1998 Cadillac Catera Control Arm Bushings and stuff.

Tiny
REDSCORPIO7
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CADILLAC CATERA
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 170,000 MILES
I bought my 1998 Catera with 80,000 for $2500. I have since put 90,000 miles on it. I have not had many problems with it thus far. Until now.

In the last month or two I have put on new front brake pads and rotors, an outer tie rod, and an idler arm. All of this has run me about $1000 give or take.

I found out yesterday that my tires were wearing on the inside. I only found this out when the guy put my car up in the air and showed me. From the outside the tires have 80% tread. I was told that I need new bushings, new struts and mounting plates, or I could replace the entire control arm set to get the ball joints included.

I need this car to last about another 2-3 years if possible. Does it sound like fixing these things will correct my tire wear problem? Are Cateras of this year known for any other problems?
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Friday, June 12th, 2009 AT 2:03 PM

1 Reply

Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
I have yet to see a Catera need so much suspension parts, of course it has 170k on it too. Did the shop show you the worn parts, or why they needed replacement. The lower control arm bushings were known for a clunking when hitting bumps and road irregularities. There have been alignment changes. At one point GM was replacing tires under warranty and issued revised alignment specifications to correct/minimize inner shoulder wear. If you can be shown worn parts, then that is that, otherwise replace the tires, have it aligned, rotate your tires about every 7500, and keep the pressure correct. I will include a copy of the bulletin on the alignment topic:
#81-31-02: INFO - VEHICLE DRIFTS/LEADS TO THE RIGHT AND/OR FRONT TIRE - (May 11, 1998)

REVISION: 06/23/98 DIVS INVL 6 7

THIS BULLETIN WAS REVISED BECAUSE THE FIRST RELEASE WAS NEVER PUBLISHED. ______________________________________________________________________

SUBJECT: VEHICLES DRIFTS/LEADS TO THE RIGHT AND/OR FRONT TIRE INNER SHOULDER WEAR (ROTATE/REPLACE TIRES, RESET ALIGNMENT)

MODELS: 1997-1998 CADILLAC CATERA - BUILT PRIOR TO VIN 195189

CONDITION:

SOME OWMERS MAY COMMENT THAT THEIR VEHICLE EXHIBITS A DRIFT OR LEAD TO THE RIGHT CONDITION AND/OR A FRONT TIRE INNER SHOULDER WEAR CONDITION.

CAUSE:

THE DRIFT/LEAD RIGHT CONDITION MAY BE DUE TO THE FRONT END ALIGNMENT SETTING AND/OR THE TIRES. THE FRONT TIRE INNER SHOULDER WEAR CONDITION MAY BE DUE TO THE FRONT END ALIGNMENT SETTING.

CORRECTION:

THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE SHOULD BE USED TO ADDRESS ONE OR BOTH OF THESE CONDITIONS. THE FOLLOWING WHEEL ALIGNMENT SPECIFICATIONS ARE RELEASED FOR SERVICE ONLY; PRODUCTION ALIGNMENT SPECIFICATIONS MAY VARY. THE ALIGNMENT SHOULD BE MADE WITH THE VEHICLE AT CURB WEIGHT (FULL TANK OF GAS AND NO ADDITIONAL WEIGHT IN CAR). THESE REVISED ALIGNMENT SPECIFICATIONS, WHICH INCREASE POSITIVE TOE-IN (INTRODUCED INTO PRODUCTION AT VIN BREAKPOINT WR021457) AND DECREASE NEGATIVE CAMBER (INTRODUCED INTO PRODUCTION AT VIN BREAKPOINT WR195189), ARE INTENDED TO IMPROVE FRONT TIRE INNER SHOULDER WEAR.

A NEW TIRE (INTRODUCED INTO PRODUCTION AT VIN BREAKPOINT WR183651) IS AVAILABLE THROUGH GOODYEAR. THIS NEW TIRE HAS THE TREAD PATTERN REVERSED TO ELIMINATE A DRIFT/LEAD RIGHT CONDITION. USE ONLY THE ALIGNMENT SPECIFICATIONS IN CHART "A" WITH THESE NEW TIRES. DO NOT USE THE BIASED CAMBER SPECIFICATIONS FROM CHART "B" WITH THESE NEW TIRES.

I. INNER SHOULDER WEAR ON FRONT TIRES ONLY (NO DRIFT/LEAD RIGHT CONDITION)

SET THE ALIGNMENT TO THE REVISED SPECIFICATIONS SHOWN IN CHART "A". ADDITIONALLY, IF THE FRONT TIRES SHOW ONLY A MODEST AMOUNT OF WEAR AND ARE NOT CAUSING A NOISE OR HANDLING CONCERN, ROTATE THE TIRES TO EQUALIZE WEAR AMONG ALL FOUR TIRES. ALSO, ADVISE THE CUSTOMER TO ROTATE TIRES ON A REGULAR BASIS AS RECOMMENDED IN THE MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE TO MAXIMIZE TIRE LIFE. HOWEVER, IF THE FRONT TIRES ARE EXHIBITING A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF CUPPING OR INNER SHOULDER WEAR AND/OR ARE CAUSING A NOISE OR HANDLING CONCERN, REPLACE THE TWO FRONT TIRES AND SET THE ALIGNMENT TO THE REVISED SPECIFICATIONS SHOWN IN CHART "A".

