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GMTruckGuy74

What exactly was wrong with the Cadillac Catera?

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I've always been curious as to what the problems were with the Cadillac Catera. I liked the car when it came out in 1997; heck, even a few people in my development own one. But it seems as if you mention the name "Catera" here and people get all angry. What exactly was wrong with this car? Did GM/Cadillac fix the problems in its last model year (2001)? Thanks for the insight!

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Didn't it have an assload of electrical problems, serpentine belt failures and cost an obscene amount to fix due to parts having to be shipped from overseas (it being an Opel)?

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I beleive it was mostly styling. It looked more like a Lumina than a Cadillac.

A European Lumina, to be exact. It just didn't have it. It didn't know if it was American or European. I didn't find it to be very inspiring. Others didn't either.

I do think Cadillacs have gotten a lot better, though. I think that they are a little chunky in the rear, particularly the CTS, and I don't like the way the lights wrap around. They finally got the front ends and sides right, but the rear ends need more work.

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Isn't it an Opel with a Saab engine, meaning getting parts for it is a clusterf@#k? Not to mention the fact that they're a nightmare to fix. Only redeeming quality I see in 'em is rear wheel drive. From what I understand, it's like some sort of miracle if you break 100,000 miles with one. Ask speedingpenguin about it; he's had one for quite a while as a backup car.

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I've still got that hunk-o-junk, Ross.... and chances are I'll probably have to drive it for a few days between the time when I sell the Cobra and the time at which I get the Malibu.

My Catera is a 97 with just about 120,000 or so on the clock (if I remember correctly). My word of advice is to stay away from the cars. My father bought the car back in 99 or 2000 and drove it from MA to NJ and back countless times. There were a few things that went wrong with it and cost THOUSANDS of dollars to be fixed, i forget exactly what. For me, what I dislike about the car is not only the styling, but the fact that parts are so f@#king expensive and hard to get. The valve cover gaskets on my car have been leaking since before I got the car (my dad sorta gave it to me 2 or 3 years ago before I could even drive, and told me if I could get the thing to run again, I could use it as my car), and I had to pay 60-70 bucks at the Cadillac dealership for them. Maybe its just my lack of caring about the car, or maybe I'm just lazy, but I've put like around 15,000-20,000 miles on the car myself and still havnt done the valve cover gaskets. Such a PITA to do.

Someone mentioned the serpentine belt.... Talk about a pain in the ass! I forget exactly how long it took (maybe thats a good thing), but I wanna say it was like 40 minutes or so cause you have to take so much crap out of the way and theres NO room for your arms to move around in there.

The suspension on my car is FUBR. I'd fix it all, but you cant get like the air shocks or anything from any regular parts store, and I can only imagine how much the dealership would charge for those.

I dunno....

They're fairly comfortable cars, but thats about all the "good" I can say for the Catera...

Check out www.cadillacforums.com , I used to post on there a lot. Theres a section about Cateras.

The 2001 might be a different case than the 97 and 98's but I still would look at other cars before a Catera...

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Let me clarify an earlier comment....a European Lumina without the Lumina's fairly decent reliability.

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i know a girl that has a 98 catera. Well she HAD a 98 catera. ended up just parking it. SOOO many things went wrong with that car. Something in the computer went out twice. The rear air shocks were f'ed up so jacked up the end of the car. belts went out a couple of times. Tons of other little electrical stuff. Then finally about 5-6 months ago the engine went and the dealer wanted a rediculous amount to fix that....so she just parked it and got something else.

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everything i have heard about the car is STFA from one. Unless you love nightmares.

that said, back in 99 it was a finalist along with the SHO and Intrigue for my sedan pruchase. Its a great car. I did my research at the time and there was enough to convince me to not get one. I ended up with the SHO. but the catera drove awesome.

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I had a 1997 Catera. It is still my favorite car that I've owned. It was also the worse car that I've ever owned. I loved the solid, pinned down ride and handling. On the highway the thing felt better the faster that you went. The interior was comfortable and it was well laid out. It also went through 3 $250 headlamp switches, 7 ignition modules, and uncountable number of interior trim pieces and cupholders. The traction control was overbearing and would bog the car down at the slightest hint of wheel spin (such as quickly pulling out of a driveway). Luckily, they came with a 4/50k warranty and I traded mine at 47k miles because I was averaging $400-600 in repairs (warranty covered) in the final months.

I was also in a wreck in mine on 4/20/2000 (no weed jokes please :)). I t-boned a Chevy Celebrity that ran the redlight. I sent the Chevy to heaven and the Catera to the Caddy dealer. I was unhurt and impressed by the battering ram the little Caddy was. The front end was smashed short of the front wheels and the engine/suspension were not damaged. Well, I got my car back $14,000 and 67 days later.

I still kind of miss the car though and I often wonder what a used one with a GM Performance crate V8 would be like. If the GTO had been available as a 4-door I would have gotten on as they are both based on the Opel Omega. Sorry if I am rambling...the Catera was a wonderfully terrible car.

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well, around here theres NO cateras in any of the junkyards... lol

The traction control comment is true. In most cases, if I had the traction control ON, I found myself having more and more close calls. Theres one intersection by the highschool I go to where you have to sometimes go through fairly quickly because cars FLY around this corner and you cant see until they're like 100 yards away from the intersection. SEVERAL times, mostly when it was raining out, I would start to go through the intersection, a car would be coming, and the car would bog down so much I'm surprised I'm still alive! With the TCS off, even in the rain and sleet and stuff, I never had any close calls.

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