Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently switched from a luxury sedan to a luxury SUV?
A reporter would like to talk to you; please reach out to [email protected] by 7/25 for more details.
Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Cadillac CTS/CTS-V



  • gpz1gpz1 Posts: 7
    The CTS just turned 9,500 miles today and it's better than ever. I had originally posted some issues back in post #689. The following is a review of my experiences with those issues and some others.

    1. 5 th gear whine - Cadillac replaced the transmission per TSB. The new transmission is far less notchy and works great. I can really enjoy the motor now and the sounds that it makes.

    2. Dash Rattle - still there !!! Dealers cannot find it. I believe it is wind related, as it starts at about 60 mph only and it's constant any more. It comes from the center of the dash in front of the passenger. I took the wipers off and drove it,still did it. The dealer taped down the battery cover and washer tube under the hood. It's still there. We taped off the windshield molding, no fix. Any ideas !!! Anyone else experience this ?

    3. Lifter type noise - I didn't report this before, but I had it. It totally went away around the 7,500 mile mark. Not a sound any more !

    4. No signs of wear on the tires, rotate every 5,000 miles.

    5. Oil changes are $35 at the dealer - they charge $14.00 for the filter alone.

    6. Just a few, very small stone chips on the front and no door dings at all.(knock on wood) This tells me very good (hard) paint and door design. Wax jobs (Astroshield poly resin only) hold up for 3-4 months and dozens of washes.

    7. Gas Mileage - I still average approximately 25-26 miles per gallon, per the DIC readout and it backs up with an actual math calculation. (miles / gallons) I drive a combination of 60% highway/back road and 40% city. I am very happy with the mileage.

    8. I've been rotating in midgrade gas and it runs great. I really can't tell the difference between mid and premium. Premium is a little smoother running overall.

    I am extremely happy with the car and I continue to get stranger after stranger coming up to me asking me all about it. It seems to be aging very well and actually getting better with the miles. Power is just right for the car although we always would like more horses. In my opinion the CTS compares to the BMW 530i in size, engine displacement - performance, transmission (the same). There is a comparo in the March 03' issue of C&D, titled "The Magnificent Not-Quites" where they compare the 530i, GS300, E320, A6 2.7t, Jag S 3.0, Lincoln LS V8 and M45. You read it and compare the CTS to the 6 cylinder cars in that test. (you really can't compare the CTS to the V8's) Note: I drove the new M45 and I was impressed. The CTS is relatively the same size as those cars and it's quicker (better performing) than 4 of the cars in the test. (per the published performance numbers in the article) I'll put the CTS build quality / structure and handling refinement in this class any day. The only possible drawback the CTS has in this group is engine refinement. However, the CTS is on average $13,000 less than any of the cars in that test. Obviously, I am biased and think highly of the CTS. I continue to highly recommend the car to anyone.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Thanks for the update.
  • mannytrannymannytranny Posts: 175
         I've just been invited to attend a focus group for owners of Cadillac CTS, Lexus and Mercedes cars. All I know so far is that I will be asked about the CTS and the local dealership where it was purchased. Some preliminary questions were asked on the phone to see if I qualified.
         Anyone else ever been on a focus group before?
  • richw5richw5 Posts: 152
    We have about the same mileage.

    Got to drive in a decent snow last week and the CTS handled superbly. I'd almost forgotten what is was like to drive a RWD car in the snow. While some trucks were fishtailing at stop signs just ahead of us. The CTS stoped straight and true. Acceleration from the stop was no problem, even without hitting the snow button.

    bigdaddycoats - Check the latest pictures of the SRX dash. I think the '04 CTS dash will be similar. The DVD Nav/info system looks less complex (easier to use) then ours. My biggest problem with our CTS is the difficulty of resetting the info system whenever I go for gas.

    Other than a "gas filler cap" problem, our car has been trouble free. I'm surprised, because it was an early production model.

    My wife's boss is getting a CTS. She's looking at a black car, with middle of the road options (about $35k list).

