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Cadillac CTS Maintenance and Repair



  • I just replaced my 5 year old battery on my '04 CTS-V6 with 131k miles. After searching several places for a battery, which had no listings for the CTS, I contacted the dealership to price an ACDelco replacement. This solution, $223.00 plus tax, sent me back to finding an aftermarket replacement. The Wal-Mart MAXX group 78N, 900 cca battery has more power, a better warranty, and will work without any modifications. The battery price and DIY was $72.94, 1/3 the dealership cost.
  • junetjunet Posts: 6
    Has anyone experienced a roaring/rubbing noise when turning sharply at low speeds? Also Tires worn out at 16,000 and I have rotated at every 5,000 w/oil changes.
  • Hi,
    I have a 2003 CTS and same experience, twice already!
    1st time is within the waranty period, and GM dealer diagnosed to be a bad cell in the battery. So they replaced it for free. Now when my car is not six years yet, the 2nd battery died yesterday.
    Have to replace a new one again.
  • So I was listening to a lecture the other day and loved it but the guy told a story about his V-series car that needed more oil. He said that he was about to buy Synthetic because it looked the best but someone told him to look in his owners manual and in there it said that using Synthetic might cause the engine to explode.

    I dont know what year car this was or which V-Series car it was but is it possible the story could be true? Would Synthetic oil cause any V-Series engine to explode?

    My email address is [email protected] if you want to contact me directly.
  • Has anyone heard about or experienced this issue with the 2008-2009 CTS? I was about to buy one but now I am not so sure. - we-solved-steering-vibration-freeway-37.html

    48 page thread discussing a mysterious shimmy problem. Apparently Cadillac knows about the issue and has issued a tech bulletin but has not solved the problem yet. See Post # 369 on page 37 of the thread for the bulletin.

    Has anyone who has recently purchased a CTS run into this problem?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    09 CTS here in Sept with 18 inch wheel package with FE2 suspension...yes a member of that forum as well.....have not had the problem....beleive most that have had it had it resolved with a proper wheel balance using a road force balancer.....assuming the tech knows how to properly operate the balancer
  • Thanks, pao!
  • So, you were listenting to a lecture the other day from a crackhead and loved it.

    V series is the CORVETTE engine

    Corvette comes from factory with synthetic

    Synthetic is superior to natural (dino) oil...put it in anything and it's better.

    Why in the F would Synthetic make an engine "explode"?

    Do you own a V series? If so, read your owners manual and see if it says that.

    99.9% you do NOT own Vseries, so why in the H are you wasting our time and bandwidth?
  • Sounds like a similar issue here....2005 CTS 3.6L bought used from Carmax with 18.5K miles. I changed the oil (Mobil 1 synthetic) and filter at one year and 28K miles (10K miles since last oil change) with 20% oil life left. At 35K miles and 32% oil life remaining, it started making a ratcheting noise, then the engine light went on. Long story short, I took it to the dealer, and he said the oil was low by 2.5 qts. I asked him why the low oil idiot light didn't go on and he had no answer. He said the ratcheting noise was likely an indication of damaged timing chains. Indeed they had to replace the stretched timing chains, about a $2K job, which was covered under warrantee. He said you can't trust the Oil Life Monitor and need to change oil at least every 5K miles. He said you can't go by what the owner's manual says. Any thoughts???
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    well first I personally check oil levels at each gas fill to me..driving a car that is 2.5 quarts low is an ownership issue and not a dealership issue.....I have seen where the early CTSs seem to use oil up to a quart between 3K oil can probably do a search for the issue here

    as far as not trusting the GMOL......I have three GM cars with it...and use it to the point of 25%, then do a change...using mobil 1 syn in the three cars....usually averaging about 6-7K between changes...which usually ends up being a change around 5-6 months.....

    a statement that you cant trust the GMOL or cant by the owners manual to me is a travesty.......wondering what GM customer service...would say...or even the service manager at that particular dealership would say?...who specifically made this statement...the service writer, the tech or the service manager? only refer to "he" at the dealership
  • Have a 2008 CTS purchased on Sept 1, 2008 with approx. 6500 miles on it. About a month and a half ago, the rear brakes started squealing loudly when approaching a stop. There is no squeal on hard stops. It is only occurring when approaching a stop (under 20 mph) and applying soft pressure on the brakes. I heard that there was possibly an issue with the brake caliper spring. Has been checked out by one dealer, and the mechanic noted no unusual noise on the ticket (obviously hearing impaired). When I take the car back in, I plan to demonstrate the squealing as it is quite loud. I can replicate the squealing under any conditions. Anybody having the same problems, and if so, what was done to correct?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    09 CTS here..with the same problem..there is a TSB out to replace the brake pads and the caliper brackets......had the warranty work done this past Monday and corrected the problem...

