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Cadillac CTS Engine Problems



  • I did a lot of research and found that the oil problem has been reported over every model year on the three point six. One report that might be of interest was a 2013 cts with eighteen thousand miles had oil consumption issues.
    I also read that part of this is due to piston rings that are undersized. This individual had the rings replaced at the dealer cost and the engine still seized on them. Others have reported six thousand dollars in repairs from eighteen thousand miles up to eighty thousand. Unless you can afford the cost and don't mind being left stranded-other reviews tesify to computer problems, no starts-and cutting out while in motion-if you can over look these than the cts might work out for you. :lemon:
  • Ever since I traded my 2006 CTS I have been looking in car mags-there are always plenty of them for sale..Let me see the car fax. Actualy I've seen all I need to see. The Cts In my review gets a one in a possible five. I rate it only on it's styling. It does look nice, but the performance issues that are easy to research and documented puts this car in the lemon category.
    These posts serve only as a buyer beware. If anyone decides to buy a Cadillac CTS and they do not experiance the problems so many do-then they should post as well. but So far the negative comments outways the positive. :sick:
  • rriddlerriddle Posts: 7
    I have a 2011 CTS and have not had any of the oil problems discussed thus far (knock on wood). I did have an earlier post where I had some early problems of the whole car shutting off on me 3 times within six months of owning it. After two visits to Cadillac dealership maintenance it seems to have fixed the problem. My guess is that there was a loose connection or short which caused the problem and the full car inspection and checking every cable solved this issue. Thus far....the engine has run well and no extensive oil use problems....again...knocking on wood. :)
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hi there,

    Glad to hear that your '11 CTS has treated you well so far and that your dealer helped you through those few minor issues. If there's anything you have questions about, or need assistance with, please let us know.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • I'm glad I found these series of posts to give me some peace of mind. Regardless of what some of you may think my purchase, but I happened to buy a used 2005 Cadillac CTS 2.8 from a dealership and was surprised to see the engine light turn a week after my purchase. The engine ran great, didn't feel any abnormalities with the exception of the entire car shaking when you would turn on the air conditioner heater. Pretty easy to confirm as you can turn on the AC/Heating and immediately feel the "kicking" sensation. However since I live in cold-[non-permissible content removed] Canada I didn't really bother with it, even though the car would consume more gas with the heating on than off.

    The problem I faced was three months into the purchase when driving from 0 -60 km/hour. After driving for a few months I had a pretty good "feel" as to what was normal acceleration and started feeling irregular gear shifts and "stuttering" coming from the engine. A shriek would sometimes be heard when accelerating/sounding like an awful acceleration noise.

    Since my Transmission fluid was at 14% and my engine oil was 20% I figured my transmission oil needed changing. The oil percentage was at 95% when I first bought the vehicle and I thought it was going to be a transmission problem. After taking it to Canadian Tire the mechanic told me that the oil level was dangerously low! And that by replacing the oil the issue with acceleration would dissapear. After the service the engine light also dissapeared and would not come back on again.

    I'd like to mention that prior to the service the engine light would either turn off and then turn back on, or would randomly flash occasionally.

    With the oil and transmission oil fully replaced I drove for another 4-5months only to find the "stuttering" happening again along with the acceleration grinding issue happenign again now that the car is at 24% oil life (96% transmission). After restarting the engine the "check engine oil" message came on. SO it makes me conclude that the Cadillac CTS takes much more oil than expected and the % indicator for oil should NOT ever be trusted. Thankfully I know what the problem is with the onscreen diagnostics message and the engine light coming on (it's off now), and I will replace the oil in the morning, but it's a shocker to me that the on-screen diagnostics are simply not accurate.

    Point taken - check your engine oil regularly and change the oil before it reaches 30%.

    As I've only driven for the day to experience this issue, I'm hoping there's no permanent damage. Will keep everyone one posted after the service tomorrow.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,141
    Sell the car.

