Nothing in this world would last forever. Sadly, not even vehicle models are spared from such fate. Among the few vehicle models from the past that have survived is the Cadillac DeVille, and the large car would have to say goodbye in 2005 for it would be replaced by a new car the following year. But why would we have to say goodbye to the last of the large Cadillac vehicles? Have it reached the timeline that Cadillac has set for it to exist?
The DeVille nameplate has been used by Cadillac since 1949, and from then shifted from one vehicle configuration, platform and style to another until its eventual demise in 2005. The first vehicle model to actually use the name was the Cadillac Coupe DeVille in 1949, with a sedan model called the Cadillac Sedan DeVille appearing five years later. From 1965, Cadillac DeVille models became the company's mainstream vehicles, falling in between the Calais and the Fleetwood both in price and in luxuriousness.
From 1977 until 1992, the Cadillac DeVille shared a large body chassis with the Cadillac Fleetwood. A lot of Cadillac DeVille parts were also shared with the Cadillac Fleetwood, although the Fleetwood was still the higher priced Cadillac and was considered the more luxurious of the two. The Fleetwood actually became a trim level for the Cadillac DeVille from 1985 until 1992. After the 1992 model year, however, the similarity between the Cadillac DeVille and the Cadillac Fleetwood became less apparent, with the Cadillac Fleetwood reverting to its former body platform while the Cadillac DeVille sharing a new platform with the Cadillac Seville.
The choice of a new body platform worked well with Cadillac DeVille, and when the Fleetwood was dropped after 1996, the DeVille became the largest and the last standing large luxury car from Cadillac. But while the Cadillac DeVille was able to survive one more revision, the sales of the car continued to drop. This is the reason why the Cadillac DeVille will be replaced by the Cadillac DTS for the 2006 model year.
I have been hearing about excessive engine oil burning being a very common issue in Cadillac DeVilles. I own one, and luckily, mine has not experienced that horror. I don't want to eventually suffer from costly engine rebuilds. What can I do to prevent it?
Lucky you, indeed! Your DeVille is spared—just for now, maybe. You're right in thinking that early prevention is better than waiting for the worst to happen before doing anything. Unfortunately, though, there is no trick that will magically prevent or stop oil burning. Putting in more oil, which many DeVille owners do, will keep the engine running. But this is just a short-term solution. There are warning signs that can alert you that your engine is burning too much oil. When you do your regular maintenance checks, inspect the piston rings and valve guides. Broken piston rings and worn valve guides may cause the engine to consume more oil. Replace any damaged rings or guides; they are cheaper to replace than the entire engine assembly itself when the problem gets worse.
Why is my DeVille using up too much oil?
That is a problem common among DeVilles equipped with a 4.6L engine. If yours has less than 50,000 miles and consumes more than 1 quart of oil every 2,000 miles, then that is a cause for alarm. Excessive oil guzzling may be a result of sludge buildup on the piston rings that limits their movements and keeps them from removing all the oil from the cylinder walls. The remaining oil is then burned during engine combustion. Replacing or rebuilding the engine is the only way out of this problem.
Why is my engine overheating?
Blame it on the coolant that leaks from the head gasket. If you keep it that way for a long time, do not be surprised when your engine fails.
One of my windows fell into the door and would not roll up. The same thing happened to another window last week. What's wrong?
That is a case of power window regulator failure, which can be caused by lack of electrical power supply from the cigarette lighter port or auxiliary outlets. The only solution is to replace the defective window regulators.
My fuel sensor seems to report inaccurate fuel levels. What should I do?
Incorrect fuel level readings of the fuel level sensor in the fuel tank are common in Cadillac DeVilles. It is recommended that the fuel sensor be replaced. You do not have to bring your DeVille to the car dealership because you can change the fuel sensor by yourself (and even save several hundreds of dollars). All it takes are a few simple steps, which include closing the gas and electric power cables, removing the electrical cables and tank holders, moving your car's gas tank down, and removing the clips, lock rings, and the faulty fuel level sensor. When these are all done, the new fuel sensor must be installed and the other components be placed back. This DIY procedure will take only about two to three hours.
Cadillac DeVille: The Sedan of the Town
For more than 100 years, Cadillac has been manufacturing cars that performed well--pairing out-of-the-box design with innovative technology. Named using French coach-building parlance, the “Coupe de Ville”, the very first Cadillac DeVille was unveiled during the 1949 Autorama Show. It featured a string of safety innovations and a tail fin design that changed the profile of the American automobile industry for years to come.
