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Cadillac CTS Maintenance and Repair



  • 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 owned..like 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.
  • The ctx has two small pressurized things that look like shock absorbers that assist in opening and keep the trunk open. Mine seem to have lost pressure becauseit does not keep open. It closes as soon as you let go. Does anyone have a fix that does not require taking it in for repair? How about a compression spring around the shock like thing? The shock like thing has words on that say it is pressurized at 500 lbs. The pressure must be gone for the trunk to fall closed, but is it dangereous to remove?
    Need advice. Thanks
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    They are just like gas pressurized shock absorbers, only on a smaller scale.

    You should be able to order replacement units from the dealer or from an after market supplier.

    No, they are not dangerous to remove - just do it with the trunk lid fully open. But do not damage or try to open up the strut itself.
  • I have a question concerning the coolant idiot light which has been coming on, I have a 2004 CTS with 30,000 miles and change the oil every 5000 mile. I am usually handy around motors but for some reason I can't find a radiator cap to check the level of fluid, the cars temp gauge is reading normal. The coolant tank is only an inch low so I will add the dex-cool, but I don't believe this should cause a problem. Anyone run into this problem.

  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Mine is an '06 with 15.5k miles. No coolant light at this point. I frankly have only been under the hood to check the oil and to add windshield washer fluid, so I can't say from memory where the coolant reservior opening is.

    Sorry I can't help further with this one. Does the owner's manual not show where it is? It's probably not the actualy "radiator cap", but rather a separate opening so that the radiator cap doesn't have to be openened to add coolant.
  • After looking at the owners manual it does say that the light will come on if it is low on fluid, the only place to check though is the reservoir, there is no radiator cap. The thing is the light only came on intermittent and the fluid in the reservoir was only an inch low. Thanks for your input.
  • My 2005 CTS developed the same problem at 31K last week. It the water pump required replacement. It had a small leak.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    I experience the same noise that appears to be a rubbing of the tires when making tight turns at low speed. Can't seem to verify what it is exactly. But I have a theory.

    Mine is an '06 CTS with the sport package option including 18" wheels and different Bridgestone tires. (Just under 16k miles and the tires do not have excessive wear).

    I notice the "rubbing" noise when leaving home in the morning and when pulling into the parking spot at work. I actually believe it might, and I repeat the word "might", be caused by the inboard rear tire (i.e. when turning to the right; the right rear tire) rubbing on the epoxy-type painted surface of the parking garage floor of the building I work in. Then when i get to work - they recently re-sealed the whole parking lot with blacktop sealant - I think that's causing the rubber tire to make that rubbing noise at slow speeds over the epoxy sealant when turning sharply into a parking space.

    Sounds strange, but I believe - or at least I want to believe - that is the cause. The CTS has a very tight turning radius compared to most vehicles (which is a really convenient thing). When turning sharply at low speeds, that means the inside rear tire is actually turning somewhat on its axis rather than just rolling forward over the road surface. Hence, this could be the cause, or at least "a" cause, for the rubbing noise, because the tire rubber is actually being rubbed against the surface its on with these tight turns. Very few vehicles of this size have the tight turning radius the CTS has (not sure if the '08 and newer CTS' have the same tight turning radius).

  • junetjunet Posts: 6
    Rob, I did take my car to another dealer and they told me that it was the fluid in the rear end that needed an additive. They changed the fluid and added what ever and the noise went away for a about 6 months. NOW its back and worse. I do not believe its the tires at all. I have replaced mine since. I have to make another appointment again and its a real pain for me because I have to drive about 50 miles to a dealer.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Interesting. Mine seems to be intermittent. Didn't do it this morning pulling out of my building's garage, but it did it when pulling into a parking spot at work.

    Do you have you copy of the the dealer service form/receipt from when you had the fluid added 6 months ago? I am curious if they wrote in what fluid they added. The more details I have, the more I can just tell my dealer "do this". I'm assuming it'll be a warranty job...

  • junetjunet Posts: 6
    Yes I have the receipt and will have to get it out of a file. Yes it was warranty work done no charge. Mine didn't do it all the time either, in fact it wouldn't do it while I was there but the guy said he knew what it was. Now it does it all the time.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    I see. Good to know it was warranty work.

    If you are able to find the work order in your files it would be helpful to know what they wrote down that they did (although the fact that it only lasted 6 months is discouraging).

    If the guy at the dealer knew what it was then it's apparently a relatively common issue with the pre-'08 CTS model.

    Thank you.

