2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them!
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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, 2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them! in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hello everyone, About 20 months ago I bought a 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport with all of the upgrades (except the ...
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    Smark is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Lightbulb 2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them!

    Hello everyone,

    About 20 months ago I bought a 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport with all of the upgrades (except the rear CD changer). Below is the list of issues and how I solved them, hopefully I can help someone as much as you guys have all helped me! When I look back at this, this thing had a lot of issues, oh well, it's my first car.

    Cranks But Won't Start
    Thread: 2001 Catera Myriad of Issues
    Problem: Roughly five percent of the time for a few months I would go out to my car, put the key in the ignition and turn it. The car would turn over many times but would never start. At one point it gave a DTC: P0335 - Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Malfunction
    Troubleshooting: Not really much you can do here, I determined that it seemed to happen more often after the car had been hot. Jump starting it didn't help, not that I expect it to since it was cranking.
    Solution: Replace the Crankshaft Position Sensor. My initial research lead me to believe this was actually a fuel pump issue, turns out this is a common problem with the Catera. The part is relatively cheap (I think ~$65) and the labor wasn't too bad.

    Transmission Hard Shifting / Sport Mode "S" Flashing
    Thread: 2001 Catera Myriad of Issues / 2001 Catera Flashing "S" Transmission Issues. TCS?
    Problem: This was a long one (details in the threads above), but the basic issue was that regularly the car would shift hard going between 2nd and 3rd gear, hard enough to cause thuds, and sometimes hard enough to cause actual shudders. Beyond that, one in a while (maybe month to two months) the car would have one or two of these shudders and then the Sport Mode (gear "S" on dashboard) would blink and be locked into a specific gear. The temporary solution would be to pull over, turn off the car, then turn it back on, and be good to go for another few months. At one point during one of these instances it threw these DTCs: P1700 - Transmission Control Module (TCM) Requested MIL Illumination, P0730 - Incorrect Gear Ratio, U2105 - Lost Communication with Engine Control Systems, P0727 - Engine Speed Input No Signal
    Troubleshooting: Over the course of 19 months I did the following Brought the car to a local AAMCO with a bad reputation, they said fluid was burnt and needed a new $2700 transmission. Decided to get a second opinion. Went to a privately owned shop, they said it was definitely an electrical issue but all the connections looked good. The issue wasn't getting worse so I lived with it until I had cash to move on it further. 7 Months later I took it back and had them drop both transmission pans and change the ATF (as suggested by this forum). They said there was no debris in the transmission so the issue wasn't causing damage. The ATF also looked normal for an 11 year old car, but NOT burnt. I decided my next step would be have to be something a bit more drastic such as replace the Transmission Control Module or have the transmission rebuilt. I decided to sit on that and see if I could find a better solution. After research the issue more on this forum, I decided to replace the NSS, see below.
    Solution: This one I'm no 100% sure is fixed, but I'm pretty confident. The final solution was to replace the Neutral Safety Switch (AKA Transmission Range Switch), which is a ~$105 part and ~$70 labor. It's been four days in stop-and-go traffic and no clunking. The transmissions still doesn't shift perfectly smooth, but no more clunks, and it seems better. the only issue I've seen is that the next day I came out and started the car and the PRND321 lights all came on, which indicates a NSS issue. It went away after a moment and hasn't come back.

    Low Oil Pressure
    Thread: 2001 Catera Myriad of Issues
    Problem: After driving long distances and coming to a stop the oil pressure gauge would drop to into the red, sometimes the car would beep and the oil pressure light would come on.
    Troubleshooting: Not really much you can do here. Research on these forums suggested changing to a thicker oil, or to synthetic.
    Solution: Changed to synthetic oil (car is at 130k miles) and the oil pressure still fluctuates up and down with the RPMs, but doesn't go into the red. It comes close, but doesn't go into the red or beep anymore.

    ABS/TC/MIL On, No Speedometer
    Thread: 2001 Catera ABS/TC/Check Lights On, No Speedometer
    Problem: Jump started my car because of another issue and accidentally hooked the cables up backwards. There were sparks and I quickly realized my issue. Swapped the cables, the car started fine.
    Troubleshooting: Not really much you can do here. Research on these forums suggested I blew the EBTCM (Electronic Brake Traction Control Module), which makes sense since the Anti-Lock Brakes and Traction Control lights were both on. I went as far as to contact a company in Iowa(?) that you can send these modules to and they rebuild them. Someone suggested in the thread to check the fuses.
    Solution: I went ahead and checked all the fuses and found the culprit: Fuse #19 under the dash, marked ABS. Replaced it and everything came back to life. Thank god for fuses.

    Starts, Idles Roughly, Dies Seconds Later
    Thread: None
    Problem: Drove to work one day, went inside a bank, came out 5 minutes later, started the car and then it immediately died, after fully catching.
    Troubleshooting: Thank god for smart phones. I pulled mine out and went directly to these forums and found a few threads, discovered its the Mass Air-Flow Sensor.
    Solution: The Mass Air-Flow Sensor is located right in front of the engine and is a few inch thick duct/tube. Research showed that if the sensor was faulty it would cause the car to die, but if you unhook it, you can run without it, you'll just get bad mileage. I unhooked the MAF (no tools needed) and drove it to work without an issue. I ordered a new part, picked it up at AutoZone on the way home and replaced it without an issue. Haven't seen any issues with that since.

