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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair

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  • My 98 catera ran great for over a year after i bought it. Almost out of nowhere the damn thing has taken a major sheit! First the MAF sensor went out. No biggie. Fixed it. Nothing but regular matinence otherwise. Next, it started having issues starting and stalling at idle. Needed a new crankshaft sensor. Worked for a couple days. Then the dash lights went nuts and the speedometer, ABS/TC and power steering went out, all at the same time. Then they said I needed a new fuel pump and a new electronic brake control module and now a new body control module! WTF?!? Is this the M.O. for all these things to crap out at the same time? I've shelled out so much cash on repairs for this thing and it's still not fixed. I haven't replaced the ABS/TC and body control module yet, cuz they are so damn expensive, i wanted to see about buying them myself and either having somewhere else install them or install them myself. Are these things something i shouldn't even attempt myself? They mechanic wanted to charge me $1200 to replace the MAF sensor. Instead, I bought it for $300 including shipping and had pepboys install it for $80. I've gotten raped on a couple of other repairs that I was told had to be done NOW, and that they would fix all the problems but didn't. I don't want to get screwed over again, and I need this damn thing fixed ASAP. Having to borrow cars and spending almost twice as much in repairs than what i bought it for and the car not be fixed is KILLING ME!!! I loved this car until everything started breaking almost all at the same time! At this point i couldn't even sell it without sinking another $2000 into it at the shop I took it to. I never thought pepboys would be a better choice of auto shops. Somebody tell me something good, cuz i'm at a loss and going crazy.
  • codebocodebo Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Cadillac Catera that will start up fine when it is cold, but if shut off after being warm it can take up to an hour to start again. Has anyone else had this problem and could they maybe give me some insight thanks
  • is the check engine light on though?...if it is have a diagnostic test performed and the y will tell what it is...probably from my experience can be the MAF sensor or some O2 sensors...have the test done first.
  • I HAD THAT SAME PROBLEM WITH MY 2000 CATERA. IN THE MORNING IT WILL START FINE AND THEN WHILE I WAS DRIVING THE CAR IT WOULD SHUT OFF AND IF I WAITED AN HOUR OR SO IT WOULD START UP AGAIN. THE PROBLEM WAS MY CRANK POSITION SENSOR ONCE I REPLACED IT I NEVER HAD THAT PROBLEM.
  • With the same problem, I replaced the Crank Position Sensor, but it didn't change anything. My Cat2000 give me the same problem today. So, I thing neither is the MAF, because the car runs fine everytime, i.e., you can run it several hours and all is nice while you do not switch off it. If you do this, wait one hour!

    I think maybe is a starter system related problem.
  • myfcmyfc Posts: 2
    try replacing the battery if the battery is toast then when the car warms up the battery gets to hot internally and it can't complete the charging circuit and the computer will shut the car off.
  • myfcmyfc Posts: 2
    try replacing the battery if the battery is toast then when the car warms up the battery gets to hot internally(the lead plates) and it can't complete the charging circuit and the computer will shut the car off. that's why you have to wait an hour to restart it, the battery has to cool off again.
  • My 98 catera ran great for over a year after i bought it. Almost out of nowhere the damn thing has taken a major sheit! First the MAF sensor went out. No biggie. Fixed it. Nothing but regular matinence otherwise. Next, it started having issues starting and stalling at idle. Needed a new crankshaft sensor. Worked for a couple days. Then the dash lights went nuts and the speedometer, ABS/TC and power steering went out, all at the same time. Then they said I needed a new fuel pump and a new electronic brake control module and now a new body control module! WTF?!? Is this the M.O. for all these things to crap out at the same time? I've shelled out so much cash on repairs for this thing and it's still not fixed. I haven't replaced the ABS/TC and body control module yet, cuz they are so damn expensive, i wanted to see about buying them myself and either having somewhere else install them or install them myself. Are these things something i shouldn't even attempt myself? They mechanic wanted to charge me $1200 to replace the MAF sensor. Instead, I bought it for $300 including shipping and had pepboys install it for $80. I've gotten raped on a couple of other repairs that I was told had to be done NOW, and that they would fix all the problems but didn't. I don't want to get screwed over again, and I need this damn thing fixed ASAP. Having to borrow cars and spending almost twice as much in repairs than what i bought it for and the car not be fixed is KILLING ME!!! I loved this car until everything started breaking almost all at the same time! At this point i couldn't even sell it without sinking another $2000 into it at the shop I took it to. I never thought pepboys would be a better choice of auto shops. Somebody tell me something good, cuz i'm at a loss and going crazy!

