Do it Yourself Cadillac Repair

by Charles Green

Since its founding in 1902, Cadillac has represented American luxury at its finest, building world class automobiles including the Eldorado, Seville and, most recently, the CTS. Enthusiasts have been maintaining their Cadillacs for years in an effort to keep their cars running and looking great, while extending their lifespans.

DIY Repairs

Regardless of Cadillac model, most weekend mechanics can handle any number of maintenance and repair tasks themselves. Regular maintenance means fewer repairs, but as cars age, so do the number and range of problems with them. With the help of your model's repair manual, there are some important basic repairs you can handle yourself including the following: Check engine light: When the check engine light flashes on, it doesn't automatically mean that your Cadillac is experiencing a problem. One or more trouble codes stored in your computer have been activated; start diagnosing the problem by reading the code. Your repair shop will charge you $80 or more as of 2009 to interpret that data for you, but you can purchase a code reader for about the same price and use it over and over again. Once you record the code with your reader, you can clear the engine on light by pressing the reader's "Erase" function. Check the companion code fault manual for what the code represents; plan your repair strategy accordingly. Car won't start: You turn the ignition and nothing happens. Or, you turn the ignition and hear a clicking sound. Be prepared to check the following components to find the problem: car battery, battery wires, fuses, ignition and starter. Begin to eliminate possible problems by cleaning battery posts and removing corrosion, replacing frayed battery wires, swapping out blown fuses, and running a test of the starter motor and solenoid. Examine all electrical connections under the hood; conduct a fuel pump relay test and check the fuel filter. Replace defective parts. The brakes squeal: Not all brake noise is an indication of a problem with your Cadillac, particularly if you have a newer, front wheel drive model such as the Cadillac DTS. Semi-metallic brake pads used on this car are louder than full metallic brakes used elsewhere. Check the brake pads, calibers and calipers. Replace defective parts; consider resurfacing the rotors. Air conditioner blows warm air: Flush the unit with an approved chemical agent if you believe that the unit is clogged. You may also need to do the following: add refrigerant, check suction hoses, examine couplings for separation, check tube connections or replace the condenser. Replace defective parts.


Always keep a Haynes or Chilton repair manual at your side when working on your Cadillac. If the repair project is too big for you to handle yourself, ask a buddy for help. Lastly, find a trusted mechanic if the work needed to be done is simply beyond your capabilities.

About the Author

Charles Green is a freelance writer in North Carolina who has been writing since 1992 and freelancing since 2002. His work appears in "435 South Magazine," "Wisconsin Golfer" and for various websites. Green earned a Bacheler of Science in business administration from Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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  • photo_camera Tobias Sands/Demand Media