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2012 CTS Luxury 3.0 AWD Red
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new so hope I'm at the right place for this question. Purchased car used a few months ago. When pulling out from a dead stop, at about 43 to 48 MPH the car sort of hesitates like it wants to shift but cannot. There is a bit of jerking back and forth, but that may be too strong a term but it's noticable. This only happens on a road where mid to high 40's is the top speed. If the top speed is faster then it shifts and everything is fine. Never noticed this on any or my older Buicks or Olds. - THank you
2012 CTS 3.0 AWD Automatic
 

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2013 Black Diamond CTS4 Premium Coupe (sold-09 CTS4 DI Black Raven/Ebony)
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Check your plugs...Odd, I know, but check. The gap may be getting too large from wear on the electrode causing a surge/stumble
 

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2012 CTS Coupe Performance
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Sounds a lot like a torque convertor which has been covered several times...the following is an email I sent the dealer I bought my car just a couple days ago. My car goes in Wednesday to have the TC looked at.

Joe,
First, thanks again for taking the time to go on a ride with me - unfortunately I couldn't recreate the problem I've been experiencing other than the sloppy/clunky 1-2 shift at very low rpms after the car is warm. Below I've included the email I originally sent to Joe:

I purchased a 2012 Cadillac in the middle of February from you and wanted to contact you in regards to an issue I've noticed to see if you could share this information with the service manager to see if he could give me a call to discuss.

In the last few days, I've noticed a stumble/vibration during light acceleration. It seems more apparent when the car is up to operating temp. Since I drive on the turnpike nearly every day, I really notice it if I'm going about 30-40mph and lightly accelerate (as if I'm merging onto the highway) - the car seems to stumble/buck as it accelerates - it's not smooth and just doesn't feel right. I can eliminate the stumble if I give it a bit more gas and get the RPMs higher, but if I can't accelerate more quickly, and the RPMs remain fairly low, it will continue the stumbling until it reaches the next gear or the RPMS increase.

I am by no means a certified mechanic, but I know a decent amount about cars and had my suspicions - after a quick Google search for my symptoms, the very first page that came up was the following:
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2008-2013-cadillac-cts-general-discussion/254295-sigh-bad-transmission-shudder-new-2012-a.html

Pretty much every post on that page mimics the symptoms I am experiencing and confirms my initial concern of a transmission/torque converter issue.

Obviously the last thing I want is my "new" car already in shop within a month of purchasing, but the stumbling/shuddering is pretty annoying.

Obviously within the email I sent to Joe is a link to a Cadillac Forums page where others have had the same experiences which were resolved with a new torque converter. After a bit more reading, I found that although GM didn't issue a recall, this problem is by no means uncommon. Attached below are a few more links to forums of many people experiencing the same issue and a TSB which seems to have been issues sometime in 2012. Simply searching "2012 Cadillac or Camaro Torque Converter" yields many pages about others issues. I've attached some below.

1. The following link is a similar issue found in the Cadillac ATS of similar years. On the fourth page (which is the link provided), a user posts information about a TSB although I was unable to locate it online. Most of the people in this 4-page thread seem to have had the problem solved with a new torque converter.
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-ats-general-discussion-forum/398242-low-rumble-vibration-under-moderate-acceleration-4.html

2. The following link is a Camaro owner with the same problem that was diagnosed as a torque converter:
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=213173

3. The following is a 7-page thread of numerous people experiencing the same issue. Several members claim to have had their torque converter replaced. He states that the techs couldn't find a problem running the tests, but did notice the problem on a road test. This page also discusses the idea that there was a bad batch of these converters and the "newer" converters are upgraded. On the second page (which is the link I provided), the member who had the issue solved with a new TC posts the document ID number and the technical number.
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211490&page=2

4. The following is a link to yet another site with several Camaro owners experiencing the same issue. The person who originally posted their problem confirmed it was a torque converter and attached an image of the GM TSB (which I have attached).
http://ls1tech.com/forums/gen-5-camaro-drivetrain-tech/1596733-6l50-2012-camaro-v6-shuddering-lower-speeds-light-throttle.html

Obviously I wouldn't be spending the time or energy to research this, write these emails, bring my car in, etc. if I didn't feel strongly that this was an issue but I understand that I am not a mechanic. Hopefully you and your team can recreate the problem and this will be resolved.

