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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair



  • cbl41015cbl41015 Posts: 1
    My Catera had bad control arm bearings that caused it to jump into other lanes and steer itself.
  • rsavoiersavoie Posts: 2
    Having trouble with tranny. DTC codes are P1700 ( manufacture control transmission) & P0730 (gear ratio incorrect). Any idea what they mean, and how to fix them? thanks, Ro
  • joey1127joey1127 Posts: 2
    Hi hdog1123,

    The CATERA is not a happy camper in the states. It's a great car in GERMANY where it is known as the OPEL OMEGA, but it just seems to not like American life.

    The Tranny is actually slipping, THAN the light comes on. The light does not cause a slip, it's the other way around. This is a problem that has been reported off and on. Some have said that by having the tranny fluid pumped out and replenished, it corrects any tranny issues.

    My 98 will redline on first gear when it's cold. I have been told that changing the fluid will correct this, but there is no light coming on so I'm not going to worry about it. As the tranny in these cars are sealed, working on them is a pain AND will cost a fortune! As all the parts are German, they come from an importer in BANGOR MAINE and man are they expensive.

    I would get this car into your Caddi dealer QUICK. From my experience, if you let it go, a host of other things will go wrong. My 98 now has 104k and it is needing repair ALL THE TIME at a minimum of $500.00 a visit! Remember, owning a Caddi is a luxury, not a right...

    Best of luck,

    Joe Aschwanden
    1978 Coupe De Vile
    1990 Eldorado Biarritz
    1998 Catera
  • joey1127joey1127 Posts: 2
    Yup, That is an expensive repair to. The entire control arm has to be replaced as you cannot just replace the bushing itself. I had the same issue with my 98 + the front wheel bearings were going out. Total cost of that repair was around $2,300.00. YIKES...
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    Is anyone's Catera ageing gracefully? I still love mine,but it gets very gentle use by my wife..Our 2001 has only 33,000 miles since new...I love the way it drives...I am stunned,though,how many unhappy posters I see on various sites...
  • dbarreradbarrera Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 catera last year my water pump went out and
    I took it to get replaced well the tech did not reconnect my hoses and BOOM engine out I have tried for the past year to find an engine or see if someone would buy it off me and people just laugh the funny thing is I see them all over the place out there.I loved the car but it cost me a fortune to mess with and I dont have the luxuary to fix it
    it has 101000 leasther in great cond.carpet in great cond.
    what I want to know is if I can put a 2000 engine in it or is it even worth fixing. Please give me some advice :confuse:
  • cadcadgirlcadcadgirl Posts: 3
    :lemon: :mad: :sick: I have a 97 Catera with 88,001 miles. I just bought it in January and from what it looked like that it was really well taken care of. So far I have put in $1300+ just this month. So first there was a rattle in the exhaust system $650 muffler replaced cat converters still good. Had to take it back the next week because it kept shuddering in idol and would feel like the whole car would lift up and then the check engine light came on so I took it in again. $600 to replace the coil pack and fuel injector cleaner. Drove it a day and then the light came on again took it back and replaced all the spark plugs. $110. Got it back and it was still not as much but still shuddering in idol at times. Then took it on the freeway about 10 miles it lost power the check engine light came on and then it started to shudder even when you press the excellerator. They came and picked up the car and it has been hooked up to the machines for two days like a hospital patient. The diogastic tests keep coming back as a miss fire PO33, Check of spark plugs check of ignition and wires, noted rear set has a dead ignition signal #3. They think that it might be the computer system and need to rebuilt or replaced. They said that the fuel injectors are still good everything else seems to check out and with everything that they have just replaced it feels like the car has basically been overhauled. HELP PLEASE! if anyone has had simular problems and have been able to fix it please let me know!
  • j5fj5f Posts: 3
    I got rid of mine. Luckily I had taken out an extended warranty which covered quite a bit - though not everything. After 4 years the extended warranty company shelled out close to $8,000 in repairs - this is not to mention what Cadillac paid to replace the entire head assembly plus I put in quite a bit of my own money. I traded it in with only 70k miles and got a whopping $2,500. The car is/was a total piece of junk - and GM has lost me as a customer.
  • j5fj5f Posts: 3
    I hate to say this but you need to cut your losses and get rid of it. I had my computer for the emissions system (yes - emissions has its own computer) replaced 3 times in one year. It is a $1300 part - and this is just for emissions. Every time I fixed one thing something else would go - it was never ending - a money pit. The only way to stop the bleeding is to get rid of it - buy a Honda or Toyota. I bought a Honda.
  • cadcadgirlcadcadgirl Posts: 3
    Yea, I know unfortunately since I only bought it in January I am a little stuck without it running. I need to fix it so that I can sell it and pay off my loan so I really need to know how people are able to fix the problems. I work for a Ford Dealership and have already gone over with the guys in finance that if I was to trade it in as it is now I would end up with $500+ car payments to eat up the negative equity and to trade it in as is would be about $1000. I bought it for $4000. So I know that I have to sell but I can not sell till I get it fixed and no one seems to know how to fix these. I just need to get it running... Just so frustrated!
  • 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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