: Bought a 2000 Catera. Tips?



HappyWolverine
01-10-08, 01:48 PM
Hey Everyone,

Good to be here. I'm coming from beaterville and have never had a car like this before. I bought a 2000 Catera with 120 K on it and it very good shape, runs like a dream, no problems.

I want to ask what I should do with this car in terms of regular servicing etc. The old Dodge I'd take in yearly for an oil fluid top it but this I'm sure needs a lil more TLC.

I knew I left beaterville when I went to cut an extra key and it cost me 200 bux!!!

Thanks in advance,

Regards

Drew

CadillacSTS42005
01-10-08, 01:50 PM
run
run hard run long run fast
whatever you do
just run lol
all joking aside they are prone to issues unless you properly maintain them to a T
spend time searching the boards and youll find out more than you ever wanted to know

cateraowner
01-10-08, 03:36 PM
start up a savings account for the car... haha

one thing you should do is if there is anything wrong with the car, try and do it yourself, cause caddy dealership prolly know as much as you do, the only thing is they have the equipment, so they charge an arm and a leg..
(eg, all 4 breaks and rotors were quoted to me from caddy for $1300 plus taxes. I found the parts and did it myself for about $250)

another thing, is search this site if you have a problem. any problems that you'll have, I'm sure it's been talked about here. this site with the omega owner site has a lot of good instructions on how to fix/maintain things.
people on this forum are very helpfull (not like the other that I'm on..)

haev fun.. it's a very fun car to drive.

Messatsu
01-10-08, 04:49 PM
Reguardless of what you might have heard/read from owners/technicians/troublemakers on the forums about the Catera model, they are very pricy to work with when things go wrong. I work as a parts counterman at a cadillac dealership in Orlando and can tell you first hand, when things begin to fault or break on this model, the $hit really hits the fan (and your wallet/pocketbook). Labor fees as well as prices for the parts are very pricy (due to it being a German made car??.. i dunno). Between $600 to $900 dollars for a window regulator is a bit outrageous. Just a friendly heads-up; be prepared for the worst when things start to go wrong. Oil coolers, brake pads/rotors, IPC's, AC control heads, window regulators, the list goes on... Aftermarket products will only get you so far on this model.


Lastly, make damn sure you never lose your keys. 85 bucks for a new key, PLUS 30-45 minutes labor for programming, PLUS the tow bill to get it to the dealership. Its definately the "blacksheep" of ALL of the cadillac models... a.k.a. Craptera and Caterrible.

Messy~
GM Certified Parts Associate

lakesidepark
01-10-08, 05:43 PM
Wasn't it GM and Cadillac that made it the 'black sheep'? The car is expensive to get serviced, and there IS a lack of support from GM and even from Cadillac dealerships. They just didn't like the car and dumped it as quick as they could.
If you take your Dodge in to add oil you ARE in for a rude awakening. However, if you learn the car and can handle some of the maintenance you can reduce that cost significantly. And don't buy from the GM certified parts associate you can't afford it :)

elvin315
01-10-08, 09:21 PM
What is it about a new owner's introduction that attracts all the non-Catera owners? Can they smell fresh blood? They never have anything good to say and have no personal experience with the car to substantiate their claims. Trolls.

I am the proud owner of a 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport. I bought my 2001 Catera Sport 15 months ago and before finding this site. If I had I might not have bought it after reading some of the horror stories. But if I hadn't bought it I would have missed out on a great sport sedan. A budget BMW. No Cadillac before the Catera ever handled like this. No floating on a cloud feel to this car. The ride is closer to Corvette than Cadillac. I absolutely love this car.

It's had a few issues that I've had to address like weeping cam cover gaskets which will drip oil on the exhaust manifold heat shields and cause smoke. Also, the Heater Bypass Valve. It's a plastic assembly behind the engine that regulates how much, if any, hot coolant flows through the heater core. Poorly designed, it will leak eventually.

But I expected to repair things with a used car. I just didn't know the Catera had such potentially catastrophic weaknesses. These are the oil cooler and the timing belt assembly. The oil cooler is buried inside the engine block. If it leaks you will find oil in the coolant tank. Left alone it will clog the radiator and damage the engine's bearings. Replacement isn't easy but it can be done by the owner.

