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1994 Deville
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Discussion Starter #1
ok iam looking to buy another cadillac and i would really liek to get a catera just cause its small i owned a cadillac deville 1994 and my head gasket went and i dont even feel like fixing it cause iam affriad that the car will have more problems! iam really scared of it but i also wanted a catera but i heard there are bad years of the car and good years? and i wanted to know if anyone on here can help me out? i hope i can get some kind of answeres cause i been searching all over the internet for reviews but i cant find anything on the car! so please i need help!!!
 

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Shopping!
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I would definitely steer clear of the 97-98. But, in all honesty, I would steer clear of the Catera period. Yes, some people have had good luck. Unless you get a heck of a buy, you're probably going to have quite a bit wrapped up in your Cat when it's all said and done. Now, if you find one that has already had all of the problems fixed, that might be one to consider.
 

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1994 Deville
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169 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
yea i was looking at a 2000-2001 around there but are they really that bad? i mean schould i just go with another deville? i mean i dont want to just cause its so big V8 and gas and stuff iam trying to find a nice decent car with leather thats nice and i thoguth of a catera but i heard that some years blow and some dont...now like you said to find one that already had some problems how many miles does one have untill you start hitting alot of problems? if you know what i mean like if i see one with 80k do you assume it had its problems lol i dunno iam just trying to find out cause i mean when out buying a car you know how it is do you honestly think someone is goign to give you a list of problems that happened to the car? lol it would just scare you away but if the problems are aken care of and u have nothign to worry about then i would like to hear from some peoople with cateras about this!
 

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1994 Deville
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169 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
yea iam not trying to spend a whole lot of money here if i had that much money i wouldnt buy a CTSi would buy a bigger car or more like a SUV
 

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Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
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In defense of the Catera I say shop carefully. I have a 2001 Catera Sport which I love to drive. My bargain Bimmer. But within days of buying her, in November 2006 at 48,000 miles, I had to have the heater Bypass Valve replaced. I didn't do my homework. If I had I'd have had the seller fix it prior to my taking posession. I saw a pretty car at a great price, and a Cadillac to boot. Now I know better. I'd still buy a Catera but with more knowledge I wouldn't have felt so taken.

When you find a 2000 - 2001 Catera that looks good on the outside, here's what to look for on the inside.
  1. Have Cadillac check the VIN for the cam-belt tensioner TSB.
  2. Have the Heater Bypass Valve hehind the engine inspected. Consider having it replaced regardless. It's not expensive as Cadillac parts go and the labor is easy. If left to leak it can damage the DIS ignition pack.
  3. Check the engine oil for coolant contamination. It will appear as a cream colored residue on the dipstick and/or under the oil filler cap. Wipe it off and drive the car at operating temp for 30 minutes. If it doesn't reappear it was probably normal water condensation and boiled off. If it reappears it's antifreeze. That means the oil cooler is leaking and needs replacement. Another relatively easy and cheap repair.
  4. The cam cover gaskets can leak and drip oil on the exhaust manifolds and create smoke. This can be too expensive to leave to Cadillac. Order the gaskets and have a trusted local garage do the work.
  5. Check the tire wear. Cupping or feathering can indicate the need for alignment. It could also mean worn or broken lower suspension arm bushings. Parts are available. Harder than the other stuff but not too bad. Replacing the arms is easier than pressing the bushings out and in.
There are other little things like the door stays breaking, brake switch failures, and assorted electrical gremlins but aside from the HBV and cam cover gaskets, I haven't experienced any of the other stuff. My Cat scoots like her tail was on fire, handles like she was on rails, and stops on a dime (especially with the GTO front calipers). Remember, your looking at cars that are at least 6 years old. Lots of wear and tear is possible if the owners didn't take care and perform the maintanence properly. Shop wisely.

Elvin
 

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The Catera is an absolute piece of junk.

I do not own a Catera...i just work on one.

My parents got fed-up with their 1996 Deville after the second head-gasket failure, and in a moment of weakness, they traded the Deville in for a used 2001 Catera Sport.
Within the first month, they had to have the tranny replaced and luckily it was still(just barely) under warranty. The warranty was soon over, but the problems just keep coming. Tranny, coolant resevoir(level sending unit), heater control valve, air-flow sensor, ABS control module, and a couple small snags have been repaired/replaced, and it is now draining power-steering fluid at full lock somewhere around the steering gear. Oh...and also, the HVAC outside temperature has started reading 94+ reguardless of the actual temp, and the cam cover gaskets are leaking oil...they're on the to-do list...only 67,000 miles on the odometer.

This car is a slow, heavy-handling, mediocre-looking, money-pit that is NO fun to work on. The majority of service techs(Cadillac or private) are at a loss with diagnosis and parts are niether cheap nor readily available.

Trying to find something good to say about this car...i guess it sounds/feels like a solid car when slamming the door in fustration after your dash warning lights have once again lit-up like a Christmas decoration.

There is probably a reason why Cadillac stopped putting their name on the car. No where on this car will you find the word Cadillac...only the badges with the name deleted.

In my opinion...run away from the Catera...you'll be much happier with an Acura, Infinity or Lexus.
 

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2005 Cadillac CTS - white diamond on 22" tis 07's
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that doesn't really mean anything. i mean my CTS doen't say cadillac anywhere on it. and i'm pretty sure the STS's & DTS's don't say cadillac either...
 

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that doesn't really mean anything. i mean my CTS doen't say cadillac anywhere on it. and i'm pretty sure the STS's & DTS's don't say cadillac either...

nor does the escalade, srx, or the xlr
ahh...ohh well...that nixes the "manufacturer-embarassment" angle I was going for. Guess we'll have to rely solely on the cars proven unreliability.
 

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2005 Cadillac CTS - white diamond on 22" tis 07's
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ahh...ohh well...that nixes the "manufacturer-embarassment" angle I was going for. Guess we'll have to rely solely on the cars proven unreliability.
ok, can't argue with you there...

(i still think the 2000 & 2001 catera sports look good)
 

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2000 Catera
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314 Posts
I'd say the 2000's and 01's are good. I have a 2000 sport 123k. I've had pretty good luck with it. With the exceptions of the common failures. They all should have been recalled. Especially that crank sensor!!
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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Buick LeSabres run for 200,000 miles. Look in want ads--many have that many miles on them.
No built in problems except for being a grandpa/grandma car. But then again, that is why grandma drives such a car--she cannot afford to breakdown in the middle of the night in an unsafe area.

Great cars.
 
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