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Cadillac CTS Engine Problems



  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    edited April 2012
    Auto manufacturers have been making engines for more than a hundred years. One would think a company like GM would have figured out how to do it by now.

    "He is wisest who knows he knows not" -- Socrates
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I apologize for your frustrations and inconveniences. Have you spoke with GM Customer Assistance? If so, can you please send me your case number? Please feel free to email me directly at I look forward to hearing from you.
    GM Customer Service
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    "One would think a company like GM would have figured out how to do it by now."

    Not when it comes to overhead cam engines.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    The Northstar engines were horrible from 1999 to 2003. Any service supervisor with a Cadillac dealer will tell you that high oil usage was common. My dad had a 2001 Cadillac, until this year, with the Northstar engine. It used a quart every 700 miles. It had 68,000 miles on it when he sold it. He could not take the oil usage. One service guy who worked for Cadillac told me that they had them by the "boatload" with oil usage problems. Why did it take GM 5,000 miles to take care of the problem?
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    In Nov. of 1997, I bought my wife a new 1996 Deville w/Northstar, sunroof, chrome wheels, and when we left for the Florida run the day after Thanksgiving it had 80 miles on the meter, so from Detroit to Cincinnati I keep the speed at 70, and I figured it had enough "breakin period" so it was back to the fun Delray Beach..I don't remember ever adding any oil between changes and I know she never checked..Car was sold showing around 90k mi and replaced by a 1999 Deville which was never a problem..

    My son had all Caddies including a 93 Allante or the last year produced w/Northstar power. Now there was an example of "JUNK."

    I think Cadillac changed the body style in 2000 and they became somewhat "tinny", for I drove several loaners that were always provided by the dealer and I would take the loaner and put a quick 300/400 miles of business mileage on it for fun, a normal day occasionally.

    The 3.6 engine has become a standard for most of the GM cars, appearing now in an Impala for a bargain price of $23K..The 'Standard of the World" has lost any meaning long ago..
  • cady2004cady2004 Posts: 13
  • cady2004cady2004 Posts: 13
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
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  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    I inherited the CEO's car when he was terminated in 1985, a 1985 Cadillac Barritz w/4.1 V-8 and all the goodies..Under 10k miles and I kept it for 2 mos, had the company pay off the lease, and sold it to a GM friend's father who wanted it real bad.. Had to pay a $8000 penalty to terminate the lease, but it was worth it to get it off the payroll. Not my money.

    I lived 110 miles from the main plant and did heavy traveling to customers, and the 1985 Caddy Eldorado was no road car, suffered the perpetual motion syndrome..

    Cadillac owners should never be caught checking the oil level of a $40K+ car,for the neighbors might talk..
  • jcurry62jcurry62 Posts: 1
    I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you. I was seriously considering
    Purchasing a 2007 CTS super clean, however after reading several hundred of
    Your posts and the issues associated with this engine.
    I have now desided to purchase a different vehicle. I find it appalling that GM is letting this
    Happen to what at least appears to be a beautiful.
    One more customer gone GM way to go
  • k9will2k9will2 Posts: 15
    just think if the 3.6 motor did not hold close to 8 qts. of oil how many engines would have been lost my son drove his 04 cts 3.6 2500 miles before i could get my hands on it and it was almost 4 Qts low, i had asked him had he checked the oil he said he had but i have been monitoring it i should of knew better, i am being serious i took out the spare tire and put 6 Qts of oil in the spare tire area now that is something to laugh about LOL
  • cetoceto Posts: 3
    My 2010 is giving me the same problem first was lifters replace the first week I own the car.Then oil consumption 2 quart every 1500miles the dealers always say its that is not normal. I'm ready to sue.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Can you please email me directly with your VIN, current mileage, and involved dealer to I would like to look into your situation further. I look forward to your response.
    GM Customer Service
  • liedtoinalliedtoinal Posts: 2
    I too have had multiple engine problems with my 2006 Cadillac CTS. The oil does not make it between routine oil changes, and if it runs low it becomes what the dealers call "sluggish". With no explanation, they put you back on the road with a fresh oil change. When I initially had these problems, I was told that I needed a new converter, which I bought against my husbands advice. I am now frustrated to know that the dealers knew all along what problems were occurring with the engines and don't step-up and be up front about things. Currently in the market for a new vehicle. I would like a luxury car but do not want another lemon...
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning liedtoinal,

    I'm sorry that you have had so many difficulties with your CTS. After the purchase of the new converter, did anything improve with your vehicle? If we can look into anything further for you, please don't hesitate to send more information (including the last 8 of your VIN) to

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • liedtoinalliedtoinal Posts: 2
    Nothing has improved, only gotten worse. I am in the market for a new vehicle now and despite the great relationship that I developed with my salesperson and the fact that I would love a new cadillac. I think I'm gonna pass. Never had such difficulty with any vehicle!
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning liedtoinal,

