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GMTruckGuy74

The Fleetwood...

44 posts in this topic

I'm about 60% sure I want to sell it... a lot of factors are working this thought process, but the main issue is the fact I really do want to drive a new vehicle on an everyday basis.

Of course I have to see what is out there that I want AND can afford. Once I know the answer to that question then I will ponder if I can keep the Fleetwood as a "toy". If I can afford a new daily driver but not the "toy", then I have my answer.

Should I sell-out for a new car? I've had 5 new vehicles in 10 years (not counting the wife's 3 contributions that I got to co-drive too), so with the impending lease-end arriving soon am I just going through new car purchase time withdrawl? I love the Caddy and have always wanted one, but I'm not sure it's what I want as a daily driver.

Should I return the lease and try the Caddy out for a month? Maybe 30 days of daily driving are all I need.

I knew I had a stigma about buying "used", and I thought by getting a car I've always wanted I could beat it. Not true, so I need advice/comment/opinion here.

And yes, I am being serious before someone asks if this is a joke!

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Get out of the car-payment finance cycle.... especially if you have something as great as a Fleetwood Brougham to cruise around in.

What will feel better in the long run? A new car that you're likely going to have to compromise on in some way... or an extra $400 a month in your pocket. If your wallet gets too thick... don't worry, the Cadillac has very soft seats.

Edit: If it takes going to a therapist for 12 months to get over the used car stigma, it'll still be cheaper for you in the long run.

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Furthermore.... you have a Fleetwood and an Aura.... yet you're driving the Aura every day? Srsly?

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Didn't you take out a loan to get the Fleetwood? I don't think you would be able to sell it for as much as you bought it for, unless you are willing to be very patient.

I would suggest keeping the Cadillac and saving the car payment and if you have to repair or replace something, it will be way cheaper in the long run.

Just imagine not having a 400 a month car payment = 4,800 a year in savings!

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Furthermore.... you have a Fleetwood and an Aura.... yet you're driving the Aura every day? Srsly?

Yeah, I know how that seems but when I bought the FWB I still had three more payments on the AURA lease (last payment was made yesterday!), and I have plenty of unused miles left, so I figured I'd continue using the Saturn. The Caddy needs new tires and I'm not comfortable driving the car with the tires it currently has, especially in the rain. Kuhmo and Kelley tires have been recommended to me, so if I'm keeping the car as a DD then I will be dealing with this issue soon. The car needs some TLC on the interior and I have yet made the time to tackle this; with the warmer weather coming at the end of the week, I may just jump into this too. A new problem developed with the car mechanically yesterday, so that will be drawing my attention soon too.

A lot is going on in my mind with my driving needs, but I do love driving this Caddy (I've been driving it 2-3 times a week, though it has been more like 1-2 lately). And I can definitely see the financial benefit of having no car payment once the small loan I took out gets repaid by the summer. I guess with my non-existent mechanical skills/abilities I've begun to rethink my decision on buying an older car. The biggest detractor though is my wife - as usual she didn't take me seriously when I said I wanted to buy this car (in her defense, I've said that a million times since we've been together and never actually bought anything). When I got the loan approval and made the arrangements, she was too late to stop the process. She has not warmed up to the car yet, and has made life regarding the FWB difficult. She knows I don't have the mechanical skill needed for repairs, and with money tight right now I don't have the option for a repair shop for any other unexpected problems. She's just waiting for the moment for the car to strand us somewhere to drive her point all the way home; that right there is my fear with an older used car. I've fooled myself into thinking I could make do with an older car, but unlike others here (balthazar, camino, sixty8, dodgefan, oldsmoboi, etc) I just don't have the skills and tools to work on my own ride. I've always joked that I'm the guy that keeps repair shops in business, and I guess it really is a very true statement.

Sorry for the "therapy" session, but this is the only place for me to turn to about my concerns.

Edited by GMTruckGuy74
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Unless you start dumping over $400 into the FWB every month in repairs, your wife doesn't have a leg to stand on with regard to new car reliability. Even a new car can break down.

