Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Cadillac CTS Engine Problems



  • Hi All,

    I have a 2006 CTS, and have a new engine which was installed last November, 2010 after completely blowing my engine on vacation. GM did work with me on this, but there was never a clear cause. I still think it was the timing chain that went, but the damage was severe so that the only recourse was a new engine. The new engine has a new warranty, but I struggle with keeping it or trading it in. Like many of you, I also love my car! Love to drive it, OnStar, XM radio, etc. My concern is that I honestly can't afford a major problem - if this engine goes, or if other issues start, it could be thousands to fix. I could end up with a car that's worthless.
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    Has anyone considered defective valve seals? This can cause sudden burning of oil, with no oil spots, etc.

    This was a defect in VWs & Audis years ago.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,054
    edited June 2011
    I also monitored the dipstick on a regular basis. . . Before my engine blew I went from fine to 4 qtrs low in 3 days. . .

    Extremely interesting -- thank you for your post. Previously I assumed there were two things at work here: 1) this engine sometimes starts using oil at a great rate, combined with: 2) the people who drive a CTS expect it to take care of them and either: a) not have a problem, or b) tell them well in advance if there is one. This cohort doesn't know what a dipstick is, let alone know how to use it. Well, you're not in that group and your got screwed also. This thing is worse than I thought.

    Somewhere out there is the explanation, and we're never going to hear it. Well, maybe not never. Perhaps in 20 years or so, after all legal liability has expired, there may be something.

    This engine is a roulette wheel. Sometimes you hit the green pockets (0 & 00) and everyone loses, except for the casino. Let's see, that's about 18 to 1 against.

    Are your feeling lucky, kid?
  • pochospochos Posts: 1
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,054
    Why all CAPS?

    Do you really wish to scream that loudly?
  • zebandcozebandco Posts: 22
    You answer your own question. You can't afford to a major repair. I loved my STS too. For a time it was the best car I had ever owned and I bragged about it, but I should have traded it at the first sign of this kind of trouble. So should you. Pretty good pricing these days.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    Glad to hear you did receive a new engine for your vehicle. If you do experience any further problems please be sure to contact GM Customer Assistance. The number is located in the back of the owner's manual.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • Thanks, Caron. I would like to keep my car for a long time. I would tell you that I have been spooked by the engine problem, and that it took two months before I could get the problem resolved with GM. They did come through in the end, but I was fortunate that I was able to get to work, etc. without my car for that long.

    I do check my oil. Since the engine was replaced in November, the oil level still shows slightly over-full. Not one drop seems to have disappeared. I have only driven it about 4,000 miles since November.

