Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!! in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; Just joined the site as I've been cruising the posts the past couple days. Was such a big fan I ...
  1. #1
    chrisbooth08 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    Just joined the site as I've been cruising the posts the past couple days. Was such a big fan I wanted to join! I'm thinking of pulling the trigger and purchasing a new (old) 03 CTS as a third vehicle here in Northern Indiana. It has 81k miles and a low asking price $4,700. Any advice, tips or tricks to the first generation CTS I should know about that maybe I haven't read already? What type of air intake system should I go with? Borla, Magnaflow or other exhaust system? Any advice I could receive would be much appreciated, thank you for this great site forum for the CTS!

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    dkozloski's Avatar
    dkozloski is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    The '03 CTS has a 3.2L Opel motor and about all you can do for it is two aspirins and lots of rest.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


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    Teedoe's Avatar
    Teedoe is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    The 03 (3.2L) CTS can be a headache when it comes to repairs. So I hope you're ready for whatever it throws at you like the valve cover gaskets, ECM, PCV, check engine light due to phantom codes, and more.
    Best exhaust in my opinion would be the Borla and CAI would be a custom one or Volant.

  5. #4
    chrisbooth08 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    I've read on RSM Racings supercharger for the 3.2L 03' CTS. Still no luck pairing that with a Borla exhaust and Volant intake?

  6. #5
    rodrigo23 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbooth08 View Post
    I've read on RSM Racings supercharger for the 3.2L 03' CTS. Still no luck pairing that with a Borla exhaust and Volant intake?
    I bought my 03 a year or two ago... So far I have replaced the axel/bearings , and right now going through trouble with the thermostat-
    Another heads up the thermostat change is $600 and spark plugs is about the same price..

  7. #6
    josney's Avatar
    josney is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rodrigo23 View Post
    I bought my 03 a year or two ago... So far I have replaced the axel/bearings , and right now going through trouble with the thermostat-
    Another heads up the thermostat change is $600 and spark plugs is about the same price..
    i know of a way to save you about $560 bucks on the sparkplugs.....do them yourself. there are plenty of threads on this forum to guide you through the change. hell, for that matter, most of the repairs are on here. the only stuff i have had done by a machanic are things i just didnt want to deal with at the time.
    Argent1 and Argent1 like this.

  8. #7
    Georgous is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    Have reputable dealer mechanic fine tooth the car to know what u r into! then surf for best advice re:aftermatket parts, do it yourself projects etc. Have 03 6 spd standard fully loaded best car Ive ever owned with lil maintenace aside from paint, waterpump, new headlamps (visual improvement along with V series Chrome grill) * driveshaft front gromet or whatever they call it also replaced! Good luck great cars will get 300 K with proper maintenace. 150 KM and going strong only 1 tune up just done.

  9. #8
    Argent1's Avatar
    Argent1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by josney View Post
    i know of a way to save you about $560 bucks on the sparkplugs.....do them yourself. there are plenty of threads on this forum to guide you through the change. hell, for that matter, most of the repairs are on here. the only stuff i have had done by a machanic are things i just didnt want to deal with at the time.
    Ya ! What he said. Most of the repairs rodrigo got screwed for was because he needs to skill up. Plugs are very simple, and he paid $100 + for cabin filter. The filter is only $15-$20 bucks & very easy to change. If you have even a small amount of mechanical skill & ability to learn, you can save tons of money. Plus you have the guys on here to help you.

  10. #9
    chrisbooth08 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    I'm a DIY'er and the Mrs. and I split our time between Northern IN (Chicago area) and Houston, TX. In the pole barn here in Northern IN I've recently installed a MaxJax portable lift that I anchored in place. My other toys stay in Houston and my wife says I'm only allowed one "toy" here in IN. I've gotten rid of my old Saab Viggen and am thinking of replacing it with the 03 CTS. If I handled the Saab without the need of a Indy mechanic I think I can handle the CTS fairly well.

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    The basic questions I have are more simple I suppose. Being in the north and dealing with lake effect snow what type of oil should I run? I've always operated my vehicles on 93 octane, I imagine this wont hurt a CTS correct?

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    I've come across many CTS pages per a google search for CTS upgrades, accessories and such. Any site personal favorites for parts and accessories? Thanks again for all the feedback guys!
    Argent1 and Argent1 like this.

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    Argent1's Avatar
    Argent1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    I fail to see what effect if any lake effect snow would have on oil choice.
    Just run what GM recommends. I run Mobil 1 5w30 all year.

  12. #11
    josney's Avatar
    josney is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    yeah, im not trying to bash rodrigo23, some people are ok with paying someone to do the work. i was "worried" at first about some of these repairs, but this forum really helps. example, timing belt replacement. there is an awesome write-up with photos to help guide you through. the guy even gave part numbers for the stuff he used. this same write-up shows sparkplugs and the thermostat. most in-depth i have seen was the heater core swap. hell, i would have considered trading the car before attempting that swap, but this guys did and had detailed photos. just my 2 cents worth.
    Argent1 and Argent1 like this.

  13. #12
    chrisbooth08 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Buying first 03 CTS, NEED HELP!!!

    The cold weather is all I'm referring too. I ran 5w30 in the other vehicles I have here in IN. Was just curious is all. But I'm glad to get the 5w30 answer! Thank you!
    Argent1 and Argent1 like this.

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