Remember how Avanti recommended a G6 or Malibu (one of the Epsilons) to friends of his and it broke down on the way home from the dealer?

There might be a few teething issues for the FWB, but again, not over $400 a month for 12 months worth.

Find a reputable, local, mechanic not at a dealership who will take the time to get to know you and know the car. Take the car there for everything. He'll be able to give you a heads up if he sees any mechanical trouble down the road. Buy a good set of Michelins, have them rotated regularly and they'll last you 80k miles. There isn't a single thing on this car that cannot be repaired or serviced by Joe's Gas -n- Garage.

After you've paid off the loan for the car, simply consider any repairs and maintenance as your monthly car payment. You'll find that some months you'll have no payment at all. PUT THAT MONEY AWAY FOR A RAINY DAY. If money is tight right now, how is tying yourself to a car loan for the next 36 months going to help your situation?

If your wife continues to fuss about it. You can sell her this way; "Honey, just think. Once the Fleetwood is paid off, we'll be able to afford an even nicer car for you the next time around. Remember that Enclave you liked?". or "I'm trying to save money for the kids' education. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!"

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I would look for a mechanic who knows about B-bodies and B-body cadillacs in particular. He will be able to tell you whats wrong from just basic explanations.

With my pontiac, i take it to a guy who worked at the pontiac dealer and he has the problem diagnosed before i can even shut the hood on the car.

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I vote keep the Fleetwood. As far as costs go, the price of the new car payments and other payments (like the insurance- a new car under lease will have to have full coverage) will be a lot more than just keeping the old one.

As far as the wife goes, a nice "date night" dinner out and a movie once a month with some of the money you aren't shelling out to GMAC and GEICO might ameliorate the whole used-car thing for her.

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GMT, remember, with the Fleetwood, you'll have $400 a month to do preventative shop visits to MAKE SURE the car never strands her. Comparatively speaking, once you're done with the shakedown, the Fleetwood should end up being the most reliable car your family has ever owned.

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I'm with the crowd here, make the Fleetwood right and your problems will go away.

Beats the hell out of a new monthly payment.

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You just bought the things and took out a loan to do so. trying to get rid of it after like what, a couple months? That's not a smart financial move. Since caddycruiser wehelped you out with the buying process I'm sure he would know if it was a potential money pit. Unless your entire drive-train craps the bed multiple times, it'll cost way less to operate than monthly payments on a new car. I would keep it and save for a while.

As far as mechanical skills go...pick up a Haynes or even better, a FSM for the car and read up on it. Basic maintenance is just that. Oil changes, belts, tire rotation etc. are stuff that can be done without any real mechanical skill. For anything else (or even those things) just find a trust worthy mechanic and have him service it. As pointed out by Olds, dealers will just price gouge you.

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Why throw money into an older car, even one as wicked nice as this Fleetwood, if it is not worth much? Repairs on any car are not cheap if you have to pay someone to do them, and you could ring up more than the value of the car in repair bills over an unspecified period of time. Heaven forbid, but if a loved one were only kept breathing on life support, would you, after careful, heart-wrenching consideration, keep the machines going or do you think it best to let them go and hold onto your good memories?

If you can afford to keep the Cadillac as a toy and you and your wife don't mind having it sitting in the driveway unused except on weekends, etc., then by all means keep it. It is not fit as a daily driver in its present state. If you cannot afford a new car as a DD while keeping the FB... then a sacrifice must be made.

It's one thing if you are a mechanic and can do your own repairs and maintenance... you could keep it forever, but you are not. Paying someone to keep it going will get expensive, quickly.

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So does making payments on new cars. Example: even if I paid the mechanic to do all over the mechanical work to my car over the last 3 years it would add up to $77.91 per month. That includes oil changes, the engine, belts, oil sending switch, crankshaft position sensor, timing belt, and that fuel pump gasket. Yes I'm counting labor. In fact all of the big things were paid for to be done. Had I done it myself I'd be about $1,100 up.

This is with a car that has nearly 200,000 miles on it. All it currently needs is the right outer tie rod.

