Sell 34K miles Cadillac with or without chair lift?

I need to sell my Mom’s 1999 Cadillac Seville STS Sedan. My Mom bought it in 1999 and it has less than 34,500 original miles. It has been garaged it’s entire life in the underground parking garage at the high-rise where she lives. As a result, the interior looks like it is new. The body has the standard nicks and abrasions that can probably be buffed out, but no actual dents. Mechanically the car is perfect. My Mom is very meticulous about her things. So, this is a top condition luxury vehicle.

Here’s the deal:

  1. A few years ago, she had a chairlift put on the car. I can sell the car with the chairlift and scooter, or have the lift removed. She’s only driven it about 4,000 miles since the lift was installed. Can I get a premium price for the car with the lift installed or should I remove the lift and sell the lift and chair separately? I think the lift detracts from the car, my Mom thinks it adds to the value. What do you think? Can I get more by removing the lift? It will cost $150 to remove it.

  2. 2000 miles ago, my Mom was hearing a squeak in the back. She thought it was the shocks, so she had the shocks replaced. It was not the shocks. It was the lift squeaking. Unfortunately, the mechanic sold her after market shocks that work great, but they don’t have the sensor on them, so the dashboard flashes “Service suspension system”. I have the original shocks, which are perfectly good. It would cost $150 to have the original shocks put back on the car - which would stop the message on the dash. Is this something I should do? Or should I leave the 2000 mile old shocks on the car and explain the situation to prospective buyer?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

First of all, I think you should put the original shocks back on, and then . . . if they’re still working correctly . . . the warning message will be gone

that will be one less thing to explain to a buyer

As for the lift and scooter, I don’t think it’s going to add much value to the car, because when it comes down to it, it’s still a 16 year old car. Nothing will change that

I vote for removing it

And then you would have a regular 1999 Cadillac, which will sell quicker than one with a suspension warning message and a lift that somebody might not want

You have a vehicle with improvements important to some people, I think selling it and letting them know the prob as is will get you top dollar. For that year and car throw in the original shocks if they want to replace them. Look at comparable prices, but I amthinking 5k a reasonable starting price with all acoutriments. You are better off with it then without imhop.

I think the lift should come off. Leaving it on will severely limit the market for the car. Most people do not want a car with a lift on it except for a particular few buyers. Then sell the scooter separately.

Yeah I think that either new air shocks should be put on or the old ones if they are serviceable. The car should be put back in original condition. I had trouble on my Riviera finding replacement air shocks though for it and ended up with the ones that had to be manually pumped up. That may have been why the standard ones were put in.

Might not hurt to have it buffed and waxed first too.

I think I would first try selling the vehicle with the wheelchair lift. Some years back I would have bought the vehicle to transport my dad when he was in a wheelchair. You may find a buyer who has this need. If it doesn’t sell within a reasonable length of time, then remove the wheelchair lift and sell the lift and car separately.

My vote would be to remove the lift, have the car detailed, and reinstall the original shocks.

That suspension error message may be interpreted by someone as being a major problem even when it’s not the case.

I can’t speak for Cadillacs but Ford products with converted air rides, etc will also pop an error message every time the car is started. With Fords, eliminating the message is simply a matter of snipping a green wire at the control module. Whether this would work with Cadillac and which wire is involved I do not know.

If I was looking to buy this car, and I saw the suspension warning, I would make a very low offer

And so would many others, I believe

Could you possibly post a few pictures of the lift in use. I’m intrigued about how it works in a sedan.

Are you talking about a trailer hitch wheelchair lift? Just remove it. It’s a plug, a locking pin, and sliding it out of the hitch receiver. Sell it separately. It won’t add squat to the value of the car, but you might get a little for it if you sell it on its own.

Be aware that those things aren’t overly expensive as handicap equipment goes. You can get 'em for under $200 new, so if you can’t remove it yourself, it’s not worth paying someone $150 to do it.

I would absolutely put the original suspension back on. Any warning lights when I go to buy a car make me walk away immediately. Even if I think I can fix the problem – it suggests to me the seller is so disinterested in maintaining his car that he’ll try to sell it before fixing whatever’s causing the light to come on.

True, there is a limited market for any car with a chair lift, but that limited market will definitely pay a premium price for such a car. I’d sure try selling it with the chair lift first. If you don’t get it sold that way, you can always remove the lift and try again. Explain the shocks, and include them with the car. No point in spending any money on it unless it needs a good detailed cleaning. Post it on bulletin boards at care homes, and wherever you might encounter large numbers of elderly folks. Someone who already has a chair, scooter or whatever will want it, so I’d sell that separately.

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The mechanic that put the shocks in should not have done that. Unless, of course, he told her the light would be illuminated and she told him to do it anyway. I’d put the correct shocks in as a first step.

Regarding the current dilemma, why not try selling it at a premium with the lift? If it doesn’t sell, have the lift removed and try selling it without.

I’m wondering where I could advertise this car, with the lift and scooter so that it would be seen by those who could benefit from the configuration. Please note that it has no driver modifications such as hand controls.

A handicapped buyer may want that lift to stay on the car. Try to sell it that way first. The disabled parking spots are full where I live.

I’m retired and I have to read the heck out of the daily newspaper. Not so much in summer but my lawnmower doesn’t work in a foot of snow. It will be seen in the paper by the crowd who want to buy it.

The rear shocks your mechanic removed are electronic ones that change the shock load as the car drives down the road. All four dampers on this car are electronic adjustable units and they are controlled by an electronic control unit that calculates the perfect damping load for that instant in time for each shock. Put them back on. The car will ride better and the light will go off.

Remove the lift and scooter chair, it greatly limits who would buy the car. It is an STS, the sporty version of the Seville sedan. Sell the chair separately.

@Oldbrit - If the car is in an area with a significant senior population, I would try to sell it as-is first. I might see about posting adds in assisted living centers, grocery stores in areas with high senior populations, that kind of thing. And newspaper ads, while not too effective with most buyers, might be worthwhile for this car.

Take the lift off and sell it separately. Most buyers won’t want it and it will be perceived as a hassle to take the lift off and sell it. If you leave it on, you will reduce your market a lot.

It should be easy to sell it online. The wife of a late friend sold all his special aids that way. There are even stores that sell second hand wheel chairs and other items.

I’ll bet the ADA office in your state would know of some handicap-specific publications that you might want to try advertising in.

I wouldn’t try to sell it with the lift unless you live in a very large urban area, especially one with a large senior population. Even then I think this will be hard to sell as it would need a very specific buyer who wants a lift and is OK with such an old car. I suspect it will be a lot easier to sell without the lift, and it won’t significantly increase the price you get for the car even if you find that very special buyer.