: NEED ADVICE - Should I buy a 2000?



wildrage
02-01-08, 10:47 PM
I just won a 2000 catera (non-sport) for 3450 on ebay. The car has 76k on it, and the pictures look flawless.

I was going to take a drive to the dealer selling it tommorow to pick it up, but I just read a bunch of reviews on the car, and am now scared sh**tless. It looks like a lot of the problems are pre-2000, but I also read quite a few about head-gasket failure in 2000 and 2001 models...this scares me the most. Owning older Lincolns, I know that cars fail over time and I am very mechanically inclined, but HG failure makes me want to run.

I currently have a Lincoln Mark VIII and a 2000 mustang. I'm looking for a car that has all the features, handles better, and is better on gas then my other cars. Is $3450 a good price for a 2000 with 76k? If you could buy your Catera again, would you?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

mrplease
02-02-08, 01:29 AM
send us a link to the auction so we can check i out!

wildrage
02-02-08, 06:54 AM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&sspagename=STRK%3AMEBTOX%3AIT&viewitem=&item=320212997049&_trksid=p3984.cTODAY.m238.lVI

graphicsman
02-02-08, 12:27 PM
The hood and quarter panels are not sitting right. You need to take a close personal look at the car to make sure it hasn't been in an accident. The other slightly questionable related thing is that the hazard lights have been used a great deal gauging from the amount of scratches around the button.

mrplease
02-02-08, 05:01 PM
yeah, the first thing i noticed is the hood doesn't seem to be sitting right...

yellowxhoodie
02-02-08, 11:03 PM
wait.
you said u already won it.
i though when u won something on ebay you have to buy it, especially cars...or do u just lose your down payment.
anyways,
ive got a 2000 with 72 K, bought it with around 50K and had to have all the HG work done almost immediately.
if i could go back, i wouldve never bought this car, just to expensive to keep up for me.
there are some that have had good experiences though...
just depends.

and that hood is def. not right...

wildrage
02-03-08, 01:16 AM
Based on these comments and what i've read about this car - it is undependable and is very prone to head gasket failure.

I can deal with upkeep and quirkiness...I have a mark viii and it seems like it's throwin little puzzles at me every other day. What I can't deal with is HG failure. Is it really that common?

It sucks because it seems like the Catera is just what I'm looking for...all the bells in whistles, but better handling and fuel consumption then the larger caddy's

cateraowner
02-03-08, 02:24 AM
well some people definatly have had a lot of problems with the car, but there are a lot of people on this forum that has had very little trouble with the car. so far for me I haven't had any problems with it. but the I've only had it for 4 months, but have already put 12,000 kms on it bringing the grand total to 210,000. only repairs so far have been breaks, which I knew about and did myself.

this deffinatly is a car you can't neglect. if you hear a weird sound, you can't hope it'll go away, you need to find out what it is. and as long as you can do a lot of the work yourself I really don't think it'lll be bad. but that said, like any other car there are lemons out ther, and catera's might have a higher percentage of lemons than other cars. I honestly don't mind.. this makes the car affordable for me.

but if you do get it, you'll realize it's a really fun car to drive. I've never diven a car that handles the highway so well.

also I'm not sure where you heard about the head askets being a problem, but I don't think that's the thing you should be worried about. I could be wrong though..

joee5
02-03-08, 04:41 AM
If you already won it that means you own it now, right? If you dont like it then put it back up on ebay and attach a buy it now to it. That way you get what you want and any monetary lose is minimal. God Bless, Joe

passionaterage
02-03-08, 07:11 PM
In my opinion, you shouldn't buy ANY Catera. This is what will happen. You'll fall in love with it when it's running well, then it'll eat you alive when it starts to give you problems (and it will). Some people are lucky enough that they have very few issues, but that's the lucky few. You'll hate to get rid of it, so you'll keep pouring money into it, thinking that maybe this will be the last major repair. Then another one hits, and it's the same all over again. I still have mine, but I wish I had done the same thing you didn't do......research it BEFORE you bought it. Mine's running good right now, but every time I drive it I'm waiting for something to happen or the check engine light to come on. I joined AAA just becasue of this car, it's that scary. But it sounds like you already bought it, just like I did mine on ebay. It's not right to cause a seller grief simply because you didn't take a few minutes to do the homework first.

