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This is my third CTS, second with the new body. and on both my 08 CTS and 09 CTS I notice in Drive mode or sport mode the transmisson seems as if its searching for the right gear when I drive it aggressivelly. There is about a second or two (which seems like a life time) then it will find the gear and go. Of course I know I can go to shift mode and elliminate this but thought I would check to see if there is a fix for it. I am not sure if the G8 GT has the same six speed tranny but I was talking to a customer of mine and he said that problem went away when he did a chip down load for performance. Anything for the CTS?
 

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Of course I know I can go to shift mode and elliminate this but thought I would check to see if there is a fix for it. I am not sure if the G8 GT has the same six speed tranny but I was talking to a customer of mine and he said that problem went away when he did a chip down load for performance. Anything for the CTS?
Hi Jeff,

I don't know the answer either, but you've asked a good question. For now, my automatic transmission's "manual mode" is a basic necessity rather than the upscale feature that I initially thought it to be.

Another nagging question: Is the lag, under sudden high-rpm acceleration, actually harmful to the automatic transmission?

BTW, a few of us discerning 2008-09 CTS owners...not to be confused with giddy new aspirational CTS buyers and politically-correct cheerleaders/apologists...recently hijacked a thread (oops! sorry) and discussed the problem: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-forum-2008-beyond/168100-09-cts-awd-low-load-shudder.html#post1858378
 

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Look for ewill3rd here. I believe he works for Lindsay Cadillac. Sharp technician who goes above and beyond to help forum members.
 

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Jeff Sims / 928S :

Excellent subject, and something I'd like to see resolution on. I'm one of the discerning 2008-09 CTS owners that 928S makes mention of.
I've dug up a bit of info on the Hydra-Matic "6L50" medium duty six-speed automatic transmission as applied to the CTS. This model transmission was first introduced on the Cadillac STS-V in 2005, and was "designed to decrease engine rpm and enhance overall fuel economy".
Much of the info I've found comes from GM Media Online/Cadillac. Here's the link for a press release regarding the '08 CTS...
http://media.gm.com/us/cadillac/en/news/press_kits/08cts/07_Cadillac_08_CTS_Performance.htm

Below is a copy & paste from the same narrative, with specific ref. to the six-speed auto transmission:

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Six-speed transmissions deliver balance of performance and fuel economy
For the first time, all CTS powertrains will be offered with a six-speed transmission. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission is designed to decrease engine rpm and enhance overall fuel economy. It is part of a new family of GM six-speed automatics introduced in the last couple of years that feature common design traits that enable reduced complexity, size and mass, including clutch-to-clutch operation that allows the six forward gear sets to be packaged into approximately the size of a four-speed automatic. The 6L50 has an overall 6.04:1 ratio, which contributes significantly to its balance of performance and fuel economy.
The 6L50 also incorporates a host of advanced driving enhancement features, including Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (PAL) and Driver Shift Control (DSC). PAL lets the electronic transmission controller override the automatic gear selection during closed-throttle, high-lateral acceleration maneuvers, while DSC allows the driver to sequentially shift gears manually via the gearshift lever.
On models equipped with the new all-wheel-drive system, the 6L50 will be equipped with a new active transfer case that automatically transfers torque from the rear to the front of the vehicle – up to 100 percent of the torque in certain situations – for optimal traction, safety and performance.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's a link to a document created by GM Media/Powertrain describing the 6L50 six-speed auto transmission:
http://media.gm.com/us/powertrain/en/product_services/2009/Stories/Transmissions/2009 Auto Transmission/09_6L50_MYB_n.doc

Here's a link to an interesting thread (from 2005) at the Cadillac Eldorado Forum, with the question being asked, "How to disable Performance Algorithm Shifting?".
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-seville-cadillac-eldorado-forum/31209-how-disable-performance-algorithm-shifting.html

It appears that "downshift delay" has been an issue with some GM transmissions for quite a while, particularly with instances of WOT (wide open throttle) manoeuvres with the vehicle already in motion. Regarding the specific downshift delay / lag issue we're speaking of on the 2008-09 CTS, I wonder if the 'European Pass-by Noise Requirement' issue that forum member BeelzeBob describes in the referenced thread is the principle factor affecting transmission performance on our (CTS) vehicles. Assuming this issue has direct relevance to our vehicles, I wonder if we can get the dealer to re-flash the car (the transmission control module?) as a US-spec Z-rated tire car to get rid of the so-called European pass-by noise calibration.
As z06bigbird mentions, I think we're going to need forum member ewill3rd (Lindsay Cadillac technician) to assist us with this one. Will send a PM to ewill3rd to advise him of this thread/topic, with a request for his info & advice.

