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Cadillac ATS General Discussion Forum Discussion, Cadillac Reliability in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; All, My next car purchase will have to last me at least 10 years. I drive about 20k miles a ...
  1. #1
    Foamy keg is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Cadillac Reliability

    All,

    My next car purchase will have to last me at least 10 years. I drive about 20k miles a year, meaning my next car has to get me at least 200k miles. Is an ATS that reliable? I know the Germans have problems making it that long, so do you think a Cadillac can make it? Do I need to look at Lexus or Acura instead. And in case your wondering, I do proper maintenance on all my vehicles, so it will be taken care of. Thanks for your thoughts!

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    pissedoffwookiee's Avatar
    pissedoffwookiee is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cadillac Reliability

    Two words ........ Timing chain,

    Generally GM engines use them instead of belts and is a huge reason their engines last so long. One exception was the northstar engine which suffered from overheating and gasket problems my dealer calls it northstar disease.

    Typically in the euro and Japanese engines that belt needs replacing between 50 and 80 thousand miles so count on a fairly major engine service 2 to 4 times if you buy one of those

    For the rest of the car, the American cars traditionally aren't as buttoned up as the German and Japanese but GM cars have come on strong lately and now GM is on top, as in the best in JD powers initial quality surveys, it's too soon for the ATS to have a track record but this bodes well

  4. #3
    donavo is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foamy keg View Post
    All,

    My next car purchase will have to last me at least 10 years. I drive about 20k miles a year, meaning my next car has to get me at least 200k miles. Is an ATS that reliable? I know the Germans have problems making it that long, so do you think a Cadillac can make it? Do I need to look at Lexus or Acura instead. And in case your wondering, I do proper maintenance on all my vehicles, so it will be taken care of. Thanks for your thoughts!
    As obsessed with Cadillac as I am, I would not reccomend it for reliability. Get an Acura tsx. They also have a timing chain. I'm almost positive it will beat Cadillac in reliability any day.... But still.... Cadillac is Cadillac... I love it

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    pissedoffwookiee is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cadillac Reliability

    Quote Originally Posted by donavo View Post
    As obsessed with Cadillac as I am, I would not reccomend it for reliability. Get an Acura tsx. They also have a timing chain. I'm almost positive it will beat Cadillac in reliability any day.... But still.... Cadillac is Cadillac... I love it
    A timing chain would be a nice surprise in the tsx typically Honda uses belts.... And I pretty much wouldn't buy that car because it's FWD it's handling is compromised right out of the gate the new infinity and Lexus is more like our car than the tsx

  6. #5
    RocketDawg is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cadillac Reliability

    Quote Originally Posted by pissedoffwookiee View Post
    A timing chain would be a nice surprise in the tsx typically Honda uses belts.... And I pretty much wouldn't buy that car because it's FWD it's handling is compromised right out of the gate the new infinity and Lexus is more like our car than the tsx
    That's the main reason I didn't buy an XTS. I really don't like front wheel drive, and from ones I've had in the past, it doesn't do much better in snow and ice than a RWD.

    ----------

    It's hard to tell what the long term reliability will be since it's a new car, but Cadillac reliability and that of American cars in general is not at the tops, at least according to Consumer Reports.

    But our ATS seems really tight and I hope it stays that way. We had an '06 RSX that was good for 7 years and we had no major problems, and almost all the small ones (burned out signal bulb comes to mind) were covered under warranty. And after those 7 years, the engine used no oil whatsoever and the vehicle basically looked and drove like new. Maybe that helps.

    If you take care of the ATS with frequent servicing, and take care of the appearance, it should hold up a long time, in my opinion. For instance, the paint on our car is exceptional and I think is better than that on most Mercedes that I've seen.

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    JSATS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cadillac Reliability

    I think any GM vehicle will last just fine and be just as reliable as any German or Japanese car over the long haul. I have a 2004 Chevy Express AWD work van with 160 thousand miles that still runs great. All I have ever done to it is normal maintenance like oil and filter changes along with brakes, bearing hubs, tie rods a new battery and stuff like that. Remember any of those German cars are going to cost double to do any work on because of expensive parts and possibly special tools. I owned two Audis before this Caddy and I wouldn't want to own one without a full warranty.

  8. #7
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    gohawks63 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    I owned Acuras for close to twenty years before making the leap to my CTS coupe last year. I agree with others that I don't think that any of the domestics can match the likes of Acura, Honda and Lexus yet, but I think they are trending in the right direction.