yellowxhoodie
02-03-08, 10:23 PM
^hahaha.
amen.
you pretty much covered it with the whole "hoping its the last time thing"
i finally was able to tear myself away from mine and am tryin to sell it.
it was a fun car...when it was working.
and like passionaterage said, i was always driving the car and staring at the Gauge cluster. Not because of my speed, but because i was waiting and fearing that the Check Engine light was going to come on.

wildrage
02-03-08, 10:55 PM
I dropped by the lot to check the car out and I could obviously tell that the car had been in an accident. The car's exterior was described as perfect on Ebay, and it clearly wasn't. I brought this up to the salesman and he agreed that it was misleading and let me off the hook. In the meantime I found a 2001 sport model with something called TW1 package (not sure that that means). The car has 75k on it and the guy wants $3,025...I'm not sure if I can possibly pass this up. The negative is that the moon roof is not operating and there's a very small hairling crack in the plastic part of the radiator...I guess thats why he's selling it so cheap. He even offered a 3 month dealer warrarnty..but I know how misleading those can be. I'm going to take a look at it tommorow, and if there are no bigtime issues, I'll probably buy it. Atleast I could say I got a decent deal and I knew what I was getting into. Working on Lincolns, I'm used to everything under the sun going wrong on a car, so I'm hoping that will prepare me. I've been looking at these cars for a few years now, and I guess I'll have to roll the dice and find out for myself. Thanks for all of your advice. On another note - exactly how hard is it to replace a radiator in one of these things? I've already specced out the cost....

mrplease
02-03-08, 11:21 PM
$3000 for the catera & $5000 for repairs within 1 year = $8000

$8000 for a 2001 catera with 75,000 miles = not a good deal


just ask yellowx


seriosuly...dont do it.
i bought a 2000 for about $5000 and now im around $8000 in debt. just from the car.
it runs fine now, but just wait till u start driving it.
the problems will pile on quicker than you can imagine.
dont me wrong its a real fun car.
but unless you have extra cash to burn and alot of time to work on it.
then its not a car for you.

wildrage
02-04-08, 12:00 AM
I know how to fix a car, and I'm not the type of person to blindly bring my car to the dealer to get a waterpump or an alternator (or transmission)replaced.

I read a lot of your other posts reflecting your opinions of these cars, and although I value you taking the time to add to the discussion, the fact still remains that you don't currently own one - and you never owned one.

Did a Catera driver kill your dog or something a long time ago?

Even with this being said, say I do end up paying $5k in maintenence (which I won't), a 2001 BMW 3 series with comperable miles still costs more. There are many posts on message boards that outlines the car's problems...but isn't that just the nature of the board? If your car is working fine, there's no need to post something that says "Hi guys, just checking in, and the car is working great."

Like I said, I value your opinion, but part of me is asking the question "How the hell does he know?" I compare it to me telling you what preventative maintenence you should do to your CTS, or a car you should trade it in for. Do you go into the Eldorado forums and tell all prospective buyers not to buy Northstar engines becasue of their head gasket issues? Again, I'm not trying to start any sort of arguments...just wondering.

If the car is as listed on the advertisement, and doesn't have issues tommorow, I will purchase it for $3k...hell, if the engine blows up the next week, the most I'm out is $3k, and I have 2 other backup cars. I know people that spend more then $3k on preventative maintenence.....

mrplease
02-04-08, 11:26 AM
i get on all the forums here on cadillac forums. from the cts forums, to the escalade forums, the seville, deville, sts, dts & catera forums. and no offense to anyone but it doesn't take an owner of a catera or a brain surgeon to see by all the posts that these cars a very, very, very prone to be trouble. i've even been told by cadillac mechanics to steer clear of them. and other forum websites also. i did months of research on cateras a few years ago because i was going to buy one. my heart said to get one, but my head told me to do what i knew was right and to get something else. its seems by all the posts on this forum that there are more problems with the cateras than all the other cadillacs combined!

