: New Owner of 97 Cat - All advice Welcome!

12-30-05, 01:32 AM
Hello all!
I recently bought a 97 catera, and for a few months it has been a fun ride, but I have started to experience some problems. I'm new to the forums, and have looked around with mixed emotions: a little creeped out by the issues the model seems to have; but also a little interested in the 'opportunities' that the car might provide for my own education, being a DIY kind of guy (and also the outrageous cost of repairs :annoyed: )...

Anyway, here are some of the issues that are vexing me right now:
1) Foglights have recently stopped working: this includes the indicator light at the instrument panel. I have changed the bulbs, checked the connections and fuses, taken the housings out and put them back - nothing doing. I've seen it mentioned that I might need to check the k13-something relay, or check the voltage going to the lamps, but I dont know where to start doing either of those things.

2) Indicators at far right of instr. panel (oil, battery, seatbelt, etc.): these do not engage unless the key/ignition slot is pushed in - it seems that something that should click into position within the steering column at ignition does not - any clear ideas how to fix something like this myself? Both the oil and the battery gauges seem pretty important to me to just get along without...

3) Anyway to get rid of the trunk-mounted lamp that runs the width of the back between the brake lenses? Maybe replace it with a compatible non-lighted panel?

Thanks for reading! Any advice is welcome - the more detailed the better! Sorry about the long post, but I will offer this as contrition: to repair a water leak into the trunk-mounted light panel, I found that cracks form underneath the chrome accent piping that bisects it along the length. I pried it off using a small-head screw driver (very carefully - otherwise cracks turn into holes), lined the seam with clear silicone sealant, then reapplied. The sealant holds the piping in place and, of course, seals the cracks - no more water getting into the lamp (and from the lamp into the trunk)!

Again, thanks for reading!

01-23-06, 10:04 AM
Any ideas out there?

01-31-06, 01:07 PM
1997 sell it, is my only advice brother :( what you see on here is the brutal truth about these cars and its been commented that they wont hit 200k. 2000+ you may have a good car but 1997 hummmmmmmmm.... sell it.

01-31-06, 11:31 PM
1997 sell it, is my only advice brother :( what you see on here is the brutal truth about these cars and its been commented that they wont hit 200k. 2000+ you may have a good car but 1997 hummmmmmmmm.... sell it.

I'll let you know when we hit 300K! Ha:)

02-01-06, 08:41 AM
First of all, before you even begin to worry about the lights and bulbs, you might want to make sure that the timing belt and tensioner has been changed. That's for starters.

02-01-06, 06:18 PM
Welcome to the world of the 1997 Catera. As a 97 Catera owner, it has been an up and down ride. When the car works, man is it nice, but is it always reliable? Not really. I've had some problems.
NJ_Catera is right, make sure all the recall stuff has been performed. Any dealer should know if you give them your VIN number.
As for your problems 1) on the fog light...no idea, sorry
2). Not sure that is a problem, the way you describe it, it sounds like those gauges only work when you put the key into the ignition. On my car, the battery and Oil pressure gauges only work when I turn the car on.
3) As for long light. why bother replacing it? Save the money for other things you will need, like tires and mortgaging your first house for a set of brake rotors.

02-07-06, 10:01 AM
Thanx for all the advice!

4 things:

1) I got all the recall stuff taken care of when I first got it last year - I think I am all set there (thanks for the heads up!)

2) The problem with the battery and oil gauges occurs when the car is on - it seems like something is supposed to click into place in the key cylinder that powers these gauges but it doesnt. To get a reading, I have to press in with the key - the point is, they dont work on their own when the car is on. Anyone run into something like this?

3) My gas gauge is totally cocamamie! With a full tank, maybe it will read full for a little while before diving suddenly to reading empty, eventually leveling out at the mid-way and staying there (for the most part). Where is this problem coming from? the tank? sensor? gauge? aauugh!

4) As for selling this ride, I'm not even thinking about that at least until I pay off the credit card I had to brutalize to get it (and get it up to snuff) - after that, I intend to get my pound of flesh and ride this mutha till the wheels fall off! :)

Thanx again!