    I know you are looking at an ATS and I am giving sharing my experiences of my CTS, but they are both built at the same factory (Lansing Grand River plant), and again not exactly an apples to apples comparison, it will give you an idea of trend and history. Last year Cadillac named the CTS coupe the most reliable domestic car. Now they had to qualify it by saying "domestic", but like I said, it's a start. It's still too soon. Early (pre-bankruptcy) '08 - '09 model CTS' had some issues that are well documented on the CTS forums. Issues ranging from sunroofs (leaking and noisy), timing chain, and oil ingestion, but it seems as the CTS has evolved, those issues have lessened.

    I have had my CTS for 19 months and 20k miles. I have compiled a spreadsheet documenting every service visit I had with my previous car, an '06 Acura RL, with both maintenance and warranty visits. So far, to my pleasant surprise, my CTS has visited the dealer less times than my Acura did with the same mileage. Aside from the two scheduled oil changes (I'm nearing my third), my only two unscheduled visits are at 3,900 miles for a faulty seat belt buckle that cause my seat belt warning light to flash even though I was buckled, and when I went in for my second oil change the dealer said they found the front engine cover to be leaking which required that they remove the cover and put a new gasket. My understanding was that it was a pretty big job. I never noticed the leak and from what I can see the engine bay was clean (I'm always looking under there) which is making me think the dealer was looking for it. Meaning maybe they have been directed to watch for it.

    As I indicated earlier, my oil life monitor is at 19%, so I'm nearing my third oil change. I have a couple of minor issues I will bring to their attention, the motorized sunshade has developed a subtle squeakiness that can be heard when closing it and the radio is off, and the seatback at times seems to make a clicking noise. My engine was using (or maybe partially leaking given the recent discovery) about a quart every 5K-6K miles, but that seems to have lessened during my last oil change interval. I am 6K miles into this oil change and my oil level is just below the top hash mark. I also installed a catch can after they did the last oil change/repair and I have emptied very little, almost commensurate with the level I am seeing. This leads me to believe that the oil consumption issues that dogged the DI 3.6L early on have hopefully been addressed. Aside from that I have loved every mile of my car. I do still think my Acura integrated the technology a bit better and had a few more features and a more sophisticated AWD system for cars that had a similar MSRP. My Acura RL had an MSRP of $50K in 2006 (paid $44K) and my '12 CTS AWD premium coupe had an MSRP of $52K (paid $48K), but overall I have been pretty pleased. Like I said, not an apples to apples comparison, and the mileage I have put on in 19 months is what you put on in one year, but hopefully that helps.
    73JPS likes this.

  9. #8
    marktanner is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Cadillac Reliability

    A friend of mine has a three year old CTS coupe, and so far has had no problems at all. His previous three cars were all Acuras, but he fell in love with the CTS coupe, and Acura no longer sells coupes (he is 6'8" and needs the bigger doors of a coupe). He is quite impressed with his car.

    My current ATS has about 4500 miles on it, and so far no problems. They keep bugging me to bring it in for the update on the CUE, but I am waiting for my oil change, as I just can't be bothered to bring it in just for that. No rattles or odd sounds, either. Car is very tight. So far, so good.

  10. #9
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    gohawks63 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by marktanner
    A friend of mine has a three year old CTS coupe, and so far has had no problems at all. His previous three cars were all Acuras, but he fell in love with the CTS coupe, and Acura no longer sells coupes (he is 6'8" and needs the bigger doors of a coupe). He is quite impressed with his car. My current ATS has about 4500 miles on it, and so far no problems. They keep bugging me to bring it in for the update on the CUE, but I am waiting for my oil change, as I just can't be bothered to bring it in just for that. No rattles or odd sounds, either. Car is very tight. So far, so good.
    That was me (not literally). Three Acuras over 20 years. I saw the coupe and had to have it and was the first domestic to pull me away from Acura.

  11. #10
    mcaffey is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac Reliability

    The last car I owned was a 2007 BMW. I bought it new and had it for 6 years before buying my ATS. It drove great, but it was NOT reliable. Not at all. My ATS so far only has 10k miles so it's hard to know if it will be reliable or not. So far so good though. No problems. The BMW BTW was the least reliable of the 9 or so cars that I've owned.