    Coolant Leak From Crack On Top Of Radiator Tank
    Thread: 2001 Catera Coolant Leak
    Problem: Coolant light came on one day, check under the hood to discover a crack on the top of the plastic radiator end tank.
    Troubleshooting: Researched on this forum again, found its a common issue. Took it into a shop, they told me it would cost $700 to replace, $500 for OEM Radiator, $200 for labor+tax. I decided to take someones advice on the forum and order a cheap one off ebay.
    Solution: I found a radiator specifically for my car, an aftermarket one for $160. I had it shipped to me, drove ~150 miles, and with the help of a family friend we replaced it. This is a job that can definitely be done yourself, but it's not easy. You'll need the right tools and a lot of patience to get everything in an out, it's pretty tight. Anyway, working beautifully with no issues for over a year.

    Won't Turn Over, Battery Seems Dead After < 10 Minutes Off
    Thread: None
    Problem: Would come out to the car after being inside a store and the car wouldn't even turn over. I could leave my house, start that car at 8:00am, get gas at 8:05, and when I turn the car back on at 8:10, it wouldn't even crank.
    Troubleshooting: I immediately assumed this was a battery issue, so I replaced it. I kept the old one in my trunk and used it to jump start the battery. After jumping it always worked perfectly. I had the battery cables checked, they were fine. I cleaned the posts and the clamps, which were already pretty clean. There was a bit of a draw on the battery when off, but not nearly enough to make the battery go dead in minutes. I had the alternator check, it was functioning properly. Took my car in for an oil change and got talking to the mechanic about all my issues and he suggested to turn the key over next time it doesn't work. The contacts may be getting worn out in the ignition switch.
    Solution: I haven't had an incident since this happened, but when I think about it, the situation goes something like this... Open door, insert keys into ignition, turn key, half-hearted crank, grumble about the car, remove keys from ignition, walk to the trunk, use the remote to open the trunk, hook up the cables, get in the car and turn the ignition, car starts. I don't think the solution to this has anything to do with jumping the car, I think it has to do with the fact that I removed the key from the ignition and re-inserted it. Next time it happens I'll be sure and flip the key over or wiggle it a bit to see if that fixes the issue.

    Bose Radio Turns Off Randomly, Won't Turn Back On For ~5min
    Thread: None
    Problem: When using my radio once in a while I would hear a few faint pops, then all of a sudden the radio would completely lose power. I could still use my environmental controls, but the power button on the radio wouldn't do anything. After a few minutes the clock would pop back up on its own and you could turn the radio on and it worked fine.
    Troubleshooting: This one was hard to troubleshoot because it happened intermittently. This one also had kind of a two part solution, both of which centered around the K134 Multifunction Relay. This relay apparently controls a lot of internal functions related to the user controls.
    Solution: I removed the K134 which us located under the dash behind the hood release, its about 2" square. I took apart the case and re-soldered all of the components. This seemed to fix the issue for about 2-3 months, but came back. The fact that it got better told me it was likely a connection issue or maybe a faulty part and the heat from soldering did something. Anyway, I ordered the part online for ~$60 and replaced it, haven't seen an issue with the radio since.

    Wanted To Connect iPod to Cadillac Catera With Hand Controls
    Thread: 2001 Catera Bose Stereo Aux Input
    Problem: I wanted to be able to connect my iPod to my car and have high quality sound.
    Troubleshooting: I was using a cassette tape adapter for a while which had pretty bad quality. I went through about 3 or 4 of them over about 6 months, some would have crappy sound quality or would have issues where the tape would wiggle and you would have to force it into place with your finger or something. I looked into creating an AUX jack just so I could get the audio quality and discovered you would have to mount the port or at least a switch to turn it on so you don't drain your battery. You would also have to do stuff like finding a power source, then you needed a place to store the module and such. I wasn't interested at all in removing the radio or messing with that at all. After some research I found a company/product named iSimple SoundByte.
    Solution: It's a bit pricey at $120, but works beautifully. It works by connecting to the port that the CD changer would be in in the trunk, which I believe is there for all models (YOU SHOULD CHECK), even if the changer isn't. You set the dip switches on the side of the module to your model car. I stuffed my connections and everything in the jack compartment in the trunk, then ran the iPod connection cable behind the seats, down the passengers side of the back seat, under the floor mat, along the passengers side of the center console, up into the little change area under the hand brake. You can use the hand controls to control the iPod. I'm not sure if this is an issue with the iSimple SoundByte or the iPod but I have to press the back arrow on the steering wheel twice in order for it to hit the back button on the iPod. This means that if I'm half way through a song and I want to go to the beginning of the song I have to go "tap tap". This also means if you're more than 2/3 seconds into a song and you want to go back a song you have to do "tap tap pause tap tap". Sound quality is perfect!