    So now after 3 hours of labor (Are you serious? Don't they have a computer code retriever???), they say i need the ABS/TC module (which I already knew), but now i need a body/chassis control module, because supposedly the car thinks its on, even when it's turned off? Pretty much the car is undrivable, and has to have the battery cable disconnected while it sits, or the battery will drain. WTF?!!!?

    Should I fix this stuff or should i sell/donate it at the local salvage yard for $500 and take a mutiple thousand dollar loss and have to ride the damn bus? Not sure what to do, because i have sunk so much money into repairs that I could have bought another another car!!! This sheit has to be illegal or something. GRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!
  • dallasdude1dallasdude1 Posts: 1,139
    Just unplug the MAF. If it runs like a bandit, thats your problem. Note that this one of the only cars that will run with the MAF unpluged. I was able to find one for a little over $150 new here in Dallas. Unclamp two hose clamps and replug is all the labor involved. Its right there and anyone could change it out.
  • Has sense! but when I turn the key to II position, all the lights come on in the panel. That do not mean that the battery is good? (by the way, what you mean with "toast"? It is possible that a car can run with a such battery?)

    In any case I will follow your advise!

    Thanks a lot... :)

    MD
  • Can someone please give me some advice on what i might want to do with my 98 catera from hell. No one responded to the posts i've made. #1230 and #1238 i think(same post). The guy who's catera decided to have almost every electronic sensor and/or module crap out at almost the same time. PLEASE!!! I'm desparate. Should i continue to fix expensive problems and aquire even more debt than two of these are worth or drive this thing off a cliff? I love this damn car, but she is killing me!!! God must hate me, with all the problems this car is having. lol.

    He're the original post:

    My 98 catera ran great for over a year after i bought it. Almost out of nowhere the damn thing has taken a major sheit! First the MAF sensor went out. No biggie. Fixed it. Nothing but regular matinence otherwise. Next, it started having issues starting and stalling at idle. Needed a new crankshaft sensor. Worked for a couple days. Then the dash lights went nuts and the speedometer, ABS/TC and power steering went out, all at the same time. Then they said I needed a new fuel pump and a new electronic brake control module and now a new body control module! WTF?!? Is this the M.O. for all these things to crap out at the same time? I've shelled out so much cash on repairs for this thing and it's still not fixed. I haven't replaced the ABS/TC and body control module yet, cuz they are so damn expensive, i wanted to see about buying them myself and either having somewhere else install them or install them myself. Are these things something i shouldn't even attempt myself? They mechanic wanted to charge me $1200 to replace the MAF sensor. Instead, I bought it for $300 including shipping and had pepboys install it for $80. I've gotten raped on a couple of other repairs that I was told had to be done NOW, and that they would fix all the problems but didn't. I don't want to get screwed over again, and I need this damn thing fixed ASAP. Having to borrow cars and spending almost twice as much in repairs than what i bought it for and the car not be fixed is KILLING ME!!! I loved this car until everything started breaking almost all at the same time! At this point i couldn't even sell it without sinking another $2000 into it at the shop I took it to. I never thought pepboys would be a better choice of auto shops. Somebody tell me something good, cuz i'm at a loss and going crazy.
  • I can't tell you what is more economical in your case, dumping it or fixing it. I can offer some advise that may reduce the cost of fixing some of the problems. I know the ABS/TC problem is a common one, and you don't need to spend $2000 for a new ABS module. www.bba-reman.com can fix these units for about $160. All that is required is to send them the control unit bolted to the front of the ABS module, no need to crack open or remove the brake lines. It is very tricky to get to some of the screws because of the location they placed the ABS module. I had to remove the battery and upper radiator hose to get any access, but managed it with an array of different tools, universals, and shorty handled bit holders to get all the screws out. This will fix the speedometer, since the speed sensor signal goes through the ABS module before going to the ECM and speedometer. You can drive the car without the ABS controller on it, just no speedo, and the warning lights being on.

    Call them and see if they can repair the body control module as well. They should be able to tell you over the phone. Again, you just need to send the module to them via mail, UPS, or Fed-Ex. They can fix, test, and send it back with a warranty. Reinstall yourself and save big money.

