27th Aug 2009, 20:29
My 1995 SLS, I've been driving it for 2 years, about 34,000 of its 120,000 miles. The cars looks great inside and out! I really enjoyed driving it, but probably won't be driving it anymore. The Northstar engine all of a sudden sounds like all 32 lifters are clicking and clacking. What a shame, What could have happened? Regular oil & filter changes, mostly highway miles. Changed all hoses, coolant, tablets and thermostat when I bought it. I would like to fix it, but probably won't.
4th Sep 2009, 15:46
For the guy with the car shutting off after driving on the high, it's your fuel filter, it's clogged up.
30th Sep 2009, 17:55
Um here's my two cents: it seems like 3/4 of everybody who owns one of these cars has had to do the waterpump to fix overheating. I know the one guy said that Northstars have a problem with pulling the head bolts out of the block, which is bad, but is it perhaps the overheating that is causing a lot of the head gasket (and probably warped head) problems? Overheating is BAD! Bends stuff and makes your oil very unslippery.
I would think that if you bought one of these cars, it would be good preventative maintenance to change the waterpump before it blows up if they are a known weak point of the engine. If it overheats stop friggin driving! A tow truck is cheaper than an engine.
I'm not busting anybodies stones, but a little bit of desire to learn about the machine your operating is IMPORTANT. I've spent some time doing emergency road service on trucks on the side of the freeway with cars going 70 mph 3 feet away from me, your LIFE may depend on your vehicle, so look after it!
19th Oct 2009, 09:10
My 97 De Elegance North Star 97,000 miles - Sooo pretty - sooo comfy - sooo smooth - sooo over heating.
Problem - After many very expensive repairs, replacing orange Dexcool, water pump, thermostat, radiator, hoses, belts, overflow bottle.
My new mechanic found compression & carbon monoxide in the radiator. He always checks the obvious first, water in oil or oil in water like most mechanics, but also checks for compression leaks with a blue dye tester. When I asked him to fix it he said "Not for all the tea in China" He said mechanics who fix them have to marry them. He recommended a reman Jasper engine if I insisted, but the cost didn't make sense.
Next there are several block sealers that claim a high success rate on North Stars. I am going to try one before giving up. No long trips for this beauty again.
9th Feb 2010, 17:03
I just want to say there is no perfect cars out there. I have a 1997 SLS with almost 214k on it that does now have a minor oil smell if you run it too hard, but it has never spent the night out of my driveway unless I just didn't come home. I have run mid grade fuel or less most half of those miles. In and out, the car looks really good, so I'm thinking about going for 300k.
24th Mar 2010, 14:25
I have a 1997 STS. Bought the car in 2002 with 115km, now has just under 200k. The car has always gone through a quart of oil between oil changes. The water pump was replaced, as were the air shocks. GM wanted 1000 a piece for the shocks, but after some searching, I picked up 4 aftermarket air shocks from a company in Florida for $650. They have been installed for 6 months now and work perfectly (with existing air compressor). This car is a dream to drive and is very very quick.
Like many that have posted, I do get a little oil smell if I drive it too hard, but the Northstar engine is known for this, so I am not worried.
The only thing wrong with the car now is the sunroof relay switch is gone.
Total repair costs since 2002 - $3000 dollars. Car has paid for itself 10 times over.
Now, it's time for an ESCALADE.
1st May 2010, 10:26
I have a 1997 STS. The car is very fast and a blast to drive, when everything is working good.
I too have the normal oil consumption as every Caddy does. I also have had the head gasket problem, fixed it 3500 dollars later.
I now have a ABS, traction control, and reduced stability lights on. I found out that the part I need is ABS modulator valve, which the unit is 1200 dollars, but I took it off and cleaned the rust out of the motor, and I got it to work with 25 dollars in parts, I got real lucky.
The car has 150,000 miles on it, and now I have to change the struts. After I do that, I will sell it and never look at another Cadillac or Chevy product as long as I live. Ford for life now. GM is junk.
3rd May 2010, 13:46
I have a 1998 SLS with 150k miles on the engine, and it consumes a little oil; nothing I think to cause alarm, especially for a V8 with a good amount of miles on it.
I did however have a problem with coolant. I could add coolant, and 2 days later be getting check coolant level messages, the temp needle jumping around, nothing too extreme, but still quick jerky changes in your temp gauge can leave you with a less than certain feeling about the drivability of your car.
I did everything everyone else mentioned; replaced hoses, checked for leaks, replaced pump, thermostat, fluid, checked head gasket...
In the end all of my troubles were alleviated when I replaced the reservoir cap. Turns out the entire system is supposed to maintain 15 lbs of pressure, even the reservoir. Well the spongy material on the inside of the cap that is responsible for making that seal was cracked and dried, and under stress beyond normal engine idling, coolant was spraying everywhere through the cap with 15 pounds of force behind it.
Anyways, once I replaced the reservoir cap, my temp gauge stopped all erratic behavior, stopped overheating and seems to run better all around, since the appropriate pressure is now being maintained.
28th Jul 2010, 16:25
I bought my 97 SLS 2006 with 65000 miles on it. I am a previous Cadillac owner, having bought my first Caddy in 1963. I was 18 at the time, and always wanted one. Since then I have bought 3 others.
This car was beautiful and still is. I have retired now, and have done the 100000 tune up. That is all the dealership could recommend. The previous owner took very good care of the car. It had never even been rained on. All he ever did was change the oil.
I drive back and forth to Los Angeles once a month, and still get 30 miles to a gallon of gas. I have never had a problem with the Caddy the whole time.
It is a beauty to look at and a dream to drive. Yes, I love the car very much.
30th Jul 2009, 16:08
I have a 97' Cadillac SLS and I have been having a problem with the engine cutting out. It usually happens getting off the freeway going slow. The engine will shut off and I'll be able to pop it in neutral and restart it right away. I only have 60k miles on the car. Any help would be great. Thanks.