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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair



  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I'm absolutely amazed at the number of unhappy Catera owners...In Europe the Omega was a pretty reliable car.
    Under new car warranty,our 2001 was towed twice out of our garage. They gave me a $50 deductable two year warranty for free. That was a year far,nothing has happened. I've decided to at least keep it while it's got one more year of extended warranty.....But the problems I read of are beyond belief!
    But still, I love mine-it drives great!
  • nogm4menogm4me Posts: 13
    I acquired a '97 Catera 6 mos ago with, get this, 113k miles on the oddmeter. I too am amazed at all the trash talk about this model. The fellow I purchased from,used of
    course, went over the car in detail and is well versed in
    German machinery having serviced VW's most of his working
    career. In the time I have owned it nary a problem has cropped up. He did itemize his service efforts and from this list I have to assume people in this forum are over-
    looking " regular maintenance ". The V6 installed in the
    car is potent in the German version but de-tuned in the
    N/A copy, and as such timing belts, ignition timing and
    verility of spark have to be spot on. The Coil pack goes,
    given where it is located. Timing belt at 100k mi. is a must these days and fuel filters for sure. Heat is definately a issue in these cars since German engineers like to heat 'em quick, so make sure the rad is transferring all the heat and degrease the engine regularly. The only faults I can find are: the memory
    programming is quirky at times ( mirrors and seat pos.)
    and the tolerance on the door hinges is so tight that its
    hard to lube them. Hence I have one sloppy door. Also the
    factory CD changer should be more ubiquitous. By all means
    rave on but N A cars are worse when neglected only thing
    is that replacement parts are more obtainable.
    Feel free to comment on my comments. nogm4me ;)
  • cadcadgirlcadcadgirl Posts: 3
    :( Don't get me wrong I absolutely love the car despite the problems that I have had with it because of all the options. The thing is now I have had it since January and about $2000 later how do I know that down the road something else is not going to pop up and cost me another 2 grand. The mechanics said that they did not have to replace the computer system but they did find 10 separate problems! I would love to keep the car but I am afraid that my pockets are not that deep. I don't know if it will run for years now or if it is just going to break down again as soon as I get it back from the shop. To keep or not to keep.....
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I'm buying a new Cadillac STS for my wife tomorrow..I want to sell one of our current cars, a 2001 Passat and Catera. I've decided that as the Catera isn't commandind much at all on the used car market, I'll keep it for myself.

    I have heard so many stories about the Catera being a money pit as it ages, but ours only has 34,000 miles on it.
    I'll try it for at least another year or so..

    What is the highest milage 2001 on this board?
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    My mom bought this catera new in '99. We've had a few problems, some were fixed under warranty and some not. Car now has 48K on it. Most recently we went on a 250 mile one way trip. On the way home we had to slow to a crawl for some construction. I noticed the oil light came on and the oil pressure got real low when the engine was idling (but not quite into the red). When you go faster speeds the pressure increases somewhat and the light goes off. Oil level is full and we have always changed the oil and oil filter at 5K max but mostly at 3K. Now whenever I stop the car in the garage, you can smell oil burning off the exhaust headers and there is a small amount of leaking on the garage floor but it is minimal. Sometimes when you first start the car up and put it in reverse, it doesn't want to move without racing the engine up. Also, when driving, it doesn't always shift consistently at the same RPM's and will downshift while driving on a level road for no reason at all. I personally have a Lexus and when I drive my mom's Catera, I feel like I am driving a stylish garbage truck. I suppose the oil smell is the valve cover gaskets going bad. After reading some of the other posts, I am wondering if we shouldn't dump the car before the required repairs get worse. Of course for what the market value of the car is, it would be better to just drive it til it doesn't run and then junk it. Or we could sell it to a relative for a decent price as they love the car, but I hate to do that. The oil pressure light and actual pressure could be a sign of major repairs to come or could just be a faulty sending unit?? Anyone have any thoughts on this. I have a few classic cars and am a excellent car detailer so needless to say, Mom's Catera looks as good as the day it came off the assembly line. It just doesn't run like it. Thoughts please??