  • cady2004cady2004 Posts: 13

  • cady2004cady2004 Posts: 13

  • jwilli51jwilli51 Posts: 3
    edited August 2013
    This you will not believe!!!
    2007 CTS -NICE veh--Vinyl top, leather seats, pin stripping, alloy wheels gleaming in the Florida sun!!
    Man, what a sight!(Better I had been blind.) !475 miles on odometer.
    Two weeks later, a scratch appeared fully along the right side. First trip to body shop. $!400.00--ins paid
    All was well until June 2011 1330 hrs(1:30 pm). While on a trip to Augusta, Ga, I killed a 200 lb buck with the front of my CTS.( all cosmetic damage and we finished our trip with hood bunged down ) 2nd trip to Body shop. $4400.00---ins paid- no deductable.
    Two weeks later, at 31000 mi, threw timing chain. Oil level was aok. First trip to mechanic.
    Two days later, call confirmed timing chain. Two days later,call confirmed bent valves.
    Four days later, call revealed cracked engine block and that I needed a complete new engine! $9050.00
    Thank God we had a 'Bumper to bumper' warranty!!!
    It ain't over yet!
    Three weeks after getting CTS back, a man backed into the right rear quarter panel in Publix parking lot. 3rd trip to Body Shop. Ins paid $1800.00 --no deductable.
    Now, we're happily driving and enjoying our Black Cloud CTS-----THEN----last Tuesday while on I 75 south bound, a miss began. Got off and stopped for a traffic light 250 ft from my destination. Engine died. 2nd trip to Mech. Two days later, Cadillac informed me that I need to overhaul the engine ($6000+) or install another new one.(9000+?!) 73,346 mi on car (42,000 mi on 2nd engine)
    Service manager(felt sorry for me) gave me the number for Cadillac Cust Care. Related this story to them and at present, I am waiting for a call back to let me know if they will help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Please excuse my pessimism but---------HA HA HA Ha ha

    Happy In Florida! (Although I'm not quite sure why..???)

    PS: I have had to put 7 qts of oil in this 36L engine in less than 1500 mi
  • I entered the wrong date of the deer incident--it should be June 2010 NOT June 2011.
    FYI - actual date of first failure was 8/2010. WOW, I get to buy a new engine every 3 yrs!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hi jwilli51,

    We see that you've been through quite an ordeal with your Cadillac. If you would like for us to check on the status of your case with Cadillac Customer Service please send us your VIN. If there is anything else we can help with please let us know.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • Case # 71-1213091010 vin #1G6DP577970158
    Thank you in advance for your help

  • ronyxxxronyxxx Posts: 19
    Good luck indeed. Mine burns a quart every 1,800 miles and I never got a reply to my somewhat jaded inquiry.
  • They can't diagnose it over the internet AND they can't diagnose it if you bring it to the dealership either, because I fell for that yesterday. They said, 'bring the car in, so we can hook it up to our diagnostics' So I did. GUESS how that went. According to Jeremy at autonation (gm dealer in Port Richey, FL.) they hooked it up, but wouldn't be able to tell me if the cam needed a shim, or the timing belt was gone, or the cylinder had to be replaced. To quote Jeremy, "best case scenario" you're looking at about $400, $500, "worse case scenario" you're looking maybe $2200 or more if the timing belt is worn, but I can't tell until I take the top of the motor off and see what's going on. WOW, thought you told me I had a 'SMART CAR' that would tell you what's going on 'once you got it hooked up REALLY????? 54,000 MILES, AND I COULD BE LOOKING AT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN REPAIRS. Buy a CADILLAC, GM'S finest, and right after 50,000 miles, I have major problems with the motor???I'll bet when they do get your car in, you won't get an answer until they pull the engine apart, and then what will you do when they say it's thousands o dollars, and they've got you by the crank shaft???? "Put it back together" and WHAT WILL THAT COST YOU?????? to put it back the way they found it? The diagnostics is right around $100.00. But, pulling the top of the engine and putting it back???? REALLY??? TO FIND OUT WHAT'S WRONG???? I still owe 7 grand on this car, and it's gonna sit in my driveway. Well, that was my CADILLAC EXPERIENCE" What's yours????
  • Well I have heard a lot of stories about the Caddillac CTS and did not believe them until now I bought my 06 CTS in February 2012 the car only had 38,000 miles on it I heard a little ticking sound coming from the driver side part of the engine and had it looked at the maintance tech said it might have just needed an oil change so I had him do it. which of course did not stop the problem so I had spoke to a couple of friends and family mebers to ask them what they thought and of course no one really new. I kept up on the oil changes and always checked my fluids since I drove this car a lot back and forth between my home and Columbus and the car never gave me a problem just had a light ticking sound. well needless to say August 20th 2013 I was heading back to Columbus and my engine gave up and was done it blew up at my half way point to Columbus so I had my car towed to Germain Cadillac and paid $260.00 in a tow fee and asked them to look at it while I called GM I waited a month just to find out the my car was not going to be covered even though my warrenty ran out of time not mileage and now they are wanting $200.00 for the inspection they did. GM is saying that there was burnt oil and that my car threw a rod and a bearing threw the block I still owe on the car and have not had it long enough to have these kind of problems with it this is crazy I showed them where the car had maintance done on it everytime I traveled and that the oil was changed every 6,000 to 7,000 miles I am now looking to go forward with a class action Lawsuite
  • Don't get a CTS they have lot's of issues and GM will not fix them even if you do what your suppose to do to maintain them. My 07 CTS has become one of the biggest headaches I have ever had.
  • cadillacjack1cadillacjack1 Posts: 7
    edited October 2013
    Read all the posts here if you have not have the 2.8-the 3.6 is famous for the engine seizing-due in part to undersize piston rings-which causes the engine to consume five or more quarts every four thousand miles.

