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Cadillac CTS Engine Problems



  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    The crazy part is that it seems GM has phased out all of its old tech V6 OHV engines (e.g. 3.9, 3.8, 3.5, 3.1, etc.). Although these engines have gasket problems (e.g. intake or head gaskets), once fixed, they typically had no other issues, would last 150k to 200k miles with regular maintenance, and could be serviced by any neighborhood mechanic. Now, and especially with Cadillac, GM has complex, poorly engineered overhead cam engines which fail prematurely and few mechanics know how to fix. This is progress?

    Last summer, I purchased a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix with 125k miles for $3k. I keep the car at our summer home down south. The car sits 2 to 3 months at a time without being used. Every time we visit our summer home, I start it up and the car fires up right of way, does not burn oil, and gets 28 MPG on the highway. GM really needs to get back to basics.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,041
    GM really needs to get back to basics.

    Good luck with that.

    The KISS concept is lost on most manufacturers these days. Some are still reliable, but they're not well thought of.
  • I'm sorry that your CTS wasn't a satisfactory vehicle for you, and I really do hope that your next vehicle is more successful!
    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • well it finally happened my 04 cts with 3.6 broke the timing chain at 111000 miles i hope it did not bend valves , i had just solved my transmission early morning slipping problem by adding Lucas trans treatment,but it can't stand being free of problems, LOL , i will pull engine front cover off to see how bad it is, i have had oil consumption problems with both my cts's with 3.6, and Sarah was the timing chain recall for 2007 only or 2007 and older
  • madatgmotorsmadatgmotors Posts: 3
    edited February 2012
    Just news from the Cadillac dealership.....4000.00 to fix the engine. Seems it uses 5-6qts of oil every 5000 miles. The engine only has 57,000 miles on it!(2005 Cadillac CTS 3.6L)

    I was coming back from a 3500 mile trip when the car started missing. Immediately went to the nearest Cadillac dealership. The checked the car out and informed me the oil was "low"...As in NO OIL showing on the dipstick!!

    I had the oil changed before the trip. Maybe the mechanic didn't put enough back in?
    NOPE, he did!

    Seems "the car is supposed to use oil", according to the manual and the service rep. Well, when they looked up the service records for my car they saw it never went more than 3-5K miles between oil changes, and always at the delership, it had never been serviced anywhere else outside of a cadillac dealer!

    I thought this was going to be the car I kept for a long time! Looks like I was wrong.
    Oh yeah, the car is out of warranty! (and with only 57k on the engine!)

    I am willing to join a class action lawsuit if comes down to it also!
  • There was a Customer Satisfaction Program on certain 2007 vehicles regarding premature timing chain wear, but was not on other CTS vehicles from model years prior to that.

    GM Customer Service
  • Can we look into this with you, madatgmotors? Please send us an email at the address located in my profile with more information, including your name/Edmunds username, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership. My coworker Christina will advise you further.
    GM Customer Service
  • Currently working with a dealership near home. If they say they can't help I will get back with you.

    Is there really anything that YOU can do about this?
    Are you affiliated or do you work for GM?

  • Sounds good.
    What we do through Customer Service is make sure that everything is being done that can be done, and evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis. This is done through Service Requests, that can be escalated to district specialists for further evaluation.

    GM Customer Service
  • keep up the good work Sarah i hope you can help some GM owners with there problems, I wish that GM could worn people about how these timing chain, oil consumption issues can be avoided, or what causes it happen, THANKS again Sarah
  • I have a2005 cts and I frist notice the oil cosumption while on a road trip from VA to FLD. I had the oil changed the day before we left. I always chech behind anyone who touchs my car. The oil was good. After we reached GA the oil level droped 1.50 qts. My thought was maybe the drain plug was loss. Checked it not so. So had the oil changed in FLD, before return trip, got to NC and the oil level droped 1.50 qts. I'd just like to know if traveling at high RPMs had anything to do with it? I've always been a GM man from day one. But now I'm thinking GM has lost it. Does anyone have any idea what can be done to fix this?
  • We took the car for service when we heard metalic clunking sounds, and loss of power. The Cadillac dealer indicated the dipstick showed no oil. The Info Display indicated oil at 58%. The dealer filled with oil and we thought the problem was solved. The engine was at about 92,500 km.

