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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair

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  • I bought my catera about 3 years ago. it is a 1997 catera fully loaded with only 36,000. since i have owned it i have had the one of the pulleys for the timing belt break(this was at 39,000 miles), which for those of you that don't know engines that well my values stayed down well my pistons came up, bending all my values cracking both heads and putting a hole in the engine oil cooler. cost, and this with my mechanic doing the work for free, 4500 dollars. after finding out that a campaign that gm came out after i had shelled out the money for the pulleys to be recalled, i called gm and they gave me 2500. also i have had the transmission sensor changed once which cost 400 dollars plus labor. and now it needs to be replaced again. recent issue are a bad alternator and two electrical shorts. since i have new mechanic, he has had the car a total of a month and a half. i will never by another gm for the rest of my life unless it is an old classic, i also own a 1992 ford bronco 351 5.8 liter which has 330,000 miles on it and it still runs great.
  • I to own a 1997 catera I have it in the repair shop now with a bowed out or bent piston? THe repair shop can't figure out what caused this, they are saying lack of lube condition. There is oil in the engine do you have suggestions what I can tell them to check to see what caused this?? I have purchased an extended warranty and they will not cover this unless the repair center can tell them what caused this?? The repair company says the oil pump and etc is fine??? Any suggestions???
  • silva2silva2 Posts: 1
    :sick: Does anyone know where they sell the positive battery cable besides the dealer? Is this cable a straight cable or splits up have way down to alternator.
  • last time i saw a bowed piston was when the engine got to hot and it made the piston week, this was on a different car it had all of it's pistons bent. the mechanic said the the oil had not be changed in a year. it might have been caused by the previous owner not changing the oil on the car when needed.
  • tford2tford2 Posts: 3
    It is a bowed connecting rod #3 piston. Would you be able to drive this car for 11 months without a problem?? How would the mechanic prove this . The warranty company wants an exact cause or they will not cover the part?
  • I have a 98 Catera it has a coolant leak. My husband thought it was the water pump but after taking hoses etc. off discovered it was not the water pump. Anyone have any answers. My car has 110,000 on it and I haven't had a lot of problems except tie rods in the front and O2 sensors.
  • podrespodres Posts: 58
    I have been readings posts for other vehicles, but since I have owned a '97 Catera since it was new, I thought I'd post my experiences.

    Biggest problem was that I had to replace the head unit that controls the A/C twice. First under warranty, and the second time just after the warranty wore out This was a $1,000 job.

    Besides that, the car has been pretty trouble-free. A little problem here and there, but mostly normal wear and tear. I now have 80,000 miles and really enjoy driving it, especially on the highway, where it is quiet, responsive, solid feeling and nimble. It is a well engineered car. Good sound system, too.

    Biggest problem: other than dealerships, few mechanics want to work on them. It is an orphan child.

    I would give it a B+ / A- as an overall experience.
  • I own a 2001 Catera with 54.500 miles has anyone had a problem with it shutting off while driving?
  • lynn8lynn8 Posts: 1
    i was given this car by a good friend a few months ago, and now i think i know why he gave it away, he did tell me the car had problems, when we first start driving the car we noticed white smoke out of tailpipe, and temperture gauge very high, we took the car to a mechanic who then told us the car needed head gasket
    replaced which cost $1300 when car was picked up from shop after being told it was fixed, we drove around and notice still white smoke, took car back mechanic attempt to do more work on car. well three days later we pick car up and still white smoke. after threatning to take mechanic to court for not fixing my car, i drove it around for few weeks and smoke cleared up, but noticed when air conditiong is running temperture gauge very high, well last week car started fluttering like wants to cut off when idle, and check engine light on, took car to advance auto he says needs mass air flow sensor that cost $299 after locating part at local salvage yard for $65 we put it on and car still doing same thing, idling very high, transmission seems to be shifting funny. can anyone help me im about to give up on this car i own a volvo and never had these kind of problems. everyone i talk with says i need to get rid of it, but i would really like to keep car, very nice i just dont wont to spend fortune. HELP!!!
  • Hi, I'm having problems with my local (Atlanta) Cadillac dealer, Hennessy;

    Long story short: My car was due for an oil change, so I brought it in, after calling ahead, to have the oil changed. The service writer (Joey Davidson) came back shortly thereafter to tell me that “The drain plug is stripped so we can’t do it, you’ll have to bring it back Monday.” “What do you mean, the drain plug is stripped?” I asked, “Do you mean that you stripped the drain plug? The car’s never been serviced anywhere but here since it was new.” He went to check on this and then returned to confirm this. “We can’t do anything with it now,” he told me, “It’s stripped and we can’t get it out.”