    #08-05-23-009 by replacing rear disc brakes and caliper brackets

    Pad Kit part number 25997338 1 each
    Bracket part number 25997457 2 each
  • Thanks for the info. Discussed with service advisor. Apparently this is a fairly big problem as he said that the parts are on national back-order. He also said that the replacement pads are much softer pads that would wear faster than the OEM pads. Also said that when these pads wear out and need replacing, they would not be covered by warranty. Seems to me that GM/Cadillac is refusing to accept full responsibility for the problem. None of my other vehicles, current or former, ever had problems with squealing brakes.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    not sure I agree that GM is avoiding the problem....they admit the problem...came up with the engineering fix..and repairing under warranty....pads...softer or relative to me..depends if they are ceramic, partial, or basic pads....not sure what the material is as I didnt ask....

    my CTS no long squeals...Im happy....service department very proactive in ordering parts.......pads are a wear and tear item...I honestly wouldnt expect GM to give me a second set because they wear see how long they average brake job lasts me between 50-60K on my other vehicles..
  • My comment might have been a little strong. You are correct in that they are taking care of the problem and that brake pads are a wear and tear item. I have also gone 50-60K on other vehicles before getting a brake job. Like you said, we will just have to see how long they last. I to will be happy when mine no longer squeals. Thanks again for the info.
  • I have a 2004 with the CTS 3.6 engine. The oil consumption issue is getting worse. I have decided to repair the issue rather than accept the $4500 trade in the dealer will give. While the work is being performed would any of you have recommendations what else I should replace or have checked. The mechanic thinks the issue (oil consumption) is caused by the valve guides. I am also going to have him check or replace the timing belt/chain. The engine is very loud almost like clunking (hard to explain or describe the sound) Does the cam go in the engines. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Greetings all on this forum. I have a pre-owned '06 CTS with sport package that I purchased several months ago. Only 7,800 miles when purchased, and now 10,000 miles. It's Certified and under full warranty. This is my 3rd Caddy. First was a '94 STS leased in '96, second was a '99 STS leased new.

    This is my first CTS. I love the car - EXCEPT - one nagging issue, which is that there is a vibration type rattle in the driver door that sounds as though it's from inside the door and it occurs upon shutting the door (only audible when inside the car, not when shutting it from outside the car). If it were any other door, I could probably blow it off, but since it's the driver's door, it's there every time I get in. Hence it's a nag.

    Two different dealers have had the car. Neither can fix the vibration/rattle noise. They did replace the door handle latch assembly that is controlled by the inside door handle, so it's apparently not that. Bottom line is there's something in the door, or in the door panel, or in a part that is on the door (master window control unit, maybe?), that vibrates and causes a vibration rattle upon shutting the door. The noise is there for only a beat, but it comes off cheap sounding.

    They told me they had the door apart, even removed the window, etc, and had their top guy on the case, but they did not find the cause.

    Is there anyone out there who knows of this, and has found the solution? The front passenger side door does not do this. The dealer said they looked at another '06 CTS that was in, and that car had the same noise. They don't deny hearing the noise, but they can't isolate and fix it. If more than one CTS of this vintage has this noise, certainly other owners have heard it, so I'm hoping someone has dealt with it successfully,

    I appreciate any input from my fellow CTS drivers.

