 different Cadillac dealers, and they told me in order to fix the oil leak, it would cost more than the car was worth -- the entire engine had to be removed in order to fix it. I took it to another local non dealer mechanic and they told me the exact same thing. Basically told to deal with it, it's only a few drops. I was not happy, but just kept an eye on the oil. This was just the beginning of the nightmare!

By 83,700 miles coolant was dripping from the car due to a cracked radiator overflow tank, which had to be replaced. Right after this, the water pump locked up and broke the belt (small belt, driver's side of the engine) breaking the pulley and all. Thank God the car didn't overheat! Do that once on these engines and the head gasket blows!

At 85,670 miles the starter failed. The entire top manifold had to be removed in order to replace the starter, which was costly.

86,940 miles a noticeable pulsation in anything electrical such as head lights, interior lights etc. Had the alternator checked. Was told it was fine. Pulsation got worse and worse to the point you could not even drive the car at night. Dealer had no idea -- was resolved by replacing the alternator.

By 87,000 miles I had to replace a motor mount! I was shocked this just broke for no reason!

At 90,000 miles it is almost like the car self destructed. Struts started squalling and it rode so hard it was like driving a truck... Cost a fortune... The air bag light would not go off... Dealer would reset it -- would go away for a week, then come back... It would block out the entire information center so you could not see anything else other than "SERVICE AIR BAG"... Nothing was wrong with the air bag system. It started to develop a stall at random times. Reset the computer and it would go away for months, then back... service department says nothing is wrong -- nothing showed up in codes.

By 100,000 I was over this car sucking every penny out of me to keep it on the road. It left me stranded one night because the security system went totally out saying "Start Failed Try Again In 10 Minutes". Never would start. $600 plus to fix the security system so it was bypassed.

By the winter of 2013 at 108,000 miles, the heater blower motor squalled and locked up... Had to be replaced. Right after this, the windshield wiper motor locked up... That had to be replaced. The engine began to make a rattle knock sound on start up till it warmed up. Told me all of the early Northstars do this... nothing to worry about.. known for piston slap... WONDERFUL!

Summer of 2014 I sold the car... A beautiful car! Crimson Red... Sunroof and all, but a total piece of junk. Never again will I buy anything supporting the GM Northstar engine. Sure, they get great gas mileage and tons of power, but it is simply not worth the expense to keep it on the road realistically.

Being a Cadillac fanatic, I was extremely disappointed in my experience, having great luck with non Northstar powered cars in the past. I got 250,000+ trouble free miles out of the others.

Anyone considering a Northstar Powered Cadillac, regardless of whether it's an Eldorado, Deville, Seville -- BEWARE and do your research. MANY, and I mean MANY other reviews on here are almost identical on the same problems over and over, even later models up into the 2000s with extreme care as mine. I was the lucky one that didn't have the head gasket failure, but I was sure it was coming... hence the fact I sold mine before it happened.

This is coming from someone who cares for their cars and keeps them mechanically perfect and spot free. I think it's parting time with me on Cadillac...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th October, 2014

11th Oct 2014, 14:21

The problem with that car is that it was an 18 year old junkbox when you bought it, not even worth its scrap value.

12th Oct 2014, 01:10

The sad thing is, maybe it was a junkbox when I bought it... but who would have known having other older Cadillacs that were nearly trouble free and much older.

Another lesson leaned... Don't buy a used Northstar car even if it was show room condition like mine... no matter what the car... they go bad and 100% are not worth the high dollar cost to fix them. Probably OK when new, but they suck with many miles.

15th Oct 2014, 22:03

I had a 1995 Eldorado with the same exact problems listed above in your post. Bought it brand new.

What is wrong with Cadillac these days? Northstar engines are junk. Owned a 1991 Deville from new. 4.9 V8 with no problems. 240,000+ miles.

Before that I had a 1978 Eldorado... flawless performance.

My black on black 95 Eldorado was in the shop from 20,000 miles on. Oil leaks, burned oil so bad it was unacceptable (and yes it did the full throttle blow out recommended), electrical problems, suspension issues, body trim issues.

I was the unlucky one. At 67,000 miles mine blew a head gasket. It was always maintained and the coolant was done every other year with GM sealant tabs. Sold the car for $1500 to someone who was going to put an engine in it. Good luck to them.

Today I drive a Lincoln. Which performs flawlessly. GM and its engineers can go to hell. No wonder they had to take a bail out, and their cars, even up to date, are pieces of crap! Today Eldorados and other Cadillac models are cheap for a REASON!!! Remember that when you buy one. Better have a deep pocket book!

22nd Oct 2014, 16:50

I also have a 1995 Eldorado - beautiful design, but...

Oil leaks.

Burns oil.

Wipers stopped working.

Radio quit.

Transmission has problems - thuds when put in gear.

Key won't come out of the ignition switch.

Leather is starting to wear badly.

Replaced starter.

Replaced two alternators.

Awful experience.

1994 Cadillac Eldorado ETC 4.6 Northstar from North America




Alternator @ 145,000.

Water pump and belt @ 150,000.

General Comments:

I bought this car used with 105,000. I drove it seasonally (summer) from April - November from 2003 through 2006.

I drove a lot of hard miles in town, racing and showing off as I was 18 when I got it.

Besides normal maintenance (tires, brakes etc.), the only thing that had to be replaced was the alternator once in the 50,000 miles I drove it, which happened after driving it 16+ hours straight in hot weather. Cost me $50 for a junk yard alternator and $50 for a local mechanic to install it.

The last time I drove it (155,000) the little belt went for the waterpump (which happened after I was spinning out excessively trying to get up a hill during an early ice storm). Cost for the belt: $12.

Bottom line: Loved the car. 20 mpg avg, faster than almost anything on the road, looked awesome, comfortable, reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2009

12th Oct 2014, 14:00

Hate to say, but if you bought it to race, why buy this? A good starter fast car to race as a teen is a car like an inexpensive Fox body Mustang with a V8. If you are out to cruise or impress, then you're likely to go towards this.