1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Reviews

1985 Cadillac Fleetwood d'Elegance HT4100 V8 from North America

Model year1985
Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission HT4100 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired112000 miles
Most recent distance114800 miles

Summary:

One of the best Cadillacs

Faults:

Power equipment doesn't work well.

Vacuum pump needed replacing, no longer made so I had to get it rebuilt; dealership told me that it wouldn't be able to be rebuilt again.

General Comments:

This car is a great vehicle. People seem to complain about the HT4100 V8, but I have never had any problems with mine. If you keep up the servicing, it will run just fine.

The cabin is still in good condition, very comfortable, however Cadillac's decision to downsize the cars was not the best; interior room is somewhat limited for a full size luxury car.

The ride is amazing, you feel minimal bumps, it does float quite a bit at higher speeds, but that's to be expected from this kind of vehicle.

Interior noise is quiet, the engine is almost non-existent, the only noise I hear is from the vacuum pump. Road noise could be quieter, currently the road noise is on par with my mothers Toyota Corolla (that's pretty bad).

Overall it's a great car, just the usual to be expected from a 25 year old vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2010

1985 Cadillac Fleetwood D'elegance 4.1 V8 from North America

Model year1985
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 4.1 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance93000 miles
Previous carPlymouth Duster

Summary:

High maintenence with the 4.1

Faults:

Within 500 miles of me buying the car, the serpentine belt shredded itself.

I had to replace the belt tensioner, air pump, and alternator.

This happened again within 500 miles.

General Comments:

This car was a sweet ride.

Really comfortable, decent power, and decent gas mileage too.

It handled and drove really well.

I would always clench my teeth when starting it, thinking I would hear the slappety slap slap of the serpentine belt tearing apart again.

I ended up spending more at the shop for repairs, than I did for the car (and that was on my first visit).

At the shop they told me these 4.1 liter V-8s are basically just a money pit.

It's a shame, because it was a nice cruiser.

At least you can sleep in the thing after it breaks down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2009

2nd Nov 2009, 14:34

I had one of those little Front Drive Cadillacs with the 4.1 and it wasn't all that bad reliability wise. But it was an '86, maybe they'd improved by then.

But there's no doubt the 4.1 was terribly inferior to the Oldsmobile 307. Does anyone know if it is an easy job to just switch the 4.1 for a 307?

2nd Nov 2009, 17:57

I think Cadillac made a major mistake putting the 4.1 motors, which is way too undersized for a full size luxury car. I think they should've replaced the 368ci V8 with a Oldsmobile 307 motor, although they eventually did so from 1987 onward.

2nd Nov 2009, 20:49

The 4.1 was one of the worst V8s ever made!

5th Nov 2009, 18:49

They did make that body style with the 305 (5 litre) as an option, and both the 305 and 350 smallblock (5.7) will bolt right in. Do that and you got yourself a hell of a cruiser.

7th Nov 2009, 05:43

Actually they made that bodystyle with the Oldsmobile 307 V8 from about 86-90. The 305/350 didn't come along untill about 1990 onwards.

24th Dec 2009, 04:48

I just bought an 85 Cadillac Fleetwood FWD for 3000 dollars. It's in mint condition with 110000, but the previous original owner put in a new engine 30000 miles ago, a 4.1 V8. So hopefully if I keep up with the maintenance, it'll be a nice riding car for a while. But your comments have got me worried.

1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Coupe 4.1 liter V8 from North America

Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership1995
Engine and transmission 4.1 liter V8 Automatic
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.3 / 10
Distance when acquired48000 miles
Most recent distance104000 miles
Previous carOldsmobile Delta 88

Summary:

A nice looking piece of JUNK..

Faults:

Almost everything,

Let's see:

Brought off a dealer in '91

Ran good for about a year then it slowly fell apart.

Alternator went

Digital read outs on the dash went

Fuel pump went.

Head gasket blew

Transmission blew both seals at the CV joints.

Loved to eat batteries, one a year, but charge system checked o.k.

Radio broke had it fix then the tape player broke.

Master cylinder went.

Wiper motor stuck once in a while, of course in a down pour.

Lost center caps(on wire wheels) all the time.

Trunk started to leak.

A/C leaked, cost too much to fix and convert to R-134a

Leveling system went.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ete..

General Comments:

The only good thing I could say about this car was the interior. Big, roomy, nice seats.

First year for the down-sized Caddy.

If there's still one on the road steer clear of it.

I'm sure the poor slob that has it now been dumping money into it, and probably the guy before him.

Brought it 91 for 4000, sold it in 95 for 950.00

Passed the headache onto someone else. I did tell the person what I did to it and all the problems, but he fell in love with it and wanted it.

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

Review Date: 3rd April, 2004

18th Apr 2004, 18:39

I have a 1985 Fleetwood Brougham and it is still a smooth ride. I bought it two years from a lunch lady with only 85000 miles on it. The problem I have had is the AC not working properly even after converting over to R-134A and obtaining a new compressor. Also my wipers work when the feel like it and my washer will not dispense fluids. But overall I enjoy the car and will continue to be a Cadillac man.

11th Jan 2009, 14:24

The early downsized Cadillac's were very crappy cars. They were fairly decent by the 89-90 model year though.

1985 Cadillac Fleetwood HT4100 V8 from North America

Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission HT4100 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance280000 miles
Previous carBuick Regal

Summary:

Reliable luxury

Faults:

Leather upholstery had to be replaced due to age (15 years when I got it)

I just noticed drop or two of oil every few days on the driveway, but only after being driven 50+ miles that day.

General Comments:

Despite the bad reputation this engine has, the car performs well. It is no racecar, but it is enough power to get a heavy car moving quickly.

Gas mileage is not bad as long as you don't drive it like a sports-car. If you do, it rapidly drinks gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th July, 2002

Average review marks: 6.6 / 10, based on 4 reviews