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Cadillac CTS Engine Problems



  • According to your thought process people smart enough to afford this car should be smart enough to check their dipsticks is comparing apples to eggs . That you would totally dismiss the actuality of this problem that has been happening to unconnected people from across the United States should tell you that there is some merit to the problem that repeatedly happens to each of these individuals . There are more people that would be complaining except for the fact that GM service advisors were able to manipulate their warranties to fix the engines that were rendered useless by no fault of their own .
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    edited February 2011
    BIGjohn: sorry to offend. Point was you should be able to check your dipstick regardless of the technical aids to driving. Knowing the oil level helps with avoiding a problem AND helps with diagnosis IF you do have a mechanical problem requiring professional help. Also did not mean to dismiss people's car problems since there are real issues at times. Please check post #186 on Consumer's Reports unbiased reviews of CTS V-6 engines customer reported reliability. Enjoy your car.
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    I agree with crankee. Certainly our sympathy is to folks who have defective vehicles.

    However, in the case of low engine oil levels (whether due to a common or rare defect), part of the conversation should be about the need for all of us to regularly check oil levels. That is the best way to protect ourselves from the disaster of a ruined engine.
  • sadkittysadkitty Posts: 1
    I have read many of the messages posted here and I must say, I have had similar issues as well with my 2003 Cadillac CTS which I purchased brand new in October of 2002. I had a few issues while under warranty that I was not too concerned with as I was not responsible for the cost of the service. However, as soon as the warranty was over, the first issue was with the crank sensor. My car would die on me in traffic and would start after just a few minutes of the engine cooling down. I had it towed to the dealership where I learned what this issue was. The crank sensor was replaced at my expense. I drove the car home, (approximately 5 miles) and attempted to back it into the garage and smoke came rolling through the vents. I quickly put it in park and popped the hood and then ran. My husband came over to inspect the car and as he raised the hood, fire shot out from under the hood. Not wanting our car and house to burn to the ground, he scooped up some snow and dowsed it on the fire. I called the dealership to tell them what happened. They came to tow the car and called me later to say that the crank sensor they put it was a dud and they would fix it free of charge. Six months later the engine was leaking oil and I had all of the valve cover gaskets replaced. (At a different dealer). 13 months later it was leaking again. Now I have not heat on the drivers side. You would think that with the cost of the cadillacs, they would be built a little better. We have always changed the oil at least every 5,000 miles, since it reached 50,000 miles. Only when indicated prior to that. I am positive that my next purchase will not be a Cadillac. Any suggestions?
  • I purchased this car a year ago and wish I had seen this post prior to. My engine started making a rattling sound last week so I asked my husband (who is a mechanic) take a look at it. He drove it 2 miles from our home, the noise got louder and louder right before the engine blew/seized. I'm now being told I need an entirely new engine replacement which will cost over $5k in parts & labor. Apparently Cadillac does not warranty anything prior to 2007. Just my luck. I've tried contacting them via their website with no response. I called their 800# this morning and had a heated conversation with an incompetent rep who advised that I have the car towed to the dealer for a "diagnosis". This would be at my expense, of course. I've escalated my case to a supervisor who supposedly will be in contact with me tomorrow. I am not holding my breath for any assistance from Cadillac but they at least need to be made aware of these problems. I'm not the only one obviously so I'm wondering if anyone with an 05 -06 has had any luck with recourse or repair assistance. I am extremely heart broken that my "dream car" is now a heap of non functioning metal in my driveway. I should have just stuck with my reliable old 1997 BMW which never gave me any of these problems. Any advise or insight would be greatly appreciated!
  • Your only hope is if you have any kind of warranty that the dealership will manipulate to cover your problem. Service advisors will contact everyone with minor problems but don't hold you're breath waiting for them to admit that there is a defect in this engine . Stay in touch with me please.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867

    so as I read your message..the car was 5 years old when you bought it correct, thus there would have been no warranty on the car..unless you purchased a dealer offered one or a third party warranty...GMs drive train warranty is 5 years or 100K which ever comes first which they began to offer on all GM models in 07...and their bumper to bumper on Cadillac is 4/50K if memory serves me correct how many miles where on this car when you purchased iteither way you were out of the manufacturer warranty for the noise that was heard, rattle or otherwise....did you or your husband check the oil level before you drove the car further?..just curious as to why the engine seized in the first place....did it have oil in it???

    I currently own on 09 CTS with no problems on it through 37K
  • Thanks for your reply. The car had about 70k when I bought it, so I assume this was already out of warranty when I purchased it. Yes it had oil in it. I recently had an oil change as well and there were no "change/check oil warnings" before this incident. So far, dealing with Cadillac has been a waste of time. I never got a response to my online inquiry/letter and I have yet to receive a call back from a "supervisor" which I requested last week when I called the 800#. At this point I feel I am SOL as far as receiving any assistance from Cadillac. I am extremely disappointed that I paid cash outright for a car 5 years old and now have to invest another 5-6k into it so it is not a complete loss.
  • So far no luck with much of anything from Cadillac. It's like pulling teeth just to get a call or email response. I suppose they are not too concerned about issues with an 05 and more focused on selling selling selling. This whole experience has lasft a bad taste in my mouth about GM as a whole.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,056
    an oil level sensor, and the "change oil" message is driven by time, mileage and other parameters, none of which have anything to do with oil level.

