30th Dec 2005, 11:23

I'm glad to hear that there is someone out there driving a '97 Catera that hasn't had major problems. I have taken very good care of my Catera, and lavished more attention on its maintenance and upkeep than any other cars I've owned. I love the car, but it hasn't loved me back. My Catera has given me more trouble than my previous three cars combined. I can flatly say that none of the many (and expensive) problems I've experienced with this car are due to owner neglect or inattention. I feel the original poster's comments are quite arrogant; he attributes his rare luck to superior maintenance skills on his part, and/or inferior skills on everyone else's part. He is wrong.

10th Jan 2006, 12:38

I have a 1997 Catera that I am replacing the engine in today. It has broken 2 timing belts, one water pump, the brakes have been replaced 3 times, the hubs once, the brake light switch, the sun roof opens at random and will not close with the switch, the car won't stay in park, the headliner is coming loose the rear doors will not open from the outside, the battery and head lights are not easily accesible by the owner and on and on.

The car has 90,000 miles the oil is changed every 3,000 miles at the dealer.

The dealer in Atlanta won't even work on the car.

DO NOT BUY THIS CAR. There are too many design flaws.

26th Apr 2006, 10:26

We bought a used Catera, We have had to put a considerable amount of money into repairs, but my son loves the car, can you blame him it looks pretty cool, I am filled with a warm fuzzy feeling knowing he is driving a safe (solidly built) car, plus on the rare occasion when I get to borrow it, I feel like a teenager again, it is very fun to drive, plus it has an awsome Bose sound system. You feel like a race car driver, then glance at the speedometer and you aren't going above the speed limit, it just feels like it! I think I will start a search for a 2001 Catera for myself. P.S. I drive a Lexus LX450, I also love this vehicle, but the caddy puts a smile on my face as I zip down the road.

26th Apr 2006, 20:21

Well, as long as you are going in with eyes wide open best of luck. Ever since the first cars came on the road 100+ years ago there have been great driving cars with horrible reliability.

30th Jun 2006, 10:47

I have a preowned 1997 Cadillac Catera, and I have been pretty lucky with the car so far, it has 100,000 miles on it and the motor is in tip top shape, I had some transmission problems when I first got it and all I had to do is change a solenoid, however we did rebuild it just to be safe. The inside is a little beat up from the sun considering that I live in Florida, that also goes for the paint job. All in all this car is pretty amazing, it' s fast, solid and very maneuverable. One piece of advice, never put 87 octane gasoline in a Catera, recommended is 91-93 octane, the motor stalls and quits on 87 octane and drastically decreases gas-mileage. I am very happy with this car, but I am also considering of buying a 99-01 Catera later on. One more thing my car was manufactured in Germany and anything manufactured in Germany should last for about 15 years. :)

18th Jul 2006, 21:53

I currently purchased a 1997 Cadillac Catera and I am currently having transmission problems. I would like to ask the person that placed the comment on June 30th 2006, which solenoid he/she replaced and what type of problems he/she was experiencing with their transmission?

My transmission works fine for the first 5 minutes, then it begins to act up. The gears do not engage, you give it gas, and it is as if you are in neutral.

Now if I turn off the car and turn it back, on the transmission begins to work well for the next 5 minutes. Please Help!!

I had it diagnosed a few times, but not transmission codes. Please advise. Thanks.

10th Aug 2006, 16:03

My son owns a 1997 catera. He loves the car, but it has been sitting in our drive way for quite some time. He told me it was running on two cylinders when he came home from work (probably should have had it towed). Any one out there ever have fluid in with the spark plugs? Nice car if you can afford it.

12th Sep 2006, 14:25


I wrote in before about my sons Cadillac Catera. Love the car. My son unfortunately totaled the car recently, which is very sad, but the great thing is, that because this is such a solid car he came out without any injuries, I believe in any other mid-size car it would have been a very different story. Thank-you Cadillac for making a very safe vehicle.

We will be looking for another Catera to replace the one we lost.

3rd Apr 2007, 22:14

My dad and I are working on my aunts Cadillac Catera because its timing belt broke and in turn it messed up the tensioner and the pulley system. We need a Haynes o Chilton repair manual and cannot find one locally and I was wondering if anyone happened to know where I could get on via mail. If anyone knows I would love to know where they got it from. and I have to say this is not my car and thank god it's not, nothing but a pain and it is really expensive to have worked on if you can't do it yourself or know someone who can. bottom line, don't buy it.

23rd Jul 2007, 19:09

I have a 97 catera. I only had one major problem which was the engine. at 90000 it just went bad. Got another one brand new for pretty cheap off ebay. Other than that is is a sweet car. I have done a lot of different mods too it. I don't know what the guy above was talking about how the battery and headlights are hard to get too. Pretty sure the battery is right in the front very easy to play with. And you only take out 6 simple screws off the grille to take the headlights out. Verrrrry simple. Every car has problems.

6th Nov 2007, 21:10

I purchased a 97 Catera for my daughter about 1 month ago. The price was very reasonable, and for the age of the car it was in pretty decent shape. Then we had to replace the rotors, and of course new brakes, then some struts or something, then all of a sudden it started leaking oil. Jeez!! turns out it was a seal on the oil sending unit. Next problem was the transmission messing up in 1st gear. Just bought a used trasmission now. But the sad part is that I've got more in repairs and parts than the car cost originally!! That is upsetting to say the least. Granted the previous owner was simply less than honest when he sold us the car, but my goodness! This is just getting ridiculous at this point. I can't help but think omg what's next?

No doubt it's a well made car in terms of "solid" as some people have written in, but at this point I would trade solid for just running more than a week without something major and costly happening to it. I don't know, but maybe we got one of the lemons.