    After local driving we set out on a trip fom Halifax to Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, and on the way home we heard the same metalic engine noise. We went to the GM dealer in Miramichi NB where the dealer added 4 litres of oil. We had driven a total of 3,500 KM since the cadillac service was done.
    Posting here in the forums it was apparent that 4 litres of oil in less than 3,500 km was a problem so we took the car into the Cadillac dealer when we got home. In December 2011 they did some research and kept the car for 3-4 days . The service slip indicates :replaced bank 1 cam cover gasket with updated part" and then "LT CAMSHAFT COV RPL" and then "Part number 12641261". As soon as the car has put on 3200km (next week I think) I will take the car back to the Cadillac Dealer, and according to Sarah's posts here there better be less that 1 litre of oil consumed. If there is more oil missing than that I will be asking the Cadillac dealer what they plan to do to fix the problem. We purchased the car second hand from the Cadillac dealer and got a 4 year extended warranty plan ($4,000 CND) at that time. I will note that the replace bank 1 cam cover gasket" was done under the warranty plan.

    I have not asked for Sarah's assistance at this point, but I sure appreciate the information she is providing the forum, and glad she is here as a GM contact. I will make sure I update the forum with the results of my taking the car into the dealer after 3,200 km has passed.
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    edited February 2012
    If you have already had two episodes of oil levels so low that there have been "metallic clunking sounds", then I recommend you take the car to an independent mechanic to have the engine evaluated for significant damage beyond what has already been repaired. I would not count on this engine to have a long life.
  • I'm glad that the information has been helpful for you, bill_anderson, and am looking forward to hearing more from you on how your dealership visit goes.

    I see that you are located in Canada. As much as I would like to assist if/when the need arises, I am only able to work with U.S. customers at this time. GM of Canada serves the same function as I do, and they can be reached at 800-263-3777. Their hours are: M-F 7:30am - 11:30pm, Sat 7:30am - 6:00 EST.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • chimon1chimon1 Posts: 5
    my 2006 CTS has 102,000 miles on it and i do not use synthetic oil any more.
    At this time i am experimenting with Castrol Gtx 5-30 and it definitely seems to last longer then synthetic.
    Synthetic oil is too loww vicosity and goes into every nook and cranny inside the engine and where it is not supposed to go the darn thing just
    gets burnt up and out the rear and polluting our clean air.
    I think we should be complaining to the EPA that through no fault of ours
    GM is polluting the clean air and collectively GM should be fined not Millions but Billions of Dollars for doing such a ghastly thing.
    A car made in America to kill Americans through Burnt-oil filled air
  • OK, I just picked up my car from the dealer and I couldn't be happier. GM stepped up to the plate and only charged me $1000.00 out of the total cost to rebuild the engine completely, and a new timing belt.

    I hope the excessive oil consumption problem is gone for good now.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    This is great to hear, madatgmotors! I'm glad to hear that you're satisfied with the repair and hope that everything goes well for many miles!

    GM Customer Service
  • This car has 142k in miles but has been well maintained. Over the last 40,000 miles it drinks 1.5 qts of oil per 2,000 miles with no smoke or warning that oil levels are dropping. With this being listed on so many forums, why has GM elected not to address the issue of consumption or indicators for oil consumption. I was just told that the oxygen sensors and converter are in need of replacement this morning. If this is GM's idea of luxury, then it is time to go back to Lexus
  • madctsmadcts Posts: 6
    I just got my 2008 cts back last week. It was burning 1.25 qts every 3000. The dealer had the car for two weeks and replaced the whole top end (rings pistons ). When I got the car back the first time, it made a bad noise, I took it right back. The converted had broken off and lodged itself in the pipe. They rePlaced the entire pipe from the manifold to the tail pipe. The seals were leaking on the differential, so they replaced them to! They had my car for 26 days!! My 68 chevy truck buned less oil!!
  • I wanted to update the forum on my oil consumption problem. Remember also that I am in Canada not the US and so as Sarah has pointed out to me, I need to look to GM Canada for resolution. The last time I posted my Cadillac dealer took the car for 3 days in December 2011 and replaced "LT CAMSHAFT COV RPL" and the workorder quoted "Part number 12641261.

    Well flash forward to a few weeks ago when I had put on about 2900 kilometers and checked the dipstick and it was almost dry. No oil was in the hashed section of the dipstick. I immediately took the car into the Cadillac dealer. They started me on an oil consumption monitoring routine where I have to take the car into them (no appointment required) every 1000 kilometers. They will measure and record how much oil is needed.

