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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair

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  • jld7jld7 Posts: 1
    For some reason puddles of water are showing up on the floor of my car it's not even raining been to several mechanic no one seems to know what the Problem is can anybody help me need some help
  • lou89lou89 Posts: 27
    edited July 2011
  • lou89lou89 Posts: 27
    I suspect a leaking heater core leaking coolant from under the dash, passenger side. Feel it between fingers, would be a thin oily consistancy. DON'T TASTE OR LET CAT OR DOG LICK IT-WILL KILL. Other test, spread paper towel or newspaper under that dash area-not in wet- to see where a leak is dripping from. No exp with this on a Catera, but others. Heck to get to within Dash. Meanwhile if this is prob., you can bypass the heater core from under hood by removing in and out hoses, join them with a connecter(parts Store), taking heater out of coolant circulation loop. O K for summer, no cabin heat in winter. Keep you going , in a pinch. Soak up the coolant from carpet with newspaper, paper towels..let dry and shampoo carpet area-likely wet padding under. open car as much for air-pull carpet bac, if possible.Wish you well.
  • lou89lou89 Posts: 27
    I suspect worn piston rings in engine, letting motor's oil leak into cylinders and burning-owner confirmed. White smoke friom tailpipe. First thing-check oil level by pulling dip stick from engine-wipe with clean rag or paper towel, reinstall and pull again for a clear reading.Stick marks will tell safe level-do no over fill.Frequent cks can prevent ruining engine. Need to know how condition of rings-a mechanic can do compression test on each cylinder to know where you are -too worn, will not pass safety insp most states-maybe would not pass for prev owner.Check sticker date. Chk owner if he had tried an oil additive from parts store.What weight oil he was using.You might be able toput a heavier weight in to minimize oil burning.Dash guageNOT a coolant level indicator-is Temperature guageBIG difference for you.Coolant level chk under hood look at plastic coolant resevor.Wish you well.
  • catera97catera97 Posts: 5
    I will have it checked first thing on Tuesday...I guess my question to you is the white smoke has stopped, and I can drive around town with no overheating issues..Also, checked the car this morning, and the oil level is fine..Is this a car, being that it's running fine be safe to continue driving? Or should I wait till tuesday? I started the car after checking the oil and let it run for about 20 minutes in the parking lot...No white smoke, no stalling, nothing wrong...Thanks so much for your response, and I'll be waiting to hear if you think anything could be seriously wrong or if it's just what you stated previous...Again, thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,244
    As a rule, white smoke is coolant burning. Oil burning will generally produce a light, blue smoke that lingers for a long time. Coolant burning produces white-ish smoke that dissipates quickly.