    At this point I've driven 45 minutes to the damn dealer from Decatur to discover they can't do a simple oil change. I'm really, REALLY not happy, and no, I don't have time to bring it back on Monday, I WORK. This is after the car has had a problem with overheating on the freeway with the A/C on, and they cannot find it after it's been sitting there three times. I want to call/write the local office and complain, does anyone know how to do that? I don't want to waste any time talking to some call centre peon who is going to mouth platitudes at me. (I apologise to all call centre peons because I was one once and so know how much power they have.) So if anyone knows how I can get in touch with someone who might care please let me know. :mad:
  • I have a 1997 Catera, owned for 7 years. My current problem is the transmission. It will shift from 1st to 2nd OK then you have to coax it into third. It won't go into 4th and easily drops out of third (to nothing) unless it locks into third (the transmission light will come on when it locks), if locked, it won't down shift after coming to a stop without turning the car off and restarting. The dealership says it needs a new transmission ($4500 at the dealer, maybe $2500 for a used one by a private installer. How did you get GM and the Dealership to help?
  • stcistci Posts: 1
    Hi,

    Fist, excuse my bad english cause I'm french.

    I have a cadillac catera 1998 and it has an intermitent problem. It happens regularly that I cannot start because the battery was completely emptied. I changed the battery once but the problem is always present. The dealer does not find any solution with my problem. Would you have an idea where the problem come from please?

    Thank's in advance for your help.

    Sylvie
  • Has anyone experienced a problem with their extended warranty co. not wanting to pay for a covered part? I don't know what to do I have a spun bearing to piston #3. Inspectors report says starved for oil, all fluids are found to be good in car including oil. I had oil changes done on the side by a friend he wrote me reciepts but the warranty co wants an exact cause of this if not lack of oil in the engine.Repair center unable to find exact cause of failure. Does any one have any suggestions??? What could cause the oil not to get to the piston other than no oil in the car?
  • I bougth 98 Catera from used car dealer on Nov 1, 2004 with 90,000kms on it, no problems at all until End of Oct this year. Engine coolant leaking, it has 125,000 kms on it and haven't even changed the timing belt. I like the car, lots of goody features on it. It might cost me about $3500.00 to fix all this. Should I keep it or get rid of it? Please advice guys!
    Thanks for your help.
  • I had a problem with a local GM dealer years ago, that went on for over 2 years (very frustrating). During that time I when up the chain of the company. The one who helped me most, was the Regional rep. (state level). That person reprimanded the dealer and got the work done.
  • I recently purchased a 97 Catera with 88k miles. The car was rough, but is cleaning up nicely. My major problem with the car is the transmission, it won't change gears on its own and the shift indicator lights in the center column don't work. I read a lot online that the one code, P1700 usually means that the fluid level is low and could cause this condition, so I just had the fluid and filter changed, yet it is still not shifting automatically. The codes that came up are P1700 (Manufaturer Control Transmission), P0705 (Trans Range Sensor Curcuit Malfunction), and P0455 (EVAP Emission Control System Leak (Large)) If P0705 indicates that there is sensor malfunction, where is that sensor or where do I begin? Could the EVAP Emission Control System leak have anything to do with the shifting? HELP!!! :confuse:
  • podrespodres Posts: 58
    You can probably buy another Catera for that money. Check the KBB values. Look at E-Bay auctions. It's a very nice car, but it may be time to change the color.
  • I HAD '97 CATERA WITH SAME PROBLEM ALONG WITH MANY OTHERS. I DON'T THINK YOUR WATER PUMP HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE RADIO BECAUSE THE WIRES ARE IN THE DASH. I AM NOT 100% SURE ABOUT THIS WITHOUT LOOKING AT WIRING DIAGRAM, AND THE ONLY WAY TO DO IS TO BUY A SERVICE MANUAL AT $140 + S/H. I THINK U R GETTING HUNG. MY CAR HAD VALVE COVER LEAK (VALVE COVER GASKET SET $50), A WATER HEATER AUX. PUMP $250 BUT USED BRASS 90 ELBOW AT $3, WATER PUMP ABOUT TO GO, HEAD GASKET OR HEAD GOING BAD AT $1000+, AIR BAG LIGHT ON ( NEVER PRICED TO SCARED TO HEAR THAT. I DID REPAIR ALL THE PROBLEMS VERY, VERY, VERY CHEAPLY. HOW U ASK?
    TRADE IT IN!!!!!!!!!
  • my catera is overheating. i thought i blew the head gasket from what happened when it over heated, but now it shows no sign of overheating. when it overheated the oil was a milky color. what could be the problem, could it be a thermostat or what. i want to get it fixed so i can resell the damn thing, and get a jeep.
  • I have same problem with my 97 Catera. Dealer replaced the CAMSHAFT COVERS for $684 parts plus labor. That job did not take because I had to take the car back after I noticed lots of smoke spewing out from under the hood. Dealer agreed to redo the job for free. Don’t have the car back yet. The smoke is a result of oil leaking on the hot parts of the car. Right now I am trying to get the oil leak fixed so that I could sell the car and run like hell away from Cadillacs. So far I have spent thousands of dollars repairing this car. It seems to me the manufacture took the Catera off the assembly line before it was complete. And all the money we spend in repairs is what the manufacture should have spent to properly manufacture this car. Good luck with yours.
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