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Cadillac Repair/'88 Cadillac Deville


In 1988 my father bought a new '88 Deville.  He died of a heart failure a year later.  My mother drove the car to church on Sundays and to the grocery store until 1999.  The car has been garage kept since and now has 57,239 miles on the odometer. It has the 4.5 liter engine.  Is it necessary to replace the transmission fluid at this time?  I have been told that most of the fluid is in the torque converter and cannot be replaced anyway.  Is this true?

Many of us don't think of the age of the fluids in the vehicle. That is of course until one day the brake pedal goes to the floor or the radiator is rotted through or the engine has internal rust.
Although the outward condition of the vehicle is exceptional and the mileage is low, its only natural for us to forget about the most important things, the blood for the vehicle.
I have worked on vehicles (oh my God, its been that long) 50 years.
My dad had a used car lot and it was common back in the 60's to junk cars at 60,000 miles because of the poor oils that sludged the engine and transmission. Now I see vehicles with 400,000 plus being driven. This is because mechanical parts have gotten much better as well as the fluids we use to maintain them.
I did forget to offer one final suggestion which is just as important. Change the final drive fluid as well. I assume the oil and filter were changed.
You won't have to do any of this for years, but if you don't chances of a problem showing up n the near future are common.
Synthetics are more expensive, but last dramatically longer.

Good luck and thanks for the rating.


All fluids must be changed. Brake fluid should be flushed, anti freeze/ coolant and the torque converter sould be able to be replaced through flushing. This may be a sealed transmission in which only a GM dealer has the adapters for a flush. If there is no transmission filler dipstick tube, it's a closed system.
Fluids deteriorate over time. Condensation gets into the brake system. Anti freeze/coolant becomes acidic after 3 years, condensation builds in the trans fluid.
Personally, I would take a vehicle with high mileage over a vehicle like this one. This car has probably had limited warm up times, and the piston ring lands may be set in such a way if you pt the accelerator to the floor, severe damage can be done to the engine. You are going to have to baby this vehicle for a while using restraint. In essence, you will be breaking it in at the mileage it has now. Its a treasure to have such a vehicle, but so man believe low mileage vehicles are the one to have and it all depends on how those miles were put on. The worst thing for a vehicle is to sit parked for years.
Good luck and enjoy!

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Rob Painter


Alarm system questions cannot be answered on this forum. These systems are not what I can answer. Without being physically at the vehicle and not knowing what kind of electrical service has been done on the vehicle, there is no possible way to give an accurate answer over the internet. My expertise is in Ignition/key based anti-theft systems. These issues include GM VATS (resistor chip in key blade) PASSLOCK (MRD)-ignition lock rotation based, no special ignition key and the PKIII Transponder (computer chip in key) systems. These systems are not alarm based and are integral with the starting of the engine. This is why I cannot diagnose alarm problems without physically looking at the vehicle: Alarm systems are a completely different annimal than ignition key/lock based anti-theft system. Many alarm questions come from vehicles 10 years old, and since older, many hands that had been involved over the years.I am an expert in all GM factory (ignition/key based)systems. Alarm system questions pose to many situations beyond my knowledge as to what has been done to the vehicle over the years. Some guy may have actually wired the stereo into the alarm system. Who knows? Over my past 30 years in vehicle wiring repair, I have seen unbelievable wiring disaters done by guys that consider themselves "mechanics." I have seen stereos and alarms intalled using surgical tape. I have seen modules burn up, un-fused circuits, wiring jambed between the doors and even lamp cord used for a starter kill. To answer alarm questions over the internet without examining the vehicle is like asking; What does it take to remove a dent?


Education/Credentials-ASE certified. 11 years with a GM dealer and 17 years with a repair facility dealing with only the repair of theft recovered vehicles.

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