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Thread: 3.6l reliability

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014

    3.6l reliability

    I am looking to buy a used CTS 05 or newer. I have heard several bad things about the caar consuming oil and stretching the timing chain, eventually ruining the motor. Is this a common problem with all 3.6L motors or just a few?

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  3. #2
    curtc's Avatar
    curtc is online now Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 2006 STS V8 1SF RWD
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Oakdale, MN

    Re: 3.6l reliability

    It was common enough for GM to extend timing chain coverage on all 2007 2.8/3.6 engines for 10 years/120k, if you get one get a 2007 for the insurance.

  4. #3
    Tlorenzen is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 03 CTS (Dead), 06 3.6 CTS(Sold), 07 CTS-V
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Melbourne, FL

    Re: 3.6l reliability

    07 is your best bet. 06 is the oldest I would personally go, but others on here have older models with many more miles on them. They upgraded trans in 06 to give you triptronic and I believe the differential was beefed up a bit too. (or was that just the v?)

    I would say the oil consumption is common with alot of 3.6's. Mine uses about a quart every 800miles or so, but I feel if you are diligent about your oil level the chain stretch is nothing to worry about. I have 128k and have never had an issue with this motor.

  5. #4
    onetouch123 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 04 CTS 3.6l
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Like stated there pretty reliable i got a 04 178000km and the oil thing just check to be careful but ive gone a couple oil changes without any oil loss between sometimes it takes 1000km n needs a litre. Worst i had was bad throttle postion and the relearn fixed that.

  6. #5
    HawkzillaCTS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2006 CTS 3.6L
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Re: 3.6l reliability

    If you can get it for around $1000 under blue book dealer retail value and the body and interior is in good shape and it rides smooth (pay close attention to how smooth it shifts), then it would be my advice to go for it with the plan to have the timing chain assembly replaced (around $1300) soon after you buy it. My reasoning for that is yes, the 3.6l does have chain issues and it's my personal belief that the loose chain causes the oil consumption, along with rough idle and other bugaboos.

    Get a new chain assembly on one of these babies and they ride like new and don't burn oil (in my case anyway, since mine was burning oil at 1 qt per 1000 miles and since I got a new chain assembly it hasn't burned a drop... even since I have been driving it like a bat out of hell since I got my volant in).

    So if you can get it for around $1000 under blue book (I got my 06 for $2000 under), basically the new chain is a wash and your car will purrrrrrr.

    Most car companies with VVT engines suggest new chains at 100k miles anyway, so it's really not a bad idea since it the chain goes, your engine goes with it on these. Costly but very wise investment if you plan on driving it for years to come.

    Edit: I forgot to add that my 06 CTS with 90K miles rides like butter and is very quiet with no rattles. It looks like they replaced the springs at some point so that might factor in, but everyone that rides in my car comments on how it rides smooth and is quiet in the cabin. Seems like a very solid build that is meant to last.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Re: 3.6l reliability

    There is one for sale about an hour away its an 06 with 92k and a 2 owner car. The dealer states no mechanical issues but who would admitt that. Seems like all the 3.6 will need a timing chain, maybe he will come off 2k for the price :/ The problem is I dont find many for sale with miles on them and want something I can work on and be classy at the sametime


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