passionaterage
02-04-08, 02:39 PM
It's true that most people end up on the boards because they're having problems, no doubt about that. But on this board, you find most people with MULTIPLE posts about different problems, and the Catera is known to be one of the worst cars sold in the US, thus it was only sold here for 5 years. But I think that since you now know all the problems that come with this car, and you still want one, you should buy it. I also have several cars. I would NEVER have a Catera as my only way of getting around. But as a second vehicle, and with you knowing what could happen, and finding a good price on one, I say why not. We only wanted to make sure you knew what you were getting yourself into, because you WILL fall in love with the car. If you get one, good luck, and we'll be seeing you around I'm sure...lol

mrplease
02-04-08, 03:10 PM
It's true that most people end up on the boards because they're having problems, no doubt about that. But on this board, you find most people with MULTIPLE posts about different problems, and the Catera is known to be one of the worst cars sold in the US, thus it was only sold here for 5 years. But I think that since you now know all the problems that come with this car, and you still want one, you should buy it. I also have several cars. I would NEVER have a Catera as my only way of getting around. But as a second vehicle, and with you knowing what could happen, and finding a good price on one, I say why not. We only wanted to make sure you knew what you were getting yourself into, because you WILL fall in love with the car. If you get one, good luck, and we'll be seeing you around I'm sure...lol

i agree with this! and couldn't have said it any better!

as i said, i wanted one of these cars bad, i loved & still love the way they look, especially the 2000-2001 sport models. and that despite all of the negative things i read & heard about them. but finally i chickened out and bought something else.

well good luck anyway. you might be one of the few with little to no problems. but at least you know what your getting into...

wildrage
02-04-08, 06:28 PM
thanks for everybodies input today. i checked out the car...not one scratch...not one dent...really nice 17" sports rims with pirelli tires. the car drove great and i bought it. maybe i'll get struck by lightning from the car gods when i go to pick it up tommorow. Who knows...I guess I'm a sucker for a good deal. I checked the CARFAX on it, and i was surprised how specific it gets. According to the report, it was dealer serviced until 2006 and had some of the more common issues fixed....heater control valve, timing belt replaced 10k ago, etc.

Hopefully i won't have to be TOO active on this board (wont have that many problems), but expect to be hearing from me. I've been looking at cateras for years now, and never had the balls to buy one...I guess now i know how those guys that drive those older jaguars feel...i always wondered why they would buy a car that would be in the garage more than on the street.

I guess I just can't pass up a deal. $3k for a 2001 w/ sports package and under 80k was just too good of a deal.

Boris
02-04-08, 08:19 PM
Congrats on the car.

These cars may have some issues but all GM products do, even the ones with silly wheels and magic "clear" light bulbs.
Stay away from the dealer and repair costs are not that much higher than any other car. Ebay or online, you car find all you need and if you do get into trouble there are people and places with answers.

Would I buy a Catera again ?
Hell yes.

I got my first one for a grand and am still driving it.
The second one I got for $400 with leaking valve cover gaskets, sold it and the guy is still driving the car.

frank moran
02-04-08, 08:23 PM
thanks for everybodies input today. i checked out the car...not one scratch...not one dent...really nice 17" sports rims with pirelli tires. the car drove great and i bought it. maybe i'll get struck by lightning from the car gods when i go to pick it up tommorow. Who knows...I guess I'm a sucker for a good deal. I checked the CARFAX on it, and i was surprised how specific it gets. According to the report, it was dealer serviced until 2006 and had some of the more common issues fixed....heater control valve, timing belt replaced 10k ago, etc.

Hopefully i won't have to be TOO active on this board (wont have that many problems), but expect to be hearing from me. I've been looking at cateras for years now, and never had the balls to buy one...I guess now i know how those guys that drive those older jaguars feel...i always wondered why they would buy a car that would be in the garage more than on the street.