  • xtranautxtranaut Posts: 27
    In 07, I rewarded myself with an 07 Corvette. I traded the two cars that were paid for and a little cas to get it so I owe 13k and have three years to pay at 346. a month. Lots of people envy that situation as most go out of a limb to pay 700 to 1000 bucks a month to own a Corvette. BUT I lost my job and my wife was diagnosed with cancer so I am being squeezed financially and watching my life savings dwindle. I took my issue and solution to many car dealers who had no sympathy and saw everything as black and white - not even willing to deal off their used car price to compensate for the dismal wholesale they offered my on my cvette (the car still smells new after 2 years and only 8500k miles) ONE dealer with a very real christian attitude went out of their way to find a late model car with like equipment, low miles and one owner and adjusted the price on their car to show more for my trade to make the deal. The car is an 06 CTS with 24,400. Its a one owner local loaded with power seats, moonroof, nav,6-cd bose, xm, dvd, xenon and sports package that included ltd slip and 17 wheels. It has a few dings bu nothing major. It's a great looking car but after reading all of the problems with oil use, rear ends, engine shutdowns, tire wear and lots of other rattles and shimmys, I am flat scared to do the deal and I know this car will be gone soon if I don't do it. I have had my vette listed by owner at a price less than dealers would ask but not one call. I KNOW my vette has been babied and without ONE mechanical problem as yet. Some of these Caddys are going into the shop for ridiculous stuff within the first six months. Having owned BMWs, Mercedes and Vettes, I am not used to a new annoyance so often. I need honest opinions. Is this something you would do if you were in my situation??? Many thanks.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    xtranaut -

    I'm not sure that I fully understand the deal here: is this a trade where you will end up with the CTS and then own it free and clear with no monthly payments? If so, it sounds to me as though that is the financial situation that you are looking to get back to (after once having two paid-for vehicles that were part of the deal to get the 'Vette).

    Given your current life's situation, I think this is a good deal. The CTS is obviously no 'Vette, but it's not like trading down to a Corolla or Camry or Impala.

    I don't know of any cars that don't have problems. ANY. Most of the people posting on here are posting BECAUSE they have a problem. Think of the many thousands of other CTS owners who aren't posting problems because they don't have any.

    The '06 CTS you refer to is obviously loaded with all the options. Have the dealer remove the few dings (paintless dent removal) as part of the deal (I had one such ding removed from my car as part of my deal). You will then have a beautiful, very low mileage CTS Sport that's fully loaded, four doors and a trunk, and no monthy payments.

    One question for you: Is this car going to be a Certified Pre-Owned Cadillac for warranty purposes? That's certainly of huge importance. Make sure it is.

    I think it goes without saying that if your current life situation weren't what it is, you wouldn't be looking to get rid of the Corvette. But life is life and things have changed. As I recall, the '06 CTS has rated well overall in quality in Consumer Reports, in crash safety with the IIHS, and with consumers overall. On Edmunds you are going to hear both extremes: the people who love their cars and want to brag about them online, and others who have experienced some issues they are looking for some guidance on. The other 99% of CTS owners we never hear from. Some people go on to buy another CTS or other Caddy, and some change brands, but that's the same story with all car brands.

    I wish you all the best and your wife a return to good health. You can get another Corvette in the future. Right now the best gift that your Corvette can bring to your and your wife's lives is a Cadillac - gosh, a CADILLAC - that's in like-new condition with low mileage and, most importantly, no monthly payment.

    I love my CTS. I marvel at it's sharp, distinct looks every time I walk up to it in a parking lot. I have NO REGRETS about getting this car. I believe you have a very good deal on your hands and you should take it. As you said, you "know the car will be gone soon if you don't do it". And, you've already tested the market for your car by posting it for sale by owner with no bites. This dealer, with apparent Christian beliefs, has a solution for you. It might not be perfect, but it's a sound solution. And, it's not for the rest of YOUR life.

    Given what I know of your situation, and having recently purchased a pre-owned Certified '06 CTS Sport with low mileage, I believe you should do the deal.

  • xtranautxtranaut Posts: 27

    Yes, I did leave that one important thing out. Aside of owing 13k on the vette, I would have have the dealer give me enough in trade to pay it off and still be able to have enough remaining cash in the deal to do an even trade so i wouldn't have payments.

    I guess the biggest obstacle to doing this is that I love the vette and know the car is perfect and well kept. Appearances can be deceiving ad you never know if someone has even kept the oil changed in their car, much less pampered it when you go to get a used car.

    Second, I am cocerned about the common threads in the complaints on CTS..and in particular, the 06. Tire wear, excessive oil use, rear end, vibrations, loss of fuel supply to the engine, and some people act like they were shocked at the gas mileage they were getting but few ever said that was below the 17 mpg city at which the car was rated.

    This is, by miles, the best offer I have had to remedy my fact, the only offer. Could be God gave this to me and it's time to act on faith.

    I hesitated this weekend in hopes of getting a better perspective for guidance.
    So I am hoping it is still there on MONDAY.

