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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, Potential Catera Owner in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Excellent post by elvin315....
  1. #16
    catera6 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner (Part 3)

    Excellent post by elvin315.

  2. #17
    elvin315's Avatar
    elvin315 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Gravatrax View Post
    For a German built car you'd think they'd be better built, but if I recall correctly many cars in their early years are probably worth avoiding until they can get all the kinks out of them (big or small). So the CTS is essentially the new Catera?

    How much is the part(s) to fix the Valve Cover problem? Do vehicles that start out with problem typically lead into the other infamous ones? Or is it largely hit or miss. Might roll the dice, might not, will make final decision saturday one way or the other.
    German engineering is no better or worse than any other country's. As I hear it Mercedes Benz has had a lot of quality problems the last 10 years or so. With today's cars packing so much electronics, operational & entertainment, it's a wonder they run at all. A car is a very harsh environment with all the bumps & shocks, extreme interior temps, rain & snow, it's no surprise they fail as often as they do.

    If you're a handyman then it's just the cost of the gaskets. You pull the intake plenum (not so hard to do), remove the covers, remove the crankcase breather box (easy to get to with the plenum and camcovers off), clean the breather box, clean the covers, clean the sealing surfaces, and replace everything. (the step by step is around here somewhere)

    Hit & Miss but some are interrelated. Take the front suspension bushings. If not replaced when scheduled it will lead to ruined tires. If the leaking oil cooler is left unattended it will lead to a clogged radiator and heater core, and eventually burnt internal engine bearings. Then the big one. Timing belt tension assemblies & water pumps left on for more than 60,000 miles risk the chance of catastrophic engine failure. The L81 V6 is an interference engine and its pistons will crash into the 24 valves. With the exception of the oil cooler the rest are regular maintenance items and not unique to the Catera. Most new cars with OHC engines use toothed rubber timing belts and rubber suspension bushings.

    Don't think that not buying a Catera will save you from worrying about those items. Have the car checked out by a trusted mechanic or do it yourself and use what you find as a negotiating tool. Ask for maintenance records. If you like the car and all is acceptable, plus the price is right, then buy it.

  3. #18
    hemic05 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    More likely than not its not just the valve cover gaskets its the valve covers thenselves not a great cost just another craptera thing they come from generating money G.M. ha ha with the gasketsm they run aboutm 65.00 per side and are easy to do

  4. #19
    elvin315's Avatar
    elvin315 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    I had my camcover gaskets replaced about 4 years ago and not a drop of oil or cloud of smoke since then. Again, it's a maintenance issue. If the Crankcase Breather is let unserviced it will clog with sludge leaving the pressurized crankcase gases to seek another exit to the atmosphere. That is the plastic camcovers. The pressure lifts the edges of the covers allowing oil to drip from the cylinder heads onto the exhaust manifold heatshields below. You can replace the plastic covers with alloy ones from Saturn, Saab, or Vauxhall that will not lift but then the pressurized gases would have to find another, more expensive to repair, exit like the main crankshaft seals. The key is to clean the Breather Box every year or so and the camcover gaskets become a non-issue. Maintenance people, maintenance.

  5. #20
    Gravatrax is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    Hmm interesting...he mentioned something about this one had a pontiac engine a 3.2 or something like that not the standard 3.0

  6. #21
    hemic05 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    If it has a 3.2 the engine was replaced with a later model caddy cts engine same craptera as far as the valve covers go they warp in time its normal for this car

  7. #22
    Gravatrax is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    Can the timing belt tension be addressed by replacing it? If all of this is preventative maintenance what the big deal?

  8. #23
    elvin315's Avatar
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    No offense but I don't believe the covers warp. My car has had the same covers for 10 years and except for the one time they've not leaked. Not since the breathers were cleaned regularly.

    The 3.2 V6 was used in the 2002 Omega and the 2004 CTS. It was proposed for the 2002 Catera and replaced by the 3.6 V6 in the CTS in 2006. The 3.2 V6 is practically a one for one swap except for a few parts like the oil pan.

    It's the timing belt that's the maintenance item but I replace the tensioner as well since it was a recalled part. GM upgraded them in 1999 but I don't trust their engineering enough to leave it on past 60,000 miles. Compared to the damage it could cause the replacement cost is negligible. GM even sells a kit. Belt, pulleys, and waterpump.

  9. #24
    hemic05 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    The valve covers due warp it was an item with cadillac so 100% they due warp

  10. #25
    Gravatrax is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    I expressed my concerns to my boss and he is letting me take home the car for a weak. He said if something happens to it (be it collision, or mechanical) he said he'd just take it as a loss. So thatll give me enough time to for me and my step dad to look it over, and possibly go to the Cadillac dealership to see if I can pull up some maintenance records and what not

  11. #26
    kaustein is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    You seem intent on buying this car. Use common sense! Think with your brain and not how cool you will look driving a Caddy. Think how you will look sitting in the front seat of the tow truck as the car is being towed!

  12. #27
    jjhammer is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    I had a 2000 Catera for a couple of years. Yes it was nice to drive but it did require a lot of maintenance. I did most of the work myself and I still spent quite a bit of money. I finally ended up selling it but it is funny-I miss it. It was quite a looker. Triple black with about 85000 miles on her. It was due for the timing chain to be replaced-1000 dollars and I had other bills to pay so there she went. I may still get another one though.

  13. #28
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    Tripple black? As in it had a carriage roof? Never seen a Catera with a cloth top.

  14. #29
    elvin315's Avatar
    elvin315 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    Never?? Well now you have....

    http://www.pbase.com/elvin315/image/73182461

  15. #30
    kaustein is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Potential Catera Owner

    Ugly at a new level!

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