My Cadillac Story (disaster)
Many years ago there was a car that was the epitome of my fantasies that I could conceivably own.
It was the 2003 Cadillac CTS, the car was hot, edgy-dynamic styling, good driving habits and a nicely designed interior. Driving a 99 Maxima for the years preceding my current Cadillac, I had high expectations when it came time to purchasing a new vehicle. I needed a car that was reliable and of decent quality. I worked at GMC-Pontiac dealer on Long Island, New York and had driven just about every GM vehicle imaginable. GM SUV’s are the best by far, and I honestly felt that GM had made major strides in quality, because some of those SUV’s were rock solid and consistently reliable. 2006 came around and I was ready to purchase a new vehicle, my admiration for American vehicles had grown, and I wanted to purchase the best American car I could find. So, November 2006, I purchased a 2007 Black Cadillac CTS 2.8. It was great feeling that at 21 years old, I was successful enough with my business that I could drive such a great vehicle, and I honestly bought into the whole “life, liberty and pursuit” marketing mantra. Cadillac even allowed you to post your story on their website, hence the “My Cadillac Story” title of this article.
The good feelings and satisfaction ended quickly. The problems with this car started with only two hundred miles on the odometer, the check engine light came on. I called On Star, they did a remote diagnostic test on the car, and said there is something wrong with your emissions system, bring it within the next couple of weeks. I did, the dealer took three days to figure out was wrong with the car, they needed a specialist to come down and look into it.
Dealer Visit #1: Barometric Pressure Sensor Failure
Out of Service: 3 days
I had a good streak with the car up until 12,000 miles when the rear differential started to squeak, squeal and thump. I called City Cadillac of Queens about my concern, service advisor said it doesn’t sound alarming, if it continues, bring it in. (Which is ridiculous because everyone who owns a CTS/STS/SRX knows exactly what I am talking about)
Also the car was making funny noises when I was braking, almost like a crunching sound. As I was getting an oil change, the mechanic is puzzled by the fluid that is leaking out of the rear differential.
Dealer Visit #2: Breaking sound could not be replicated. Leak found in rear differential, installed hose, clamp, strap and lubricated. *The only problem is that the idiot mechanic, did a rush job and didn’t tighten the bolt, so the differential was leaking and the car was thunderously thumping. This could of lead to a very dangerous situation, because the lack of fluid could cause the rear wheels to lock up.
Out of Service: 2 Days
After talking to my oil change guy, I started to get more concerned about the rear differential and other problems with the car. At about 17,000 miles the check engine light had come one again. I called On Star, they said there is something wrong with your emissions system, bring it to the dealer within a couple of weeks. Around the same time I was having problems with the suspension squeaking. (It sounded like a squeaky bed), it was loud and very embarrassing. I also continued to have the problem with the brakes, when braking, there was this crunching sound. And of course, the problem with the rear differential, with its leaking issues.
Dealer Visit # 3 Recall on differential, ( seal kit, lubricant, tightening.) Despite what it said on my monthly On Star report, citing an issue with the emissions system, they could not “replicate” the issue. The mess that City Cadillac made was solved by “tightening rear differential mounting bolts, located bolts left loose”. As far as suspension creaking, the control arms bushing were dry, replaced both and re-lubricated.
Out of Service: 3 Days
At this point I had contacted Cadillac of North America to make them aware of the problems and issues I had been having, they apologize and send me a check for $350.00 dollars.
This past May with 20,000 miles on the car I had the scariest of problems yet. First, I was getting a thudding noise through the suspension, upon the already continuing squeaking problem. The engine light has made its return again, and I was sure to make them aware that it was on again. The scary issue is with the ABS, it would engage without any provocation whatsoever. I was pulling into a parking spot in Home Depot and there was a family walking by, and I almost hit them because the car would refuse to stop because the ABS was engaged. I almost ran over a whole family because I couldn’t stop the car. (the father was ready to kill me) Also, going around onramp entrances I had problems with the brake pedal not going down, resulting in me holding on for my life.
Dealer Visit # 4: Both front lower arm control assembly’s replaced. Left front shock absorber failure, and left front strut failure. Check engine light attributed to an engine misfire, replaced ignition coils. Engine misfires on cylinder one, pending it inoperable, replace coils. (explains why I was getting 11 mpg) Cannot replicate the dangerous ABS issue.
Out of Service: 7 Days
Last week, the differential started to squeal, thump and whine once again. A day after I got the car back, the security light came on the car as well as the traction control light. The car refused to turn on, and locked me out. I was pulling into a spot at the airport and the car refused to stop due to the ABS and I crashed into the wall, with my rim taking the brunt of it.
Dealer Visit # 5: They blame everything on the rear differential. They are replacing it as of today. How a rear differential is related to the security system and ABS is beyond me. I am no mechanic, but I just don’t see how there is a connection between the two.
Out of Service: 7 as of today
After constant and consistent communication with Cadillac of North America, I thought today would be the day that they would offer me a replacement car, or some type of incentive to keep me as a customer. That was not the case, so I am in a situation where I need to seek help/advice from others. This is not normal behavior for a car with 22,000 miles on it. From some of the invoices I have seen, I estimate they have put between 5 and 8,000 thousand dollars worth of work into the vehicle. If I am forced to lemon law the vehicle, it would amount to almost a 70,000 loss for GM when you include the money they have to give back to me.
I ask the Autospies community for help, advice or even stories that pertain to this certain situation.
(You can see pictures on my agent page.)