Cadillac Owners Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of JUNE's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this forum, but not new to vehicles. I have spent quite a bit of time under the hood, but at the same time, nothing this new.

Short story - My mom is about a year from retirement and has always wanted a Cadillac. She scrimped and saved - she works as a church secretary so she isn't wealthy - and finally found this 2014 Cadillac XTS at a local Ford/Auto Nation dealership. It has around 70K miles on the ticker and purrs like a kitten. It is everything she wanted, dark charcoal with a gray interior, all wheel drive for the winters here in Cleveland... This was about 6 months ago, give or take. She purchases the car and less than two weeks later my father, who was the bread-winner, gets laid off due to the pandemic. Income is scarce, but they have no car payments, so they are doing OK. She starts getting error messages about three weeks after purchase about the all wheel drive system - takes it in and gets it looked at at and the Cadillac dealer says that some various components need replaced. $2300 later, she has her car back. They didn't really have that to spend, but ok...

She takes the car in to get serviced when it needs it, and she lives about two miles from where she works, so she isn't putting a lot of miles on it. About a month ago she took it in to the Cadillac dealer for an oil change. Everything was good.

Last week they went out of town to visit my grandmother and I drove the XTS while they were gone. It drove like a dream with no issues, no knocks or pings, no CEL, nothing that worried me at all. Monday I went to pick them up from the airport - on the way home it ran fine, then, about 20 feet from an intersection I hear a series of clunks... and suddenly it feels like something hitting the bottom of the car....then the engine stops. I coast to a stop and turn it off and push start and everything lights up but nothing else.

Got it towed to the dealer and they thought it was a fuse of some sort. Called back an hour later and said the engine was blown....a rebuilt one would be $8200 installed.

Ouch. My mother is crushed. I've done an engine swap before back in my import tuner days, but the car was a mid-nineties Honda. What do you think - is it even swappable by a competent home mechanic, or do I need special secret Cadillac equipment? I see that used 3.6's go for $600 - $2500, rebuilt for $3000+

Has anyone heard of an engine spontaneously blowing like that? No rod knock or low oil or anything...just "done"?

I am in the process of searching the forums to find answers, but right now I need to figure out the direction.

Thanks so much for listening, if nothing else!
 

·
Registered
2012 SRX Luxury
Joined
·
522 Posts
Personally, I would tell your parents to cut their losses now and get a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. These Cadillacs are maint intensive and expensive LUXURY cars to maintain. You can possibly get lucky with a good one but it's not uncommon to be unlucky and pay the piper for repairs. And her first mistake is taking it to the dealer for the work so far. Way more expensive there than a local car shop is. A dealership is commonly called a Stealership. For a reason.

As for the engine swap, Sure you can do it. If you have tuner experience you'd be able to pull the engine and swap it out yourself. Again, down the road though your parents will most likely need more repairs and they would be better off in something more reliable and especially if they are on a fixed income. Less expensive is a better idea than a full boat luxury car. Guaranteed.
 

·
Registered
2013 XTS Luxury
Joined
·
78 Posts
This sounds unusual to me. And this was a dealership that said this, right?

Since you know a bit about cars, what about you going there and having them show you why they think it needs a new engine?

I am shaking my head at this because I just find this hard to believe that it does.

Also, maybe pull up a Carfax on it? You might need to pay for it, but might help answer why it needs a new engine already.

Please keep us posted. Will be interested to hear how this turns out. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
2014 XTS V-Sport Platinum
Joined
·
2,303 Posts
I don't believe I have heard of any XTS having an engine failure before this post. Especially what sounds like a maintained one just suddenly failing. The GM LFX motor has a pretty good record as far as I can tell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Personally, I would tell your parents to cut their losses now and get a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. These Cadillacs are maint intensive and expensive LUXURY cars to maintain. You can possibly get lucky with a good one but it's not uncommon to be unlucky and pay the piper for repairs. And her first mistake is taking it to the dealer for the work so far. Way more expensive there than a local car shop is. A dealership is commonly called a Stealership. For a reason.

