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Cadillac CTS Engine Problems



  • 4u2no4u2no Posts: 7
    REALLY! Is anyone else tired of seeing the same message copy and pasted from GM Customer Service! You telling us you apologize for our concerns (notice how they say that it is our concern, at least that part of the statement is true because they don't make it there concern!) and asking us to send you our VIN and current milage does not do a darn thing! Most of us I am sure have already contacted GM Customer Service and been told there is nothing they can do for us! So unless something gets done about these cars with oil consumption problems that lead to the loss of an engine, WE DONT CARE! To GM it is our fault that we didn't have the oil changed when it should have been, or some other dumb excuse as to why GM can't be held accountable for messing up and making a car that is JUNK! Well from now on I am making it my mission to let everyone know that GM makes junk and doesn't care one bit about there consumer! Never by a product of GM unless you want to end up paying triple of what the car is worth! I am so fed up with this message so unless you can really help stop making people think there is actually something you can do about it! I wasn't even looking for them to pay 100% because I didn't get an extended warranty or anything and the warranty had been up. Just them to admit that they have flaws in these cars and that they are trying to resolve the problem. That way more people don't have the same problem. Them offering to help out a little bit. NOTHING but a sorry there is nothing we can do! Well if you lose business because of this problem that many people are having with your vehicles then sorry there is nothing we can do about that either!
  • 4u2no4u2no Posts: 7
    Actually I made sure I had my oil changed faithfully every 3 months and I still had problems. My percentage of oil life never showed under 50% and my oil level low indicator never came on. One day my check engine light came on and took it to the dealer right away and my oil level was extremely low! We thought maybe an oil leak, but nothing!
  • 4u2no4u2no Posts: 7
    I really wouldn't recommend it! I just don't want you to have to go through the same problems I had to go through with my 04 CTS! Not just me either keep reading the reviews! We have all had the same problems! I purchased the car in 2007 and in 2011 the engine went. So between that 4 years I probably put an EXTRA $7000.00 in Repairs! So my $19,000.00 04 Just jumped up to a $26,000.00 used Cadillac CTS! I really am trying to save you the trouble! Good Luck with your decision!
  • Thank you all for your posts; I am documenting the information in the thread for further consideration by GM.

    GM Customer Service
  • Although it is true the 3.6 has timing chain issues which bring on a host of other problems there is a Service Bulletin from Caddilac that says they will replace the defective part. This is something that needs to be done prior to failure. Another thing is I am just amazed at the lack of common sense when it comes to owner responsibility with a car. Synthetic oil does not break down however it does get dirty and under no circumstances should anyone wait 10000 miles to change the oil let alone 6k. Constant filter changes is the only way you can extend synthetic oil life but being I have been a certified mechanic for 30+ years it's not recommended. I change my oil every 3k-5k miles depending on weather and driving conditions. Also I would not recommend 0w-30 or 5w-30 in any car except in very cold driving conditions. It is recommended by manufacturing engineers to increase gas mileage due to less friction from viscosity but at the risk of less protection. I will never use anything less than 10w-30 in my cars under 50k miles and 10w-40 after 50k. There is not enough protection from low viscosity oil in hot operating temperatures like hot summers. Another thing, check your darn fluids at least once a month and do not rely on sensors. Also some engines will break down from being even one quart low on oil. There is a reason the 3.6 takes 8 quarts. One is there needs to be extra oil for the additional moving parts and the oil galleys it takes to lubricate them. Some engines keep a lot of oil in the top of the engine and the oil drain holes are small so if you are one or two quarts low the oil pan has little oil to lubricate the crank, pistons and associated bearings causing failure. The oil pick up tube is sucking in air.

