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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dropped off my ATS at the dealer on 11/2 for the problem of chattering during sharp turns (like at a parking lot). The dealer called me back on Monday 11/4 and told me it requires a new rear axle. This is what they told me;

"... the issue is ring and pinion in the rear differential and that part is not serviceable for ATS."

On 11/14, the dealer informed me the rear axle is on back order. On top of that, the dealer is out of loaner Cadillac and a new Brazer was rented to me on 11/2. The Brazer later died (believe it or not, 2019 model, only 2400 miles on) and it had to be replaced by 2020 Silverado LT. Again the Caddy was not available. While I was frustrating to wait the repair update, I contacted Caddy customer service and explained the whole ordeal and was told a Senior Advisor would step in with the case number. I did not hear from anything on Thursday and Friday (14th and 15th), and I again contacted today 11/18 but seems like the case number was not properly transferred to the advisor. I am without my own car over two weeks now and things do not look good as of now.

Any encouraging suggestions and advise would be appreciated.
 

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You're not alone. My 2013 3.6L has been at the dealer for over a week to replace the front diff and they don't even know when they will get the part. I had to fight for a loaner. We should consider ourselves lucky, there's some stories floating around about people who's cars have been in for service since September with NO loaner! Unbelievable Cadillac & GM!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, that is terrible. I just don't get it. 2019 is the last year for the ATS. There should be plenty of spare parts available unless there are so many owners with same issues waiting for the parts. It seems like that's the case. Sigh.
 

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2015 ATS Sedan / 2.0T / RWD / 6-AT
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Well the rear diff of my ATS has to be changed as well due to failure of the center bearing.

The dealer told me the delivery time is 3 to 4 weeks. But fortunately my car is running, so that I will go there, when the part is delivered.
 

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Please let me know if this fixes the shudder when parking. I have it too, and I got the front steering motor replaced under warranty. Still does it. I replaced all of the fluids, and even added LSD fluid for the transfer case (mines AWD), and still does it. In fact it might be getting worse! I only have 23K km's on it.
Al
 

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2015 ATS Sedan / 2.0T / RWD / 6-AT
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How was it discovered that the center bearing was bad?
The car was on the hydraulic ramp and one mechanic was in the car and accelerated and the other one was "auscultating" the moving differential with a screwdriver. One end to the diff, the other end to his ear , like a doctor with a stethoscope. He told me "it's the old way". So he was able to figure out where the grinding noise exactly came from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just a quick update of my case.

After my repair issue brought up to the case number where a senior advisor steps in, I received a call from the S.A., that they have no estimated time when the parts to be available. I guess I am going to deal with this ridiculous UAW caused problem with not my favorable loaner vehicle Silverado. Sigh.
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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chippy, sorry that repair is taking so long. While you have the Silverado, make sure you use it to pick up any big stuff you need for your home. A colleague had the opposite problem a few years ago when his Sierra diesel dually got caught up in a long term warranty repair and they gave him a little crossover loaner.

And I am not and have never been in a union but this issue was caused by GM accepting (and in a sense forcing) a supplier to provide a part not suitable for the expected service which wasn't a UAW decision. Because of the extreme cost cutting that occurs in the automotive industry, problems like this ongoing rear axle issue have existed over the life of the Alpha platform. Axle assemblies aren't rocket science but this one has numerous design/quality flaws and is more what one would expect in a 1980s Yugo than in what should be GM's flagship line. Unfortunately this type of quality is what consumers are willing to pay for because we want lots of stuff cheap rather than a smaller amount of quality stuff and that trickles down the supply chain resulting in products that are pretty much garbage.

The strike didn't help but the root cause is industry practice and a marketplace that as a group chooses price over quality and this isn't just a GM issue. For a lot of stuff I buy now, I go with industrial targeted products when possible rather than mass consumer market. I was on the fence about whether I would replace my 2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD with another HD diesel and the deciding factor for me was an Allison designed and sold automatic transmission used with the diesel that is designed for a long and rough service life versus the questionable transmissions that GM is putting out in their light duty stuff. It is rather telling that the revised 2020 GM "light heavy" 2500/3500 series pickup truck twins are using a GM 10 speed transmission with an Allison brand name on it while the medium duty 4500 series and up trucks co-produced with Navistar have real 6 speed Allison transmissions like my 2018 rather than the Allison label GM product that replaced it in the lighter duty pickups in the latest version. I could have gotten a different 40 KW rated standby generator for a lot less than what I put into the unit I recently installed but instead of having a light duty gas engine running near its limits as a prime mover I opted for a turbo diesel running at a fraction of its available continuous duty output rating with a cooling system that will never be stressed. The 1000 CCA starting battery I specified has a 50% higher AH rating than the standard battery which has the same "consumer" 1000 CCA rating and that is the difference between a battery that can very briefly source high starting current versus one that will sustain a high level for a long cranking period running both the starter motor and the intake air heater for the diesel. The auto transfer switch I installed with the generator cost about 3 times that of typical home units but it is designed as a high reliability commercial use device that also provides a smooth transition from emergency back to commercial line power and provides a data log of all power events. All of these benefits cost more than the minimum but to me it is worth it in terms of reliability. Unfortunately with cars, there is no box to check for a better axle, transmission, etc. You get what the overall market is willing to support and if you are lucky it is good enough to survive a reasonable period of time. The problematic rear axle of the ATS is an example of something that really isn't good enough, especially for something marketed as a performance sedan because it isn't holding up well even in average driving.

