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2019 CTS
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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 08, May 08 build date. My car has the 6 spd manual transmission. I have about 2500 miles on the car and of late have noticed that when the car is cold (after initial start-up) the transmission is very balky and almost impossible to shift smoothly in all but the most sedate situations. It's been like this for awhile but getting worse of late. Of course by the time I get to the dealership everything has warmed up and working fine.
As I say it only happens upon initial start up and since it's so hot here in Florida, the problem soon disappears.
Has anyone else experienced anything like this. Maybe in a colder climate than mine. Any input is appreciated.:ill:
 

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2017 ATS-V Sedan, Vector Blue/Black, 6MT
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1,001 Posts
My car had many problems, but never the transmission. Never any balkiness, even at 15 degrees. Seems to me they should be able to verify it if they keep it overnight and drive it in the morning, like you do.
 

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2006 Cadillac CTS 6MT, 2008 Cadillac CTS 6MT
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174 Posts
Do you let it warm up at all before driving? Or just jump in, start and go? I have a 6-speed manual as well. I find that if I start it up, the rpm's will go to about 1500, then after 30 seconds (longer in the winter months), rpm's will drop down to 6-700 (closed-loop idle). At that time, it will drive very smooth. If I start it up and I don't let it warm up (been running late for work a couple times), then it is a real bitch to shift. It almost feels as if you don't need to use the gas pedal at all; just pull out the clutch, and it will take off. I hated this at first, but I'm use to it now. If you end up taking it to the dealership (it would be a good idea to just leave it overnight as mentioned in the above post) and they find a solution to it, I would be interested in hearing about it. I always just figured it was 'normal operation'. Good luck!
 

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2017 ATS-V Sedan, Vector Blue/Black, 6MT
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I never let my car idle, but I would always reverse out of my garage and driveway first. I never had any problems shifting, even with the "fast" idle.
 

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NONE
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1,423 Posts
Change the trans fluid and see if it improves. Sometimes I think they put in the cheapest fluids in these cars. Try a synthetic 75W-90.
 

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2019 CTS
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2,898 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well, I finally got my car to the dealership. By now I had two distinct problems.
1. The transmission wants to shift like it has a "skip shift" aka CAGS program; forcing 1 to 3 and 3to6 shifts. This only happens on up shifts. The CTS and Vette do have the skip shift feature but it only applies to the CTS V.
2 The transmission is difficult to get into third gear; extra effort is needed to go into third.
Fortunately when the shop foreman took the car for a test drive; he felt the resistance as I described. After two days they called and said to come get the car. When I got there they told me that the third gear problem was normal and all of their other 6spd manuals exhibited the same characteristic. Of course driving a stock car did not produce any of the symptoms as my car.
I went the whole route, service writer,service manager, shop foreman and dealer GM, all agree having to force the car into third gear is a normal trait of all CTS's with manual transmissions.
The best part is that the GM told me he had years of experience with manual transmissions and when we took my car out for a test run; I felt like I was on a bronking bull, he probably took 2000 miles off of my clutch. Now they want the car back to have the factory rep tell me that this is normal.
I have said all along that the problem is intermittent, but I am frustrated since they actually experienced the problem.:hmm:
 

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2014 SRX Premium w/20" chrome
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481 Posts
Now they want the car back to have the factory rep tell me that this is normal.
I have said all along that the problem is intermittent, but I am frustrated since they actually experienced the problem.:hmm:
Have you had an opportunity to drive any other CTS with standard tranny, perhaps your dealer has one to compare. Any possible service bulletins?
 

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2019 CTS
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2,898 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Tried, no other car forced you to force the shifter into third. No TSB other than the skip shift feature alerting dealers that it can't be disabled by the dealer.
 

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2017 ATS-V Sedan, Vector Blue/Black, 6MT
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My car never had problems shifting into third. It was always light and easy. Your dealer is totally BSing you. Your problems are NOT normal for this transmission.

It sounds to me like either the 3rd gear synchros are going bad, or maybe there is a problem with the shift linkage itself. Try another dealer, perhaps Lindsay Cadillac, where Tony Pagano works. They seem to be knowledgeable and helpful , with their many posts.
 

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2009 CTS DI AWD FE2 CRYSTAL RED TINTCOAT/LIGHT TITANIUM
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295 Posts
marktanner is 100% corrrect. Your dealer is crap! No manual tranny on a lux vehicle should shift hard. ALL shifts should be quick, tight, and smooth. I would absolutely take it somewhere else and INSIST upon a new tranny if they cannot fix it to your liking! There is no excuse for this!!!:mad::rant2:
 

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I have a 2008 CTS 3.6 DFI with 6 speed manual. It shifts smoothly, and is a pleasure to drive. Your dealer is obviously ignorant or is just trying to put you off. A second opinion from another dealer is in order.
 

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CTS DI Fully Loaded, Magnaflow, CAI, F1 Tint, Rosen TVs
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My trans has been replaced twice due to problems shifting into fifth, with a loud grinding noise. Problem is now resolved, after two new Aisin transmissions.
 

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2019 CTS
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Discussion Starter #13
Since the dealer didn't seem to think there was anything wrong, I took matters into my own hands and fixed the problem myself.
While on a trip recently the trans locked me out of second and third, I couldn't even get into the gate. I knew it had to be shifter related and told the dealer I was sure that was the culprit. During this latest episode, I gave the shifter an upward yank and it clicked and all has been well since. All shifts are smooth again and no hesitation going into any gear. As long as the shifter stays in it's current position all should be ok. Now if I could get B&M to make a short shifter I would be very happy.
 

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09 CTS 3.6l SFI 6MT
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Two weeks with my 3.6l SFI '09 CTS - stick - and the shifts are smooth in spirited and leisurely driving. I have 1,000 miles on it.

Bottom line - sounds like a bunch of malarky from your dealer.

I had an '05 3.6l SFI (trade-in) and the 2-3 upshift could be a bit clunky if it was a slow shift.

The ratios were changed a little for the current CTS - I believe an improvement.
clutch feel/takup is definitely improved over the '05.
The shifter has an improved feel.
I was thrilled with my '05 and this is a definite improvement IMHO.
 
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