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Cadillac CTS/CTS-V Brake Problems



  • coastsidefog: Hi, I am a technician who is dealing with this exact issue on a 2006 CTS. I was hoping that you could elaborate on exactly what your technician did to resolve the issue, i.e. which wiring harness exactly is the one I should be looking at and where is it located. Or maybe you could name the dealership and technician that fixed your problem so that I may speak to them directly if you are not sure of the technical details? You can respond here if you like, otherwise my email should be visible in my profile. Thanks so much!
  • I own a 2004 CTS, 3.6L V6, with 49,000 miles. Until recently, no problems except responding to recalls. I have exactly the same intermittent low speed no-brake problem you and others describe. The Cadillac service manager says he has never heard of this and doesn't know how to fix it. Your message #54 offers a very welcome ray of hope! Can you kindly give me more information on the wiring harness, such as part number, and how much of it needs to be replaced? Any more info could be life-saving. As of now, my wife and I cannot drive this car. Today I posted a safety-related complaint on the US DOT NHTSA website. Many thanks.
  • Please see my message #66. Have you been able to find out more specific details about the wiring harness? I would really like to drive this car again. Please respond whether or not you have more info. Many thanks!
  • Last night my wife had parked with her flashers on and the battery died. 2006 CTS 3.6 base. After I boosted it, the car started right up but stayed with a t/c and brake light on. She was able to drive the car home with no problems. She said the car drove and broke just as usual. After she got home, she turned the car off, restarted the car with no problems but the t/c light remained and now I have the service brake assist warning on the DIC. Plus, the car refused to shift out of park. I had to pop open the console cover and manualy release the shift lock.

    with 60K miles I figured I'd just replace the battery and hope for the best. Today I dropped in a brand new ac-delco battery ($161.00) and all the issues have cleared. I'm crossing my fingers that the issue was poor voltage or low current and not that something re-set when the battery was disconnected. I'll update if the problem returns.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    edited January 2011
    You can't really charge up a totally dead battery fully using your alternator. It takes a long time to do that. It's hard on the battery and very hard on the alternator. Besides, it's possible your car has to relearn certain things, and your car's various computer modules really don't like low voltages.

    Next time, use a battery charger to bring a dead battery back to normal. Also 4-5 years is about a normal battery's life in a modern car.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I have an '09 CTS and an '05 Honda Accord. The battery ran down on my Honda and the engine light stayed on after I jumped it. The car had been setting in my garage for four months. I looked at the manual and it said that, when the battery goes down, the emissions control system may have to reset. It said to drive it for three days and it would reset. I am not surprised that you had the lights come on when your battery went down. It throws the computer off.
  • Good Day

    I was maybe interested in buying a CTS with AWD and i was reading about the Reliability ratings in Consumer Report and that kind of turned me Sour towards the CTS I really like the way Looks its very sharp but am skeptical about that Reliability.
    One Consumer Report gives it a 1/2 Black Circle for Reliability .

    Anyone here can give me some insight if they are having any issues with this car re reliability or No Problems at all?? Should i go for it and take a chance??

    Thank you
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    My question to you would be how long you plan to keep the car. You have full warranty for four years or 50,000 miles. You have an engine and drivetrain warranty for five years or 100,000 miles. I have an '09 and I had an '05 in the first generation. On the '05, I had to replace the water pump at 49,000, which was covered under warranty. I traded the car after four years and 50,000 miles. I will trade the '09 after five years. I don't want to trade until the next generation comes along. The generations go in five years cycles. With the '09, I have had a rattle in the rear speaker panel, which has not been successfully repaired; this is a minor problem. The ignition would not turn off and I had to take the car to a Cadillac dealership. The engine was running and you could not deactivate it. One of the things that I like about driving a Cadillac is that GM treats you very well. If the repair requires you to leave it, you are given another Cadillac to drive. You don't have to ask for it; it is just an automatic thing. I only have 21,000 miles on the '09. I have had those two things in that 21,000 miles. I have an '05 Honda Accord. Do I think it will give me the service of the Accord? No. Do I love driving the car? Yes. Will I buy another one? Yes.
  • pegritpegrit Posts: 3
    Scary accident a few days ago. The pavement was dry and we were only going about 35 mph. Suddenly we heard a loud clunk then the rear wheels totally stopped rotating. We were spun around and stopped by a tree. When the tow truck arrived, the driver could not get the wheels to unlock in either reverse or drive. After towing on the slant flat bed, he attempted to get the car i drive again until finally he too heard a loud clunk and the tires engaged. I sure don't feel safe in this 2006 CTS now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    Sounds like your differential locked up?--let us know what they find please.

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  • Good Day

    Thanks for the response. I was thinking of buying a Cadi Cts last year and this year.
    Has anyone purchased a 2010 or 2011 with good reliability thus far??