Cheers,
RAB.
 

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I'm pretty sure that US cars are probably flashed with US TCM programming. It would make sense right? :thepan:

Chris White (GTPprix) has made a new TCM programming that solves this problem. I haven't heard any comments on it but he claims to have firmer shifts and no lag. If he is as good on the CTS as he was with the GTO, then you slushbox drivers should be in for a nice surprise with the reprogramming.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-forum-2008-beyond/156328-cts-performance-tcm-tune-no-longer.html
 

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First let me preface my comments by saying that I don't do much transmission work even though as far as GM is concerned I am fully trained on them. We have guys that specialize in transmission repair and I concentrate on other matters that are more technical regarding body systems and all the electronic gizmos in the car.

I drive these fairly rarely and since they are not my car I don't really "get on them" so I am not sure if I am really aware of the sensation that you guys are commenting about. I can explain a few things that might help your understanding but I don't know if I can offer a solution.

These newer transmissions are fairly complicated and over the years most manufacturers have come up with some clever ways to control shift feel and timing. Actually a great deal of software is dedicated to control shift feel and timing. I can't say the engineers will get it right all the time but also remember this is a 6 speed transmission.
Maybe when you get sick of being behind "that guy" you could be in 5 or 6 and you need to get to 2 or 3 depending on how fast you are going.
Without getting all technical the computer has to rearrange a bunch of stuff to reroute fluid to the proper apply components for the desired gear range without tearing anything up and being sure to control the apply so it isn't harsh. Even in computer terms this could take some time. One other issue is that the TCM actually "learns" while you drive. It monitors input and output speeds and learns shift apply timing and pressures to maintain a balance of performance and comfort. The more you get on it, so to speak, the better it will learn to handle it.
I don't know how complicated the memory is but I know it builds tables for certain driving conditions for apply times and shift feel. I am not really saying to beat on the thing to get it used to it, but I think if you did it would improve.

Of course all this is controlled by software, changing the software most certainly would change the way it drives, but sometimes you get unexpected consequences. The engineers set this all up to work a certain way. You can always change it but you might end up with some unexpected results up to and including internal component failure issues. Not saying that it is a guarantee but....
I always tell people to picture reliability and performance on opposite ends of a scale, if you increase one, you will decrease the other. Maybe your 1/4 mile times will improve but you might find yourself calling AAA more often ;)

Not sure if that helped anything, and I am sure someone out there is more than willing to take on some software programming modifications to change the shift feel under certain conditions. I am not so sure how fast I'd recommend something like that though.
 

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I'm pretty sure that US cars are probably flashed with US TCM programming. It would make sense right? :thepan:

Chris White (GTPprix) has made a new TCM programming that solves this problem. I haven't heard any comments on it but he claims to have firmer shifts and no lag. If he is as good on the CTS as he was with the GTO, then you slushbox drivers should be in for a nice surprise with the reprogramming.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-forum-2008-beyond/156328-cts-performance-tcm-tune-no-longer.html
Mbai2,

Speaking for myself.. I wouldn't be all that sure US & Canada-destined CTS vehicles are flashed with unique "US" TCM programming. Having multiple versions of TCM programming (depending on where a given CTS is to be destined in the world) -- and therefore multiple GM "Transmission Assembly" part numbers -- would represent additional production headaches for the folks at Lansing Grand River. I would guess that there would be only one version of 6L50 TCM programming (therefore only one part number 6L50 transmission), and that singular version would address all of the concerns in all the markets the CTS operates in. One of those concerns would include the latest "ISO362" pass-by noise standard for passenger vehicles in Europe, which is a very real standard that automotive companies must adhere to. (Interested readers can google ISO362 for further info).

As an aside, and for info, note that much of the dynamic testing of the latest CTS was performed in Europe (at the Nurburgring), and that the Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission is built at Ypsilanti, Michigan as well as Strasbourg, France.

