: '99 with issue after issue, and still more...



99Blacklac
10-29-08, 08:03 PM
If I would have known about this car before I bought it, I would have passed on it! :mad:

I have a '99 which is just about to roll 100k miles. So far I've had:

recalled water pump and pulleys
HCV
both outer tie rods
brake light sensor
Crank sensor ($200 labor! :( )

Also, my e-brake decided to engage and ultimately fail while I was driving! Yes, it engaged itself. Luckily I was just in a parking lot when it happened. Caddy dealership wanted like $400-450 to replace, so I had them simply remove it for now.

Yet, I still have issues. Now I have the oil leak. Nasty smell through vents, excessive smoke/exhaust. My local mechanic is going to clean the PCV. Does he still need to replace the gasket? I guess I have excessive pressure in the crankcase and it's leaking from a few places.

My local mechanic says I also have crappy/no vacuum while the engine is cold. He said the brakes barely work until it builds vacuum? I have no idea, not at all mechanic savvy.

I had this one for a little while. When I'm cruising down the road, my transmission will randomly to into what the Caddy dealer calls "high pressure mode". I get a little signal on my dash and the car seems to lock into 4th gear (feels like). Remember, this is while I'm driving normally. It takes forever to accelerate and seems very hard on the engine. Engine doesn't shift at all. If I simply turn the car off and restart it usually return to normal. Still unsure what it causing this.

This usually only happens when I'm parking in my carport. If I'm idling (not accelerating but cruising about 5MPH) and I turn very sharp, the car will sometimes turn off. :hmm:

When my engine is cold and I immediately reverse out, not sitting and allowing the engine to warm, I have to give it alot of gas or it chugs like it wants to stall out. Only when I reverse. My engine doesn't seem to ride any rougher than when I first got it. When it's cold, the engine revs a little higher and shifts a little rough, but that goes away after just a couple minutes. The manual actually says this is normal? Nothing major, just curious.

Oh and both my front heated seats don't work. First just my drivers side, now both. Drivers side doesn't even light up, but made a click inside the dash when I pushed it. I *think* the passenger still lights up but never heats. Not sure if it makes that same click.

My car also has that rear window shade thing. That worked for about a month after I got it. I've had it for 5 years and it hasn't worked since.

Not only these issues, I love aftermarket stereo's and this car is a huge pain! I can't even get the door panels off to replace speakers! There seems to be a screw where the manual door lock, up by where the window meets the panel in the back corner, that I just can't get to! Not only that, supposedly their was an adapter for the cd player to hook directly to an aftermarket unit. Well, once it was all hooked up, engine wouldn't roll over. Could have been clueless install, I went to CC to try to save a couple, probably my first mistake. I figured a CD player would be easy enough. I would have done it myself, but I don't know anything about replacing a Bose system.

I'm looking at over $1k in this car just in the last year! :bonkers: If anyone has any tips or suggestion, I'd love to hear them.

I have not changed the Oil Cooler, I have no idea what to look for if I should or not.

investor74
10-29-08, 08:34 PM
If I would have known about this car before I bought it, I would have passed on it! :mad:


My local mechanic says I also have crappy/no vacuum while the engine is cold. He said the brakes barely work until it builds vacuum? I have no idea, not at all mechanic savvy..


When a mechanic tells you this, it usually means that it is time to get a new mechanic. The brakes have nothing to do with the engine vacuum.

For the engine related problems, you need to run an OBD scan and see what diagnostic error codes pop up. A place like Advance Auto can do this for free, or you can buy an inexpensive OBD scanner. Could be O2 sensors, fuel filter, MAF, etc. All of your engine problems could be related to one part.

If you can get your engine problem(s) fixed, forget about the other issues. Get the emergency brake fixed also. Old high mile cars break. My Catera is 12 years old this month and the engine runs fine. The trunk release hasn't worked in two years and I won't spend money fixing it, I just use a string. On another old car I have, a back window that won't open, I live with it.

99Blacklac
10-29-08, 09:27 PM
He admits he knows nothing about Catera's and refuses to work on them, but occasionally helps me out if he can. I usually go to a Caddy dealer, but I've been there so much lately, I just don't have the $$ to pay for their service this time.

I will go to AA and have it read though.

Also, that local garage mechanic I go to said there was a very small amount of coolant in my oil, but not enough to worry about now. But I'm wondering why it's their in the first place and will it get worse?

AHazzardToAll
10-30-08, 11:15 PM
coolant in your oil would be an oil cooler. Check under the common issues thread for it, i think it's in there. if not just do a quick search, you can find out solutions to a lot of your problems with that route.

99Blacklac
10-31-08, 01:44 AM
Ok, thanks. I am somewhat aware of the oil cooler issue, just didn't know what the symptoms were. Good to know, but bad to know...

