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Cadillac CTS/CTS-V Transmission Problems



  • ok so im 19 and i got this 2003 cts cash 9000...i had it for about 4 mounths i love it im in love with this car ...but 1 day i took it out to the store and came back home wen it came time to park it i shift into R and it will not move... i was in shock that it will not move from R it will not ,ove at all as if it was in i mest around with the gears i put in in D1 good...D2 good...D3 good...D good...N not so good...wen i shift to N is drives a little but then wen i pik up it go to normal N...then like i said i have no R at all as if R was just for P ... havnt had the money to take it in cuz before all this i had to get tires and new batery is this the transmition going bad or the computer? :sick:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,331
    It sounds like an internal malfunction. The no reverse could be a damaged reverse clutch assembly or maybe a valve body malfunction (which would be the lesser problem for you). "Creeping" in neutral could by some check ball being stuck or again, damage to clutch packs.

    You might have the car's computer scanned for trouble codes and see if any clues are there.

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  • so around how much is that to fix...i know to get a knew tranny and all is about 3000 with a 3 year 100,000... its a 03 v6 auto...70,000 miles...i think its a know im sad this is my 1st car got it with my money 9,000 cash i wax it and all every week and its just sad looking at it parkd
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,331
    Well maybe a good shop can fix it without a rebuild. Maybe it's just a valve body issue and it could be removed and cleaned. I'm just making an educated guess you know. i could be wrong.

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  • yeah i took it to sum shops around here and they all say they wont work on it cuz they dnt have the tools to work on or look at the french the only place i know is GM dealer around town but i know they gunna pick my pockets clean
  • dkm72dkm72 Posts: 3
    It is just a 5L40E, I can not believe that you can not find a trans shop to work on it. That trans does not take any speciality tools that a normal trans shop should not have.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,331
    I agree --- LAME excuse for a transmission shop.

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  • wll i took it in the other day...told me they checkd it all out and looks like i need it re built or a all new tranny...but my new question is cuz i dnt got the money right now for a re built or a new 1 imma buy a used 1 for my cts is a 2003 and seems like almost all 2003 years are 3.2L ...but mine is a 3.6L from wat year to wat year can i buy the tranny for my car....03 to 07?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,331
    If you buy a used transmission from a reputable wrecking yard, they have an Exchange Database that they purchase to tell them what years will interchange. Be sure to get a warranty of some kind. YOu know you're dealing with a good salvage yard when the unit they show you is very clean, and all bagged up on the shelf.

    If they pull some dirty hunk of metal out of some wreck, don't even bother.

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  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    i have 2 2004 cts 3.6 w/auto trans. that when they sit for a week you put them in reverse and then back in drive they sometime slip or don't go in foward motion right away but after they start moving they seem to work properly, shift fine & don't give a minutes trouble, both cars have just over 90000 miles has anyone found what the problem is THANKS
  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    My cts while driving down the road the stability system engaged comes on and i can feel the brake on a wheel tapping while going down the road,what i would like to do is to turn the system off permanently, or is just one of the wheel sensors acting up causing the system to come on
  • I'm getting ready to do battle with the dealership on my 2006 CTS w/6 speed trans. I purchased beginning of Oct 2009 with 49K; first week in Nov with 51K the engine light came on and started chugging. Got to the parking garage ok and called the dealership on the way home; went there and when they looked at it I was told there was no oil in the engine. OK-first problem was that they told me this was a GM Certified vehicle and once in the service dept uh no it's not. Second problem is that it's now out of factory warranty which wasn't purchased because I was told it was under the Certified warranty. Supposedly they looked at the underside of the vehicle to check for leaks from the oil pan, lines etc, found nothing and then charged me $65 for an oil change. Nice. Here it is end of January with 54K and when I was out yesterday it starting making a whining noise when shifting in lower gears and I recalled that I heard that the day before the light came on in Nov. As soon as I got home I checked and NO OIL registering on the dip stick. I've checked for service bulletins, recalls on CTS w/manual trans but haven't found anything that seems relevant. Vent: what is wrong with dealerships at this time in the auto industry-it would seem to me that they would want to lead the pack with customer confidence. This is a dealership that is in a group who I thought I could trust but it seems like the staff is loaded with con artists - when I brought up GM Certified you would have thought these guys (salesman, finance and manager) were scanning the skies for an air raid and would/could not look me in the eye. The manager asked who told me that and I said all of you, he replied that he didn't believe that as this was a Chevy dealership and they didn't certify Cadillacs so I would never have been told that. Nice - shame on them. Thanks for letting me vent.
    Question: Is this something that anyone has heard of? I have never cared for the how the clutch engages in gears 1, 2 or 3 - not smooth and jerky. Is there a relationship between the clutch and oil? (just throwing that out there)
    Sorry for being longwinded - this is a potential crisis for me and I could use all the info ammo I can get going into battle. Thanks in advance for help -
  • Hi,

