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Cadillac CTS Engine Problems



  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    GM has not shown that it can build reliable overhead cam engines. Up until a few years ago, GM's bread and butter engines were the 60 or 90 degree V6 overhead valve engines that go back a ways, but were updated throughout the years (i.e., 3100, 3400, 3500, 3800, 3900 V6 engines). These engines had some issues (i.e. intake or head gaskets) but were otherwise reliable and simple to maintain (i.e. no timing belts to worry about, simply change the fluids, tune-ups, regular maintenance, etc.). It was not uncommon to see 200k or 300k miles on these overhead valve engines without taking them apart. The problem was GM took a beating with the auto media about how old fashion these engines were. I believe GM thought they had to switch to sophisticated overhead cam engines to gain acceptance with the auto media. The problem is their engineers aren't good at designing and building these engines. Unless GM brings back some of the overhead valve engines or learns quickly how to fix the problems with their 3.6 and 2.4 liter engines, they will lose customers.

    Personally, I own two GM vehicles (both with the old tech overhead valve engines) and neither uses oil. One (Pontiac Grand Prix) has 127k miles and the other (Chevy Uplander) has 89k miles.
  • rriddlerriddle Posts: 7
    Just this morning on my commute to work in the 2011 CTS I received multiple service warnings of "Service Stabilitrak", "Service Braking Assist", "Service Traction Control" all at the same moment. Is this still safe to drive? I have a trip to downtown DC this Saturday and don't have time to get the car serviced before Saturday.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Judging from other GM forums on Edmunds regarding this topic, I would say no. For example, check out the Chevrolet Impala forums. There are several topics (e.g. reduced engine power) and owners state their vehicles decelerate when this message occurs. If travelling on the highway your car could go from 70 MPH down to 30 MPH because of this problem. You need to get it checked out. Good luck.
  • bowdonbowdon Posts: 1
    Hi all;

    I purchased a used Canadian Cadillac CTS 2007 with 64,000 Kilometers on it in 2010. This was a Cadillac dealers car ( around Quebec City, Quebec).

    It had a balance of warranty and had numerous things changed ( thankfully it was on warranty!!) The rear wheel bearings at 80,000 KL, electronic components for the
    electrical engine controls, breather tubes for the rear.

    It ran well for a year then the brakes were changed ( pads and discs). My cost because the warranty was over.

    Last week, my transmission let go in Buffalo, New York while I was there on business. I received a call today from the tranny shop and the cooler radiator for the tranny
    let go and damaged the tranny. Imagine, it only have 83,000 miles but is over the 5 year warranty even though it does not have the millage. The tranny shop ( well reconized as
    one of the best ones ( AAMCO) says they have never seen this type of problem with a Caddy and said it looked like a defective cooler system. This is going to cost me 4,000 dollars to repair!! I really have no choice because I need the car and I am renting a loner for the week to get back home and need to visit customers and suppliers.

    I would like to get in touch with someone at Cadillac, Canada to see why this happened and send them the paperwork for the repairs.

    I know, I don't have a leg to stand on because it over the year warranty even though the millage is 83,000 miles. Does Cadillac Canada have any ethics or "stand behind their products" Is there a secret warranty because it seems that Cadillac is aware of the defective tranny cooler, which seems to be a well know defect with the CTS models?

    I will be venting all over the net and some blogs, this should never have happened with a Cadillac. This is my first one and don't plan on getting another one. I thought they built quality, but I guess I found out them don't. I should have listened to my wife and purchased a used Honda, again. Won't make the same mistake again. I will be selling this car when I get it back.

    Can someone direct me to the web site and email addresses to someone highly placed at Cadillac Canada so I can vent!!

    Thanking you in advance.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    edited May 2013
    Hi Bowdon,

    We deeply apologize that you've experienced this issue with your Cadillac. I have attached the contact information of GM Canada for your reference below:

    Cadillac Customer Care Centre:

    Customer Care Centre:


