: BIG problem, please help...

Madcat SS
01-29-05, 09:24 PM
Hey all, I have a prob. and need some advice. A few months back the coolant light on my car came on. I ignored it for a while(I know, I know, very stupid). And every once in a while the oil light would come on, mostly while driving on the highway. About a month ago I finally got around to checking the fluid levels and filling everything up to proper levels. Afterwards, my engine developed a rattling noise. It makes the car sound like it has a diesel engine now. I'm worried that the engine is about to go and frankly I can't afford that. Does anyone out there have any ideas that could help?


01-29-05, 10:15 PM
Has the timing belt/pulley recall been done yet? That is really the only thing that really comes to mind that would cause a noise like that in a Catera. Those engines are pretty quiet other than when the belt is about to leave town. If it has not been done.....DO NOT DRIVE IT UNTIL IT DOES!

01-29-05, 10:37 PM
In addition to above..how low was the oil and coolant?

Maybe some internal damage... spun a bearing, rod, valve actuator(s). If its running, can you tell where its comming at from the engine? Reguardless of the engine sounds, signs point to your oil cooler failing and spewing oil into the coolant or coolant into the oil. Have you done an oil change or checked the coolant for discoloration. Look at the valley of the oil filler as well for white residue. Do you smell burning coolant?

Reguardless, I really wouldnt drive it without getting the car checked out.

Btw, you are using 89/91/93 fuel are you?

Madcat SS
01-31-05, 04:16 PM
I don't think the timing belt/pulley recall has been done. My car has only 60k on it so could that be the prob.? See, I don't really have much money, actually close to none at all. I got laid off last Sept. and haven't found a steady job yet. As a result, i'm hesistant to go to the Cad. dealer.

The 710 cap had some kind of light brown/ tannish gunk on the underside. No discoloration in the coolant bottle but you can smell coolant burning every once in awhile when I get out of the car. The sound seems to be coming from the top of the engine in the cam cover area. If it weren't for the overhead cams I would've said it was a rocker arm/ lifter adjustment issue.

As for the gas, I've always used low grade (87 I think) with no power loss or any other problems. Plus if i'm right, it's the exact same engine that's in the Saturn L-cars and they don't require anything special. But you can correct me if i'm wrong on this.

01-31-05, 04:54 PM
Its technically the same engine but its tuned quite differently...the 3.0 in our Catera requires premium. But works with 87 - just watch for knocking.

Coolant smell could be the heater coolant valve which does go bad, and will cause the coolant light to come on. Not only do you smell it comming out, but it can run down and burn on the exhaust. Oil cap - usually ok if its white/brownish on the cap but in the valley if you see it there than there might be problems.

The engine sound... probably as a result of going with little oil. Maybe the actuators/lifters. Still may be related to the tensioner recall as well.. this might be covered for you ($). You'd really want to get this checked out asap.

Hope you find a job soon :coffee:


Madcat SS
02-01-05, 01:06 AM
Thanx Jeffrey, so do I. I found an ad in a local paper for a Chevy dealer not too far from where i'm at, and talked to them earlier this evening so hopefully my luck will change.
Like I said, i've run 87 in it since i've owned it and never experienced any sort of noise or lack of perfomance. Would the actuator/ lifters be something I could do myself somewhat easily? This would be a first for me as i've never done any work on an overhead cam engine other than oil changes. However, I do intend to call the Cadillac dealer tomorrow and see what they say. I really like this car and don't want to get rid of it, but it seems like every little thing wants to go wrong on it.
Well, thanks for all the help. I'll post when I find out what the prob. is.