1959 to 1960: First Generation
The 1959 Cadillac Sedan de Ville was designed with dual bullet tail lights and huge sharp tailfins. The De Ville series was equipped with two-way power seats, an oil filter, power steering and brakes, back-up lamps, an automatic transmission system, windshield wipers and two-speed wipers, a vanity and outside rearview mirror, and power windows. Powered by a 325-horsepower, 242kW, 6.4 liter engine, the Cadillac de Ville was known as the Series 6200. The 1960 Cadillac Sedan de Ville was redesigned with restrained but smoother styling. A sloping rear window and roofline was also introduced to the De Ville. An X-frame construction and finned rear drums were some of the De Ville’s technical highlights.
1961 to 1964: Second Generation
A lot of re-engineering and re-styling were applied to the car during this generation. A new grille that slanted back towards both the car’s bumper and hood lip was adapted. A non-wrap around windshield coupled with forward-slanting pillars was also seen on the new De Ville. Rubberized front and rear coil springs replaced the old air suspension system. Since a dual-exhaust system was no longer available, a four-barrel induction system was added instead. Tubeless black wall tires, defroster and heater, and a more insulated floor were added to refine the De Ville’s driving experience. The 1964 De Ville model introduced an industry first: Comfort Control, a completely automatic A/C and heating system controlled by a dial thermostat. A new, 7 liter, 340-horsepower engine was introduced, with the new Turbo-Hydramatic transmission.
1965 to 1970: Third Generation
Elevated tailfins and its rounded look were replaced with sharp, distinct body lines. Vertical headlamps were introduced to accommodate a wider grille. A re-designed perimeter frame improved the De Ville’s ride and handling. The engine valve train was revised and Cadillac changed the sedan’s carburetor. A new V8 engine with 375-horsepower was also added to the De Ville, giving it more power. Non-glare rear-view mirrors, an electric clock, Hazard Warning system, an ignition key warning buzzer, variable ratio timing, and an automatic level control were some of the new firsts seen on the Cadillac De Ville.
1971 to 1976: Fourth Generation
A bumper impact system, an automatic parking brake release, passenger assist straps, steel-belted radial tires, high-energy ignition, and a flow through ventilation were some of the new standard features introduced during this generation. Also, air bags or the Air Cushion Restraint System, was offered as an option for the 1974 Cadillac De Ville. Unfortunately, it was discontinued in 1976 due to its unpopularity among the car buyers. The Track Master, a computerized skid prevention system to shorten the car’s stopping distance during an emergency, was introduced in 1976.
1977 to 1984: Fifth Generation
It was during Cadillac’s 75th year that they built a De Ville without fender skirts over its rear wheels. Also, the downsized coupe and sedan models were introduced. A 180-horsepower, V8 engine variant replaced the De Ville’s old 190-horsepower V8 engine. The Cadillac De Ville Phaeton package became available in 1979. The package included pin striping, wire wheel discs, seats and the steering wheel wrapped in leather. The biggest news during this generation was the introduction of the V6 engine variant for the Cadillac De Ville.
1985 to 1990: Sixth Generation
Cadillac introduced the C-body frame to accommodate a front-wheel drive system. The HT4100 4.1-liter V8 engine powered the De Ville during this generation. A tilt-steering column, telescopic steering wheel, power trunk release, cruise control, and a split-bench front seating were made standard equipment on all the Cadillac De Ville models to mitigate the $2,000 price jump. The Lincoln Town Car was Cadillac’s biggest rival in the luxury sedan market, which pushed them to give the De Ville a cosmetic makeover. Elongated fender caps and wrap-around tail lamps gave the Cadillac De Ville a more classic look, and the Cadillac customer base loved it.
1990 to 1993: Seventh Generation
Three more cubic feet of trunk space was added to the 1989 Cadillac De Ville. The PASS Key theft deterrent system, which included a coded chip in the ignition key, was also introduced during this generation. 2-position Memory Seat functions, the speed-sensitive suspension “Computer Command Ride,” and a new speed-sensitive steering system were all made as standard features on the Cadillac De Ville. During this generation, the Coup de Villes were discontinued to their declining popularity.
1994 to 1999: Eight Generation
Cadillac incorporated the Northstar V8 engine for the Cadillac De Ville, which became its standard engine in 1996. The De Ville base models got a lower-output Northstar V8 engine. Minimal style changes were made, and the De Ville was entirely built from the K-frame body platform.
2000 to 2005: Final Generation
The De Ville’s exterior was completely revamped to give it a more aerodynamic and sportier look. The 2000 Cadillac De Ville was the first production car to use LED tail lamps in the world. Luxury and cabin comforts were added to the De Ville DHS (De Ville High Luxury). Massaging rear seats and power rear window sunshades were some of the comfort options offered on the DHS. The De Ville DTS (DeVille Touring Sedan) offered stability control, active suspension, magnetic variable assist steering, and on-board navigation system. All LED tail lights and night vision were first used by the De Ville DTS.