This is so awesome!
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS General Discussion Discussion, This is so awesome! in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; Greetings from a Holiday Inn somewhere in central New York. Short version: My new CTS is in the shop with ...
  1. #1
    toolman8 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    This is so awesome!

    Greetings from a Holiday Inn somewhere in central New York.

    Short version: My new CTS is in the shop with a flat tire that can't be fixed, so it's looking like this is where my family and I will be spending the holiday.

    Long version: Left to go see family in upstate New York, about 600 miles away. Decide to take the shiny new Cadillac, which, of course, is the best possible choice with winter storms going on. Get about 200 miles from home and the rear end starts feeling squirrely. "Hmmmm," I say to myself, "that sure feels like a flat tire." A glance at the dashboard reveals that it's telling me "low tire pressure, left rear tire." Stop car, it's totally flat. OK, I can deal with this--I used to be on a crew that could change four tires in nine seconds, this is easy.

    Haul out the spare and jack, only to discover that the BRAND NEW spare that has never been used is totally flat. I mean, not even 20 PSI to limp to the next exit, but every bit as flat as the tire with a hole in it. Fortunately, there's an on-board air compressor...oops, no there's not, this isn't my Audi. Crap.

    Call AAA and wait an hour for them to show up with a plug-in compressor that blows the fuse for the cigarette lighter. Eventually get the spare filled and on the car. OK, it's only 11AM, we still have lots of time to find a tire store and get it patched up. I found the problem, it's just a screw hole in the tread, they can totally fix this.

    Finally locate a tire shop here in Nowheresville and yes, they can patch it. Great! Do it! Sit down and try to keep 5- and 7-year old sons busy in an empty tire showroom. Half an hour later, service guy comes in and shows me three pieces of plastic and aluminum, a handful of rubber dust, and the inside of my old tire. Apparently there's not enough clearance inside the wheel between the tire pressure sensor and the pavement, so when you get a flat at speed, it crushes the TPMS sensor, which breaks into several knife-edged pieces that start grinding up the inside of the tire. Tire not repairable after all, but they can get a new one by mid-afternoon. Great! Order it!

    Not so fast. Turns out that they won't install a new tire without the TPMS sensor in place, because it's part of the valve stem. There's a Buick dealership about 60 miles away that has one, but they don't know if they can get it here before the end of the day. I tell them there's an extra $50 in it for the driver if he hauls ass.

    Two hours... three hours... Nope, sorry, not coming. Weather is just too bad and the owner sent everyone home early for the holiday.

    So install it without the TPMS sensor, just use a regular valve stem. "No, sir, we can't do that. Liability, you know." Call other two tire shops within 50 miles and ask if they will install without TPMS. Same story. Apparently there are frequent dire warnings from the OEMs about running a car without these critical tire sensors that we somehow lived without for the better part of a century.

    Rent a car? In Nowheresville? The day before Thanksgiving? Surely you jest. My brother-in-law offered to make the 300-mile drive to pick us up, but really, would you ask someone to do that in a snowstorm? No, me neither. Drive home? Maybe. The manual says the spare can do it as long as we keep it under 65 MPH, but in a blizzard? I don't know that I want to try it with my family in the car, that seems like a mistake.

    So happy Thanksgiving from the Holiday Inn, all because of this stupid FARKING worthless technology that Cadillac puts in the cars that's too fragile to survive the kind of thing that often happens to tires.

    A tire repair that should have taken 15 minutes has now cost me my Thanksgiving and a few hundred bucks plus the cost of this lousy hotel for two nights. The new tire alone is about $300, plus the sensor, plus mounting and balancing and tax. Now, I understand this is an expensive car and it won't be cheap to maintain--I'm cool with that. But if not for that tire sensor, this ordeal would have cost me $23.58, including tax.

    To put this in better perspective, I owned my Audi allroad for 6 years and 135,000 miles and it was killed only because of a flood, not because it screwed up. The honeymoon never really ended, mostly because it didn't try to second-guess me at every step. The allroad never stabbed me in the back, it always did what I asked it to, and "working as designed" was never anywhere near as annoying as this idiotic Cadillac. I'm not a Luddite who hates technology, but for Pete's sake, I can manage the headlights on my own and would prefer the dash lights and headlights to be on the same circuit instead of randomly turning themselves on and off when I go under a bridge. I'd like to be able to adjust the seat while I'm moving instead of having to shift into Park. I would like to be able to lock and unlock the doors manually instead of frantically scrambling for the lock button when I have to let someone in while the car is in gear, because it constantly locks itself. And even though it endlessly beeps at me for all kinds of inane things that don't matter one bit, when I had a flat goddamned tire at 70 MPH, it was totally silent and only offered a little warning light way up above the temperature gauge where it gets blocked by the steering wheel. WTF, Cadillac? WTF?

