New Owner

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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, New Owner in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; Hey all, I'm picking up an '03 luxury/sport with 135k on the clock tomorrow to use as a backup/runaround car. ...
  1. #1
    3-Stroke is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2003 CTS Luxury/Sport
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    New Owner

    Hey all,

    I'm picking up an '03 luxury/sport with 135k on the clock tomorrow to use as a backup/runaround car. I've driven at least a dozen first-gen models over the last 3 months......mostly clapped-out, poorly maintained, and overvalued, but this one impressed with it's cleanliness and overall condition.

    Not surprisingly it needs a few cosmetic details attended to but mechanically it seems to be tight and correct except one issue, a small but noticeable amount of freeplay somewhere in the steering/front end. I don't have any previous experience with CTS's, but a long history of DIY wrenching has me guessing tie rod ends. I've been reading about control arm bushings on here as I've researched them a little and it makes me wonder if that may be more likely?

    I tried to rock the front wheels top/bottom like you would to check wheel bearings and control arms for play, but obviously it's hard to tell without getting the wheel off the ground.

    So, wild guesses.....which is more likely/common?....tie rod ends or control arm bushings or wheel bearings?

    I also want to say, for a ten year old design Cadillac got a lot right with this car....a really nice blend of handling and comfort, and a lot of bang for the buck if you can take your time and find a good used one.

    I'll know more once I get it back here to the shop tomorrow, but the experience of the masses will help me nail it down I'm sure.

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  3. #2
    J W
    J W is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): CTS /CTS-V / Escalade
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Re: New Owner

    Welcom, hopefully it is a minor problem. Then you can get out there and enjoy your run around

  4. #3
    ghettomike's Avatar
    ghettomike is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    off the grid.

    Re: New Owner

    you shoulda bought mine, mechanically solid, looks only about 3 yrs old.. needs 02 Sensors, and steering position sensor installed but i have it.. its been unplugged for 4 years.
    new suspension all around and serviced to date, just did te timing belt service and every other component that was easier to do while the belt was done... that cost me $1500 on GM staff/family/friend of the dealers price... i saved about 500.

    tie rods go at about 100-150km....some earlier some later but it does seem to be common, 2 summers ago about every other person on here had to do them.

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