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Cadillac Catera Maintenance & Repair



  • I have a 2000 Catera w/~70k miles that also just started leaking coolant. The leak is also coming from the top/back of the engine. It looks to be either a coolant hose or whatever the hose is plugged in to. It looks very hard to get to so I am going to take it in to a Cadillac dealer. It looks like it might cost a arm and a leg in labor but I'll let you know and keep you updated.

    About the Catera shutting off and sport mode flashing - I was having the same problems last December with my 00. It ended up being the Crankshaft Posistion Sensor. I took it to the caddy dealer to get this fixed but I forget the cost. I think it was around $300. Any dealer who is familiar with Catera should recognize this right away. Before I took it to the dealership, I had my local mechanic look at it. He thought it was something with the security system on the car. Im glad I decided to take it to the dealership.
  • I just got off the phone with the guy at the dealership. He said he has seen a lot of Catera with faulty hot water valves. He said mostly likely this is the cause of the leak. He said it resides behind the engine and will cost around $350-400 for parts and labor. Im bringing it in Friday mornring to have it looked at.
  • robert409robert409 Posts: 1
    We have a 1999 Catera that had the same leak when it rained. There is a cabin air filter on the fire wall (get to it from under the hood) on the passenger side that has a drain hole that was clogged with trash. I cleaned it out and opened the drain and we have not had any more leaks. Might want to replace the cabin air filter while you are in there.
  • bbbmysticbbbmystic Posts: 5
    It sounds like your heater valve. I'm on my second one in two years; it's a poor design. The part is very hard to access and replace.
  • mark1961mark1961 Posts: 2
    Yup, thats what it was a bad heater valve, I did some research and found that the saab 9000 uses the same exact part. What idiot put this behind the engine? Only the dealer has the expertise in replacing this $45 part $350.00 labor item. The dealer did it in 2 hours. Just shows how so called german cars are so well built (yeah). what should I expect next?. I allready know that when brake pads are worn so are the rotors, beyond turning. because of weak steel, also don't forget the brake sensors that need replaning at the same time. no wonder these cars sell for 2,000 to 6,000 on e-bay, who needs the problems. You'll see mine soon with 45k on it, im over it. Thank you for the help
  • caterajunkcaterajunk Posts: 30
    2000 Catera, I really loved the car but after one year I have paid thousands due to timimg chain kit, oil switch,
    sensor, hose and now head gasket. I am disabled and now need $2000.00 for repair that I don't have and stillowe on car.

    I think this will be my last american made car.

    Disgusted :( :cry:
  • caterajunkcaterajunk Posts: 30
    I first got the oil switch replace after the oil light kept coming on. The car contiuned to do the same thing. Mechanic said part was bad. On the way returning the car computer shut down and car had to be towed. New switch, new
    hose and got car back. Smell of smoke and smoke seem under hood. Mechanic said today head gasket blown $1700.00 and I still owe on car. Never will I buy amother american car. Have you heard of any recalls on catera. I fisrt replaced timing chain kit $1500.00 :sick:
  • caterajunkcaterajunk Posts: 30
    Has anyone ever tried the glass sealer last chance to fix head gasket? I am disabled and just cannot afford $2000.00
    for head gasket job.