    I'm very sorry that you're recent experience has left you so dissatisfied with Cadillac. I understand your desire to explore other options - if we can ever be of assistance, please let us know.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • fcarronfcarron Posts: 6
    After purchasing a new CTS with 3 miles on the odometer, I experienced an engine "RAP" similar to a gas knock. The dealer had me chasing an octane problem for over a month, finally Cadillac decided to take a look and found a bearing issue which required a complete disassembly of the engine at 2260 miles. After leaving the car in the shop for 4 days and questions such as what caused the failure, engine alignment with drive components issues and extended warranty for the engine going unanswered, the decision was made to dump this lemon. I did the best I could purchasing another CTS with confidence that Cadillac would live up to their commitment of "Building a new standard of luxury automobiles" by refunding half of my monetary losses. After dealing with the Cadillac people with letters and phone calls, I received nothing but a sarcastic "Have a nice day" from Tyler at the Cadillac customer service 800 number. No more G.M. for me. Cadillac case number 71-1058037892
  • erycuserycus Posts: 7
    I feel your pain. I had to put a new engine in my CTS.
    My wife wants a new suv, and really likes the look of the Caddy. I said
    No friggin way, I will go with Infiniti, Lexus or lord help me, the Mercedez.
    I will NEVER purchase a Cadillac again and I grew up in Detroit!
  • tkreciochtkrecioch Posts: 1
    So we purchased a 2006 CTS in November 2011 with 57000 miles. Kept up with oil and oil changes. This last weekend with 76000 miles on the car we were driving and the engine started clicking and made a horrible racket and died. No indicating lights and oil had 76% life left. We are faced with having to get a new engine. We did not purchase a warranty. Who else has this happened to and what is being done? I do not feel we should have to pay for a new engine or labor. I have faxed over a letter to the CEO of the Cadillac division at GM and about to file a complaint with the Better Business Burea.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    It looks like you've already started taking some action with the BBB, which would preclude me from looking into this situation further with you. However, I had wanted to express my apologies that you are facing these concerns with your CTS and wish you the best as you work through the repair process.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • mgruca05mgruca05 Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 CTS 3.6l with 57k miles. The engine started knocking and eventually died and would not start. Talked to GM Customer Service who asked me to have it diagnosed by a dealer. I did that. The dealer told me I could do two things, change the timing chain and hope the engine works or replace the engine altogether incase its a spun bearing.

    I changed the oil myself on the car with Mobile 1 synthetic every 3,000 miles. It burned oil like crazy as well as coolant. I added oil and coolant almost every week and had to check them both daily.

    I bought the car with 35k miles on it and put 22k miles on it. I still owe $12k on it and its just sits in my driveway. A co-worker picks me up everyday.

    GM Customer Service said in order to determine if they can help me out, they would need the dealer to completely tear down the engine. The dealer quoted me at $8,000 to do this. I laughed. If I went that route and GM decided not to pay for it, I'd be out $8,000 and would still need to have the engine fixed. Why would I do that when I can buy a used Saturn Vue engine for $1,000 and put it in the car with a little work. BUT I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO DO THIS!!!! Everyone Facebook how terrible GM is handling this and everyone on Earth will know about it. I am thoroughly P.O.'d with the purchased of my Cadillac. I'd do anything to go back and buy the Camry that I passed on.

    Thanks, GM, for the financial hardship and terrible choices with regards to the engine's repair.
  • avguy2avguy2 Posts: 7
    I finally dumped the CTS for a 2012 Subaru. I ended up eating about $5000, but to not having to worry about it leaving me stranded and having another $7000 repair bill was well worth it. The used engine that I had put in it started showing the same signs of going bad like the first one did at around 80,000 miles so it was time. The funny part is that 5 days after I traded the car, the dealer that I traded it to was struck by a hail storm that destroyed the car. This is a good thing because I was afraid that they would re-sell it and someone else would be going through the same thing we all have gone through. I fell bad for the dealer but that's what insurance is for.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    It's truly sad to read what GM's customers have had to put up with. It's like GM forgot how to build a reliable engine. The irony is that the new GM has replaced all of its old tech OHV V6's with these 3.0 and 3.6 liter engines. I own two GM vehicles; one is a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix with the 3100 OHV V6. I bought this car last year for $3k and it had 125k miles. This car is not used a lot and it sits for 2 or 3 months at a time without being used. Starts up on the first crank all the time and burns no oil. My other vehicle is a 2007 Chevy Uplander with the 3900 OHV V6. It has 71k miles and burns no oil between oil changes. GM has shown it can build reliable engines; it's time that they start building them right again.
  • chuck2011chuck2011 Posts: 19
    Are these engines being manufactured in China? Could that possibly explain the utter lack of reliability in these motors? GM has made millions of engines and its a wonder why these are failing so much...especially in a premium priced automobile.
  • cadman4cadman4 Posts: 3
    I had my 2005 3.6 CTS engine replaced @ 63,000 miles. My Uncle is in the auto repair business and found a used engine with 32,000 miles. Engine plus shipping was $3,200. A friend that owed him a favor put in the new engine, water pump hoses etc. for $1,200 plus parts.

