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Cadillac CTS Engine Problems

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  • I have experienced almost all problems discussed in this forum and sympathize with all those who are suffering. I had an '05 CTS 3.6 with 67K miles which I just traded in this past weekend and salvaged $9000 before the inevitable engine failure. Here are some of the problems I had:

    Occasional rough idling since day one.
    Coolant leak/broken water pump in second year.
    Differential leak twice.
    Went through 3 batteries in 6 years.
    Creaky suspension when going over bumps.
    Whining noise when going at low speed - 20~30mph.
    Severe shaking and smoke out the pipe when starting in the morning from time to time.
    Occasional shaking when stopped at a light.
    OIL CONSUMPTION (1 quart every 500~600 miles) the last few months.
    Worst dipstick ever. It's colored black, so you can't really see the dark oil on it.

    I've had a positive experience with an '02 Chevy Astro, so I won't say I'll never buy another GM car, but I'll be more hesitant in the future. For sure however, I won't purchase another American luxury car because of the horrible resale value; the loss is just too much. For comparison, my friend just traded in his '06 Civic LX with similar mileage for $12K.

    I maintain my cars very well and usually make necessary small repairs here and there and drive them for long time, but I didn't want to take a chance with the engine on this CTS. Good luck to all awaiting resolution.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,288
    Worst dipstick ever. It's colored black, so you can't really see the dark oil on it.

    The fact that you know what the dipstick looks like, unlike so many who post here, is why your engine never went completely south. You've also confirmed what I've believed -- high oil consumption that, if ignored, leads to total engine failure.

    Wonder why some of these engines work so well and others don't? It's not as if every one of these engines is a dog. Either they (GM) know and don't want to say, because the cost of fixing all of them is prohibitive or, worse yet, they don't have a clue.

    Either way, you dodged the bullet. Better luck in the future!
  • Update on my nightmare: After finally speaking to a supervisor, accomplished nothing.

    I am not willing to pay out of pocket to have my car towed & diagnosed by Cadillac knowing they will never admit fault. I'm sure that is a can of works they'd rather not open, as it will cost them hundreds of thousands to admit to a faulty engine for an entire fleet of cars having the same issue.

    At this point my only recourse if to purchase a new/used engine and (a) drive it for a few years to get my money out of it or (b) sell it as quickly as possible and never look back.

    I can't speak for all GM's but I can assure you this was my first and last Cadillac purchase.

    Good luck to those in the same position. I at least feel better about the situation knowing I am not alone in this.
  • zebandcozebandco Posts: 22
    My 06 STS V6 just let go at 80K miles. No compression. Metal shavings in the valve actuators. I had the same mysterious oil consumption issues but never had low oil pressure indications. I was told the car has a low oil pressure safety switch which kills the motor on low oil pressure. Does anyone know if this is true? Dealer wants $10K for new motor (a 5 star Cady dealer). That ain't happening. Calling Detroit today. If I had bought 07 it would be under the new 100K mile drive train warranty. Good luck to us all.
  • Sorry to hear that...sounds like we are all in the same boat. My 05 CTS still sits in my driveway now collecting dust. I've spoken to a few shops and they all had a hard time locating a used engine. The best they could find was this:
    http://www.salvageautosauction.com/vehicle_detail/Salvage-2005-Cadillac-C/T+CTS+- HI-for-Sale/lot-24746790/Graham-Washington

    The dealer wants $7 for a short block alone. I don't have 10k do drop on this P.O.S but if I sell it as is I'll get nothing. Cadillac offered no help unless it was 07 or newer. We're all screwed basically. Spend 7-10k to repair it and hope I can get a couple years out of it....or sell it as is for a couple grand while I STILL owe 3k on it. Either way I am loosing allot of money on this purchase that I made only a year ago.

