: Cadillac Dealership can't figure this out!

02-20-06, 08:33 PM
Once stopped at a light I noticed all the lights were lit up on the shifter console where as they normally only light on the position the shifter is in. Shortly thereafter the lights started to go haywire, flashing inconsistantly including the steady flash of the "S" on the dashboard as if in a warning mode. The car would not move when I press the accelator and it seemed to be stuck in 3rd gear. I then shut the car off and restarted with the car running normally again, within a few minutes the shifter console lights and "S" began radically flashing and once again the car stayed in 3rd gear and wouldn't shift back to 1st gear automatically. This morning a 3 hour diag. attempt concluded with a "Lets try this first" type of estimate. They would begin the treasure hunt by replacing the "Neutral Safety Switch". This preliminary attempt would cost $500.00. Has anyone encountered this problem before on the 2000 Catera. As my Catera is incapacitated by this glitch, I would appreciate any quick responses before making a $500.00 dollar shot in the dark! Thanks.

02-20-06, 10:13 PM
Yup! I had the same problem, with two different causes. 1) The linkage cable came loose at the shifter. Luckily I did have a forward gear and could drive the Cat to my mechanic's garage. Had I shut the engine off I wouldn't have been able to start it again. Mechanic replaced corroded linkage clip.
2) similar problem this winter during a mild spell. All the salt and water on the road shorted the connecter at the xmission. Used "Krown" type rust preventative to drive out the water and protect the contacts. Sounds like you're suffering from the second problem, bad connector.

02-21-06, 07:03 AM
Given what you are going through, I would for sure seek out another outfit to service this car.

Remember, not all Cadillac dealers are Catera qualified. Back circa 1996-1997 Caddy dealers had to ante up fifty grand to participate in the Catera marketing juggernaught. This bought them the right to sell the car, and it bought them special Catera training for their techs.

A significant minority of dealers, back at that time, simply chose not to participate. They did not pay the fifty grand. They just opted out where Catera was concerned.

I have no beef with Cadillac dealers who demurred on Catera. But I do object that many such dealers fail to mention having opted out when Catera owners today present their cars for service. Regardless their lack of qualification to perform Catera repairs, these dealers are unwilling to lose the business. It's a scam IMHO.

Some Catera owners are unaware that, where service for their cars is concerned, not all Caddy dealers are created equal. It is a pity. I have handled this in a simple way: I ask the service manager if his techs have special Catera training. Having done this at three separate and distinct Cadillac dealers, here is the score card so far:

1 yes

2 no

Life doesn't come with a guarantee and neither does a Catera service search. A really talented tech without special Catera training might do a better job than a less skilled tech who has had the training. But other things being equal, I would prefer to have properly trained techs working on my car. It improves the chances for success.