: Preventative Maintenance ADD YOUR TIPS!

11-03-06, 02:01 PM
Hey I thought I would start this thread to try and prevent some costly repairs. 1. Change oil every 3,000 or close to miles 2. use a synthetic oil 10w30 i used 10w40 one time and oil pressure dropped, I recommend the new Pennzoil Platinum full synthetic or Valvoline Max life full synthetic both work well and have nice pressure, you can do it for under 30 bucks yourself. 3. use Fuel system cleaner every change. 4. ceramic brake pads. 5. When something does ever go wrong when ever possible dont go to dealer unless under warranty very expensive parts, shop Auto Zone or a similar store.
I needed a new alternator dealer price $900+ A Local Auto shop same spec alternator installed $450. So do some homework and check out the great tips on here. My 98 catera has 103,000 miles on it and is running very strong. PLEASE ADD YOUR TIPS! Hope this was useful -Pete:thumbsup:

11-03-06, 02:07 PM
oops heres one more tip to save a little money -buy a COLDAIR INTAKE on ebay and install. After installed i noticed BETTER SOUND, BETTER GAS MILAGE, A LITTLE MORE KICK IN POWER, AND THE FACT THAT I WILL NEVER HAVE TO BUY A NEW FILTER AGAIN JUST USE A CLEANING KIT, PAYS FOR ITSELF IN NO TIME :thumbsup:

11-03-06, 05:37 PM
Change tranny fluid every 20k miles IMO, and mabye give it a cleaning with auto-rx (google that, i just did it on my I30 and love the results).

10w-40, OP will drop but it wont need as much oil PSI because the oils thicker, so if you want a 40 weight you should be fine to use it.

11-15-06, 08:20 AM
Pete, just read your post and couldn't agree with you more. You've got a great looking ride there by the way. I see you're in Ohio; does the cold air intake system get affected by the snow or rain? I have the K&N replacement filter for the original air box and other than not having to change it all the time, I didn't notice any performance benefit.

11-15-06, 08:24 AM
One other thing, I go 6,000 to 8,000 miles on synthetic oil on my Cat with no problem. I do, however, change the filter every 3,000 miles or so and top it off with a fresh quart...that's just me tho. I've gone 10,000 mile on my Buick Regal and my wife's Trans Am with no problem.

11-15-06, 09:24 AM
For Catera Owners with Xenon Headlights:

I love my xenons and think it's the best feature on the Catera Sport. Unfortunately, I think these bulbs are more likely to burn out because the headlights can come on so much with this car. Here are some tips that I've used to try and make my bulbs last longer:

1) Use the key to unlock the door when possible. Every time you hit unlock on the key fob the headlights come on for a short period. I don't think this is good for the bulbs.

2) Turn off the twilight sentinel. I don't need my headlights coming on in my garage at home, parking garage at work, or when I'm under an overpass, so I like to take control of when my headlights come on.

I may be paranoid, but that's my tips for saving costly xenon bulbs :)


11-15-06, 11:56 AM
Hey CateraShaker Thanks for the comments synthetic oil is the best for this type of quick reving cam engine that tends to run a little warm. As of the past few winters here in ohio the cone filter has not gotten wet at all i was very worried at first but i checked after heavy snow and rain and it was all dry. If you are worried you can always leave the bottom half of the stock airbox in and nothing for sure will get in. I had a k/n replacement filter for the stock air box and did not notice an increase either, after tryin the cone filter the sound is much better and ive noticed my engine revs faster. My best mpg was on a 3 hour highway trip at 70-75mph cruise control no a/c on just windows down and I was gettin 32 mpg.:bouncy:

11-15-06, 12:27 PM
Thanks peetyz; I thinl I'm going to try cutting out the mufflers next (some on this forum refer to them as resonators but they are indeed mufflers.) If nothing else, it will save some weight. They weigh about 40lbs. a piece! Others that I have talked to who aren't on the forum say that the car revs up faster after they're removed. I've actually seen one of these things cut open and let me tell you, they're made for one thing and one thing only, to keep the car quite. I appreciate that but in all the other cars I've had I've changed to a free-flowing exhaust system and felt a major improvement in performance and more mpg. I've done it on an MG Miget, Pontiac Trans Am, Corvette, Buick Regal, Cadillac Sedan De Ville, Ford Mustang to name a few. Back pressure is not your car's friend. I've looked at a few mufflers to replace the others but I think I'm going to try the,"cheap," way first. I'll let you know how it goes. By the way, does your NEW K&N filter have a stock number on it? I think I can fabricate your set-up with stuff I have collecting dust in my garage but I need to know the stock number or part number on your K&N set-up so if you can send it along I'd be most appreciative.