    There are problems with many new engines due to the complexity because it's not easy to get high performance along with good gas mileage the two just don't go together. There are two things a responsible car owner should do. 1) go online or to the dealer to check for Technical Service Bulletins for your specific vehicle and get the repairs or replacements. 2) Check all fluids at least once a month especially before and after a long trip. It is not unusual for an enging to burn a pint of oil in 3k miles. To reiterate an important point change the oil no more than 5k miles no matter what the dealer says or pay the consequences. Remember they want your car to break down it puts money in their pocket.
  • i agree with you on some points but GM designed the motor to hold 8 Qts and they designed the oil returns so if the oil does not return fast enough that would be a design flaw, i have 2 04 3.6 cts's that consume 1 Qt of oil per 1500 miles. I still do not understand where the oil goes because it does not smoke at the tail pipes or should i say not for that kind of oil usage. I am a retired auto shop owner of 25 years, and still do not understand why so many of the 3.6 motors use so much oil, there has to be some underlying problem with the motor design, I have read where some people modify the pcv system, if anyone knows what to do to help the oil consumption i will consider trying them THANKS K9will
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I do not understand how Cadillac, GM's premium brand, can have so many engine problems. My dad has a 2001 Cadillac Deville with 68,000 miles. It uses a quart every 700 miles, but it does not smoke out the tailpipe. I talked with my dealer's service rep and he told me that this was a common problem with the Northstar from 1999 through 2004. How can GM let problems continue like that?

    I also agree with the other writer. I change my oil every 5,000 miles. My dealer recommended every 6,000. I had always heard that synthetic did not break down, but I had never thought about the dirty part. I talked with one Cadillac service department and he said that people, who go by the oil meter, come with the car almost out of oil. Unbelievable!
  • Let's get at least one thing perfectly clear, the problem 99% of these people are having is because of an engine defect not lack of common sense . There is not amy company out there that designs an engine to burn 4 quarts of oil in a trip of 100 miles. I don't care what oil you put in these engines that is the problem in a nut shell.
  • That is one point I forgot to mention is the PCV system could be sucking up oil mist more than usual and it is being burned at such a slow rate it won't be noticed but if this is the case then the rings are not sealing properly allowing too much blow by. As for the oil disapearing in you engine have you removed a valve cover when it is low to see if it is being retained on the head? The Toyota/Lexus 3.0 has this problem with small drain back holes also and if there is any sludge it will stay up there. The drain back holes are designed to be small to keep oil in the cam area for lubrication of the multiple moving parts that's why 8 quarts is needed it's not neccessarily a design flaw. It may be the 3.6 has rings that either don't seal properly, weren't broken in properly or wear quickly due to inferior material. The oil is going somewhere so if it isn't pooling then it is being burned. If so the pipes, catalytic converter and muffler should all show residue.
  • There is a huge lack of common sense if you don't check your oil until the service at 10k miles. This is how problems are detected before catastrophic failure. No engine will go 10k miles without burning a pint or two especially with a very low viscosity and no engine will lose 4 quarts in 100 miles and not smoke if it is being burned. It must be pooling somewhere. If you live in a hot climate use a higher viscosity oil and the consumtion will decrease if it is being burned. There are obvious problems with some of these engines but from what I have read and I have read every post some people just don't understand how to maintain a car it's not just get in a drive. I read many complaint forums on vehicles and they are mostly from people with no mechanical knowledge. Obviously the majority are women because mechanics is not one of their favorite subjects and usually leave the servicing to the dealer or a man they know. There are tens of thousands of 3.6's on the road with most having no problems. This is not to say the people on this board don't have a defective engine but there is a complete lack of maintenance in some cases. If any of you are certified mechanics especially with the newer vehicles you will understand being you see what comes into the shop. Sometimes you have to just shake your head a laugh.
  • Hi Can you post where to find the service bulletin regarding the timing chain recall, are they replacing the part on all 3.6 engines as you state must be done before they fail. Mine were done 2 years ago but now when I start my engine in the morning I hear a rattling sound which may be the timing chain failing again. I am so disappointed with this issue and the oil consumption problem that I never drive the car any where except around the city. I have replaced my other 2 vehicles with Toyotas corolla and tacoma 100k and 49K and NEVER had any repairs done on either vehicle. My CTS is the last GM product the we will every own because of these issues.
  • Search Google for Cadillac CTS Service Bulletin or TSB. I believe it only applies to 2007 and earlier but not sure. Contact your local dealer also. Check your oil about 30 minutes after going for a drive then let the car sit a couple days and check it again on a cold engine. See if the level is the same. If it is higher the second time then oil is getting trapped on top of the heads the oil drain back holes may be partially clogged. Using a thicker viscosity oil will slow the burning issue. If you have high miles I recommend 10w-40 but make sure you switch back to a thinner oil if you live in cold winter areas.
  • k9will here i saw the post about 4 Qts in 100 miles had to be misprint, moving on are you guys trying to tell me that the oil returns get stopped up some and slow the oil from coming back down, most of the time i ck the oil on these motors after it sits, in reply to the 3.6 is a great motor (and it does run and perform well) but the 2 cts 3.6s that i have both use more oil than normal but i will say the 1 i switched over to 10w 30 penzoil uses less than the one that has 5w 30 mobil in it. I am i the proscess of checking the oil closer to see how much oil per miles driven is being use both cars are off at college with kids hard to get them home. I agree the PCV i did not think it could create that kind of oil consumption. i purchased both of these cars after they had 90000 miles on them, but the motors run fine don't smoke but you better keep a close EYE on your oil dipstick sometimes it will shock you how much oil is gone I can see where someone could run one low on oil before they new it THAN you have motor failure
  • Cady2004,

