fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,736 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1997 Cadillac Catera engine problems

engine problem

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1997 Cadillac Catera Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 022003


  • 64,414 miles


While driving about 65 mph on the highway and without warning the vehicle shut down due to a belt which held the pulley into the engine, melting. The driver was able to pull over to the shoulder of the road. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for analysis. The mechanic discovered what the problem was and informed the consumer the part was on recall.

- White Plains, NY, USA

problem #5

Aug 022002


  • miles
I would like to know why every Cadillac dealer in the country knows this is a problem, but GM will not offer a recall on the belt/tensioner. This can literally cause upwards of $5000 damage to the engine. Please advise.

- Indpls, IN, USA

problem #4

Aug 232002


  • miles
Timing belt tensioner broke 800 miles from home while doing 75 mph on the interstate in Missouri. With traffic, there could easily been an accident. Seems to be a common and dangerous problem. Nlm

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #3

May 082002


  • miles


The 1997 Cadillac Catera has a manufacturer's defect but general motos refuses to assist me with getting out of this unsafe car. The tensioner on my car broke May 8, 2002. I thank god that I was not killed. My car stalled right on the highway. I had it towed to the dealership and was told that I had a $6900 engine problem. I was shocked. I learned that General Motors has known for almost 5 years about the tensioner defect but di dnot do a recall. When I called, I was giventhe runaround. I told the mechanic to stop until I could get assistance. He said he put on a new tensioner, timingbelt. And water pump. It didn't hold. I've had to take th car back over 4 times. The last time on July 1, 2002, the coolant systemhad a leak. General Motors just laughed at me and said the car is driveable. It is unsafe and I will not spendmy time in a garage. The campaign that they supposedly issued is nothing but a hoax to keep from getting folks out of these lemons. They would not be ignoring these defectif it were the escalade or the Deville buyers. I am scared to drive the vehicle and have it at a dealership. I've tried to trade it but due to the bad mechanical record, no one will buy them. Even the marketplace/auction syas they're only worth $600 when they should have a $13000 value since it was a $36,000 value car in 97. General Motors won't call me back. I am asking for a comparable vehicle to drive at the same payment with the same equipment immeidately. General Motors is the third largest corporation in the world but is treating some of its customers like dirt. They are trying to ignore the Catera owners. My vehicle was an $800 repair. Most persons kept trying to drive their car and ended up with a $8000 engine problem and gernal motors paid for that. I've asked for assistance to get into another car - much less than what the engine cost wouldhavebeenif I had kept driving the car. General Motors has nothelped me at all. I am tired of the runaround. Cater owners are at risk.

- Creedmoor, NC, USA

problem #2

May 062002


  • miles
On January 30, 2001 napoli motors had to replaced left & right outer tie rod ends, inner tie rod end, center link and both outer stabilzer end, on August 20, 2001 as I was driving on interstate I95 South the steering wheel locked on me while on the middle lane almost hit several vehicles been that I could not turned either way, vehicle had to be towed in by roger's in milford technicians there at napoli motors could not figure what was wrong with vehicle when I called the technicians told me that the timing chain caused the engine to blow. On September 10, 2001 vehicle was taken back for same problems, they had replaced the engine but the vehicle kept running ruff. On October 31, 2001 vehicle was back at napoli, November 15, 2001, on February 19, 2002 I was rear ended by another vehicle while at a red light where the other person damage the whole rear of vehicle neither air bag driver or passenger came out all lights in vehicle were on and key will not come out of the ignition, on March 22, 2002 vehicle was taken back to napoli for the key problem and remotes. On May 6, 2002 vehicle was towed to napoli when the technician diagnose what vehicle had this time was the serpentine belt that broke and caused the steering wheel to lock on me again. To be honest I won't even go far with the vehicle because of safety issues. Thank you in advance and hope to hear from this department soon.

- Bridgeport, CT, USA

problem #1

Jul 311999


  • miles
The timing belt broke while consumer was waiting at a stop light causing extensive damage T0 the engine. Nlm

- Bolivar, TN, USA

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