    I had the 2006 cts kept it two weeks and turned it back in-engine shaking,check engine light-and number four injector code problem.
    What I learned reading in this forum is that all the 3.6 cts engines-even some 2013 models have extensive is not just the engine-it's everything and everything is expensive. Read on and hopefuly you have one of the good ones-is there a good one? I traded mine for a chrysler 2007 sebring and no problems-Ill never buy a Gm product again....
  • madctsmadcts Posts: 6
    Haven't posted about my CTS in a while, but this is what I know --

    Back about 10 years ago, they began cutting corners and as we all know the gov had to bail GM out. The rings and pistons in the v6 engine they used in the CTS we're not engineered correctly allowing excess amounts of oil being burned through the rings and into the cylinders. Most engines experienced running through a quart of oil every 1000 miles or so. If you did not religiously check your oil it was only a matter of time before your engine became useless.

    GM said this massive amount of oil consumption was within normal limits. Many people who took road trips of over 5000 fried their engines after checking the oil prior to their trip. They were always told they did not maintain the oil properly.

    I would bet 1000s of people had their engines fried and the we're told it was their own fault because they are incapable of checking the oil in their Cadillacs.

    This is such a coverup!'

    FYI. They replaced the whole top end of my 2008 CTS. And the whole exhaust system as the oil in the exhaust ruined both catalytic converters!! They had my CTS 46 days total!

    You need to find a dealer committed to fighting for you.
  • ronyxxxronyxxx Posts: 19
    Sounds pretty typical. You can vent here, but there's no real help here. And if you post anything vaguely threatening the holy GM they will just delete it, or they have the host delete it. I've tried. You see, we can't share email addresses or phone numbers. I've had 30+ GM vehicles but this sight has made me hate them for basically screwing us. Good luck
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Completely inaccurate. No one from GM has ever asked a host to remove a negative post (or any post), and even if they did, we wouldn't remove it unless it violates our Membership Agreement. Organizing legal action within the forums isn't permitted, and that has nothing to do with GM or any other manufacturer.

    Your best bet for getting any meaningful action is to report, as individuals, your issue to the NHTSA at They're the only agency authorized to investigate vehicle issues, and to ask for a recall if it's warranted.


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  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,141
    edited October 2013
    what our host just posted.

    Many of us have posted missives that are anything but complimentary to GM in general and the CTS in particular. I've never seen a post deleted, mine or anyone else's.

    Cite examples. What post done by whom when was later deleted?

    Data talks. You (well, probably you don't) know what walks.
  • ronyxxxronyxxx Posts: 19
    I have had a post deleted. Its okay if we're all just posters here, but go ahead and post your email or phone number and a call to action and see what happens. Edmunds or GM won't let us have each others personal contact info. GM doesn't want a class action and Edmunds doesn't want to alienate a manufacturer.

