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2008 CTS4 DI - EU version
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi again, just a quick one, is there a way to tell whether the car is AWD or not just from the photos if the ad doesn't state it? And what's the fuel consumption difference between the two? Thanks.
 

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'05 STS4
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What you can look for is the number "4" appended to the model name (ie. STS4). The emblem on the trunk lid should have that "4" on it.

I would say the mileage difference shouldn't be a deciding factor (don't see it being all that significant) as much as the traction consideration for the conditions you might be driving in...
 

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2008 CTS4 DI - EU version
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Discussion Starter #3
Milage is significant if you have half the wage than the average American and the gasoline costs is two or three times as much :)

I have a Pajero Sport for winter conditions, the amount of salt used here ensures that my fanciest car will stay grounded.

Also thanks, the one I'm looking at has plain "STS" branding in it, which is great!
 

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08 STS-4 N* 1SG, 08 DTS Luxury II, 04 Bonneville GXP N*
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If you're concerned about cost to operate then you need to be really concerned about cost of ownership. I love my STS and fortunately I have the means to support it. Most people on this forum will tell you that these are far from trouble free cars and not inexpensive to repair. It's not a case of if you'll be shelling out bucks but when.
 

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2006 STS4 V8 1SG & 2007 STS V8 1SE
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I agree. The STS isn't the best choice on a budget. Fuel cost is only 1 factor, and focusing on that can lead to poor decisions. I'd recommend against the V6. The V8 is nearly bullet-proof and thrives on hard use. The V6 frequently has oil consumption issues (both versions) lacks torque and timing chain replacements are common under 100k miles.

Some of the AWD's lack the '4' anyway. If you must persist & can't look for a front CV joint, get a picture of the RPO label underneath the spare tire cover: MV3 - All Wheel Drive or in later models MX7 - Merchandised Auto Trans, O/D & AWD.
 

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08 STS-4 N* 1SG, 08 DTS Luxury II, 04 Bonneville GXP N*
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The fuel economy is definitely a little worse on the AWD. Another big consideration though is not to purchase one with magnetic ride control (if money may be tight). WHEN shocks and struts on MRC vehicles fail you will hate this car. Sift through the threads as this topic has been discussed many times before. There are other common failures such as door handles/related systems, headlamp condensation, periodic tail lamp failures, etc. that are all very costly. Some of these don't necessarily have to be repaired but it will depend on how long a list you will tolerate under the column heading "Things that don't work...".
 

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2008 CTS4 DI - EU version
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Discussion Starter #7
If you're concerned about cost to operate then you need to be really concerned about cost of ownership. I love my STS and fortunately I have the means to support it. Most people on this forum will tell you that these are far from trouble free cars and not inexpensive to repair. It's not a case of if you'll be shelling out bucks but when.
The fuel economy is definitely a little worse on the AWD. Another big consideration though is not to purchase one with magnetic ride control (if money may be tight). WHEN shocks and struts on MRC vehicles fail you will hate this car. Sift through the threads as this topic has been discussed many times before. There are other common failures such as door handles/related systems, headlamp condensation, periodic tail lamp failures, etc. that are all very costly. Some of these don't necessarily have to be repaired but it will depend on how long a list you will tolerate under the column heading "Things that don't work...".
Huh, from what I heard here and other places the V8 STS is one of the more reliable cars Q_Q . MRC fails a lot? As in, do you mean "it will happen before 150k on majority of cars" by "common? Forum is not very representative sample, if you know what I mean :)

I agree. The STS isn't the best choice on a budget. Fuel cost is only 1 factor, and focusing on that can lead to poor decisions. I'd recommend against the V6. The V8 is nearly bullet-proof and thrives on hard use. The V6 frequently has oil consumption issues (both versions) lacks torque and timing chain replacements are common under 100k miles.

Some of the AWD's lack the '4' anyway. If you must persist & can't look for a front CV joint, get a picture of the RPO label underneath the spare tire cover: MV3 - All Wheel Drive or in later models MX7 - Merchandised Auto Trans, O/D & AWD.
I'm not focusing that much on fuel, if I was I wouldn't pick the car to begin with since it drinks petrol like nothing no matter the engine or drive distribution. But the V8 drinks (according to the official numbers) just barely less than my current car and what I don't want is to get a car with lower milage than the one I have now.
 

