: Need opinions

02-01-13, 12:40 AM
Went and test drove a Catera tonight and needed some opinions on my experience. It's a 1997 with about 114k on it.

When you press the gas pedal down just a little the car accelerates very slowly, but when you give it just a little more gas it takes off nicely. Normal? I am assuming it was designed to do that to make for a smooth take off.

The oil pressure and voltmeter work intermittently (mostly working it seems). A little searching on here said that it was probably the multi-function module.

The fuel door seems to be basically broken off. How hard is that to replace?

No sun roof, which seems like it could be a good thing as they seem to be problematic.

The car is overheating at idle, which I am guessing is the aux water pump

Valve cover gaskets recently replaced and don't seem to be leaking. Under the hood looked really clean. The oil was a little low, but clean. There was some gross looking stuff in the oil fill, but since the rest of the oil looked nice I assume to is just condensation. The car hadn't been driven much lately.

Opened the coolant overflow bottle and there was a pressure release, good or bad? Coolant looked beautiful, clean and full.

Anything else to look for?

02-01-13, 05:00 PM
RUN! RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN! The sucking sound you will hear is the constant flow of money out of your wallet. That many problems foreshadows what to come!


Anything else to look for?

Yes, another used car that isn't used up!

02-05-13, 04:21 PM
sounds like you should budget about 1500 for repairs. if that plus the purchase price is under 2200 then maybe.. But could possibly be a bad head gasket with newer oil and coolant in an effort to sell.. keep that in mind.
the take off sounds normal, possibly it was in snow mode?

have the timing tentioners been replaced? thats the other large cost if not done. $700 to replace including waterpump, belt and tentioners.

02-09-13, 02:49 AM
I love the car. However, I also do all the work on it myself. If you do not know how to work on cars. Yes, look elsewhere as I have found that even seasoned mechanics are not quite as good on these as most. You only get good on this car by having it kick your ass a few times. Then you will start winning!

I have become REALLY good at working this car (My 98 Catera) simply out of necessity. But it drives so nice and is a wonderful trip car.
I am happy to put the work in.

During the summer, my car will get a complete engine rebuild. New Pistons/rods, crank, crank bearings, cylinder hone, heads, cams, etc.... This will add about another 100,000 plus miles to my car.
Since I will be doing the work, I am not even worried about it and will only cost me about two weeks time.

02-09-13, 11:58 PM
Keep us informed as to how it goes. The issues weren't the motor, sans under power, but all the other sub systems. Electrical problems can be nightmarish