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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair



  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    I want to say that "blk00catera" is RIGHT ON with his comments, especially problem #1 (need to get the car running before you can solve any of the other problems - LOL).... The only thing I would add is that the Heater Control Valve is between the engine and firewall and generally the water leaks out more toward the rear of the engine. It is a $90-$100 part and I'm pretty sure only available thru a Cadillac dealer and relatively easy to change out and was definitely a problem with most Cateras. If your water leak is for sure toward the front of the engine, I would just watch it closely to determine where it is leaking. Could just be a bad hose or hose clamp.... Good luck.
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
  • chrissstiechrissstie Posts: 5
    I have a 97 Catera and it has been running fine. I have had no major problems besides haveing to change a brake light switch, up until now. Now I can not get it to start. It will turn over, but will not fire up. I was thinking it might be the fuel pump, but before I go and drop $500 plus I would like to try and change out the CKP sensor. Only thing is I have no clue where it is, can you help me?
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    Can you not open the link on Post #549???
  • chrissstiechrissstie Posts: 5
    ok i replaced the crankshaft position sensor, and i am still having the same problem.....what is something else i can look at>?
  • mazeusamazeusa Posts: 5
    Hello Everyone, I am new here but so glad that I found the group and I wish to share my problem with you and ask for your help...
    I had my 1999 Catera for about 8 months now and during that time I loaded it with 10,000 Miles, now it is at 91,000.... All of this list of problems I have, started from the time when I bought the car and since that time I was trying to just live with them somehow. I love the car although the last problem in my list started to be annoying, anyway here are the problems:
    1. The car feels like a tank, it is very heavy although the exhaust blows water which I was told it is very good sign about the engine, still the car accelerates slowly and it feels heavy.
    2. The car jumps when it shefts from 2nd to 3rd even while I am slowing down... this often happen when it is running 20-30 mph. although if I am trying to accelerate it shefts normal, but if I am trying to slow down or mentain speed at that range it does that wierd jump.
    3. This one is my biggest problem... The first time this happend I had put about 2,000 miles on the car and it just started to increase and happen more often now, I will be driving at any speed and the transmission slips. When I slow down a little or left my foot of the gas it eventualy shefts and drive normal for another 20-60 miles then it happens again. Few months ago I had my mechanic flush and replace the transmission oil, the car then ran ok for a while then the problem came back but now with another one. Just as before it sometimes slips and sometimes it will be running ok and the transmission light comes on and stays on until I completely stop, turn the engine off and back on then it runs ok.

    I finally took the car to a transmission specialest. but his response was 'change the engine mounts' He did let me see the engine moves up when he plays with the accelerator and the sheft. But does this make any sense in relation to what I described?
  • joejetjoejet Posts: 6
    Yesterday the Leveling light stated blinking on the dashboard of our 97 Catera. I was told that the system might have a leak in it. Can someone tell me where I can find the pump for the system. I can hear the pump go on and off when we stop at a stop sign. It's pretty loud but I can't get it to do it when I'm under the car looking for it. Also, are there air lines that may be leaking? If so, are they easy to access.

    Any information that anyone can provide on our problem will be greatly appreciated.


  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    This morning, my 2001 Catera has developed a new problem. The amber low coolant light came on the instrument panel. the Cadillac dealer told my wife(I'm at work)the coolant level is fine. He thinks it's a bad sensor in the coolant run-off tank. I was planning on buying my wife a new car this month.
    i was considering keeping the Catera as a weekend hobby car-It's worth vvery little on the used car marketeven though it's got only 50,000 miles on it.