    The ONLY way to know if your engine has enough oil in it is to use the dipstick and find out. . .regularly. At least these cars have dipsticks. Some don't these days, and the oil level sensors that are used instead are sometimes unreliable.

    By the time you've lost oil pressure and the aptly-named idiot light comes on, it's too late, although it sounds like this engine grenades prior to even the LOP (low oil pressure) light.
  • tammysadtammysad Posts: 2
    I know how you feel, I purchased a 2003 and in Oct 2009 had minor issues and then 5 months later the problem started.....I have spent $5,000 plus on this car since I have had it......Cadillac says because the previous owner did not use a authorized dealer to have the car served....there is no record of servicing and they could not help me!!!!! I did not purchase a warranty....the first chance I get I will be trading the car in for a Honda!!!!!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    a general comment here....Im sorry to hear that some folks are having trouble with their cars ..but the general statement of faulting GM or the brand name..when you purchased a 5-6 year old car..with 70K plus miles on it...with an unknown maintenance history, out of warranty and then turning around and complaining that either a dealership or a company will not help you out with costs or repairs is faulty logic....

    I would assume that both cars purchased above had the infamous, no warranty sold as is stickers in the windows when the purchase was made..I have to agree with the poster that stated once the check oil light comes on its too stated you had oil in it...did you physically check the dip stick?....I know basic questions....what has been discovered in some cases is the oil is somehow pooling through the exhaust in the catalytic converter..those no evidence of leakage....

    Im not trying to defend any position here, and I realize its difficult and frustrating in dealing with car issues, repairs, etc.....lesson learned here..never buy a used car without a documented maintenance history and I personally would never purchased one that wasnt certified by a dealership more than two years old and less than 40K on it.....Having owned over 27 different cars in 40 plus years..I can say I have only bought two used ones....and they were secondary transportation and not my primary (Fiat) went on for 12 years and close to 200K over one more owner past me (gave it up in 1979), and the second a Opel, purchased in Germany, ran great for two years for I donated it when I left the country in 1983...

    At this point I would shop around for a good crate engine and an independent shop to install it.....
  • Then do me a BIG favor and don't comment at all . To make the stetements you make belittles the actual damages that these people have mentally and financially endured . This engine has a DEFECT and the fact that it is happening to so many people in so many places tells us this . According to you these people got what they paid for and then what they deserved which is so far from the truth you could never understand it . Don't apologise for making an unnecessary coment and then make one . If you really want to help fund the engine rebuilds that everyone of these people need and then you will reap the benefits of your insensitivity.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I think I made myself perfectly clear in the first paragraph of my comments...Im didnt belittle anyone nor do I not have empathy for the frustration and resources this costs folks.....the point I was making is its an uphill battle to expect any corporation to accept responsibility for anything out of its warranty period....

    perhaps there is a defect in the engine...forums like this always bring out the problems and seldom the praise....but until someone can show the produced, total failures, documented causes, and whether OEM recommended maintenance was followed across each model year, it cant be statistically determined if it is actually faulty or not..even then what is considered a defect....1% or 5% or higher??

    I would challenge you to identify the total number of occurrences instead of making the broad statement so many individuals in so many places...there have been what..perhaps a dozen or so on the board...thats just my guess..

    It is always a risk to purchase a used car...carfax and the other "reporting" companies are never entirely accurate...unless the car is always serviced at the dealer, there is no way of accurately knowing the full maintenance history of the car...thus you as the consumer must take a calculated risk on a major purchase such as this....again..I dont see this as belittling anyone, its simply a fact.
  • C'mon really... isn't this car supposed to be near new? with only 27k
    Is the engine's rough idle normal?
    Why are the wheel bearings shot already? Why are the rear struts/shock or whatever is supposed to ride some what decent feels like a flinstone mobile.
    My neighbor had all new wheel bearings installed at 27k also,
    is this just a kwinky dink? Is it a greaseless bearing thing? GMs invention?
    What... what ... this freeggin car was $44k in 06 I paid 18.4 just 3 months ago
    So far its already been in the shop 3 times for a total of $3900 bumper to bumper
    funny cash
    Oh did I mention it took two different times at one Crest(Crust)Caddy dealer (Milwaukee, Wi) to tell me all is fine when actually a loose caliper was making all that noise that they couldn't hear and said all is fine. yea right
    Well finally at Metropoitan Cad. same city was totally pro and went head to toe on this car and fixed it all. What did I get myself into? And what is next?
    It does look very nice though. Thank you for listening and thank you for this great site. I hope to learn more about this GM Caddy thing.
    Is it time to dump it?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Can you update me on your progress with Customer Assistance?
    GM Customer Service
  • Hi Christina,

    I never got a call back from the supervisor, as I was promised. Very disappointing but right on track with the service/quality received thus far.

