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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair



  • Dear Happy Owner.... the timing belt should be replaced on most vehicles at about 60,000 miles. Pay now or pay more later...
    your choice
  • Hi All,

    A few weeks ago my 2000 Catera just stopped in middle of street. W/N take a jump so I had it towed. After testing and checking my mechanic said the ENGINE was gone. I still had 7 more months of payments. So I decided to let it go. I've put a timing belt, sensors, and just too much money so I called my finance company and told them they can finance me for something else and tack on my balance or I would be forced to do a voluntary reposseion. Waiting to hear back from them. I will never buy another american car again. So now as I spit out money for rental cars I am sad that such a nice looking car was a lemon from birth. I had to unplug the respirator...NO MORE CATERA..OH AND MY MECHANIC HAD THREE OF THESE CARS ON THE SAME DAY. GOOD LUCK TO EACH OF YOU CATERA DRIVERS AND REMEMBER ALWAYS BE PREPARED WITH THAT CAR. THANKS ALL FOR SHARING AND RESPONDING ...MUCH LOVE...SHARR :surprise: :) I feel so much better for I was really afraid of the car
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    Just wanted to say with all the posts about how bad these Cateras are, we apparently have a pretty good one :) (knock on wood - haha). My Mom bought her Catera new in 1998. It now has 55K miles on it and the only things we have had repaired on it are the crankshaft sensor was replaced a while back and I replaced the heater control valve ($90 part at GM dealer, free labor LOL and it only took me about an hour to do it). The only other thing we've done is pretty much normal maintenance, to wit - a new battery and a new set of tires. Everything on the car works perfectly just as it should work with no problems whatsoever. I personally drive a Lexus so I wouldn't exactly brag about how the Caddy handles on the road as it doesn't even come close to a Lexus but as far as dependability and zero breakdowns, I guess we've been pretty lucky. Anyway, just wanted to throw a little "good" in with all the "bad". Good luck to everyone that's having problems with their Catera :lemon: .
  • freudafreuda Posts: 4
    Update to message 326. As it tuns was the mass air flow sensor and a bad accessory fuse disabling the rear o2 sensors. I guess I'll never know if the front o2 sensors were bad but I guess I got new ones. As I understand it the mass air flow sensor samples the air going to the engine and sets the idle for the car. What makes it go bad is any ones guess. Mine was clean as a whistle. I am just a backyard mechanic but by reading this forum, I have saved $$ Thanks to all
  • freudafreuda Posts: 4
    Trinella that is cheap. I checked where I get most my stuff and they were higher. I can't understand why it would cost $3500 at the dealer unless it was gold or silver plated. Thanks for the link, I am sure I'll eventually need one. If I keep replacing parts I aspire to be forum guru.... :shades:
  • red1151red1151 Posts: 1
    I am currently replacing the intake and exhaust valves in my friend's Catera, because the belt skipped timing and all the valves hit the pistons. Apparently any frickin part for this car is expensive, because I am having trouble finding new valves for under 20 bucks a piece. If anyone knows where I can find valves cheaper please reply asap. Because I already took the heads into the machine shop.

    Thanks for your time, and for the people who say "I'll never buy another american car" you sicken me with your bias attitude, and by the way this car was completely designed and built in Germany as a re-badged Opel. Do your homework.
  • Hello all

    In a hurry but uyou all are my friends so look who needs the heads or valves? There is a cadillac dealer who will send the parts but I can't get the info untill tomorrow nite. email me back if you want them. and there was a rat in my car that probaly ate a wire that mechanic overlooked. aia already did a voluntary repo on the car so I'll never know. Take Care all catera junk my email is
  • Hi, I have a simply question is the collant light the light that has a cirle with lines around it.
  • can you tell me what the light that has a circle with the ditted lines around it means thanks?
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    If you're talking about the circle with dotted lines on each side of it, that is the Brake Pad Wear Indicator Light. If you're talking about a dotted circle with "TC" in the middle of it, that is the Traction Control System warning light. The coolant system warning light looks like a small radiator. Hope this helps you. ;)
  • Hi, I have a 1998 catera can you tell me where the thermostat is located is it inside the motor or on the side by the outlet.
  • Hi, I know for a fact that there is a thermostat inside the engine as well as one outside. The one inside causing problems like steam from hood, mine ran a little hot to.
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    I don't know what you're talking about when you say "Vehicle Speed Sensor".. I always thought that was called a "Radar Gun" and usually the police have them and I don't think you'll find one on a Catera but good luck in your search.
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    There is only one (1) engine coolant thermostat on the Catera and it is located in the engine behind the radiator inlet hose. However, there is a heater control valve that is located between the engine and the firewall and this may be what brandon5 is making reference to as a thermostat external of the engine even though it is NOT a thermostat. ;)
  • thanks for the correction, just a female here.. ;)
  • spennyspenny Posts: 2
    I just turned 80,000 miles. Right now I'm dealing with a bad oil change at Wal-Mart. Thought I could save money instead of going to the car has been leaking oil ever since they changed it. I've NEVER leaked oil before. Will know tomorrow how ballistic I have to get!!! I went by there Tues, they gave me a lame excuse, said it was straightened out. I'm leaking again.
  • Hey, everytime I tried to get oil change at Walmart I was told they didnot have the correct tools to use on Cateras
    make sure they didnot force anything and if I were you I would call Walmart Corporate and let them know what happened. Remember the people changing oil at walmart are not always respondsible people.
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    Well, caterajunk is right. The catera oil drain plug requires a torx socket bit (either a T40 or T45 - can't remember for sure) but it is not an expensive tool and I would think that Wal Mart would get one out of their automotive department for their shop if they needed to. Other than that, a catera oil change is very similar to any other car. One thing to consider beings as Wal Mart mechanics may not exactly be "top of the line", the drain plug has a nylon washer with it and maybe they didn't put the washer back on the plug and you would be trying to seal oil with metal to metal (hard to do). Another thing to consider, before you pounce on Wal Mart (LOL), cateras are notorious for leaky valve covers. If you can smell burning oil after the car heats up and you stop it and get out, chances are the valve covers are leaking, especially with 80K miles. If not and it leaks oil when it's parked, either the drain plug is the culprit or the oil filter isn't screwed on tight enough. Hopes this helps you somewhat and good luck.
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