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Although I LOVE my CTS, I am also one of those that have had a few problems. I really think we should start a thread that asks for owner problems so we can use the info when talking to the dealer. You guys may not believe it but I had to have a new engine put in at 4000 miles. The dealer said that a piston was not "getting oil" or something. When I drove it into the service bay several of the techs heard me coming and came out to see what all the noise was! From reading a bunch of forums, I think I am the only lucky person in the nation that had this problem, but would like to know of others. I also have or had the following problems:
-A water leak in the license surround. I haven't taken it in yet for this.
- Intermittent static on the AM radio when I put on the break. (the dealer says that there is no problem.)
- All of the silver paint started to flake off one of the wheel covers. ( Cover replaced)
- My analog clock is 6 minutes off from the digital on the radio read out. (The dealer said there was no need for a fix because it was within established specs.)

I do however love the DTS loner car!
Anyone else have these or other problems?
 

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I also had some of the more common issues including,
Water leak in the area around the licensce plate/fog lights,
Air conditioning leak into rear passengers footwell (required two seperate 7 day stays)

As for problems i didnt cause thats it........My VW golf had waaaaaaaaaaay more problems and still has fewer miles....
 

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Current: None Past: '94 STS, '93 Eldorado, '98 ETC, '03 CTS
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I had my 2 piece driveshaft separate because a flange was going out and had my Nav. system replaced because the paint was flaking off the buttons. Neither seem to be common problems and both were replaced under warranty.

Other than that, my car has only been in the shop for the steering bolt recall and for a free set of tires(nothing wrong with the originals, but it was nice to be able to take advantage of the recall at 30k miles...).
 

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I have made several dealer visits for some minor issues some not related to defects.

I had problems with a rattle in the center console, two trips to the dealer did not resolve this. The problem went away when I removed the ashtray.

Poping noise in the front end during hard cornering left was resolved in two dealer trips. A rock was removed from the front left spring.

There is a bug in the Nav system software that causes the presets to disappear if you use the programmable buttons to toggle through the presets.
Reboot the Nav system and the presets reappear. Took this to the dealer and there is no fix currently available. Several on another website have reported this. I understand the Nav system OS is Microsoft Windows CE which would explain some of the glitches.
 

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I've had several problems with my 03' CTS, my sunroof motor needed to be replaced, my front left headlamp needed to be replaced, my battery had to be replaced, and my heater fan control needed to be fixed ( I couldn't lower the fan speed.) The major problem I've had is I a creeking in the suspension. I would hear it when breaking. After 5 visits to the dealer, they finally figured it out. They had to replace both suspension arms which fixed the problem. Now I'm hearing a buzzing sound from the engine every so often. Sounds like a baseball card in a bicycle tire. Anyone have any idea's on what it could be?
 

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I have only 17,xxxx miles on my 2003 CTS. Been in for engine idle problems. (corrected but not gone). Check engine light. Which was a loose wire. (so they said, hard to believe). 2 weeks later. Check engine light again. Diagnosis was thermostat and O2 sensor. The car has been there for 1 week so far, I am still waiting on the fix. Dealership needs improvement with communication and/or better training in repairs of higher-end vehicles. I have been upset because of the quality relationship I have had with this car, for $40,000 I did not expect a trip to service until perhaps 60,000 miles. Maybe I expect to much for $40,000. I have not given up with Cadillac, I do see them improving, but my expectations have been declining.

:bonkers: CHAD
 

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I am not flaming...let me say that first just curious have you guys heard about the guy who took his BMW into the service department and one of the Techs took it for a joy ride and had an accident. Well he broke the rear axle among other thing. Well the really problem is the BMW dealer and BMW NA are refusing to pay to have the car repaired. Sick!

Anyway the water problem with the license surround is common for some as well as the 03 having an engine buzz sound. People the 03 and some 04's are first year cars and so you have the typical small bugs. By 05 most will be gone. Don't fell bad though as said before other makes are in the shop even more.
 

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CWK said:
I have only 17,xxxx miles on my 2003 CTS. Been in for engine idle problems. (corrected but not gone). Check engine light. Which was a loose wire. (so they said, hard to believe). 2 weeks later. Check engine light again. Diagnosis was thermostat and O2 sensor. The car has been there for 1 week so far, I am still waiting on the fix. Dealership needs improvement with communication and/or better training in repairs of higher-end vehicles. I have been upset because of the quality relationship I have had with this car, for $40,000 I did not expect a trip to service until perhaps 60,000 miles. Maybe I expect to much for $40,000. I have not given up with Cadillac, I do see them improving, but my expectations have been declining.