Man, I thought these '99's were more reliable, I've had almost every major issue. :( I fear the tranny is next, I occasionally get the "limp home mode" and the mechanic said there was either plastic or metal in the tranny. I think metal shavings. Cross my fingers, tranny seems fine so far, but I know that doesn't mean anything.

hvy
10-31-08, 06:26 PM
Are you sure its not oil in your coolant ? When my oil cooler went bad in my 98 Cat I had oil in the radiator and reservoir never had coolant in the crankcase, oil pan or on the dipstick. The oil cooler is located under the intake manifold, after time (mine was 105,000 miles) the fins on the cooler gets carotid and a pin hole will develop once it starts it spreads like cancer. 7 months ago when I replaced mine the cooler (with all gaskets) was 500$ the Cadillac dealers (here in Phoenix) all wanted 1000-1500$ for labor. I found a independent shop ( they specialized in higher end domestic and European imports) did it for little less than 500$ labor got the complete job with oil change for 975$
One more tidbit of info I learned from my mechanic is whenever you need a "dealer only part" get it from a GM or Chevy dealer NOT THE CADILLAC DEALER
About 3 weeks ago the upper hose with goes from the reservoir across the hood and into the radiator broke, Coulter cadillac wanted over 60$ Sands Chevrolet got it for me in less than a day for 35$!

kaustein
11-08-08, 09:20 PM
In general all cateras are a piece of crap. If I can go a month without something going wrong, I am happy.

Cut your loses and get rid of it.

Army_MP_From_MO
11-08-08, 10:46 PM
In general all cateras are a piece of crap. If I can go a month without something going wrong, I am happy.

Cut your loses and get rid of it.

And you're asking for help with your Cat why? Sounds like you need to take your own advice, if you're handing it out to someone else.

kaustein
11-09-08, 12:46 AM
I too have problems, that I why I am asking for the help. You have to be honest and accept the fact that the car has very nice features, but a really, really bad reliability record.

I can't afford to get rid of the car now. But the issues that I have aren't major and I can live with them or take it to the dealer for repair. But the fact remains the same. No matter how much you or anyone may love the car, the truth is the car in general is a piece of crap! In 2000 the car sold for about 35k. I have less than 115k on an 8 year old car with every option except heated rear seats, and the car retails for about $3300. That price reflects the reliability of the car.

AHazzardToAll
11-09-08, 11:28 AM
price reflects bad advertising, and the fact that the catera project fell through. I'm glad it did or my cat would have cost me A LOT more. Good price for a really nice car. And if it's so crappy how'd it win car of the year several years in a row in europe? The catera was pushed on cadillac by gm, cadillac didn't even want it at first, and they never took it seriously. I mean, a duck? The caddy that zigs? Sounds like someone went home and asked their 11yo daughter to make up the logos for them......:shhh:

kaustein
11-09-08, 06:42 PM
Read the reviews of the car at Edmunds.com. Now don't get me wrong what causes me the most grief with the car is the reliability foactor. It sucks. Constant problems and I am not the only one.

Here is a partial list.

Drivers door check, weld broke off.
3 tie rods,
2 MAFs
2 o2 sensors,
armrest cup holder doesn't stay closed.
Chrome peeling from the wheels,
2 broken rear springs,
leaking fuel filter,
abs module,
loses seat memory,
sunroof decides to close on it's own,
Drivers window switch broke,
4 sets of brake/rotors for front in 58k miles,
front window leaked because the set pins were never removed when installed.
drivers door lock doesn't work.
The "gray" coat on the ashtray, armrest and other scrapes off,
Hinge on fuel door broke,
...and so on and so on

On the plus side,
My wife likes it,
it is comfortable to drive,
Stock Radio, trunk mounted cd, speakers great.
Only one small area of rust near quarter panel, but has been fixed,
Car looks good when clean, waxed, and summer chormes on it.

But for a car that cost close to 35k when new, I would have expected much better with only 114,000 miles on it. I had a ford p/u with 167,00 on it and the cel never came on. This catera... well at least a dozen times.

OBTW I bought an 06 gmc p/u to replace the ford with and the cel has come on 6 times already. Last two times the vent solenoid replaced and before that the cylinder head due to leakage. GM still needs some more quality improvements. Thankfully the gmc emissions is still under warantee. If not, I'd be screwed.

Southern-Hospitality
11-09-08, 07:11 PM
You know why your car breaks down? Because (by listening to what you've said) you don't trust it. I trust my car 100% and the only problem I ever had with it was the Crankshaft sensor.

When you say you drive a piece of crap, you really drive a piece of crap. If you respect your car, it respects you.

kaustein
11-09-08, 11:41 PM
I am glad your car is fine. But come on and be honest. Look at all the people who post problems on this forum! I am glad that I found this site because you guys have save me at least $1200! But really...look at all the people who do have problems on a car that sold for 35k.

I was marketed for 5 years and they never fixed the reliability issues, but GM wants me to buy another Caddy. Hell I'd rather get my prostrate check by captain Hook than buy another Caddy!

Again, if it wasn't for the reliability issues the car would be worth well more than the 3k is now. But the facts of the matter are this,...the car is a piece of crap when it come to reliability! Other than that it is fine!

