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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, Looking at buying a High Mileage 2003 CTS give me your opinions in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; Originally Posted by kscadi Inherited a 2003 Series 1 (there are 2 different series in 2003 so check when you ...
  1. #16
    arogers260's Avatar
    arogers260 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2003 CTS Luxury/Sport package
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    Quote Originally Posted by kscadi
    Inherited a 2003 Series 1 (there are 2 different series in 2003 so check when you get parts) from my wife's uncle when he passed away in 2005. It had 13,000 on it and now has 173K. Since then I've had 3 radiators and 2 thermostats, the VCG/PCV upgrade (luckily I could combine that with a water pump replacement, the crankshaft position sensor, the power steering pump and rack and pinion replaced, 3 serpentine belts (it's in the shop again as it threw another one off Monday night), the idler pulley (the bearing seized and shredded a belt), I'm having the 3rd water pump put in (it's had a slow leak for the last 4 months but $1500 buys a lot of DexCool and distilled water), all the O2 sensors, the Fuel sensing computer ( a $800 guess because the only was to tell if that is the problem is to replace it and if they do you bought it regardless), the oil pressure sensor, blew the left front brake hose apart due to corrosion (a known problem in cold weather states and I can't begin to tell you how much fun that was), the radio quit (DIC and CD work just no reception on AM/FM), the flimsy ass plastic cover over the backup lights blew off going down the highway (GM won't sell you just the cover, they want $800 for a whole new insert ($350 - $650 in EvilBay)), the 3rd stop light went out (see forum stickies for a fix). All this doesn't count bulb replacement (most start with "Remove the front bumper assembly"), read deck lid lifts (series 1 and 2 use different ones), the engine compartment lower covers and the rubber air damm in the front (I gave up after 4). haven't done any street racing in 50 years and most of the miles have been highway on cruise. Car's fun to drive when it's working. IF you can do most of the work yourself (dealers have a $1000 syndrome when they see a Cadi) then $3K will buy you a lot of enjoyment, just realize what you are getting into.
    The brake hoses are a recall item free fix if it hasn't been done yet.

  2. #17
    Cadillac Cust Svc's Avatar
    Cadillac Cust Svc is online now Cadillac Customer Service
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    Re: Looking at buying a High Mileage 2003 CTS give me your opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jagoodin7 View Post
    What are commons issues i should look for? Im test driving it tomorrow, also do you think 180k is putting this car on its last leg?
    Any and all opinions are appriciated it!
    Thanks
    Jagoodin7
    Jagoodin7, I'm happy you're considering a Cadillac! If you would like me to provide you with its build sheet, please don't hesitate to email me at Katie_Lucille@gmexpert.com with the last eight of its VIN. And I'm happy to investigate any questions you may have along the way!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2_Late_I_Won View Post
    Heres the issues I've had with mine. (bought 11/13/12) O2 sensors bank 2 sensor 1&2 (it threw and ecm code but after replacing the O2 sensors no problems with the ECM yet....but its only been a week LOL) and the Thermostat needs to be replaced. (doing that this Friday) The valve cover is leaking slightly on the drivers side. I guess this is also a common problem. And a small exhaust leak on the pass side flex piece. But if theses are the only issues Im still happy with it. Sounds like you have a good deal and I dont want to discourage you. I just wanted you to know what issues ive had with mine so far.
    2_Late_I_Won, I just wanted to let you know I'm available if you would like me to contact your dealer at any point for you and document your concerns. Feel free to email me anytime!

    Best,

    Katie
    Cadillac Customer Service

  3. #18
    Lade in AK's Avatar
    Lade in AK is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 Cadillac CTS Base-Auto
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    Re: Looking at buying a High Mileage 2003 CTS give me your opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jagoodin7 View Post
    So basically if I get it do a full tune up,

    Plugs
    Thermostat
    Valve cover gaskets
    Timing belt
    Fuel filter
    Cps sensor
    Rear diff fluid
    Trans fluid

    Anything else?
    Quote Originally Posted by arogers260 View Post
    If you do a timing belt might as well replace the water pump too, and the Pcv upgrade is a necessity otherwise your new vcg's will fail again.
    Quote Originally Posted by arogers260 View Post
    The brake hoses are a recall item free fix if it hasn't been done yet.
    +1

    I bought my '03 in 2010 right at 100k miles. Hopefully the transmission was taken care of. I changed the tranny fluid and a week later the damn thing failed. The old tranny fluid was gray. Should have checked the condition of it before changing fluid. Ended up costing me $3k for a factory reman tranny with a 3 yr/ 100k mile warranty. Safe to say that the tranny won't be going out any time soon. I will be replacing the tranny fluid in April or at 130k miles (20k on tranny). I won't let this happen again. At 127k miles, engine still runs strong. I can average up to 25 mpg if I stay on the freeway long enough, possibly higher if I were gentle on the accelerator.

    I did all of the above might us the pvc upgrade. I was in Alaska and it wasn't an issue there. I will be looking into it now that I am back in. Texas.

  4. #19
    kscadi is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Looking at buying a High Mileage 2003 CTS give me your opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by arogers260 View Post
    The brake hoses are a recall item free fix if it hasn't been done yet.
    Only in certain cold weather states and Kansas isn't one of them though Missouri is.

  5. #20
    CADDYPRINCESS's Avatar
    CADDYPRINCESS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Don't do it ! These are electrical night mares

  6. #21
    Lade in AK's Avatar
    Lade in AK is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Looking at buying a High Mileage 2003 CTS give me your opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by arogers260 View Post
    If you do a timing belt might as well replace the water pump too, and the Pcv upgrade is a necessity otherwise your new vcg's will fail again.
    If you're doing all this, don't forget the thermostat. It's under the intake plenum as well as the lower intakes manifold. Get ready to spend the entire weekend doing all this. Do you have the timing tools? They definitely help ease the burden of changing the timing belt. One note, if you replace the timing belt, make sure you replace the tensioner assemblies, not just the pulleys. I failed to follow this advise and had to do the timing all over again. New belt an tensioner.

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