:bonkers: CHAD
It is a $40,000 car and problems are undesirable but as already stated, it’s only in its second year of existence on the planet. Adding to the unknowns is the LY7 3.6L in its first year of production. I researched and understood the risks when purchasing such a new platform.

The consumer in me expected perfection but the engineer in me knew otherwise.
 

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CWK said:
I have only 17,xxxx miles on my 2003 CTS. Been in for engine idle problems. (corrected but not gone). Check engine light. Which was a loose wire. (so they said, hard to believe). 2 weeks later. Check engine light again. Diagnosis was thermostat and O2 sensor. The car has been there for 1 week so far, I am still waiting on the fix. Dealership needs improvement with communication and/or better training in repairs of higher-end vehicles. I have been upset because of the quality relationship I have had with this car, for $40,000 I did not expect a trip to service until perhaps 60,000 miles. Maybe I expect to much for $40,000. I have not given up with Cadillac, I do see them improving, but my expectations have been declining.

:bonkers: CHAD
Some initial problems are not completely unusual, I had to have the Catalytic Converter on one of my previous vehicles replaced at 737 miles. However, continued issues are certainly quite an annoyance and lead one to seriously question future reliability as I have previously stated. My biggest concern with something like this is this simple factor... If your vehicle isnt a lease, and you plan to keep the car for a good deal of time (I dont keep vehicles very long) whats going to happen when the warranty expires? Who will be there to step up for you when YOU have to start paying for the repairs. As soon as your car is out of the service department try to find another more competent service aisle, and if you continue to see the same repeated problems, or other problems, take that vehicle back to the dealer and have them give you another one. Some way or some how they will have to cave in after seeing the repeated service history and the money it is costing them to keep you on the road (GM keeps close track of the service cost of each vehicle). My STS was lemoned after only a FEW visits to the service aisle and this was just for a steering problem. You could say that the problems are first year issues of course, but then vehicles have come pretty far technologically and many first year models are fairly problem free these days. I owned a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee that many reported as the "dawg" of the WJ series but had only a few issues with mine. In comparison the 1997 model I owned prior to it, was the next to the last year of production for the ZJ chassis and it had numerous problems,as did that 01 STS,no less than 4 years into its production run. Additionally, if im not mistaken hasnt the 3.2L engine been around in the Catera prior to the CTS? It may have been transformed slightly for better performance in the CTS, but the engine itself seems to have been around for a while already. I could be completely wrong on that though.

Anyway, try another dealer next time if you possibly can, if you see better results, youll know you had an incompetent dealer, if you see more of the same, you need to get that CTS swapped out with another one (maybe a 1SC 04!) and hope for the best in the new one or you might really regret it later. Remember, it was your 40k that paid for the vehicle, not theirs.
 

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Received my car back today. They called me for a change (instead of me calling them). Should be fixed, have not driven it much today though. Could not even tell they had it torn down (which is good) motor nice and clean....etc.

Results according to the service report (receipt I was given). Said the computer was not reading a hot enough engine and the result was kicking on the "check engine light". So they replaced the thermostat and O2 sensor. After doing so the computer said the engine was running hotter (the correct temp).

This would effect the pollution systems??? Correct?? not the engine performance?? or would it?

SIDE NOTE: The wonders of Michigan, we just received about 4 inches of snow.....so I put some firewood in the trunk of the car......wow...that extra weight sure makes the car track better. So much for a nice fire tonight in the fireplace. HA!!!!

CHAD
 

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I've owned 3 cars over 40k. 1999 Corvette, 2001 Seville SLS, and currently a 2004 LS 430. The corvette had 4 warranty repairs and the SLS had 1, the LS has had none, but i've only had it for 2k miles, so no surprise there. Ok enough background. To me the important thing is not the problems but how the dealer handles them. If some of these bozos would learn to communicate and have some understanding these issues would seem like nothing. I know for my vette, i was treated like any typical cavalier owner. Im not trying to trash cavalier owners, but my car cost three times as much and they still treated me like an ass. My experiences with Cadillac have been great. The only thing I can think of is that both dealerships ive dealt with were Cadillac-only and maybe they knew how to treat people better.
 