    How did it turn out with your Caddy? I also have a 2006 CTS and about 60MPH the car started to surge, tacking a 2, dropping to 1, up to 2, then it started bog down and overheated, no engine light came on. I limped off the freeway, had it towed to the dealer. My transmission cooler cracked, sent the tranny fluid into my radiator, back washed into my tranny. I had to replace my radiator, tranny cooler and transmission. GMC posted a bulletin that you can no longer replace/rebuild this tranny, you must purchase new. The total damage was $6700! Did you have any luck the GMC? The car has been nothing but trouble for me..... in and out of dealer for misc. repairs. The last time was my air bags failed and needed replacement. Although it was a safety hazard and a malfunction of the bags, the dealer still charged me $520 to replace them!
  • all i did was buy a transmission on ebay for $400 +200 shipping with 30000 miles on it used...hard to find just gotta look...i called the cadillac/ chevy place around here they said the will switch them out for about 900 but idk if that was with the fluids or i shopped around it was har cuz not much places here want to work on a cts but i found 1 and they changed tran. and fluids for about $550 if i was u try to do the same as i did find a used 1 on ebay they come with 1 year money bakes or 6 munths matters who u bye from then find a place around town ...thats wat i did and im happy =]
  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    i have 2 04 cts with 3.6 auto trans with over 90000 miles if they sit for awhile on cold morning the trans want to slip in 1st gear but after it warms up for a miniute it works fine, does cts french trans. need some kind of additive, i know for a fact that the trans is full it is abitch to ck but i know other people have had simuler problems but what is the fix or what is trans doing that could cause it to slip but then work flawless after you get it going.
  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    i have 04 cts w/3.6 auto trans it slips when you first put it in foward gear has anyone had this problem thanks.
  • cadi3cadi3 Posts: 1
    As most of you might or might not know... If you hold down F1 and F6 on your radio at the same time for about 5 seconds the mechanical codes will appear on your screen. Go to and it will tell you the code information and what it means. Hope this helps a lot of you. Everyone I tell had no idea. It can save you $$$ by figuring out if a check engine light is serious or not before you go to the shop.
  • pearcerrpearcerr Posts: 1
    Sounds like we're using the same dealer. But more likely just typical GM service (or lack thereof). I have a 2007 CTS. Started running rough so I took to dealer. No oil! They did an oil change. High-grade synthetic (without asking). Couple thousand miles later same problem. 2 1/2 quarts low. Dealer tops it off and charges me. Then they say I need to come in every 1,000 miles until they can verify there is a problem. I'm at 47000 miles. So I question the warranty. They say "no problem" since we started the process below 50000. Now, I put 1,000 miles on this car every 2 weeks. So I pretty quickly get in the dealer several times for them to top off the oil (and charge me). So I ask if enough is enough and I'm told they need to track it for SEVEN MONTHS! That's 21,000 miles and 2 cases of oil to prove there's a problem. Unbelievable. Now the transmission is acting up. Downshifting too soon and practically throwing me into the steering wheel. All I want to do at this point is trade this sucker in on a Honda. And after hearing about the warranty issues kimmy_jean had, I figure they'll tell me the car is out of warranty even after they finish tracking the oil consumption.
  • woospointwoospoint Posts: 1
    All of these issues seem to be with the CTS and not the CTS-V model. Any CTS-V problems out there?
  • zappy1zappy1 Posts: 1
    I think there is something going on with this CTS model too, I have a 2004, and my neighbor does(had) mine has only 38,000 miles hers 41,000 . Both vehicles without any warning started to smoke wouldnt excelerate and blew oil lines then trans fluid. Dealer said the trans is smoked. They said the bottom pan/resovoir under the car got hit or cracked causing the damage?? Still waiting for the results.
  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    my problem is going to be torque converter causing trans to slip, the guy who said the f1 & f6 button for service codes is right on thanks so much you must a gm tech. And the cts does have a oil consumption problem at least the 3.6 does & it also has a tourque converter problem, i think that is what causes alot of the cts shutters at 52 mph they think it is a tire vibration, and gm seems take that stance also because they can get them out of warranty by delaying diagnosis, I was in tire and auto repair buisness 30 years and know own two 04 3.6 cts auto trans. and they are both having simular trans issues, and one consumes oil to fast, but i keep it checked, but the vibration seems like tires but it is not because have two cts just alike my wanted his mag wheels put the other car the vibration stayed with the car and did not follow the tires & wheels, so after driving the car long enough i pinpionted the problem to the converter, gm probaly has some type of additive to put in trans but hat would be admitting a problem, but if some nice gm tech reads this he could give us all the secrets to our problems that are only shared internally. WE ARE WAITING THANKS FOR READING
  • kvpkvp Posts: 1
    I have a 04 cts can any one tell me how to check the transmission fluid and where the dip stick is and how do you put the fluid in. Thank you Lost
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,331
    what engine?

