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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
Please report any Catera problems and possible solutions here.

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  • I have a 1998 Catera which I adore everyday I drive it. One problem is the transmission seems to "bump" when going from 1st to 2nd and sometimes 2nd to 3rd, but never 3rd to 4th. Is this normal as it is a sporty car? My 1997 Saturn SC2 automatic shifted much smoother. Also how hard is it to change to cabin compartment air filter?
  • Is a brake job terribly hard to do on a Catera? My 1998 Catera needed brakes at an astonishing 36,000 miles, not one of my previous 6 cars needed them so early, but ok I have no real choice. The dealer wanted $400, a local shop wanted $130....I went for $130. The first time out of the gate he put on the front pads WITHOUT the sensors....I went back and the second time her said he had a problem finding the pads, but when he does they will be $140 from the dealer. Is this right $140?? for pads?
  • I replaced the brakes on my previous Catera, a 97, and the dealer charged me $400, at about 30,000 miles. I now have a 2000 and I presume the cost will be the same. I'm at 25,000 miles now and will be needing tires soon.
  • I notice that danieltiger plans replacing tires at about the same mileage that it appears I will have to at <30k. Any recommendations as to how to increase the mileage: tire brand, type, etc.?
  • alex80alex80 Posts: 3
    Has anyone noticed that the AC on your Catera does not perform very well. Our 2000 model does ok when the sun is not so bright and the outside temperature is below 85F. When it is 90F and sunny, the AC can't seem to keep the car cool. This is with the setting at 60F (lowest possible). We have taken it to the dealership twice and they say that all is functioning well. I can only assume that it is undersized. I noticed that the 2001 model added tinted windows as standard equippment. Any insight?
  • I've posted this question in "Sedans" before I found this segment of the board. I hope someone here has performed this replacement herself.

    Aside from the tensioner and the belt, are there other parts required to do the job?

    Thanks a zillion/John Fader
    ToobWiz(at sign)
    change (at sign)to @ to send private email.
  • john347john347 Posts: 1
    My tensioner broke during May 2002. Since dealer supposedly replaced tensioner, timing belt, and water pump -- car has not been the same. It has had coolant leaks, rough idle -squeal, and dealer refuses to give repair order after last repair. If you have had these problems, let me know. Apparently, there is either a manufacturer's defect or defects in the repair or both? IS there any pending class action on this? My vehicle broke down on highway and it was a dangerous situation. My vehicle is unsafe and it's a shame since it was a great vehicle until May- tensioner problem. Suggestions please...
  • Yes, we did notice that the AC on the Catera could have been better, especially in Florida with our high humidity, scorching sun and 95 degree temp. We just traded ours in on a big GM car whose AC is perfect. I loved to drive the Catera 2000, but, we were just too afraid to keep it - too many coolant and battery problems. It was a great car even though it was underpowered. What a shame it had all those problems.
  • yean99yean99 Posts: 1
  • My 97 Catera Timing Belt just failed at 82,000 miles, with major engine damage. GM is not helping out, claiming that the timing belt didn't fail, but a bearing in the tensioner failed. Some messages refer to extended warranties; others suggest class action. Please let me know about either.
  • tommeektommeek Posts: 3
    GM Special Policy Bulletin 02018 states GM will repair for 7 years/100,000 miles any failure related to the timing belt tensioner, timing belt and/or water pump and related engine damage. The bulletin includes special telephone numbers for owners to contact who have had this problem. The bulletin is available for printing and review at the Yahoo Catera Owners Group.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,899
    You could light your dashboard with flashlight batteries. Even a near dead car battery could do that.

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  • I need some suggestion on the AC. I have a 97 Catera. For some reason my AC went dead. There is no power in the controller at all. None of the button on the controller work nor the digital display. It seem that the seat heater went bad also. It may be the same controller went bad on it. Anyone have this problem before? I am thinking of the fuses blown somewhere. Anyone have this type of symptom before or anyone have any ideas what may go wrong with it? I would appreciate your information if you can give me some suggestion. You may email me with suggestion if you please: Thank you very much.
  • 3 out of 4 oxygen sensors out and a PRNDL switch on my 1997 Catera. I was forced to buy the PRNDL switch at the dealer for $300. A local mechanic will install for $50. However, I lucked out on the Oxygen Sensors. Dealer wanted $150 ea. But I was able to locate them for $40 ea. I will be installing them this weekend and let the discussion board know how it went. If all goes well, it will save me in excess of $450.

    This car is like owning my Harley. Love the ride, hate the maintenance.
  • I had a 1998 Cadillac Catera which when my tires wore out prematurely, Cad replaced all 4 and said alighment problems. Now I have 2001 Cad Catera with basically the same problems and GM denies the problem. What to do? Thanks---John Klucher
  • bwitchbwitch Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 Catera and I experienced a similar problem last year. The solution turned out to be a switch that ran 300+.
  • jemillerjemiller Posts: 183
    The recommended service interval on those V6s in their Saab and Opel applications outside the US (and the Catera is an Opel) is ~45K miles for belt and tensioner replacement.

    I have no idea what genius at Cadillac decided to tempt fate by recommending something different for Cateras.
  • I have just developed a oil leak that the dealer has informed me is coming from the back of the valve cover. He has also informed me that I should not just change the valve cover gasket, BUT should change the valve covers also since they are plastic and once taken off they don't reseat well. I really don't understand this. Why would someone design a car that once you take something off you need to have it replaced. The cost to do this is $400.00. Then he says that since you have the car broken down that far I should replace some type of heater exchange valve since they have been known to fail and he was surprize that mine had not failed yet.
    I would like to know if someone knows if you overfill the oil how the car acts and where the overfill goes.
    I had an Ople Omega overseas and did not have any problems with this car for the five years I owned it. Why dose GM take a good thing and the screw it up? Leave a good thing alone. Hope someone can help.
  • am looking at a 2001 Catera, non sport, and wondering how well the tractions control really does. can anyone share their experience? i originally went shopping for a FWD but i love this car. the dealer 'say's their is no maintenance record. i suppose i should ask to see that. by brother inspected it and saw all the problems you all talk about, so they agreed to replace rotors and pads, new oilpan, among other things for $16,000. it has 34,000 miles and fits me well. also noticed the coolant was low as i saw mentioned. it's a FUN ride! but worried after reading reviews and boards.
    any info on how it handles in the snow it appreciated as IL can have some nasty winters.
    peachy2 ☺
  • WE just traded our 1998 catera for a Deville DTS.
    Tha Catera was a service nightmare!!!! 2 sunroofs, head gaskets, shifter linkage, etc...
    Had the car in 5 to 8 times a year. NOw has 80000 on it. Cadillac would not even repay me for out of pocket on the timming belt!!!!
    Only thing good about the car was the ride and performance.
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