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Brett said:
I've owned 3 cars over 40k. 1999 Corvette, 2001 Seville SLS, and currently a 2004 LS 430. The corvette had 4 warranty repairs and the SLS had 1, the LS has had none, but i've only had it for 2k miles, so no surprise there. Ok enough background. To me the important thing is not the problems but how the dealer handles them. If some of these bozos would learn to communicate and have some understanding these issues would seem like nothing. I know for my vette, i was treated like any typical cavalier owner. Im not trying to trash cavalier owners, but my car cost three times as much and they still treated me like an ass. My experiences with Cadillac have been great. The only thing I can think of is that both dealerships ive dealt with were Cadillac-only and maybe they knew how to treat people better.
I think you hit the nail on the head with that statement brett. When a dealer puts Steve John and Bob in XYZ service department for a dealer that handles ABC Car, XYZ Car, and HIJ Car in all varieties 100 percent of the time, and has to handle complaints from the customers with the 10k car along with the 50k car, the truth is theres really not going to be much respect for the latter, and unfortunately where I live BOTH of my dealers are like that. One handles GMC (the trucks are hoisted up right alongside the El Dorados and Skylarks), Cadillac, Pontiac and Buick. The other has Cadillac,and at least Chevrolet also, and they both have along way to go in knowing how to treat their top level customers. Even going a ways out of town the best you can do is a dealership that has Lincoln AND Cadillac! My old Volkswagen dealer was also an Infiniti dealer, but the level of service was much different and more professional than the GM service experience I had. Likewise with BMW, which is by the same dealership owner as Chevrolet and Caddy on this side of town, but in a modernized building all its own with its own independent service bays and service advisors. Also Ive seen a couple of "Cadillac/Hummer/Saab" dealers and have heard good things about them too. The service experience does go along way toward the overall experience and Cadillac is at the point where it needs to figure out how to separate itself somewhat from the rest of the GM fold, despite the obvious cost. Make it the standard to be reached in every sense. I honestly wouldnt mind paying up to 1000.00 more (which it really wouldnt even take that much) per vehicle, to know that the service im going to expect is of Lexus-like levels. Think about it! In the beginning SATURN was up there with Lexus!! So theres no excuse.
 

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I absolutely agree that the service dept makes all the difference. Its that very
reason I will never own another Nissan. Trust me I could have had a Z for a
little less than my CTS, and honestly, the Z looks sick compared to my CTS
(Flame me now:) I have had nothing but problems with there service dept(s)
I kept my truck immaculate and every time I would have oil dripping down the
fenders front bumper covers, aftermarket wheels the list goes on when i picked
the truck up from service. The best was picking up my truck and finding cigarette
ashes all over my leather. Keep in mind I don't smoke and never allow anyone else
to smoke in my vehicles. I go in and bring this up to the service manager and he responds with, well they should not be smoking in your vehicle. I will make sure they don't do it next time. Ha what next time! Brought it to another dealer for a Head Gasket(At 39,000 no less) The truck ran like crap from the day I got it back, brought it back 3 times to 2 other dealers and they told me it was fine. Ok why is my truck idling like crap and
sometimes stalls at lights? Luckily it was a lease and I gave it back running like a
dog, and said to the lease return guy if they have a problem bring it up to their
service manager. He should have a big enough paper trail showing I tried to get the
issue resolved. This is only a couple bad experiences. The best was turning the
vehicle in and a month later having Nissan call me looking for the truck and trying to
bill me for keeping the truck longer than my lease. Needless to say I faxed the paper
work over with a nice note telling them that there dealers are a bunch of morons.
They offered me some nice incentives to get into another Nissan, and the Z and
new Maxima would have been a great choice for me, but I told them that there
service depts on Long Island are all incompetent as a whole and I refuse to ever
deal with Nissan again. So far Cadillac service has not been too bad. Only dealt
with them for oil changes but even that went smooth and the car came back the way
I brought it. I have had friends and family own Caddys and it was there comments
about how well they were treated that helped me choose my CTS. My attitude is I
will be your best customer forever as long as you treat me right. Screw me once and
you just lost yourself a loyal customer. OK END OF RANT!
 

