The crankshaft position sensor may fail causing the engine to stall while driving and/or will crank but not start, especially when the engine is warm. The car may start again if it is left to cool off, but it may run roughly or have poor performance.
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Repairpal verified 1997 Cadillac Catera problems
The thermostat may become stuck in the open position causing the engine to warm up too slowly, setting a P0128 trouble code and causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate.
Illumination of the Check Engine Light can be caused by a loose or worn gas cap.
The hot water control valve may develop a coolant leak resulting in engine overheating. A leaking valve should be replaced.
Engine vacuum leaks may develop from the various vacuum hoses causing the engine to idle incorrectly or the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Damaged vacuum lines should be replaced as necessary. Our technicians tell us that rubber vacuum hoses can be used to replace damaged plastic lines if necessary, as long as any connections are vacuum tight.
Various drivability issues and be addressed by updating the software in the engine control module (ECM).
On the automatic transmission models, the shift lever may not shift completely into "Park". This can result in the key being stuck in the ignition lock cylinder. Care should be taken to insure the shift lever fully engages the "Park" position. Replacing the shifter may be necessary to correct this concern.