As for the engine swap, Sure you can do it. If you have tuner experience you'd be able to pull the engine and swap it out yourself. Again, down the road though your parents will most likely need more repairs and they would be better off in something more reliable and especially if they are on a fixed income. Less expensive is a better idea than a full boat luxury car. Guaranteed.
While I appreciate that answer, I refuse to believe that GM is so inept that they would consider an engine replacement as a maintenance item. I sold my Chevy HHR with 270K on the clock and still going strong. My family is not destitute, and is prepared to pay regular and proper maintenance - but no car, made in 2014, much less a luxury car, should be mired with broken parts on a regular basis. I drive a vintage Blue Bird Wanderlodge and a vintage MG - these things need maintenance more often than I need to use the restroom - if anything a luxury vehicle made in this decade should require less maintenance, not more. While I am not a fan of dealerships, that is sometimes the best situation. I realize the quotes will be more for work done, but we don't need to get the work done there.
 

·
Registered
2014 XTS V-Sport Platinum
Joined
·
2,303 Posts
I would have to know what failed and why they say an engine replacement is required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This sounds unusual to me. And this was a dealership that said this, right?

Since you know a bit about cars, what about you going there and having them show you why they think it needs a new engine?

I am shaking my head at this because I just find this hard to believe that it does.

Also, maybe pull up a Carfax on it? You might need to pay for it, but might help answer why it needs a new engine already.

Please keep us posted. Will be interested to hear how this turns out. Good luck!
Yes, it was the dealership. I called them up and got the info first hand. She said, "something catastrophic happened internally and it threw a rod."
I replied, "But is there any indication as to WHY this happened? There were no warning signs - no unusual sounds, no low oil condition, no rod knock or pinging. Surely this shouldn't happen to an engine with seventy thousand miles..."
Her reply, "52 thousand. This one only has 52 thousand..."

Good Lord.

We do have the car fax. Engine maintenance appeared to be done reasonably....certainly enough for an engine with 50K on the clock.

The $8200 quote was for a used engine with 61,000 miles. I said, "Why would I put an engine with 61 thousand miles on it if these things are throwing rods at fifty thousand?"

(I was very nice with all of this correspondence - I certainly don't blame the dealership and this is pretty difficult to misdiagnose, even if they don't know the cause)

She said she has never seen a blown engine on an XTS yet.

Great - we are the first!

I'm certain I can get it done cheaper elsewhere, even if I don't do it myself....I just don't want to do it again anytime soon. I'll try to keep updating this post as I learn more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would have to know what failed and why they say an engine replacement is required.
The service department said that it threw a rod, which then came up and bashed against the spark plug, seizing the whole thing.

The good thing is that the rest of the engine should be fine - all the extra bits that go on and around it...
 

·
Registered
2006 Cadillac Escalade, 2004 GMC Envoy SLT XUV, 2001 Pontiac Aztek GT
Joined
·
23 Posts
Supposedly the 3.6HF engine after 2012 was a much improved, and all around better engine, than its predecessors.

I still wont touch that engine... EVER.

Did you know that on certain models that had the 3.6HF engine, the engine had to be dropped down to replace the spark plugs!!

Its great when it runs, and insanely, stupid, ridiculously, expensive, when they break.

I would find a cheap 3.6HF engine, get it thrown in there on the cheap, and get rid of it. In todays market it will sell for a good price still (with your odometer miles). And you should be able to recoup your losses, and buy something else.

Honda, Acura, Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai, Kia, Genesis, even a Dodge/Chrysler. But not Ford, and not GM.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SoCalESV

·
Registered
2014 XTS V-Sport Platinum
Joined
·
2,303 Posts
I would need to see proof of any engine (daily driver) that required engine removal to change spark plugs. Intake manifold removal, yes but not believing engine removal.
 

·
Registered
2009 SRX V6 RWD, 2011 CTS Premium Coupe
Joined
·
654 Posts
Supposedly the 3.6HF engine after 2012 was a much improved, and all around better engine, than its predecessors.

I still wont touch that engine... EVER.

Did you know that on certain models that had the 3.6HF engine, the engine had to be removed to replace the spark plugs!!

Its great when it runs, and insanely, stupid, ridiculously, expensive, when they break.

I would find a cheap 3.6HF engine, get it thrown in there on the cheap, and get rid of it. In todays market it will sell for a good price still (with your odometer miles). And you should be able to recoup your losses, and buy something else.