    I haven't even made my first payment and the honeymoon is over with this car. I don't have much choice but to keep driving it for a few years, but because of all these little annoying things that shouldn't be annoying, this new car that I should be totally in love with has only frustrated me to the point where I don't even care about it anymore. After six years, I STILL looked forward to road trips in the allroad. Now? I take my wife's HHR as often as not simply because I don't prefer to drive the CTS like I should. At all. This is my seventh Cadillac, but my last modern one. I love my 100% analog 1929 Cadillac. Love my slightly more advanced '41 Cadillac with first-ever automatic transmission (works flawlessly--apparently those GM engineers were pretty smart). My '76 Eldorado convertible was a bit of a piece of crap, but at least it didn't think it was smarter than I am. But this state-of-the-art GM flagship wundercar? Fail.

    Please, GM, enough with the automated technology. Tech isn't why people buy cars from you. Styling, performance, comfort, reliability, and economy, probably in that order, are what sells cars. Electronic gadgets that only piss people off? Yeah, they only make me not buy Cadillacs anymore.

    That new allroad is looking pretty sweet and it lets me turn on my own headlights. I wonder if they take trades...
    hauler and CarlosZ06 like this.

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  3. #2
    hauler's Avatar
    hauler is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    I agree, a car should not be disabled by a flat tire, especially when you can get it to a tire store. After reading your post, I'm tempted to buy a spare Tpms sensor for my car, but I shouldn't need to do that.

    At least it's the tire store's bad interpretation of current DOT rules, not a flault of car/tire manufacturers.

    Why didn't the tire store just put air in your spare tire and let you drive away on it?

  4. #3
    dmeray1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    I have a full size spare but no room in the trunk. Could he use the TPMS from the spare tire? I am assuming that the spare is a doughnut which is why he doesn't want to go out in the weather. Could the spare be used in front? That should get him to the destination.

  5. #4
    GMJim's Avatar
    GMJim is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    Sorry for your misfortune, and I understand your frustration, but The U.S. Government, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, requires that all (not just GM/Cadillac) passenger cars, light trucks, and vans be equipped with a TPMS starting in the model year 2008.
    C "T" ess likes this.

  6. #5
    jeffc83's Avatar
    jeffc83 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMJim
    Sorry for you misfortune, and I understand your frustration, but The U.S. Government, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, requires that all (not just GM/Cadillac) passenger cars, light trucks, and vans be equipped with a TPMS starting in the model year 2008.
    Exactly. Any new car would've done the same thing to the OP. Sorry it happened but try to make the best of it!
    Mtech likes this.

  7. #6
    928S is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    Hmm...I believe it's legal and without liability in New York for a tire shop, with informed customer consent, to install a replacement tire minus TPMS sensor, if the dashboard low tire pressure/malfunction indicator light is illuminated when the vehicle leaves the shop, thereby indicating the TPMS system has not been disabled. No law states that all sensors must be functioning or repaired/replaced if malfunctioning/missing.
    hauler likes this.

  8. #7
    KYFootDoc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    The TPMS shouldn't be an issue.... When I added 33" tires on 15" wheels to my '11 wrangler unlimited, I didn't want to fork out $200 for new sensors and the tire shop had no issues with that..... My light was constantly on, but that didn't bother me

  9. #8
    C "T" ess's Avatar
    C "T" ess is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    I would be willing to bet that these independent or chain tire stores are told they have to install the part. They do not under any circumstances want to be involved in a liability issue because, there may be a loophole in the law. Let testing that loophole to a company that can afford to go to court for years. Signing a liability waiver isn't even an option, because we consumers are regarded as simpletons and wouldn't understand what we were signing. I think the whole thing stinks, but you have to be thankful that you still had your family together for the holiday. Think, someday this will make for a great story for the grandkids; "the year we spent thanksgiving at the holiday inn".
    hauler likes this.

  10. #9
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    i know it's too late now, but ...

    have you talked to Cadillac yet?
    and did you think to call Cadillac Roadside Assistance?

    if you're still under the B2B warranty the roadside call shouldn't cost you anything
    and that way you won't get jerked around by know-nothing tire shops
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  11. #10
    toolman8 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    Well, just to follow up this sad story, we ultimately decided to try driving home Thanksgiving morning on the donut spare instead of waiting around until today to let the local shop fix the tire. The manual says it's OK to go several thousand miles on it and the weather cleared up, so we left about 8 AM Thursday morning and drove home. The drive was uneventful and I have to say the dinky spare rode well enough that I didn't even notice it was there. Took it easy on the speed and we made it home in about four hours with a bathroom break. Had a makeshift Thanksgiving dinner in our own home at least, so everything wasn't ruined.

