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Fix, leave it alone, or move on?

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  • Drive it as-is

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2010 CTS4 sedan
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1,135 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I love my CTS. It has a few age-related warts but surprisingly few. The undercarriage is in very good condition and so is the powertrain. Timing chain done, all new hubs, new brakes, and shocks, motor and transmission mounts, new-ish spark plugs, four wheel alignment just completed, etc. Power is smooth, handling is great, Interior is immaculate. Oil is changed at about the 40% point, always with an OEM filter. Yes it has 235,000 kms on its but it doesn't look or drive like a high mileage car. You get the idea.

It's the body: I have three or four rust spots and I hate looking at them. I can bring it to a body shop and I figure $US 3k would fix them. I know that it would be delaying the inevitable by two or three years maximum as winters are not kind to cars up here.

So, do I (a) leave the rust alone and drive it into the ground? (b) fork out 3-4 large to a body shop to buy me a few more years of pulchritude? or (c) trade up now to something like a CT5-V or a Tesla M3?

I honestly could flip a coin here.
 

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08 CTS L76/MYC conversion
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376 Posts
If this car has rust then you must live in a rust climate. If you buy a new car then this car can be your winter beater
 

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2010 CTS4 sedan
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1,135 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If this car has rust then you must live in a rust climate. If you buy a new car then this car can be your winter beater
Thanks. I am not a winter beater sort - I have a hard time "driving it into the ground" but I like the idea. And, yes, I live in a part of the world known as "Canada" where salt is used profusely in the winter. :(
 

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96 FWB
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1,650 Posts
I love my CTS. ....
That's apparent if it's replacement takes ~$50k to kick it to the curb.

......
I honestly could flip a coin here.
Ooph. Appears love is waning and 10-year marriage is enough (especialy if you've been with the current driver since it was virgin). If you're chomping at the bit for a new shiny object I (we all) can relate.

Options appear to be, in order of intelligence:
-With your car selling for not much more than all that repair work, just sacrifice it to lure a dealer as a trade-in to encourage them to play fuzzy math to discount the price of your new ride.
-Limp along in shame and depression for a couple-few years to permit depreciation on its replacement to lessen the bite on the wallet.
-Fender flares and spacers if the rust is in the usual place(s).
-Fake turbo outlet if a flare won't cover the cancer.
 

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'14 CTS-V LongRoof; '16 ATS-V Sedan,' 04 Trailblazer 4x4; '10 CTS LongRoof gone but never forgotten
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16,051 Posts
Come On Down!
 
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'14 CTS-V LongRoof; '16 ATS-V Sedan,' 04 Trailblazer 4x4; '10 CTS LongRoof gone but never forgotten
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Keep it. Buy a new one - non Tesla.
 

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2013 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Sport Luxury
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Fix the rust. I did it on my Toyota (around front screen) at 280.000 kms. It costed 1k USD and they actually managed to blast the area - not the entire plating, and paint gradually afterwards. And I cant see any difference.
 

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2010 CTS4 sedan
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1,135 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Fix the rust. I did it on my Toyota (around front screen) at 280.000 kms. It costed 1k USD and they actually managed to blast the area - not the entire plating, and paint gradually afterwards. And I cant see any difference.
This is my instinct - I've never done this before on a car of this vintage but the car is "worth it" in many ways.
 

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**2014 CTS4 Sport Wagon-Luxury**
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one thing I try to consider lately when I think about moving one of the cars along is how much might I get for it if I sell...can I get anything I like as much for that amount (or by adding more as in your case by getting something that has no rust)...

I currently have an F150...high mileage and rust in all four cab corners and wheel wells around the bed...the previous owner (Family) did not take good care of it but I do...it runs and drives just fine and I use a Forum to get all the tips and tricks to keep it running as well as it can (the engine has the usual 5.4 3 valve engine issues) but I saved it from the junk yard (where the last owner was having it towed the next day)...in a trade or outright sale I won't get much but it does what I need a truck to do when I need it to do it so I'm holding on to it and doing what I can...

keep your CTS...keep it going along but know that you will be getting it's replacement at some point...I've kept that F150 going for almost 2 years now and that's after Ford told the previous owner it needed the engine rebuilt etc...

good luck with your choice...I think we know how you feel about your CTS or you wouldn't have shown it so much love of late...

Bill
 

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Go ahead, blame me. Everybody does 🙄
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My vote is also keep it with or without bodywork.
I'm having a difficult time finding anything to replace mine that won't land me in traffic court or doesn't have a pickup bed.
 

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2010 CTS4 sedan
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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I have to make a choice on this: I am facing a few thou to put into this car but if I do it will be like new. I am inclined to get the bodywork done as it will improve my enjoyment for the time I have left with it. Plus there will be some benefit in resale when the time comes. I will also do some suspension work over the winter (bushings mainly), tackle the wear on the driver's seat, and maybe even try to solve an issue I have accessing my HDD in the sound system. That is the entire list of deficiencies on this ten year old car - so, not at all bad.