    Im just a bit of a nervous person about Reliability i guess. I had seen in a magazine that the CTS has sort of a somewhat black circled area for reliability and maybe thats for Older Models but i just was wondering about the newer Models how the Relaibility was.

    Anyone here who has a newer model CTS if you can please share your Insight.

    Thank you
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    Mt 09 Non Di CTS is over two years old now..and not one problem other than a squeaking rear brake which the dealer fixed without problem...absolutely love the car...fully loaded other than AWD and the DI engine...getting 23 city and 29-31 highway on regular gas...
  • Looks like you are right. After two weeks of body work, the cts is now across the street at the mechanics waiting a new rear end.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    Unusual for a 5 year old car. I wonder if it lost fluid and bearings seized or if a part just failed due to poor metallurgy.

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  • I agree. We bought the car used a year ago. Apparently there was a recall at 20,000 miles for something related to the differential but that was long before we got the car. We do know that it was found to be low on fluid. Fortunately we purchased an extended warrantee that covers the replacement with after market parts. GM was of no help at all. Not sure I want to keep this car. If this had happened on a freeway we'd likely be dead and have taken others with us. I never have had a good experience with GM cars. We bought it for the comfort of the passengers seat because I have a chronic pain condition. The seat is extremely comfortable.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    A very nasty incident indeed ! :mad:

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  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I have a non DI 2009 CTS too. I bought mine new. My wife heard on the news this morning that GM is recalling 2009 and 2010 CTS for a problem in the rear end that could make the wheel come off. I am waiting on a letter which may apply only to certain VIN numbers. Yours sounds like it fits in that category. With this announcement this morning, you may be able to reclaim your expense for repairing the problem.
  • dertyricedertyrice Posts: 1
    I was having this same problem with my 06 cts. I printed some of these messages off and took them to the caddy dealer in hopes it would help,but he still insisted of the diagnostic test. Does any body have any idea who to report this to being this is an ongoing issue with most cts from what I've read. I hate to let my car go,but im not gonna dish out a lot of money for the same thing over and over thanks. ANY INFO WOULD BE GREAT A NUMBER OR SOMETHING!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Having the vehicle diagnosed by a GM dealer is the first step. You can contact Customer Assistance; however, they will tell you that you must have the vehicle diagnosed before they can assist. The number for customer assistance is in the Owner Manual. I hope this helps.
    GM Customer Service
  • A few days ago my mother was pulling into a parking spot and couldn't stop. Her foot went all the way down and she could not do anything to stop the car. She ended up hitting a pole and it made some minor damage to the front bumper ( paint and a crack). The car was tested by several mechanics finding nothing wrong. However, this was a scary moment because in a different situation someone could have gotten seriously hurt. The car will be taken to the dealer to see if anything can be done to prevent this from happening again. We are hoping to get some satisfying news and feel more confident driving it again. As of right now cadillac is not looking too good with this problem remaining unsolved.
  • jandijandi Posts: 4
    I have an 06 CTS with 75,000 miles and having issues with warning lights about ABS, TC, brake assist and system stability. I was told it was my front passenger wheel hub, replaced it and still codes were there. They diagnosed it and said software needed to be replaced. Took it to dealer n delear says the electrical module needs to be replaced. I'm very frustrated bc this should be a top of line car n has just given me problems. Same issue happened last year, but they were able to reset it. To repair is going to cost me $1500 and I've already spent $600. Does anyone know of any recalls for this vehicle?? Who can I contact about recalls? I'd appreciate any info. Thanks!
  • jandijandi Posts: 4
    What happened to your car? Did it get fixed? I'm having the same issue and I'm worried because I have 4 small children. The front passenger hub has been replaced but codes are still there. They say it my module.
  • jandijandi Posts: 4
    I Am having issues with my 06 CTS. Brake assist, system stability, abs and tc. Front wheel passenger hub has been replaced but no luck to codes being removed. They say its the module, but from reading these forums I've had a lot of the same issues like everyone. Is there any recalls? My car is no longer under warranty, it has 75k miles. Please help. Same issue happened last year.
  • jandijandi Posts: 4
    Samething is happening with my 06 CTS, can u give me any info on how or what to proceed. Front passenger hub has been replaced but codes are still there.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    If you wanted to send the last 8 digits of your VIN to, we'd be happy to check for any open recalls on your vehicle.

    Look forward to hearing from you,
    GM Customer Service
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    If I owned a vehicle that gives symptoms like this (and I do) - I would consider to pull the ABS fuse. This will prevent the ABS system from "misfiring" at low speed. But with no ABS in some conditions it might require knowledge/sense of how/when to drive old-school by "feathering" the brake or actually manually pulsing the brake pedal when necessary.

