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Cadillac CTS Engine Problems



  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    k9will here i agree take that car somewhere else that is not narmal for any newer car good luck , ask the dealer to show you another one that does it ( i'll wait) and mariah sorry it has taken so long for me to read your responce thanks alot for your reply
  • pf562pf562 Posts: 4
    edited August 2010
    The dealer couldn't come up with a car that does what my car does. Im Still being stone walled cause the rep says this normal? (what The Dealer is telling me) Bommarito cadillac st peters mo. I'm now taking the car up to Plaza cadillac, see what the say. plus its starting to backfire and miss again (previous problems) the loose timing chains fix lasted 4 days. Also now i got a new problem in the morning when the motor is at fast idle the car will barely stop in reverse . it about took out my neighbors car.
  • wow keep me informed post whatn you find out thanks k9will
  • I have a 2006 CTS - 56,022 miles. We went on vacation to Colorado, and began our return trip to Illinois last Thursday, August 26th. Stopped for the night in Nebraska, and started the next morning. My car started to make a fast ticking noise and the engine shut down. No rough engine prior to this, no idiot lights, no chimes, no nothing. They towed my CTS to the Cadillac Dealer in Lincoln and they told me the timing chain failed - cost to fix $3,000 and we had to wait until Tuesday, 8-31-10 for the parts. I was shocked - never had anything like this happen before with GM cars. I called my dealer in illinois and they suggested that we contact GM customer service. I called and they assigned me a file#. Tuesday, the dealer told us that when they started the repair, they found a broken valve and a piston hit the cylinder - so now it's a new engine - $6,000 to fix. They said my car was down 2 quarts of oil. I have my Onstar Diagnostics report from 8-6-2010 with a green light - everything was good; a week before we left on vacation. With this news, we rented a car and drove back to Illinois. We spoke to our dealer, and told him the issues that we were having with timing chain/engine failure. He contacted the dealer in Lincoln and they said that now it looks like the Cam Follower failed due to the car being 2 qts. low on oil. GM Customer service is saying that it's our fault that we drove the car while down 2 quarts. What planet are these people from? 2 quarts doesn't make an engine seize. I always have my oil changed on a regular basis, and have done what the owners information has told me. There is a huge problem with the CTS engine, and they won't own up to it. Cadillac was "supposed" to be the top of the GM line! What is going on here? There is a huge cover-up and something needs to be done. I want my car back in Illinois and I want GM to replace my engine - not with a used engine either. I took good care of my car, and spent a lot of money with GM over the years.
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    edited September 2010
    Sorry about your very bad luck. Still, a question does come up. How often do you check your engine oil level, and when did you last check it? It would not be safe to wait for an engine warning to pop up.
  • cadman4cadman4 Posts: 3
    edited September 2010
    I am sorry to say it but welcome to the club. See my comment #105. When an expensive, well maintained car goes from never burning or leaking oil and never having to add oil between changes to a blown engine that is way low on oil, I have a problem with laying the blame on the owner for not checking the oil. Something is rotten in GM land!
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    edited September 2010
    Agreed, a car should not suddenly start burning large amounts of oil. If that occurs, then a serious problem may have arisen. The details in this case are unclear, but as written, one gets the impression that cadillacmom does not check engine oil levels. All authorities and owner's manuals that I have ever read recommend that one regularly check oil levels. The point is that serious things can go wrong with even the most reliable brands, and so it is important for drivers to monitor their vehicles themselves. It is not safe to assume that scheduled maintenance provides adequate monitoring. If an engine fails with very low oil levels, then the warranty is usually void.

    Years ago I had an Audi that suddenly started burning oil because of defective valve seals. Fortunately, I was regularly checking oil levels, so I caught the problem before there was engine damage.

    My comments are not intended to blame the owner. This forum provides us an opportunity to learn from each other's experiences. This is a good reminder that we should all check oil levels regularly. If cadillacmom has been doing this, then this is even more regrettable. Maybe she can fill in some details.
  • This is the same problem that happens with the 2005 3.6liter v6 . I can assure you that it is a problem that dealerships and engine rebuild companies are very familiar with . Then some person is going to try to make you seem stupid by asking a question like did you check your oil level once a day and they know it is a problem with the engine and not you . It is not a coincidence that people with easy problems will get contacted by a service advisor but those of us stuck with this engine problem get nothing .
  • So if I check the oil every six months thats regular . You know for a fact that this is a defect but because you are smarter than everyone else you check oil once a week . Once a year is regular if you always check it once a year .
  • I checked my OnStar Diagnostics report before we left and we had a green light and 60% oil life. I just had my CTS in the dealer in June for new tires, and they did a complete inspection at that time. I have spoken to several mechanics who assured me that my engine should not have seized down 2 quarts of oil. I honestly don't think that anyone knows why the engine did this, but it appears that they are trying to push the blame off on me. I really have kept my car in good shape and have followed the recommendations from the dealer. For an engine to fail at this point is unbelievable.
  • My husband checked our oil before we left and he said it was good. I read my OnStar Diagnostic report each month when it arrives. Being that I am not a mechanic, when I am told that my car 2 quarts low when the dealer looked at it, I wonder about the 5 quarts remaining. I have spoken to people who do know, and have been told that an engine doesn't seize up like this being 2 quarts down. I am trying to understand what happened, but honestly, my car didn't show any signs of a problem until the engine went. No lights, no bangs, or loud noises - only a quiet kind of ticking/whirring sound that lasted a few seconds only and I ground to a stop.
  • bridges7bridges7 Posts: 1
    edited September 2010