So far my oil cooler is OK but my timing belt tensioner is overdue for replacement. The Timing Belt Tensioner pulleys can seize and break the belt causing the pistons to hit the valves. This MUST be replaced every 40,000 miles. If your car has no service receipts showing a recent belt replacement then change it ASAP.

There are other issues like worn lower control arm bushings that can cause premature front tire wear, worn drop links, and electronic gremlins but those are not as common. I accept her quirks as the price of owning the best handling car I've ever owned.

My Catera has repaid me with excitement. It's returned the thrill of driving to me. Crisp handling is more important to me than top speed bragging rights. As big as this country is there are no autobahns on which to explore the upper reaches of the speedometer. Besides, Cadillac limited her to around 125 MPH anyway. Not to say she doesn't perform nicely on the highway. Stable on high speed sweepers and plenty of power for passing. But where she shines is on the backroads.

This baby turns like a go-kart. Opel tuned the handling for Alpine mountain roads. Sometimes I turn off the Traction Control and use the throttle to induce some oversteer. After so many years in FWD cars I'd almost forgotten how much fun RWD could be. When the OEM Sport suspension softens I'll add Eibach lowering springs, Koni sport struts & shocks, and suspension tower braces front and rear. Nothing wrong with the Cat Sport's handling but I don't know many enthusiasts that can leave well enough alone.

So, ignore the advice to cut and run. With proper servicing and help from the owners here you will find the joy of owning and driving a Catera.

Elvin

CadillacSTS42005
01-11-08, 01:12 AM
we do it just to piss you off
that and the fact that maybe my sister had a Catera before we dumped it as quick as possible and i gave her my ETC
ignorance is bliss...

yellowxhoodie
01-11-08, 12:28 PM
be prepared to do alot of work on the car.
maybe get another beater car that you can drive while the catera sits in your driveway for the weekend becuase you have to work on it.
Really the best advice that i can give you is to make friends with someone who works at any GM car dealership so that when you need parts you can get them for cheap. And also learn alot about the Catera and do all the work yourself.
Most of the guys on here including myself do all the work ourselves and id be more than happy to help you out in any way i could and im sure the other guys would too.
I got a buddy who works at a chevy dealership and got me parts for cheap, then id do the work myself, probably saved me a couple thousand dollars over the course of 1 year.

TitanCTS
01-11-08, 01:10 PM
I'd rather fix a catera than a bmw or merc..its cheaper , has loads of options for a great price and its a good car...2000-2001 and the speed is not limited to 125mph, i've got mine up to 140mph(don't ask how) but its a great highway and all around car.:)

yellowxhoodie
01-11-08, 02:25 PM
my catera's limited at 125, although i got the speedometer to 127...pretty much the same thing though.

HappyWolverine
01-12-08, 11:06 PM
I can't appreciate the tips enough. taking it in to my mechanic Tuesday for a going over and will talk to him about replacing the timing belt tensioner so thank you Elvin315.

I don't want to get too much into fear mongering but I was prepared for costs running high wading into the Cadillac waters period.

I don't know jack about cars for the most part, so perhaps owning the cater will be a good jump off point.

Pace! drew

HappyWolverine
01-12-08, 11:22 PM
be prepared to do alot of work on the car.
maybe get another beater car that you can drive while the catera sits in your driveway for the weekend becuase you have to work on it.
Really the best advice that i can give you is to make friends with someone who works at any GM car dealership so that when you need parts you can get them for cheap. And also learn alot about the Catera and do all the work yourself.
Most of the guys on here including myself do all the work ourselves and id be more than happy to help you out in any way i could and im sure the other guys would too.
I got a buddy who works at a chevy dealership and got me parts for cheap, then id do the work myself, probably saved me a couple thousand dollars over the course of 1 year.

So what am I looking at here? A breakdown every couple weeks? The way people make it sounbd is it's the biggest lemon since the Edsel. If it breaks down weekly I'll be going back :mad:to the dealer with baseball bats and friends and getting my money back.