    The dealer wants $300 to replace the tank and sensor. I'm wondering how hard is it to replace-anyone know.
    For today,I didn't get it fixed....but I can't imagine trying to sell it with a lit warning light.
  • acurryacurry Posts: 27
    replace the tank yourself i just did mine about a month ago its very simple just remove the hoses and take to clip off and the sensor is on the bottom it takes no more than ten minutes and i only paid 80dollars for the tank from the dealer. trust me its that easy
  • bht529bht529 Posts: 1
    I put in the wrong coolant in my 99 Catera. I want to flush it out myself and put the correct one in. I drove for about a week and now it is smoking. I did not know I needed to put a specific type in it. Is that o.k. to do or should I just take it to a shop and lwt them do it. I am strapped for cash and I am thinking of reading the instructions and doing it myself. Please send some advice
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
    Hi I know it looks as though it will be a hard thing to do but it's not bottle of Prestone supper flush and to coolant drive for a couple of days to get rid of all the junk the other coolant added 2. find heater hoses after you idenfy the proper hoses go and purchase an flush kit also from Prestone connect the tee provided in the kit to heater hose return (make sure engine is cool)this means you must cut the hose and install tee get your garden hose connect to tee as per insturctions remove over flo cap and install spout start car turn on heater full blast turn on water hose let run for 15 to 20 min when you see clean clear water shut off water turn off car and the rest is easy hey you don't happen to have an extra keyless remote you want to sell my wife lost ours ;)
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    Best place to get a keyless remote is on EBAY MOTORS (Parts and Accessories)!! It will be less than $20 and that includes shipping and programing instructions. Of course with as many Catera :lemon:'s as there are, you might find someone that has no use for their remotes anymore!! LOL
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
    Hey I forgot all about that thanks and by the way they cars are good cars it's just very $$$$ to fix once all those repairs are done you will see that it will last forever ;)
  • nanasusienanasusie Posts: 1

    We have many of the same issues - have you been able to repair the issues?
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
    That water thats comming out do you live in an area thats cool clamate all the time. If so that is condensation don't matter about that, but if you live in an warm area worry worry. It Might be an head gasket crack block warp heads. The transmission on the other hand sound like the guy that service it did it wrong ;If he did not tap the low pressure line on the trans cooler and service it that way it Might not have enought transfluid you canot take the pan off to change fluid it is a sealed transmission and it have fill up the torue converter. and listen to your engine is it reving high when step on the breaks that might be an issue or the 3 2 kickdown is not working :confuse:
  • richter1richter1 Posts: 8
    I have a '98 Catera with 145.000 miles, yes I said 145.000. last week it started running rough and I put my code code reader on it and the following codes were PO300-random multi cylinder misfire, 301-cylinder 1 misfire, 303-cylinder 3 misfire, 304- cylinder 4 misfire, 305- cylinder 5 misfire, PO134- 02 sensor no curcuit , no activity. i then cleared the data on the cars computer and iot ran fine until the next morning and then the same problem occured, i have to keep my foot on the gas to keep the car running. Any ideas as to where or what to look for?
  • richter1richter1 Posts: 8
    I disconnected my battery over night. started the car & it ran rough for about 10 miles. Now it seem to be back to normal again. I was told that my valve covers are leaking. Can coil packs cause this intermitent problem. Could really use some advise on this. thanks
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
    It is possible that you have a bad coil pack and then again it could be a crank sensor 1. I would test the coils get an multimeter and test if you get over 20,000 volts or 14.5 kvs 2. since you have a code reader check the timing advance that will determind if you need a crank sensor Good Luck :P
  • hicksjmuhicksjmu Posts: 1
    My 1997 Cadillac Catera doesn't blow cold air anymore. The fan still works though.

    I took it into a Cadillac Service Center (in Chantilly, VA) and they told me that I had ZERO freeon in the car (obviously) and that there is a major leak around the Evaporator core and possible around the AC compressor. Bottom line, to fix/replace everything its going to run about $3,500.
    They gave me an alternative option to Evacuate and Recharge the system instead of the new parts which would run about $410, but there is no guarantee this will work & last (it could last for 1week - 1+ year).