    Are you able to assist?

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    My name is Caron and I am assisting Christina. When calling Customer Assistance did the rep set up a case? If so, do you have the case number? If a case was not set up could you email us with your full name, address, best number of contact, VIN and current mileage?

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • I'm not sure if the rep set up a case. I did provide all my information so I would hope he did. I also never got a response to my online inquiry via your website. Can you please provide me with your direct email address so I can send you the requested information? Thank you for your help!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    If you click on the gmcustsvc link, you will be able to find the email address.

    Thank you and look forward to hearing from you.

    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • Update to all following this: I finally received a reply from the above mentioned cust service rep. I was told my "case" was closed due to them unable to reach me. That is very interesting considering I never received a call or email response from anyone.

    The case is now reopened and I will supposedly receive a call within 24-48 hours.

    Not holding my breathe.

    I will keep you all posted.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I am happy I could assist you in getting things together on the right track with your case. To anyone who has a case with GM Customer Assistance, you should speak with your agent weekly or bi-weekly, or after any dealer interaction. If you haven't I would recommend following up with Customer Assistance. Every agent has a direct extension so you can call them directly. Feel free to ask your agent for their extension. If you are unable to get in contact with your agent fell free to email me and I will contact them directly for you. Thank you!
    GM Customer Service
  • dave349dave349 Posts: 2
    I just received word that our 04 cadillac 3.6 was blown with the exact same problem.It was low on oil and jumped timing ruining the engine.In my case the oil had been changed on a very timely basis.I would bet it still had 60 % usage left on it .the car itself only has 47k miles.Has anyone had any success with gm fixing these engines.I am take very good care of my vehicles and there is no reason on my part that this engine should go .I always used Mobile 1 and changed the oil on more than a regular basis.The garage said it was very low on oil but no light or any indication that any thing was wrong.Any suggestions?
  • Wow I am so sorry, this is the exact same problem I had with my 05 3.6L. I too changed my opin frequently, the last time being a month before the "blowout". I can't believe with all the issues the 04-05 have had, they didn't do a recall. I'm sure GMs focus is more on sales vs taking care of their existing customers. You should open a case with GM. The more of us that speak up about this issue the more likely they are to take action. Good Luck and pleae keep us posted. I will do the same.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    The 3.6 Engine is becoming infamous like GM's old Quad 4 engine from the late 1980's and 1990's. Check out other forums (e.g. GMC Acadia) and others have similar problems with this engine. Good luck.
  • Update on my nightmare dealing with GM:

    I just received a call from another incompetent rep. He called to put me on hold for 10 minutes, then got back on the phone to tell me the Supervisor is not available right now. Really? So he called me to put me on hold then tell me I can't speak to anyone yet. This is amazing. Where do you find these people?

    I have yet to speak to a supervisor.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I understand your frustration. After looking through your case I see that your agent has asked you take your vehicle to have it diagnosed by a GM dealer. This seems to be the hold up with your case. You have your vehicle diagnosed by a GM dealer your agent (or their supervisor) can then plan a course of action to get your concerns taken care of. As every major company we have standard operating procedures and having the vehicle diagnosed is just that. This helps us to get technical information on your concerns. Please feel free to contact me or your agent once you have taken your vehicle in to an authorized GM dealer.
    GM Customer Service
  • avguy2avguy2 Posts: 7
    Wow. That the same response I got from them. By the way, when you take to the dealer and they claim that it's your fault (which they will) you will get to pay the dealer for the diagnostic. This is what happened to me. I then brought the car to an independent shop for repair and they sent the heads out for repair to an ASE machine shop, who broke them down, piece by piece and they found a design flaw. Go figure. GM wouldn't even look at the report. Good luck.
  • I have experienced almost all problems discussed in this forum and sympathize with all those who are suffering. I had an '05 CTS 3.6 with 67K miles which I just traded in this past weekend and salvaged $9000 before the inevitable engine failure. Here are some of the problems I had:

    Occasional rough idling since day one.
    Coolant leak/broken water pump in second year.
    Differential leak twice.
    Went through 3 batteries in 6 years.
    Creaky suspension when going over bumps.
    Whining noise when going at low speed - 20~30mph.
    Severe shaking and smoke out the pipe when starting in the morning from time to time.
    Occasional shaking when stopped at a light.
    OIL CONSUMPTION (1 quart every 500~600 miles) the last few months.
    Worst dipstick ever. It's colored black, so you can't really see the dark oil on it.

    I've had a positive experience with an '02 Chevy Astro, so I won't say I'll never buy another GM car, but I'll be more hesitant in the future. For sure however, I won't purchase another American luxury car because of the horrible resale value; the loss is just too much. For comparison, my friend just traded in his '06 Civic LX with similar mileage for $12K.

    I maintain my cars very well and usually make necessary small repairs here and there and drive them for long time, but I didn't want to take a chance with the engine on this CTS. Good luck to all awaiting resolution.
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