    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • Thanks for your post!! I purchased 2006 Cadillac CTS used one hundred forty thousand miles. Also had the warranty added-but did not know it would not cover many repairs.. It was to be a dream come week later seventy miles on it and sevice engine light came on-ran rough until warmed up. Code for this was number one injecter failure-also there was a code for wheel sensor..that prompted me to look up engine problems and after reading every review-along every year of the CTS I learned what a MONEY PIT THESE CARS ARE. I went to my dealer the next day and long story short traded back my dream car?? more like nightmare car for a 2007 Chrysler Sebring-so far I am liking this car-but that is another review. If it wasn't for this website and fellow postee's I may very well have kept the CTS-I'm thankful I didn't have to learn the hard way-I lost a thousand on my trade in-retrade but I figure that is minor compared to what I could have lost,had I kept this lemon. Anyone considering buying one of these read all the reviews over all the years up until even 2013-yes 2013 CTS eighteen thousand miles engine failure...thank you Edmunds!!
  • :) The 2006 Cadillac is sleek and seductive with it's lines and curves-but don't let this beauty fool you. Theres something just below the surface-under the hood, thats more sinister than the low profile stance. That something is the three point six engine,prone to breakdowns: timing belts breaking, piston failure, engine seizing up are the most documented.
    The car handles like it's on rails they all say..but what they don't tell you is how often this car goes off the rails. I only kept mine for ten days. I was already experiencing little tell tale signs. Passenger side air bag light on first day-service engine light on fith day-wheel sensor code tenth-final day. I'm not much of a gambler-prefer to cut my losses...and run. This post is a buyer beware post..a purchase at your own risk. And if you still want 2002-2013 Cadillac CTS then good luck.. ;)
  • davida007davida007 Posts: 2
    I have a 2006, had 56,000 miles and ran out of oil in 35 days. GM took the engine apart, replaced Piston rings (the ones it had were too small and the oil was blowing by, crank shaft and all sorts of seals, they got the car back together and it had electrical issues, ignition issues, and now 30,000 miles and $$$ later, the engine is BLOWN!! Cadillac is offering me around $6,000 for the car. DO NOT BUY A CTS EVER!!!!!! Worst car I have ever owned. I had a 1973 mavrick that put the CTS to shame. It is the WORST car I have ever owned..... Thanks GM
  • davida007davida007 Posts: 2
    Sounds like you work for GM. I have a 2006, had 56,000 miles and ran out of oil in 35 days. GM took the engine apart, replaced Piston rings (the ones it had were too small and the oil was blowing by, crank shaft and all sorts of seals, they got the car back together and it had electrical issues, ignition issues, and now 30,000 miles and $$$ later, the engine is BLOWN!! Cadillac is offering me around $6,000 for the car. DO NOT BUY A CTS EVER!!!!!! Worst car I have ever owned. I had a 1973 mavrick that put the CTS to shame. It is the WORST car I have ever owned..... Thanks GM
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,142
    edited May 2013
    Sounds like you work for GM.

    No, I most assuredly do not. I'm nearing 65 years old and have owned exactly one car made in the USA. That was a misery for a host of different reasons, but it did have a dipstick and never used any oil. I am a mechanical engineer, however, and have little patience for shoddy design.

    When this drama with Cadillac engines began, I thought it was mostly due to ignorant people driving a "luxury" car that they thought would tell them when the oil was low. That turned out not to be the case on both counts. Over the years there were several people who knew how to check their oil and did so regularly, yet had their engines go south along with all the rest.

    Some engines these days come with an oil level sensor. This one does not. What it has is a system that pretends to estimate when the next oil change needs to take place, a totally different concept.

    There is a significant design deficiency in this engine that causes excessive oil consumption, after which the engine grenades. Exactly what that is and how often it happens is anyone's guess. GM is not interested in acknowledging it in any way, so here we are. Maybe it happens 1% of the time or maybe it happens 0.001% of the time. We'll never know.

    Check your oil religiously and get rid of the car immediately if oil consumption goes up.

    That is all.
  • :lemon: Thinking about buying a Cadillac Cts? check out the reviews, you just might save some serious money-and headaches,when you weigh the pros with the cons.
    Luckily for me, I clicked on the Edmunds web site shortly after acquiring my own CTS,a 2006.
    These cars while having an inherent appeal built in,also have something else built in..Gremlins.
    Call it what you will-the reviews tell a broader story,paint a fuller picture. I kept mine only ten days, was experiiencing the first stages of-Cadillac Trouble Syndrom..
    I had passenger air bag failure message as I was pulling it off the lot. Then a humming from the rear of the car-which after researching pointed to wheel bearings-around twelve hundred dollars to repair.
    Then ten days into ownership service engine light, came on, and erratic idle-engine code for this was number one injector failure, no idea what this would cost to repair but if it costs eight hundred to replace a thermostat-I would estimate several dollar signs.
    And there was a wheel sensor code. And the heated seat was inop. A mere three hundred or so in change for the repair no big deal. I also learned that on these cts models, the type of warranty available should be carefully researched so there are no surprises when it comes time..long story short I decided to plea with my used car dealer to please let me out of this bad deal-he did and I am thankful. Since I have traded My cts in I have continued to investigate, talked with various repair shops. The results are all in, posted on this forum for the most part. Thinking about buying a CTS? Take the time to read the reviews. :)
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    edited May 2013
    Consumer Reports has data on reliability of the CTS, documenting serious problems in a number of systems, including the engine. I am a long-time subscriber, and these data have helped steer me to cars that have provided me with trouble free service for many years. A lot of folks buy cars without researching whether they will meet their needs and provide safe and reliable transportation; a big mistake.

