1996 Cadillac Eldorado ESC 4.6 from North America


Comfortable, classy, and powerful


Replaced the water pump, since it leaked; easy and pretty cheap.

Replaced serpentine belt and tensioner.

O2 sensor failed.

One of the ignition coils went out. Kinda pricey, but very easy to install.

Replaced the driver's window motor.

There's something draining the battery charge; haven't figured it out yet.

General Comments:

I have to hand it to Cadillac, they really got it right with this one. The Northstar is a great engine, despite the infamous head gasket issues. It's quiet and powerful, just like a luxury car should be. Even though the engine bay is cramped, it's not too bad to work on if you want to do your own repairs.

For a 16 year old car, it's very comfortable. The interior has held up surprisingly well over the years, and I look forward to sitting in it every time I need to go somewhere. It's pretty classy, even by today's standards. Sure, the dash is a bit warped and the driver's seat is more than a little torn, but it doesn't detract from the car's appeal. All of the controls still work perfectly, and it's very roomy for a coupe.

I wouldn't say it's a particularly fast car, but it has plenty of power. The Northstar is powerful enough, but the transaxle is geared low, making it sluggish from a stop, but a beast on the highway. Also, it's pretty heavy, so it's no race car.

The exterior of the car is very visually appealing. It's my favorite Cadillac body style, and that includes the new CTS-V coupe. It's intimidating, and yet refined at the same time.

The last of the Eldorados is a fantastic car to own. It does everything a luxury car should, and then offers you more. Even if you have head gasket issues, it's nothing more than putting thread inserts in the block... a bit labor intensive, but if you're mechanically inclined and not afraid to pull your luxury ride apart, it's nothing to worry about.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd September, 2012

1996 Cadillac Eldorado ETC Northstar Touring from North America


Absolutely Amazing!


All repairs done at a Cadillac garage by certified Master Techs:

Tires - maintenance - replaced at 112000 ($600 Michelin Touring tires filled with nitrogen, included mounting, balancing and 4 wheel alignment).

Brakes - maintenance - replaced at 112000 ($200 front and back brakes, including machining of rotors).

Front wheel hub bearings - maintenance - replaced at 114000 ($500 for both, including installation and 36k/3 year warranty).

Transmission service - done at 100000 miles ($129, included all new fluids, etc...)

Radiator service - done at 110000 miles ($129, included all new fluids and associated parts).

Oil changes - done every 2500 miles ($39.99, includes an in-depth inspection of all components).

Driver's side weather stripping ($64.00).

General Comments:

I bought this car a few years back from an elderly gentleman who was the original owner. This car has been an absolute dream and a half to drive! I have taken it on several trips from Tampa to Miami, Tampa to the Smoky Mountains, and I would drive this car anywhere any day.

I have seen some poor reviews of this car on this site, and I don't understand it. If you take your car to the Caddy garage where they specialize in such cars, they maintain the vehicle with amazing precision. Take them to the dealership and they last FOREVER! I have even had my mechanic tell me that if I ever dream of getting rid of this, to tell him and name a price, and he will pay for it right then and there!

There is nothing like the head turns that I get going down the road. Every time I go out to the mall or even to Walmart, I almost always have someone compliment me on this car. It's great to see someone's jaw drop when I tell them that this car is a 96! They always look at me and say no way!

I love Love LOVE this car. Sometimes I will get a wild hair when someone comes up next to me at a light in a souped up "Rice Burner" revving the engine; the look on their face is hilarious when a big Caddy blows them out of the water.

The seats are amazing on long drives, but make sure you use the cruise control; if you don't, she will creep up to 90 and you won't even realize it.

Gas mileage is amazing. Around town I get 15-20 mpg (depending on the month; the summer I get less because of the heat and AC), and highway I easily push 30 mpg. The biggest thing is you HAVE to make sure you use premium gas, otherwise she will knock, spit, sputter and act like she will throw up an engine. (I had that mistake happen when I let a friend borrow it, and they filled it with regular, but a bottle of octane booster took care of that immediately).

The radio system is amazing (although the CD changer is in the trunk) but that's no problem, I just bring my iPod and hook it up through the tape deck.

The back seats are comfortable, although the leg room is a bit shy for people taller than 5'9", and getting in and out of the back seat can be a pain for anyone over 40 years old.

Handling is amazing, and I am surprised how responsive and tight to the road she feels, even after owning her for the last 40k miles.

She uses about 1 quart of oil in between oil changes, which my mechanic says is really great, because most use 2-3 quarts. Speaking of oil, there is some type of issue where the oil light blinks once the temperature outside gets above 90 or so in the summer. It only does it when at a red light and at idle, however you give it enough gas to bring it up to about 1000 rpm, and it goes away. I took it to the garage the first time it did it, and they checked the pressure while it was blinking, and it was fine. Came to find out it was a glitch in my dashboard and how it reads the information. They ran pressure checks and everything else, and it was fine (they even did it for me for free). It still occasionally blinks, but is never low on oil. I have looked up online, and this seems to be a common problem, and many of the people I have read posts on about this have driven the car for 100k miles with it doing it with no problems.

This is by far the best car that I have ever EVER owned. Most cars that I have owned have fallen apart within a year or so, and ended up being traded in for the next new one, I will keep this car until the wheels fall off it, and even then I will find some wheels to put onto it.

Make sure you maintain it at a Caddy garage that you trust, and it will give you no problems at all. These cars need to be maintained by people who know them, and you will have no problems. My only complaint is that they quit making these amazing cars! Although they do have a new 2 door CTS coupe, which when I do buy one of those, I will keep this Eldorado!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2011