I Bought a Cadillac--Big Mistake!

I bought a Cadillac on January 11, 2011. Not a new Cadillac, but still a very nice 2002 American made luxury car. I have wanted one for a long time so I finally treated myself. I know it’s not a practical car. It’s bigger than it needs to be and it has a much bigger engine than is necessary to get me from point A to point B. The MPG is pathetic, around 16. So why did I buy it? It was part of my experiment to start living my life in a state of wealth and abundance (see my blog post “The Secret” from November 4, 2010). The hit to my savings account made me uncomfortable, but that was just the beginning of my grief.

I enjoyed driving the Cadillac. It was a smooth ride, lots of black leather and polished wood accents inside, with a GPS navigation system and DVD player in the dash. The Northstar V8 engine purred like a kitten but when I pressed down on the accelerator, it roared to life to declare, “I am the king of the road!”

The snowball effect--
It began with a dead battery. The dealership where I bought it happily replaced the dead battery with a brand new one. It was winter, dead batteries are common in cold weather so I didn’t worry about it. Then the heater didn’t work. The dealership was happy to fix that, too. Cool, I was happy.

As I drove home, a text message scrolled across the dash, “Check tire pressure”. Fine, I stopped at a filling station and checked the tires. I added air to 3 of them and filled up the gas tank, $64. Then I was back on the road.

It started to snow and the windshield wipers came on automatically--Cool! I tried to use the windshield washer to clean the glass better. It was empty. Turned on the fog lights, one was burned out.

Next day, the dash text message was back, “Check tire pressure”. I did. One of the tires was over-inflated so I let some air out.

Next day, noticed that passenger side of car always had hot air blowing from the vents. Not a problem in January, but something that needs to be addressed before summer.

Next day, dash text message reads, “Change oil”. I pushed “clear” and it went away.

Next day, dash text message reads, “Change oil… Check tire pressure… Headlights suggested”.

Next day, dash text message reads, “Change oil… Check tire pressure… Headlights suggested... ABS... Check brakes... Service engine”.

Next day, I noticed drops of oil on my driveway. Checked oil, it was a quart low. Added oil.

This harassment continued until April 1, 2011. I drove home after a long day at work. Got out of the Cadillac and walked toward the house. I smelled antifreeze, turned and looked under the car. Antifreeze was coming from the engine compartment and running down my driveway--LOTS of antifreeze!

Evil Cadillac

So what did I learn? The Cadillac had 183,785 miles on it when I bought it. That’s why it seemed like a bargain at $5999. Cadillacs are quality luxury cars, but they don’t last forever. You can buy cheap like I did and spend a lot of money on repairs, or you can pay more up front and get something with a lot less problems. If you figure in the “cost of frustration and inconvenience”, this was a very expensive lesson for me. I hope you learned from it, too.

Now go take on the day!

Peace, out.

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  1. That sucks Duane :-(
    At least the car was telling you what it needed I suppose!
    So what will your next car be? I'd suggest Japanese or German really. At least for reliability.


  2. Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for your comment. You are right, the most reliable cars I've ever owned were Japanese. They seem to run forever. I was in a bit of a bind since I had to buy a car on Friday afternoon, so I bought a 2005 KIA (from Korea). I have friends who have KIA's and they love them. So far it runs perfectly and it's a lot of fun to drive, so I'm happy. :)
    Cheers, Duane

  3. My sister's got a Korean car too, the first new car she's ever had (she's 51 years old) and she loves it as well.
    Perhaps you can get the ultimate Duane-Mobile later on! Something a bit 'gangster' :-)


  4. Hey Jeff,
    That's good to hear. Actually, I haven't heard anything bad about Korean cars, that's a very good sign.
    Yeah, something a bit more Gangster later on sounds good to me. :-)
    Have a great day!

  5. Enjoyed this story. Sounds like my luck.

  6. Hey Nick,
    LOL Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Peace bro!