By in Family

I don't think our 95 Seville will make it to it's 25th birthday

Cars, they make them with a limited life expectancy, at least that is what I believe is the case with our 1995 Cadillac Seville SLS. It is having problems. But I came to Dallas without a car. I rode a bus to school every week day. So why do I cry? Well, I had thought that our 95 Caddy would last at least until it reached full maturity, to the ripe old age of 25!

It has a vacuum leak of sorts. That's what my friend told us and it has trouble starting on cold days. Have you ever driven a Cadillac? Well, let me tell you it has had so much mechanic in a bottle, Blue Devil stop leak, Seafoam and last but not least, Lucus fuel injection cleaner that it is no wonder the car is having troubles.

I had followed advice from so many people who are not mechanics that I failed to consider the advice of a real automobile mechanic. Many moons ago, that car underwent a series of troubleshooting tests by a certified auto mechanic and they told me straight out that it had leaks out the WAZOO.

The ABS, automatic breaking system stopped working first, then the pull down trunk motor shorted out from rain getting into the trunk through the leaky gasket liner of the trunk perimeter. We replaced the ABS computer, and it worked for a month until a leaky hose from the lower radiator connection shorted out the second ABS computer and now we have to drive without ABS but the power brakes still work, as proof of that, I am still able to stop at red lights and stop signs.

Then the in-dash pioneer stereo cassette with AM-FM and 6 CD player in the trunk got messed up and the cassette tape got stuck in ejection mode and we had to pull the fuse for it and go without a radio for the rest of the life of the car. We lost functionality of the antenna pull-down motor that got stuck in pull down mode as the antenna remains up so that fuse also had to be pulled. The air conditioner sprang a leak. Over time we got used to driving with 4 windows down in summer so we had a little 4-forty system going, 4 windows down A/C going 40 on the road.

We replaced the front struts at a cost of about 1800 dollars! Yea. Talk about it. Then we replaced the 4 tires at about 140 bucks each. The pull down trunk motor had to be disconnected due to the fact that the second new one also got wet from rain water getting into the trunk through the poorly seated gasket seal around it's perimeter. The car continued to nose dive over the next few years when one day it started to overheat. I removed the hose and flushed out the engine and there was all kinds of rusty water and was actually able to get it running cooler.

The Check Engine Light was on since the first day we got it as a gift from my step son, my wife's 3rd child from a first marriage. He is very generous and we are sincerely grateful for the car. It did last at least from the year 2000 when we got it after it had been only 5 years old at the get go.

The Check Engine Light still remains on all the time but I have ignored it since the first day as we do not have an OBD-1 on board diagnostics scanner to run tests on it by connecting up the car to one to diagnose and get codes from the tests.

It started fine a few days ago, after I replaced the fuel filter, which the mechanic charged 40 dollars to replace with a new fuel filter and he told me the old fuel filter was cracked so I assumed it was leaking gasoline all that time, who knows how long that was happening.

But, I added some mechanic in a bottle, as it is supposed to help remove carbon deposits from the piston heads and clean out the fuel injectors and so on. Well, the car did, in fact run better and we drove it a few more days until this morning, a few days before her doctor's visit. The car took 6 consecutive tries to crank it to get it running and at first it sputtered and hesitated and I crossed my fingers until if eventually got up to 750 RPM and began to charge the battery up to about 13.6 battery volts, according to the information panel on the dashboard, which is a digital indicator of systems in the car to let us know things are running as they should. But why did the car have trouble cranking? The battery is good, and the car finally got running properly. I would have to guess that something in the fuel line, the fuel injectors, or the starter or even the voltage regulator or a fouled spark plug could be the culprit.

Tomorrow I will take my wife to Kroger and run a few errands like go to the library to drop off books and videos and go to the post office to mail a happy birthday card to one of my step sons who will be celebrating in Belize next month and have a great time with his wife there on a cruise ship. Meanwhile we are hoping that Caddy of ours will at least take us to the Kroger for some fresh bread and milk and maybe I can get it to the doctor's office later on in a few days from now. If it doesn't start or it runs poorly, then the option to go public transport will be taken. I had to submit a form to get approved via E-mail to the DART people and that is Dallas Area Rapid Transit. They have a system in place for taking people who have disabilities to the doctor's office but the process requires both a Dr.'s approval form and we will have to set up a new appointment if we can not get a ride on that day.

I never realized until recently just how much we depended on that Caddy to get around and it is a sobering reality check for me to deal with not knowing if we can even get public transportation. When you depend on a public transport to get from point A to point B it can be pretty dreadful when living in the big city and surrounded by millions of roads of cement and asphalt like Dallas, TX.

It looks like this city is automobile oriented. Not really a place for walking much and I hardly see people walking down the sidewalks ever these days, but every now and then a DART bus zooms by. You know, old age isn't for wimps. It really takes guts to get old and have to go from being independent, owing a car to being completely and utterly dependent on public transport.

The Caddy is pretty nice to look at and here is a picture of it in a larger scale.

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MegL wrote on January 21, 2019, 2:32 AM

Sorry to hear about your car troubles.

VinceSummers wrote on January 21, 2019, 4:51 PM

Twenty-five years is a pretty long lifespan for a car. Incidentally, I do know Cadillac is a quality-made car, but isn't it odd that all cars these days seem to look pretty much the same? If you'd asked the question, "What brand of car do you think this is?" I could not have told you.

When it comes to dependability, I still prefer Japanese. American cars are ever-improving, but they still haven't caught up IMHO. American cars are comfortable. But if they don't run...

lookatdesktop wrote on January 21, 2019, 11:29 PM

I was able to get it started on the second try. This time, today. It was a holiday but I went to the library and managed to make it back okay. The library of course, was closed but I had to drop off some items. It seems the cold temperatures causes the starter to have issues. I have to put the transmission into neutral to start it, thanks to a neutral safety switch. Isn't that ironic? It is supposed to detect if the car is in gear so it will not start on purpose, but I find it odd that sometimes I can start, rather most of the time I can start the car in park.

lookatdesktop wrote on January 21, 2019, 11:30 PM

Well, this car has been having issues for a while. It seems to be a bit sluggish in cold weather and maybe it's just a bit cranky in it's old age.