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  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    you do not have a dip stick you have to jack car up level go under car at about drivers door and it has a plug in the side of transmission, un screw plug and if any trans fluid flows out it is full if not get a fluid pump and pump some in. Not one of GMs better designs, it would be better left to shop but you need to know how it is done because most shops will not know, and by the way why do you want to ck it is there a problem, tell me if you are having a problem, i don't look at this site that often so check it from time to time i will try to help HOPE this helps WILLIE
  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    also in response to the lost all oil but it smoked the transmission it sounds like your trans line going to radaitor poped out leaking all trans fluid out and then that is why your trans is ruined, CTS has history of this happening the trans line going into the radaitor pulls loose for no real reason i would ask the shop to show me the crack in resiovoir while i wait don,t give them any warning that you want to see it just make them produce right then and decide for your self HOPE this helps Willie
  • mneddmnedd Posts: 2
    you're absolutely right......trans fluid and coolant lines basically popped out of the rad on my 06 cts. i lost all power while driving but pulled over safely immediately.
  • I have an '06 CTS 3.6 L with 90K miles. I noticed oil consumption. Within a month or two, I smelled antifreeze when I got to work but did not notice any on the ground. When I got home that night, I saw some "chocolate milshake" on the floor of the garage on the driver's side. I initially thought it was water and oil mixing, but the dipstick was clean. The following morning, I checked the radiator overflow and found the milkshake. My Ford dealer didn't want to touch this mess (I have been using this dealer for almost 20 years, obviously a Ford fan), so I took it to a Caddy dealer. He said the trans cooler in the radiator corroded allowing the two fluids to mix. We replaced the radiator and flushed both the cooling and transmission systems. About the same time all of this was happening, I noticed the infamous torque converter "chuggle" and also a higher frequency vibration that occur intermittedly. This could easily be misdiagnosed as an out of balanced tire or bad CV joint. There was a Caddy notice to reflash the ECM to minimize the "chuggle" but I didn't see any improvement. I'm rather disappointed because the car has great handling and is a comfortable car given the 25K miles/year I drive. I can't understand the rationale for integrating the radiator and trans cooler. They should know that something bad would happen eventually. Anyway, after 1500 miles, the car is running okay except for the occasional chuggle and vibe. I put 200+K miles on my vehicles before I buy another, however I may have to go back to Ford. I don't know if my CTS will make it.
  • FYI - I just found this place on ebay for used transmissions. If mine goes because of the antifreeze, I may go this route; $350. There are other sites offereing used transmissions out there. 0416462118?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item563e8aa926
  • what happened is the trans cooler lines go into the bottom of the radiator and the cooler is glued or molded to the inside of the plastic piece at the bottom of the radaitor all fine and well until till it comes unglued if you know what i mean k9will
  • I have a 2009 CTS AWD. Love the car...but the transmission just failed completely for the second time. First time was at 13000 miles. Second time just happened at 26000. There is absolutely no warning with this problem. The car makes a few clunking sounds and then will not move...only get a loud whirring noise in every gear. First repair took 6 weeks because I had to wait for a part from France. Now they tell me that GM has issued a "bulletin" that has a fix for the problem. Has anyone else heard about this???
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