I was told the 97 99 were problematic but the 01-02 had ironed out the kinks for the most part. Consumer reports suggested this etc. You guys are terrifying me. How many of you guys have had Cateras? For exapmple what would is cost to get the rear brakes down on a Catera? Couple thousand?

Will I get a a year out of this car or a couple months? From the sounds of it I'm driving a bomb with a lit fuse. Should I just sell it?

If you guys wanted to scare me, I'm crapping my drawers now so ...but then again they told me my old Dodge Spirit was a piece, that the tranny was going to snap guaranteed...and in five years I replaced the front brakes....

I need a drink

More will be revealed

Regards

D

Cadi Cat
01-14-08, 03:55 AM
What is it about a new owner's introduction that attracts all the non-Catera owners? Can they smell fresh blood? They never have anything good to say and have no personal experience with the car to substantiate their claims. Trolls.

I am the proud owner of a 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport. I bought my 2001 Catera Sport 15 months ago and before finding this site. If I had I might not have bought it after reading some of the horror stories. But if I hadn't bought it I would have missed out on a great sport sedan. A budget BMW. No Cadillac before the Catera ever handled like this. No floating on a cloud feel to this car. The ride is closer to Corvette than Cadillac. I absolutely love this car.

It's had a few issues that I've had to address like weeping cam cover gaskets which will drip oil on the exhaust manifold heat shields and cause smoke. Also, the Heater Bypass Valve. It's a plastic assembly behind the engine that regulates how much, if any, hot coolant flows through the heater core. Poorly designed, it will leak eventually.

But I expected to repair things with a used car. I just didn't know the Catera had such potentially catastrophic weaknesses. These are the oil cooler and the timing belt assembly. The oil cooler is buried inside the engine block. If it leaks you will find oil in the coolant tank. Left alone it will clog the radiator and damage the engine's bearings. Replacement isn't easy but it can be done by the owner.

So far my oil cooler is OK but my timing belt tensioner is overdue for replacement. The Timing Belt Tensioner pulleys can seize and break the belt causing the pistons to hit the valves. This MUST be replaced every 40,000 miles. If your car has no service receipts showing a recent belt replacement then change it ASAP.

There are other issues like worn lower control arm bushings that can cause premature front tire wear, worn drop links, and electronic gremlins but those are not as common. I accept her quirks as the price of owning the best handling car I've ever owned.

My Catera has repaid me with excitement. It's returned the thrill of driving to me. Crisp handling is more important to me than top speed bragging rights. As big as this country is there are no autobahns on which to explore the upper reaches of the speedometer. Besides, Cadillac limited her to around 125 MPH anyway. Not to say she doesn't perform nicely on the highway. Stable on high speed sweepers and plenty of power for passing. But where she shines is on the backroads.

This baby turns like a go-kart. Opel tuned the handling for Alpine mountain roads. Sometimes I turn off the Traction Control and use the throttle to induce some oversteer. After so many years in FWD cars I'd almost forgotten how much fun RWD could be. When the OEM Sport suspension softens I'll add Eibach lowering springs, Koni sport struts & shocks, and suspension tower braces front and rear. Nothing wrong with the Cat Sport's handling but I don't know many enthusiasts that can leave well enough alone.

So, ignore the advice to cut and run. With proper servicing and help from the owners here you will find the joy of owning and driving a Catera.

Elvin


I agree with everythig elvin says. The 99 and later models are much better with few if any defects, but these later models also need a little tlc. I have a 2000 sport with 136k on it now. I absoultley love it!!! The only major issue I had was the crank sensor. Just because at the time I had no idea what the deal was and the car would just shut off randomly. It's a $50 sensor that takes minutes to replace. You can probably get it cheaper. But if you ask me, any catera with over 100k is probably the most reliabale catera you can buy. Just because most of the electrical issuse have probably been repaired. The last electrical repair I made on my car was the ebtcm module. That was at about 80K miles. And has been running fine ever since then and all winter no problems what so ever. The engine light did come on for a couple days a while ago but then went out. I wasn't able to figure out what that was. But the weather here changed really rapidly for a brief period so I'm thinking that triggered it. And It will and has happend alot with the changing weather. The catera is very fussy but If you address every fuss it has, it will be a great car! But as far as the mechanical part of this car.... no engine or tranny problems. And I really run this car hard!!! I'm a big show off with my catera. I'll bet you I can get over 200k on my ride. And when I do, I'll post pictures to prove that!! All the advice I can give you is to keep it tuned and all fluids clean. Tie rods are a bitch tho. They wear out every 50K or so. That's my only downfall. But maybe it's because I have too much fun with it!:D