    I still wave at other CTS drivers when we pass. They probably think I'm crazy, but it's fun anyway.

  • cu95cu95 Posts: 96
    Glad to hear that the CTS performed well in the snow (I'm leaning heavily towards buying a CTS but I'm concerned about winter driving). If I may ask, do you have Stabilitrack or only traction control? If you have Stabilitrack, did it seem that it was the major factor in the CTS's successful snow performance? (I'm thinking of getting a base model and so would not have the benefit of Stabilitrack.) Thanks.
  • mannytrannymannytranny Posts: 175
    I cannot speak for anyone else but my CTS had no real trouble driving in the snow in PA. I only have traction control and it never really engaged. But then I drive a manual transmission CTS so the acceleration is probably the greatest factor that I can control. Can't speak for the auto trans.
  • sevenfeet0sevenfeet0 Posts: 486
    With the wacky winter we've been having in Nashville, I've been able to do a little snow driving. So far, the traction control has kicked in a few times and stability control once. But otherwise the car is pretty easy to control in the bad stuff. Still, you have to treat snow and ice with respect, as with any car.

    My car is now at 9700 miles after only 5.5 short months. So far, the only real problem is the rattle in the rear of the car that seems to be there when the car hasn't been warmed up yet. In fact, I think I've narrowed it to the right rear quarter of the vehicle. At some point, we're going to take it back to our dealership for a serious bughunt.

    My gas mileage so far is about 20.7, but my wife and I are doing more city driving than highway driving these days. I still get compliments about the looks. Meguire's Gold Class Wax keeps the black finish absolutely gorgeous, which is necessary since keeping a black car clean is very tough.

    It's nice to hear about the gauge improvements coming online, but the published pictures of the SRX dash still has the clock in the instrument cluster, so maybe it will just be the CTS getting that improvement. The volume dial is useful in everyday driving, but when you want to do some spirited driving, it's way too easy to bump and change the volume. I'm not surprised its getting replaced with a standard button. Also, the programmable buttons are interesting, but I find I don't use them that often.
  • gpz1gpz1 Posts: 7

    I believe there might be a TSB for your rattle in the rear of the car. See the link to the CTS, TSB's on the NHTSA site. Reference TSB # 631. I hope this helps.

    My CTS goes great in the snow. Traction is good for a rear drive car but I am most impressed with the handling/tracking confidence that I get. I get the feeling that the front end is going where I point it in the slop. More with the CTS that any other vehicle that I have driven in the snow, including my SUV. (the SUV gets better traction) Obviously there are limits to adhesion on ice, but the CTS really holds the line.
  • richw5richw5 Posts: 152
    sevenfeet0 - you got me. I can't remember where I saw the SRX dash. It might have been at the Chicago auto show, where they had several pre-production cars.

    It might have been in a brochure I pitched, I'll check the recycling bin before thursday.

    It might have been a '04 CTS dash picture I saw elsewhere.

    cu95 - We have a Sport-Lux model with stabilitrack

    As for gas milage, we've been getting about 19 to 20 mpg in average driving. I got it up to 23 with some road driving last week.

  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    I have put 500 mi on my garnet red lux spt 5 spd . What a great auto . no problems still learning all the capabilities especially the nav system need to keep reminding myself .....keep your eyes on the road
  • sevenfeet0sevenfeet0 Posts: 486
    Thanks, gpz1. I looked at the service bulletin and saw the fix. It looks like the spare tire is rattling around the basin. I can easily test if this is the case.

    More to come...
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Just a suggestion. With a black car - never go to an automatic car wash. Do it yourself only. "Soft cloth" means nothing. It filled with everyone else's grit and grime.

