'01 STS Noises and Problems
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Suspension, Brakes and Tires Discussion, '01 STS Noises and Problems in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; Hi all, I have had my 2001 STS for around 9 months now and am starting to regret the purchase. ...
  1. #1
    gkeller81 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2001 Deville
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    Unhappy '01 STS Noises and Problems

    Hi all, I have had my 2001 STS for around 9 months now and am starting to regret the purchase. When I first got it I noticed a squeaking noise, like a bad mattress spring, coming from the front driver's side wheel, whenever the car goes over bumps or has a change in load like getting in or out of the car. No big deal I thought so I took it in for an alignment and to have it checked out. The shop found nothing wrong, so I figured I could live with the noise if there wasn't a problem. A few weeks later I noticed that the car began to ride somewhat rough at speeds between 40ish - 70ish mph. I had been reading these forums for awhile at that point and was fully aware of the typical STS vibration and took it in to take advantage of the lifetime alignment and balance I had paid for the previous time. When I got the car back it still drove the same. Ok, I can deal with a little vibration too.

    Another few months go by and now, usually on warm days, sometimes when I start it up and turn the wheel to reverse out of the driveway or a parking lot or whatever there is a clunk noise that comes from the same area. Now this noise only happens on one of the first few wheel turns in any given driving session, I'm pretty sure it has never happened more than once per drive. This noise also only happens maybe once every 4 or 5 times I drive the car when the weather is warm, so every 2 days or so. I take it in again and naturally can't reproduce the noise for the shop and again am told everything looks good. Ok, I am convinced I need a second opinion so I take it to another shop and am told the same thing. Damn, I guess I'll have to let that slide too.

    Ok, it is now several months later and over the past week or 2 I have noticed a drastic change in ride quality. There is a vibration at pretty much all speeds and even more so when applying the brakes. It vibrates all the way up until I stop completely. Right before I come to a stop it almost feels like it would feel if you had a flat tire. I can feel this vibration throughout the entire car - the floor, the footrest, the pedals, hell even the headrests shake violently when I apply the brakes. I know that something is definitely not right and where as I used to go for a drive to relax, now driving just frustrates me because of the ride quality and seeing all the posts here about paying thousands of dollars for suspension related repairs. I have no idea if the sounds are related to the recent decay of ride quality over what was never really what I would have expected of a cadillac and was hoping to get some suggestions or ideas on what the problem could be before I spend money that I don't have on things that don't need to be fixed. Thanks in advance for any help.

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  3. #2
    gkeller81 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2001 Deville
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    Thread Starter

    Re: '01 STS Noises and Problems

    If anyone was curious, I took it to the shop and it needed new rotors, brake pads, 2 new tires, and a new tie rod. Going to pick it up soon so hopefully it will be like it should.

  4. #3
    sjpi1954's Avatar
    sjpi1954 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '01 STS Noises and Problems

    Mornin' from Pensacola,

    Let us know how the shop work turned out. If you type in your problem to the 'Search' link above you usually come up with some very good answers. You did not state whether or not you had the Road Force Balance done on your tires/wheels. I cannot emphasize, along with everyone else on this forum, the importance of doing that once you get new rotors and pads.

    As a rule of thumb IF you get wobble type feedback when you apply the brakes through the steering wheel your front rotors are warped. If you get pulsating/wobble type feedback through the brake pedal your rear rotors are warped. I know because I have an '02 with 103K and I get both BUT I knew it when I bought the car because I learned about it right here on the Forum.

    Be sure to 'Bed In' your pads/rotors per the prescribed criteria you should get from the shop/mechanic/dealer. There are multiple websites that can help you with that procedure IF you get a bill and a handshake.

    Never give up, Never surrender

    JP

  5. #4
    gkeller81 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2001 Deville
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    Thread Starter

    Re: '01 STS Noises and Problems

    Well, I picked the car up a couple of weeks ago and while the issues seem to be a little better the bad ride quality is still very noticeable. After dealing with that shop several times I'm thinking maybe they just don't know what they're doing. So any one have any suggestions on an overall bad ride quality at all speeds and especially when using the brakes? Keep in mind that this shop just replaced my rotors, brake pads, 2 of the tires, and a tie rod (all on the front of the car where the problem seems to originate). The car has been aligned and balanced 4 times now in the 10 months I have had it. The car was aligned and balanced after this work was completed, and I haven't tried the GSP9700 balance yet because I honestly don't think a balance will solve a ride quality that is bad at all speeds and worse when applying the brakes - this isn't a light wobble, rather a violent shake, shimmy, whatever you want to call it. You can feel it in the floor, in the pedals, the seats. About the only place you can't feel it is the steering wheel. I'm starting to feel like I threw away $17000 when I bought this car, it's more of a frustration than anything else.

  6. #5
    Krashed989's Avatar
    Krashed989 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: '01 STS Noises and Problems

    The things that come to my mind are;

    Strut bearing
    A-frame bushing (highly unlikely)
    Defective hub (bent) (unlikely also)
    Bent rim
    oversensitive driver

    Lets hope it's the last one... lol...

  7. #6
    100
    100 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: '01 STS Noises and Problems

    I am following this thread with my interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krashed989
    Strut bearing
    A-frame bushing (highly unlikely)
    Is there a way to test the strut bearing? Also is an A-frame a lower control arm or am I missing something? I have a 95 SDV and I assume the frame structure is quite different...

    Thanks!

  8. #7
    Krashed989's Avatar
    Krashed989 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: '01 STS Noises and Problems

    Yes the A-Frame and lower control arm are the same thing.

    The Strut bearing is hard to test without removing the entire strut. This is because with the car on the ground it's under load holding the car up, and with the wheel in the air, its supporting the knuckle and contol arm and all that stuff... If it's really that far gone, you would be able to wiggle the strut.

    Ohh wait! I just remembered something. There was a thread in the Eldo/Seville section a while ago with someone that had the same symptoms as you. What happened was a bolt came loose on the rack and pinion. So make sure you check that!

  9. #8
    tripowerbird is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: '01 STS Noises and Problems

    From your information it looks as though all of the work was done in the front end and nothing in the rear. Correct me if I'm wrong. There may or/may not have been anything wrong with the front. When I purchased my '01 STS with 23K miles it had a vibration that while minor, was noticeable during braking. I could feel it in the seat but not through the steering wheel. Both rear rotors needing replacing and I had one bent rim, again in the back. In my case all of the brake work was covered under manufacturer warranty and the dealer replaced the wheel at his expense. Feeling things in the seat could mean both front or rear, but feeling nothing in the steering wheel would lead me toward the rear.

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