2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrectly - Page 2
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrectly in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; Originally Posted by apribby Also, sport mode will not always stay on when getting in the car. I'll leave it ...
  1. #16
    CTS414 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2004 CTS 3.6L Volant CAI/Gibson Exhaust/18" Modas
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    Quote Originally Posted by apribby View Post
    Also, sport mode will not always stay on when getting in the car. I'll leave it on and come back and start the car and the light will be off again. Not sure if these things are related but just thought I'd put it out there. Hope my ECU or TCM is not failing
    If you're driving in Sport Mode the majority of the time I'd say that's where you're "slamming" comes in when downshifting. Sport Mode was designed to make the car shift hard, and it definitely does in my '04 3.6...

  2. #17
    74chvy glasshouse is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    r you supposed to feel the car shift?? or shuold you not notice the shifts only if you look at rpms???

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    does anybody else feel when their car shifts??

  3. #18
    X Rolls-Royce is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    You should feel it shift, they engineered it that way to feel like its a stickshift. 4th to 5th, not so much.

  4. #19
    curtc's Avatar
    curtc is offline OCD - Obsessive Cadillac Disorder
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    If I'm just cruising along light on the gas I can barely feel her shift, hardly moves the tach, maybe 300rpms between gears...let her rip and she lets you know though
    miville and miville like this.
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  5. #20
    74chvy glasshouse is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    when i changed the tranny filter fluid after it was super smooth couldnt even feel it shift. the other day i took off the pan and replaced the gasket because i broke a bolt on the pan it was bothering me so i took out the broken bolt replaced . i dont kno if its me but i feel it shift more but not 4th and 5th maybe got dirty? in 50000 im doing only drain refill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by curtc View Post
    If I'm just cruising along light on the gas I can barely feel her shift, hardly moves the tach, maybe 300rpms between gears...let her rip and she lets you know though
    can you post a video of the timing noise?? how long it last ??

  6. #21
    X Rolls-Royce is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    Chevy, the tighter seal from the new bolt might be why. Since its supposed to shift hard, I think its an improvement you feel.

    Here's what I have about it :

    Customers not selecting the manual will receive a GM first: a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, the 5L40-E Hydra-Matic, also used in the BMW 5 Series and X5 SUV.

    A compact state-of-the-art transmission, the light 5L40-E features a full complement of advanced electronic control capabilities. These include shift mode buttons that allow the driver to select between "Sport," "Winter" and "Economy" modes, shift patterns that adapt to driving conditions and driver style, traction control capability, engine torque management during shifts, and powertrain protection capabilities.

    ENGINE BRAKING IN ALL FIVE GEARS

    Another electronic feature that is a first for GM: engine braking in all five gears, gives the automatic the same sporty feel as downshifting a manual. The system uses vehicle sensors and seamlessly shifts the automatic transmission to a lower gear to maintain desired speed and minimize brake overheating when driving downhill. This is especially useful in protecting the brakes when towing a trailer, which is commonplace in Europe.

    The 5L40-E uses an electronically controlled capacity clutch in the torque converter, instead of a mechanical lock-up clutch. This clutch uses sophisticated electronics to maintain very small amounts of slip between the pressure plate and the torque converter housing cover, and to maintain a slight hydraulic cushion between the two halves of the torque converter. The ability to precisely control continuously variable amounts of slip leads to reduced torque pulses and allows the clutch to be applied at lower vehicle speeds and with smoother engagement. This results in improved drivability and better fuel economy.

    The electronics that control the "Sport Shift" adaptive mode are highly advanced. Sport shift algorithms analyze throttle inputs, cornering factors (wheel speed differences from left to right) and vehicle speed. Based on these parameters, the 5L40-E is able to identify high-performance inputs from the driver and hold a gear after the driver's foot is lifted off the accelerator pedal.

    A European way of driving with sporty, agile handling, was the guiding principle for the CTS designers, who created a sophisticated rear-wheel-drive chassis with near-perfectly balanced weight distribution - 53% front, 47% rear.

  7. #22
    74chvy glasshouse is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    im probably crazy like my girlfriend said i keep my cars for a long time i dont want to make things worse by trying to make them better . it still shifts at same rpms but now i kno when it shifts. im going to try sport mode next time i drive. maybe ill go take a test drive of a cts with lower miles some day to see the difference. whats dumb is the thing that made me even mess with the trans was the downshifting. Update to my starting problems Rolls it was the battery starts right up now.

  8. #23
    X Rolls-Royce is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    It may have been the shifting that motivated you to change the fluid, but its good maintenance that will pay for itself over time since you want to keep it. I only have a few things left to do on my 100,000 mile overhaul. New seals in the differential, fuel filter and brakes. Then when I need new tires, I sell it with new rubber.

    Cadillac, 2006 CTS 3.6 auto, fully loaded with new 17" tires. Perfect condition.

  9. #24
    apribby is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    Quote Originally Posted by curtc View Post
    If I'm just cruising along light on the gas I can barely feel her shift, hardly moves the tach, maybe 300rpms between gears...let her rip and she lets you know though
    That's how my DHS was, and I totally understand that the CTS should be a little firmer on the shifting due to the nature of the car. But there's no way I could even come close to saying the same thing you just said, about my CTS. This makes me further think there is something affecting the shifting. I will try to post a video of the tach during shifting tomorrow, and maybe try to get a video of the engine noise as well

  10. #25
    apribby is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    Haven't been able to take a video yet.

    So far, I'm definitely convinced that the shifting and the noise are NOT normal. With the warmer weather, on about 1 in 10 trips to work, the car shifts beautifully with no hiccups or bumps/kicks. Also I had a friend drive the car past me while i was standing outside and it is much louder than I thought from the inside.

    I've been searching youtube, and found two videos of Nissans that have a very similar noise to what I'm experiencing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAdR9XnazCo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUtLRuXMRts

    From what I've read its most likely the timing chain guides are worn down and the chain is rubbing metal somewhere. I'm just going to tackle the whole timing set this weekend and see where it leaves me. It probably won't help the shifting problem, but I guess I'll take it one step at a time. Hopefully the engine noise will be reduced

  11. #26
    apribby is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    So the whining is fixed

    I ended up tearing into the motor and doing the timing chain replacement. Changed all three chains (the primary was replaced with a non-roller design), intermediate gears, and crank gear along with all guides.

    The guides were worn with some craters which may have contributed a little bit to the noise. I also found the oil filter to be a bit mangled. I think this was attributing to some noise as well. If not noise, then maybe it was restricting oil flow and caused damage to the chains/guides.

    The car is much quieter. It does naturally whine at higher rpms, but this I can tell is normal compared to other cars and not that roar I was getting before.

    I haven't driven the car too much, but the shifting issue seems to still be there, maybe a little bit better. The downshifting while braking hasn't been as bad lately. But one thing that consistently happens is kicking after letting off the pedal at a specific point. If I roll to a stop at a stop sign, accelerate normally in 2nd gear to just before it shifts into 3rd, and let off the throttle because I'm approaching another stop sign, there will be a delay and then a pretty violent kick. I don't know if its kicking into third, or kicking into third and then out to second really quick. This sort of thing seems to happen more than the downshifting. If I let off the throttle at the wrong time (usually on the brink of two gears), the transmission acts like it's confused and starts kicking.

    Overall, I'm much more pleased with the car now that the noise is gone. If anyone has any further suggestions on the transmission, I'd appreciate it

  12. #27
    Cadero is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2004 CTS 3.6L Hard downshifting, whining noises, loss of power, shifting incorrec

    My 03 had shifting issues. It turned out to be the throttle body. It sends info to the trans computer.

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