    If you do work with a dealership towards resolving this concern and would like assistance in the process, please send us an email with more information including your name/user name, the last 8 digits of your VIN, involved dealership, and a description of your past dealership visits (if applicable) that you've made to resolve this problem.

    Thank you in advance,
    GM Customer Service
  • GM Sara

    Let this act as notice to GM , the timing chains failed while my wife was driving on the freeway at 60 mph during rain storm and at that point lost engine power and had to cross 3 lanes of traffic to safety on the shoulder this to me is an unacceptable situation for anyone to be in . IF THIS OCCURS TO ME AGAIN OR IF THIS HAS HAPPENED TO OTHERS READING THIS POST THEN PLEASE CONTACT THE NHTSA NATIONAL HIWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION IN THE USA AND TRANSPORT CANADA AND REPORT THE ISSUE TO (just go to their web site ) THEM IF THERE ENOUGH COMPLAINTS they may investigate and THEN GM MAY HAVE BE FORCED TO DO A RECALL ON AFFECTED VEHICLES for safety reasons. If you own any GM product with the 3.6L ie SRX Acadia etc these posts may also apply to you my dealer told me it was not just a CTS issue so check out other posts.
  • i think what sarah is doing for gm customers with potenial warranty problems is great , but my problems are not covered under warranty i would like to know if there is some underlying problems with 3.6 motor that gm is trying not to let out until they are way past warranty. I raced sbc motors for 15 years i understand how and why motor could use oil ,but my two 3.6s have got me confused as to how great they run & perform but keep a close eye on the oil consumpsion per miles driven, these cars look like they where taken good care of I have seen alot worse in my 25 years of owning a auto repair shop. Funny thing these cts's both have the 5l40e auto transmission in them and they both have slipping problems when put in drive sometimes on cold mornings after they sit over night. If anybody such as (Sarah) could lead me into a web site or something so i can find out how problems could be repaired without major teardowns of motors or transmissions, these cars perform to well now to consider major work, but take my eye off the oil stick long and where looking at motor failure. THANKS
  • 2 years ago I purchased a used 2005 CTS with <30k kilometers on it. I purchased a GM extended warranty (4 years = $4,000). Since then all maintenance visits have been done on time. BTW Oil / filter changes at the dealership cost about $165.

    I took the car in in August 2011 (89,000 km) because of a horribly clanking noise in the engine every time I started the car up and it lasted for about 5 minutes every time I gave it any gas. The dealer said there was zero oil showing on the dipstick. I said the DriverInfo said oil was at 58% and I was told that is only the time since the last oil change and has nothing to do with quality or quantity of oil. There were NO OTHER indicators that the engine had low oil level: no message on the Drivers display, no idiot lights, no engine warning lights.

    Returning from a trip Halifax - Montreal - Halifax the engine clanking noise reappeared in Douglastown NB. I took it to the GM dealer who put 4 litres of oil in the car. We had driven <4000 km (that's 4.22 quarts in 2.5k miles or 1 qt every 600 miles which I think is excessive.)

    I have seen several comments in this thread that 1 qt per 1000 miles may seem high but is within the understandable limits @ $15 per litre it gets to be really really expensive.
  • When you had your vehicle in at the dealership to add oil, did they have any diagnosis?

