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Cadillac CTS/CTS-V Brake Problems



  • I joined your forum yesterday and have read thru the various posts on the breaking situation on a 2004 Cadi CTS. I took title recently on this car from my elderly Mother. The car has 21,214 miles and in the past three weeks I’ve had about 4 or 5 incidences with the breaks vibrating and sort of grinding at very slow speeds—the car not wanting to stop.

    In your opinion what was the definitive resolution to this problem? I’m about to contact the GM dealer in my area and do not want to pay for diagnostics or repair if this was a manufacturer's issue. In reading the posts it seems the problem may have been a wiring issue or a hub speed sensor code or something to do with the differential. I also noted a Technical Bulletin -- 03-05-25-009A JUL 04 Brakes - Low Brake Pedal/Air in System. Is this correct?

    I know nothing about the mechanics of automobiles, and feel I’m in a death trap. Many, many thanks for any assistance you can offer.
  • Hi Luckyodds,
    As I said in my post ;
    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.

    With the OEM set-up, the wires kink every time the wheels are turned. That is why I re-routed the new wires in a manner that less kinking can occur. I CAN NOT reproduce the braking problem therefore I am calling it fixed. Good Luck!
  • Dear Mr. or Ms. Sirpontiac,

    Thanks so much for your response! I called two GM dealers about my CTS breaking problem to see if they had any knowledge of this issue. Absolutely not a clue -- never heard of such a problem. They were not interested in referring to the suggested Tech Bulletin - (air in system.) Was told had to bring car in to see if they could replicate, then maybe fix. At least $100.00 + for the effort, and God only knows if/when the replication would occur and what the cost would be. My own angle mechanic will take the car for a while to see if the problem occurs while he has it. I will give him all of the info gathered here. Again, many thanks. I will post when I have any new information.
  • Thanks for the info. I too have an 06 CTS that has a braking issue when pulling into a parking space. I had originally thought that I would have to replace a wheel sensor since it was the most logical source of the problem. I had not had the code checked yet, and I have adjusted my parking habits so that I would not have a difficult time stopping. Your solution makes more sense as the problem is intermitent and only occurs during a sharp right hand turn. By the way I normally only get the error codes when I am backing out with the wheels turned sharp right, but it might be that the error code comes on when I pull into the space and I turn off the ignition before I notice the code. I will be checking the wiring to see if that is the source of the problem.

    Sarah @ GM
    Since it is apparent that GM monitors this site, why is there not even a technical service bulletin out regarding a possible fix instead of dealerships resorting to thowing parts at the problem hoping it goes away? Based on the posts, it is not a new or isolated issue It would seem to be in your best interest to help technicians find a permanent solution, especially since the wiring solution would be a quick and inexpensive fix. At the very least they could check the wiring for continuity.
  • Good morning dj816,

    Thank you for your feedback, and I can certainly understand your perspective given our frequent posts on the forum.

    We are customer service and we do take note of concerns when a thread begins to grow (usually 5+ people having the same concerns with the same model year of a vehicle), and this information is passed along. However, where it goes from there it is difficult to say.

    Christina and my primary objective is to help individuals get their individual concerns addressed if they choose to work with our dealerships.

    Good, bad, or otherwise, this is where we're at. I can say that we do get visitors to our location from other departments within GM and we are able to draw attention to forums like Edmunds.

    Again, thank you for your feedback and patience. I hope that the fix proposed by sirpontiac works for your CTS if you decide to go that route!

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,147
    at CTS-V driving experience a few weeks ago, during the portion where we learned what 100% braking could do with the car, OnStar called one of the drivers to indicate they were sending emergency crews because the car notified them that it had been in a collision.

    That's how good the brakes are, capable of that much G impulse-force to seem like a collision to an accelerometer.

    The driver responded, "I'm too busy driving to talk right now, we are on a racetrack. We did not crash, do not send EMTs or fire crews."

    Personally I was disappointed that I somehow did not brake the rented CTS-V enough to get a call from Onstar.
  • I would be interrested in hearing whether you had the wiring checked and if so, was it the problem.

  • I would be interrested in hearing whether you had the wiring checked and if so, was it the problem.

  • I tested the wires with an Ohm meter, once off the car. At first it looked like the wires were okay until I manipulated the harness to simulate the approximate position it would be in while turning. Readings went from zero to the meter being pegged.
    Most important; I have no issues any longer!

    Hope this helps!
  • brendak1brendak1 Posts: 2
    I have a 2007 CTS with 56k miles. I have had my brakes pulsate, grind, and fail while pulling into a parking space 4 times in the last 12 months now. Luckily no damage has been done, yet. I talked to a Cadillac service writer about this and he told me he hadn't heard of any recalls. I don't want to just throw parts at the problem. In the meantime, I try not to park in spots where I have to make a hard right.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    If you would like, you can always email us at so we can verify there are no recalls associated with your vehicle. I do suggest you at least get a diagnosis from a Cadillac Dealership.

