1st Nov 2004, 17:08
Generally, I agree with the previous comments about the car possibly being in an accident. Plug your VIN into http://www.carfax.com to get the car's history.
I had a similar problem with the headlight alignment, but I'm the one who broke it when I was changing out a burnt lamp. It's a little fragile, but it was my fault. It's possible that someone who changed the lamp broke the alignment assembly.
I've also had problems with premature wear on tires. This is due to the rear wheel design having an unadjustable 2 degrees of camber. The designers will tell you that this is for performance, that this is for the curvy roads of Europe. Maybe so, but they should have tweaked the design when they brought it to the US. That much camber will eat softer performance tires if you don't keep the pressure up to the maximum.
As for "sluggish off the line", what do you expect for a 5000 lb vehicle with only 200 hp? But, doesn't it cruise like a dream at 90 mph?
18th Apr 2005, 20:51
I'm pretty sure a Catera doesn't weigh 5k lbs, a 78 Eldorado weighs slightly more than that and its about twice the size.
18th May 2005, 06:57
I actually looked up the weight: gross vehicle weight rating (kg) 2,185 and curb weight (kg) 1,710.
This way we know for sure and don't have to argue the point.
16th Jul 2005, 06:51
I strongly agree that GM is slacking in all their category of cars as supposed to when they used to make them correctly. Any car that I am speaking of I have driven so I'm sure there are many out there who agree. Chevrolet's suffer from continuous parking light blow outs, Oldsmobile suffers from multiple seal leaks that allow rain water and air sounds to get in to the cabin, Buick suffers from electrical malfunctions that cost way more than the car and are also known to be "weather-prone", in good weather they run like a dream, rain or snow, good luck starting it. Cadillac, although the finest of them all, even has problems with things such as air compressor's felling on Sedan De Ville's, and then there's those magnificent Pontiac's that should also be known as Ponticrap that offer some of the most drab and cheap interiors you could ever imagine, transmission failure and engine ticking. GM has certainly gone down hill and seems to me that one of their worst made vehicles is the Chevrolet Malibu (had one, wheel barrings went bad after 4 months after purchase, parking lights completely shorted out after 2 months and engine made ticking sound that was extremely irritating. In the end I'd like to suggest that GM step it up and get back to caring about their customer's and their cars before the foreign industry takes over, and believe me foreign and Chrysler are on the rise!
12th Aug 2005, 21:28
Wow, to imply that Chrysler's quality is getting better than GM's is a real hard sell. I agree with many of the imports, but check out the thousands of Anti Chrysler sites. Chrysler has been doing a real number to those people that owned a vehicle with the 2.7 liter V6 engine.
Think the Catera is bad? It only has light problems as compared to the Intrepid (LH cars).
Chrysler vehicles are becoming known as dangerous to owners and all other drivers with their steering and brake failures. Even the new 300c is showing signs of transmission, engine and alignment problems.
Here's a good site to prove my point about Chrysler's difficulties: http://www.daimlerchryslervehicleproblems.com/
17th Jun 2006, 20:28
Before everyone gets off track arguing about Chrysler vs. GM, I just want to say that there are a lot of great GM cars. Granted, the Catera was a total load of crap, and the early Malibu was not much better, but they alone should not be the cars by which GM is judged as a whole. For example, my mom has a 1998 Buick Regal LS with the Gran Touring package that she has driven 150,000 miles since she bought it new. We have just now had the first two problems with the car: At 142,000 miles, the starter failed after a few months of not being driven much, and the most recent problem was at 148,000 miles when the A/C compressor became "tired." It still worked, but not at its full capacity. The repairs did not cost very much, relatively speaking; $200 for the starter job and $700 for the A/C work. Considering the fact that the car has been paid off for two years, we found these amounts to be terribly fair. The car still drives like it's new and it regularly achieves 24-28 MPG. GM does make good cars, but more often than not the better ones are the "premium" models from each brand. The 3800 V6 cannot be beat. One of my friends had an Oldsmobile with an earlier version of the 3800 V6 that he drove from 0 miles to 300,000 miles with no engine problems.
3rd Nov 2006, 19:19
I used to work for a GM contractor named Sitel that was employed to run customer service calls for GM. I answered calls for every GM division. Sometimes I'd answer the phone by saying, 'Thank you for calling cadillac...", other times it's, 'thank you for calling oldsmobile'.
I have personally worked to resolve customer complaints and issues with GM vehicles. First and foremost the highest volume of calls we received for any one vehicle was the Chevrolet Blazer. Number 2 was the Cadillac Catera. It was funny to note that while the Catera made up a very tiny fraction of GM's sales, it accounted for about 10% of our inbound complaint calls.
The precise reason for the discontinuation of the model was that it was a money pit for GM. Both direct costs of recalls and service bulletins, plus the indirect costs of losing long time GM customers proved to be a burden on GM, and they dropped the Catera like a bad habit.
Although GM will still not do this, I'll tell you a little secret; if you were a long time Cadillac customer that purchased a Catera and were dissatisfied, GM would repurchase the Catera and offer you a Deville at production NOT wholesale costs. Very very cheap. However, you'd have to be on record for purchasing 8 or more cadillacs and on top of that bother the call center and dealership every single day for weeks. There existed no similar program for any other model of vehicle under the GM umbrella. The fact that GM would do something so unprecedented which will probably never be repeated tells me that the Catera probably was one of the worst vehicles ever made.
30th Jun 2008, 03:03
So is it worth buying a 1998 Catera for $1100.00 for a resale or for personal use?
11th Oct 2008, 03:39
If you are a owner of a Cadillac Catera and would like to talk email me at Marytweeter@hotmail.com.
30th Mar 2009, 09:55
I bought a 1998 Cadillac Catera in April for $3500, and the first day we owned the car it was breaking down every day for a week.
We called the dealer, and brought the car in for inspection, and the dealer even picked the car up from a location that it broke at. They could not find anything wrong, but the car kept on turning itself off after it warmed up or after we put some miles on it. This car was never working proper.
Finally we had it towed in for service and demanded a replacement to no avail. The dealer wanted to fix the car, so they tried but could not fix the car. Then they towed it to the Cadillac dealer to have the tech look at the car with the proper GM equipment. The Cadillac service tech's determined that the computer was at fault, and my dealer purchased a used computer to have installed. The car worked nice for about 70 miles, and then started its problems again. We are very lucky to be alive, as the last time the car failed, we were driving on the freeway at 70mph, and I don't have to explain how hard it is to control a dead car at speed with hardly any steering or brakes.
Well to shorten this story, the car was not under any service warranty, and I am on my own. The car is now parked in my driveway not working and a constant reminder that we all should look for these reviews before buying any car.
In my opinion the Cadillac Catera is a pretty piece of junk. My other car is a 1990 Volkswagen Cabrio, and when it was given to me the odometer was at 999999, and now at 136448 the odometer quit working now in 2009. This year I replaced lots of parts that are common to any car; tires, shocks, clutch, rear wheel bearings & axle's, drive shaft, brakes, full tuneup and other regular fixes, but never no internal engine work. All of the parts that I replaced were original parts made in Germany. The whole car was made in Germany, all of the electronics as well.
Why can't we do that, make a product that has its entire manufacture in one country? Well any way, the worst car in the world is the Cadillac Catera, and the best car in the world is the VW Cabrio. This is based on personal experience and what I can read about in web sites like this one.