    Thanx, Rick
  • rcorbe1rcorbe1 Posts: 1
    I bought a 2000 cadillac catera two years ago w/49,000 miles and has been a HUGE problem ever since. It had a clean CARFAX when I bought it. Since then, I've spent close to $2,000 as a result of damages. Below summarizes my problems.

    1: car leaks water when it rains on right passenger side , driver door broke, will not stay open. Car also smokes periodically, smells like oil.
    2. Heater Valve part 90566947 replaced 63K miles due to coolant leak ($300)
    3. timing belt tension pulley broke off few months later ($400, car had to be towed to firestone)
    4. 78K need to replace UPPER/LOWER intake manifold gaskets coolant as a result of coolant leak AGAIN!! (close to $800) Also told heater valve needs to be replaced a year after 2nd one put in due to leak.

    ***I have all left over pieces of old gaskets and reciepts for all work done in case claims can be filed. I'm soo upset about this I can't even begin to explain. I've had the car two years and did everything possible to ensure this car wasn't a LEMON but it is..and still owe $6, 000 on it.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I know...I'm utterly stunned how bad all Cateras apparently are...I'm still waiting fir the other shoe to drop on my 2001...Haven't had a single problem(after MANY)this past year...Such a fun car to drive,though...
  • aztonazton Posts: 1
    Hello golfchic. My 2000 Catera has the same issue with the TCS and ABS light and speedometer. Did you find out what the problem was? Thanks.
  • golfchicgolfchic Posts: 6
    Nope, but I did a lot of reading of other sites and it sounds like the computer. I am going to just trade it in and so far it looks like I am going to buy the 2006 mazada6 s grand touring, it has amazing luxury features like the catera, but I did research and it sounds like this is going to be low maintenance. compared to the catera repair costs, which is one thing I kept in mind looking for a new car.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I think the Mazda is a great car, but I shudder to think of what you can get for your Catera....The depreciation of this Caddy is pretty amazing...I plan on dieing with mine...
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    You're right as far as shuddering when one finds out what their Catera is now worth. Catera values plummeted when the CTS came out. However, I don't know how old you are but I can assure you that even if you were living when the Titanic sunk, your Catera is going to die long before you do. If you had a place to store it though, after it's death, it would make a great casket. That's where most of them belong anyway - six feet under... Good luck.
  • golfchicgolfchic Posts: 6
    Your right, I was afraid to ask, even with 5 lights on the car, they are: tcs, abs, check engine, brake, water coolant light. I paid 17K for it and actually paid it off by refinancing, fitzgerald is giving me 3100, so you know, thats not too bad, I will take it.
  • uelizinouelizino Posts: 2
    hey, i'm having the excact same problem. tcs and abs light come on, the speedomeder wont work, and the odometer is stuck. the dashboard light whent out too. today i couldn't start the car anymore. the key works fine on the door but it wont start the car. it's like i'm having a wrong key. :mad:
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    As for "it's like I'm having a wrong key" - Cateras are real bad about this. If you have the slightest bit of pressure on the steering wheel - it will lock the ignition and the correct key won't turn it. What you should do is try to move the steering wheel either clockwise or counter clockwise. One direction or the other it will move just alittle bit. Hold it in the direction that it will move and see if the key doesn't work okay then. Good luck.
  • uelizinouelizino Posts: 2
    thanks. yeah i tried that too. din't work. i called the dealership and they said i have to get it towed in. once a catera never again a catera. :lemon:
  • wweaverwweaver Posts: 2
    my car is doing the same thing and its killing me please tell me what you did to fix the problem?
  • mnickelmnickel Posts: 2
    Where do you get tie rods for this car other than the $260 per rod cost from the Dealer?


  • mark1961mark1961 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 catera with 48K on it, I bought it new. Its out of warranty now. There is a coolant leak somewhere towards the top back of the engine, but I cany seem to find it. I noticed that the coolant leaks on to the tranmission cooling lines befor hitting the pavement. Could anyone tell me what might be the problem that could leak from the back of the engine. There seems to be very little room to work back there, let alone see where the leak might me comming from.
    Thank you
  • jrmenzjrmenz Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 with the leaking when it rains. On the passanger side only. What was done to fix the leak.
    Thanks for any advice.
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