    FML
  • Sorry to hear about the problems - - - my engine went last August, and I have a 2006. No lights, no warning, and we were on vacation. I left my car in Nebraska until I could get answers from GM. Eventually, they came through with a new engine but it took 2-1/2 months without my car. I had 56K miles and my car had just gone out of warranty. I had all my service done at our local Cadillac dealer, which probably saved me. GM did a huge amount of checking before they agreed to a new engine. I still think it was the timing chain that went and caused the rest of the damage. At this point, I don't know whether to keep the car or not. When I read of your problems, I am thinking it might be best to sell it. I have a new warranty on the engine, so I thought that I was kind of safe.
  • zebandcozebandco Posts: 22
    If you got a new motor you are probably okay until you sell it, I guess. It's about time to trade it anyway, yes? Mine went in to the dealer at 60K running rough. They said it was and three quarts low on oil. The car was between 5000 mile oil changes. I should have traded it on the spot then. I just put my wife in a 2011 Malibu LT today. She loves it. GM is really trying to move the Malibu and Impala. right now. Good rebates. Dealer cash. Impala goes away for 2012 and debuts with a new design in 2013. Of course, the world ends Dec 2012 according to the Mayan's, so what's the point. ;)
  • I agree! I took my Caddy Cts 2005 3.6 car to the dealer with what I described as a weird Vortex kind of sound comming from the motor. I was stumped having been told by my dealership to go by the oil-life monitor and not the dip-stick. DUH ! I was told I was 5 quarts down but my oil-life monitor was still reading 28% I was totally taken off gaurd-5 quarts low did I hurt something? Earlier last year after having the car and putting my first3000 miles I set up my first oil change. When I arrived they checked the oil life monitor and sent me home saying it's not time(at that time the oil-life monitor read 51%)come back when the monitor reads under 10%! Something has to be done and too many people have a very plain and simple problem! I'm really thinking that if something goes terribly wrong with my car because of this problem I will seriously find a great lawyer and go full-boar after the appropriate party! :mad: :mad: :mad:
  • zebandcozebandco Posts: 22
    Sell it. Trade it. Get out of it. The next thing that happens could be total motor failure (like mine). My dealer treated me pretty fairly all things considered, but you could be on the hook for all of the diagnostics ($2K plus) and then and easy $5K plus for a rebuilt or junkyard motor (they told me $10K for a new GM motor). It's not worth it. I was over two months without a vehicle trying to figure out what was going on. I should have traded mine the first time the oil mysteriously disappeared. Newer Cady's (07 and above) have 100K drive train. Run, mama! Run fast! Good luck.
  • carlamorenocarlamoreno Posts: 15
    maddcaddymama is right! Sell it as fast as you can and don't look back! My engine completely siezed (2005 w 80k miles) and I had NO luck finding a used engine with a warranty that exceeded 6mos. The dealer also told me $10k for a new engine. They were of no assistance to me whatsoever! Luckily I fount a buyer for that nightmare, who gave me $6k for it. Not near what it's worth but considering it needed an engine I took what I could get for it. I was not willing to invest another 5-10k in a completely unreliabe vehicle that might drop dead on me a year from now. That was the first and last Cadillac I will ever buy. I am now in the Market for a Honda, Acura or possibly and AUDI! Good Luck
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,130
    maddcaddymama,
    I apologize for your frustrations. Can you please email me with more information about your situation and concerns? Please include you VIN, current mileage, involved dealer, and complete contact information including a good number to reach you. I would like to look into your situation further.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • Christina at GM Customer Service thanks for replying and yes I am frustrated. Not quite sure how to e-mail you my information. Please help because I would like to sent you the appropriate information concerning my very frustrating ordeal! Is you'r e-mail address gmcustsvc or socialmedia@gm.com -all kind of new to this computer operations!!!
  • Christina sent my official complaint to the official Cadillac complaint service thanks
  • zebandcozebandco Posts: 22
    Good luck, caddymama. When I called Cadillac customer service they just verified that my car was being worked on at the dealership. They weren't interested in doing anything else. I still say "Run!" the first chance you get.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,130
    maddcaddymama,