    My 2005 GM vehicle has had apparently the same intermittent ABS failures for years - sometimes a diagnostic failure - sometimes felt at low speed hot weather when one of the 4 brakes is released - it does increase slightly braking distance and is alarming but increasing pedal pressure does function properly.

    For my car, the issue is basically known to be wheel speed sensor, especially when heated. It's so intermittent and imho is not safety related, because it only occurs on *one wheel* at a time. Always the same one. Right front.
    I understand that in some (all?) vehicles the speed sensors are especially sensitive to damage from road debris or mild corrosions.
  • b_fishrb_fishr Posts: 1
    I almost crashed while pulling into a parking spot, brakes were grinding (as if ABS was freaking out) and the car would not stop ( I was going about 2mph). Finally I was able to get it to stop about 1 inch away from another vehicle. This is on a 2007 CTS. I have not taken it to a dealership yet, but I know for a fact that there are no problems with my brakes, they operate normally in other situations. The symptoms are almost exactly the same as comment #42 by j1nce. I did not get a service indicator today, but I have had it show up after restarting the car (turn off to go in store, come back to notification). Are there any recalls dealing with this issue, as it doesn't seem severe enough to produce a code, and I don't have the $2000 others have spent on a potential fix.
  • coastsidefogcoastsidefog Posts: 12
    edited August 2012
    As you know from reading this thread, we had multiple replacements of our wheel hub, speed sensor, EBCM, etc. (among other parts) to try and fix the very serious problem of a car that would intermittently have its brakes fail at slow speeds (ie, in a school parking lot with children).

    We had multiple communications (in person, via email, letters, phones) with GM during that time. GM never showed much concern about the potential liability/risk of morbidity and mortality associated with this problem. The dealership replaced the speed sensor/EBCM 4 times in an attempt to repair the problem (although it never did). We paid out of pocket quite a bit of money once the car was out of warranty, but the problem did not resolve.

    Eventually, an intelligent mechanic fabricated a new harness with new terminal grounds from the EBCM to the left wheel speed sensor and rerouted the harness away from any possible sources of inductive voltage. Once that was complete, we have not had a problem.

    The mechanic (who works for our dealership) said to us that anecdotally he has run into this problem more than once and that there seems to be a failure in the design or workmanship in some of the wiring harnesses connecting the EBCM to the speed sensors that causes the brakes to fail. (Separately, he recommended the next time we buy a car, we not buy a Cadillac, because he felt that the fix -- rerouting the harness -- was not a time- or money-intensive fix, but that GM didn't seem interested in letting car owners know that, despite the potential and obvious dangers).

    We spoke with our representative to Congress who asked us to file a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), who with enough examples is able to force GM to notify owners or issue a recall.

    I would STRONGLY encourage all of you who have had this problem to 1) have your mechanic check the wiring harness for sources of inductive voltage, and 2) to report the problem to your congressional representative and to the NHTSA.

    You can find your congressional representative here:

    You can report to the NHTSA here:

    For us, as a family with small children, this has never been about getting any reimbursement for the large amount of money we've given to attempt to fix this problem. This has always been about making sure that the cars on the road are safe (thinking about driving this car in my children's school's parking lot started this process).

    We have been truly disappointed by what seems to be GM's lack of concern about the potential safety hazards. I try very hard to be a fair-minded person, and I have been so dismayed by GM's lack of interest in responding to these concerns. Shame on you, GM, for letting the dollar or just plain laziness stop you from getting information to car owners that could potentially prevent a serious accident.

    Please let the NHTSA know about your issues, in the hopes that they might be able to convince GM to do the moral thing and let its owners and dealers know about the relatively simple repair to this issue (which, if you Google, you will find occurs in other GM cars besides Cadillacs), before a child loses a life by being hit by a car that can't brake in a neighborhood parking lot.
  • After reading mutiple posts on the "won't stop (ABS kicks in) when parking" especially when turning hard, like a normal parking lot! AND the obvious reluctance of Cadillac to acknowlege it as an issue, I thought I'd do my own work.
    I replaced the wires from the wheel/speed sensor, splicing and soldering near the radiator. The parts for both sides were less that $100. with the right clip! I later tested both of the old wiring harnesses, 4 wires with an OHM meter. initially looked like a waste of time until I moved the wires around***simulating a hard right turn*** OHM meter pegged!
    In my Non-Professional opinion problem is the OEM wire routing....causing repeated kinking of the wires on hard turns. I routed my new harnesses along the sway bay where this kinking is less likely.
  • Good morning b_fishr,
    If you would like to check your VIN for any open recalls, please send us the last 8 digits at
    Kindest regards,
    GM Customer Service
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