    Erica Tiffany
    GM Customer Service
  • Sirpontiac....I've been experiencing this exact same issue and the dealer can't recreate. Now they want to charge me $2,500 to try a few fixes, but they say after they do that, they aren't really sure if it will fix it because they can't diagnose an issue. Can you provide me more details on the harness, and how you tested it off the car to diagnose the issue??? And is your fix still working?
  • Hi J, Its been a while but as I recall. The first thing I did was to look at the wheel speed sensor wire with the wheel off and car jacked up. Turn the wheels hard left and right and it became quite obvious that the routing of the wires causes a kink to happen when turned. Constant kinking of wires cause fraying and therefore intermittent problems; loss of conductivity when turned only.
    This can be tested with an ohm meter. But the harness has to be un-clipped at the sensor and cut at the frame. Hense having a replacement harness and splicing tools ready make sence. I also re-routed the new section of harness in a manner less likely to kink on turns.

    I hope this answered your questions. Oh...No more issues!
  • kara3kara3 Posts: 1
    I am checking the site today because my mother was just pulling in to a parking spot and the brakes went out and the car actually accelerated . I went into a brick wall and crashed. We thank the Lord she is alright. We have never had that problem before but since I saw this site . This was be a malfunction and need for recall. I am also calling Cadillac to report this matter.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Hi, and I'm sorry to hear about the accident, but glad your mother isn't injured (at least not badly).
    You should also report the issue to the NHTSA at
    That's the US agency that collects vehicle issue reports from consumers, and can conduct an investigation if warranted.


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  • I have a 2010 CTS 3.6 RWD with 46,000 mile (74,000km). My front rotors have been resurfaced 3x and replaced 4x due to warping.

    GM says it is due to my driving...hogwash! I am 51 yrs old, 3 kids and a clean driving record, and recently started my 2nd set of tires and 2nd set of brake pads.

    This is a quality issue or an engineering issue.

    GM says 'nope a driving issue because no one else has this issue'.

    Because GM says 'no one else has this problem it is not a GM problem' they refuse any corrective and definitive actions.

    Does anyone have issues with their 2010 CTS front brakes? we need to make this known, otherwise they wotn do anything to correct 'their issues'. Why pay top dollar for the GM flagship if they cant stand behind it?

    BTW - I just replaced my rear pads last month, because they were getting low (35%) issues on the rear...
  • I am having these same braking issues. Back in November 2012 I was parallel parking and it felt like my car slid on gravel or something. I thought it was odd because there wasn't any gravel or loose dirt or anything. My car had approximately 32,000 miles on it at this time. About a week later I turned the wheel to park and again it felt like the car slid on something, the brakes made a noise, pulsated and didn't really feel like they were going to stop but they did. A day or so after that I again went to park the car and this time the brakes pulsated, made a noise and would not stop. I was heading for a brick wall so I shifted the car into park. Each of these occurrences happened at speeds of approximately 5-10 miles per hour, all when I went to park the car, turning the wheel to the right. I took the car to the Cadillac dealer and they told me they didn't know of any recall, after checking the car they diagnosed it as a front wheel speed sensor electrical failure. They said they had to replace the HUB. This cost me $725.70. About two weeks ago (August 2013) I went to park my car and again started to feel the same pulsing of the brakes and sliding of the vehicle. A day later I was pulling into a parking space with my daughter and again the car slid and the brakes pulsated, my daughter immediately asked what just happened, she felt it too. On September 6, 2013 I took my car with 35,630 miles on it to a different Cadillac dealer since I was not convinced the first dealer fixed the problem, they diagnosed it with codes C0550, C0281, V1016, C0561, C0244 EBTCM failure. They replaced the electronic brake control module and cleared all the codes. This now cost me $1,434.87 to fix the same problem. I picked my car up yesterday 9/9/13 and I was just backing out of my driveway to put the car in the garage and the same exact problem just happened while turning the wheel to the right; the brakes made a noise, pulsated and the car slid. I am extremely upset right now. I will be going back to the dealer tomorrow. I can not and WILL NOT spend any more money to fix this problem. I was lucky no one was hurt or I didn't crash into anything but Cadillac really needs to look into this problem and make a recall before someone does get hurt or killed.
  • It's quite frightening when it happens. I have a 2007 CTS with a little over 69K miles. This exact thing has happened to me about 5 different occasions during the 5+ years I have owned the car. All of them involved turning sharply into a parking spot. Fortunately, each time it happened, there were no vehicles, walls, people, etc. in front of me. I have not taken it to the dealer for diagnosis. Based on everything I've read on this site, they are either unable or unwilling to correct the condition. It's amazing that GM has gotten away with no recall on this problem. It is certainly a safety issue.
  • brendak1brendak1 Posts: 2
    edited September 2013
    Hey All, I am patiently waiting for a recall on this issue. I'm not going to throw money at parts and labor that DON'T fix the problem. Come on GM, This is taking advantage of people and you know it! Meanwhile, I am very conscious about how I park and who drives my car.
  • I recently purchased 2005 Cadi CTS. I know there were several recalls since 2005. My question is how do I find out if the previous owners responded to the recalls and if they did not, can I take to a dealership even though I am not the original owner? Thanks for the input.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    edited September 2013
    You should be able to take it to a dealership and let them run the VIN to see if recalls have been performed. Since recalls must be done at a dealership, they should have records on your vehicle. If the fixes on those recalls haven't been done, the dealership can do them for you.