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Alright, I've had a few 'problems' and some 'nitpicks' BUT for $40k and it being a Cadillac, it should NOT have problems, right? Wrong!

I knew when I bought it that I would have some 'issues' to be worked out. The reason(s): 1st year car design from a first year factory with a brand new GM platform. Come on, you are just asking for some 'bugs'. Its like putting out version 1.0 of some software.

I have a laundry list of things that have gone wrong (although NOTHING left me stranded) and a list of nitpicks.

1) Left front strut. This shock broke when I took a corner (without braking) at around 35 mPH. It was a 90 degree turn in rain, and the stability system kicked in. I heard a loud snap. Then, from that point on I heard a little noise whenever I went over a bump. Dealer: Found the problem by putting the strut on a computer and diagnosing it. It had to be backordered and when it came in, it was replaced. N/C.
2) Reverse light area: What can I say, this problem continues today. This piece has been replaced twice. I am currently having an issue with the Dealer not doing anything about the water in there this time. But, I suspect it has more to do with some water getting inside the trunk deck than it does with the reverse fascia actually leaking.
3) Bad O2 sensor. The car was TOWED in for this because I am NOT driving it when the owner's manual says "Check engine light - Stop car as soon as possible and discontinue driving until system can be checked." Sounds serious. So, THEY towed. Brought me a loaner and FIXED it that afternoon.
4) My sunroof switch, when turned to the full open position, does whatever it likes. Opens, stays closed, tilts, but mostly just stays closed... Until you open a window. Dealer said it may just need to be reprogrammed. There is nothing in the manual about reprogramming a sunroof switch.
5) Compass in rearview mirror. This one sticks now and then. I have recalibrated it. The dealer has recalibrated it. It still sticks now and then.
6) Digital Clock. I had the instrument cluster replaced under a GM service bulletin. This fixed the problem for about 2-3 weeks, then the clock is off again. At the moment by about 5 minutes.
7) Fuel meter is off 1 gallon. According to the dealer, this is withing GM specifications. It was NOT like that when I first got my CTS. It was off only .1 gallons.
8) ALL of my electronic/electrical problems/issues came about after the battery had to be replaced. It died in my driveway while I was detailing the car before going out on a date. Called roadside assistance and they replaced it right there in the driveway. BUT, I believe this to be the cause of the other system problems. The gas computer was WAYYYY off when the new battery was first put in the car.
9) Right front visor - There was a short seam on this item. Asked for it to be replaced. It was glued. The light went out on this side. Again, I asked for it to be replaced. It was fixed. The broke off something inside the visor and it rattles now. The new one is finally on order.

My service visits regularly turn into 3 and 4 trip/drop off adventures because of the lack of parts or the inability to get all the work done (or this last time) because they just didn't get it right.
Now, I have to intermittent noises. One from the left front suspension area and the other is a SCREAMING under the hood when you back up and are turning the steering wheel to the right. Dealer couldn't reproduce these noises so NOTHING was done except to give me the impression that they thought I didn't know what I was talking about!

I LOVE THE CTS!!! It is a cool car, great ride and a terrific compromise for the family when what you wanted to get was a TRUE sports car like the Audi TT Turbo Quatro or a Porsche. (Please don't flame me?!) But, when you have to take the kids somewhere, this car is STYLING!!! You can even call someone without using any of your hands (well, except for button push).

I don't mind having a few problems/issues with the car. But, I would like GM, and by extension, there dealers to HELP OUT in SOLVING the issues/concerns we owners have! I don't think that's too much to ask for $40,000.:yup:
 

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typeaman said:
-A water leak in the license surround. I haven't taken it in yet for this.
- My analog clock is 6 minutes off from the digital on the radio read out. (The dealer said there was no need for a fix because it was within established specs.)
According to my dealer, GM says the '03 CTS has a condensation problem in the reverse light plate and they are not going to do ANYTHING more about it! :annoyed:

I think it is a SOLVABLE problem and we should ask GM for advice.
As for the clock... I have that too. What gives? Read my other post for my other problems, but overall they have all been taken care of to my satisfaction except on this latest service visit.
 

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Yea those two issues seem to be a common thing for at least us first year owners. I still love my car and have had less issues than any other car I have owned so far.
 
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