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1997 Deville Worth The Price?

Hi everybody! A few hours ago I just bought a 97 Deville for $700. Originally it was priced for $1,000 but the guy let me take it for $700. Obviously, the car is not in the best of shape. The guy told me the battery would need to be replaced. Sure enough, after driving it twice, the next time I went to start it it didin't start. No big problem. Gotta get a new battery. Other than that, the car seems to be running pretty good. The most I punched it on the road test was 50mph, and like I said, it was pretty smooth. The breaks were good. The only thing that concerned me was a faint smell of gas and the "service engine soon" sign was on. Could these two things be major problems? During this time the tank was basically running on fumes. I put gas in it later. After I got home from the gas station, parked it, and chilled for a little bit, I started it and the "service engine soon" sign was off. Took it for a lil ride, parked it. Then I tried to start it again and it wouldn't start. And now the "service engine soon" sign is back on. I just want some insight into my purchase. I mean, I don't expect much of $700, but can I at least expect to be driving this car for say 6 months? A year? It has 96,000 miles on it, which is pretty low considering the year, right? I really had to purchase a car for work and school. Didn't really have the option to wait for something better to pop up or do my homework before I made the buy. After reading some of the stuff on this forum about the head gaskets and engine problems with these cars, I'm a little concerned. I definitely cannot afford any major repairs. So, can somebody please just let me know what they think about this car? What is one sure and simple to find out if there is an issue with the head gasket in my car? Please keep in mind I'm a total rookie when it comes to cars and mechanics. Thank you very much.


  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Look at the topic 'Cadallic Deville Climate Control'. The last post is from me. And at the bottom are two links to a web site that will show you how to put your Deville into 'Diagnostic' mode and you will be able to see the error codes posted. And the second link gives some info on the codes.

    You 'smell of gas' might be a recall. I'm not sure of what years, we owned a 95 and a 97. One of these had a recall because there were 8 nylon hoses that ran from the fuel rail to each of the injectors. These leaked. The recall replaced these with a solid metal pipe. A Cadillac dealer should be able to take the VIN of your car and tell you if there were any recalls needed and/or done on your car. This is pretty important because gas at 40psi can cause a big fire quickly....

    I don't remember about the display, but you should be able to bring up a display of the voltage while the car is running. You should have at least 13 volts while running. If it is lower, you have a charging problem and this will kill a new battery quickly if it is not being charged.

    If you read on here about head gasket problems, you should have seen posts about the symptoms. You will have to run the car harder than 50mph probably to bring out a blown head gasket. The car will overheat if it has a bad head gasket. You will not get coolant into the oil, you get exhaust gasses into the coolant which will cause severe overheating.

    $700 for a 97 with 96,000 miles is about what it is worth, you did not significantly overpay. If the car runs for a year or so without major repairs, it will be a great deal for you. For $700, I would not put much money into repairs at all, just try to drive it.
  • Thanks a lot! Your response was very helpful. I'll take a look at the links and other stuff you mentioned. I'd be a very happy camper if I could get a year out of the car. Peace.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Thanks for taking the time to write out such a comprehensive, helpful response, bolivar!


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  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Thank you.

    I am a prince among men.
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