Buying a used car: idling funny

I’m looking to buy a used car, found a 95 Cadillac Seville with 260k miles and a recently rebuilt engine. It runs fine except when idling. It will keep going from 1k RPM to almost nothing, and just keep going back and forth until you press the gas.

Any ideas on what would cause this? Is this a serious problem? Would it still be worth paying $600 for the car?

Your answers are appreciated,


Sounds $$ to me.
Most used cars that were ‘fancy’ or high tech for their time, had all the factory option toys and accessories one could cram in,
Are money pits at this age. ( re; 97 Lincoln markVIII in our shop this week )

Pay a tech to look it over before you buy. THAT will be money well spent.

I suggest to get the car checked out by a mechanic. There may be other problems that will make this car a time bomb for expensive repairs.

If you received this car as a gift, it would still not be a good deal. These vehicles had many expensive problems, and only a very knowlegeable person, such as a mechanic, can own such a car without it being a money pit.

As others will chime in, there is no such thing as a $600 car; I would budget $2000 per year in upkeep if you decide to buy it!

It’s probably an issue with the coolant temp sensor or the idle air controller, neither of which are super expensive.

Personally, if everything else seems to be in decent shape it sounds like a deal to me. I will assume you know this isn’t going to be the most practical, economical or reliable means of transportation.

If you can’t get the car for free, don’t get it at all.

In clean condition, the car is worth abut $850. Get an inspection from a mechnaic you trust and let him know it’s a pre-purchase inspection. If it needs anything, take it off the $850 to see if it’s a good deal. You still might buy it if the current owner will reduce the price to take care of any needed fixes.