: recalls on 98 catera..

03-29-05, 11:21 AM
Newbie in da house!! I think I might need a lot of help from you guys!!

I bouthg a 98 Catera 96k mi about a week ago and didn't really cheked this model out until now. I read most of the threads in the forum about this car and I'm a little jittery. The car runs/looks pretty nice althought the Leveling light has flashed once already. I took all the stuff that was in the trunk out and turned the car off and on and the light went away. I'm guessing its the rear shocks only, not all 4 shocks that may be bad??? Well in fact, I pushed down on the rear of the car and the shocks seem to spring back prety good!
Well, im no mechaninc for sure!!

Anyways, my main question is.... Am I still entitled to take this car to Cadillac for recal items "tensioner, oil coolers, timing belt, pulleys" at no cost to me or do the recalls can only be done under waranty?

As I said before, the car is running nice. The oil psi runs between 20 & 60psi. But mostly around 20psi specially once the car has reached its max temperature. When the car is cold it runs closer to 60psi.

I got the car from an auto auction dealer in NJ. These people had plain water i the radiator and the radiator cracked at the dealer. They went ahead and replaced the radiator and :cookoo: me..., still went and bought the car. Hey, even smart people get a dumb spell every now and then :suspense: .

I dont see any goop in the motor oil nor the coolant tank so.., so far so good. I'd hate to eventually have to replace anything inside the motor :madtalkin !!!!

I may have to check the tire pressure and alignment. The car seems to have this low thumping sound while decelerating between 30 & 20mph. It goes "tuk,tuk,tuk,tuk" during those speeds. It sounds as if someone was softly knocking from under the middle of the car with the palm of their hands!!

Also, when the car slows down to between 5 & 3mph the car shudders/hesitates a tini lil bit. I dont know if I'm being picky there???

Hey, I'm glad to be part of this forum and hope I can get some help from everyones' coments!!


03-29-05, 02:19 PM
:welcome: New fish are always welcome :histeric:

Don't worry about the leveling light. A flash every now and then simply says that it is doing its job.

The only real big deal recall was for the tensioner/timing belt. Odds are that yours was done. Any Cadillac dealer can run your VIN and tell you right away. Even if it wasn't done, at 98K miles it is due to be done as a regular service item. If the recall wasn't done, lean on the dealer a bit. There is a small loophole in the recall that says it applies for 7 years after the car went in service (or something to that effect). Depending upon when in 98 your car went in service, you MIGHT have some time left. Otherwise, plan on having it done soon - the spec says to do it at 100K miles unless you fall under "severe service" in which case it is 60K miles. Many folks on this forum recommend the 60K number for everyone.

Regarding the cooland -- IMMEDIATELY replace it with DexCool coolant. Anything else will cause cooling system and other engine problems. DO NOT WAIT TO DO THIS. STOP READING THIS FORUM AND GO GET THE RIGHT COOLANT INSTALLED. The come on back :D

Now that you are back from getting your coolant changed, lets talk about the thumping sound. Inspect your tires for uneven wear. Cateras are notorious for uneven tire wear due to a faulty bushing design in the suspension lower control arms. Do a search on this forum for LOTS of info on this subject.

The shuddering and hesitation when the car is slowing down could just be MINOR engine issues - not idling quite right - possibly due to a clogged air filter or any number of small things. Won't hurt to have the engine codes read.

Good luck with your new car. Cateras are fun to drive, somewhat frustrating to own, but almost everyone on this forum loves theirs - me included. :cookoo:

03-29-05, 03:20 PM
Thanks Steve for the help..!!

I'll change the coolant right away today. I dont think the car has the right coolant and it looks like there is no water mixture in it either!! If I use pure DexCool coolant on the car will it prolong the life of the cooling system or hurt it??

Also, do you think its worth it to get the INNOVAŽ 3110 CanOBD2 Code Reader to get the codes of the car myself? http://www.jeepersandcreepers.com/gear/pages/equus3110.htm

Also, what do you think about the ALLDATA online manuals. Do they have good sketches/pictures and procedures for a do-it-yourslelfer?? I'm not a mechanic but if I understand the scope of the procedures I can also gauge how much they could cost.
How do these maunals compare to a manual from http://www.factoryautomanuals.com., if you know!!

03-29-05, 03:57 PM
The owners manual recommends a 50/50 mix of clean water and coolant. However, I recall reading that a 70/30 DexCool/Water mixture will protect to a lower temperature. I'd follow the directions on the bottle. DexCool is a non-silicate coolant - that's the key issue. Below is a PDF of the coolant changing procedure.

The Innova reader is a good OBDII reader. However I don't think it reads transmission or ABS codes (which is not an immediate issue for you). I'm waiting for info on some PC software that reads all of the codes. When I get it, I'll post it if it's any good.

The ALLDATA stuff is somewhat limited. (I have a set of DVD/CD ROMS with the same stuff - that's where I got the PDF) The Factory print manuals are best. (Get the 2nd edition for the 98) $75 is a "discounted new" price that I've seen at a number of sites. I see good sets for much less on eBay, though. It's a case of waiting for the right eBay seller. Of course, there are never any for sale when you want them ... :disappoin You can get them right away at the site you mentioned.

03-29-05, 04:41 PM
It needs water to work properly, and dex cool "straight up" is acidic to the engine. If the current coolant in there now is the green glycol type then replacing it with dexcool means you also will have to change it as often as the green stuff because the engine's been silicated and this kills the longevity of the dexcool.- Adding to what the pdf says :)

03-29-05, 05:26 PM
I went ahead and got the 2nd edition manuals. Thanks!!