    Now that I'm home and have cooled off a bit (thanks for letting me vent), here's the wrap up:

    I'm still a little irked. Even though Cadillac was forced to install the TPMS by the Feds, I wish they had designed it to survive a flat tire incident like this. As I said, if the sensor hadn't been crushed when the tire went flat, the patch would have been quick, cheap, and easy. Now, whether a sensor can be designed to stay out of the way and/or survive such a thing, I don't know. But on a car that costs this much and should be the flagship of the biggest car maker in the world, well, it's kind of a bummer to be crippled by something so elementary as a drywall screw.

    And believe me, I had a very animated discussion with the manager of the tire shop. He steadfastly refused to install a tire without the sensor. His first argument was that regular valve stems won't fit because it's specially designed for the TPMS. Now I know this is BS, because I used to race C5 Corvettes, which used a similar setup, and the first thing we did was jettison the TPMS and install a regular valve stem. I'm not sure if the Cadillac is the same, but I bet it is.

    Then he switched to the liability tack, and said that if something happened down the road, he'd be liable. I even offered to go in the shop after hours and install the whole thing myself and merely pay him rental time for his equipment so that he wouldn't be tied to it at all. However, in today's litigious society, I guess can't fault him for wanting to err on the side of caution. Quite honestly, I sort-of expected it. If he puts it back together the way the factory intended, future incidents are GM's problem. If he cobbles it together himself, it becomes his problem. What small business would willingly throw itself under the bus like that? Now, to his credit, he really worked hard to get it fixed Wednesday and called a half-dozen GM dealers to get the sensor ASAP, so I don't fault him at all for any of this, because he spent all day trying to make it work somehow. He was totally polite to me despite my growing irritation with the situation and never got fed up with my grumpiness. So big kudos to him for that.

    Today I went to my local tire dealer and dropped the car off. I expect to have it back by mid-afternoon with a new tire on it and a new sensor in the wheel. Total cost will be $378.67 including the tire and sensor, plus about $160 for the hotel room. The sensor is cheaper than I expected, the tire is more than I expected, the Holiday Inn was exactly what I expected.

    I'm still unhappy with the technology in the car that doesn't make life easier, but merely more annoying. Maybe younger folks (hell, I'm only 43) who grew up with computers and cell phones don't even notice it. But whenever the technology doesn't act the way I expect, my first reaction is to assume it's broken and will be inconvenient to fix and get annoyed. It's like the LED lights I just installed in our kitchen--they take a second or two to click on when you hit the switch, but if you're used to lights being instantaneous, your first thought when nothing happens is, "Oh hell, it's broken." To me, an expensive car should simply stay out of the way and not force itself into your consciousness just by doing its thing. This one does things so contrary to the way things have worked for decades that those of us used to things working one way find it distracting and annoying. It is NOT a value-add, it's merely something the automakers do because everyone else is doing it, answering questions nobody is asking. And then they do it wrong for liability reasons (see: seat memory adjustments while moving) so it doesn't work intuitively. Sometimes less really is more.

    Thanks for the support. Maybe the car's looks will seduce me once again and I'll forget all this nonsense.

  12. #11
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    and by the way...

    i've never heard of a TPMS breaking when a tire goes flat

    i HAVE heard of tire changers breaking TPMS when mounting (or dismounting) a tire
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  13. #12
    CTSCHICK is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    Sorry to hear about your holiday troubles Toolman but I would have checked the spare or asked my b.f. to check to spare prior to going on a long trip.

    I know the Tire pressure monitor system refreshes every 30 seconds while moving or not moving and if a pressure loss of 2-5 psi occurs the warning comes on.
    5 PSI from my actual experiences.
    So your tire obviously lost air pressure pretty quickly.

    I couldn't blame GM or Cadillac on the TPM Sensor because the OEM makes them and supplies the same sensors to other car manufacturers so if it happens on your car it could happen on another brand.

  14. #13
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    I'm almost certain that the tire tech who removed your flat tire busted your TPMS and they didn't own up to it
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  15. #14
    MD-11's Avatar
    MD-11 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    and the ground up insides came from driving on the flat not the tpms coming apart seen it several times with wifes car ( always get the excuse there was no where to pull off )
    hauler likes this.

  16. #15
    C "T" ess's Avatar
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    Re: This is so awesome!

    I believe the TMPS came about after the Ford fiasco of Bronco tires failing due to insufficient air pressure. Once again we are being protected from ourselves.

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