    My mind isn't so sharp in the decision department these days with so much adversity going on in my life and that is why I cam eto this board to try and find answers as thoughtful as yours.

    Thank you
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Perhaps the dealer will allow you to take the car on an extended test drive, as in for an overnight, with you leaving your 'Vette at the dealer as a form of good faith collateral. That would give you about 24 hours to live with the CTS and get a feel for it. During that time, I think you will get a difinitive answer from your God, in the form of a feeling or emotion, that will more clearly tell you if this is the right deal and car for you and your situation.

    You will also be able to really shake the car down for noises, rattles, how it rides, etc. You will get a sense for whether it's a solid car or not, and you will get a sense for the gas mileage it's getting.

    Also, again, remember to ensure that the car will be a Certified Cadillac. That will really be your "insurance" policy and help to make the decision. If Cadillac certifies it, then they are taking on the real burdens of it being a lemon.

  • xtranautxtranaut Posts: 27
    I think this dealer will allowme the exntended test drive. They have been very accomodating. But none of the feel for the vehicle will reveal those thinkgs that are inherent in the car, pending the eventual event..

    I don't have any expectations but from all of the problems I see in print,I'd rather not be surprised if thisis the general character of the car.

    I like the way the car drives and I can compare it all day longto my vette and to other cars more in it's class tha tI have the BMW 530i but that only validates that the CTS is it's own animal and doesn't mimmick the traits of any other of these cars anyway.
    It doesn't bother me that it has created a class of it's own because that is, under the best of circumstances, a pleasant experience. It is the apprehension of more than reasonable, shop visits that makes me hesitate.

    Have you personally experienced any of the problems I mentioned from the gathered comments of CTS owners on these boards?
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    I have not experienced any of the issues you've listed. I should note that while mine is an 06, it still has just under 12,000 miles on it. I got it last November with just under 8,000 miles on it.

    Excess tire wear? Could it be due to the car having sport tires and people driving it in a rather sporty fashion that would contribute to the tires wearing faster than on previous model year CTSs? Keep in mind that '06 was the first year of the sport model with the sport tuned suspension and this model came from the factory with these specific tires that are different from the other CTS model trims. I think they are designed to be more "sticky" and thus these types of tires do wear out faster than regular everyday tires.

    Gas mileage: Perhaps also because it's the Sport model, and on the Sport model the transmission is tuned to sporty driving and it has engine braking built in and I believe a gear algorithm designed to keep the car in the right gear if driving in a sporty mode around corners so when you accellerate it is already in the lower gear and doesn't have to down shift. It is intended to mimick having a manual transmission for sporty driving.

    Oil: I don't know yet. I've only driven about 4,000 miles since getting the car. I frankly have not yet checked the oil level. I suppose I should do that. For some reason Caddy's tend to be oil drinkers. My previous two STSs also liked oil. The CTS Sport uses Mobil 1 synthetic oil for longer life.

    Rear end: No problems on my car.

    You car would have a sunroof and the Bose stereo with 6 CD which mine does not have, which are two options I would have liked to have gotten.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I am very sorry that you have a situation that causes you to have to consider this when you are happy with your vette. I now have my 2nd CTS. My first was a 2005 and this one is a 2009. I drove my 2005 48,000 miles. I had to replace my tires early; they were replaced at 25,000. At the 15,000 mile mark, I was hearing a roar. As it turned out, it was tire wear. I had been accustomed to rotating my tires at 10,000 mile intervals on a rear wheel drive vehicle. My Cadillac dealer said that you had to rotate tires on this car at 5,000 mile intervals and align the front end at 15,000. He said that it had a very aggressive suspension and it was prone to excessive tire wear if you did not follow this. When I replaced the tires, I followed this schedule and there was no problem with the 2nd set of tires. At 47,000 miles, I had the water pump replaced. It was covered under the OEM warranty. I really liked the car and there was no excessive fuel use. It got below a quart low on the synthetic oil when I passed the 5,000 mile mark. I had been used to changing the oil at 5,000 miles, but on the first oil change the dealer told me to run it longer with synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is lighter oil and I did not think it excessive in oil use. I now own the next generation CTS. It is awesome.
  • xtranautxtranaut Posts: 27
    Wow. 8k miles! What a find. I live in Houston which is the biggest city of mediocre cars I have ever lived in...and all wholesale prices are determined by the auction market - which means you get bottom dollar for your car no matter how great a shape and low miles it has. It's never a good feeling having to contemplate trading in your car to a dealer but when you are trading something you know to be pampered and in excellent shape for something unknown, it's an unsettling feeling.