    I don't know if there is an electronic control system for the power steering, but it wouldn't surprise me. But, this module could be connected to another module that has gone bad, and just went into 'safe' mode. Check the fluid in the power steering reservoir first.
  • On my 1998 Catera, all at once the turn signals, cruise control and I assume electronic shift control went out at once. Car shifts fine when shifted manually but starts in 4th when in D. Signals and cruise went at the same moment. Is there one fuse that would account for all problems?
  • 1.) I have an ABS module that I'm looking forward to replacing on my 98 Catera. Only thing is that my pops told me that the module needs to be air free when you put it in. Is this true? Yes? No? I'm not sure about that but he insisted it was so. I'm just waiting to see if that's not true so I can go ahead and do it already and prove pops wrong.
    I was also told to check the sensors and clean them and that this would fix this problem, I have 3 sets of ABS sensors in the given case they need to be replaced.

    2.) My dashboard is lit up like a christmas tree. Aside from the ABS/TC lights, the following lights are on as well, Radiator, Windshield & Check Engine. I figure if I replace the ABS module I'll knock out 2 lights.
    My question for the remaining lights is what can I fix/replace to knock out the other 3? I think the oil change will knock out Check Engine, but still would have 2 lights left.

    3.) I took the car to an auto shop to do an oil change but they refused because they were afraid I would blame them for the other problems they said there was with the car, possibly head gaskets but they weren't sure since they wanted to charge $80 to check + $80 for each light lit on the car (about $240 in total). When I take off the oil cap, it looks like there is some chocolate pudding smeared on the cap. Is there a way to know for sure if the head gaskets are bad? Or if it's a difficult challenge to tackle on myself? A friend said he would charge me $800 but for that price I can either buy another motor or find me another friend.
  • Yes, I have "the devil car" as well. Don't really drive it anymore because of all the sensor problems (including the ABS/TC) and the massive costs of fixing them all. I don't have the head gasket problem on "the devil" or "abortion" as i've heard it referred to on this site...yet that is. I did have another vehicle that had a blown head gasket, and it had the same pudding/milkshake sludge on the oil cap. I also had to put water in the car everytime i drove it. I loved that truck and it never gave me any problems until the head gasket issue. When i inquired about fixing it, i was told that it would cost quite a bit more to fix it than the car was worth. I'm guessing that would be the same case with the catera, considering that everything on that car costs an arm and a leg to fix. I'm trying to decide if i should shell out even more cash to fix it or just take it as a total loss, leaving myself with a debt that i could have bought a couple of cateras. I love this car, but so many electrical/sensor/module problems are making me crazy!!! Good luck. I'll cross my fingers for you, if you cross yours for me. LOL!
  • With so many sensors and/or modules going out at almost the same time, is it possible that the car's main computer has gone bad and causing all of the sensors to either crap out or make the car think they crapped out? I had someone tell me that it's possible that this senario could be causing all the other problems. Not sure if that's the case, but it does sound like a good possibility. What do you guys think? Anybody else have this happen? Is it more likely that the ECM is fine and that all the sensor/modules would just up and die at same time? A few different mechanics have tried to figure things out and spent a ridiculous amout of diagnostic hours trying to figure things out and when they figure one thing out and fix it, something else goes bad, sometimes within a couple of hours to a couple of days. Does anybody know where the ABS/TC or Body/Chasis Modules are located or how hard they would be to install. The Mass Airflow Sensor was a piece of cake. Any ideas or info is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • I have a 2000 Catera and I'm going through thee same dmn thang if I could get my speedometer to work i'll be satisfied. Can you help me please??!!
  • I'm pretty sure the ABS/TC module will fix the speedometer, the signal goes from the computer through the module direct to the dash, if the module is failing, then the speedometer will die. I figure it's an on/off process to let you know you need to replace it, then it just dies. It's located close to the battery (at least around that area) I got one at the junkyard, taking it out was no problem, putting it in my car is another thing as you have to a photographic memory to remember where everything you disconnect goes. Look it up to see what it looks like then you'll know where to look for in your car, that's how I found it.

    One other thing if you have the ABS/TC lights on, check the ABS sensors. There's 1 in each front tires. Make sure those are clean. For this, you have to remove the tire to find it. You have to remove them with one of those little " L " shape tools with the octagon shape at the tip, they're small and they're no problem to remove. They are located behind the brake pad.

    I would suggest cleaning up the ABS sensors which is a different item from the ABS module. These can get rusty, dirty and you could have your speedometer working on and off. If the cleaning doesn't work, replace the ABS module, unplug your battery for a bit then reconnect and see if the lights go away.