  12. #11
    PAO56 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac Reliability

    hard to tell..agreed with previous posters its too new...however...my experience with GM in general...04 Chevy Malibu Maxx LT, 245K on it before it got hit from behind and totalled....not one major repair...did all maintenance per OEM specs and after 100K changed all fluids every 50K....ran synthetic oil and changed it every 6K miles.......09 Cad CTS, 44K on it..again maintenance per OEM specs and no problems in almost five years of ownership.......got a 12 SRX with 9k on it and a 13 ATS with 11K on it both 5 months old with not problems so far....bottom line...done run a car into the ground, drive it responsibily and do scheduled maintenance and most should last 200K...or beyond....

  13. #12
    bravnik is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cadillac Reliability

    I remember back in the day when I was 18 I worked in a high-end car wash in TX. I'm talking Roles Royce, Porches, BMW, Ferrari's etc. came in daily. Of all the high-end cars the Cadillac was by far the worst as far as quality went. The interior on every single one was falling apart. I swore I would never make the mistake of buying a Cadillac.

    Here I am almost 30 years later driving an ATS and I have ZERO worries. GM has come a long way sense the 80s. The warranty is one of the best I have seen. On top of that I lease as I never like to keep a car more than 3 years. So it's a Win Win.

  14. #13
    MSG C5 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cadillac Reliability

    Quote Originally Posted by marktanner View Post
    A friend of mine has a three year old CTS coupe, and so far has had no problems at all. His previous three cars were all Acuras, but he fell in love with the CTS coupe, and Acura no longer sells coupes (he is 6'8" and needs the bigger doors of a coupe). He is quite impressed with his car.

    My current ATS has about 4500 miles on it, and so far no problems. They keep bugging me to bring it in for the update on the CUE, but I am waiting for my oil change, as I just can't be bothered to bring it in just for that. No rattles or odd sounds, either. Car is very tight. So far, so good.
    Quote Originally Posted by gohawks63 View Post
    That was me (not literally). Three Acuras over 20 years. I saw the coupe and had to have it and was the first domestic to pull me away from Acura.
    I am another current Acura (2002 TL Type S) owner, also considering the ATS. The Acuras are built like tanks. My current TLS has 205K miles, however it takes $$$ to keep cars running in top shape that long. The good: I have never had to replace one external bulb on the car. They are all still working. The only bulb I had to swap out was the center console shifter bulb. The bad: I had to have the transmission rebuilt at 150K miles and I've had to swap out 4 motor mounts so far, in addition to the new timing belt/water pump at 125K. In addition, the typical brakes, rotors, pads, tires, etc.

    The large majority of the 205K miles are highway miles from when I averaged 20-25K/miles per year. I now work out of my house, so I don't expect my next business car to be driven that much. Probably less than 10K miles per year.

    I still think the Japanese entry level luxury cars, i.e. Acura, Infiniti, Lexus are the best over all proven quality cars that will last many miles. However, like you, I no longer want a front wheel drive car since I have moved to Florida and I am no longer fighting Chicago winter roads. As a result, the ATS and the Infiniti Q50 are on my short list but I also have concerns about long-term quality of GM products as I had problems with a 1992 Lumina and a 1990 Grand Prix when I was younger.

  15. #14
    pragmatic is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac Reliability

    This was my thought for a long time but now I lean toward a timing belt that is easy to change. Many cars with chains suffer failures of the chains or their tensioners. Just ask owners of Lincoln LS, Honda S2000s, VW 2.0L, Cadillac 3.6L, Honda Accords, etc about chain and tensioner failures.

    Changing a belt should be easy on a RWD car. Changing a chain or tensioner is not. A belt is a service item that seems to have a well defined life (approximately 100,000 miles now a days), chains are suppose to last the life of the engine but generally don't.

    So either system can have problems.




    Quote Originally Posted by pissedoffwookiee View Post
    Two words ........ Timing chain,

    Generally GM engines use them instead of belts and is a huge reason their engines last so long. One exception was the northstar engine which suffered from overheating and gasket problems my dealer calls it northstar disease.

    Typically in the euro and Japanese engines that belt needs replacing between 50 and 80 thousand miles so count on a fairly major engine service 2 to 4 times if you buy one of those

    For the rest of the car, the American cars traditionally aren't as buttoned up as the German and Japanese but GM cars have come on strong lately and now GM is on top, as in the best in JD powers initial quality surveys, it's too soon for the ATS to have a track record but this bodes well

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