    I hand wash and am careful to dunk the rag a lot. I've got a black Aurora. It you get a scratch, I swear you can rub it out with meguires No.7 glaze and a cotton applicator - or an orbital buffer. It takes some muscle but can be done. I've never hurt my black finish with the stuff.
  • frank295frank295 Posts: 1
    Just got a CTS and was very happy with it until....the battery died with 980 miles on the car. Prognosis: something is drawing amperage while the car is shut down and after two weeks the dealer cannot resolve. The mechanics are working with "GM" to find the problem.
    After 20 years of imports I wanted to buy American. Now what?
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Probably a wire touching the metal of the body somehwere.
  • sevenfeet0sevenfeet0 Posts: 486
    That's weird. The CTS has safeguards to prevent the inadvertent drain of the battery. If you leave the lights on or other accessory, then the car is programmed to cut power to accessories after 20 minutes. If your car is still draining power while the car is off when no accessories on, then something else is draining it and finding it can be a nightmare in any modern vehicle. It could be anything from a major system component like the alternator to a bad computer system that is draining too much system power, like the OnStar system. Unfortunately, it's going to take a multimeter and a lot of time to solve.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Never been to an automatic car wash and never will.
    I don't use a bucket. I use a big sponge and pour the Car Wash soap directly on the sponge and keep water on the car as I rub. The dirt is kept in suspension and doesn't scratch the paint.

    I never have problems with spider web scratching of the paint.
  • sevenfeet0sevenfeet0 Posts: 486
    My black CTS has never seen the inside of an automatic wash, and probably never will. I am just as careful as you at the handwash bay. My car does have two wife-inflicted scratches, one of them I can probably deal with myself, and the other that will require dealer intervention. The moral of the story is not to let your wife handle the metal-tipped power wash :-)

    By the way, I stripped my car of whatever wax it had after the first month and went through Meguire's 3 step Gold Class wax process. As a result, my car is shinier than it looked from the factory, and it still gets raves on sunny days from admirers. Now that winter is ending, it needs a new coat which will last until I strip the wax and reapply it this summer.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Don't use a sponge! It traps any dirt on the surface which them becomes a big soft piece of sandpaper. Use a wool mitt or something similar that allows the trapped dirt to be held away from the surface of the car and rinse it out often.
  • cu95cu95 Posts: 96
    My upcoming CTS purchase will probably be black, but all this talk about washing it has me a little spooked (I've never had a black vehicle before). Is it really that bad to go to an automatic car wash? Is it that a car wash leaves it looking a little dull or are we talking glaring, prominent scratches? What's the best color for masking dirt and/or surviving automatic car washes?
  • blckthreeblckthree Posts: 153
    Black shows everything, dust, dirt, very fine scratches, etc. It is like a magnifying glass. It doesn't matter what the dirt or dust, it will stick out like a sore thumb on a black car. There is nothing that looks better than a clean black car, and nothing that takes more work than keeping a black car clean! Automatic carwashes with brushes or cloth brushes or anything other than high pressure water will leave you with small scratches over time. If you like a clean car and buy a black car, plan on washing it every 3rd day, if it doesnt rain!

    I wouldnt put any car through a carwash with brushes, no matter what it's color. If you are looking for a color that will hide dirt, I would suggest silver, white, or a light tan color. They dont show dirt as much as any dark color, especially black.
  • sonjaabsonjaab Posts: 1,057
    I love Black ! No drive thru or brush washes
    here! I use a soft mitt with plenty of water.
    Its a pain to keep nice tho. As is any dark color.
    My last 4 trucks have been black. My Caddy is
    white (ball and chains choice..LOL). That one
    I run thru the automatic. White shows nothing!
  • sevenfeet0sevenfeet0 Posts: 486
    blckthree is right. It's not that black cars are more prone to scratches, but they reveal imperfections much more easily that other colors. The big problem with automatic washes (and bad hand washes) are "spider-web" and "swirl" looking scratches. If you go to any parking lot and start looking at the hoods of cars, you will see them in many cars, especially those that have been taken to automatic washers. Basically they are tiny scratch lines in the clearcoat that are caused by hard brushes, or in some cases, rubbing hard dirt back into a finish with a dirty hand cloth.