    I haven't got around to doing this stuff because I don't have with what to remove the tires or the ABS module which doesn't seem like an easy thing to remove, unless you have patience and time to spare.

    The spare ABS module and the spare sensors I got because they're not that difficult to remove from other parted out cars. Specially if the engine is gone and there's no tires.

    I have 4 abs sensors for a 97-98 Catera and 2 for 99-01 Catera. If my sensors don't work, I'll have the replacements ready, I'm gonna go to the dismantler later and get the other abs module too. I just want to know if it can be installed just like that or if it has to be air free when you install it like my pops told me.
    If any one can answer me that one question, then I know I'll be fine.

    Also, I don't think it's the computer, the issues started to happen individually, not all together, all the lights distract me now from the fact that the speedometer doesn't work. I have to kinda wing it with the RPM's and kinda guess how fast I'm going. 2.5k RPM's is about 65mph

    I haven't given up on it, at least I don't want to, my wallet does. I want to turn it into a project like some I've seen. Catera's that would match up to a corvette.
    http://www.pbase.com/elvin315/the_catera_v
    Like that one. But one can dream. Might as well just buy the corvette, but I like the style of the Catera.
  • I have the same car. I googled the codes for you.This points to a heater malfunction.
  • ummm too late...i already fixed it :)
  • My catera would do the same thing, I discovered I had to push the shifter toward the dash. Apply pressure to shifter, then mine starts!
  • ware can i found the kit u talk about plase help email me [ chreitzberk@yahoo.com] thanks
  • acurryacurry Posts: 27
    my temp for outside is off real bad like its 30f here now and its reading 112+ and its throwing off the heat in the car does anyone know where the sensor is for the unit to read the temp or do i need to replace the whole control unit in the car???????
  • I put a different radio in my catera but the theft deterent activated and the radio won't play now. I think I can go to the dealer and have them reprogram it but I would like to fix it myself and save some money. Is there a wire I can disconnect or ground or can I just disconnect the deterent module?
    Open to suggestion!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Hello everyone I have 2001 Catera with 135,000 miles. Love this car, but have had several minor problems other then burning oil and losing anti freeze. Presently, I have no heat on the driver side (blowing cold air) and only one vent on the passenger side blowing hot air and no heat on the floor. NEED HELP WITH IDENTIFYING PROBLEM.
  • I've run into the same problem...Turned out while replacing the water pump found that the timing belt had been slipping back toward the back timing cover and shredding the belt. After changing the water pump and timing belt it seems to me that the shaft and pully components of the water pump must have been seizing up and creating drag on the alternator. If you ever have to replace the water pump please run a fine bead of RTV where the gasket goes and let dry. The O-ring is a crappy design and allows coolant to escape over time. Try and barely loosen the serp belt too if you can (by an 1/8 inch.) This would allow less draw on the alt. If you haven't sold it by now try wrapping it around a tree and buy a CTS (Catera Touring Sport)
  • need to replace thermostat but i cant find it. where is it and how can i replace it? I already have the new part just need to put it in. :confuse: :confuse:
  • acurryacurry Posts: 27
    therom is on the driver side of the engine near the front locate the large hose going towards the engine block and thats where it is its a tight place toget into good luck
  • My factory alarm has shut down my fuel injection. Is there any way I can reset it?
  • Hi! I have a 2000 Catera and have owned it for almost 7 years. I purchased it as a "used car" in 2003. I was quite lucky it had low mileage and a reasonable pricetag. For the most part I have had good luck with my car. I like my Catera and it's fun to own a car which is rare. Since it's one of 95,000 manufactured ....there aren't that many of us on the road. Occasionally, I will see one like mine but not often. Even though it's going on 10 years old I take pride that it's still an attractive looking car. There is one slight problem with the paint on the back side along the trunk is starting to look shabby like it's melting. So far I have been overlooking it but I hope it doesn't get much worse. It's only been there in the last year or two. I took my car in to be smogged yesterday and lubed and told I need 4 new tires. The guy also told me the ones I have on my car are wrong for my car. The "w" tires wear out faster according to him. He showed me a book on tires which showed which tires are recommended for specific makes and models of cars. I have been trying to do a little research on what tires to buy. I just thought someone out there could give me their thoughts and experiences on this matter. I read someone's review in this forum who had "Continentals". I am going to go with that brand.
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