    I do love my car!
  • bekins2bekins2 Posts: 29
    my 2008 caddy awd just reached 70k.had the recall done for the oil life monitar had tran flushed and has new plugs installed it running great.Anthing else i should b aware of?Also had the radiator flushes and filled.I love this car and would like tokeep it for the long run any ideas
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    what does the owners manual state for scheduled maintenance?...sounds like you have done a lot....I have an 09 CTS (37K) and an 04 Chevy Malibu (184K)...for the malibu....all the services you mentioned are needed until 100K....not sure on the CTS
  • raymerayme Posts: 1
    Wow, I had no Idea!! I had a 2004 and put 110k on with out any engine problems, well, any major engine issues. I now have a 2007 and at the ripe old age of 35,690 miles just threw a connecting rod threw its block. Fortunately the dealership has been more than great about it. I haven't picked it up yet, but have been assured everything is covered, all the way down to the tow. I was assured that the 3.6 is a fantastic engine and they, the dealership, has never seen any issues with it. I now find this a bit suspicious... On a positive note Cadillac insists that with an engine issue of this magnitude no part be reused, you heard me correctly, a 100% new from the crate engine. Hopefully I get more than 36k miles out of it! I will be checking back to keep all posted... Also, I was told there is a timing chain/belt recall, for this year anyway.
  • So I had this exact same problem in my 2004 CTS. I had changed my oil 2 weeks before hand and I know with 100% certainty that everything was done correctly because i had done it. Well when i was out one night there was a knocking and sure enough blown engine. I got a used engine because GM no longer gives new engines out because there have been so many problems, and they do not offer rebuilds. They also recommend using mobile 1 10w-30 now instead of 5w-30 and checking your engine oil 1k miles and changing every 3k-4k miles.
  • I have removed the timing cover to find the timing chains are not lined up correct. Two of the chain actuators (tighteners) are not pushing on the chain to keep tension. I am awaiting a new chain set to arrive but I do not see what has caused so much oil loss. I like the idea of using heavier oil as previously reccomended. My 05 CTS has 110,000 miles so I do not expect any warranty repair. I just wish someone could tell me where to look for this mysterios oil leak that does not drip or appear to burn. For now I will just have to reassemble and check the oil every week. I am not crazy about the idea of jacking the engine to remove the alternator- so I cheeted and removed the bolts from the right wheel well. And this is the first time I had to remove the steering pump pully to remove the pump-- This thing is built like a Nissan- and I hate Nissans!
  • I guess I am not the first person to have an issue with engine in my 2005 CTS. The oil seemed to disappear and now I have a blown engine, probably spun a bearing. If you check the TSB's (Technical Service Bulletins) and customer complaints you will find numerous issues with the engine, oil, timing chain, etc. I have called GM Customer Service, we shall see if MADE IN DETROIT still means anything!
  • I have been a proud owner of my CTS until recently. I have made sure the oil was changed every 3,000 to 6,000 miles as needed. Just with in the last month my CTS started cutting back when my wife was driving it. I checked oil in car & it was fine. dealership did a diagnostic test on the car and contacted me that same day and advise that the CTS had no issues & everything checked out fine. Within two weeks she was experience same problem I checked oil level & it was no oil at all. Went to pick up some oil put in car. Then I test drove the CTS next day & had no problem until I picked up some speed then it cutback some and engine light came on. When I went out to leave on tuesday it would not start out all & had to have it towed to dealership. Thats when I was told that i need a new engine. The repairs would cost $6200. I have recommended Cadillac CTS to numerous people never again. I am disappointed I had a chrysler sebring before this car that I traded in with 230000 miles on it. Cadillac is suppose to be a step above that. Its wrong how this economy is set up to bail out GM but I can't even get a $6200 repair covered by the company that should have failed.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    I apologize for the problems you are experiencing with your vehicle. Have you spoken with GM Customer Assistance? If so, could you please email me the case number? I would like to look further into your situation.

    You can get my email by clicking on gmcustsvc.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    I apologize for the problems you are experiencing with your vehicle. Please keep me posted on any information from the dealership.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    Consider defective valve seals. Years ago VWs/Audis also had sudden loss of oil, which turned out to be due to this problem.
  • gbonsalgbonsal Posts: 1
    I am looking at a similar dilemma. I have a 2005 Cadillac CTS with just barely 40k miles on it and the engine seized. I checked the oil, the water, the belts, etc and everything is where is should be. The car has been in service for over 5 years so technically out of warranty, but an engine shouldn't fail at only 40K.
    I have contacted GM customer service about this and so far they are accepting no responsibility but are being very diplomatic and helpful... so far. I love the CTS, but I can't justify keeping it if there is a reliability issue. After the car sitting for over a month in my car port, the dealership I use and GM have made contact, but I have not heard anything yet as of today (7/14/11). I'm starting to regret ever buying this car. I didn't realize that there were issues like this with this model year. I have always been a fan of GM cars but starting to doubt myself. :sick:
  • I feel your pain! I was contacted by a GM customer service rep (they should call then NON-SERVICE REPS) Reggie was very blunt and said there is no recalls on your vehicle (2005 CTS) therefore there is nothing we can, or will do for you!

    I mentioned that I have had 7 GM vehicles, I guess loyalty means nothing to a company that borrowed my tax dollars! I also mentioned all of the similar oil problems and engine failures that are on blogs, forums, posts. it still made absolutely no difference. I can only tell you that I am no longer a GM customer and I will explain my experience to anyone that asks.