Honda, Acura, Toyota, Lexus, even a Dodge/Chrysler. But not Ford, and not GM.
So you're a Cadillac owner, in a Cadillac forum, because?
 

·
Registered
2016 XTS
Joined
·
551 Posts
How much is the used engine? $8200 to swap seems absurd. Timing chains on my wife's Enclave was $2000, and they have to pull the engine for that, it was done at a dealer. So are they charging $6k for an engine with 61k miles? Looking on eBay there are several from $500-2000.

In my opinion the XTS is an Impala in fancy clothing. I love mine, but most of the work should be no different than an Impala or Lacrosse.
 

·
Registered
2006 Cadillac Escalade, 2004 GMC Envoy SLT XUV, 2001 Pontiac Aztek GT
Joined
·
23 Posts
Buick rendezvous with the 3.6hf required the engine to be dropped to do spark plugs.

I own a 2006 Cadillac, last if the decent quality GM vehicles.

Also a GM Master Tech, retired
 
  • Like
Reactions: SoCalESV

·
Registered
2008 Escalade ESV 2WD 6.2
Joined
·
150 Posts
Buick rendezvous with the 3.6hf required the engine to be dropped to do spark plugs.

I own a 2006 Cadillac, last if the decent quality GM vehicles.

Also a GM Master Tech, retired
Plus, in my opinion you have a V8 Escalade which is a more heavy duty vehicle drivetrainwise and less prone to engine failures, especially a 2006. It is also easier to work on and get parts for. Shops with Chevy/GMC pickup experience know how to diagnose and repair. I think the solid reliabilty extends to Gen 3, especially those without AFM and not hybrids. Your 2006 is a wise choice based on your mechanical experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Ouch. My mother is crushed. I've done an engine swap before back in my import tuner days, but the car was a mid-nineties Honda. What do you think - is it even swappable by a competent home mechanic, or do I need special secret Cadillac equipment? I see that used 3.6's go for $600 - $2500, rebuilt for $3000+

Has anyone heard of an engine spontaneously blowing like that? No rod knock or low oil or anything...just "done"?
I'm working on a buddy's 2009 CTS. Turned out someone replaced his 2009 3.6L with a 2007 3.6L before he owned the car. He didn't know that, so there were lots of problems with parts orders for the "2009" (that was actually a 2007). Which is a warning to be VERY careful about what replacement engine you purchase and know how to check that it's the right year. I.e. don't just believe someone when they say "it's a 2014" or "it's a completely compatible swap with your current engine."

Anyway, buddy spun the #6 rod bearing hot-shoeing it with cold oil. I patched it by replacing all the rod bearings, flushing the engine (a lot) and replacing the oil pump. It runs okay now. While investigating what the problem was, I researched the price of replacement engines. The LY7 motors are in the $1500-2000 range. At that price point, it's serioulsy worth considering a rebuild rather than a used engine. Could you do a rebuild? I don't know. They're OHCs. If that doesn't bother you, then probably. If you could find a replacement engine in the $1000 range, it's probably worth snagging and replacing the rod bearings before throwing it into the car. IIRC, the "proper" way to replace the engine is to drop it out of the bottom. It can be done out the top too, but there's a lot to take off. And you're definitely going to want a bidirectional diagnostic computer, not just a code-reader.

When I get to advise people on car purchases, I generally attempt to steer them toward high volume vehicles and specifically away from "luxury" brand cars that are invariably low-volume, a PITA to service, and usually with quirky problems the minute the warranty expires. You're lucky you're in a GM and not a BMW or Merc. You shouldn't have any trouble finding an independent garage to do the swap if you decide to go that route. Probably in the $4-6k range if that's really what it needs.
 

·
Registered
'02 ETC CE, '04 CTS-V, '04 XLR, '13 XTS Platinum
Joined
·
2,919 Posts
" - if anything a luxury vehicle made in this decade should require less maintenance, not more."

This is a wish we all share, -- but isn't grounded in reality. It's been repeated here as long as I've been on this forum. "I bought a Cadillac, not a Chevy, it should be more reliable!" --Cadillacs aren't given special attention by the designers to be more reliable than any other vehicle in the GM inventory. They share a lot of commonality where engines are concerned too.