    You could probably also get the same info by calling Cadillac customer service and providing your VIN.
    Inside the U.S.: 1-800-458-8006
    Inside Canada: 1-800-263-3777


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  • ctsdanctsdan Posts: 1
    Hello GM Customer Service. I bought my 2006 CTS seven years ago today. I've been experiencing the same brake problem mentioned in this forum since I bought the car. I've taken my CTS to the dealer countless times and tried to explain the problem. The mechanics have tried to see if they can recreate the problem but have been unsuccessful. I still drive the car but I fear that one day I will be involved in an accident because of this brake problem. I would like for GM to have this problem fixed and me not have to pay for the repair since it's something I feel is a safety issue and Manufacturer's responsibility. Please let me know how to proceed with this matter.

    The other problem I discovered is that the motor oil seems to evaporate before the 3 to 5 months service period. I carry with a couple of quarts of motor oil in my CTS and periodically check my oil levels. I've own other GM and non GM cars before and never had to worry about my motor oil evaporating. These are two serious problems which I believe GM should take a strong look at and consider recalling these cars.
    I hope to here from someone from GM soon.
  • Yesterday, I set out to pick up medication and as I approached an intersection I noticed the traffic light changed and with a large vehicle in front of me. I started braking early(elderly and cautious), my vehicle would not stop I've never been so scared in my life! After pressing the brakes down has hard as I could it finally came to a stop. I was extremely shakened. Then afterwards the display said "low brake fluid". Well immediately I went to get brake fluid and added it. That did no good, so I went to Meineke and after they checked it out they told me the part where the brake line connects on the top rear axel had corosion and the brake fluid was pouring out. I have 2007 CTS, this just does not sound right to me. I could have serious hurt or killed and/or someone else.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,147
    edited February 2014

    fwiw: my 05 GTO does the same thing as some people are reporting. in my case, with the low-speed braking in hot weather, often in stop & go, maybe it's that wiring issue that sirpontiac mentions. it's done for at least half of it's 9 years.
    i should check that wiring it if i can find a nice way to get under there. (i won't.) . there's never been a brake fluid level issue.

    i'm used to it now - the abs 'misfires' on the right front wheel, feels like it is removing braking power from that one wheel. the abs goes wild on that one wheel, that's for sure. so it reduces braking on that one wheel. always at low speed and always when very HOT. the other wheels keep braking the car, but it feels exactly like 'sliding on gravel' that others are reporting with their caddys. and it is sort of alarming/scary - enough that it could cause someone to release the brake. ABS in normal operation sometimes makes weird noises - never back off the brakes when it does that - if anything push harder. in my car's problem case it is a "abs misfire", there is no traction-loss at all, but the one wheel acts as if its on ICE.

    i've reported it to the dealer on probably 10 visits for other stuff, they can never recreate it, no codes are ever stored. rarely i do see it store an ABS code, the one for wheel-speed-sensor-wacky-reading, and the ABS self-disables.

    the workaround in my case is to keep braking - standing on the brake solves the issue, the other 3 wheels brake the car. it only happens at low speeds on hot days, dry roads, intermittent. so 3 wheels are plenty to brake the car effectively in slow traffic like that.

  • devoradevora Posts: 3
    Well looks like I am a liitle late on this forum regarding the brake issue on my CTS 2005. However I paid the dealership over $1000 for a part to fix it. Now in this forum it could be something as simple as wires. I never even thought of when I turned the car in to park that is when it happens. Kept my car for fear of someone getting hurt because of the brakes. Can't wait to go back to the dealership and tell them that possible this formum may have answered a question I have had for over a year. Thanks GM for the $1000 part and labor that did not fix my brakes.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,147
    edited October 2014
    it can happen. good shop will step up and fix the wires no charge if you nicely convince them the $1K part swap was wrong. it's possible that the $1K part was truly failed as well - was it the 'brake booster'? possibly the efficacy of that $1K part swap might be verified if you kept the old part in your garage.... if replacing/relocating the wire does indeed fix the brakes, then the best/honorable auto shop might well swap the old $1K part/job back into your car, and reverse the $1K charge.
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