  • gngurugnguru Posts: 108
    I've noticed several people have had to replace their timing chains on their Cateras. Can any of you give me an approximate mileage of when this had to be done? Also, our oil pressure light goes on and off all the time but the oil pressure needle never goes into the red. However, the oil pressure needle does fall pretty low after the car warms up and the engine is at an idle. Does anyone think it is a faulty oil sensor or what could it be?? Car has 48K miles and my Mom bought it new in '98... Help please.
  • caterajunkcaterajunk Posts: 30
    I have a 2000 Catera and at 53k miles I was told my timing chai kit was bad so the mechanic said since he was in the engine he just replace the timing chain too. Now my oil pressure needle fluated and the light kept coming on. I was told it was the oil switch and had it replaced. taht was two weeks ago now its a head gasket!!!! :confuse:
  • warrwarr Posts: 1
    What did your dealer tell you the problem was? My 98 has started this. I'm hoping it's a cheaper fix than a new oil pump.
  • caterajunkcaterajunk Posts: 30
    See my spouse said it was the oil pump however, mechanic said it was oil switch b/c the catera runs off one belt. Now the buzzer I guess was a HINT something was wrong.
  • I am having similar electrical problems. Did you find the solution?
  • jigymanjigyman Posts: 3
    Hello all.
    I replaced my 97 motor with a 2000 motor over the weekend. Hooked everything back up, fired her up and now shes smoking from the exhaust. smells like coolant... is there a real easy way to check for a head gasket leak? and has anyone had problems with heads cracking. unfortunately I did not inspect the heads when I was swapping motors (oops) my car has been down for almost 5 years now. I finaly got around to doing the work on it and I really want this baby back on the road. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • I'm having the same problem... The car wont start !! I change the Crank sensor kit and the problem is resolved. All is OK for now !
  • I resolve the problem with a camber kit adjustement !
  • I resolved the problem with a camber kit adjustment
  • I'm having the same problem... The car wont start !! I change the Crank sensor kit and the problem is resolved. All is OK for now !
  • jigymanjigyman Posts: 3
    OKAy.. for anyone who has blown a motor (timing belt tensioner) MASSIVE amounts of coolant will leak into the exhaust. It took 3 hours of the car running to correct the smoking. Of course she has developed the dreaded leak at the top of the motor in the back. I'll fix that eventually. But the good news is that shes ready for the road again ... :shades:
  • Hi all,I am 1998 catera owner and there is a strange problems in it lot of bad sensors indicators .some time transmission intermittent and in winter time in morning car take 20 t0 30 minute to shift gear from park to drive or reverse .please help GM help me.
  • lannielannie Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Catera and had the same problem. My oil cooler had to be replaced because it was leaking oil into the water system, and also leaking water on the back of the engine. The oil cooler is mounted under the intake on the engine. Cadilac charged me 750.00 to change it out. I wish I had done it my self because it is fairly easy to get to. Usually you can find new oil coolers on E-bay for about half what Cadilac will charge. Hope this will help.
  • Has anyone found out if we Catera owners can do anything about the problems we are having. I was told i had a bad headgasket but after he got into the engine he discovered it
    was a coolant leak 1200.00. Before that timing chain kit problem 1100.00. Please let me know if General Motors will
    reimbuse us for anything, we all seem to experience the same problems which has left a nasty taste in my mouth for cadillac autos
  • Same here paid 1200.00 yesterday , all i can do is PRAY for I still owe 5k on the car will pray and pray.
  • I just bought my wife a 99 cadillac catera for a work car but Iamhaveing soem prbolems like the oil gange keeps going up and down but there is good oil presure speeddomter quti working just last night collant leavly light stays on but it good on collant is there is any way to fix this with out going to a reapair shop if so please let me know I think I got and headacke on my hands Rodney DeWeese if you can help me email a.s.a.p. I have 3 day off and would like to finger it out Rodney
  • Hi Rodney,

    I have a 2000 Catera and just got it out of shop. My oil pressure was dropping and I could smell oil. First they said I had a bad gasket then after they took the car apart they discover a coolant leak. He said there is a radiator in the engine that was leaking which caused oil and water to mix together. I paid $1200.00 and drove the car 600 miles. Seems to be ok. I am just praying for the car to hold up untill next year this time when I will be done paying for it. I already replaced timimg belt kit. $1100.00. Be careful these cars have aluminum engines and can not take heat. Mine overheated and the computor shut down had to have it towed.

    Good Luck, Sharron
  • I have a 1998 Cateria that I am having an electrical problem with. I have no power to anything on the car.

    I have checked all of the fuses and they are all alright. I have traced the current from the battery to the inside fuse box on the car. (I also checked all the fuses under the hood). I get no current to the switch, head lights, interior lights or anything. As far as the anything operating on the car that is electricial, it is dead.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what else I should check and a method to check what ever is suggested? Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
  • I have a 2001 Catera, Etienne. My speedometer stopped, then my abs and tcs and engine light came on. Then a week and no problem. Then it repeated this week. Do you think a Crank Sensor Kit replacement will remedy the problem? Thanks!!
  • I really don't think the sensor is a problem. As I said, there is no power at all. None to the emergency flashers, headlight, starter, gages, door lights, or anything. I have checked the ground and all of the fuses. I can follow the current from the battery to the interior fuse box. I have not attempted to go from the fuse box since I don't know what could have the effect of completely shutting off all power. Any suggestions are welcome and thank you for yours.
  • Azton, did you find out what the problem was? Thanks!
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