1997 Cadillac Catera from North America - Comments

15th Dec 2007, 01:27

I purchased my '97 Catera 6 months ago, and so far (I say so far after reading all these comments) my problems have been minimal. It currently has 86,000 miles on it.

I was aware when I bought the car that a strut in the front was going out... that I have not replaced yet.

I saw a comment above that mentioned the sunroof not operating correctly. I agree with that, it seems to have a mind of it's own and sometimes I feel like I have to 'trick' or manipulate it to get it to close properly... sometimes it also will work correctly if I turn the engine off then back on.

Lastly, one of the pockets on the back seat came UN-GLUED so it's not really a functional pocket anymore.

I feel the car gets decent gas mileage for its size and weight, and I agree that it is a very solid car.

There are no cup holders in mine, but I have owned German built cars before and that is not all that uncommon for them. I bought this little cup holder caddy at Fred Meyer and shoved it between the passenger seat and the middle console.

I enjoy having the car, it feels luxurious and has just the right amount of power for me. Dang them for not putting CD players in a stock BOSE system!!! Thanks all for sharing!

18th Jan 2008, 22:25

I have had my Catera for a year now since then.

- The Rear-End blew out.

-The Fog Lights no longer work.

-Somethings wrong with the battery cable causing it not to crank sometimes.

-The interior lights work when they want to.

-The Cad converter is busted.

If someone out there can help me please do.

27th May 2008, 10:01

Hello. I am a new 97 Catera owner. Everything was working fine until last week. After reading I think solenoid, but repair shops have went from torque converter to transmission replacement. Any idea which one? Hopefully someone can give me some feedback.

It jumps into safe mode if I go over 50 mph. And then it wants to start off in second gear. Shut it off and it is out of safe mode until I go over 50 again.

Sunroof is wacky as well, but at least it works.

And now I have no power in the air controls. Currently looking for a repair book. Any help from other owners would be great.

Want to buy the car? Email me ajrnot@hotmail.com entertaining offers.

9th Jun 2009, 17:20

I have had my 1997 Catera since it was new. The first few months I had water pump problems with it, but the dealer and GM fixed everything. Between that time and recently the car has been great, only needed regular maintenance items and has been a blast to drive. It has handled great, and the engine and transmission were very responsive.

Just reach 80k in mileage and decided to take it into a tire shop I've used to have oil change, transmission flush and fill, radiator flush and fill, air conditioning charged with freon and fuel injection cleaned. During that time I found out the power steering pump was leaking and the air conditioning compressor has a leak. I had another shop replace that the power steering pump, and I'm getting estimates on fixing the air. Not sure if the tire shop screwed something up, but when I left there the car was running rough which they blamed on fuel injection cleaning. When it didn't clear up after two days, they said the coil went bad. So with the fluids, steering, and I had that fixed, and now when the car idles below 500RPM, the oil pressure drops and warning light and alarm go off.

Now I'm looking into the problem the oil pressure issue, air conditioning and rear shocks, but think since I already put $1500 into it and should be able to get the rest fixed for another $1000, so I'll keep it a few more years. After all I can't buy anything nearly as good as it for less than 5-7k. I just hope I have no more surprises.

30th Jun 2009, 23:45

I own a Cadi Catera 97 and it has 54k miles. I bought it second hand and only put 1.5k miles on it. Now I have to replace the alternator because my battery is not charging. This is my fist big problem and I hope I do not have any more; I am scared!

5th Dec 2009, 08:06

I'm surprised so many people have problems with the Catera. My 1997 has 75k on it and the only problems it ever had was a failed oil cooler (known flaw), and a timing belt at the required interval. Other than that, I have had ZERO problems, and love the car. My aunt bought it new in 1997 and she never had to do anything to it but put gas in it, change the oil every 3000 miles, and got 2 sets of tires. I drive mine everyday, and love the car dearly.

Oh, and to the 10th Jan 2006 comment, there is no way you could have "snapped 2 timing belts" These engines are interference engines, meaning if the belt snaps, there WILL be piston to valve collision, causing severe engine damage, meaning the first time the belt snaps, the valves and pistons are destroyed, and if it snapped at a higher RPM, there is a high chance that your cylinder walls and heads would be destroyed as well. I know people had problems with the tensioners, but as mentioned, the first time it snaps, it hurts the engine. And just to make it clear. if you plan to buy another car, stay away from any car that has a SOHC or DOHC engine, stay away as most are interference engines, and will do the same thing if the timing belt is neglected.

I find a lot of these comments about the Cateras to be very far fetched. Yes I know some people have problems, but some of these comments are simply over the top and are obviously tall tales.

7th Apr 2010, 13:52

Hello. My friend bought a Catera and came to my house. In a word it was "sweet"; small, sporty and a Caddy, he got it for $500 off some dude. Had a few problems, but not too bad.

I told him I wanted it it was mine; it took 2 years, but I got my car. He added a scoop to the hood for looks and a nice body kit, it's a little offset, but I'll fix that.

I paid $400, and so far it's cost me more than I can afford, but I'm jobless so I can't put out nothing, but this is a car you won't just find anywhere, it's a caddy,and an import, and is sweet.

I love watching other Caddy drivers stare at it; waiting to see one them crash while staring in amazement.

Can't wait to get back on feet and put some money it in, Leo myspace URL truthlibertyandjustice

27th Jul 2010, 23:57

I bought my 98 Catera used and fell in love. This particular one has many extras. The interior looked brand new. The Bose CD sound system fantastic. The ragtop with sunroof was gorgeous. The car moved through traffic with ease. And drove very smooth. But... after 3 months I began to have oil leaks. I had the rear seal fixed. Then I had a coolant problem. It was fixed. Now my transmission seems to be slipping. It thumps when coming out of 1st or 2nd gear. Does anyone know what this is and the best, (cheapest) way to fix it? Also I have less "cool air" than earlier. Maybe a leak? Do you know? I love driving this car and hope I can afford $$$$ to keep it.

5th May 2011, 22:48

These cars are the BIGGEST pieces of poop in the world. I bought one new, owned it from 1997 to 2001, and absolutely hated the car. I put so much money into the car, it was pathetic. I drive a 2002 Bonneville right now, and I have only had 2 problems with the car since 2002, the upper intake and lower intake gaskets. That's it. Nothing else whatsoever, aside from normal parts like tune up parts and 1 water pump.

Heck, I had better luck with my "exploding carb" Vega I had in the 70s. At least it didn't have "scheduled breakdowns" every 10,000 miles like the Catera seemed to have.

8th Jul 2012, 12:47

I have owned my '97 Cadillac Catera for 3 months, and now the transmission seems to be going. It doesn't shift until 4k RPM. It is also smoking, and I have checked for leaks and can't find one. It smells like oil burning, but I check my oil all the time and it is fine! I don't know what to do.

25th Oct 2012, 20:48

I bought a 97 Catera about eight years ago, and have had nothing but problems and an empty wallet ever since. Granted, the car is amazing when it's working, however it is not reliable at all. I have had every problem that you read about with these pieces of crap. It's all true, the bad and the good things you read. I would buy something else if you are smart. Unless you have tons of money for repairs.

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