: Just Got a Catera



w98seeng
10-26-12, 03:33 PM
I just bought a 99 Catera from my neighbour who sells used cars. He got this one at the auction and said I can have it for his cost, so I paid $1000.

It has 159,000 KM (100,000 miles), runs perfectly, only 4 or 5 small rust spots, mostly rust bubbles poking through the paint. Bose stereo, Rear sunshade, chrome wheels
Front and rear heated seats, etc. I will post pics later today.

Besides an oil change and new plugs and filters, what do people suggest I do to maintain the car and to take care of possible problems?

I know of the oil cooler problem; is there a way to tell if it was already replaced? Can it be seen under the intake?
The coolant light comes on the dash intermittently and there is a faint smell of coolant in the car, can this be part of the cooler problem?

I heard that the timing belt tensioner has had problems seizing up, is it worth checking, or replacing?

What about bushings and suspension parts? What should I be looking at?

Thanks for the info,
Ian

elvin315
10-26-12, 07:02 PM
This links to my Catera review which covers the questions you asked. It's kinda long so grab a brew or coffee:

http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t239-catera-overview-history-by-elvin-rivera

This links to my detailed suspension maintenance/upgrade write-up.

http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t108-catera-suspension-upgrades-part-1

This leads to articles on brake improvements:

http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t275-catera-braking-upgrades#1093

JohnJJO
10-26-12, 11:04 PM
100% that u need to replace rear shocks !!!

w98seeng
10-27-12, 07:40 PM
Here are some pics...


http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b390/w98seeng/Caddy/20121027_100950Large.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b390/w98seeng/Caddy/20121027_100936Large.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b390/w98seeng/Caddy/20121027_100921Large.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b390/w98seeng/Caddy/20121027_100842Large.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b390/w98seeng/Caddy/20121027_100910Large.jpg

investor74
10-28-12, 12:53 AM
What, no Kaustein weigh-in?

w98seeng
10-28-12, 10:35 AM
What, no Kaustein weigh-in?

Of course I have a Kaustein weigh-in, who wouldn't have one. It didn't come with the car so I had to get one aftermarket.

By the way, what's a Kaustein weigh-in??

Ian

Jaeger63
10-28-12, 12:38 PM
By the way, what's a Kaustein weigh-in??

Ian

Kaustein will be here shortly to tell you to get rid of the car because it will be nothing but trouble. Yours looks to be in great shape and you certainly got it cheap.

As to your questions, the smell of coolant likely isn't the oil cooler. When it leaks, oil and coolant will mix but you likely wouldn't smell it. Check the coolant for signs of oil anyway, but I doubt that's the issue. You likely have a leaking hose somewhere. Pressure test the cooling system and try to find it.

Ludacrisvp
10-28-12, 01:43 PM
I would have to recommend replacement of the headlight housings or at least try resurfacing them as they are nowhere near what they should look like to provide safe lighting.

elvin315
10-28-12, 10:22 PM
I would have to recommend replacement of the headlight housings or at least try resurfacing them as they are nowhere near what they should look like to provide safe lighting.

They will clear up after a good polishing. Not a new like finish but very good and cheaper than new lights. Check on YouTube for tutorials.

w98seeng
10-29-12, 12:05 AM
I would have to recommend replacement of the headlight housings or at least try resurfacing them as they are nowhere near what they should look like to provide safe lighting.

Yeah, this is on my list of things to do. There is hardly any light coming through and it looks awful also.

In case anyone is interested in my technique, I use 600 grit wet paper and a lot of water followed by 1000 grit paper and more water, followed by the buffer with a sponge pad and heavy duty rubbing compound. They will be like new, unless they are discolored inside as well.

Ian

kaustein
10-29-12, 12:57 PM
What, no Kaustein weigh-in?

I was thinking what to say, but I hope he reads the posts, knows that this is a good place to go to, to solve what is wrong with the car, and has deep pockets and good luck!

w98seeng
10-29-12, 01:55 PM
I was thinking what to say, but I hope he reads the posts, knows that this is a good place to go to, to solve what is wrong with the car, and has deep pockets and good luck!

Yup, I've been reading about the Catera since I got it 5 days ago. I've been thinking about what I have to do and what I want to do to the car.

I picked up some rear brake pads as there is an intermittent grinding sound from the rear brakes. The back end of the car swings out a bit when driving over a bump
and I was thinking it might be suspension bushings that were gone, so I am going to check that out as well.

Other than this, the car drives great. It's quiet, smooth and very comfortable.

Thank you all for the info. Any more info is greatly appreciated.

Ian

kaustein
10-29-12, 02:17 PM
Driving the car down the highway is like sitting in your living room. Sound system is great!

Check the rear springs as mine were broken in the tray. Couldn't really see it unless you lifted the car up and went looking for them. also the the car is an electrical nightmare! But reading these post, I am sure you know that.

w98seeng
10-29-12, 03:05 PM
Driving the car down the highway is like sitting in your living room. Sound system is great!

Speaking of the sound system, did any Cateras come with Bluetooth? I would love to have Bluetooth in the car.

Ian

MoistCabbage
10-29-12, 04:15 PM
No Bluetooth. Remember, these cars are from '97-'01.

w98seeng
11-02-12, 12:15 PM
Well, the car passed the inspection. The mechanic said it needs new rear shocks (they are leaking) and a front ball joint, but everything else is in great condition.

The auto parts store here wants $175 (CDN) for a pair. Is this a fair price or can I do better? Will I have to replace the air lines as well, or do these last?

Ian

Ludacrisvp
11-02-12, 03:06 PM
If you have onstar you might look into getting the blustar or costar something like that anyways that replaces the onstar module with Bluetooth

elvin315
11-03-12, 04:51 AM
Well, the car passed the inspection. The mechanic said it needs new rear shocks (they are leaking) and a front ball joint, but everything else is in great condition. The auto parts store here wants $175 (CDN) for a pair. Is this a fair price or can I do better? Will I have to replace the air lines as well, or do these last?

Not being in Canada I wouldn't know but if they're GM OEMs they sound like a good deal. Usually you pay that much for Monroe air shocks. I beleive they come with the tubing. Not sure about the OEMs.

hgqguy
11-05-12, 07:47 AM
rear springs may be broken.. from the photos.

atikovi
11-05-12, 04:04 PM
I just bought a 99 Catera from my neighbour who sells used cars. He got this one at the auction and said I can have it for his cost, so I paid $1000.

No dealer would sell it at cost unless there is something major wrong with it. You just haven't found it yet. Wait a little while. The transfix additive or head gasket sealer is bound to wear off soon or the engine will start smoking like a freight train after the first oil change after you drain out the no-smoke oil.

w98seeng
11-06-12, 05:54 PM
No dealer would sell it at cost unless there is something major wrong with it. You just haven't found it yet. Wait a little while. The transfix additive or head gasket sealer is bound to wear off soon or the engine will start smoking like a freight train after the first oil change after you drain out the no-smoke oil.

What dealer are you talking about, the one my friend bought the car off of, or my friend?

My friend got the car at an auction for $575, including auction fees, taxes and getting it back here, it came out to $850. I said I would pay $1000 to cover any other costs he incurred.

I need rear shocks and a front ball joint. To my knowledge, that is it.

Ian

kaustein
11-06-12, 09:02 PM
With a Catera there is never, "that is it." It's always something.