Again, thank you for taking the time to take a ride with me, read this email, and address my concerns. I just looked at my calendar and I'm actually dropping the car off Wednesday night for service on Thursday morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much for all the background info. When I looked up that bulletin the subject line read "Shudder Feel While Driving in 40-50 MPH Range: which is what I'm experiencing. Please let us know how you make out on Wed
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was reading through the links you provided. On the Camaro site, there was a comment that the torque convertor problem can damage the transmission. The Chevy dealership looked for metal in the fluid. I'm wondering is anyone had transmission problems caused by the torque convertor problem. Thanks
 

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2012 CTS Coupe Performance
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I picked up the car today and it feels "right." No vibration/bucking/shuddering when accelerating 40-50 so I can say it has fixed the problem.

After I sent that detailed email and spoke with the service manager, I think they may have just replaced the converter since I was so damn sure that was the problem. I didn't ask too many questions or ask if they even attempted to mimic the problem. I kinda think they just believed me and since it was the dealer where I bought the car a month ago, it just seemed like they wanted to keep me happy which was great. I was somewhat concerned that they would come back and say "We can't replicate it so we won't fix it."

I didn't have any other trans problems and it always shifted well so I can't speak to it damaging the trans. I made sure they flushed the trans, drop the pan, and replace the filter as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wanted to provide an update. Some folks here were nice enough to provide a history of their problems and I found it helpful so want to payback. This is about my car and situation only, not suggesting anything about anyone else’s. I have a problem with a shudder that is unmistakable when it occurs and also a vibration that could be associated with the shudder problem or be something else.
One of the Cadillac reps on this site was kind enough to contact the dealer for me and advised me the dealer would likely contact me within 48 hours. More than 3.5 work days later, more than 4 work days counting Sat morning when dealer is open) I had not rec’d a call, so I called the dealer. The gentleman recalled being contacted by Cadillac and said they, the dealer, had never seen a shudder problem in the CTS and there were no service bulletins on it. I explained there surely was a service bulletin on it. At that time he looked again and said yes, there is a torque converter service bulletin and my specific car fits the criteria. The first appt. they could give me was 10 days. We’ll see what happens.
 

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'14 CTS-V LongRoof; '16 ATS-V Sedan,' 04 Trailblazer 4x4; '10 CTS LongRoof gone but never forgotten
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Any other dealers in your area? This one doesn't want to work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is the only one within an hour+ (not that the distance is a concern if the car gets fixed). I've bought a car here in the past and used them for maintenance (the dealer I described). I searched right away for another dealer before I did anything. I may need to try another although I'm not familar with the others since they are out of both my work and home area. Good suggestion. Thanks
 

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Contact the Cadillac people who helped you in the first place. Tell them how this dealer isn't responding to your needs. Get them to be your Ombudsman.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did contact Cadillac and expressed my displeasure. They told me to fill them in after the dealer sees the car. So I'll see what the dealer says. Strange situation for me. I guess I've been lucky. My family has bought many cars over the years, all GM for the past 25 years, and never had anything but very minor problems after the sale (mostly used cars).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just an update. I took my car to the dealer this morning. As is often the case we could not relicate it on a short test drive although the dealer said the problem I describe does fit the service bulletin. I can have the torque converter replaced under warranty. I see no reason not to try it since there are some things about the car I really like so I'd like to keep the car. There is a comment in the service bulletin that even after replacing the torque converter some people will still notice a problem. I am wondering if anyone else had a similar problem as I described above and had the torque converter replaced. What was the outcome for you after replacement? Thanks in advance. This site and members have been very helpful to me
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just an additional update. The torque converter (TC) was replaced. Unfortunately, the shudder is still there. The shudder is much less intense in warm weather. I noticed that before the TC was replaced as the weather was warming. When the shudder happends I am almost always at ~ 1500RPM. Does not always do it at that speed but when I feel it I'm at ~ 1500 RPM. Not looking forward to cold weather. Probably keep it until warranty ends. My first Cadillac after thinking about buying one for years and extremely disappointing. I really thought I'd buy Cadillacs for years to come since I could finally afford them but that is not in the cards for me (just me). I appreciate all the input here and I am still reading and will be glad to post if I have any helpful comment. Thanks
 

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I had the same problem on an 04 CTS last year on a weekend. Would've bet my last dime it was either the torque converter or transmission which was what a few shadetree shops suggested. Monday morning took it to a dealer and after checking they replaced the throttle body. No problems since. Just thought I'd throw this out there as maybe another direction in which to look in case the others don't solve the problem. I never would have believed it until I saw it first hand.
 

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Did you ever check/replace the plugs? A misfire will present the same symptoms, but not record a trouble code because it isn't happening enough. It takes a certain number of misfires in a row to set the code. Mine never set a code, but replacing the plugs solved the issue that had you wanted to bet, I'd have bet the pink slip on it being a trans/torque converter issue.
 

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Interesting these last two comments and how they might be the culprit, even though one would never directly think of those. Maybe try the plugs first as that is an easy DIY.
 
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