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    jupiter57 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them!

    Thanks for this thread!
    Every little bit helps.

    Just bought a '97 Cat in July, assumed from what I read here that I would be doing a lot of work on it, but aside from fixing the A/C, nothing major so far (knock on wood), just a couple quirks!

    I have been meaning to create a thread on tips & tricks for the A/C fix, just too busy! (Also, every tip & trick I used I found on here )

  4. #3
    olddavid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them!

    Thank you very much. I've been gone to the Omega site for a while, but returned after a particularly stupid repair where I neglected to consider that an English car would be RHD. Today I have already saved $280 as a local MAF was $344 and the forum showed how to get one for $65. Thank you to everyone who posts. Still curious as to long term consequences to running without MAF plugged in. I've got new DIS, valve cover seals spark plugs and wires and new fluid in transmission so far. Car is running great. Knock on wood.

  5. #4
    frmg0014 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
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    Re: 2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them!

    Guys .. Just wanted to point out the low oil pressure that is very common on these cars. This is not a mechanical issue and it is not caused by a failing oil pump. Out counterpart Opel Omegas do not have this issue since they don't have an oil pressure gauge on the dash. It's caused by a failing OIL PRESSURE SENDER located at the front of the engine. I have a 2001 and I had this problem which starts as the weather gets hotter. At idle my pressure would drop to red unless I rev it up. The true pressure is normal but the oil pressure sender is giving inaccurate reading therefore triggering the alarm. It seems as the sensor starts to fail it becomes less accurate and when the weather is warm and the oil is thin, it is not able to read at all. I replaced my sender 2 or so years ago and never had a problem again. When I had this issue a lot of people kept mentioning to use thicker oil since it's caused by a failing oil pump. But I figured it is too common for our cars and these cars are not known to have premature failing of the oil pump in the Opel Omegas in Europe. I hope this helps!

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    Smark is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them!

    Quote Originally Posted by frmg0014 View Post
    Guys .. Just wanted to point out the low oil pressure that is very common on these cars. This is not a mechanical issue and it is not caused by a failing oil pump. Out counterpart Opel Omegas do not have this issue since they don't have an oil pressure gauge on the dash. It's caused by a failing OIL PRESSURE SENDER located at the front of the engine. I have a 2001 and I had this problem which starts as the weather gets hotter. At idle my pressure would drop to red unless I rev it up. The true pressure is normal but the oil pressure sender is giving inaccurate reading therefore triggering the alarm. It seems as the sensor starts to fail it becomes less accurate and when the weather is warm and the oil is thin, it is not able to read at all. I replaced my sender 2 or so years ago and never had a problem again. When I had this issue a lot of people kept mentioning to use thicker oil since it's caused by a failing oil pump. But I figured it is too common for our cars and these cars are not known to have premature failing of the oil pump in the Opel Omegas in Europe. I hope this helps!
    I'm not 100% certain this is true. I know my car's dash gauge says it has low oil pressure. I took it into a mechanic for a transmission issue and they were afraid to work on it because the oil pressure was too low (according to the dash gauge). The guy said he put in some sort of a manual pressure sensor tool and it also read low. I don't know if that is true or not. I never did get it fixed but haven't had any problems other than an occasional BEEEEEEEP alarm or something maybe once a year.

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    IvoryWhiteCatera's Avatar
    IvoryWhiteCatera is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them!

    Thanks for the info.

    Which side was your radiator leaking from? I hope I don't have the same problem.

  8. #7
    frmg0014 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them!

    Smark: I'm not saying everyone's problem is related to the sender.. but a good percentage of it is. I noticed a lot of posts regarding low oil pressure... including myself. Oil pump failures are not that common on these cars. Like I mentioned.. the opel omegas in europe which is the exact same car do not have this problem and that is because they don't have an oil pressure gauge, therefore they do not have this oil pressure sender that is prone to failure. It seems our cars oil pressure light is also connected to the same sender as the oil pressure gauge, therefore when the gauge dips to the red area it triggers the oil light and alarm as well. Our oil pressure gauge on the dash is electrical rather than mechanical so it's not as accurate and also prone to failure. If the mechanic connected a mechanical gauge into the oil port and it still reads low, then my suggestion is to throw in an oil flush every oil change and check your oil pump pick up screen is not clogged. It could just be a sludge issue. But please for the majority of you, replace your oil pressure sender before you start throwing in thicker oil to compensate for the low oil pressure. Thicker oil in a vehicle that does not require it could be worst in the long run.

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    Smark is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them!

    Quote Originally Posted by IvoryWhiteCatera View Post
    Thanks for the info.

    Which side was your radiator leaking from? I hope I don't have the same problem.
    The driver's side. Just like yours! Sorry. It should be pretty obvious as soon as you remove the piece of molding in front of the battery and maybe that runs along the top of the radiator.

  10. #9
    IvoryWhiteCatera's Avatar
    IvoryWhiteCatera is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2001 Sport: My Problems, And How I Fixed Them!

    I checked and felt. There's no crack. An I broke my auxiliary water pump along the way. I'm hoping its that.

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