Cadi Cat
01-14-08, 03:57 AM
oh I almost forgot, MAKE SURE THAT TIMING BELT HAS BEEN CHANGED!!!!! Or change it again, because if that thing snaps...... say bye bye to your perfectly running engine!

catera00
01-23-08, 02:50 PM
So what am I looking at here? A breakdown every couple weeks? The way people make it sounbd is it's the biggest lemon since the Edsel. If it breaks down weekly I'll be going back :mad:to the dealer with baseball bats and friends and getting my money back.

I was told the 97 99 were problematic but the 01-02 had ironed out the kinks for the most part. Consumer reports suggested this etc. You guys are terrifying me. How many of you guys have had Cateras? For exapmple what would is cost to get the rear brakes down on a Catera? Couple thousand?

Will I get a a year out of this car or a couple months? From the sounds of it I'm driving a bomb with a lit fuse. Should I just sell it?

If you guys wanted to scare me, I'm crapping my drawers now so ...but then again they told me my old Dodge Spirit was a piece, that the tranny was going to snap guaranteed...and in five years I replaced the front brakes....

I need a drink

More will be revealed

Regards

D


I had my 2000 for less than a month before the problems started. Check engine came on. Took it to the dealer. I had it in and out of there 8 or so times before they could figure out the head gasket was leaking and the head was warped. I have a warranty that coved it thank goodness. Also went back in to have the valve cover gasket replaced (common on this car) but it started leaking again. Its been garaged all winter because the heater core crapped out so I have no heat ($1,200 to replace), plus the anti-lock brake sensor is bad (EBTCM) so I have no speedometer, traction control or anti-lock brakes. ($1,200-ish to replace or $250-ish to have it rebuilt and installed myself). I replaced one of the coil packs ($300) And I recently found out that theres a drain on the battery because its always dead when the car isnt started for a couple days.

Let me say that I love this car. It is the nicest, smoothest driving car I've owned. But I have had it for a year now and the longest its gone with no problems is 2 months strait. I've put maybe 3,000 miles on it in one year. I thought everyone on this board hated Cateras and I was real tired of people bashing it here at first. Now I understand why they do. Its a love hate relationship. Its like if your son got mixed up with using drugs. You dont want to give up on him cause you know he has great potential ! ha.

yellowxhoodie
01-23-08, 02:54 PM
well put.
couldnt have said it better.
good breakdown of the cars maintenence too, makes you really take a step back and say wow, and realize just how expensive of a car it is to maintain.

rinverso
01-23-08, 03:28 PM
Reguardless of what you might have heard/read from owners/technicians/troublemakers on the forums about the Catera model, they are very pricy to work with when things go wrong. I work as a parts counterman at a cadillac dealership in Orlando and can tell you first hand, when things begin to fault or break on this model, the $hit really hits the fan (and your wallet/pocketbook). Labor fees as well as prices for the parts are very pricy (due to it being a German made car??.. i dunno). Between $600 to $900 dollars for a window regulator is a bit outrageous. Just a friendly heads-up; be prepared for the worst when things start to go wrong. Oil coolers, brake pads/rotors, IPC's, AC control heads, window regulators, the list goes on... Aftermarket products will only get you so far on this model.


Lastly, make damn sure you never lose your keys. 85 bucks for a new key, PLUS 30-45 minutes labor for programming, PLUS the tow bill to get it to the dealership. Its definately the "blacksheep" of ALL of the cadillac models... a.k.a. Craptera and Caterrible.

Messy~
GM Certified Parts Associate


very true about the keys....i got lucky with a locksmith though. btw he told me he just did a lexus last week that cost over $600 to replace the key and reprogram......so it not just the "terrible catera" black sheep problem.
regards, robert:banghead: