14th Aug 2010, 19:51

We purchased a 1997 Cadillac SLS, our dream car, in 2002 with 42K miles on it. Since that time we have replaced the head gasket bolts, water pump, radiator, heater core, blower motor, fuel pump, starter. In other words, we have spent thousands on this car.

When it was running, it was wonderful as long as we did not take it more than 25 miles away from our home. We would never think to go cross country in it, and by the sounds of all the other posts, we should get reimbursed for every cent we spent. We will never own another Cadillac ever.

Now the block is cracked, which means the junk yard. This car had regular maintenance and was in the garage. It worries me when Cadillac says "yeah we know, these are inherent problems with this model... Thanks Cadillac for everything.

12th Mar 2011, 22:31

2 years later after my first comment, I've now owned my 97 STS for over 5 years, it has ~154K, and since last time I took it on a 10960 mile round trip around US (including 2 top speed passes on Bonneville salt flats, going up to 7500 feet up on California’s Sequoia National Park and doing 75MPH across Arizona desert on 110*F). It performed flawlessly, not one single issue. Really, I don’t understand why people say these cars are bad?

All repairs done are what I would classify as regular maintenance. Engine/transmission were never touched since ’97. I do see most people complaining are new owners; maybe blame the used car salesman, not GM.

6th Jun 2011, 23:07

I had this exact problem with my 97 SLS 2 weeks ago when it was purchased (75,000 miles $1600).

After my failed attempt of replacing the head gaskets with 50 dollars (price of gaskets), I decided to give it a complete tune up. I bought Prestone fuel injector cleaner, flushed coolant (drain plug on drivers side easy twisting off from top), last but not least driving it 80 miles non stop (I assume your car only gives off white smoke when car is not at operating temperature). I started it up the next morning and it drove good with no leaks or white smoke.

If you have a little experience with cars you should first try the intake manifold gasket after flushing the coolant and before you stress over the head gasket.

27th May 2021, 20:33

I bought my 1997 Cadillac STS in from a Napa Certified Garage. It had a blown head gasket, and was fixed by an ASA Certified mechanic at the same shop. I am on retirement low-income of $1,064 a month, and expected the car to last the rest of my life; instead it's sitting in my garage and only being driven 4 miles to pick up my mail once a week, then put back into the garage and another 1/2 quart of oil added next week for the 4 mile Post Office ride. A mechanic told me it leaks oil everywhere. It drove perfectly and didn't have any oil leaks the first 5 years, but then started leaking oil. It currently only has 121,000 miles after great regular maintenance for 24 years and 41,000 miles and 10 years after I bought it. I am having to bum rides since I can't afford to buy another car, nor fix the Cadillac.