    My wife had the same problem, however it started right back up and if it didn't she had to wait about the same time you did before it started up. You could have a multiple problems causing this. The dealership changed a number of items on her 03' CTS but she had valve cover gaskets leaking. Once the gaskets were replaced and the leaks stopped, the crank shaft and camshaft positioning sensors were replaced one at a time and the problem disappeared. This "at random cutting-off went on for four months. Hope this helps....Call me if you need to...706-664-7163/Cell...By the way, I own the same 03' Cadillac CTS, different in color though and had to replace the Camshaft and Crankshaft positioning sensors first and later the spark plugs and replace the valve cover gaskets and before she start experiencing her problems. One way that may assist you is to take the car to an Autozone or Advance Auto and have them do a Diagnostic test to display any error codes on the car and then look them up on the internet.

  • Thank you for your reply. We did try to start the engine right away, but it wouldn't run at all. The police came and stayed with us until the tow truck showed up.

    I am very frustrated with the situation. I have been trying to be reasonable about what has happened, but in all the years we have owned GM cars, we have never had anything like this happen. My car was maintained at the Cadillac dealer where we purchased the car, and everything was done on time. My August 6th, OnStar Diagnostics report showed green lights all the way - no yellow or red - only green. My next oil change wasn't due for awhile. They are saying that I was 2 quarts down on oil when the dealer checked it, but the car holds 7 quarts. The oil could have been lost when the engine blew. In checking with people, being down 2 quarts of oil shouldn't make the engine run dry.

    GM Customer service is supposed to call me back on Wednesday, September 8th. To be continued - - -
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I know you keep referencing your OnStar report and the green light......the OnStar report only reports the GMOL percentage remaining....(General Motors Oil Life Monitor) which is based on an algorithm....and your driving conditions....its doesnt actually measure oil levels or consumption.....that is a manual check only.....

    I tend to agree you may have lost some oil during the engine failure...did you notice any change in the oil pressure guage????..I hope bigger GM helps you out here...
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    edited September 2010
    I agree, there is some ambiguity about what happened. I wonder if the 2 quarts down estimate is accurate. What about the timing chain failure - is this still an issue? It would seem unlikely that the timing chain would fail and the engine would seize both independently at the same time. It would be helpful if you could get an independent party to assess the damage to the engine & possible causes - don't know if this is practical.

    I raised the issue of checking the oil because if the oil level was normal within a week or two of the engine failure, then something serious must have occurred to cause rapid loss of oil that would normally not be the owner's fault. It might be something that would be apparent on inspection of the engine.
  • Yes, the dealer in Lincoln told my dealer in Illinois that the Cam Follower was bad or failed too. I don't know what a Cam Follower does, but I would like to understand the order in which the actual engine failure would take place. Does the Cam Follower go first? They initially told me the timing chain failed, but when they went to fix it, they found concealed damage - they said that there was a broken valve, a cylinder hit the piston and the engine was gone. Then they said it was the Cam follower. It sounds like the engine just fell apart, but it must have been a chain reaction that started someplace. They kept saying when they checked the engine, it was 2 quarts down on oil. There are 7 quarts in the engine, so where did the 2 quarts go? Given that I didn't have any signs like the engine running rough, or any lights, I just don't understand how this really happened.
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    edited September 2010
    I am not a mechanic, so I can't address what came first. As for whether being down 2 quarts could cause engine failure: it depends on the specific design of the engine. I would ordinarily think that it would not. However, recall that some manufacturers (e.g. VW) have had oil sludge & engine damage that occurred at recommended oil levels. So, it does not necessarily follow that engine damage could not occur if an engine was down 2 out of 7 quarts.

    Where did the oil go? Usually it would be burned (e.g. with the defective valve seals in my Audi years ago), or it might be leaked from the engine. Have you noticed evidence of oil where your car is usually parked?

    You really need an expert to help since it is unclear what caused the engine failure. Also, I assume the car is out of warranty, so any help from Cadillac depends on their good will.

    Overall, very sorry about your bad luck. If you have properly maintained the car, checked the oil at reasonable intervals, etc., then this should not have happened. Note that according to Consumer Reports, the CTS engine has been reliable. So, this experience does not appear to be representative.
  • Hello,

    No, there is no evidence that oil leaked out on our garage floor. It is a mystery.
    I wouldn't think that there would be any oil sludge with synthetic oil - the dealer has always changed the oil and used the recommended synthetic oil. Does synthetic oil sludge up?