AHazzardToAll
11-09-08, 11:45 PM
U got a lemon. and the radio an ashtray scrape because it was a smoker's car. So far as front brakes n rotors, someone drove the car really hard, and had to ride the brakes a lot. (like dragging from one light to the next then riding the braked for a more extreme example) But it's not only from driving it hard, just not taking care of her right. I ride my girl pretty hard sometimes, but i take real good care of her too. lube, oil, n filter every 2.5k miles, and i do it myself to make sure it's done right, i Use premium fuel, make sure all the filters are clean, so on and so fourth..... MAF can go bad from dirty air filters, chrome peeling on wheels can be from sitting outside in the winter, i won't go on..... good luck tho, if you can get her running right she'll treat you real nice.

AHazzardToAll
11-09-08, 11:48 PM
and it's an opel, not a caddy. It's like saying i'd never buy ford because of my merkur..... :hmm:

Southern-Hospitality
11-10-08, 10:11 AM
You seem to be missing that this is a $35,000 not a very expensive luxury car.

North american cars break after you hit 140kms, They do this so you have to keep buying them.

If you want it to last longer spend your money on an Audi or VW.

kaustein
11-10-08, 10:14 AM
Non smoker's car. Ashtray a better coin holder than the door.

Yes I take very good care of the car. I'll give you brake cause, but what about two rear springs breaking at a replacement parts cost of $1000 for a pair! Or the abs module, or leaking fuel filter, or the broken driver's door check. Those are all quality manufacturing issues and not how you drive the car or take care of it.

Or the electrical issues with the headlight switch, seat memory, and sunroof operating by itself. All manufacturing issues.

Take the radio, speakers, and trunk mounted cd changer. All have worked perfectly from day one. Why? Not made by GM.

AHazzardToAll
11-10-08, 11:09 AM
parts always rack up a bill if they're comming from germany.... like i said, opel, not gm. and i haven't had any of those problems with our cats. Say what you like, but my treats me good. an occasional issue, but i replace and move on. if i didn't want to deal with an issue or two with a 10yo car, i wouldda bought a cobalt with factory warrany and hand crank windows...... :(

kaustein
11-10-08, 01:37 PM
price reflects bad advertising, and the fact that the catera project fell through. I'm glad it did or my cat would have cost me A LOT more. Good price for a really nice car. And if it's so crappy how'd it win car of the year several years in a row in europe? The catera was pushed on cadillac by gm, cadillac didn't even want it at first, and they never took it seriously. I mean, a duck? The caddy that zigs? Sounds like someone went home and asked their 11yo daughter to make up the logos for them......:shhh:


Check out the real winners in Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Car_of_the_Year

I don't see any version of the Catera on the list

AHazzardToAll
11-10-08, 04:23 PM
i see opel several times on that list showing the companies reliability, Omega (catera) specifically to 95. If you go to Europe you'll see opel's EVERYWHERE, taxis and all. They wouldn't make an unreliable car a taxi.... We had a guy staying at our house from Hungary and he loved the car. My dad's an international pilot and when he talks to people about our cats overseas they're shocked to know they aren't loved over here like they are there. They just have a bad rep, that's it.

http://www.10facts.com/article/Autos/Cars/Opel/Opel-Omega.html

kaustein
11-10-08, 07:18 PM
And if it's so crappy how'd it win car of the year several years in a row in europe? The catera was pushed on cadillac by gm, cadillac didn't even want it at first, and they never took it seriously.

Where is the Opel/Catera the car of the year several times? I see Opels listed, but never as car of the year and the ones listed are completely different models

AHazzardToAll
11-10-08, 07:36 PM
I'll admit, i must have gotten my info wrong. But the opel omega was listed which is our car. But arguing about this isn't doing anyone any good,..... :bigroll: so i put my 2cents in, i'll shut up now. all i know is that i've never had a problem with the 5 cats we've owned.....

kaustein
11-10-08, 09:54 PM
I envy your good luck!

whosazso
12-11-08, 02:17 AM
If you have coolant in your oil, the inside of your oil cap should be foamy. More likely oil in the coolant.

iiF3LiXii
01-07-09, 10:28 PM
A GM built in Germany, what did ya expect? I honestly dont think the catera is a bad car at all. It has its problems, maybe more then some others but everything is fixable. Most of witch at reasonable cost considering your buying parts for a BMW designed 3.0L, or the English made Trans. Ya bought a CADILLAC!!! A car that requires some Special Cadillac "J" tools for a lot of repairs. Labor is very plentiful for removals and installations. Common, ya knew what you were buying right? A beautiful euro designed GM with the interior of mature Cadillac style, witch scores very high statistically. Capable of doing all my repairs I personally score the sedan Highly. Performance is commendable for its engine size vs weight. Gets out of the way that's for sure.

iiF3LiXii
01-07-09, 10:38 PM
I envy your good luck!


I to have not had nearly as many problems with my 99 sport as listed here. Dont get me wrong the car has had plenty of repairs. I bought the car from a customer witch has been the only owner until me. All his history is available. Things like coils, plugs, IAC, Vacuum Leak, along with scheduled maintenance. Now at 150k I need to replace the MAF. The sensor is reading 0.00 g/s and has no fluctuation wit revs. Also runing a little ruff at idle. Going from A to B so comfortably makes up for things like this.:rolleyes: