1996 Cadillac Fleetwood 5.7 LT1 from North America
A safe, dependable, luxo-liner
The fan belt tensioner had to be replaced at approximately 290,000 miles.
The interior windshield pillar trim pieces have both been replaced due to broken clips, but since they had seen over a quarter of a million miles, they probably deserved a rest.
This car, in my opinion is unbeatable in many areas. First, of course is the ride that only a full-size rear drive Cadillac can give. This is a "true" 6 passenger car, where all 6 ride in perfect comfort.
The 5.7 V8 not only can leave most other family sedans behind, but it consistently gets over 20 mpg on the highway even with over 300,000 miles on it.
The only problems I have ever had with any of the previous 10 Cadillacs I have owned has been electrical, and this one has never had the hint of a problem in that regard.
When the manufacturers get tired of dreaming up "gadgetry" to sell vehicles, maybe they will come back to the comfort, quality, and dependability that made Cadillac the real "Standard of The World" years ago and in cars like this one.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th October, 2003
The 4.1 did have huge issues, but the fuel economy was excellent, and the power was still sufficient for the luxo-barges it was expected to pull. They were lightweight, and when working correctly, ran smooth and silent. The HT4100 engines got better as GM scrambled to correct its design faults, and the 1985-on versions are much better.
The 4.5L V8 used on all FWD Cadillacs until the advent of the Northstar was actually a bored-out and upgraded derivative of the 4.1. Most of the faults with the 4.1 stemmed from the use of a cast iron block with aluminum cylinder heads. The metals expanded/contracted at different rates, creating leaks of both oil and coolant. GM later added cast-iron sleeves to the cylinder heads which helped the problem a great deal.
Most failures with the 4.1 seem to have occurred within the first 50,000 miles, so if the car has gone much beyond that its probably a good, safe runner. Some of the engines have lasted 200,000+ miles, others failed at less than 20,000. Luck of the draw, but at least replacement engines are pretty cheap.