11-15-06, 05:25 PM
I actually dont have a k/n filter on mine you can get a similar filter at autozone, advanced autoparts, or napa I fabricated one for our GMC Envoy and it works great even came with a warranty of 100,000 miles. But the filter is 25$ you can get the filter and tubing specially cut for the catera on eabay for $25 as well. The k&N filter alone is around $40. Please let me know how removing the 2 of the 3 mufflers goes. I am very interested in doing it. Thanks -Pete-:) :thepan:

11-16-06, 02:32 PM
I'm curious Peetyz, I have read many posts about cold air intakes. My question is if the air filter is open in the engine bay, where is it getting the cold air? The engine bay produces a lot of heat. Second question, what is your idle oil PSI since your using syn oil?


11-16-06, 03:38 PM
One of the other things that you can do to help your Catera or any other fuel injected car with a throttled body is to clean it. Start by disconnecting the two intake hoses. Get a can or 2 of throttle body cleaner. I use the GM stuff but there are others made by Valvoline ect. that are just as good. Make sure when you buy this product that it says, "Throttle Body Cleaner." After removing the intake hose, start spraying. GM throttle bodies are notorious for getting gunked up and when they do they don't close all the way and affect part throttle response and fuel economy. Use a screw driver to hold the blades open and don't forget to clean both sides. You can even use a tooth brush to speed up the process. Pay particular attention to the ends, the, "pin," that the blades rotate on. Clean it up very thoroughly. Now, when you try to start your Cat, it might be a little hard to start because some of the cleaner is bound to wind up in the plenum/fuel system.Once you start it there might be some white smoke might that comes out of the exhaust. Don't worry; just rev it up and blow all that stuff out. The felt results should be immediate.

11-17-06, 09:56 AM
Well Andergar there is a tube that goes from the bottom of car and collects air that connects into the stock intake box, after you uninstall the stock intake box you still have that tube that is directly infront of the cold air intake feeding air to it. yes you still get some hot air but more air is better. Like ive said since the install ive noticed quicker revs, more power, increased gas mileage, and a much better sound under heavy acceleration. when your just at cruise or minimal acceleration it sounds just like stock. My oil psi is always clearly above the 1/4 line and it shoots up every time the gas is pushed. Hope this helps -Pete

11-17-06, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the info, Pete. It is possible to get some photos of the piping, top and bottom of the intake. Do you have a part number for the K&N cone and I thought there was some intake sensors in the air box? what happens to those? Thanks again and sorry for all the noob questions.


11-18-06, 02:07 PM
I removed my muffler, replaced it with a flowmaster dual in/dual out and kept the stock resonators. The sound is much better, but never too loud and the engine seems to have a little kick in power.

11-19-06, 02:14 AM
mrman88, when you say, "muffler," do you mean the big one at the rear of the car? I was referring to the 2 underneath the car...and what part # for the Flowmaster did you use?

11-19-06, 03:58 PM
no problem andergar, sorry no part number i got it on ebay with the filter which is not k/n but can still be cleaned and is the same style,but the tube is not connected to the filter it simply is the one that went into the stick air box but still collects air from undercar while driving. the sensors and everything are still all connected. all you do to install it is to 1. take the box lid off 2. take out paper filter 3. unscrew connector that connects tube to air box 4. take out aibx 5. put the filter with the open pipe end into the airintake tube(the one that previously went into airbox) and tighten look closely at te attached pic hope this helps -Pete- by the way if your looking for the filter go on ebay and type Catera Intake look around and check shipping and get the best price. Good Luck !! I put a few pics to show the filter assembled and un assembled after the stock air box is removed the pic in the middle is the pipe that feeds cold air from under the car

11-20-06, 11:41 AM
WOW!! Many thanks Pete! I think I know what I'm doing this weekend. When I do this, I'll let you know. What is your email, if you don't mind me asking.

Thanks again,

11-20-06, 02:30 PM
no problem contact me on zeller.19@wright.edu

11-20-06, 06:30 PM
We seem to have gotten off of the topic and onto the cold air intake topic, so let me get back to topic. The single biggest preventative maintenance tip that I can give for these cars is this......JOIN AAA AUTO CLUB for when it breaks down. I have 5 cars, but I never joined until I got this one. Now I feel much better when I drive it, as I know I won't be stranded but for so long until somebody comes and pulls it home...lol.

11-24-06, 07:56 PM
I didn't get to tell you earlier but great pictures Pete. By the way, I bought 6 cans of Valvoline Throttle Body Cleaner yesterday at Big Lots for 50cents a can and cleaned mine again. It's amazing how fast throttle bodies get dirty.

