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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair

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  • Hello everyone, I've got a black 2000 Catera I've had for 3 yrs bought it with 61,000 mi as a lease trade in. I've not had any problems until just recently as it's about to roll over to 99,000 mi. I'm starting to smell the oil and see the little smoke coming from the hood on the passenger side. There was one feed on here this summer that got my attention that made me copy and store it on my computer for future reference. Just thought I'd repost it for all the newcomers to save a lot of questions, the guy seems to be really credible. GOOD LUCK!!! Oh yeah... Thanks CADDYGUY1

    #297 of 406
    Lets Shed Some Light on the issues by caddyguy1 May 05, 2007 (6:35 am) 
    Total Posts: 1
    Member Since:
    May 05, 2007
    Replying to: cissie (May 04, 2007 5:18 am)

    Hello I am a master certified GM technician. Not currently in a GM dealership I work at a BMW/MINI dealership. I worked at a Cadillac dealership for about 6 years.
    First of all Cateras are not that hard to work on. Many GM technicians have problems with it b/c they are used to GM this is not a GM it is basically an Opel which is German.
    Let me tell you guys a few of the problems these cars have
    Battery Draw---Check the rear defroster relay (they stick)
    Oil Leaks---Valve Covers and Head Gaskets
    Coolant Leaks---Water control valve, Head gasket, oil cooler cover
    Problems with Oil Pressure----Pressure sensor or the actual gauge(it can be replaced separate of the whole cluster)
    Coolant Light stays on---replace the jug it has a sensor (or sometimes you can beat on it and it will go out)
    No start---crank sensor (only replaced on fuel pump in 6 years on a catera)
    Rough Running---Pull spark plug boot check for leaking valve covers. Also the ignition coils would go bad on these.
    Cant get vehicle out of park---Needs the Shifter assembly.
    Have not seen a whole lot of transmission issues.
    Noise from front of Engine----most likely timing belt related.
    I have replaced a lot of A/C control panels.
    I have replaced a few a/c door actuators for air not blowing out of proper position.
    I have replaced quite a few brake light switches.
    I have replaced few wheels speed sensors
    I have replaced quite a few o2 sensors.
    I have seen a few Air Injection faults.
    As I said these cars are German with some GM influence. Thing is Saab uses the same engine as the 3.0 catera and had not had half the problems the catera has. These car are not hard to fix, can be tricky to diagnose.
  • helikhelik Posts: 1
    Hi, everybody.
    I have several problems with my 2000 Catera, but now I want to ask if somebody had the same problem. When I drive my Catera for some time, after shutting down the engine I cannot start it again for a half hour. I have to wait a the it would start again. Could you tell me what is happening?
  • I don't know the answer to your problem, but her is a link to another forum that may help. http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-catera-cimarron-forum

    This forum has alot of good info on it.
  • Hey Helik, yes several people have had the same problem and found it to be the Crank Sensor that needed replacing. Lots of people talked about it in this forum over the summer. It's my understanding that when it was hot you would have to let it cool off before trying to restart it and that was the only way of knowing it was bad. Hope this puts you in the right direction.
  • My 1997 catera has been the car from (----) replaced radiator,ac,and now the pulleys on the timing belt went out does anyone know if this an interference motor the dealer said they dont know
  • M y daughter bought a1997 catera 6 months ago and i am still repairing it ac radiator and now timing tensioner assembly do you know if this is an interference engine? I am frustrated HELP
  • I DON'T KNOW IF THIS LADY IS EXPERIENCING THE SAME PROBLEM THAT I AM HAVING. WHEN I DRIVE MY CAR, JUST HAVING AN ALTERNATOR AND A BATTERY INSTALLED. AFTER LEAVING THE REPAIR SHOP. I DROVE FOR ABOUT 9 MILES IN THE EVENING TRAFFIC AND THE CAR SPUTTERS AND THEN ON ABOUT THE 10TH MILE 3 BLOCKS FROM MY HOME, THE CAR STALLS AND WILL NOT RESTART. AFTER HAVING IT TOWED. I STARTED THE CAR AND LET IT RUN IN THE DRIVEWAY, MY HUSBAND DROVE IT ABOUT 4 BLOCKS FROM OUR HOME AND THE CARD STOPS AGAIN. AFTER 2 HRS I WENT BACK WITH SOMEONE TO DRIVE THE CAR HOME BEFORE CALL A TOW TRUCK AND THE CAR STARTS. IT IS DRIVEN BACK HOME. DROVE IT ABOUT TO THE STORE 2 BLOCKS FROM MY HOME NO PROBLEM. WHEN I ATTEMPTED TO DRIVE TO WORK THIS MORNING, THE CAR STALLED AFTER WARMING TO STANDARD OPERATING TEMPERATURE. I LET IT COOL DOWN FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES AND THE CAR STARTED BACK UP. I DROVE FOR ABOUT 1.5 MILES AND THE CAR STALLS ON THE EXIT NEAR MY JOB. 2 HRS LATER I 2 EMPLOYEES TO PICK UP MY CAR AND IT STARTED RIGHT AWAY. CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE ME INCITE?
  • Possibly a Crankshaft Posistion Sensor.
  • THANKS, DOES IT COST A LOT TO HAVE THE CAR REWIRED? I HAVE ALSO BEEN TOLD THAT SOME OF THE WIRES AR LOOSE ON MY WIRING HARNESS.
  • hi all looking for obd tool that will read all codes like abs,srs,ect.any help thanks
  • Hi I need some information on how to replace the brake light relay switch for my 1998 cadillac catera. thanks
  • Just changed mine. Picked up the $18 one from Rockauto I removed the two phillips head screws from the fuse box and wiggled it out of the way to see what I was doing. The key is to use a stick to hold your brake peddle as far compressed as possible then pull the white peg out as far as you can. It will click lick a zip tie as you pull it. Then use your thumb nail to slide the red collar as far out as possible. Once this is done you can squeeze the one way lock pegs in place and pull the switch out. Unplug the old plug in the new lock it in place put your battery cable back on and voila you have brake lights again. Put your fuse box and under dash panel back in and your off!

