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2008 CTS AWD DI
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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve searched a lot on this forum and never found anyone that had the same issue as myself. I bought a very nice CTS in September of last year. 52,000 miles. Occasionally I would get a slight hesitation which turned out to be misfires that we’re pretty random but mostly contained to bank 1. No codes were set. I could see the misfires in mode 6 on my BlueDriver scan tool. This continued for a few months until the car would die randomly when I came to a stop, most often after crushing speeds like when exiting the freeway. It would always start right back up. I have a clone Tech2 that also never showed any codes until I got P0341 for cam sensor. It failed and passed and never set the cel. I replaced all the cam sensors and the crank sensor while I was at it. Nope. I then without any codes to go by started small and kept going until I solved the issue. I did have the fuel smell from the tank so I knew I needed to replace the in tank pump. Did that. Nope. No more fuel smell though. (The old pump tested in spec). I then went for the HP fuel pump since I would show pressure drop down to below 200psi on occasion. Nope. Well, since I enjoy working on cars, and have since I Was 12 (51 now) I figured hey it wouldn’t hurt to put new fuel injectors in it. Did that. Nope. Used all OEM parts and replaced everything called for in the process. Well what next? I didn’t have any chain noise but I replaced the chains with the Cloyes kit. It was great for 4 days then did the stalling and misfires again. Dang it! New cam solenoids were next. Nope. It was clearly related to timing so of course the next thing in my mind was the phasers/actuators. I bought all four and the washers just in case. I replaced both on bank 1 just to see how that worked. Perfect. No misfires and it runs great. I drove it all week. I measured cam endplay and I didn’t need the washers. No room for them. Everything I have read said that the actuators rarely fail. I will go back and do bank 2 when I feel the need. Not a bad job if you spend a few (maybe a lot) on the chain holding tool. It prevents having to take the front cover off. The engine was really clean on the top without any Sludge so I felt good seeing that. I really like the my car and use it for a commuter and will until I find the right deal on a V. I sure hope this helps someone. Never posted anything before.
 

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Go ahead, blame me. Everybody does 🙄
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Interesting post, AZ- I was trying to diagnose as I read along (I was leaning towards fuel pump, too).

A definite misfire without codes to direct your efforts is frustrating to say the least. Given your mileage, phasers would not have been on my radar either, but '08 was a banner year for chain issues. Glad to hear you got it sorted out!
 

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08 CTS DI
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Interesting (as soon as I typed that word your post showed up Long with the same opener). It's good things are working well, but I'm skeptical about that actually being the problem, especially with such low mileage and the history of actuator failures being chatter related. Time will tell. Your almost Tech 2 can record camshaft angles that can be played back, best viewed on pc/laptop. That will reveal discrepancies in cam angles. I think you may have helped the matter in the process of changing parts, but I'm not quite convinced it was the actuator(s).
 

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2008 CTS AWD DI
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Discussion Starter #4
Yes time will tell, and I will update if the issues come back. I’m just glad it’s not stalling at intersections anymore. That’s the part that confused me. You would think you would at least get a code. As far as the tech2, I obviously haven’t used it’s full potential yet. I have had it for around 4 years and really haven’t needed it for anything but my truck. I didn’t know it could record camshaft angles. This is my first VVT motor so I am learning.
 

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2008 SRX4 & 2010 CTS4 sedan / Non-Cadillacs: 2018 Audi Q5, 2012 Chev Cruze LT
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Interesting. How many misfires in a driving cycle were you getting in your mode 6 reports?
 

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2008 CTS AWD DI
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Discussion Starter #6
Usually 1-3 misfires on random cylinders in bank 1 Per drive cycle. Occasionally bank 2 would show misfires. Normally I would not feel these. When I did feel the “buck” misfire I would check and #1 or 3 would always show a misfire count or two. This only ever happened at “tip in” accelerating from a stop. I never had this happen while cruising that I noticed. The stalling happened at tip in or just as I came to a complete stop. Just died. I wasn’t clear originally on this but between every repair I mentioned, I drove the car for a week or more 60-100 miles a day in a mix of highway and city driving. This is how I know the car displayed the same symptoms after each repair up until I replaced bank 1 actuators. Toward the end there, it was getting slightly worse and stalling more. 3 days before I changed them when I started it in the morning it was clearly misfiring. 121 counts on #5 then it smoothed out. I still drove it that day with the same normal issues. I changed them last weekend and I have not had any misfire counts. I check constantly each day as I keep the BlueDriver plugged in. My rational is that the timing is “phased” at higher speeds/loads and when I come to a stop they are not always returning to the commanded position? I know they have springs in them so maybe they wear or weaken? I do like to take things apart and I plan on opening them up just to check them out. They are held together by 5 bolts and they are not Torx or Allen. They are 5 point and I don‘t have anything that fits that in my box. I will revisit it this weekend. Its another car weekend in the garage. I have a bad lifter on the wife’s Tahoe. I need to replace the AFM lifters on bank 2. I do love the 5.3 though so I don’t mind. It’s only going to be 105 today. It’s a dry heat:)
 

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This only ever happened at “tip in” accelerating from a stop.
Sounds like that might be "burst knock retard", which is in the programming and is knock retard that is applied in anticipation at throttle tip in. What kind of gas are you using?
I used Torx to open the actuator, I don't recall the size but it wasn't anything special.
 