    Well today my car was at 920 km, so I dropped by the dealer. He added half a litre of oil, and recorded the numbers on my oil consumption chart. The mechanic also confirmed that GM Canada also sees more than 0.946 litres of oil per 3200 kilometers as excessive oil consumption. So I have to have at least one and perhaps two more 1000 kilometer "readings" before a decision is made. My vehicle is a 2005 CTS with 99,700 kilometers on it (about 62k miles). I asked what the remedy would be, and the tech said there were a number of possibles including dismantling the engine to gauge the piston clearances, or possible replacing the entire engine.
  • cetoceto Posts: 3
    I have a 2010 Cadillac cts and bought it new in 2011,and the first week I notice each time I started the engine it makes a loud humming sound,so I took it to the dealer and they said it was normal,then a week later it got louder,so I brought it in again and they said it was the lifters,I said for a new car less then 1000 miles?they said man made brake,wow a they replace the lifters and still the same noise.and now they say its still normal,then 1 week later traction control light turn on.they said it just needed updating???New Car???.Now I got 10,000 miles on it and now white smoke is coming out of the tail pipe,brought it in again,and they said i had a high cor bin build up and I should stick with just one gas I brought it home again and 2 days later I decided to check the Oil, even if it was still 36%.I checked it and the oil was almost gone.I brought it in again.and they gave me a I just got the call back today to pick up the car.So I told them I wasn't satisfied with the car and you sold me a Lemon!!!!!They told me to drive it home and monitor it for a 1000 miles to see if it will eat oil again.this is there last chance,...Can anyone tell me what should I do. PLS HELP
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning ceto,

    If we can be of any assistance as you work with your dealership towards addressing this, please send us an email to with more information (include your name/Edmunds username, address and phone, last 8 of your VIN and approximate mileage, and name of your dealership).

    GM Customer Service
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Insist on a new engine. If they do not concur, then go see a lawyer and advise them you'll sue. That will get their attention.
  • burketmburketm Posts: 1
    Just wondering how things are going now that you are using Castrol GTx. Is the oil not being consumed as much? How did you go about transitioning from synthetic to conventional oil?
    Also, would like to know if anyone else has tried this.
    Note: I have a 2007 2.6 V6 and have received a 10 year warranty from GM on the timing chain, also did the recall which consisted of re-calibrating the oil change intervals system.
    I am experiencing similar problems with going through 1.3 quarts every 2000 miles.
  • You should check with your dealer before switching types of oil. I am in Canada and my dealer told me that if I did not continue to use synthetic it would void my warranty, so I will continue to use synthetic (even though it costs about $17 per litre and my oil changes cost around $150)
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Hey Bill,

    If you live near the U.S. border, buy the synthetic oil in the U.S . and bring it to the dealership when you have the oil changed. It will save you some $. Four U.S. quarts of Mobil 1 costs about $35 U.S. at Walmart.
  • bdahlg68bdahlg68 Posts: 2
    Same issue here...

    My wife and I have a 2009 CTS4 with the base V6 engine. We bought the car new in August 2009. It currently has approximately 24,000 miles on it. It has been about 6,000 miles since the last oil change (always synthetic). While driving the car Wednesday, it felt like it had a problem with the transmission or torque converter. It felt like the trans was slipping and there was a decent amount of noise. The next day I called Cadillac they said to bring it in. We stopped driving the car and brought it in today. Since it was coming up for an oil change IMO (OLM said 49% remaining), I agreed to have them do an oil change while the car was there. This afternoon we got a call that the engine was 3.5 - 4 quarts low on oil. Note that the previous oil changes did not indicate abnormal consumption (at least it was not noted to me). The noise was assigned to the timing chain and the timing chain will be replaced. I was told that actually low oil sometimes voids the warranty but that the dealer will fix the timing chain. Nothing else has been noted yet as an issue. I'm concerned about several things now. Mainly that the dealer is fixing the timing chain but also voiding the warranty for the engine. Although I'm not having issues with the dealer yet, I can almost smell it coming. My wife and I sold 2 BMW's and picked up two GM cars during the recession - mainly to support the American economy. I really hope not to regret this decision. Has anyone here had issues with the warranty being voided after bringing the car into the dealership with low oil?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.
  • erycuserycus Posts: 7
    The warranty was expired on my 2005 CTS, although I did call Cadillac and GM only to be told there is nothing we can (Will) do for you. I ended up purchasing a rebuilt 3.6.

    Dump the Caddy NOW! I will never by another GM! I actually love the looks of the new Camaro....but despise the customer service or lack of customer service.

    Read all the comments in this thread, it will help you understand why CTS owners are so upset! :sick: :lemon:
  • cady2004cady2004 Posts: 13
    Get rid of the car that is the best thing to do , while it still has warranty on it I have a 2004 CTS and I have had my timing chains and heads replaced the differential has had issues and the front wiring harness replaced and it uses 1 quart every 1000 miles, it appears the issues are still there 5 years later. I have bought 2 Toyotas one has 40k and the other 100k and neither have required any repairs so far I would get rid of the cady but as you will find out it has very low resale. Good luck. I think more Canadians and Americans at home are employed by foreign car manufacturers then GM so I would not be to concerned about saving jobs in NA.
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