    Thank you for the update. Please keep us posted on any information.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • Hey lsk1, I am having the exact same problems. I just bought an 07 CTS and I have 18k on it. Did you ever figure out a solution??
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,130
    zgoodheart,
    I apologize for your frustrations. Can you please email me your VIN, current mileage, and involved dealer? I would like to look into this further for you.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • Well, they had the car for 5 months before the finally decided to put in a new engine. They never really told me what the problem was
  • nwraaanwraaa Posts: 161
    My 2008 CTS is overheating. The car was at the Cadillac dealer for diagnosis for two days and they said that they cannot find the problem. They pressure tested the cooling system, checked operation of the electric fan, and put dye in it to check for leaks. When it starts to overheat, it misfires and the computer message comes on which says that the engine is overheating. Question for the forum: What is the problem and how do you fix it?
  • Just wanted to pass on great news for me........I am out of my caddy the ticking timebomb! Took a small loss,2grand, but now drive an awesome 2011 Nissan Maxima! My dealer-Marc Motors of Sanford Maine signed me up for a 3year lease,1 year free maintenace,free car washes, and full three year warranty! Blue tooth is nice and is very compatable with my cell phone.I also save the 20bucks I had to pay for On-Star!The car is so,so nice! :) :) :)
  • zebandcozebandco Posts: 22
    Good for you! Sounds like you came out better than me. I know leases are better suited for some than for others. Do your research so you don't get any nasty surprises at the end of the lease. Good luck and congratulations, caddymama. ;)
  • Please post any worries about the lease......think I am good but all the imput is appreciated! Thanks! Feel better without the Caddy......... :)
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,130
    nwraaa,
    I apologize for your frustrations. I would recommend asking your dealer to involved technical assistance. If you would like I can also set up a case for you with GM Customer Assistance. Please let me know if you would like me to do so.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • cadyeldomancadyeldoman Posts: 5
    edited June 2011
    My 05 CTS with a 3.6L recently had a check engine light. I took it to an autoparts store and they told me I was miss-firing on #4. I put new plugs in it (Champions) and it worked fine for the next 10,000 miles (It had 100,000 at the time). Now the light is back and I discovered I was 4 quarts low on oil. I hear a noise sounds like it's coming from the top end of the engine. #4 missing is the computer fault. I have changed the plug twice- second time using origional Delco plug reccomended by my dealer, then I changed the fuel injector (recomended by auto parts store) and I have swapped out the #4 spark igniter with the #6--- stil rough idle with a light and miss-fire #4. The dealer wants to hold the car to diagnose it but, since I am making the last payment this month, and it is out of warranty by 2 years and 60,000 miles, I am not ready to pay $1000 to have someone tell me I will have to pay more to fix it. I cannot find a trace of the oil leak so I will have to assume it's being burnt by the cataletic converter somehow- that mobile one must not smoke much. Best case scenario is a bad valve guide seal on #4, worst I suspect a crack in the head at #4 or bad piston rings. I see several folks have had this problem but has anyone been told what specific item has failed? Thanks!
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    If you were low four quarts of oil, how many miles did you have since you had last changed it? That is a lot of oil consumption. My guess is that you have damaged your engine running that low on oil. Of course, that has nothing to do with the plug misfiring. If I were you, I would be running to trade it after your last payment.
  • avguy2avguy2 Posts: 7
    That's how it started for me. The timing chain jumped on mine. If the valves are out of time the oil blows by them and into the converters. I would get out now!!! If the chain jumps all the way off count on putting a new engine in.
  • cadyeldomancadyeldoman Posts: 5
    edited June 2011
    I had 50% oil life left, normally it does not burn more than a quart between oil changes. I'm looking at the design of the valve stem seals in my service manual- I can see where one might pull apart and cause all of this oil loss- resulting in a misfire as well. I can't find the statistics on how many CTS's were sold as compaired to how many engines failed but I am guessing around 300,000 per year were sold (my eldorado sold at 80,000/year but they are a rare car to see compaired to the CTS). Even if a thousand were having this problem I feel I would be fine if I just fixed what I had. I have the cam cover off now and plan to remove the camshafts today (it's hot outside- I'm in no hurry to kill myself in the heat) I have a trick to remove the valve springs by running a cotton rope down the spark plug hole then turning the engine until the piston presses firmly against the valves to hold them in place. My biggest problem is that my dealer closed up and I have to drive 30 minutes to talk to another. My old dealer used to loan me special tools if I needed them (They make one for everthing nowdays). I figure my 88 eldo has 340,000 miles and runs great, while my 92 eldo has 200,000 and runs like new as well. I don't trade cars in anymore, I just keep them. Sounds crazy but blue book is based on the idea that a used car is going to be the one in a thousand that does not run right- thats why the first owner sold it or traded it in. Most used car dealers can hide these problems with rags placed under the valve covers (stifens noise and slows the oil leaks temporarily). Anyhow, the lower end of the engine does not seem to have a spun bearing yet- I know what that sounds like from racing chevy's in my younger days. If I can find one in a junk yard I may just get a new cylander head- but they are very hard to find there-- a good sign for overall reliabilty anyhow. Thanks!
  • cadyeldomancadyeldoman Posts: 5
    edited June 2011
    Thanks for the info. I seem to have a tight chain and the misfire only effects #4 so I am thinking it could still be minor- that is, my labor and 4 valve stem seals (maybe as much as $70 for a bag of 24 of them)- and/or some lifters . If I need to I will put another engine in it- but not new- salvaged. They are very hard to find- I may have to go to the town hit by the tornado and bring one home upside down on my boat trailer. Thanks again!
  • Just happened to stumble onto this site. I have a 2004 CTS that I love! However, I am sad to say, my CTS, goes thru oil like I own OPEC. I drive 82 miles a day, 5 days a week. It just gets worse. Have to monitor the dip stick constantly. This is the only way to keep up with it. It was and still is my dream car. I hate to even consider giving the car up. But it seems that it is the path that I will have to take sooner than later. I had hopes of keeping this car a long time. Like many Cadillac owners have done in the past. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,288
    Have to monitor the dip stick constantly.

    The fact that you take the time & effort to do this is the one and only reason your engine hasn't grenaded . . . yet. Anyway, well done.

    No sign of a root cause for the sudden increase in oil consumption, which is the real question. This board is a testament to the fact that most people who drive these cars expect there to be a dashboard light to tell them when they're low on oil.

    No such luck.
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