'99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off
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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Anyone ever had difficulty turning off their headlamps? Got to my office this morning and the lights would not turn ...
  1. #1
    Murano20155 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    Anyone ever had difficulty turning off their headlamps? Got to my office this morning and the lights would not turn off. I did everything you can imagine to get them to turn off. I was about to disconnect the battery before I, in frustration, screamed at the car, "All right, you piece of s**t!" I opened the hood, and the lights turned off. Is the damn thing haunted?

    A co-worker who used to have a Seville STS said he had the same problem. Disconnecting the battery was his only resolve.



    I know a lot of y'all love these cars, and that's cool, but for me, this has been the worst vehicle I've ever owned/driven. I can't wait to replace its ass with a '11 Taurus SHO next year.

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    MILCAT's Avatar
    MILCAT is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    Those SHO's are hot! I had a dark gray one pass me on the highway the other day and I was drooling all over my console. I think that 10-11-12 year old cars with a lot of electronic gadgets are just prone to "problems". Caddy's have always had a lot of gadgets and as years go by, they "grow" a mind of their own. I have a few ghosts in mine but I can live with them. A slow window, have to unlock the doors manually to get out, moon roof goes where it wants.........I'll fiddle around with them as time goes by. Good luck with the lights. I won't ask if you checked the Twilight Sentinel but, that may be where your ghost is.

  4. #3
    AHazzardToAll's Avatar
    AHazzardToAll is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    If you drive in a low light environment with the lights switching between being on an off you can get a stuck relay, try pulling the relay and putting it back in. This is the same with any car with automatic headlights.

  5. #4
    Murano20155 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    Thanks, guys. I'll keep those suggestions in mind.

    @MILCAT You should try driving one. You can definitely feel that 5 second 0-60 time. And it was absolutely GLUED to the pavement. I never, ever thought I'd say that about a Taurus. Of course, I love my '09 Flex Limited, too.

  6. #5
    pedrazamarcos is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    You will spend WAYYYY more on that "SHO" monthly payments that buying a DRL (Daytime Running Lights)relay,a timming belt,an oil cooler,heater Control Valve and 4 control arm bushings.All this together will cost less than one month's payment of your new SHO.And when Your new Car runs out of warranty,you will be talking bad about that SHO also.
    Quote Originally Posted by Murano20155 View Post
    Anyone ever had difficulty turning off their headlamps? Got to my office this morning and the lights would not turn off. I did everything you can imagine to get them to turn off. I was about to disconnect the battery before I, in frustration, screamed at the car, "All right, you piece of s**t!" I opened the hood, and the lights turned off. Is the damn thing haunted?

    A co-worker who used to have a Seville STS said he had the same problem. Disconnecting the battery was his only resolve.



    I know a lot of y'all love these cars, and that's cool, but for me, this has been the worst vehicle I've ever owned/driven. I can't wait to replace its ass with a '11 Taurus SHO next year.

  7. #6
    Murano20155 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    Quote Originally Posted by pedrazamarcos View Post
    You will spend WAYYYY more on that "SHO" monthly payments that buying a DRL (Daytime Running Lights)relay,a timming belt,an oil cooler,heater Control Valve and 4 control arm bushings.All this together will cost less than one month's payment of your new SHO.And when Your new Car runs out of warranty,you will be talking bad about that SHO also.
    This Catera has been one headache after another. Even when it's not technically malfunctioning, it's slow, handles like a front-wheel drive car while being rear-wheel drive, the interior oozes lazy design, and it gets lousy gas mileage for such a meager engine. My father-in-law, a mechanic with 40+ years experience, regularly checks the car out for me, and told me recently, "I'm getting tired of fixing this thing."

    I doubt I'd be talking bad about an SHO after warranty has run out, because I'd still be glued to the road and blasting to 60 in just a hair over 5 seconds. I also have an '09 Ford Flex Limited that I've driven nearly 34,000 miles so far, and it's been even more reliable than my old Volvo 240, which had virtually no problems. The build quality in that Flex is on par with an Acura, or even an S-class. A few years ago, I would have punched you in the face if you told me I was going to buy a Ford. They used to be garbage. I wouldn't mind a new CTS, either, and certainly not a CTS-V, which is probably the meanest sedan money can buy.

