1997 Cadillac Catera from North America - Comments

7th Jun 2005, 01:58

No spark plugs in the world cost $20 each not for a production car. The resale value is so low on the car because it has many problems and all of the parts have extremely high prices on them. The parts cost so much because they have to be ordered form the dealer only in many cases and the dealer has to order them from Europe.

20th Jun 2005, 19:28

I had to replace all 6 Bosch spark plugs for my '97 Catera at $14.38 a pop. The plug wire harness was $148.22. These were friend prices from the owner of the shop.

This is a good car, but the parts are incredibly expensive and it is obvious that Cadillac did not have all of the kinks worked out when they rolled this model year off the line.

I'm planning to sell mine privately for whatever I can scratch up. I've paid close to the current Blue Book value in maintenance during the past year and a half.

30th Jun 2005, 17:07

I bought my 2000 Catera in 2001 with only 6500 miles on it. It now has only 54,000 miles and has been in the shop seven times for repairs. Now with barely fifty thousand miles on it the shop has informed me that it will probably need a new computer at a cost of over $2000. because the transmission fails to shift properly. Most cars would cover this under warranty, but not Cadilac. Rest assured my next car won't be a Cadillac.

12th Dec 2005, 03:31

1/10th value over 8 years is unreasonable.

Consider the MSRP of a 1995 Honda Civic and it's private sale value in 2003.

12th Dec 2005, 07:38

Good comparison there, Sherlock. A Catera to a Civic. News flash: cars that were not great sellers when new tend to depreciate faster than more popular models. The Civic was and is more popular than the Catera, hence used ones retain more of their value!

14th Jun 2006, 12:45

The reason that the dealers are so unwilling to help people with the Catera and are so inept at fixing them is because they never learned about the car. The Catera's initial quality was dreadful to say the least, so the dealers quickly became disinterested in the cars. In fact, when the Catera first came out, our local Caddy dealer had three of them on the lot. They sold them, and they never got any more in. The Catera hung around until 2001, but I never saw any on our dealer's lot after 1998. I have friends that have purchased other Cadillacs and are very happy with the dealer service. One friend bought a new Eldorado in 1997, and then a new CTS in 2003. Both cars have been excellent and the dealer treated her like a queen! The CTS must be an excellent car because our dealer cannot keep them on the lot and they are all over town. The Catera was just another car on the long list of ill-fated experiments by automakers. It was the new Cimarron.

18th Jun 2006, 05:54

The Catera, like all other imports from foreign countries, sanctioned and promoted by US car manufactures have failed miserably. Merkurs, Opels, Capris from Australia, and the list goes on. European cars are not designed or manufactured with the same mentality as say the Japanese cars. The need constant care and maintenance. The Asians realized from the beginning that if they were to be successful in the US, their autos and motorcycles had to be bulletproof. Not so the Europeans.

I have had and still have Merkurs and Cateras, and the worst mistake any owner of these cars can make is to allow the US dealer to service or repair the car. In the case of a Merkur XR4Ti, the selling dealer actually did $7000 (1986 dollars) in damage to the car while changing the oil. In the case of Merkurs or Cateras, find a BMW independent specialist and your problems will be cut in half.

As to parts prices, the Merkurs were a parts shelf car and NAPA is most helpful. With the Catera, you're in trouble if you need prioritized hardware and the sole answer there is to find a GM parts distributor that will give you the "cooperating dealer" 40% off list.

The $20 spark plug issue is interesting - the OEM plugs have GM on the porcelain and Bosch on the base, but don't try to have a Bosch distributor order them, although listed in their catalogue, you'll never get them.

1st Nov 2006, 22:40

I recently bought a used 1997 Catera. It had potential so I started to work on it. I went into shock when I found out the prices that they were trying to get for the parts. An alternator was $1200.00 dollars. I did not settle for this and checked on the internet and local part stores. The local part store had one for $270.00 with a $75.00 core. Those $600.00 wires were $60.00 a complete set. I got the repair and owner manuals from Ebay and have worked on it myself. I am not a mechanic. Now the car runs excellent and I really like it. It is German. Anyone that can work on German autos can work on it. Ebay had a brand new engine complete for $1400.00 in the crate. Buy nothing from the GM dealer.

18th Jan 2008, 12:37

My 1997 Catera has gotten sick. Terminally as far as I'm concerned. The spark plug seals are leaking and no mechanic wants to touch that job. I spent 600 on that job and it still needs a coil pack which the mechanic was going to charge $450 for, but I found one for $275. The "electrical nightmare" comment is spot on because half of my dash lights went out, then the other half, along with one of my headlights, then the brake lights one by one. I know this car will only end up costing me more money later and I'm going to dump it off on the first person willing to buy it.

5th Aug 2008, 23:06

OK, the Catera sounds like trouble, and I had just bought one. Runs like brand new with 51000 miles. Every so often, maybe once a day or once a week, it throws a fit.... a low rough idle and stalls when you slow down. I THINK IT IS A VACUUM LEAK. Can't find it.. Does anyone know in what fashion do you check for leaks? Vacuum gage look for drop? Spray soapy water maybe? You can email answers to jandjtoday@aol.com

20th Aug 2008, 21:14

Nope! Sorry, I don't know anything about the vacuum but have you changed your fuel filter lately?

Different problem,

I have 1998 and It sometimes won't let me move the gear stick (stuck in park) and before anyone ask. Yes, I did apply pressure to the brakes first.

If I let it sit awhile or beat on the gear stick it usually starts functioning again; it's getting worse though.

14th May 2009, 14:17

Hey just recently obtained a 98 Caddi Cat. Totally love it.

To the person with the gear shifter that doesn't change, happened to myself, cause well... I spilled Coke by the gear shifter. Regardless, if you remove the cover you'll see a lock that engages when you press the brake. Usually that gets sticky. If so, it's a cheap fix with wd40. Otherwise... well I'm sorry cause that's another problem that will cost ya.