I visited www.whiteautoandmedia.com (White Automotive and Media Services - Macomb, MI), and saw that they charge $199.00 for the performance TCM tune. That's a bit steep, considering that all we want (from GM) is for the transmissions in our cars to perform like they're supposed to. Maybe too much to ask? I'd like to see comments from others here who went for the revised TCM programming offered by whiteautoandmedia.com , and whether it was worthwhile / worth the $$ spent.

This entire topic rates further investigation with the dealer and local auto transmission experts. Going to check it out.

:cheers:
RAB.
 

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ewill3rd,

Thank you for your comments in connection with this issue.

If/when you have an opportunity, could you please check the on-line GM technical & service databases available to you/Lindsay Cadillac to determine whether there are any Service Bulletins/Advisories related to the 6L50 six speed auto transmission on the 2008-09 CTS.
I would also be interested to find out whether there is any software revision history with respect to 6L50 TCM programming.
One last point.. the 6L50 transmission was first introduced on the Cadillac STS-V in 2005. I wonder if the specific version of TCM programming that went into the STS-V's transmission in 2005 is still available from GM. You see where I'm going with this.. I'm thinking that the 2005 STS-V's TCM software may not have an inherent WOT "lag" issue. In principle, I'd rather have somewhat older (2005) GM-derived 6L50 TCM software in my 2008-09 CTS as opposed to relatively unknown "performance software" from a 3rd party that I'd have to pay $199.00 for. I don't know if the 2005 STS-V's TCM software would be 100% compatible to the 2008-09 CTS, but it might be worth a try.

Thanks,
RAB.
 

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The transmissions would very similar if not the same totally. The computer programing is the difference. States like California require lower emissions as regulated by CARB, therefore; the programing for engine and trans would be different than say Florida where I live. Likewise the European cars with the passby noise requirement would have their own programing different than ours, likewise with engine management systems. The more things are the same, the more they are different.
 

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The transmissions would very similar if not the same totally. The computer programing is the difference. States like California require lower emissions as regulated by CARB, therefore; the programing for engine and trans would be different than say Florida where I live. Likewise the European cars with the passby noise requirement would have their own programing different than ours, likewise with engine management systems. The more things are the same, the more they are different.
To achieve the necessary emission levels/limits for specific US states and for the various countries the CTS is exported to, there are absolutely different versions of software installed into the engine control module(s) at the factory. However.. whether there are different versions of software applied to transmission control modules (TCM's) when CTS vehicles are built remains a question mark, as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't make that assumption. Overall, the TCM is programmed to control the transmission in a manner to maximize vehicle fuel economy (period), regardless of where in the US (or the world) the vehicle might be operating. If a singular version of TCM software could be a "do-all" (for all markets where the CTS operates), then that's what the factory would be instructed to install. So what if North American customers get the TCM software routine that satisfies ISO362? (GM might say).
 

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Most of our cars are 50 state emissions now. That means they have the same stuff on them whether they are in CA or not. Check your underhood emissions decal to verify it.

It won't matter much to us dealer techs if another car has a different calibration, we can't swap them. We can only put in what GM's database gives us.
There are some guys who can work around this stuff but I don't personally know any.
I am sure that there are TSBs related to the transmission but as I mentioned recently in another topic that doesn't mean that your car has the same issue.
I am pressed for time for the next couple weeks so doing that kind of research is exceedingly difficult if not impossible for me right now.

The only way to see calibration updates or history is to have the full VIN and know what software is in the car now. The best and quickest way is to connect it to a Techline terminal via scan tool and see what comes up.
As I briefly mentioned, almost the best way to get it to do what you want is drive it consistently and let the computer learn your driving habits. It will adapt slightly to meet calibrated shift patterns based on your driving.
Maybe not enough to please everyone but....
 

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FWIW...in an unrelated thread, forum member CadiJ (2009 CTS DI) reported unwanted consequences when his TCM was reprogrammed by a Cadillac dealer in accordance with an official TSB:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-forum-2008-beyond/161933-update-phasing-drone-boom-highway-speeds.html#post1777928

"Technicians are to reprogram the transmission control module (TCM) using SPS with the latest software available on TIS2WEB. Refer to the Service Programming System (SPS) procedures in SI. As always make sure your Tech 2® is updated with the latest software version."
 