    I recommend the folks in this forum review the CR data on the CTS, but you will need a subscription. For a little extra, CR also provides extra detail on what goes wrong with each system (e.g. engine rebuild or replacement in 2005 CTS, as we have read about in this forum). Again, I am just a subscriber, but I thought i should pass on my happy experience.
  • darko2darko2 Posts: 3
    Sorry bud, but that's a crock of you know what :)
    In 2004 I read consumer reports magazine, they stated that the new CTS (I believe it came out in 2002?) was a car that was gonna help put GM back on the road to recovery. They basically said it was a well built car.... I bought it...the car and the load of crap from consumer reports. If you are a subscriber see if you can find the 2004 online issue and read the article for yourself.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Consumers Reports is one source of information. There have been many inconsistencies with their recommendations. The most glaring inconsistency occurs when a vehicle has recent average or above average reliability within the last two years, but very poor reliability with older models. This simply means the problems do not manifest themselves during the early years of the vehicle's history. However, after two years the vehicle is very problematic. Yet, time and time again Consumers Reports recommends the vehicle for a new vehicle purchase. Check out the April 2013 annual auto issue for the GMC Acadia. Consumers Reports recommends the current year (2013) model, but lists older Acadias as one of the worst used car buys. The moral of the story is to use various sources of information, especially owners who have owned the vehicle for several years.
  • kela1kela1 Posts: 1
    This also happen to me .
  • elanteeeelanteee Posts: 5
    I understand how you feel, my 2005 CST is the biggest piece of crap there is. GM will not do anything I have been fighting since 2009 with them. I have finally given up which they wanted me to do. But they are the losers and I guarantee that I have cost them hundreds of sales of GM vehicles and I will cause them more until the day I die. I forgave them in 2005 after a Pontiac grand prix almost cost me my life because the frame separated and the steering wheel pulled out when the engine and frame dropped. I was left with a spinning steering wheel that did nothing. The lucky was I just stopped at an intersection when it happened, minutes before I was going around a lake on a major highway, my Daughter Grand Daughter and myself would have been killed. What did GM do, as usual nothing. The department of transport filed a report and it cost me close to 4000.00 to fix.
    I really wished that we the Tax payers never bailed out GM. Everyone needs to
    boycott GM and let them know that we are fed up with there pathetic vehicles.