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  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    If you haven't gotten your car stalling problem fixed yet, I would change out the Crankshaft Position Sensor before I messed with that nuetral safety switch hoopla. That is generally the number one culprit of your symptons. Good luck.
  • catera97catera97 Posts: 5
    You know I've been on youtube and lots of other self-help forums and I realized that green anit-freeze is not dex-cool...Dex-cool is red most commonly and sometimes orange, so could this be an issue that I would need to get sorted? I'm kind of a novice when it comes to repairs, but I'm very much willing to learn. Bascially, I'm afraid this guy not using Dex-cool might have ruined some gaskets somewhere and caused water to get into the system. If that seems possible than is the next course of action to flush everything out and refill? Thanks in advance, and hope your 4th of July is a great one!!!
  • lou89lou89 Posts: 27
    Sounds reasonable-why coolant in combustion chamber ? Cracked block ? I won't risk a yea or nay on the safety of driving..if the oil level is monitored and the coolant level closely watched and the previous owner had been driving regularly with no mechanical problem, engine power satisfactry ,,,,,???
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    White smoke (and NOT blue) is a good sign that water and/or anti-freeze is getting into the combustion chamber. There are four possibilities for this to happen. Starting from the least expensive to the most expensive they are: 1. You have a failed intake gasket. :( 2. You have a failed head gasket. :mad: 3. You have a cracked head. :cry: 4. You have a cracked block. :sick: Only way to know for sure is some engine disassembly and of course if it's a cracked block, we're talking complete engine removal.. Good luck.
  • lou89lou89 Posts: 27
    edited July 2011
    I think a mechanic is in order.A valve gasket replacement is not normally complicated nor is plug replacement. From your question, not for you to tackle. Ask friends if they know a reliable/honest mechanic, if youare a member of AAA, ask for list of AAA approved repair services, I have depended on this and think I got a fair shake. If you see oil leaks from valve cover, oil usually hits hot manifold and burns.Check oil dipstick for oil level.Check previous messages re sensor problem preventing running. Sorry can't be more help- not been down that road with my 89.
  • lou89lou89 Posts: 27
    Sounds right on.
  • catera97catera97 Posts: 5
    Ok so, I've drove this car now for 200 miles, has never came close to overheating and havent seen white smoke for 190 miles..The coolant light came on to indicate low coolant, so I added coolant to the resivoir...I guess my question this whole time is since I paid so little for this car, I'm waiting for something major to happen..The white smoke cloud for the first 10 miles went away, and I'm hoping after adding coolant the indicator light will as well...If you guys have anymore knowledge to lend me that would be great...Thanks so much
  • did you see any white smoke coming out of the exhaust this time, and the first thing i would do is run a compression test on it to tell you if its your heads, gasket etc etc... and to answer your question about dexcool, if the last owner flushed your system out really good you can switch out the coolant to the universal green... even if he didnt its still better than that gasket killer they call dexcool
  • catera97catera97 Posts: 5
    Ok, went to the mechanic today, he drove it said it drove wonderfully..Haven't seen any white smoke out of the exhaust for I would say 170 miles now...He ran the check engine light, in lehman's terms for me he said that it was something to do with the cat converter due to needing to change out the fuel filter but that can be done at my earliest convienence...I plan on doing a complete system flush and tune-up here in the next week or so and changing that fuel filter...Not trying to jinx it but all I'm using this car for is to drive 8 miles round trip to work each day...It seems it can do that no prob, and for 375 bucks, you can't beat that!!!! Thanks guys will keep in touch with how it's doing and I hope to hear more of your feedback...Thanks again
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    When adding coolant be sure it is a 50/50 mixture coolant and water. If you're just adding anti-freeeze you're actually diluting the mixture. You can buy the coolant already pre-mixed from many auto parts stores (e.g. WalMart, etc.). Good luck.
  • lou89lou89 Posts: 27
    DO NOT BE CONFUSED....YOU HAVE THE ANSWER . GO TO WALMART AND BUY A JUG OF 50/50 ANTIFREESE . BE CERTAIN...THAT YOU BUY THE CORRECT TYPE OF ANTIFREEZE----THERE IS THE TYPE FOR GENERAL MOTORS CARS OR THE TYPE WHICH CLEARLY SAYS " FOR ALL MAKES OF CARS " . DO NOT USE ANY OTHER . 50/50 IS PREMIXED FOR YOU -- HALF ANTIFREEZE -HALF WATER. OTHERWISE BUY A JUG OF 100 % ANTIFREEZE AND GO TO THE TROUBLE OF MIXING, AND SPILLING , IT WITH WATER . ANIMALS ARE ATTRACTED TO IT AND IT WILL KILL IF THEY DRINK IT. IF YOU DO MIX, SUGGEST YOU MIX WITH DISTILLED WATER . ADMINISTER THE FLUID INTO YOUR CATERA PER THE MANUAL . HAPPY , COOLANT MOTORING .
  • chico29chico29 Posts: 3
    I recently bought a Catera that had the engine switched at 60,000 miles. Car started everything seemed fine. Till one day the mechanic was going to deliver it to me and it just turned off while driving and wont turn on any more. When i open the door and put the key in the ignition and turn it, The word security starts flashing. Is it normal for the word "SECURITY" to flash?? These would be the factory alarm. Please help not trying to put any money in to it yet. Maybe ill break even and junk it. Thanks in advance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,244
    Did you try getting out, locking the car, then unlocking it and trying to start it again?

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  • chico29chico29 Posts: 3
    Yes! I Also noticed that to the left of the dash there is a "S" Flashing but its not identified in the owners manual!! Any help with that. Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,244
    The flashing S is a transmission code, so that's another problem. :(

    The security light on means that the security system cannot arm itself for some reason.

    So you mean that the car doesn't do anything when you turn the key? Or does it crank and crank but not start?

    Seems like you have a number of issues going on here at once.

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  • chico29chico29 Posts: 3
    Mr_Shiftright
    The car cranks but does not start. Also the security light goes off after 3 or so flashes!!
  • I believe the crankshaft positioning sensor is either bad or mis-adjusted.
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    Got rid of the ole Catera a long time ago but wanted to jump in on this one. The crankshaft position sensor does not need any adjustment. It is either good or bad so just install a new one and don't worry about any "mis-adjustment"!! :)
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    Got rid of the ole Catera a long time ago but wanted to jump in on this one. The crankshaft position sensor does not need any adjustment. It is either good or bad so just install a new one and don't worry about any "mis-adjustment"!! :)
  • Got a 89 Catera, my cooling fan run all the time, even when I start in the morning. Please can any one help.
  • alldata manuals gives you that but I have a 2001 catera and it says that sensor is the one located on the passanger side on exhaust pipe closest to engine if you email me at splaga@charter.net I can send you a photo.
  • I have a 98 catera and I just replaced the transmission, but something keeps blowing the fuse causing the car to have a slow takeoff once it gets into second gear it rides great ,what could be the problem....
  • lou89lou89 Posts: 27
    HAVE NOT HAD THAT EXPERIENCE. I WOULD TAKE IT BACK TO SOURCE OF THE REPLACEMENT TRANSMISSION .
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