Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?
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2009-2014 Cadillac CTS-V General Discussion Discussion, Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer? in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2009-2014; I'm considering a CTS-V wagon but am very concerned by what appears to be a high failure rate of the ...
  1. #1
    OrbitalGolem is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    I'm considering a CTS-V wagon but am very concerned by what appears to be a high failure rate of the rear diff in all 2009-2012 CTS-V models. I've pored through the forum and seen rear diff failures all over the place. Is it over the top to expect that I will have a rear diff failure if I purchase a 2013? The car would be a daily-driver (30-50 miles/day) and I don't intend on babying it. Has anyone successfully done 50K or more miles without needing it replaced? Is this truly a supplier problem or a design defect?

    Thanks for any input - this would be my first GM purchase since 1986 (Japanese cars only since then). I never thought I would ever purchase a GM vehicle again, but I've been watching the V since 2009.

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    smackdownCTSV's Avatar
    smackdownCTSV is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    Many were under-filled at the factory so they had a whine/chatter. The fix was using fluid with an additive. Were they "failures" after getting the TSB done?

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    OrbitalGolem is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    Good point - I mean catastrophic failures resulting in a mandatory tow and the car being out of commission for several days (potentially also having to "haggle" with the service advisor that the problem lies in the diff).

    Follow-up question - have there been failures on diffs that had the fluid changed/added with the additive?

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    1997BlackETC's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    Mostly just whining sounds and the dealer replaces the rear end for that, very few catastrophic failures. My 2012 started whining at around 1000 miles, I had the fluid and additive put in and it did nothing, it only got worse. With 4K miles it whines pretty good and I was very easy on the car all those miles. My theory is for whatever reason the ring and pinion gears do not wear in correctly at break in.

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    OrbitalGolem is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1997BlackETC View Post
    Mostly just whining sounds and the dealer replaces the rear end for that, very few catastrophic failures. My 2012 started whining at around 1000 miles, I had the fluid and additive put in and it did nothing, it only got worse. With 4K miles it whines pretty good and I was very easy on the car all those miles. My theory is for whatever reason the ring and pinion gears do not wear in correctly at break in.
    Are you planning on having it fixed or is it being replaced? Has the dealer given you grief about replacing it?

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    Dr. Design is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    Not too sure what is considered "high failure rate" regarding this topic. I don't know of too many issues with these diffs compared to what GM went through with the 1st Gen CTS-V rear ends. Compared to those, the V2 diffs have been pretty much bullet proof. We have been tracking these cars since they first came out and havent busted a diff from extended use or high performance driving. When we build our customer cars the differential is not a concern. I don't think you have anything to really worry about.


    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalGolem View Post
    I'm considering a CTS-V wagon but am very concerned by what appears to be a high failure rate of the rear diff in all 2009-2012 CTS-V models. I've pored through the forum and seen rear diff failures all over the place. Is it over the top to expect that I will have a rear diff failure if I purchase a 2013? The car would be a daily-driver (30-50 miles/day) and I don't intend on babying it. Has anyone successfully done 50K or more miles without needing it replaced? Is this truly a supplier problem or a design defect?

    Thanks for any input - this would be my first GM purchase since 1986 (Japanese cars only since then). I never thought I would ever purchase a GM vehicle again, but I've been watching the V since 2009.
    Thank you,

    Dr. Design
    D3 Cadillac

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    OrbitalGolem is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    Many thanks for the input - have you or any of your customers complained of rear diff whine/noises that prompted replacement, not necessarily catastrophic failure?

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    Dr. Design is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    I would say that out of 100 cars maybe 2 have complained about whine/noise. In those circumstances the dealerships have taken care of the situation before it became a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalGolem View Post
    Many thanks for the input - have you or any of your customers complained of rear diff whine/noises that prompted replacement, not necessarily catastrophic failure?
    Thank you,

    Dr. Design
    D3 Cadillac

  10. #9
    larry arizona is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    My guess is whine not a gear failure but a bearing letting go which is very common on front and rear diffs on all cars and trucks. Whine is probably a carrier/pinnion bearing. Once the bearing is noisy or failing it sends junk that could hurt the actual ring and pinion so they warranty the whole diff. Its not a failure due to power thats for sure. So many stock diffs doing fine at 700, 800, 900 + HP.