    I still am toying with crushing my beautiful CTS with my bobcat and putting it on You tube, explaining how this car has 60,000 miles and is totally unreliable and in fact I would feel to guilty even selling it to anyone. I bet I would get a few million hits and probably 5000 from GM alone. My neighbors have all asked why I leave the car outside and don't drive it!!!! they all know and so do there friends and families.
  • I had a nice litte honda Civic for 10 years but decided to "trade up" for something bigger and flashier a few years ago. BIG MISTAKE! My cadillac has had numerous high dollar repairs but the most recent issue is irking me so badly I am going to complain on every thread I can find. I have a 2006 CTS and I go every 3000 miles for an oil change and always within a month to six weeks find myself with a dry oil pan. I park in the same parking spot everyday at my apartment and there is no oil on the ground. I was going to a dealer but assumed that they were not filling up my oil and switched to another dealer and with my oil still disappearing I found this thread and many others documenting this major problem with the CTS engines. I called both dealerships that i have gotten oil changes from and they both say this is normal due to my "high mileage" and will require a 3-4k repair! THis is not normal, I have 108k miles and my honda had well over 200k and did not use near the oil and it actually did have a small leak! I am furious that they know of this "common" problem or defect but have not issued any kind of recall. If anyone else is experiencing this in the Kansas City area or elsewhere and is interested in a class action lawsuit I am currently researching this option.
  • I reached out to customer service and they referred me back to the dealerships that refuse the help. Not Helpful. No thanks!!!
  • mike32779mike32779 Posts: 1
    I own a 58,000 mile 2001 Jaguar XJ8 with its plethora of quirky, irritating and expensive to repair problems, synonymous with the marque. I have been looking at a low mileage 2003 CTS with a 3.2 litre engine, and was almost ready to pull the trigger! Your comments, all in universal agreement, indicate that that would have been a disaster! Between the 'Engine Design sponsored by OPEC' and GM's 'Non est Mea Culpa', you have steered me away from a return to GM products! I thank you!
  • really9really9 Posts: 1
    Do not buy a Cadillac CTS the oil disappears and the engine burns up.
  • I got rid of my CTS yesterday , I was putting a quart every 1,000 miles , I want never buy a GMC car again ,
  • peterbarkpeterbark Posts: 1
    If you have gotten any farther with the lawsuit you were thinking of taking against GM, let me know as I would love to talk with you. I have the same exact 2006 CTS and the oil pan ran dry much the same as yours did and it lead to my engine blowing up on me. There has to be some way we can get this problem recalled and eventually taken care of for us. Reply back as soon as you can.
  • I have not :( but I know from this forum and others, there are lots of people with this exact issue
  • I bought my first 06' second hand with 28,000mi now 35,000 thinking it was the best Caddy built. After reading all these issues not being solved I have questions? I have not had an issue yet, only recalls for this and that. I'm glad I can do some mechanical repairs but not overhauling engines and transmissions. I think there is an error problem for all cars but the management across this country has been in reverse as too quantity first quality second... Its all based on greedy budget of monies. Just look at the water you drink and the GMO food you eat then get cancer for some unknown reason its similar with a plastic-steel car and how we nurture all aspects of life.
    Fingers are crossed with Jesus on the dashboard.
  • elanteeeelanteee Posts: 5
    You don't much to worry about quite yet, it will be another 25 - 30 thousand before it will start most of the shananagins, on your quality built caddy. Actually the body chasis and frame are fantastic, you couldn't ask for better! It's the power train!!!! If it wasn't my dream car I might not be so hard on it, but I had high expectations not only with the car but General Motors PPPPPPPLLLLLLLLL. :P
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,142
    edited July 2013
    After reading all these issues not being solved I have questions. . .

    As well you should. However, it's worth pointing out that the vast majority of CTS drivers don't endure the dreaded excessive oil consumption engine grenading issue. Those who do post here.

    Keep an eagle eye on your oil level. It's a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] these days, since most engines don't use more than a pint of oil (if that) in 5000 miles. But, we all know that this one can.

    Many people on this board in the early days thought that the oil change monitoring system in the car was an oil level monitor. It is not. There are a few on this board who seem to think that an improperly designed engine is cause for recall. That's not how it works. There needs to be a safety issue involved and my guess is that not enough engines (yet) have packed up in a situation that could be considered safety-related. That, or GM has gone to great pains to show otherwise. Go figure.

    Check your oil every time you fill up, or once a week in the morning before you start the engine. At the first sign of consumption, sell the car.

    That is all.

    Good luck.
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    Consumer Reports recently posted a blog about increasing oil consumption of recent cars. This may help put this issue in perspective. I should say that I have been driving cars since the 1960's, and the only car I have ever owned that required added oil between oil changes was an Audi Fox that had defective valve seals. So, I consider the oil consumption discussed here and by CR to be unacceptable. .html
  • danactsdanacts Posts: 1
    I love my 2006 CTS but it has gotten to the point where I am running it out of oil all the time. I am thinking of getting another car and would love a newer Cadillac but do not want to go through the same oil headaches. Aside from the oil problem, I love everything else about my car but it is just not worth it. I am wondering if the newer models still have this problem. Any thoughts?
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Check out the GMC Acadia forums (engine problems) as the Acadia has the same 3.6 liter engine as the CTS. There have been serious engine problems reported for the Acadia, especially 2007 to 2010 models. It's hard to say whether the more recent models have fewer engine problems. Given the complexity of this engine (e..g. three timing chains), I would not own a CTS unless it's fully covered by a GM warranty. Good luck.
  • My 2005 was doing same thing , 2 weeks ago I got rid of mine , my advice sell it or trade it while you can .
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