1997 Cadillac Catera Speedometer, Fuel meter and Cruise co

Tiny
AEN-RIV
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CADILLAC CATERA
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 80,000 MILES
Hello,

My name's Elena. I'm a relatively new owner of 1997 Cadillac Catera; I bought this car from an old gentleman who didn't use it much, so some problems because of little usage were expected.

To make a long story short, I recently started this car after driving it for a while, and noticed that a speedometer wasn't displaying the speed correctly. It never raised above 20 mph and the arrow was jumping up and down from 0 to 20. The strangest part of it was that the check engine light DID NOT go on.

After I noticed that problem while driving the car, I tried to check if the cruise control would work. I obviously was going somewhere above 30 mph (and the minimal requirement for cruise control is 25 mph), and it was on for a while, but occasionally went off. It also would speed up on its own while in cruise mode, occasionally.

When I stopped the car and turned it again to see if the problem would stay, the fuel meter arrow fell straight to "Empty" and the fuel light went on. I am positive that I had at least an eighth of a tank full.

I'm still searching for the clues on what could have possible went wrong there, but I would be really appreciative of any help you could give me.

Thank you very much!
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 AT 3:50 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Cars that sit for extended periods of time without fuel stabilizer in gas will develop varnish on fuel components as gas deteriorates.

The speedometer is most likely a VSS (Vehicle speed sensor or connection to it.

I would start by adding a fuel stabilizer called "SeaFoam", it should help cleaning the fuel system.

The cruise will not work properly if speedometer (VSS) is not working, I would have it checked/replaced.

Best way is to have dealer or trusted garage scan PCM and see what the VSS output is.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 AT 7:55 AM
Tiny
AEN-RIV
  • MEMBER
Thank you for the reply. The advice regarding fuel makes a perfect sense now. The speedometer seems to be failing every other time I start the car. We'll check the connections and see if it helps. Definitely looks like what you just said.

Thank you again, I'll let you know if that's what the real issue was.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 AT 3:45 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Thanks for the donation and I hope you get everything working.

Gasoline will break down into base hydrocarbons in as little as 30 days of sitting in tank.
Use "Stabil" to keep it fresh for up to a year, or as mentioned "Seafoam" to remove varnish, which will clog fuel injectors, fuel filter and other fuel system components.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, August 27th, 2009 AT 7:49 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides