: 2000 Cadillac Catera

11-07-07, 12:28 AM
Hello. I'm very new here. I've been watching this forum for some time now and decided to join. I bought a 2000 Cadillac Catera for $6300 with 59,665 miles on it 11 months ago. I have had only (1) issue with the car since I bought it. A wear and tear item went out on me and was a bit pricy to fix, around $450. The dealer was upfront with me and told me about the oil leak the car had. Like others in this forum have described, it's coming from behind the valve cover on the passenger side and rolling to the driver's side and then burning off on top of the engine. Little poofs of smoke can be seen escaping from under the hood on the driver's side from time to time. I have not had an estimate yet to fix it but I have had it looked at. The repair shop that looked at the problem told me that not alot of oil was escaping but it could get worse if I don't have it fixed in a reasonable amount of time. I am concerned about a couple of other things I have noticed during the summer months with the car. Perhaps someone here has had this happen to them. This summer has been hot and one day a few months ago, the car began to run a little hot. I didn't pay too much attention to it but as the weeks progressed, the car began to run hotter. There were a couple of times that I was forced to shut the car off for fear of burning up the engine. Now it is very cold outside but the car still likes to run a little hot. Anybody know what the deal is with that? Any tips to keep this girl cooled off? Fans not kicking on? Add another couple of fans? Also, it's rare, I mean really rare but sometimes when I jump on the expressway, I speed up and somewhere between 50 and 60 MPH the car falls into snow gear. A light on the dash flashes repeatedly. If I stop the car, it is in 3rd gear and accelerates very slowly. The only way to return the car to normal operation is to turn it off and then back on again. Very odd and rare. Anybody have that happen to them? In any event, the car now has 71,000 miles and other than a couple of nuisance issues, I love it. I'm sorry to hear that others have not had good experiences with this model car. I guess I have been lucky. At any rate, if anyone can provide some tips I would appreciate it. Thanks a million.

11-07-07, 01:21 AM
Welcome. Glad to meet another Catera fan. Regarding your problem, it could anything. The waterpump is a good place to start. The have been known to fail. If it's not circulating coolant the engine will run hot. There's also an electric auxiliary waterpump but I'm not sure where it is nor what it does.

Have you noticed any coolant leaks? Is the coolant tank level low or empty? Have you checked your coolant tank for oil contamination? If the oil cooler is leaking, and has been long enough, the radiator may be clogged. Are the fans cycling? Could be a fuse. Test the thermostat or just replace it to eliminate it as a possibility.

My Catera has no overheating issues at all and I don't believe it's a common problem. You'll have to tackle this one methodically and eliminate the suspects one by one. Sorry.


11-07-07, 10:22 AM
You have two (2) electric pumps and one mechanical pump. Aux water pump on the drivers side of the radiator, and heater aux pump on the passenger side firewall.

Replacing the thermostat is not as cheap as other cars and not easy at all. Be sure to include it as an item to be replaced when the camshaft cover leaks are fixed. Flush the radiator and cooling system at the same time. All of it will be exposed including the cover for the oil cooler valley (which should be inspected at this time). The Cat is hard to flush completely unless you can get to these parts.

Check the lower driver's side of the radiator for seepage. Seems the corrosive and sediment accumulates there and that's the common point of radiator failure (I've seen mine and two on a car lot leak at the same place). A bit low miles to be expecting that but need to check. Other leaks - the famous HCV valve, and check the small drain tube above the passenger side of the tranny that will show a leak from the heater core.

That oil that is leaking over the top of engine and blowing by on driver's side? Could be getting into the shifter switch on side of tranny. Dirty contacts on that switch will cause the 'limp home' mode of the tranny.