If I take into consideration next year's a/c revamp, I'm looking at about 1,000 in the 4th year. That'll still keep my monthly costs around 80 a month.

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Tough choice. If money is tight the best option is to keep the Fleetwood. Those B-bodies with 350's should run forever. The car is in such great shape, stick some money in it to keep it running and get it up to par. (You won't be sorry you did.) I would save your money and wait until times are better for you/your family to take on another car payment. (Wonder why I had a 1990 GP as a daily driver in my fleet until 2008? Because it was way cheaper than getting something new.) I think sticking money into a well cared for used car when money is tight makes more sense than another payment. Keep the Fleetwood as a daily until you feel comfortable and your situation is such you can take on a payment, no problem. Then enjoy it for a toy and get a new GM car. Sorry, a new car would be great I know, but that doesn't make any sense for you, in my view. (Nor me.) Best of luck with your choice.

Edited by gm4life
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I'm with the guys. Keep it, unless it looks like many issues coming up.

And don't forget, you have all of us to help you out.

I've been going out of my way to learn as much about cars as I can. It's really amazing how much you can learn.

I just made my Mom's Astro repair much cheaper....

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You just bought the things and took out a loan to do so. trying to get rid of it after like what, a couple months? That's not a smart financial move. Since caddycruiser wehelped you out with the buying process I'm sure he would know if it was a potential money pit. Unless your entire drive-train craps the bed multiple times, it'll cost way less to operate than monthly payments on a new car. I would keep it and save for a while.

As far as mechanical skills go...pick up a Haynes or even better, a FSM for the car and read up on it. Basic maintenance is just that. Oil changes, belts, tire rotation etc. are stuff that can be done without any real mechanical skill. For anything else (or even those things) just find a trust worthy mechanic and have him service it. As pointed out by Olds, dealers will just price gouge you.

What DF said.

Even if you can't fix it yourself, just knowing more about your car will really help....

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Keep it. Learn how to fix the little things, study how to fix some of the bigger ones and apply what you've learned if you're confident in your abilities. You can find parts fairly easy for a B-Body (I know around here you can, at least). There's a sense of pride in knowing you own a car that you really like; that you don't owe one red cent on it to anyone or any bank. Triple that if you work or attempt to work on that car and are successful at repairing or maintaining what you know how to repair or maintain.

You, by no means, have wound up in the mess I wound up in after buying my Monte. That car wound up going from what seemed to be a nice, solid old DD candidate to tired old '80s car once I started digging into it and trying to find non-existent, extremely rare, or extremely overpriced parts with my expendable cash almost dried up (I suppose it's ironic, or strange at the least, that my finances literally improved after I rid myself of that car after fretting about buying parts; the turd who totaled the Firebird paid off that very next day).

Edited by whiteknight
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Keep it. Learn how to fix the little things, study how to fix some of the bigger ones and apply what you've learned if you're confident in your abilities. You can find parts fairly easy for a B-Body (I know around here you can, at least). There's a sense of pride in knowing you own a car that you really like; that you don't owe one red cent on it to anyone or any bank. Triple that if you work or attempt to work on that car and are successful at repairing or maintaining what you know how to repair or maintain.

You, by no means, have wound up in the mess I wound up in after buying my Monte. That car wound up going from what seemed to be a nice, solid old DD candidate to tired old '80s car once I started digging into it and trying to find non-existent, extremely rare, or extremely overpriced parts with my expendable cash almost dried up (I suppose it's ironic, or strange at the least, that my finances literally improved after I rid myself of that car after fretting about buying parts; the turd who totaled the Firebird paid off that very next day).

Sorry I've been out of contact for so long Roger...^^this post is pretty much dead on, and as I've said before, going from being used to new cars to something 10 years old and used is a big change, but knowing these cars well & having owned 2, yours is about as good as they get today and a very solid car. I completely understand where you're coming from with this (I am the one who VERY cheaply got rid of my great '95 FWB to have a new car and still wished I had it), but it all depends on your own situation. Good thing you started a thread about this, really, for better discussion :AH-HA_wink: We'll chat, at some point, soon again.

