I don't think you will get any help on this one. My advice is to
fix it and then dump it. These are one of the worst cars I've
ever seen as far as reliability/cost to repair. We all hate to
work on the piece's of shit in our shop.
It's very common for the oil cooler cover to leak, it's very
common for the valve cover gaskets to leak, the oil then
get's into the spark plug holes and wrecks the spark
plug wires. Head gaskets are not very common, I'd get
a second opinion on that one. The engine is so badly
laid out that it's impossible to actually see what is leaking
until you've removed the upper and lower intake plenums
and the intake spacer.
Items like the spark plug wires are close to 700 dollars
just for 6 plug wires. Labour to do "anything" to the
motor is high. It goes on and on.
Did the cylinder heads get warped? WHy so expensive? A head gasket change
on most engines is $700 or so. On my '94 TOyota truck, the head gasket
blew and the head got warped at about 200,000 miles. A new aftermarket
head and gasket set was $600, and I changed it myself. So total was like
$600 and like 8 hours work. Hell, I was pissed about dropping the $600
even! That's why I like inline engines -- much easier to work on.
This Caddy problem reminds me of when I was getting the oil changed n the
Oldsmobile at a Quickie Lube. Some black dudes pulled up in a 2001 or so
Cadillac Seville (Northstar engine). The bays were filled so they just
waited. Their engine was knocking loudly and thrashing noises could be
heard, ran erractically. Their engine was smoking terribly also. They
just sat there, letting it idle like that. The lube guy ran out and told
them to shut the engine off. They got The Caddy into the bay next to my
car, and it turns out there was no oil in the engine. The lube guy asked
if they ever had the oil changed. No they didn't. In one year of owning
it, they had never changed the oil. I almost broke out laughing when one
of the guys (who was actually serious) actually asked the lube guy: "well
can y'all fix it?" He told them no: "you need a new or rebuilt or used
engine. Your engine is toast." Their Caddy had those stupid huge 18 inch
rims. I felt like telling them that they could have bought 50 oil changes
for the price of those rims. :-)
With a toyota dealers 90+ bucks an hour rate thats over 700 bucks in
labor for an Inline if 8 hours is what the job pays. You wouldnt want to
touch the CTS for less and guarantee the work would you? Its a nasty
piece of engineering with less common parts.
The CTS-V is the only version of the CTS a person should ever buy. Pop
the hood, look at the engine, and you should know right away which cars
will have cheap or expensive labor times.
The 3.0 liter engine in the Catera is not "most engines".
It's quite simply the nastiest piece of engineering that
I've ever seen when it comes to motors.
I've only done one set of head gaskets myself, but it
was easier to drop the subframe, engine, and trans
out the bottom to replace the head gaskets then it
is to attempt the job from the top.
Oh, the engine is a European design. That should
tell you quite a bit. The only other engine that I
can think of that comes close to it was the 3.0
liter v-6 engine that Renault used.....and was used
in the Renault cars that were "Eagle" badged.
I havent seen many Cateras, but passed one on the way to the airport in
Houston the other day.
When I saw it, I wondered why anyone would buy that thing..
It is small, undistinguished, and not very pretty. I suspect it isnt cheap
As far as European engineering, I have no comment. Things here are a bit of
a deviation from
some things that Americans do. The cars here, for the most part, are very
expensive due to
taxation, but seem to hold up well, drive very nicely, and are economical.
As I have mentioned before, I drive my sons Peugeot 307 from time to time,
and it is a spectacularly
smooth and tractable little car. It takes bumps without a rattle, you get
some feel of the road but no
shimmy and jitter, and the economy is fantastic. (It has to be with gas at
$8 per US gallon)
I have asked the question many times, but have gotten no takers: 'What has
the auto industry done to enable
some of these cars to have such a superior ride?' You may know, Ian...I do
Very good reason to buy one. Let's say you have a lot of money, but don't
want to buy a three year old Toyota Camry. What to do? Buy a Catera.
I know of one Catera owner. About the third day he was wishing he'd bought
something else. Our Caddy dealer in town is also glad he never paid the
extra $$$ for the franchise. IIRC, it was $50k at the time.
Its the most inexpensive Cadillac you can get unless you get the CTS-V.
The CTS stands for Catera Touring Coupe. The Catera of course is another
rebadged Opel. Its not until you add the LS* V8 that it becomes worth
having (also has larger wheels which improves appearance). The base
Catera has really brought Cadillacs rep down...
Uh they made them bigger? Very generic almost trollish question... I
used to have a GM Sedan with air ride that would ride smooth and yet
carve corners like a sports car. Now go look up GM's new Magnetic Ride
There's really no surprise that there are some who would buy Cateras.
They're really clean looking and attractive. It's probably the best
looking Caddy there is, in my opinion. Plus, they're cheaper than the
other Caddys and can be had used for cheap. And of course, the salesmen at
the dealerships aren't going to TELL you that they are junk mechanically
and will force you to get a second mortgage at the first major repair. If
people would research these cars on the internet before going to buy,
they'd find out.
Different rides for different markets. Americans in the past liked that
smooth boulevard ride, especially in the big "old farts" style cars. We've
becoming a bit more sophisticated.
My 91 Regal was OK, My 97 LeSabre was a softie, but my 01 LeSabre handles
much better, closer to the more nimble Regal. I now have an 07 Hyundai that
corners great and hugs the road well at high speed. Last week I drove an 07
Grand Marquis and it was a struggle to keep between the lines at legal
speeds on a twisting road. Cruised fine on a straight road, but was
downright awful on the mountain curves.
You seem to see trolls everywhere. If you have no idea, then you have no
It isnt a trollish question at all. This is a small car. It handles bumps
and potholes better
than many large cars. It has no trace of the jitter which I feel in a number
of new cars.
And it is now 3-4 years old
The Buick we own is getting old now, and although it drives quite well, it
trace of road feedback jitter. It has new tires, new struts, balanced,
aligned, etc but does
not match the ride of some of these newer cars.
Fords have traditionally, to me, exhibited this behavior. I drove a Hyundai
and although it was nicely appointed, it also had the jitters
What I am noticing is a major improvement in drive stability and quietness
in some brands
and models. And it isnt just this car that has managed it. Some other
brands perform as well.
So my question remains...what engineering changes have resulted in this.
components or assembly? Improved geometry? ?? Better steering isolation??
The absolutely best riding car I have ever experienced was an Alfa Romeo we
Germany. Now, I wouldnt buy one for anything, but this new car had a
I'm not sure either. I do know that at one time we owned
an Audi 5000 (1997) and it rode better then any GM car
even when it had over 300K kilometers on it. But the
engineering I take issue with is reliability, ease of working
on the driveline...etc. The Audi was not fun to work on,
parts were very expensive, and while some part were
easy to get to (fuel pump thru hatch in trunk), other parts
were terrible to get too (heater motor, though this can
also be said of a number of GM models too).
You have to see the Catera motor to understand (or not,
as the case may be) why the engine appears to be slapped
together in the most haphazhard way you could imagine.
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