  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    if the dealer changed the fluid....and added the additive....my question is have you had any other differential fluid changes done....if you have an LSD...and Im betting you do...and you had a fluid change out and the LSD additive was added in with the change...then you probably have some differential wear....and that what might be causing the rubbing sounds....it might also be the clutch packs in the diff as well....

    the rear difs were a weak area in the early model CTS's....and carried over into the 06-07 MY Pontiac Solstices...which use the same rear diff.......08 and beyond seem to correct the problem.....Im betting it is the rear differential.....
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Brought the car in today for an oil change. Mentioned the rear "rubbing" sound. The service manager knew exactly what I was referring to, and mentioned the LSD and clutch packs, etc. and need for a fluid change and additive.

    So, we added doing the rear end fix job to the list. He said it works on 8 out of 10 vehicles, and if not, then the rear diff. needs to be replaced (all warranty).

    Obviously a known issue, and at least they own up to it and will address it under warranty. Driving a brand new DTS loaner car in the interim...
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    at least the service manager is competent and is aware of ongoing issues.....Im betting you will end up with a new diff...keep us advised..
  • I bought a 2005 STS for my song, and it has the same problem as all of yours, it uses oil like crazy. Maybe if we get enough people and signatures from people with the same problem we might get a legal case against GM and get the rightful recall we deserve. please let me know what do you think
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    So far so good with the fluid and additive work. No noise. I will certainly be bringing it back in if, and as soon as, the noise returns.
  • The only level check is at the surge tank. If it is below the line cold you should add coolant. If it is below the line when it's hot - let it cool down first! - then add coolant until it's at or slightly above the line. As you accelerate hard, the surge tank will pull coolant from the bottle and drop the level setting the light if it's low initially. Best idea is to keep it full but find the leak and fix it. Not always easy but it needs to be done. Good Luck, I love my CTS.
  • I have a 2007 CTS. I had the creaking rubbing noise from the rear, best and only heard when driving slowly ~ 5 mph in a parking garage or quietly out of the driveway.

    There was a rear end differntial recall about a year ago, because some had worse noise or even locked up. Everyone with that recall notice should get it done. After the recall was done, the noise was better but still there.

    Recently I mentioned it to a different dealer and they were more aware of the problem. They added more lube to the rear and it's quiet now.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Mine has been fine since the dealer did the work 1 month ago. Time will tell if it remains quiet.

    It seems the dealers are quite aware of this issue and there is no fuss or stress about performing the "fix" work on warranty. That's good.

  • junetjunet Posts: 6
    Rob, I thought mine was ok too. Wait a few months it will be back. I have to take mine in again.
  • I have a 2007 CTS. I had the rear pinion seal replaced and the fluid changed. After a few months, the grinding began. They changed the fluid again, this time adding a conditioner. The dealer said that if that didn't fix it, they would replace the differential. It's been about 18 months and the grinding is back, mostly during sharp parking lot maneuvers. I plan on having them put a new rear in this thing after the holidays. Amazing, a torque converter and now a new differential. At 28K miles. And I don't drive it hard. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence, does it?
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 5,017
    The differential issue on this car is a well-documented somewhat common problem. One hopes they've redesigned it such that the replacement will solve it. Haven't heard of it lately on the newer CTSs.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • junetjunet Posts: 6
    This is EXACTLY what my car is doing. 2007 28,000 miles CTS. I am going back now for the third time! 1st. was recall 2nd. noise. 3rd. itssss backkkk !!! Its very inconvenient for me, the dealer is 50 miles away and they don't work on weekends...
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    the differential is a WELL documented issued on the CTS as well as the Pontiac Solstice...as the share the same differential.......if the auto is equipped with Limited Slip Diff...when the fluid is changed..it must included an additive specifically for the diff along with the basic fluid......if the dealer doesnt add the fluid.....it will not fix and in fact cause more problems...

    if you are experiencing that grinding sound at low speed while making a sharp turn...try figure 8s in the parking lot.....its the clutch packs grinding.....and the dif needs to be replaced at this point....first TSB is replace the seal and fluid.....second is drain fluid and replace as needed....and third is replace the dif.....