    The NHTSA, is concerned with safety. A blown motor or timing chain is only unsafe on your wallet and GM's rep. Perhaps EPA would be concerned with all the oil floating around the atmosphere.
  • ronyxxxronyxxx Posts: 19
    edited October 2013
    Well probably I do, Canadian Pin Head (I didn't make it up, it's his username)...and no, I don't mean bowling (just since you resorted to cutting me down first). It was my post asking for others to join me in a class action. So tell me why you didn't see my post??? Duh, deleted!!!
  • ronyxxxronyxxx Posts: 19
    edited October 2013
    I read about all of your posts about your blown engines and other problems. I worry about mine blowing up, I spend $1500 on a warranty I shouldn't have had to buy. I can't sell the car because I wouldn't screw even a stranger that bad. I've become extremely angry at GM with their head up there ^&*$ protecting there profits at our expense. A quart of oil every 2,000 miles is normal? Seriously? I have to pay $200 for a glorified oil change before they'll check to see if my motor is using oil? Seriously??? Please don't jump on me folks...I'm not the enemy.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Yes, it was deleted because it violated our Membership Agreement, to which you agreed when registering for an account. It has nothing to do with GM, or the fact that you were making negative comments about the vehicle and/or GM.

    People who wish to be contacted by email will have their address marked as "public" in their profile, and those will be visible to you. Others who do not wish to have that info available will have it set as "private."


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  • thomasmccallumthomasmccallum Posts: 2
    edited November 2013
    Hello all, new here. I purchased my 2005 CTS 3.6 in august of 2011. After about 6 months the car was skipping on the highway so I brought it in to my local dealership and was told the same thing that I see a lot of you were being told. Due to the fact that the car "uses" oil (which is apparently completely normal) my car was down in oil significantly and caused the timing to go off. The necessary repairs were to cost me $4000, but lucky for me, the dealership said I would only be required to pay $1000, which I did, grudgingly, as the car was barely out of the dealerships used car warranty.

    After that I've made sure to check every 1,000 miles and top off my oil as required. But the problem came back! After another 8 months of constantly topping off my oil, I had misfire codes pop up and I brought it back to my dealer. This time they blamed a faulty ECM, and I payed $500+ for that replacement.

    It's now about a year later, and the skips are back. I'm terrified it's going to be one of these two issues again. I can't wrap my head around how an engine can have this many misfire problems and eat THIS MUCH oil. I find it ridiculous that i'm spending so much money on oil only to have the issue keep popping up. No codes have fired off yet, but it's only a matter of time. I've already called GM customer service and I was basically told I was a lost cause because I purchased the car used, not new. So I'm out of luck.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,141
    the car.

    That is all.
  • There a large group in the same club as you, GM only care about the bottom line and nothing else, yes nothing else, oh did say nothing else. All I can say is lets keep the pressure on them, by writting over and over again how they are screwing us 3.6 L owners, especially on a car that is suppose to be "the cream of the crop" "Cadillac" not saying much really, is it ???. A lot of people read these blogs and the message might sink in one day. For some of us, every time these cars needs work our families suffer as we struggle to pay the repair bills or pass up trips because we can't trust our car and don't want to strand our family in the middle of the road !!! We can thank Edmunds for having this site for us to vent on.
  • I love my CTS. I hate Cadillac. I'm probably not a welcome poster here because I let my emotions out. After 30+ GM products (cars+trucks) since the 60's that didn't use a quart of oil every 1800 miles, I'm told, 50 years later, that a quart every 2000 miles is acceptable. Boy, is that progress?? Cadillac is doing an ignore the problem corporate cant afford the problem thing. Sooner or later, our cars will die off and we'll go away. Right on about the go away part. If each of my 30+ GM purchases netted them $2,000 profit each, thats $150k to GM in my lifetime. From now on its going to BMW or Accura or ANYWHERE BUT GM!
  • Update on my situation :

    after hearing the valve knock and having my engine skip on my commute to work, I purchased (for what feels like the hundredth time) 6 quarts of oil from my local napa. I ended up having to put 2.5 quarts into my engine, the stick was bone dry. KEEP IN MIND I added oil last thursday! 1.5 quarts. It's getting out of control. THIS IS NOT NORMAL, GM.
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