    I'd rather have a monthly payment (plus, how do you know for sure how high it will be? Do you know my circumstances, let alone what they'll be in a year or two?) than a car I loathe driving, and even looking at. I bought it because, at the time, I had no other choice. And considering new headlamps on that Catera cost me nearly a third of what I paid for car (and, believe me, I shopped around), I have a hard time believing there are many cheap parts available.

    Like I've said before, I'm glad many of you enjoy these cars. Clearly, they're not all as bad as mine has been. Nonetheless, I have too much going on in my family and my career to deal with a car on which I cannot depend.

  8. #7
    AHazzardToAll's Avatar
    AHazzardToAll is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    I work on my 01 s600 just as often as I do on my cat. It's all a matter of understanding your problems and fixing them the right way the 1st time. That's why they get a bad rep with mechanics, no one understands them, and few are willing to learn. To each his own though. You're going to have problems with any 10yr old car. You want something reliable, you really have to get something with warranty, or something fairly new. I prefer having my car paid off and turning a wrench every now and again though.

  9. #8
    Jea3cd is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    Handles like a front wheel drive? You're kidding right? Try taking a FWD on a road coarse, then take a Catera. Big difference.

    However, I know where you're coming from. You need to get something reliable, something you can just get in and drive, and not worry about if its going to make it or not?


    You going to trade the Caddy in, or part it out?


    P.S. I too am an automechanic with over 25 years of experience. Most people just don't understand the Catera, and try and look the other way. What they don't understand, is some Saturns also came from Opel, as well as the new Regal. ;-)

  10. #9
    Murano20155 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    @Jea3cd on a road course, I might see a difference. But in real-world driving, it feels just as mushy as an old Buick. When I think rear-wheel drive, I think a 3-series. And one of those, even one the same age, drives a lot tighter than this Catera. Age could be contributing to this malaise, of course. I wonder whatever happened to the Steinmetz version of this car?

    I have a buyer lined up for this car for whenever I'm ready to sell it. Good thing, too. It might be worth more parted out, but unfortunately I don't have a place to put a parts car.

    Oddly enough, when I was getting this car inspected about two years ago, a mechanic told me he used to work on the production line that made the Cateras (which I thought was odd, since they were built in Russelsheim, Germany, and this guy was born-and-bred American). He listed off a ton of things he predicted would go wrong with the car based on his knowledge of how it was manufactured. So far, a few of them have happened, and others haven't happened. And I hope they don't happen between now and when I sell it. The inspector later showed me what failed (headlamp adjustors... grrr), and then mentioned his mother's Saturn (just like you said) has the same engine. "I wanna blow it up!" he said.

  11. #10
    Jea3cd is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    I know my Catera is tight, handles great. That's why I hate thinking of selling it. I'm only thinking of selling mine, cause I need a truck to pull the Mustang to the drag strip.

    Good luck.

  12. #11
    sixty5vdub's Avatar
    sixty5vdub is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    I have the same kind of problem with my parking lights. The stay on after shut down every once in a while. Or, they turn themselves on in the middle of the night, even though the DRL switch is turned off, and the light switch is moved to off............

    Only way I have found to fix it is to repeatedly lock/unlock the doors with the keyfob, or disco the battery. Once I fix it with either of these methods, it doesn't happen again for a month or two. Then, out of nowhere, it will happen again.

    Just one of the many quirks these cars have.



    Anthony

  13. #12
    kaustein is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    Quote Originally Posted by Jea3cd View Post
    Handles like a front wheel drive? You're kidding right? Try taking a FWD on a road coarse, then take a Catera. Big difference.

    However, I know where you're coming from. You need to get something reliable, something you can just get in and drive, and not worry about if its going to make it or not?


    You going to trade the Caddy in, or part it out?


    P.S. I too am an automechanic with over 25 years of experience. Most people just don't understand the Catera, and try and look the other way. What they don't understand, is some Saturns also came from Opel, as well as the new Regal. ;-)
    I understand that the car is just plan crap! Nice interior, radio, looks good, but the list of things that have gone wrong with this car is more than I car to think about. So bad that the CEL burned out!

  14. #13
    Raygo2000 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '99 Caterrible - Headlights Won't Turn Off

    Turn on high beams this causes my lights to shut off if the key is off.
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