: 1999 Catera

02-26-08, 12:26 PM
Hi my name is MissPat i am new to this site.
We recently looked at a 1999 Catera. We have not driven it yet. We plan to return on Friday to drive this car.
We have mechanic who says he can look it over for $39.00 and $69.00 if he has to disassemble. We need to know what kind of questions we are to ask about this little car. We need to know if someone has knowledge if this car is worth $2500. I believe it has had only 1 owner. It has 104K miles on it. The lot says the owner told them it needed and valve cover gasket. What else should we be looking for. This car is very clean and well taken care of on the outside and inside. Just need to know if this car is trouble or worth buying. I have read so much about this little car that i am confused. Good and bad things. I know every used car has it perks and bells. Need to know if this one is worth buying?

02-26-08, 01:46 PM
Read this similar thread I posted to earlier. Then read the stickies above. Use the search feature to find out more about the timing belt, the crankcase breather, the heater bypass valve, the crankcase position sensor, and the lower control arm bushings. When it comes to the Catera it's a love - hate relationship.

I generally love the car but there have been moments........



02-26-08, 02:00 PM
Thanks Elvin, I read your report earlier. I printed it out, so that my husband and i may take it with us on Friday. But still is it a good car?

02-26-08, 02:43 PM
Thanks Elvin, I read your report earlier. I printed it out, so that my husband and i may take it with us on Friday. But still is it a good car?

It is an amazing car, just not highly reliable. You will have problems with it, no question, and maintenance is costly. If you don't plan on doing the work/repairs yourself or have patience with little quirks then I would not purchase the car.

02-26-08, 03:44 PM
Please read thru all the posts on this site. Even the most minor problem (and many won't be so minor) are VERY expensive to repair. You can easily be seduced by the looks of this car, as many that have them were, and still are. My advice is this...if you're smart, don't walk away from this car. RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN, AND DON'T LOOK BACK, THE LOOKS WILL DECEIVE YOU! You may think this is a joking response, but trust me, I wish I had read thru this forum about some of the problems before I bought mine. And once you buy it, you'll hate to get rid of it, because when it's running well with no problems, it's a joy. But here's what will happen. You'll buy the car, you'll fall in love with it, and then the problems will hit one by one. You'll pay out the nose to fix it, and hope THIS will be the last major repair. It won't be, and it'll be so hard for you to part with it, as you'll pretty much have to give it away, because people that do their research know what an awful car this is. There's a reason it was only sold for 5 years in the U.S. Don't let the few people that have had no major problems with their car sway you. The odds are against you being one of them. Don't let the good words sway you, or you'll definately be sorry. I'm just being honest, as I wish someone had been with me.

02-26-08, 03:56 PM
Thanks everyone for the update. I will keep things in mind. Like i said we haven't purchased it yet, Just thinking about it. I will sure take everything into conserderation while i test drive it and let Mechanianc look at it.
Again thanks....

Crown Vic Owner
02-26-08, 04:12 PM
Smart move.

Find another mechanic, he is a little high just to take a look at it. We generally will look over a car for 25 bucks, most of the time we wont even charge the person because they are a regular customer.

As well, i recommend staying away from a catera unless your a shadetree mechanic.

02-26-08, 04:47 PM
do yourself a favor and dont test drive it.
you will fall in love, and regret it later.
just like passionaterage said.
you always think it will be the last problem, but it never is, but gettin rid of it because an unreasonable option because you have already dumped so much money into it and it will sell for little to nothing.
i bought my 2000 for about 5K and am now 8K in debt because of it.
dont do it.

02-27-08, 01:07 AM
wow even people who love their cateras tell you to STAY AWAY! that really tells you something...

02-27-08, 12:12 PM
We've has 3 cateras in our family (still currently do). Around 2000 we bought a 97 catera and it's had it's fair share of problems, but it's still running beautifully. Then i picked up an 01 and i love it. I had to have the gaskets and alternator replaced but i've found the car far worth the price. My friend picked up a 01 BMW 3-series for about 10k and took me for a drive, i couldn't help but laugh. I handed him my keys and told him to take it for a spin. He didn't say anything but i think he liked my car more :thumbsup:. He's still paying off his car and i bought mine for a fraction of the price. Whenever we go somewhere we take my car and he still splits the gas cost:hmm: Then my dad picked up an 01 sport, i guess he decided he liked my car too but had to up me one. He's only replaced the MAFS and it runs great. My car has 124k on it and they're adding up fast, but still not in debt from it. Mabe i just havn't had it long enough. They has problems in their 97-98 years so have a bad rep but in 99 they re-did the drivetrain and i would expect the car well worth it. I'm not sure i got all my facts straight but that's how i understand things. Good luck, Luke.

03-01-08, 11:26 AM
I agree with never driving one. I recently bought a 1998 Cat, loved it the minute I drove it. Then, the heater wont work properly, took it to a mechanic, he told me the heater worked fine, just had to use it in a certain sequence. You first use heat, then defrost, then heat, then defrost, no climate control, just one side only, blah blah blah. Short story, trying to sell it now. Lots of lookers and test drivers, none return to buy.

$3500 is cheap, someone from here should come buy it.

03-10-08, 05:23 PM
Thanks everyone for your input. We did purchase the Catera. It only has 46K miles, not 146K. It is a 1999. Took it to a mechaniac to replace the Valve cover gaskets. He checked the car out from top to bottom. Said it is in great shape and he would purchase the car if he had the chance. People we only paid $1500.00 for the car. Mech. Sayes he sees noting else wrong with the car. He even put it on the SMART machine, computer. It checks out well. I hope the car does us well. It was a 1 owner car that was not driven far to be a 1999.
Thanks But the only thing i am looking for now ia the touchup paint for the GOLD MIST 97U. Anyone knows where i can find this .Help.

03-10-08, 06:16 PM
I only paid $1500 for mine too. Good luck with it, we'll be seeing you around...lol

03-13-08, 08:29 PM
I have a 99 here is the true history, 76000 miles. Sunroof opens on it's own but found an easy fix here. Light out left dash but still can see. Headlights were cloudy but bought a kit from advanced auto parts to fix that. Temp light on but no problem. Water pump replaced before I owned the car around 70,000 miles. Other than that it's a sweet ride, especially if you are use to hard bumps and uncomfortable cars. I say take a chance on a low cost caddy.