I didn't see anything in your write-up indicating you reviewed the vehicles' (GM) maintenance history prior to purchase - just the CarFax which is rarely complete and the information it contains is voluntary (where maintenance is concerned). This is a prerequisite part of the due diligence required to minimize a fatal dose of Buyer's Remorse. Skip it, and you could end up with someone else's lemon - especially when purchasing a Cadillac from a Ford dealership.

Your case while rarely reported here, is unfortunate. Powertrains fail in all brands and models. Mine's in the shop while I skip meals to save money for food to pay reparations to GM. I'm in for $8k in repairs for a vehicle that I only intend to keep for another two years with 98k on the odometer. Other than that, the vehicle has been very reliable over the last six years. Fortunately, I can afford the repairs, though I would have preferred to spend the money elsewhere.

Vehicle ownership costs are a crapshoot in any segment. While late models are more reliable, they aren't immune from the same types of failures that made owners nervous at the 100k mile point thirty years ago. Now that threshold is around 150-200k miles, but there are always exceptions, as you've discovered.

People who scrimp and save for their first Cadillac are probably buying into a brand they will have trouble affording if major maintenance is required out of warranty.
 

·
Registered
2019 XTS Luxury AWD, 2004 SRX N* AWD (gone)
Joined
·
2,397 Posts
Buick rendezvous with the 3.6hf required the engine to be dropped to do spark plugs.

I own a 2006 Cadillac, last if the decent quality GM vehicles.

Also a GM Master Tech, retired
This is not a Buick forum, so to say that the 3.6 as related to a Cadillac requires dropping the engine is misleading.
As a GM MT, you should know that '06 is definitely not the last decent GM vehicle, but you say you're retired, so I guess you have not kept up on more recent years for the 3.6 in Cadillacs or Cadillac's with other engines.

To the OP - in checking car complaints.com the worst year is the first production year ('13) which is a common occurrence in any brand. The '14 model year was significantly better. To note - no model years of the XTS reported an engine failure as a complaint. I'm wondering what type of oil had been used in the vehicle purchased, and how religiously the oil level had been checked to not let it get too low (although the LFX in the XTS years was never reported as 'using' oil, but if an oil filter had not been put on properly and the car might have lost a lot of oil). To me, this car had an oil problem in the past for it to throw a rod - either not the right oil over a period of time, or oil level became too low.
Oher than the first model year, the XTS showed to be a very reliable car. There was a recall on a brake booster pump in the '14 MY that could cause a fire. The most common but expensive maintenance issue are the MRC struts/shocks. Other that maintenance expenses are pretty much on board with other brands. But one has to keep in mind, that these cars have a lot more tech to them, so more things that over time need maintenance (replacing).

And you should be able to recoup your losses, and buy something else. Honda, Acura, Toyota, Lexus, even a Dodge/Chrysler.
That statement is laughable, esp. for a MT to make. All one has to do is check these brands out to see how much does go wrong with them.
 

·
Registered
2014 XTS V-Sport Platinum
Joined
·
2,303 Posts
Buick rendezvous with the 3.6hf required the engine to be dropped to do spark plugs.
From what I have read and viewed the engine can be tilted forward to access the rear spark plugs using ratchet straps.
 

·
Registered
2006 Cadillac Escalade, 2004 GMC Envoy SLT XUV, 2001 Pontiac Aztek GT
Joined
·
23 Posts
From what I have read and viewed the engine can be tilted forward to access the rear spark plugs using ratchet straps.
For the 3400, and the later 3500, that is true. But not the 3.6HF. Your supposed to drop the cradle from the frame, lower the engine/cradle assembly. Rotating the engine forward, because of the Hemi-Style plugs, only makes it worse as it moves the COP (Coil On Plugs) closer to the cab-forward firewall.
 

·
Registered
2014 XTS V-Sport Platinum
Joined
·
2,303 Posts
Wow. That is indeed ridiculous. Why engineers would design something that they know requires regular maintenance to need the motor removed for access is beyond me. I thought the need to remove the intake manifold was a bother.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top