    09 CTS owner here with no problems...as well as 06 Solstice owner...three trips for the dif for warranty repair....on the 3rd trip the dif was replaced with an 08 MY version...and fixed the problem.....
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Thank you for all of this information.
  • I have a 2005 CTS V . I had the same problem, I took it to a dealership, they had to replace the clamp on the lower radiator hose. I had a spring clamp, they replaced it with a screw style that you manually tighten and that fixed the problem. My mother in law has an 2004 cadi and just had the same issue-they told her she needed new water pump-replaced it same problem still exists. I'd try the clamp much cheaper than pater pump or radiator repair. I think my mother in law needs clamp replaced. The leaky waterpump historically is a problem with corvettes I know, and the V has a corvette Z06 engine in it -.
  • driving a 2005 CTS V about to buy new tires, wondering what others have found to be the best- balancing between ride and longavity???
    Any input would be appreciated.
  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    yes i have the same problem with my 2004 3.6 auto trans if i figure it out i will let you know
  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    my 04 trans slips when you first put it in foward gear after sitting for awhile, but after it warms up a little it pulls perfect & shifts perfect until you park it for a night in cold temps. it will most likely do it again. has anyone had this problem thanks
  • junetjunet Posts: 6
    Well, They did the exact same thing again this time. Change the fluid and the noise went away. The manager said this may have to be changed a few times for it to stop doing this. I don't believe that story!!! It's been a month and I have not heard it come back yet but I am waiting for it because I think it will. Sure is a pain in the neck to have to drive 50 miles.
  • timd106timd106 Posts: 3
    well, i have a 2.8L v6 cts and I gotta say, the 0-40 mph jump seems to take forever! It just doesnt have a good "get up and go" feel to it, but once i am rolling and i press it, it runs smoothly. Though i cant see or feel what your car is doing, i cant say for sure it is normal. If it isnt doing anything out of the ordinary or acting strange id say it is prolly just your 4,000lb car operating on a 215HP engine.
  • nwraaanwraaa Posts: 175
    Does it cost $560.00 to replace a headlight for a 2008 Cadillac CTS? I took my CTS to the dealer because a bulb in the headlight was out. To replace just the bulb, I was quoted $217.00. When they got into the job, they could not install the new bulb because the bulb socket in the headlight assembly over heated and warped. Then came the $560.00 news about the cost to replace the headlight assembly. Have you other CTS owners experienced this?
  • twinbtwinb Posts: 140
    Was it a HID light bulb? If so, you're gettin' away cheap. Toy dealers want close to $800, & reports are they burn out after a year.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    A 2008 CTS...isn't the car under full factory warranty? Seems to me that exterior lights are easily a warranty item. Period.

    I am not sure why they are quoting you a charge at all.
  • nwraaanwraaa Posts: 175
    The miles on the car exceed the warranty limits. This CTS is my first revisit to Cadillac in some time. I left as a buyer when they were going through the diesel, Cimarron, HT4100 engine, and front wheel drive change over era. The Cadillacs that I owned prior to this were good cars. The big front wheel drive Caddys, to me, never handled well. I got rid of my last Caddy because a rod bearing failed in a HT4100 engine. I have not been happy wtih this CTS. Oil consumption is excessive, it was recalled which required removal of the intake manifold and other minor hundred dollar issues have been happening with it. But this headlight deal, I thought, was aggregious.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Yes, that is a lot of money for a headlight, no doubt. However, as another person who replied to your post indicated, the eggregious prices for headlight fixtures are not just a Cadillac brand issue.

    Cars are ridiculously expensive to maintain these days. And who can we trust? I mean, look at the problems Toyota is having...and I knew before this whole gas pedal issue came to light that Toyota was bad about covering up problems with their cars, such as the problem a couple of years ago with oil turning to sludge in Camrys. I lot of customers had problems with that and Toyota denied it was a systemic problem...just like the unintended acceleration issue.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    well if they replaced the entire headlamp assembly...and you have non HID....then the assembly alone runs from 200-250 for the part, depending on the source...if that is a HID bulb, it runs aprox $155 at several online GM parts sites....the entire HID headlamp assembly runs 700-800 depending on the source of parts.....so your prices with labor are within a reasonable realm it appears....
  • nwraaanwraaa Posts: 175
    I have owned a number of cars, as many of you have, mostly luxury. I've just never paid anywhere near that much money for a headlight bulb or headlight assembly. Although I believe it would have been somewhat of a challenge to get the bulb out of this car (it is a little more involved then removing a battery or disconnecting the breather assembly) I will have to take the time and effort to change it myself the next time.
  • stray1189stray1189 Posts: 1
    Anyone figure this out yet?? I ALSO have a 2004 V 3.2 CTS and I am just about dipstick dry every time I go to change the oill (3000-3500 miles).
    I don't notice any smoke anywhere and can't detect any leaks. If I add it it would probably be fine, but you shouldn't have to add that much oil to the car between each oil change......something is wrong!
  • K9WillK9Will Posts: 26
    yes there is something wrong, others have had same problem look on cts forums here and you will see, my advice to you is make sure the oil is always full that my mean ckecking it every 1000 miles but if you don't you will be replacing a motor but as long as it stay mostly full you motor could last a long time, the damage is done it will be a high dollar repair anyway so try and milk it as long as you can HOPE this helps, also i do not why these motor use oil but a bet a nice GM tech does WHERE all waiting for the answer
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