    Yes, this CTS looks great and has all the equipment you can get on one but all that I am reading about reliability isn't good. FORBES and consume reports gave every year but 04, a lower than average reliability rating. AND BEWARE. There are recalls on the rear end seals and an issue with fuel distribution to the engine. Both are MAJOR issues that could be very dangerous while you are driving.

    I am still contemplating this trade but still on the hesitant side especially when I saw an "expert" say, A Toyota Camry would be well on to it's second and third lives when a CTS was done for good.

    Other than these expectations, I like the car and thee way the 3.6 performs.however, the reason for my trade dictates that I make the best choice for longevity and low maintenance in the life of a car.

    I guess I have always been fortunate to have had cars that didn't give me much trouble, were pleasing to look at and fun to drive. I just don't care for many other cars right now. They all look pretty much the same or are much to pricey for what the are.thus, my dilemma with the CTS
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    I suppose it's worth noting that at least Cadillac issued a recall for the rear end seals as opposed to Toyota which did not issue a recall (or in any way publicly acknowledge) the big problem thousands of owners were having a couple of years ago with the oil turning to sludge in the engine.

    What a LOT of people don't know or think of is the FACT that the average age of Toyota owners is OLDER than the average age of Cadillac owners. This age issue is one of the reasons Toyota came out with the Scion brand to market toward younger people.

    Having recognized the above, I often wonder if Toyota and, say, Buick which just got a #1 JD Power rating, both have fewer owner complaints for reasons including the general fact that most older citizens don't drive their cars as much or as far per year and perhaps they also don't hear some of the creaks and rattles that younger car owners become aware of. It's an interesting thought to ponder...

    Next time I am in for service I will ask of the two recalls you mentioned have been addressed on my car.

  • xtranautxtranaut Posts: 27
    Your points make good sense and believe me, I OVER-analyze things (often to my detriment). The problem in all things is WHAT THEY DON';T ADMIT OR WHAT THEY DON'T TELL US.

    I guess, in this equation for me, I have to cover the possibility that I may not be able to trade this car for a long while so whatever car I decide on, it's got to be one that lasts longer than 50k before I have no choice but to rebuild and engine or something else major.

    To build a car on the premise that the less you drive it, the fewer problems you will encounter, is a philosophy that I do not wish to purchase a car on, knowingly.

    I can compromise with cheap interior materials from GM, but not purposeful lack of mechanical integrity. Even the Corvette deserved to be dressed out like a Ferrari inside - instead of a Mazda but to get a performance car with high quality mechanical build, I overlooked it. It won't be in the shop every five thousand miles and will last as long as my reasonable care of it.

    This said, I wouldn't buy a Toyota Camry anyway. The quality of those cars has decreased markedly over the past few years and Hyundai is passing them by. Sitting on your laurels at number one will always be a major downfall in any game

    I was amused to read a review of the 09 IMPALA the other day where the writer was trying t find something good to say about the SS and ending up saying something like, "despite GM's over-corrected front wheel over steer that made the correction worse than the problem, step on the gas for an Jekyll-Hyde personality surprise and experience the thrill of 3700 pounds of garbage thrust to adrenaline pumping launch.".

    I knew what he was saying. I have also owned garbage cans with big engines and not much of any other kind of character but certain eventual scrap iron.

    To reiterate, I LIKE the car and I want to think that it is not what I read. Unfortunately, I can not afford to pay the dealer for an extended warranty so I have only the remainder of the 4/50k as a comfort zone.

    So --- you sound like a meticulous person who appreciates your CTS ....reading of problems and recalls and a lower than average reliability rating as well as an unattractive resale value, what would you do in my case?
  • fixinctsfixincts Posts: 1
    Looking for a Accelerator Pedal Assembly for a 2003 Cad. Cts part #25742398 Cadillac says it is on National Back Order-6weeks in shop! HELP!!!
  • nipnip Posts: 1
    My wife has a 05 cts and there is a noise when turning sharpely to the right or left. Found that the tie rod was hitting the inside of the wheel rims. Could these b the wrong rims or is there a problem with a stop on the power steering? Would a spacer between the rim and hub solve the problem.
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