definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,986 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.

1998 Cadillac Catera engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Cadillac Catera Owner Comments

problem #7

Jun 232009

Catera 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Cadillac Catera. While driving 30 mph, the check engine light illuminated and the vehicle shut off. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the tension timing belt pulley failed. The entire system needed to be replaced at the estimated cost of $1,200. After the dealer replaced the parts, they found that the component was not the cause of the failure. The dealer will re-examine the vehicle in a three part order at the estimated cost of $6,000. A report was filed with the manufacturer and they stated that the VIN was included in the recall, but the recall was for specific manufacturing plants; therefore, they would not assist. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 20,000. Updated 08/04/09. The windshield wiper did not clean the window, the vehicle had 4 batteries, the oxygen sensor was replaced

- Seme Island, FL, USA

problem #6

Sep 062006

Catera 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,900 miles
While I was making a wide turn, the timing belt of my 1998 Catera broke and damaged the engine head of my car. The pulley was bent in the process. This is a manufacturer's defect associated with the Catera. Now the manufacturer has refused to fix my car. It will cost $5000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #5

Aug 292006

Catera 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 50 mph on the highway, the engine stalled and there was a loss of all vehicle power without warning. The contact managed to pull the vehicle over without incident. The engine would not restart. The vehicle was towed to a dealer who determined the timing belt separated into and damaged the engine. Due to the belt separation, the engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was alerted.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #4

Oct 022003

Catera 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


Bought this 98 Catera new. To be safe from blowouts tires need to be replaced about every 20,000 miles; basically, inside shoulder wear. GM maintains this is normal and will not take any responsibility. Now at 67,000 miles timing belt tensioner pulley failed resulting in several thousand dollars of engine damage ! very disappointed in this GM product and note the lauded 'Cadillac service'' is clearly false advertising. In good faith we are unable to sell this car. Is this government site of any real use ? clearly the tire wear safety problem and expensive idler/tensioner fan belt/timing belt problems deserve some consumer protection!

- Chestertown, MD, USA

problem #3

Oct 301999


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The drive belt shredded causing the timing belt to jam resulting in damage the valve head.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 291999


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving about 25 mph serpentine belt fell off, causing power steering to malfunction. This happened without any indication. The problem was reported to the dealership. Crankshaft/pulley was replaced under warranty.

- Birmingham, MI, USA

problem #1

Feb 011999

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine belt failed, caused major engine damage.

- Glendale, CA, USA

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