II. INNER SHOULDER WEAR ON FRONT TIRES COMBINED WITH A DRIFT/LEAD CONDITION

IF ONLY MODEST WEAR IS EVIDENT, ROTATE THE TIRES AND SET THE ALIGNMENT TO THE SPECIFICATIONS SHOWN IN CHART "A", WITH THE FRONT CAMBER BIASED AS SHOWN IN CHART "B". IF THE FRONT TIRES ARE EXHIBITING A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF CUPPING OR INNER SHOULDER WEAR AND/OR ARE CAUSING A NOISE OR HANDLING CONCERN, AND THE CUSTOMER IS COMMENTING ON A DRIFT TO THE RIGHT, REPLACE ALL FOUR TIRES WITH THE NEW TIRES AND SET THE ALIGNMENT TO THE REVISED SPECIFICATIONS SHOWN IN CHART "A".

III. DRIFT/LEAD RIGHT ONLY (NO TIRE WEAR CONDITION)

IF THE CUSTOMER COMMENTS THAT THE VEHICLE DRIFTS TO THE RIGHT AND NO EXCESSIVE TIRE WEAR IS APPARENT, SET THE ALIGNMENT TO THE SPECIFICATIONS SHOWN IN CHART "A", WITH THE FRONT CAMBER BIASED AS SHOWN IN CHART "B".

CHART "A"

FRONT LEFT RIGHT ----

CASTER 5.0 DEG +/- 1.0 DEG 5.0 DEG +/- 1.0 DEG (NON-ADJUSTABLE, FOR REFERENCE ONLY)

CROSS CASTER 1.0 DEG MAX. (NON-ADJUSTABLE, FOR REFERENCE ONLY)

CAMBER -0.60 DEG +/- 0.75 DEG -0.60 DEG +/- 0.75 DEG

CROSS CAMBER 1.0 DEG MAX.

TOE 0.12 DEG +/- 0.08 DEG 0.12 DEG +/- 0.08 DEG

FRONT TOTAL TOE 0.25 DEG +/- 0.16 DEG

REAR

CAMBER -1.75 DEG +/- 0.67 DEG -1.75 DEG +/- 0.67 DEG (NON-ADJUSTABLE, FOR REFERENCE ONLY)

CROSS CAMBER 0.75 DEG MAX. (NON-ADJUSTABLE, FOR REFERENCE ONLY)

TOE 0.03 DEG +/- 0.08 DEG 0.03 DEG +/- 0.08 DEG

REAR TOTAL TOE 0.06 DEG +/- 0.16 DEG

CHART "B"

FRONT LEFT RIGHT ---- CAMBER -0.6 DEG -1.6 DEG CROSS CAMBER 1.0 DEG MAX.

OBTAINING NEW DESIGN TIRES

NEW TIRES FOR WARRANTY PURPOSES CAN BE OBTAINED THROUGH GOODYEAR TIRE COMPANY'S EXISTING DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM BY REQUESTING PRODUCT CODE 732-367-172-OW. THIS TIRE CAN BE IDENTIFIED BY THE DESIGNATION T4ERW WITHIN THE D.O.T. CODE ON THE SIDE OF THE TIRE. ORIGINAL TIRES HAD THE DESIGNATION T4ERD WITHIN THE D.O.T. CODE.

IF A PROBLEM IS ENCOUNTERED IN OBTAINING TIRES, CALL THE GOODYEAR TIRE ASSISTANCE NUMBER (1-888-637-3784) FOR ASSISTANCE. IN ALL INSTANCES, A GM TIRE REQUISITION AND RETURN DOCUMENT MUST BE COMPLETED AND GIVEN TO THE LOCAL GOODYEAR TIRE DEALER TO OBTAIN TIRES. THIS DOCUMENT IS ATTACHED. ADDITIONAL COPIES OF THIS FORM SHOULD BE MADE LOCALLY AT YOUR DEALERSHIP AS NEEDED. OLD TIRES SHOULD BE RETURNED TO GOODYEAR.

WARRANTY INFORMATION:

FOR VEHICLES REPAIRED UNDER WARRANTY, USE:

LABOR CODE DESCRIPTION LABOR TIME

E2020 SUSPENSION ALIGNMENT USE PUBLISHED LABOR OPERATION TIME

E0431 TIRE REPLACEMENT USE PUBLISHED LABOR OPERATION TIME

FIGURES: 00 ATTACHMENTS: 1

Figure 1

GENERAL MOTORS BULLETINS ARE INTENDED FOR USE BY PROFESSIONAL TECHNICIANS, NOT A "DO-IT-YOURSELFER". THEY ARE WRITTEN TO INFORM THOSE TECHNICIANS OF CONDITIONS THAT MAY OCCUR ON SOME VEHICLES, OR TO PROVIDE INFORMATION THAT COULD ASSIST IN THE PROPER SERVICE OF A VEHICLE. PROPERLY TRAINED TECHNICIANS HAVE THE EQUIPMENT, TOOLS, SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS AND KNOW-HOW TO DO A JOB PROPERLY AND SAFELY. IF A CONDITION IS DESCRIBED, DO NOT ASSUME THAT THE BULLETIN APPLIES TO YOUR VEHICLE, OR THAT YOUR VEHICLE WILL HAVE THAT CONDITION. SEE A GENERAL MOTORS DEALER SERVICING YOUR BRAND OF GENERAL MOTORS VEHICLE FOR INFORMATION ON WHETHER YOUR VEHICLE MAY BENEFIT FROM THE INFORMATION.

COPYRIGHT 1998 GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Friday, June 12th, 2009 AT 10:51 PM

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