    Good Luck its an easy one.
  • Living in Florida I noticed the same thing. I have the optional rear window screen. When its up the cabin is pleasant when its down forget it you can fry eggs in the back seat. We finally tinted the windows to eliminate the green house effect and the climate control works just fine.
  • I have found the Opel owners group to be a blessing. They post many great preventative measures to make your experience a good one. Make sure the breather system has been cleaned so you do not end up with the dreaded oil in the plugs syndrome. Have the recalls done on your front tie rods take care of it and enjoy it. They are easy to work on and the yahoo forum and Rockauto wil keep you in all the affordable parts you need. I'd do it. You really can't find BMW 7 series luxury like this for the price. And the size is fun and nimble like the BMW 5 series it was to compete against.
  • Before you pay the dealer $1600 go to the Opel Owners Forum follow the steps to fix and clean your gaskets and breather system for about $200 bucks and a long Saturday you can be up and running again.
  • I am the guy who posted awhile back that did the V8 Swap. in my 97 Catera.. I can't help but notice all of the problems Catera Owners are Having and I just happen to Have a perfectly Good Eng/Trans, & All The Extras in my Garage and need to get rid of.... So If anyone interested please post a reply back and it will go into my e-mail Thanks
  • 2000 Catera / 64,000 miles... I really like the car... but, every morning, with cold engine/trans, the trans holds in 1st gear until tach reaches a point between about 3500 and 4000 rpm before it finally shifts to 2nd... then shifts ok after that. But, after sitting all day at work, will hold in 1st gear again, like a cold start. Dealer says nothing is wrong, and can't find any Cadillac service announcement about it either. I find it very hard to believe that Cadillac would design the Catera trans to shift like this on purpose. Anybody else having this problem??
  • My sun roof control switch will not work. How do I can I fix it,and how hard is it for a do it yourselfer to repair this problem. Thanks
  • I have a catera 1997 with 70, 000 += miles on it....we were told that the coolant is leaking into the oil...the oil is a thick beige color...told that that was not terrible, but the car uses coolant all the time, always filling it..and the car is running very badly..not very reliable... told it needed a new head gaskett, it is about $1500 to fix...do you know anyone with the same problem. Haven't taken it to the dealer as the price will probably be triple....any suggestions...
  • I have a cadillac Catera 1998 and I need a speed sensor, my friend has a speed sensor for a Catera 2001. Will the 2001 sensor work on my 98 catera?
  • Actually, you can get the speed control sensor at auto parts store too. Some will run their diagnostic tool on it for you to tell you specficaly which side it is on because there are two. But it does require a star tool to remove it. Not sure if this is a common tool to locate. You will find it running off of the wiring harness across from the rear wheel. Sensors are not hard to replace usually, but locating them can be hard. Hope this helps.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    You'd better not drive the car anymore----coolant in the oil is very harmful to engine bearings.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • You can purchase a good one at Advance Auto Parts.
    If your check engine or service engine light is on they will run their diagnostic tool on your car for you for free. In hopes you will buy the part you need from them. Auto Zone will also check for you..
    Walmart carries an inexpensive brand in their store also.
    Most of the newer ones check 1996 models and newer .
  • I also have a 2000 Catera... ~ 64,000 miles... really like it... had it for about (1) year... no real complaints... a little service here and there... to be expected. Recently, I've noticed oil smoke coming from under the hood on the driver's side. The first time I noticed this, about a month ago, I got kinda nervous, pulled over, opened the hood, it seemed to burn off. Then a day or two ago... worse... more smoke... really concerned. Are you saying that others have had a similiar problem like this? What is supposed to be the problem... a leaky valve cover gasket?
    About your flashing light problem... I've also had this happen... very rare though. Sometimes, if I accelerate too much, it seems like the car thinks the tires are slipping, and goes into that posi-track type mode. You have to re-start the car to re-set the system... kinda a pain.
    Thanks much.
  • acurryacurry Posts: 27
    vave cover gaskets need replaced i had same problem
  • Were you able to change them yourself, or did it require a mechanic/dealer repair? It looks like a tight fit. Is this possibly covered under a warranty?
  • I need serious help! My 2001 Catera is in the shop and they cant find the problem. Maybe somebody else has had this problem. It started out by feeling like it wasnt getting gas when i first took off, but after it was warmed up it ran fine or if i reved the engine quiet abit before i took it out of park, then i would have any problems, until one morning i went out to start it and as soon as i did the engine reved up and the rpms went up to 2 and sounded stuck, then it started sputtering and sounds like it is missing.. so far they have tried the fuel pump, the cadillitic converter, the time chain..i am beginning to think that it is never gone to get fixed. Please help!
  • i recently did an engine/Transmissiom swap in my 97 catera.. because i like my car and wanted more power.. however before i built a motor.. my motor had many upgrades including hypertech chip, K&N cold air intake, Custom Cams and my Transmisison is the BMW Z4 Swap... It is a lot of work but it made 75 more HP than factory and therefore well worth it... I still have The motor and transmission in my garage for anyone who needs one
  • acurryacurry Posts: 27
    took it to the dealer and should also get plugs changed out while all the stuff is off at that time and to make sure coils aren't damage one of mine was when I took it back at 100000 to get tune up so had to replace one cause of the oil that was leaking and damage it
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