I regret ever buying a Catera. I have a sensor for the coolant that does not work. It leaks an unbelieveable amount of fluids, nor can I find where. I have been told that it would likely cost a few thousand to stop the leaking. I am disappointed that a luxury car would be built so poorly. I tried to trade it yesterday and was only offered $2500 for it, so I will be stuck with it for a while.
I wasn't thrilled but was pleasantly surprised with my Catera for about the first year, then everything started to go wrong. A common problem with these GM cars are that they are manufactured cheaply but are expensive to repair. My sunroof opens automatically on its own, the ac and heater are not functioning, odors of coolant are forever present with no visible leaks, and the check engine light is a constant problem. The catera is full of sensors that regulates everything from engine start up, to automatic transmission shifts and I have experienced the worst of what this car does when its not working properly. I can't wait to dump this P.O.S!
I have 2 Cateras, and they are like most German cars and require a lot of regular maintenance, and have their quirks.
As for anyone experiencing the coolant smell, the heater control valve is what my guy finally found -- after a huge amount of effort to figure it out. Cost me about $400 to replace.
We bought a 2001 Catera new. My wife's comute was 14 miles a day. Total mileage is 44,000. Problem now is that the speedometer is intermittent, the check engine light comes on and goes off periodically, the ABS light comes on periodically and the engine has a minor oil leak. Cost us $500 to attempt to cure this. Any suggestions to causes and repair?
Needless to say we won't buy a Cadillac product again!
I have a 2001 Catera, I recently had the heater control valve replaced. But now the Coolant low light keeps coming on and off. I'm really starting to hate this car.. Not to mention the Check Engine light comes on and off, the Gas door is broken, the dash board lights are half lit... and it only has 55,000 miles.. I'm ready for a Honda!
I just purchased a 2001 Cadillac Catera and after reading all these comments I seriously wonder if I made the right choice. I just simply fell in love with it.
Is there anyone out there that has anything good to say about these cars?
I had a 1997 Catera and replaced it with a 2001 Catera Sport, last years because these cars are a great value, fun to drive and unique. Yes they are quirky and expensive to fix; however, using ebay and salvage yards, the parts can readily be found at reasonable prices. You will love the way the car rides/handles/feels and all the room and creature comforts; however, like a BMW/Mercedes or other German made cars, it requires patience on repairs. Some of that money you saved by buying used should be allocated to repairs.
I come from Germany and I heard this problem with an Omega (Catera) for the first time, but every thing I read sounds like that the mechanics have no idea what they are saying.
I drive my whole life Opels, and I tuned these cars and engines as well. I own now a Catera 2001 and I had the problem with the engine light too. I just drove by a Cadillac dealer and got the car tested with the diagnostic plug. I read what happened and I knew what happened. To fix this little thing was 35 euros. OK, I ordered it from Germany but it was nothing.
I, too, just bought a 2001 Catera from a dear friend who a year ago, after much research, sought it out. It has 86,000 miles & he was second owner. He has "babied" it, detailed each month & had no problems. So knowing all of this, I thought I was getting a great deal. For 20 years I've driven Hondas (4 yrs) then Acura Legends ('91,'93,'95) for 16. And believe me, they are wonderful. The quality of ride, interior (and thought of German engineering) were, I thought, going to be comparable. Now I am afraid! When buying the car, I knew it needed brakes. Today, front rotors & rear pads. But, now also an idler arm that can't be found even from Cadillac! No other problems, yet, but I think I'll go back to Japanese! At least I know what to expect & for what price. Only for my good Karma will my Euro man work on this "domestic".!
#1) Autozone and other places will plug into your on board computer and give you the check engine diagnosis for free. You shouldn't take an old car to the Cadillac dealer for that. I had my 2001 Catera sitting for a couple of months and the light went on, and I don't remember what the diagnosis was because after I gave the car a good workout on the highway, the light went off and never came back on. That takes care of 90% of the complaining so far.
#2) You can go to any autoparts store and buy a bottle of stuff for a few $'s that will swell up the seals so it stops leaking. If you don't know what the car is leaking, you should not be complaining. Just look at the stuff on the ground and ask someone what it is, and what you can do about it.
Just keep your fluids up (especially the sealed transmission), take care of it, and look for cheap parts on the net and you will have a great ride.
Moral of the story: don't go to the Cadillac / BMW / Mercedes / Porsche, etc dealer to service an out of warranty car if you don't have Cadillac / BMW/ Mercedes / Porsche, etc money to burn.
I could never imagine having such a comfortable sporty ride for so little $$.
I bought a 2001 Catera sport off lease years ago, and it is a typical German car; you have to maintain it more than an old Ford or Chevy.
I have 84000 miles on it now, and have replaced the belts, serviced the brake system, changed the transmission fluids, cleaned the intakes etc., and just this winter it caught fire going down the road (a oil leak on the valve cover... it warped). Now I call the car "Flame". Since you cannot trade this for over $2000, I am keeping it and riding it into the sunset... the Bose radio works when it wants to... and the fuel cover and trunk release freeze when the radio does not work. However, it you put the car into neutral, you can open the trunk and get your groceries out, and fill up with gas for another run into the sunset... maybe the Chinese dealer will trade for whatever...???
I have a 2001 Catera Sport, bought in 2004 on a lease turn-in with 17,000 miles, and it just rolled over 47,000.
The only issue I've had with it was to replace the air flow sensor, as it wasn't adding the proper mixture, and wound up failing emissions. Why? Because I hadn't driven it enough.
It is a high-performance engine, and it needs to be driven; it's a German car, and it needs high maintenance. Stay on top of the fluids, use high octane always, and take care of it.
I hear all these horror stories about the Catera, and I've never experienced anything of the sort. No issues here.