1998 Cadillac Catera from North America
A sporty quirky fun lil car
Bought the car in a no start condition.
The Catera, as most cars these days, is too complex for "my mechanic" or "my guy" to fix, and if the dealer you take it to can't figure it out, don't pay them, that's their job to find the source of the problems.
I am a world class certified Cadillac tech. Any tech that has worked on a Catera LX can tell you the heater control valves leak, and fix it for about $350.00 AT THE DEALER before you run the car out of coolant and blow the head gaskets - $4500.00.
And the timing belts, pulleys and tensioners are covered under a recall for free on most all Cateras. Also a water pump alone is only about $300.00 at THE DEALER, so if some shade tree is charging $800.00-$900.00, you are getting taken.
The mayo look on the oil filler cap is normal, not an indication of a bad oil cooler. Open the radiator overflow cap; if there is oil in there you have a problem. On the underside of the cap it means nothing, any engine with a long fill neck for the oil will have residue .
These aren't bad cars, but they are expensive to repair, so find a knowledgeable dealership and spend your money wisely, not brashly with some clueless shade tree.
Good luck, I love mine.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th November, 2008
13th Dec 2008, 17:10
Good luck getting those pulleys covered under warranty... which by the way is no longer valid anyway.
31st Jan 2009, 19:15
If you do have oil in your overflow, the oil cooler is busted and needs to be replaced. It's under the intake manifold between the heads. The part at the dealership is $378. Replacing it is not really all that bad, if you're mechanically inclined.
13th Apr 2010, 20:28
I bought my 98 about 2 & 1/2 years ago. And it had 50K. It now has 89K and I still love my car.
Yes, if you buy this car, expect to have maintenance expenses higher than a generic car. I bought the repair manuals on ebay for $20, and my mechanic said they are worth their weight in gold. ha ha.
I have had to replace the ignition coil and wires. This is the only thing that has actually went out until now. The rest has been maintenance. Timing belt, water pump, serpentine belt.
I am just now having a coolant leak that looks like a heating valve? Anyway, these are good cars if you keep them up, and I recommend buying the manuals for your mechanic. I plan on keeping mine.