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Soory, I just needed to take one of these: :chillpill:

The problem started when I realized more things had to be done to the car than what I was told or realized when I bought it (not saying the seller neglected to tell me things, but in the two months I've had it more things popped up). The big cause to the 'wanting to sell' mindset was the latest issue to unfold - a non-operating car. Originally I thought it was the battery, but it still gave power to the lights, RKE, radio, etc. So my neighbor thought it was a weakened battery and tried to jump it with no luck. It now appears that the starter has gone and the car is no longer operating. Factor in the annoying non-operating passenger side windows (especially the rear that likes to fall open on its own), the power antenna that doesn't power up and limits radio reception, an interior smell that can get annoying in a short amount of time, some additional rust/trim damage/interior rips I've recently found, the TEMP idiot light coming on after a short time of driving, and the possibility of a leaky gasket getting the trunk wet all compiled together and made me want to get rid of the car for something new.

Not the worse that could happen, but enough to make me regret the decision to buy it for daily driver usage. I've gotten over that now and will put some money I have on hand into it very soon to start correcting the major of these issues (I still need caddycruiser for the window fixes). I love the design of the car and the 'hugeness' of it compared to everything else on the road. So that has never waivered or faltered. I just got upset over some unexpected things, plus with my lease coming up soon I am going to miss going through the 'new car buying experience' (my family & friends think I'm weird because I actually enjoy going through the process to buy a new vehicle). Couple that with Terrains arriving at dealerships (the #1 choice for the AURA replacement prior to the lay-off/financial mess) and the few remaining Pontiac G8s that are tempting me before they disappear and I can no longer buy the Pontiac I would have.

So thanks for the support and knocking this knucklehead with some common sense.

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None of those things would cause me to junk the car.

The starter is a trip to the local garage.

The trunk gasket is a call to J.C. Whitney (or a click from the C&G front page) + an hour of time with a flathead screwdriver.

The power antenna is a super easy fix you could do yourself. You can buy the NOS antenna on ebay. Don't get the "universal fit" ones from Pepboys.

The temp light could be a thermostat.

The interior smell is just a good strong interior detail which includes shampooing the rugs.

The rear window problem is well documented and the Impala guys have a detailed fix for it.

Just make them small day projects and enjoy doing them.

If I'm right about my diagnoses, you're out no more than $600 if you do everything but the starter and thermostat yourself.

How many car payments is that for you?

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In a lot of cases though with older cars, that list continues in an open-ended fashion.

The guy I posted about with the Lincoln LS he was absolutely in love with (despite its own growing list of little things) dropped it off with us on Thursday with a broken window regulator... before we could get the part and install it, he had it traded to us on a used Zephyr.

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This can be the case, but a lot of cases are such as that once the initial problems are corrected it will give you many happy miles. Friend of mine bought a `01 2.7 Intrepid for $300 which teh owner said that the engine had a knock and was no good.

The problem was a bad harmonic balancer pulley. He replaced it, changed the fluids, and now has a daily driver. The thing is in amazing shape. Paint has no blemishes or dings, not even swirls. Was talking to him yesterday and he was telling me he had every confidence in the world about taking it across country right now (was telling him about my trip).

Honestly, the only big issue you have is the starter. The other stuff is easy (unless GM riveted the regulators in like Ford did, then it's a bit of a PITA but not hard...just time consuming).

Make little weekend projects out of the other things. You'll find it very rewarding to do your own work. Post pics too!

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In a lot of cases though with older cars, that list continues in an open-ended fashion.

The guy I posted about with the Lincoln LS he was absolutely in love with (despite its own growing list of little things) dropped it off with us on Thursday with a broken window regulator... before we could get the part and install it, he had it traded to us on a used Zephyr.

Absolutely true, but the B-bodies tend to be extra reliable once you get the kinks worked out.

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Absolutely true, but the B-bodies tend to be extra reliable once you get the kinks worked out.

This.

There are well documented cases of B-Bodies with well over 350,000 miles on them still running like a top.

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