I guess I just can't pass up a deal. $3k for a 2001 w/ sports package and under 80k was just too good of a deal.

relax, keep in mind that most forums like this are complaint sessions and you only see the horror cases. Note how many owners have well over a 100+k on them going strong. Granted the car came out of the blocks from GM and immediatley had the timing belt tensioner issue, this and some other small problems were furthur magnified. Another point to remember is many of the problems are owner induced, by that I mean the car is now very affordable and many owners are trying to do their own repairs, and I salute them for this. However, they start throwing parts at a problem at great cost, they get even more frustrated when the expense does not correct the problem, now the car is even a bigger problem. I'm not saying the car has not had some early problems, but it also has many good features, gas mileage, ride and so on. Enjoy your car, invest in a set of manuals from GM on ebay for $50-75, if a problem arises you can properly diagnose and fix it. After saying all this I may get cursed. Just my .02

Po Pimp
02-04-08, 11:24 PM
These cars do have some common problems. Really all of them have already been beaten to death on this forum and how to go about fixing them.

Timing belt: more maintance then a problem, so don't mess with this one.

HCV: will fail at sometime so point but it is cheap, extremely easy to fix.

EBTCM: not to common but worth mentioning. Go rebuilt and it does not cost much.

CPS: Cheap and very easy to fix.

Valve covers: Mainly related to mismanagement by GM, dirty breather systems are usually to blame. Not to hard or expensive assuming you have some mechanical experience under you belt. Clean the breather system and you will most likely never have to change them in the first place.

Ailignment issues: Couple different culperits.

The transmission cooler: Not a big deal if you can do it yourself.

Not much else springs to my mind.



Mr. Please, WOW! You must not look around to hard. Say like the 4x00 section. Keep in mind the 4900 has the least amount of warranty hits on any powertrain combo (engine and tranny) to date. I guess you could say on paper it is one of the most dependable engines ever built. Of course that would be hard to believe if you just ran through the titles in their section of the forum. The CTS is plagued with problems too. Differential (going into the recall stage soon), the auto trannies have multiple know problems, recalls due to fuel systems stopping but the engine is still running (ouch, I would say that would set you back $7,000-9,000), multiple diagnosis problems bugs....etc...all the way down to the sideviews no longer working. None of these are occuring in small numbers either. Oh, did I forget catastrophic ring failure causing the engine to burn all the oil and run dry. There are way more then this now and the list will just keep on getting bigger with time and as mileage racks up.

When you throw out all the negatives any car can sound bad, doesn't mean that it is.

I think the Catera takes to much crap. Mainly from people who could not afford a luxury car to begin with, more or less to fix one/maintain one. Those are the ones that usually complain about them the most.

rinverso
02-04-08, 11:38 PM
i'm very envious of you. getting an 01 sport for $3000....that is crazy!! best of luck. even though i've had problems, i would do it all again. thank god for extended warranties though. it would be well worth it for you to look into one. aprroximately $1800 for 3 years. they let you pay $100 amonth. it has saved my butt for sure. the car looks great, runs awesome. the problems have been few. but they were major. have fun, robert:yup:

cateraowner
02-05-08, 12:02 AM
man I'm envyous, I'm surprised you waited a day to buy it.

if I saw a 2001 sport in good condition, I would have taken it right away, and figure out what to tell the girlfriend on the drive home.

congrats man,

mrplease
02-05-08, 12:12 AM
post some pics!!!

yellowxhoodie
02-05-08, 02:12 PM
and keep us updated on the car and your experience.

mr_badda_bing
02-07-08, 06:13 PM
I am new here, new to owning a 1998 Catera. Fell in love with it when I test drove it. Bought it, now I am hating it. I would never buy it again. Rear drivers window not working, 900$ estimate to fix. Drivers heated seat not working 500$ estimate to fix. Heater/Defrost not working right, everyone I have had look at it tells me it is working, just can't use the climate control and have to switch between def and heat to make the car comfortable.

I am selling it first chance I get.