    I have used it for 4 months with no problems. I check the oil dip stick every day I drive it.
    Resale is horrible so I will keep it for now. (I loved everything about the car except the oil/engine problem.)
  • I bought a used CTS with 78,000 miles on it back in December. I checked the oil twice in that time. It was low. I read about the oil cunsumption problems on these AFTER I bought it! No biggie right? I topped it off and continued to enjoy it.

    About a month later I took it on a road trip and I started to feel something wasn't right with the way the engine was performing. The next day I drove it to work and on my way there it started to run rough. I pulled over and could hear a knocking sound. Got it to my work to find the oil was almost 2 quarts low. This was approx. 1,000 miles since I topped it off last. I topped it off again praying that the engine noise would go away. It quieted down a bit but was still there. I had an extended warranty on it so I decided to take it to the Cadi dealer the next day. It never made it. On my way home the engine SIEZED!!!

    Towed it to the dealer to have them tell me they need to pull the pan to see what failed. They ended up tearing it apart. Took the motor and transmission out, pulled off the heads, pulled out every wiring harness they could find under the hood and so forth. Long, long, story short, the warranty company came out to inspect and DECLINED the claim due to "Lack of lubrication". The #3 rod bearing had spun. To fix the car the dealer said it would cost over $7,000. Had them put it back together and had to pay $1,100!!!

    I know from reading these forums that this is a common problem which GM has no intention of resolving, so does anyone have a rational solution on how to get someone to take care of this issue?
  • texkatt1texkatt1 Posts: 1
    it has been identified, i have a 2006 CTS and the dealership had to do a complete rebuild on mine at 35k 1.5 years ago because it lost over 4 qts in two weeks. they said its was a failure of the rings. I haven't had a problem with that issue since, and I now have 52k. although I have had many other problems with the CTS over the years that I have owned it. That's why I got the 100k / 6 year factory bumper to bumper warranty. hope that helps.
  • I wanted to update the forum on what is happening with my 2005 CTS "SUSPECTED " oil consumption problem. As some of you might recall, we took the car in Aug 2011 because of a loss of power and a horrible clanking noise. When we picked the car up they said the problem was there was no oil showing on the dipstick. I asked how there could be no oil and they just said it could be "anything" but we were topped up and were "good to go".

    Oct 2011 we were returning from a Halifax - Montreal - Halifax trip when the horrible cluncking noicse appeared again. We had driven less than 4000 km and the GM dealer in Douglastown NB added 4 litres. When we got home the dealer took the car, and in Dec 2011 they replaced the right cam gasket. This did not solve the problem, I was now monitoring my dipstick (noone had ever said I had to do this, and I have never had to do it for any other car I have ever owned. I ALWAYS do the 5000km checkup) So Feb 28th 2012 the Cadillac dealer would not admit they had enough evidence to say there was a problem so they put me on an oil consumption monitoring "program"
    28 Feb 98867 km filled the oil
    90808 km added 0.5 litres
    100680km added 0.5 litres
    101605km added 1 litre
    May 3rd 103010km added 1 litre I said surely enough is enough.
    May 4th They told me we were approved for new piston and rings
    May 31 No phone call that parts were in so I called them. They said we never were approved so I took it in and they added 0.5 litres at 103996

    We took the car in again in mid June I don't know how much oil was added, but finally they said we were approved to have rings and pistons replaced. The work is scheduled to start 28June. I have mentioned to the dealer my concerns that if it is a permanently distorted air cleaner that caused the piston/ring problem, all this oil consumption was just going to reoccur. And also I have seen posts that the oil consumption problem may well have damaged our timing chain earlier than it already would have been damaged. The dealer did say that when they do the tear down, if they should discover anything else, they must STOP all work and get further authorization from GM.

    I have heard that FORD is the only car company not to get bail out money from the Govt. I have never owned a FORD but you can me assured I will likely give one a go, as it is unlikely that I would risk buying another CTS. Sad to say. :sick: :lemon: :mad:
  • I wrote on here over a year ago about my problem with my 2005 CTS. That I notice was having problems & immediately took it to dealership where I was told they couldn't find any problems & to keep driving it. I did as they said engine went out two weeks later. The dealership & GM refused to pay for any repairs. I took a loss got a new car in January & now backed by 100,000 mile warranty 10 years. If any potential buyers are looking to get a car do not go with GM. You have been warned go in at your own risk.

    All I want from GM now is to stop sending me promotional offers. I have asked before for them to stop but I am still getting one. Customer service since you were no help in getting my car fix can you stop sending me offers from your company. A case was set up last year for this but somehow you imbeciles can't even rectify something so simple.
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