    I would say that we have had very good experience with our past GM cars, and I did really enjoy my CTS. We had to rent a car to come back to Illinois, and we got a Chrysler Sebring. It drove fine, but the road noise in the car while driving on I-80 was pretty loud. My husband couldn't hear his cell phone very well. We could hear every bump on the pavement. Not good sound proofing.
  • This is the pretty much the same thing that happened to me (post #104). They found the 2 quarts of oil in the catalytic converter so be prepared to change it in addition to the engine. My first mechanic stripped down the orginal heads and found 2 bent teeth on the camshaft sprocket which caused the timing chain to jump and bend the valves, striking the pistons and blowing the oil into the exhaust but not out the exhaust.- I had no warning either.

    Good luck. I found Cadillac very unhelpful and they will maintain that it's your fault. The funny part is I keep getting offers to buy a new one and I keep mailing it back to them with copies of the report from my mechanic discribing the cause of the damage to my engine.
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    edited September 2010
    So, it is possible that cadillacmom's problem was due to defective timing chain sprockets. I wonder if cadillacmom could document this.

    Given the amount of money involved, small claims court might be one way of recovering expenses.
  • I don't know how expensive it would be to document my engine problems. I think I would need to take pictures of the damaged engine. I wish that GM would put in a new engine, and then take my engine and research it with their engineers. I did hear back from GM Customer Service, and they have escalated my file again. THey are calling me back on Monday. I want my car back. . .

    To be continued . . . again.
  • This has been an enlightening discussion. I have an 05 CTS with the 2.8L engine and a manual transmission. I check my oil once per month. Last Week, after the car has run 88,000 miles with no problem, I started the engine and heard loud knocking, hammering and tapping. It sounded like it had no oil. I checked the oil, it was down 3 quarts. (no overheating, no lights, no leaks or drips, no smoky exhaust to warn me, either) I added the oil, noise still there. Towed to Caddy dealership who looked at it for 20 minutes and told me that I needed a new engine, which they were happy to sell me for $1995 and only $2200 to put it in the car. Took it to my own mechanic who initially thought it was the camshaft position sensor, but now discovers the bolt that goes through the timing chain pulley broke off internally and damaged the cam shaft and actuator. Engine now apart in his shop, I still have no idea if pistons or rods damaged. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am that such an allegedly premium automobile would crap out like this after only 48 months and mostly highway miles, not to mention the fact that I babied this vehicle, did all the routine maintenance, and never beat the engine-as one might suspect one might do with a stick shift. I'd been looking forward to a new CTS coupe, and buying American, but I'm so disgusted and distrustful I may have to look overseas, something I thought I would not have to do again since I believed that GM had solved its quality problems so prevalent in the 80's and 90's.
  • I think it's very possible. The machine shop even documented that it was a design flaw and not due to the lack of oil. Cadillac will not even look at the documentation unless it's from a Cadillac dealer and good luck getting one of them to tell you it's a design flaw.
  • after having the oil consumption issues with our 04 cts with the 3.6 engine that a lot of people on this forum have been having, we took ours back to our cadillac dealer and they rebuilt the engine under extended warranty, mainly with rings and valve guides, an acceptable fix for this problem, I am told. Anyway we received the car back on Sept. 24 and followed the break in procedure for the recommended 800 kms., it used a litre of oil over that time, which was the same amount that it was using when we took it in. Is this an acceptable amount of oil for it to be using during break in? Our extended warranty is now finished.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I had an '05 CTS and I now have a 2009. In my opinion, the answer to your question is no. I would not be happy with that. However, my guess is that the dealer will tell you that this is acceptable during break-in. I have never had any difference in oil consumption during break-in than during post break-in. This has been true with any vehicle I have had. Even though your warranty has ceased, they should be willing to repair the engine due to your problem with it during warranty. It has been my experience to have a problem corrected after warranty, if it showed up during warranty.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 570
    That oil consumption is too high. Break in or not. Something else must need to be replaced or redone.
  • nagarnagar Posts: 6
    thank you for your replys, the cadillac dealership I have been dealing with, Murray Chev Olds Cadillac, Medicine Hat Alberta has been good to deal with, I will update with the results of dealing with them over this issue. Should I be doing a short oil change with having the engine rebuilt?
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I don't see why you would have to do that. When the car is new, you run the normal mileage before an oil change. In other words, if you are going to change your oil every 5,000 miles you run it that long before the first oil change.
  • nagarnagar Posts: 6
    before we had our cts was a proud owner of a 95 nissan maxima se, there were 325k kms. on it when we sold it and it was still a very good car. In your estimation is it naive to believe that I can do the same thing with the cts? Take excellent care of my vehicles
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    The answer is no. I have had two CTS: an '05 and currently an '09. I love the car, but I do not see it as a car to run that long. If you did, you would spend a lot of money on maintenance.
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