    My questions are:
    1) Has anyone had any success with an AC Evacuate and Recharge?
    2) Is it possible that the Cadillac dealer is just vastly over charging me? I'd spend up $1,000 to get my AC working again but not much more.
    2b) If the aforementioned problems are legit, can I trust local auto shop or car AC specialist to get it running again? If so, any suggestions on where to take it?

    Please advise if you have had any experience with this type of issue. So far I've had good luck with my Catera, but there is no way I'm going to put $1,000+ into it just for AC, on the other hand, I'm not ready to give it up yet (it has <60,000 miles!).

  • bradcadbradcad Posts: 9
    I have a 2000 Catera and just recently had the A/C serviced due to only warm air blowing. They found the freon level to be too low... recharged the system... works fine now. They worked hard to find the small leak... but they finally did. Fortunately, I bought an extended warranty that covered the expense.
    As for me... I wouldnt personally trust ANY dealership unless they are willing to put the work and expected results in WRITING. I think they always overcharge... they make a lot of money in the service department. It sounds like you definately have a leak that would waste your $$ on the evaculate/recharge... but that's just my opinion. An evacuate/recharge is typically done when it's suspected that moisture has gotten into the system and it must be pulled out and then replaced with fresh dry freon.
    You might consider getting a second and third opinion at a local A/C shop that's been in business for a long time... perhaps they are fairly honest and reputable.
    Good luck with your A/C work... it stinks not having that working.
    Brad Cad 2000
  • iafarmboyiafarmboy Posts: 2
    Lindsay in Alexandria put a new compressor on my Catera and recharged it for about $1100... A reliable third party offered the same service for 2500...
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
    Go to your local parts store and get the stopleak recharge kit easy to do save lot of$$$$$$$$$$$ ;)
  • richter1richter1 Posts: 8
    Thanks Calicago for your reply. Where would I find the crank sensor. I am assuming it is by the Tranny. Also I find that when I get past about 1500 to 2 Grand rpms It feels like it starts to smooth out. Could that still be the crank sensor or coils packs Or anything else. this problem is so unpretciable. I can drive for an hour with no problems, stop, start back up in 10 minutes & it runs real rough & wants to keep stalling. Any other suggestions would be greatly helpful
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
    Take your time when it comes to the perfomace of your car if it smooth out at 2000 rpms we might have just a tune up issue check plug gaps and do the test I told you about. You should be able to get a crank sensor for the dealer thats if you need it dothat frist and then we will talk good luck :)
  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    One extra point that calicago forgot to tell you = you will not find the Crankshaft Position (CKP) sensor by the "tranny"... Check out my post #549 and it will give you a link to detailed instructions and pics on changing out the CKP and good luck..
  • wondermomwondermom Posts: 2
    I have had my used catera for only about 2 years now and while driving the motor goes completely dead and the radiator light is on what can be the problem?
  • wondermomwondermom Posts: 2
    It's me again I didn't get to list the rest of my catera problems earlier it also have a knocking noise and upon acceleration it seems as though it stalls and my check engine light is on. I love this car because it is spacious and have a lot of extras that I provided and the dealership as well and I dont want to get rid of it can someone please give me some feed back. I took it to the dealership and they claimed it would cost over $9,000 to fix and I only paid $3,500 so that was out of the question on my income.
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
    When you drive what do the temp gauge says :confuse: ignore the radiator light what do the temp gauge says? Is your coolant resivor empty?
  • calicagocalicago Posts: 53
    Hi do you have regular oil changes if so it might be just a timming belt and it should not cost over 1200 :)
  • joejetjoejet Posts: 6
    I have a 1997 Catera that has really squeaky back brakes. I just put new pads on the back and also sprayed on some silicon on the back of each disc to keep them from squeaking. I had the same problem with the brakes I just replaced. Can someone tell me if these brakes have any clips that help keep the brakes quite? I'm thinking that something must be missing from the brake assembly when I put it back together.

    If anyone knows what my problem might be, I would greatly appreciate any feedback.


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