    I foresee a Toyota experience if enough people complain about this exact issue....Recalls....class action.....come on GM, where is the American pride, or just plain customer service!!!
  • Check my recent posts. I am in the GM sucks club too. My engine seized and customer service did absolutely nothing.
  • ceez1ceez1 Posts: 1
    i too am the owner of a 04 cadillac cts as are many others here and had my (actually my wifes ) cts engine fail TODAY! im appalled by the pattern ive seen in this thread, oil level was within range, info on dash read 34% engine oil life left ,i have dealer perform oil changes and any repairs necessary (which seem to have been many) ,has there been any help from gm on these recurring problems? any help would be greatly appreciated !
  • shaybea1shaybea1 Posts: 3
    I have spoke by email with cm rep from this site with no help. My husband and I purchased an 03 used with 90,000 miles on it. The car is used briefly each day because it was purchased as a 2nd vehicle. We were proud owners until the car started to leak a brown sludge like fluid. Took it in to an authorized gm dealer and their response was it could be several things, but they are all very costly so........just replace the engine........again! Apparently the car was on it's second engine and now with a possible oil cooler, head gasket or something else below the engine the best advice was.......just replace the engine. The coolant and transmission fluid is mixing and the best solution is to replace the engine. At this point we are preparing to purchase a new engine and have it dropped in, just to recover and not loose out on all our money that we paid to purchase this car. I am very disappointed in the lack of accountability that gm has shown. I too tell everyone that I meet and all owners that I come into contact with. Word of mouth is the strongest advertisement around, so good luck gm.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    just curious how many miles you have on the car say you purchased it used with 90K on it....was it a GM certified vehicle from the dealer you purchased it from?.its not clear that you purchased the car from a dealer or not......If not....Im not sure what any manufacturer would honestly do for you on a car with nearly 100k on it? I understand your frustration with the car problems, but relly not sure what your expectations were from GM in this regards......I have two GM cars as well a 09 CTS with 37K on it...and an 04 Chevy Malibu with 185K on it....
  • First find out what exactly is leaking. I knew a couple folks who had oil leaks and the auto mechanic told them the engine had bad oil seals (most expensive option). Turns out one had a bad oil pressure sending unit ($5 five minute fix) and the other had a bad drain plug seal (just had oil change). One mechanic offered a couple hundred dollars to "take it off her hands". Get a second opinion or check it out yourself. An oil leak will spread throughout the engine bay by wind, fan power, and gravity. So, clean the engine first- buy some engine degreaser and take the car to the car wash. let it cool for a few minutes then spray the engine down and let it soak for a few minutes (avoid as much electrical stuff as you can- there is alot). then power wash it clean and drive it home. let it dry, then take some old boxes, open them up into flat cardboard and place them under the car. Start the car and the leak should drop onto the cardboard to help you pinpoint its location. Plus, a cleaned engine makes tracing the start point so much easier. If the brown sludge is what you see on the dipstick then you are looking at a probable head gasket. It may also be in the coolant overflow bottle. A head gasket leak would cause a loss of coolant resulting in a slight overheating. This would cause a small overflow of the coolant tank which now would contain an oil/water mixture. My 2 Eldorados had gasket leaks (one from loss of serpentine belt by prior owner, the other by me pulling a big boat on a hot day in NJ traffic). I had to change head gaskets and install new thread inserts in top engine head bolt holes (local dealership loaned me the special kit for that and only charged me for the inserts I used). Often when you buy a used car you get something hidden that the prior owner just did not want to fix.
  • shaybea1shaybea1 Posts: 3
    I do not expect the manufacture to do anything at this point. I am mostly disturbed over replacing the engine and having the same thing happen again. I think the earlier year models could/should be recalled or at least reviewed.
  • shaybea1shaybea1 Posts: 3
    The funny thing is no sign of anything being wrong. Car drives normal, no smoke, no overheating, no hard starts, no back firing and now it isn't even leaking the sludge. We were told that the car could still be driven but that eventually it would go into engine failure. The folks at the Cadillac dealer were very nice and professional but brutally honest.
  • I have a 2006 CTS, and my engine blew last August on vacation. I didn't have any warning signs at all - no lights, no noises, and my car just stopped. There was a ticking noise as the engine died, and I still believe that the timing chain broke. My engine needed to be replaced because the timing chain caused the cam follower, and all the other damage to occur. I left my car in Nebraska from August 27th until November 15th, when it was finally fixed and I drove back to pick it up. It did take a long time to get GM Customer Service to make their decision, but they did a lot of checking with my dealer to see what my maintenance history was, etc. In the end, GM did agree to pay for a new engine block. If you have any hope of GM helping you in any way, you need to be very, very patient and let GM Customer service do their checking. If you need your car for transportation right away, then you'll probably be out of luck. I had another car to use for work, so I was able to wait out the decision. Sorry for your problems. I do love my CTS.
  • rob711rob711 Posts: 1
    hi.. are you still having problems with your CTS. I have a 2009 and started burning oil close to 25K miles. I'm at 40k now and have been doing oil consumption testing since 25k. i'm 1 to 1.5 qts low every 2-2,500 miles. the dealership says that's normal. this is crazy! Although it's good to hear I'm not alone with these concerns it still leaves me wanting to trade the CTS in before I hit 50K miles.
    any advise on what you have come up with since these posts in Mar 2010?
    thank you..
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Can you please email me with your VIN, current mileage, and involved dealer? I would like to look into your situation further. I apologize for your frustrations.
    GM Customer Service
Sign In or Register to comment.