: cadillac catera check engine light came up and now its not starting :S

01-25-11, 12:30 AM
hi guys im new to the forum so whats up guys hope i could get some answers for my catera acting up on me...

so i purchased a cadillac catera a couple weeks ago and got it on the road with no problems all the tests passed and i got my plates and such but one night i accidently passed out in my car (don't ask why) and the car was running for probably 2hours with the heating running... it was fine i didnt think it was a big deal i go home the next day the car is driving and all but the coolant low sign came up on the dash (it would come up and go away sometimes) but i ignored it thinking i'll get it done... so i been driving for a while and then suddendly while im driving the car starts acting up... the check engine light comes up and when i give the car gas it would struggle and wouldn't accelerate as normally as it would... so it was a sunday and all mechanics were closed so i just brought the car home and went to bed... the next day i had work and i got picked up so the car was just sitting in the cold (temperate in canada is about -15 - -20)
when i get home from work i try to start the car and it wouldn't start up... it would crank and the radio is working and lights is all good but it wasnt starting... i tried boosting it but nothing... any idea what could be wrong?

i was thinking maybe the coolant is low so its not starting? im gonna fill up water in my coolant tomorrow morning and see
any suggestions?


01-25-11, 09:29 AM
is it cranking and not starting? is it cliking when you turn the key? have some one coderead it,, did you run it out of fuel?

AL Cool Dates
01-25-11, 01:13 PM
When you first saw the Coolant low light did you check to see how much coolant was actually in there? And be careful of how much water you put in there, these cars require 50% water and 50% antifreeze, you put too much water and it could freeze up on you especially at the temperature where you live.

01-26-11, 12:11 PM
it wouldnt be low fuel because i have half tank of gas already and the meter shows that, but apart from that the car cranks and sometimes it really sounds like it wants to start... i had someone code read it yesterday the guy told me that it could be a cam sensor and then hes like the next thing if its not the cam sensor try replacing the crank sensor so any suggestions? and about the coolant i didnt put any water i realized it is too cold here and it would freeze the engine so i just poured in some universal anti freeze coolant... after pouring in the coolant thats when the car seemed like it would start but it didnt...

so what do you guys think?? should i listen to the guy who said i should replace cam sensor?

01-29-11, 07:26 PM
fuel pump?

it getting fuel?

try some ether in the throttle see if it fires on it

01-30-11, 12:17 AM
So you are being vauge about the car.. how low was the coolant? how much did u add? is the coolant clear?? or oil residue? where was the coolant leaking from??

The first thing you do is when an idiot light comes on.. there is a reason.. you have to find out why.. continued driving will destroy any car... If your driving id sub zero temps with no coolant your going to destroy the car.. if the car ran for 2 hrs at idol and had not coolant its very possible you overheated the car and blew the head gasket.. then you continued to drive the car.. possibly causeing coolant/oil to mix.. and destroy the engine.

You have to be more clear about what you did, and what you see wrong.. one problem may be completely not related to the other.. but to me it sounds that you did some damage to the car with low/no coolant and continued driving.

is the oil clean and clear? was the coolant full when you started to drive the car? if the dash lights come on and radio works.. it not a dead battery.

The crank sensors are know to go bad cause they get hot.. but adding coolant is not going to make the car want to start better if its a CPS thats bad..

I suggest the ether in the TB and see.. cause perhaps its not getting fuel?? or is it not even cranking and just clicking?? perhaps that is a starter...

02-02-11, 12:29 AM
Thanks for all the replies guys so i had someone scan the car this week the coolant isn't an issue he read thru the little computer all i saw was cylinder misfire :confused:

he told me that i needed to get my CAM POSITION SENSOR replaced

i researched the symptoms for the cam position sensor and it was very close to what my car had been doing... i've read around that the CRANK position sensor could be the issue as well...

what should i go with???

02-02-11, 12:57 AM
Okay and i have one more question... Would a 1998 cam position sensor be compatible with a 1997 catera?

02-02-11, 07:12 AM
yes it should be