Up until 20 years ago, I never owned a car from new that went anywhere close to 100,000 miles. Partly because of where I was in life, my transportation needs changed a lot back then but partly I just didn't have the time to do my own wrenching. Still, I found that I would hit issues after the 60k miles mark. A transmission rebuild on a Nissan ended by (then) lifelong love affair with Japanese cars and I thought I was taking a huge risk by buying a GM: A 2000 Bonneville SLE (not supercharged). When I sold that car at 160,000 miles and 10 years of age, absolutely everything on it still worked. I had one warranty repair (radio) and one at my expense (rear load level sensor). I also really liked that car as well but rust started and I wanted to start fresh - with a CTS.
 

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Where's the rust on the Caddy?
Trunk lid? Dog leg? Seam at quarter panel/bumper cover?
 

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2013 Black Diamond CTS4 Premium Coupe (sold-09 CTS4 DI Black Raven/Ebony)
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Another possible alternative...is there a local community college with a body shop class near you? Approach them and see if they would like to have the students fix the rust and try their best at color matching the paint. They might like the challenge. Or even take the adult shop class and do the work yourself in class.
I took the shop class to get some hands-on experience with shop tools and paint in a nice downdraft booth. Turns out another class member wanted to fix his rusted out F150 truck. He bought the replacement panels and we did the work on his truck using the shop tools and learning from the teacher. The two of us fixed it like new over the length of the course. Was a great experience.
 

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2010 CTS4 sedan
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Discussion Starter #15
The rust is minor - wheel wells mostly. It will require metal being cut and replaced and finished/painted. It's definitely around 3 grand. Frankly, I can afford it - and if the engine grenades two months later, then so be it. This Caddy is one of those cars that is frustratingly worth repairing - which is a good thing to be sure.
 

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I love my CTS. It has a few age-related warts but surprisingly few. The undercarriage is in very good condition and so is the powertrain. Timing chain done, all new hubs, new brakes, and shocks, motor and transmission mounts, new-ish spark plugs, four wheel alignment just completed, etc. Power is smooth, handling is great, Interior is immaculate. Oil is changed at about the 40% point, always with an OEM filter. Yes it has 235,000 kms on its but it doesn't look or drive like a high mileage car. You get the idea.

It's the body: I have three or four rust spots and I hate looking at them. I can bring it to a body shop and I figure $US 3k would fix them. I know that it would be delaying the inevitable by two or three years maximum as winters are not kind to cars up here.

So, do I (a) leave the rust alone and drive it into the ground? (b) fork out 3-4 large to a body shop to buy me a few more years of pulchritude? or (c) trade up now to something like a CT5-V or a Tesla M3?

I honestly could flip a coin here.
Sorry not worth the fixing, you already dumped alot into it becoming like a boat "a hole in the water you dump money into" I have a 09 in TX, dealer found oil leak while changing the oil in oil pan area that I can't see or have evidence of. Asked $3600 US to fix it. Car is not worth that much even though it is faultless and is the Premium package. Drives great and such a pretty car with all options, we love it but wife refuses to drive the new Audi RS5 (too complicated). When it dies it will go to the pick & pull yard.
 

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2011 CTS performance mdl 3.6L FE5
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3K isn't too bad, if you keep it another 24 months thats $125 a month but if you start having more issues that might turn that math up side down.
It's a heck of a lot cheaper than A new ride and there's no telling what will pop up in the next few years that will catch your eye. My biggest issue is there isn't really anything that wows me enough to think about swapping out my ride. its still a great car. there's a lot of meh out there.
 

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3K isn't too bad, if you keep it another 24 months thats $125 a month but if you start having more issues that might turn that math up side down.
It's a heck of a lot cheaper than A new ride and there's no telling what will pop up in the next few years that will catch your eye. My biggest issue is there isn't really anything that wows me enough to think about swapping out my ride. its still a great car. there's a lot of meh out there.
My thoughts exactly.
 

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The rust is minor - wheel wells mostly. It will require metal being cut and replaced and finished/painted. It's definitely around 3 grand. Frankly, I can afford it - and if the engine grenades two months later, then so be it. This Caddy is one of those cars that is frustratingly worth repairing - which is a good thing to be sure.
She's a high maintenance broad.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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ask yourself, can you find a better car for $3,000?
I would spend it to fix the body and be happy with what you have.
If my 2011 coupe got totaled I would find another CTS Coupe.

I just spend $1,900 on shocks, brakes and tires w/alignment and new TPM. (I do my own work)
next week I will take off the intake manifold and clean the intake valves if needed. and in 20,000 miles I will install the new cam chains.
Just think of it as maintenance.
 
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