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08 STS-4 N* 1SG, 08 DTS Luxury II, 04 Bonneville GXP N*
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I can understand that it's difficult to extract a lot of reliable statistical data from a forum, but here's my quick and dirty viewpoint. People join online forums for the following reasons:

1. They own the vehicle in question and want to learn more about it.
2. They want to modify their vehicle and are looking for advice or suggestions on what to do.
3. They want to show off their vehicle and/or upgrades and take part in a community with other owners.
4. They have a problem with their vehicle and need assistance in solving it.
5. They are considering a purchase and want to learn more about strengths and weaknesses.

There are some other reasons, too. These (at least from my perspective) are the big ones. When you have a large number of people from these various groups all reporting similar problems, it may not be scientific but isn't unreasonable to assume that other owners who do not belong to the forum likely have similar experiences. Yes, the community on the forum is a relatively small sampling of all STS owners, given the varied reasons the people join, it's not unreasonable to believe it's a fairly accurate sample group of the overall experience.

Virtually every vehicle has weak points and when you keep hearing about "the same" problem from owner after owner, it seems reasonable that when all of the same model were made with the same part, the scope of the issue goes beyond just the few forum members.

As for MRC, both my front struts were replaced by 55,000km and my LR shock at 94,000km. Keep in mind, these values are kilometers. Many others have reported MRC suspension problems also and therefore it's hard for me to believe mine was a "one-off". Many others have also reported how extremely expensive these are to have replaced. In Canada, rear shocks retail at $1,000 each side and front struts are roughly $750 each side (both are parts alone - installation required).

I'm not trying to talk you out of buying the car, and if you do, I truly hope it's problem free for you. BUT, don't be shocked or surprised if you see at least some of the commonly reported failures discussed on this forum appear with yours. I love my car, I don't love what it costs to keep on the road. I will guarantee you that mine is also one of the easiest driven STS's out there.
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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It's not true that an AWD always has a "4" after the STS on the trunk. My AWD came without the "4" and I had to add it myself. If you want to know if you have AWD, cramp the front wheels one way or the other and look for the drive shafts.
 

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2008 CTS4 DI - EU version
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Discussion Starter #10
When you have a large number of people from these various groups all reporting similar problems, it may not be scientific but isn't unreasonable to assume that other owners who do not belong to the forum likely have similar experiences. Yes, the community on the forum is a relatively small sampling of all STS owners, given the varied reasons the people join, it's not unreasonable to believe it's a fairly accurate sample group of the overall experience.

Virtually every vehicle has weak points and when you keep hearing about "the same" problem from owner after owner, it seems reasonable that when all of the same model were made with the same part, the scope of the issue goes beyond just the few forum members.
Well, as I understand it, the cars are relatively rare even in US and I just keep getting contradicting statements for just about anything about it. Reliability, comfort, etc... The more I dig into any car, the more it seems like an unreliable heap that explodes after the first 10k.

As for MRC, both my front struts were replaced by 55,000km and my LR shock at 94,000km. Keep in mind, these values are kilometers. Many others have reported MRC suspension problems also and therefore it's hard for me to believe mine was a "one-off". Many others have also reported how extremely expensive these are to have replaced. In Canada, rear shocks retail at $1,000 each side and front struts are roughly $750 each side (both are parts alone - installation required).
Under 100k? On a 2008 car? Wow, that sounds expensive. So I take it I shouldn't even look at one that has advertised 173,736 km, heh. And then I heard that STS with normal suspension is considerably stiffer. Oh well...

I'm not trying to talk you out of buying the car, and if you do, I truly hope it's problem free for you. BUT, don't be shocked or surprised if you see at least some of the commonly reported failures discussed on this forum appear with yours. I love my car, I don't love what it costs to keep on the road. I will guarantee you that mine is also one of the easiest driven STS's out there.
So how much does it cost you a year on average(ish)?
 

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08 STS-4 N* 1SG, 08 DTS Luxury II, 04 Bonneville GXP N*
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Production numbers for the 2005+ STS are relatively small when compared with a lot of vehicles. I spoke with a Cadillac sales rep here and was told that for the 2010 model year, there were only 40 brand new STS's sold in all of Canada. Of course by this point, numbers had been steadily declining for some time. The US obviously has a lot more but still don't rival production numbers of many other vehicles.

People that have these generally quite enjoy them. I personally find mine very comfortable and love the Northstar. I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to head out on a long journey. Most failures that seem to occur (at least with the V8) aren't the kind that will leave you parked along side the road somewhere. I haven't statistically tracked any data but the impression I have from participating on this forum for the past few years is that there are more driveability problems with the V6 than the V8.