11-25-06, 08:48 AM
Caterashaker, when you did the throttle body cleaning did you get any error codes? I want to clean my today,but I'm afraid of getting a code.


11-26-06, 03:50 PM
do you disconnect the two tubes that go into the engine via Air intake and spray and clean from there?

11-27-06, 11:01 AM
I did and held open the butterflies open with a screw driver. A lot of black stuff ran out of the throttle body. Now the bad news. I had seven engine error codes go off. I had to go to Autozone to clear the codes. Everything good after that. The codes were a misfire in each cylinder and a MAF error. I talk to my local mechanic and he recommends a professional throttle body and fuel injector cleaning at this shop. Cost is about $180 and two hours of time. I'm going to do this in the few days. He recommends this every 30 - 45k miles. I'll report in next week on the results.


12-01-06, 12:35 AM
Sorry for the delay guys. Andergar, no, I didn't get any codes. I think the mechanic is right but I think that that's $180 bucks too much for something that you can do yourself. The misfires were from all the gunk and run-off from the cleaner finding it's way into the combustion chamber. You did the right thing by taking it to Autozone and having them clear the codes for you. By the way, what brand of throttle body cleaner did you use? Pete, yes, disconnect the 2 black plastic hoses that go from the air box to the plenum and go to town with the spray. Hold the throttle blades open and do both sides. Refer to my first post. Cleaning the throttle body is easy and effective. Keep me posted.

12-05-06, 02:32 PM
Sorry for not getting sooner caterashaker. The throttle body cleaner I used was GM brand. My mechanic ended up only charging me $140. This is my first full tank of gas to see if my mileage is any better. I'll let you know. Soon.


12-05-06, 05:50 PM
wow expensive i got a bottle of cleaner and did it myself for around 3 bucks i parked down a hill so all the bad gum and other black stuff ran out the front end & not into the motor i notice the difference already and mine were not to bad to begin with =)

08-24-07, 06:31 PM
When Oil Cooler fails, dont buy a 300 dollar replacement cooler, just re-route the lines to a air trans/oil cooler ($50) mount to the front of ur radiator near the fan, never worry about cooler again.

You can grab some sloted and cross drilled rotors for about 90 a pair off ebay. (cheaper and better than stock)

what ive done with my air box is left the stock one because hot air is pointless.. I upgraded to a K&N in stock box but I improved the piping from the front of the car. I took off the front piece that is mounted to the grill and used larger custom piping. If you dont feel like going that route I belive just drilling holes in the box with the K&N would be bettter.

You can bypass your Heater blow off valve using a aluminum pipe.

thats all i got.

08-24-07, 06:34 PM
also When I had my intake manifold off, I cleaned the throttle body.. also the entire intake housing, its good to get the ports as well. I even sprayed carb cleaner on the fuel injectors.

When you do this you might as well change your fuel filter. Its easy just remove ur rear passenger side wheel.

08-24-07, 09:34 PM
Great job guys, i learned alot. it was so nice to get constructive, positive help instead of the usual idiots bashing the cat and saying how it sucks!! still loving my cat, hope to keep it long as posible. these maintiance items will certainly help.
thanks again for the positive input!!:thumbsup:

08-24-07, 11:54 PM
My question is if the air filter is open in the engine bay, where is it getting the cold air? The engine bay produces a lot of heat.

My thoughts exactly. I've only found pictures of 2 true cold air induction systems on a Catera/Omega. Both have shortcomings.

Hood Scoop 1 (http://www.pbase.com/elvin315/image/75016166)
Hood Scoop 2 (http://www.pbase.com/elvin315/image/72707668)

Under Bumper 1 (http://www.pbase.com/elvin315/image/72813936)
Under Bumper 2 (http://www.pbase.com/elvin315/image/72813934)


08-25-07, 10:36 AM
i got my k&n off of amazon for like $25.

10-25-07, 11:32 AM
i special ordered my K&N from Advanced Auto Parts. I dont remember how much it was, but it was worth it.

Cadi Cat
10-25-07, 12:24 PM
I also have a K&N cone filter. definatly worth it. My caddy is more responsive. Also I read a couple posts in here of members not changing their oil until about 6-8K or so. Even tho it may be a synthetic oil it can still build up sludge and carbon and that will clog up the pcv system or breather system. This will cause the valve gaskets to leak. I cleaned mine just recently and then re-tightened the bolts on the valve covers and my oil leak and smell of burning oil that I've had for about 20k miles, went away. It's very easy to do. But it takes a hell of a lot of carb cleaner!!!