    You can avoid it by using clean 100% cotten terry cloth towels or appropiate safe synthetic equivelent when washing or drying. Lambs wool mitts work very well when washing too, which is what I use. And make sure you make lots of trips back to the bucket. If your car is really dirty, you may want to wash part of it, empty out the bucket, refill, and continue.

    But you also need a good protective wax to protect the clearcoat finish. I use Meguire's although everyone has their favorite. Once you've done this step, you are less likely to have problems with these kinds of scratches.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Nope. I keep water on the sponge and water on the car at all times. No spider web scratches on my navy blue impala.

    I am a Mother's man. I started using the 3 step process on my freshly repaintd Camaro in '93.
    A shine so deep and glossy you have to wear sun glasses to look at it.

    Also after years of doing it by hand I bought a buffer. Lots faster and no swirl marks. but the wax gets in every nook and cranny.
  • mannytrannymannytranny Posts: 175
    I have a black CTS and I always use a car wash. I really don't care what system they use , brushes or cloths. I like the swirl patterns that I get from them because since I rarely wax my car- the swirl marks add a bit of gloss reflection to the finish that is truly hard to match.
         If I hand wash my car which is even rarer than actually car washes I use whatever car soap that is cheap and on sale at Pep Boys or the supermarket. I only use one bucket and don't care how dirty the water gets. It will add more fine scratches and luster to the finish. Sponges are also great because you can see the swirls developing and control thier direction as you go. To rinse I use fresh water most of the time but as minimal as I can get.
         For drying the car(I sometimes don't because then I can always say that I just got caught in a shower and that's what the spots are from) I use old fabric remnants. I just let the cloth fibers get lost in the wind. Never use a chamois cloth because I wouldn't use a dead animal part and synthetic ones are just that... synthetic dead animal parts?
         For a wax finish which I do try to do at least once a year, again wax is wax, so whatever is cheap and on sale. It lets the neighbors see that I do wax my car and they're never close enough to see the wax bottle anyway. Sometimes the soapy film left on from a car wash or when I don't rinse good enough, adds some drama and mystery to the finish and gets people to get closer to see what is on the car surface.
         I just don't understand what all the fuss is concerning a black color on a CTS anyway!
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Then you're either very good or very lucky, or both. Wool mitts are much safer than sponges. But hey - it's your car.

    I have a friend who believes the layer of dirt that he's built up on his car by not washing it is a protective layer. And he's only half joking.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Funny you should say that.
    On my '87 IROC the wheels are painted argent silver with a clearcoat over them.
    Of course the front wheels get a lot of brake dust, while the back wheels get almost none.
    Guess which wheels are not faded out and dull looking?
    The front ones! I guess the brake dust protected the wheels from sun damage.
    (IROC's have different front and rear offsets so the wheels are not rotated with the tires.)
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    I always seem to buy black cars except this time I traded my black Eldorado ETC for a garnet red CTS . I am happy ! I still think black is the best color especially for the CTS but I DO NOT miss trying to keep a black car shiny> Now I need to get another color Ram automatic washes are really risky propositions and I only use in the dead of winter I use a wool mitt and one of those california squeegees
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Post some some pics of how your black beauty looks now so we can compare them to your original pics.
    Would like to see if the scratches show up. LOL.
  • jemillerjemiller Posts: 183
    Never again. I've had a number of them. Never again.

    Not only is it near-impossible to keep them looking clean - because the car gets hotter, and retains more heat, the interior, all the trim, etc. all ages faster if you park outdoors in the sun at all.
  • cjs2002cjs2002 Posts: 341
    well I was going to get an 03 Altima... but my faterh pesterd me to go look at the CTS... he said with the money I want to spend on the Altima, I could easily get a CTS... well we went to the cleveland auto show this past weekened and I sat in a CTS.. I instantly fell in love with it... I love everything from the outside to the inside of this car... unfortunatly I'm one of those people who can't drive stick shift to well so I need to get one with an auto in it... I'm hopin to get into a CTS soon... I really like them...
Sign In or Register to comment.