I do find the suspension to be pretty firm when compared with other vehicles I've owned. Some come with the soft-ride suspension (no magnetic ride control) so there are options depending on what you want. It took me a while to adjust to how stiff the ride really is. At first I thought I had shock/strut problems but as it turned out, they were leaking and ride quality really didn't improve much after they were replaced (LR was seized solid so ride quality after replacing it did improve dramatically - never better than original though).

As for fuel economy... wow! I now drive primarily in the city and will get 375ish km to a tank during the summer. In the winter this plummets to as low as 210km. I do use remote start a lot when it's cold so I know this has a lot to do with it. Highway is much better but I can't rattle off numbers simply because I don't drive enough highway to have reliable figures. I've got AWD which does hurt a little as well.

I'd have to crunch some numbers to get annual service costs but in 2014 I spent $3,000.00 (+/- $150) and traveled 10,000km (+/- 250km). Most of my trips are short which really hurts fuel economy. Currently our fuel price for premium hovers around $1.10/L but over the past couple of years it's been as high as about $1.45/L where I'm at.

One other point I'll add... When there's a problem with either of my vehicles I will fix or have it fixed promptly. Things like door handles for example don't have to be fixed right away because you can always just press the unlock button on the fob as a workaround. Some of the other failures are "annoyance" failures rather than critical failures... but failures nonetheless.
 

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08 STS4 V8 1SG & 04 SRX4 V8 & 01 Monte SS
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My 08 has had 3 of the MRC shocks replaced between 70k / 80k miles all due to fluid leakage (this doesn't cause a code to set either).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Right, thank for the information, mates. Out of curiosity, how many miles do you have in your cars in total?
 

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I just rolled over 100,000 kilometers last week. Had it 4.5 years and bought it with 49,000km.
 

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First Caddy i test drove i bought. Deal with the problems later and drive her till she cracks. If your second guessing the STS shes not for you.
 

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Over 165,000 miles on my clock. My "To Do" list seems to get longer almost every day. Thinking of running it into the ground as a second car. I'm waiting to the "right" used XTS4 VSport Platinum to raise its head so I can pounce on it. Not crazy about the "Global Platform" (read: LaCross, Impala) look, but with a little tuning (Livernois) it'll crank out crazy horses and it has all the goodies I like about my STS.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Over 165,000 miles on my clock. My "To Do" list seems to get longer almost every day.
Are those major things (like the mentioned MRC issues) or "only" inconveniences like ... I don't know, "seat memory isn't working" or something...? I mean, 165k miles is quite a lot (my Pajero Sport has 260k km and that is just 5k less than your STS! It's a 2001 car though)

I'm waiting to the "right" used XTS4 VSport Platinum to raise its head so I can pounce on it. Not crazy about the "Global Platform" (read: LaCross, Impala) look, but with a little tuning (Livernois) it'll crank out crazy horses and it has all the goodies I like about my STS.
Yeah, I heard that the "Impala feel" with XTS is too noticeable...

2006 STS4 N* 1SF HUD ACC F55 - 2008 CTS 3.6DI Premium
I notice you have both STS and 2nd gen CTS, is the CTS a lot harsher ride? Like, Cruze-grade stiff?
 

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Are those major things (like the mentioned MRC issues) or "only" inconveniences like ... I don't know, "seat memory isn't working" or something...? I mean, 165k miles is quite a lot (my Pajero Sport has 260k km and that is just 5k less than your STS! It's a 2001 car though)
I notice you have both STS and 2nd gen CTS, is the CTS a lot harsher ride? Like, Cruze-grade stiff?
I have 1 front strut leaking and an air leak somewhere in the rear system, which burnt out the compressor. The outside truck button doesn't work and traced it to the module. Just replaced the starter and intake gaskets a week ago, but NAPA starter is defective and have to do it again tomorrow. Replaced pusher fans and A/C condenser, replaced cam cover gaskets, replaced burnt out peanut lights with LEDs, on 3rd battery in 4 1/2 years, replaced door micro switches, replaced all spark plugs and ignition coils, I've done the brakes 2 times and now the oil leaks have started. There's more but I think you get it. But your experience may differ, hopefully. I love my Caddy's but I have to cut my losses on this one. Nothing lasts forever.

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Thats putting it mildly ... However I'd hope that the XTS4 V-Sport loses some of that Impala.
I plan on driving one this weekend and I'll see then. What's weird to me is the transverse mounted engine with AWD!
 
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