: READ THIS. Someday it could help you.

10-27-06, 03:30 AM
This was originally for guardians reply on a different post but I figured it would be nice to share this in a new thread. Maybe it will help someone out there and if you read the whole thing you'll understand what I mean.

I think the recalls are free of charge one time regardless of miles if the work never was done to the catera. I bought a 1997 catera cranberry in color with black leather, chrome rims, bose, in perfect condition with 59,000 miles from an old vietnam war vet. The car wasnt for sale. Just sitting in a garage collecting dust. He happens to live a few streets away. Anyway, I'd see the catera always sitting in there never being moved or driven because it wouldnt start and never really thought anything of it until my catera went. So, I walk on over to his house and ask him If i can take a look he says sure look at it all you want. His exact quote " In all my life I've never owned a cadillac that rides like this It's junk." My reply, " Sir, I will pay you 300$ for the car right now and the 60$ for the title transfer. The Vet said " The boneyard offered me $35 dollars. You really want to spend 300$ on it? I said " Yea, sir I'll def. take it and I wrote him a check write then." He said, "Thank you I need it out of my garage so I can do some renovating Here's the key's get it outta here." I showed my respect to the man because he did fight for my freedom as you notice me calling him sir. So, I had it towed to my house that day and had a few people look at it they heard how it sounded when it was started (when it would even start) then would stall. Everyone said the motor is probably destroyed because it had a knocking type sound. Then I thought hmm.. well i have a catera parts car that i can use the motor from and just do a swap. Every place I went to quoted the job no less than 1,500$ and I dont have that kinda money or know how to do it myself so I said oh well its gonna have to sit until I do.
A few months pass by and I discover this website and start posting and asking questions and poking around a bit. I found on here that you can give the dealer your vin number and see if the recalls were ever done so I thought well im just curious I'll check it out...It wont take any longer than a few minutes what can it hurt. Come to find out none of them were done. So I call the caddy dealer back and told them, "It only has 59,000 miles on it and its pretty much a brand new car and its after 7 years but not the 100,000 miles so would it still be covered by the warranty?" They said, "It's not covered by a warranty but cadillac will still fix the car for free if the recalls were never done." I had it towed that same day. They didnt want to do any of the recall work until they ran diagnostics on the motor because I told them of a knocking type noise coming from it so they ran diagnostics to see if it was getting spark and fuel or there were any other problems and no codes came up. Then they tore it apart and looked at the internals turns out that the timing belt was still intact and none of the valves were bent. They had to tear it apart to find this out. The recalls are getting fixed right now and will be complete Saturday running with no problems! The recall was for the tensioner and the pulleys, secondary air injection, water pump, and the drive idler or drive control idler or something like that. They had to replace the spark plugs also which wasnt covered tho so for diagnostics and labor and spark plugs it came to $270.00.The reason it wasnt starting was cuz of the plugs and it ran like poo because the recall work needed done.

I would have never known about any recalls or anything like that if it wouldnt have been for this site. I would like to thank everyone on here for making this all possible. I can't express in this post how thankful I am for everyone of you out there. Just think of how many other catera's are just sitting waiting for their owners to get em fixed with the owners not knowing that it could possibly need recall work that could be the only thing keeping it off the road. I just want to say thank you again for all the time, emotion, hard work, and experiences shared on this site. I just graduated high school last year and am currently in my first year of college. Im currently working but not making much because i can only work part time so buying a new car was out of the question. So, this site has totally changed alot of things for me now I wont have to walk 3 miles everyday to school and back because someone out there cared enough to share their experiences. Im really impressed and have alot of respect for everyone on here.I have to add I offered the Veteran who I bought the catera off of I'd help him whenever he needed it for selling me the car and fighting for my freedom. He appreciated it and said he was glad he could help and that he hoped things worked out.

If you see a catera that says its got a bad motor or something or something wrong with it check it out get the vin number do some research you never know you just might find a gold mine kinda like guardian said at the bottem of this page...I found one and im sure there is many more out there to be found....

So, I got this catera pretty much for nothing.

1997 cadillac catera cranberry paint with 59,000 miles,chrome rims, bose sound system, and black leather interior.

price of car: $300.00
Title transfer: $ 60.00
Dealer work: $270.00
$620.00 total amount paid in all.

Me being happy and the love I have for the catera: priceless

Thanks for taking the time to read this:


OK, so are you saying if it had more miles they would not have done the work for you for free?

My understanding is if the car never got the recall service it is entitled, regardless of miles, to get that recall service done ONE time for free. Is this wrong?

Regardless am happy for you that you are getting the free service as you should. I wish I could find a decent Cat that never got the recall service. It's like finding money, a lot of money, in the street. They are not easy to find.

Count your blessings.:)

10-27-06, 02:57 PM
That's a great story and I'm happy for you. In your own way, you won the lottery!:)

Just one admonition:

Be certain the dealer replaces your old timing belt. You are confronting there an original, an ORIGINAL, '97 timing belt. Those were the ones that gave all the trouble and tarnished the Catera marque badly in the early years.

It makes NO difference that the old belt was intact when they got your car apart.

That belt MUST be replaced. It is an older design, an older composition, and it is not reliable. VERY few of those old belts survive today inside Catera engines. A great many were replaced when the Catera recalls were done years ago. All too many of the others have failed in service.

Good luck.

10-27-06, 03:47 PM
Great deal for only $300 !

11-09-06, 10:34 AM
Does this mean that if you've never had the recall done and your belt goes and destroys your engine... you can still get everything fixed for free????


11-09-06, 11:16 AM
Does this mean that if you've never had the recall done and your belt goes and destroys your engine... you can still get everything fixed for free????


Jeff great question. And let me say straight up: I do not know the correct answer.

For sure you would be able to have the recall items put right for free.

But the collateral damage might be another story - - - - - - entirely. And there could be a LOT of collateral damage if the timing belt fails in service.

There are so FEW Cats remaining that never got the recall service. It's a "scarce as hen's teeth, needle in a haystack" situation.

It's only just my gut feel, but I doubt at this late date Caddy would pay for the collateral damage repair. After all, the chance of such a car by now still being in the hands of the original owner is nearly nil. And I doubt Caddy would feel the same sense of responsibility to a subsequent owner that they might feel toward the original purchaser of the Catera.