13th Nov 2009, 22:38

I recently purchased a 97 Cadillac Catera and my Lord what did I do that for. It had to be the worst investment in the history of Cadillac. The parts are German and very expensive. The car use to run great, now I had to replace the transmission, ignition switch, and timing belt. All which cost a fortune. I can't wait to get rid of it. I will never get a Cadillac and I would not advise anyone to get one.

16th Apr 2010, 21:00

I don't own a Catera, but I looked at one today. It's a 97 and it's a beautiful car. 107xxx miles on it, I thought I couldn't go wrong, but after reading some of these reviews, I can see I need to rethink. It seems to run great, and at 1500 it could be a great deal, or perhaps it's only a giant headache I should avoid.

19th Oct 2010, 03:50

I just bought an 01 Catera Sport from a private seller. Awesome car! After I got home I checked out reviews online. Not so awesome. I should've done that before the purchase.

Was scared to drive it for the first few days I owned it. I thought the timing belt would go since it had 131,000 on it, (interference motor) and didn't know when it was last replaced if ever. Selling it immediately seemed like the best option as I already have another vehicle. Wish I would have.

Decided to drive it after four days and take the risk. Two days later the engine is sputtering and hesitating just off idle and there's vibration under any moderate acceleration.

My only hope is to fix these problems and as much as I hate to do it, sell it to the next unaware buyer. Sorry.

25th Oct 2010, 17:50

01 Catera on the way out the door. Put almost 3 grand in it this year, and the check engine light is still on. Looking like a tune up is gonna be an arm and a leg, but I've got multiple misfire codes. Need to band-aid it for at least another year.

The car looks / runs great most of the time. But when it starts acting crazy, which it does 2/3 times a year, it's always an expensive fix. Love the car, hate the aggravation.

So... looking for the cheap way to do the tune up myself. Plugs and wires and a troubleshooting chart for the coil pack. Can I just ohm it out and tell if it's OK? HVAC mech by trade, mechanically inclined, I'm going to do this myself. Any advice or comments can be sent to CLangston126@aol. Thanks.

2nd Jan 2011, 21:17

I have a 99 Cadillac Catera sport. It's an awesome car, but it's completely German. Right now it starts when it wants to. We don't know if it's the starter or the ignition switch. When it is running it runs like crap. I can't go one drive without it repeating something, or coming up with a new problem. I have till 2012 to pay it off, but I want it to come sooner.

18th Jan 2011, 12:44

I was in the process of buying a Catera from a local dealership for around 3k, it only has listed 100k miles on the ad, but after reading these reviews I contacted the dealership and asked them if they have had any problems with the vehicle. In return he said we have not, but I can get you the Carfax on it... It had 25 reports mainly to do with shop activity for wiring and engine problems.

Thank you for the post. You people have saved me 3k alone in the car, plus whatever else I might have to throw in it for repairs... It sounded too go to be true, and when it does, it usually is... again thank you all!

14th Feb 2011, 15:31

Have a 2000 Catera, which I purchased in November 2009 with 175K Kms on it (now up to 202K).

Firstly, it is a very good car, feels solid and well built, with the best/comfortable leather seats I ever sat in. Been told by friends that have sat in it that it's the smoothest ride they can remember. In fact over the last few weeks, I've sat in a 2005 BMW 323 and a similar aged Lexus 250i, and their interiors compared to the Catera felt very cheap looking and didn't feel as well put together.

It goes like a rocket, and I have no trouble overtaking other vehicles on the highway, or getting out of awkward spots.

Now for the troubles... the major problems I encountered within a month of buying it, 1) when it rained, water would seep in on the passenger side, under the glove box. Showed it to 3 mechanics, none could figure out the problem. I eventually solved it, when I was replacing the passenger side air filter, under the air filter compartment is a "well' for the rainwater to run off from the windscreen, and this well had a hole at the bottom which was blocked by mud and other debris, once my wife cleaned this out (my hands were too big to fit/reach down) and it took a good half an hour to do, problem solved.

The 2nd problem was that if the car was not driven for more than 1 day, the battery would need a boost (a very short and quick one at that), a new battery did not fix the problem. In addition, while driving the radio would cut out as if someone had turned it off, and then about 30 seconds to a minute later, it would come back on as if nothing had happened. This may happen 3 times in 5 minutes, or just once every 2 weeks, totally random.

Then 2-3 months later, the trunk and fuel doors decided that they would only work when they felt like it. Had to keep the tank at half full, just in case the fuel door didn't open if I needed gas. Sometimes the fuel door would only open when the car was in drive, yet the manual clearly says that the fuel door WILL NOT open if in drive. Likewise, many a time had to put groceries on the back seat as the trunk refused to open.

I took it to a electrical specialist, who fixed these problems (all have worked fine since), BUT, fixing these problems resulted in the power locks (other than the driver's door) and the heating now not working. He couldn't figure out why, and nor could another famous brand repair shop, despite spending a day and a half on the problem.

The final issue was that it had a front alignment problem, which resulted in 2 perfectly good tires having to be replaced within 4 months. Although I still had to replace one of the front winter tires as it was almost gone. (The tire shop said that this was normal for Cadillacs and other luxury cars, he mentioned some technical name/term, which I had never heard of).

I have not bothered to fix the locking and heating problems, even though winters can get very cold in our region, I just rely on the heated seats, a thick jackets and wearing gloves.

I have decided that I will not spend another penny in repairs on it from this moment onwards, and hopefully it will last me, without incident, until the fall, at which point I will be buying a Lincoln MKZ hybrid as a replacement.

Overall, if it didn't have all these problems, then I would have happily kept it for a few more years. Pity, as it's a wonderful car to drive, sit in and listen to all the ohs and ahs from friends and relatives.