2000 Cadillac Catera 3.0 V6 from North America


Buying used? STAY AWAY!


One word for this car? Horrible.

I purchased this car NEW in 2000. No more than a week later, I had a problem, the instrument cluster stopped working completely. Checked the cluster fuse to find the fuse, on a car with 82 miles to be blown. OK, so I replaced the fuse. Turned the car on... POP went the fuse. Took the car to the dealership to have it looked at. Problem? The cluster was bad and had to be replaced. My head was spinning... a NEW cluster at 4x miles?

About 2000 miles later, I noticed a faint clunk coming from the front end. I figured "Ehh, maybe it's just from hitting a pothole, no big deal." WRONG! It progressively got worse over the course of 3 months. So, at 36xx miles, I took it yet again to the dealer. Upon sitting there, I noticed 2 other Cateras sitting in the lot with service tags on them. First thing that popped into my head? "Uh-Oh." Anyways, the noise I was hearing was a bushing worn out on my steering, I believe it was the idler arm. They replaced it under warranty. Great!

Then, for about eh... 40,000 or so miles, the car was fine, didn't have a single problem with the car in that time... except the fact that the tires were getting eat up like CRAZY.

Then... at about 46,000 miles, I noticed my coolant gauge going up, and up... so I hurried up and pulled over. Turned the car off and looked under the hood. Hmm, no leaks. Oil looks good, but seems low. Looked over at the coolant tank to see what looked to be dark goop in it. I let the car cool down and opened the tank to find oily sludge! Yes, oily sludge at 46k miles! Now something told me that I made a BAD mistake buying this car. I think I was sucked in by the "Engineered and built in Germany" thing.

Moving on... the car was yet again at the dealership. They looked at it and determined that it was the oil cooler under the intake manifold. Great... how wonderful. So they replaced the cooler and I was on my merry little way. Oh, and they also replaced the valve cover gaskets because they were leaking really bad as well.

Another hiatus... the car did great for quite a while, got routine maintenance done (timing belt, water pump, etc).

70,000 miles. I smell coolant burning, temp gauge is climbing. Get out to look under the car and see coolant rushing all over the ground. I shut the car off of course. This time, I have no warranty. Wonderful! Towed the car to a local mechanic. Tells me that a heater control valve went bad and needs to be replaced, apparently it's a common problem. Replaced a few hours later... Cost? $325.00 SIGH.

73,200 miles. LED brake light bar stops working... Control arm bushings in the front are completely shot and had to be replaced. $600 total to have this fixed.

74,000 miles. Front wheel bearing goes bad.

Honestly? For being a Cadillac, I expected a FAR better track record with this car. The car is nothing short of a piece of crap. It's currently sitting in my garage because I won't drive it anymore. My Grand Prix GTP isn't my previous car, it's a car I bought for my wife at the same time, in 2000. The Grand Prix? 128,000 miles and still running strong. The only thing major the car needed was intake gaskets at 100k, and a water pump at 105k. NOTHING else has went wrong with it.

General Comments:

The few good things?

The car is comfortable, especially on the highway.

I bought the car for its looks. The car looks great inside and out. I never expected it to be such a pain though.

It is decently quick.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2011

9th Feb 2011, 15:12

People unfortunately sometimes have this notion that all German cars are 'premium' type cars but Germany builds cheap econo-boxes like most other car building nations. This car is an Opel underneath and here in Australia the Opel sourced cars are not built to last and have shocking reliability.

14th Feb 2011, 11:35

Yeah, unfortunately I was fooled at the dealership when the salesman told me that the car had the same "high build quality" as a Mercedes or BMW. Even then I should have ran... Benzes and Bimmers are not much better! Sad thing is my friend bought a 2007 VW GTI, it already has 80,000 miles on it, and she's never had a problem with the car!

2000 Cadillac Catera 3.0L V6 from Germany


The car functions to expectations until the motor fails


List of repairs -

- Timing belt recall work completed and tires replaced with no unusual wear in year 2002.

- Cracked windshield replaced in 2004.

- Ignition coils, main computer, spark plugs, timing belt, fuel filter in year 2008 (very expensive repair - 3500 Euros).

The number 2 spark plug was rusted with the ignition coil connection. The electric pulse was stopped and grounded to the main computer. After the parts were replaced, the mechanic, a former Formula 1 team mechanic, tuned the engine for the best performance possible.

After the repair to the engine in the year 2008, the performance to the engine improved by 30%. The benzine usage improved from 16 miles / gallon to 21 miles / gallon (ca. 9.7 L / 100 km)

- Replaced tires with no unusual wear in year 2009.

- Replaced oil gaskets on header covers to stop leaking oil, accessory belt and "belt tension" flew off the engine (700 Euros).

** All parts had to be shipped from the US to more than one auto repair shop in Germany!! The paper work in the shipment through Customs / Zoll is evident that the parts originate from the US. According to the US auto repair shops working on Catera repairs, that all parts must be shipped from Europe. Where is the "misrepresentation" in parts supply for the Catera?

I have lost confidence in General Motors. GM "dumped" the Catera in the year 2001, and that any reference to the model under the Cadillac is referred to as the "other" model. The issue with the replacement parts source is particularly inconsistent, with auto repair businesses on both sides of the Atlantic claiming that the parts are sourced from the other continent.

General Comments:

The interior and environment functions of the car are superb.

The "ride" of the car is smooth on the German roads and autobahn.

Extreme road handling is superior when maneuvering from other driver's potential accidents.

Motor and external repairs are a severe failure, because an owner requires a high qualified mechanic and patience to deal with the provision of parts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th February, 2010