Rodger
 

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Mercedes C300 Luxury - ATS retired (torque coverter shudder)
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Rodger, you mentioned you were considering replacing your ATS, are you actively looking? If so what's on your radar? I'm curious what interests a shopper with your research and analytical skills.
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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Ron,
Just starting to look but a BMW 440i is at the top of the list right now. I came very close to buying a 335i before I bought my 2008 CTS which brought me into the Cadillac fold. At the time my daughter was three and the 335i rear seat would have been really tight with a child seat but the CTS was a size step up and the perfect size. I lusted for a Toyota Supra long ago in college so I am also going to take a close look at this new Toyota model to see if it fits the daily driver category for me but probably not since it would see a lot of winter driving use.

I have a former colleague who would make the most rational decision for car buying so he would be the one for analytical skills, I am going for fun and I want a decent performance daily driver. My Z06 went into winter hibernation earlier this week so I am currently experiencing acceleration withdrawal syndrome :)

Rodger
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Rodger, thanks for your comment. I thought about replacing my ATS but still like it despite all those issues. It's nice to drive a vehicle that I don't see around often at all. My first candidate would be Audi A5 coupe and/or 440i coupe.
 

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I've had a TON of fun in BMW's. Even though they have lost a step or two in their driving dynamics they still handle well and excel in linear power delivery. There is an undeniable cool factor with the brand.

The Supra is an interesting car. My parents, in their early 80's, are seriously considering one. They have always had the hippest cars.

But yea, a 440i xDrive is a better choice for winters where you are.
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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I really liked the 335i I drove back in 2008, I think that was shortly after they introduced the twin turbo setup for the inline 6 and it was a little rocket. I have heard that the driving dynamics for most of the BMW line have diminished but I am used to that with Cadillac when they bring out their new generations that like aging Americans grow heavier and slower. I was in the Chevrolet dealer earlier this week looking for a first car for my daughter and the Malibu looks like a good choice. While I was there, the general manager who is a former student, insisted I take a new Camaro out for a spin while they were servicing my Z06 and it is impressive how much stuff that car provides at a much lower price than the Cadillac. It uses the same basic platform as the ATS and provides a lot of nice stuff at a very good price and apparently has far less problem areas but I can't see myself using one as a daily driver after an ATS but it was a fun car to drive since I haven't owned a Camaro since I was an undergrad. Those pony cars have come a very long way!

Not sure if I would go for the BMW xdrive, where I live if there is too much snow/slush for RWD then AWD won't help much because of drifting and lack of clearance. When there is any question of heavy snow I take the Sierra 2500HD 4WD which has plenty of ground clearance. I have been very impressed both by the CTS and ATS RWD platform in how well they handle low traction conditions but drifts in the 2 foot range are very common around me and a car doesn't stand a chance and neither will a 4WD pickup if you don't use good planning to get through the drifts.

You have GREAT parents, at their age too many people are more excited about mobility scooter than what appears to be a nice evolution of a very cool Toyota :)

And on edit, my "sports car" for the snow :) 445 horsepower at 2800 RPM and 910 pound feet of torque at 1600 moves a heavy pickup pretty well but not like the cars. It is far more comfortable than the ATS for long trips with much more comfortable and better quality leather seating with seat ventilation and heating that works well and an automatic climate control system that puts the ATS to shame both in glitch free operation and overall fast performance. The backup camera comes up instantly unlike the delay in my ATS with much better resolution and at night integrated back up lights in the towing mirrors provide the same backup camera quality as daylight.

At one point, there was consideration within GM to pair Cadillac and GMC within an operating division and given what has happened with Cadillac division I am glad they didn't because the design, build quality, and operation of this GMC product is far beyond what Cadillac is providing. It has a nice cabin layout that makes sense with good materials and an extremely easy to use fast navigation and infotainment system that simply works like it should. And I can change both batteries in the time it takes to gain access to the single battery in the ATS. The diesel comes with a pair to handle the high current demand from its gear reduction starter along with the glow plugs and intake grid heater that provide for fast cold weather starts. Last year I was traveling and it spent the night outside with no plug in with the temperature staying in the 2-5 degree range. The wait to start icon went out four seconds after I turned the key to the first position and the engine started immediately running at its usual smooth 700 RPM idle. Unlike the ATS it has a dead smooth idle, pretty sad when a big diesel engine idles more smoothly than a Cadillac.

Rodger
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Gmc Pickup truck
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I returned 2020 Silverado and got 2018 XT5 (3.6 with 2400 miles on) as a new loaner. The service manager told me the back ordered parts may be available by the end of this week but I don't know if that's a reliable info. I asked about my first loaner, 2020 Brazer that died shortly after it was rented to me. They said the motor has to be replaced. They are very afraid this would become a common problem because 2020 model is a totally re-designed platform. I honestly don't much care about Brazer though.
 

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Bad/plugged vents in diffs are suspected of contributing to seal problems. See post #9:

 

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Mine's leaking again, but I think it stops for a while when I jiggle the cap on the vent (and all the crud loosens and falls out/in). I've had seals replaced twice and the diff replaced once. I'm out of warranties at this point. I figure, it will be significantly less expensive for me to drain and refill the differential two or three times a year than it is to have the seals replaced, even once, out of pocket. My problem now is I can't even get the fill bolt off. I put a breaker bar on it and it started digging into the metal/rounding it off. So, because the Cadillac mechanic felt like over torquing the bolt, I'm still going to have to pay someone to, most likely, remove the exhaust and torch the diff/beat the hell out of the bolt, just so I execute this plan.

Has anyone tried installing a larger vent and maybe running a hose off of it into the trunk/battery compartment instead of sticking a loose little cap on it?
 
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