    GM Customer Service
  • dear bill you are about to have total motor failure with what you have descibed in your post stop driving it now that is if it has not locked up already what has happend is it became low on oil befor you new it and has done unreversable damage inside your motor, have it checked or will lose the motor. Keep posting to let us know how it turns out. PS oil % does not mean how much oil you have in motor, it means how much life is left in the oil that is in the motor that is the short summary of it GOOD LUCK
  • i am so happy to find this site because on CHRISTMAS day my son's girlfriend's 07 cts failed on start and began knocking badly before dying in a parking lot. my CARMD diagnosed a bad #5 ing coil but i knew it was much much worse than that. from forty yrs personal experience working on clunkers i or any other hillbilly can tell when valves and pistons collide just by the sick metallic sound. i AM a dyed in the wool CHEVY guy and am so very disappointed by all of the blogs all you good people have posted. every story seems like " deja vu all over again " as yogi said. and . what's up with the major oil loss suddenly ? we can not all be STUPID... gf was running fine then BAM !! 4 qts. low. total weirdness but surely related to this problem. i have not done compression ck yet but i'm not gonna waste money on a #5 coil either. Hopefully the 07 with 92,600 mi is still under warranty and they will do something honorable and i will return with a good outcome for y'all. i still wish to be a faithful chevy man. Please don't let us down GM. we got ur back when u needed us, remember ?
  • GM didn't do anything for me on my 05 CTS when it had the exact same troubles. I ended up putting in a used engine. I received ZERO concessions form Cadillac, or GM. It is really starting to look like a class action suit is the only thing that will get GM's attention and help inform the consumer. :sick:
  • Hi Sarah. The first time I presented the CTS to the Cadillac dealer, they did not present a diagnosis, but said the engine did have a reputation of possibly "eating" a lot of oil. On our trip when the clunking happened again, there was no Cadillac dealer available, but the GM dealer we went to found the oil was indeed low and he added 4 liters.

    When I got back home, a few weeks later I took it in to the Cadillac dealer again, and told the whole story. The car had again started to clank a little. The dealer kept the car for 2 days. When I purchased the used car from them I also purchased a four year extended Maintenance (warranty?).

    When I picked the car up this is what the service report said:
    Cause: oil getting in PVC system
    Correction: replaced bank 1 cam cover gasket with updated part.
    Test Drove
    Parts: 12641261 SEAL 1

    I did ask the dealer about switching to non-synthetic oil because oil and filter changes were costing over $150. He said the car could certainly use regular instead of synthetic, but recommended not doing it now because it would void the extended maintenance plan I had purchased.
  • As you can see in my other post, my 2005 CTS "ate" 4 litres of oil on a 4000km trip. The Cadillac dealer at home agreed that was not a normal level of oil consumption. He said he found a service bulletin (I think that's what he called it) that indicated a potential problem with a gasket that allowed oil to get into the pcv system. They "replaced bank 1 cam cover gasket with updated part"
    Another line says "J0311 LT CAMSHAFT COV PRL"
    Then "Parts 12641261"
    I am in Canada, so I don't know how this relates to USA vehicles.
  • Do the older-pre-2008- CTS have oil pressure gauges?
  • Hi Bill Can you please post in a couple of months IF THE GASKET MADE ANY DIFFERENCE AND HOW MANY KM YOU HAVE ON YOUR VEHICLE. If it was as simple as a gasket change you would think GM would have done a recalled cheaper then losing customers, your consumption is very much the same as mine 1 litre every 1000km. Keep readers informed and if any one else reading has had success with this solution please post.
  • I will certainly keep the forum updated. When the Bank 1 Cam cover gasket was replaced, the odometer reading was 96,008 km. When I first had the clunking noise in the engine the odometer was around 89,000 km.

    It is also relevant to note (I think) that in 14 Aug 2010 when the odometer reading was 54,263km We set out on a cross country trip From Halifax NS to Victoria BC and then back through the USA. A total of about 14,000 KM. At no point on the trip did we hear the clunking sound, and when we returned we took the car in for a routine maintenance check, and noone mentioned the car being low on oil of anything.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I had the oil changed on my 2005 CTS and, now, my 2009 CTS at a Cadillac dealership in Nashville, TN. The charge has always been $64.00 for a synthetic oil change and filter change. Why would a dealer charge $150? That is a ridiculous charge.
  • In Canada 4 liters of oil at the dealer are $ 56 and I think the oil change needs 7liters. Plus the filter Plus the labour. Even at a retail store Mobile 1 synthetic is $12 for a 1 liter container or $ 49 for 4.54 litres.
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