    Nobody is breaking ring and pinnions.

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    cts-v ls6 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    I had the complete rear end on my 2010 V2 replaced at about 77K miles. I replaced the fluid and additive once, and the dealer did it 3 times. My replacement and 2 of the dealer's were before 50K miles. The dealer did a 3rd replacement at about 71K miles. But the noise and chattering continued, starting first as I backed out of the garage in the morning and turned the wheels, and then getting progressively worse until it was whining at highway speeds. The dealer was great to work with and I printed out alot of discussion from this website to show him. My car also had the shifter on the 6 sp manual tranny replaced under warranty (there is a TSB on this).

    Now all's well. She shifts as slick as a Porsche or BMW, and no more growling from the rear. I now have almost 82K miles on her.

    Thanks,

    Jack

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    JFJr's Avatar
    JFJr is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    68,000 miles and no failures. I've had the fluid changed twice to silence very minor noise in parking garage turns when fluid was cold. I also had the same service done to all my Corvettes (1979 - 2001).

    Jud
    Jud

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    dennych is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    does anyone have a video or audio of what the rear diff whine sounds like?

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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    I've been thinking of trying to get a recording of mine. It's been the same for quite a while now, not getting better or worse. It's a high pitched whine that is both speed and throttle input-sensitive, audible between 45 and 60 MPH or so. So if I'm going 50 and push the throttle a little bit, the whine comes in and stays there as long as I give it a little bit of throttle. If I let off the gas, the whine goes away. The whine increases in pitch as the MPH increases. No it's not supercharger whine, it's coming from the rear of the car and does it when the s/c is not in positive boost.

    I've asked my dealer to check it out, but they claim they couldn't hear it. I've been waiting for it to get louder, but so far it's staying pretty consistent. It is very noticeably loud, I can hear it over the stereo. Not screaming loud or anything, but noticeable. If it gets to the point where I really want them to check it out, I will bring a tech with me on a drive to make sure they can hear it. Other than that, it's kind of annoying but doesn't appear to be doing anything other than making noise. But it does seem like the kind of thing that warrants a diff replacement. The fluid has been full since the day I got the car, but since I got it used, damage may have been done to it before I bought it.

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    dennych is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Has anyone not had a rear diff failure with more than 50K miles on the odometer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xaqtly View Post
    I've been thinking of trying to get a recording of mine. It's been the same for quite a while now, not getting better or worse. It's a high pitched whine that is both speed and throttle input-sensitive, audible between 45 and 60 MPH or so. So if I'm going 50 and push the throttle a little bit, the whine comes in and stays there as long as I give it a little bit of throttle. If I let off the gas, the whine goes away. The whine increases in pitch as the MPH increases. No it's not supercharger whine, it's coming from the rear of the car and does it when the s/c is not in positive boost.

    I've asked my dealer to check it out, but they claim they couldn't hear it. I've been waiting for it to get louder, but so far it's staying pretty consistent. It is very noticeably loud, I can hear it over the stereo. Not screaming loud or anything, but noticeable. If it gets to the point where I really want them to check it out, I will bring a tech with me on a drive to make sure they can hear it. Other than that, it's kind of annoying but doesn't appear to be doing anything other than making noise. But it does seem like the kind of thing that warrants a diff replacement. The fluid has been full since the day I got the car, but since I got it used, damage may have been done to it before I bought it.
    Thanks for the description. I'll need to test it out when mine gets delivered more. I honestly heard more wind noise than anything else when I was driving at like 70-80mph

  16. #15
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    thebigjimsho is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    High diff failure rate? Dear lord never look in the V1 section...
    VSGLS1 and VSGLS1 like this.

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