Thank you all for your comments! I'll go ahead and play arround with the coolant drain/refil procedures.

I have other questions. One is regarding the Oil filter. Somewhere in the forum MARKLESW posted that he has a filter addapter that will do away with the canister system in the Catera. Does anyone have any experience with this kit? I tried to email him at MARKLES@OPTONLINE.NET but that email address bounces back unreachable. Are there any of these kits being sold aftermarket?

My second question is about the windshield rear view miror. The thing doesnt swivel up and down only sideways. I have to raise the driver seat all the way up to see. Some times I hit the door frame with my head trying to exit the vehicle. How do I remove it to check it out.., or where do I get a new one? I like the anti glare feature!!

Almost lastly, my sunroof is possessed!!! It will not stay put. Yesterday me and my girlfried got soaked 'cause the dam thing opened up half way and it was pouring out side. I blamed her for it but later had to appologize. Is there aftermarket replaceable electronics that can work with that sunroof motor?

That said..!! If and when I replace anything on the car, should I expect the replacements to be good/non flimsy parts or are the replacement parts as bad as the originals??? 8-/ !!

Lastly, I lost all the emoticons?? What did I do??

03-29-05, 05:57 PM
Your 98 already has a spin-on filter. GM went to the cartridge with later models in a misguided attempt to save $0.03 on a $45,000 car.:mad: It has proven to be a pain for a lot of folks, but, luckily, not for you. :coolgleam

I can email you a PDF of how to remove the mirror. It's too large to post here - please send me an email stevehogan@stevehogan dot com - replace the dot com with .com - keeps the spammers from trolling for addresses :lildevil:

Regarding the sunroof - Refer to your owner's manual page 2-54 for information on reprogramming the sunroof. You might have to repeat the process up to 3 times. It's Catera Voodoo :worship:

Regarding replacement parts - you can expect replacement OEM parts to be the same high quality we have come to expect from General Motors :ripped:

To use emoticons, don't use "Quick Reply." Use the "Post Reply" button

03-29-05, 06:03 PM
Heh... Catera Voodoo lol.

Most who had the sunroof problem either had the whole switch assembly replaced or found that the actual knob for the switch was broken/wore down.

03-29-05, 07:02 PM
This is great guys!! :bouncy: !! I'm really glad I found this forum!!

I'll look into the sunroof procedure!! I hope I dont have to get to the point of having to replace the electronics on it, :tisk: $$$?

Now that I know that the car has a regular oil filter I'll go ahead and have the mechanic do a tune up tomorrow! I've never done a tune up on a car so.., I wouldn't dare do it on my Catera yet.

Steve, I'll email you shortly about the mirror. Thanks in advanced!:2thumbs:

Jeffery, thanks for they advice..., I'll follow the standard 50/50 rule on coolant/water mix!!!

03-29-05, 11:46 PM
Regarding the sunroof problem, which happened to me as well while driving on a winter morning when snow is actually falling and the stupid sunroof decided to open by itself, it could be just poor contact inside the switch dial. If you have time, you may try and expose the actual dial itself, which will need a lot of patience because you will have to disassemble the cabin lights(or whatever they call it) and then remove the cover of the column that also covers the sunroof dial. Anyway, to cut it short, you will have to spray WD40 and try to get into the switch dial which will dislodge any corrosion or oxidation that may be present causing the poor contact. Since i was able to dis assemble everything and get to the actual switch, I sprayed the WD40 into every hole available of the switch and then played with the switch back and forth and problem solved since then. WD40 comes with a red straw to direct stream, try removing the dial first to expose the shaft that holds it and then spray some into the middle hoping that it will sip inside the switch and then play with it back and forth and see what happens. If it doesn't work, they you may have to get the covers off and expose the switch assembly and spray some more. The good news for me is, since then, the problem has not returned.

03-30-05, 06:21 AM
WD40 is a good solution, but there is a better one. There is actually a product designed for the application described by Allen. It's called "Control Cleaner & Lubricant." Electronic parts shops sell the stuff. Here's a link to one version at Radio Shack


Its big advantage over WD40 is that it doesn't affect plastics where WD40 might. One can is probably a "lifetime supply." :)

03-30-05, 08:53 AM
:coolgleam Thanks for the advise on the lubricant! I'll try that right after I try the sunroof reprograming procedures!!

Hey, one more thing before I take the car to a shop! Can any mechanic shop perform tune ups on the Catera! Are there any special tools required that only Cadillac has? I've opened the hood and all I see is star looking bolts :hmm: !

Second, what's the scope of a Tune up for this car? What are all the parts involed and what's a ballpark cost of a tune up?

04-04-05, 01:31 AM
I glad I saw this thread. My sunroof likes to vent by itself. I'm off to the Shack...

04-08-05, 10:00 AM
Thanking again Steve and all for helping me out!

The mirror is fixed! I applied electronics lubricating spray from RadioShack and the sun roof hasnt given me any problems yet!

I still need to check out the front lower control arms $$$ :disappoin for that lowfrequency taping sound I get when driving slow! I wish I could do this myself, but I dont have any good tools and wouldn't dream to fuzz arround with the car alignment..!

I have a more immediate issue that I'll post a new thread for!! :bonkers: