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The CTS-V is not your dad's Buick where one immediately knew when shocks when bad- the baby-buggie ride became uncontrollable.

The suspension on the CTS-V is stiff enough that it won't bounce and rebound like an old Buick when the shocks go south. One sign is a clunking noise on short interval bumps.
But perhaps best of all is a visual inspection. A good shock should not accumulate any more dirt than road dust. A bad shock leaks and dirt/grime/etc will stick to the leaks. The leaks are likely to be small at first, so don't expect to see a pool of oil beneath the car. A bad shock is really grimy, and even oily.

My shocks failed at 50K miles.
 

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White diamond 05 CTS 3.6L Euro
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i have CTS not V ..
My dealer changed them at 20,000km (4 of them) after i complained of noise coming from them...
 
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