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2008 CTS AWD DI
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Discussion Starter #8
I’ve burned 91 and 87. Tank fulls each for weeks at a time and no difference. I only buy from Top Tier stations. The Torx is a 6 point and these are a 5 point so it will not fit. I know they used two different actuators so maybe ours are different. One of the first things I did was check to see if the ECM had the latest update and it did. I could have been looking at dated info though. I think I got that off Alldata.
 

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5 or 6 point I call them the same thing. The actuators are first and second design, 6 to 5 bolt, or 5 to 4, it's been a while.


 

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2008 CTS AWD DI
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Discussion Starter #10
So this is what I’m talking about. 5 point, not 6 point like a Torx. I can’t find anything like this yet. I ran across some “Penta” sockets but but I don’t need a socket. Nothing I can take these out with. I have a kit with secure fastener removers and it’s not in there.
6DC752BD-C0CF-47BE-AC33-F63349D3B18A.jpeg
 

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2008 CTS AWD DI
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Discussion Starter #12
Yes! That looks like what I need. The 5-flank is the key. I don’t need the security hole but that wont matter. Thanks for the link! One click on Amazon and they are scheduled for delivery Monday.
 

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2008 CTS AWD DI
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Discussion Starter #14
Yes one fit. Not perfectly since the tips of these have a slight dome and I bought metric, the bolts must be SAE. They were very tight and I got 4 off and had to drill one out. These are a unique pattern and obviously not meant to be serviced.
540438B9-DAA1-4A24-940B-CB055ED5FC1C.jpeg
 

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2008 SRX4 & 2010 CTS4 sedan / Non-Cadillacs: 2018 Audi Q5, 2012 Chev Cruze LT
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Weird that they would use SAE inside an engine that is otherwise metric. I wonder if the shop manual specs the bolt...
 

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08 CTS / 13 XTS
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I’ve searched a lot on this forum and never found anyone that had the same issue as myself. I bought a very nice CTS in September of last year. 52,000 miles. Occasionally I would get a slight hesitation which turned out to be misfires that we’re pretty random but mostly contained to bank 1. No codes were set. I could see the misfires in mode 6 on my BlueDriver scan tool. This continued for a few months until the car would die randomly when I came to a stop, most often after crushing speeds like when exiting the freeway. It would always start right back up. I have a clone Tech2 that also never showed any codes until I got P0341 for cam sensor. It failed and passed and never set the cel. I replaced all the cam sensors and the crank sensor while I was at it. Nope. I then without any codes to go by started small and kept going until I solved the issue. I did have the fuel smell from the tank so I knew I needed to replace the in tank pump. Did that. Nope. No more fuel smell though. (The old pump tested in spec). I then went for the HP fuel pump since I would show pressure drop down to below 200psi on occasion. Nope. Well, since I enjoy working on cars, and have since I Was 12 (51 now) I figured hey it wouldn’t hurt to put new fuel injectors in it. Did that. Nope. Used all OEM parts and replaced everything called for in the process. Well what next? I didn’t have any chain noise but I replaced the chains with the Cloyes kit. It was great for 4 days then did the stalling and misfires again. Dang it! New cam solenoids were next. Nope. It was clearly related to timing so of course the next thing in my mind was the phasers/actuators. I bought all four and the washers just in case. I replaced both on bank 1 just to see how that worked. Perfect. No misfires and it runs great. I drove it all week. I measured cam endplay and I didn’t need the washers. No room for them. Everything I have read said that the actuators rarely fail. I will go back and do bank 2 when I feel the need. Not a bad job if you spend a few (maybe a lot) on the chain holding tool. It prevents having to take the front cover off. The engine was really clean on the top without any Sludge so I felt good seeing that. I really like the my car and use it for a commuter and will until I find the right deal on a V. I sure hope this helps someone. Never posted anything before.
I had misfires and it turned out to be the coils packs, happened twice
 

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2008 CTS AWD DI
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Discussion Starter #17
With all the things I listed that I replaced I forgot to mention the coils. That was early on and didn’t help. It’s been almost 2 weeks and it’s running great so it was obvious to me that the bank 1 actuators were the culprit. I have had #2 and #6 pop up once each during a couple drive cycles. I didn’t fell a miss, I just continually have been monitoring mode 6. Maybe I will pop in the bank 2 actuators this weekend. It sure is nice to have my car running perfectly. 20.5/mpg mixed driving is up from 19.
 

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2008 SRX4 & 2010 CTS4 sedan / Non-Cadillacs: 2018 Audi Q5, 2012 Chev Cruze LT
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Well, good on you for resolving this!

A few misfires is not a big deal, for sure. But 121 on one cylinder? That can't be good. Glad your actuator swap solved it.

I had a minor misfire situation - at one point up to 20 in one cylinder. My story on my resolution of that problem is in this thread: 2010 CTS AWD 3.6L DI misfire with no code?. I run a mode 6 once a week now and it's super clean. I can't compare my mileage fairly in a before and after because my before would have been the winter and my after is now. Taking that out of the equation, I can't say I've noticed a huge difference tbh.
 
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