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FWIW...in an unrelated thread, forum member CadiJ (2009 CTS DI) reported unwanted consequences when his TCM was reprogrammed by a Cadillac dealer in accordance with an official TSB:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-forum-2008-beyond/161933-update-phasing-drone-boom-highway-speeds.html#post1777928

"Technicians are to reprogram the transmission control module (TCM) using SPS with the latest software available on TIS2WEB. Refer to the Service Programming System (SPS) procedures in SI. As always make sure your Tech 2® is updated with the latest software version."
Well, that's interesting. I certainly wouldn't enjoy 'unwanted consequences' by way of a reprogrammed TCM. Maybe it's best to leave well enough alone (as in.. don't fix what ain't totally broke!).

FWIW... I've just sent a message to Chris White (White Automotive & Media Services) and asked for some further info regarding the performance TCM tune. I'd like to read a few customer comments/testimonials and get an understanding of the downsides, if any. I suspect fuel economy would be affected to a small degree.
 

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RAB, many thanks for all of your legwork and continued input.

I really want to eliminate the rolling kickdown delay. That is, without significantly altering the current balance of performance and fuel economy...well, more of both would be acceptable. Dream on, right?

GTPprix's "2008+ CTS Performance Transmission Calibration" with "WAMS2U Calibration Loader System Rental" does look promising, but like you said...

Meanwhile, I'll continue to practice downshiftin' in manual mode whenever sudden acceleration is needed to avoid getting broadsided or rear-ended.
 

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BTW, a few of us discerning 2008-09 CTS owners...not to be confused with giddy new aspirational CTS buyers and politically-correct cheerleaders/apologists...recently hijacked a thread (oops! sorry) and discussed the problem: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-forum-2008-beyond/168100-09-cts-awd-low-load-shudder.html#post1858378
Funny...I think you tried to stereotype me with this comment before....ironic that the conclusion was basically what I had stated in the previous thread.

IMHO, based on the information available, this transition is operating exactly as designed. Balancing fuel economy, smoothness, emissions, longetivity, and performance. Technically anything can be changed, but it will compromise one of the other goals.

Of course, it could be that you drive like a grandma 99% of the time and then get frustrated when you try to pull out in front of someone....:shhh:
 

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RAB, many thanks for all of your legwork and continued input.
I really want to eliminate the rolling kickdown delay. That is, without significantly altering the current balance of performance and fuel economy...well, more of both would be acceptable. Dream on, right?
GTPprix's "2008+ CTS Performance Transmission Calibration" with "WAMS2U Calibration Loader System Rental" does look promising, but like you said...
Meanwhile, I'll continue to practice downshiftin' in manual mode whenever sudden acceleration is needed to avoid getting broadsided or rear-ended.
Hey 928S - no problem, my pleasure.
I also want to eliminate the rolling kickdown delay. A luxury sport sedan should not be doing this.. you know, the driveline briefly falling to its knees at a critical moment when strong forward momentum is needed.
I'll be replacing my leased '08 DI FE2 CTS4 in 2-3 weeks with an '09 DI FE2 CTS (no AWD) when it arrives, and we'll see how the new car performs with respect to rolling kickdown. If the '09 exhibits the same sort of transmission lag, I may well take the 2 1/2 hour drive into Michigan (to Farmington Hills) in June and visit with Chris White (GTPprix) to have the 'performance transmission calibration' applied. I'm still waiting for some detail back from Chris regarding customer comment and what the downside(s) might be, if any, as a result of the TCM programming change. I received a short email from him yesterday, and he advises the performance calibration REALLY transforms the CTS, making the driving experience a whole lot more fun. Hmmmm . . . . .
 

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IMHO, based on the information available, this transition is operating exactly as designed. Balancing fuel economy, smoothness, emissions, longetivity, and performance. Technically anything can be changed, but it will compromise one of the other goals.
yatesd - Sorry, but can't agree with that. Operating exactly as designed?? Hey, are you just trying to stir us up?!!
I bought a Cadillac "luxury sport sedan", not a Toyota Prius! When I hit the 'GO' pedal in my CTS, in whatever circumstance (rolling or stopped), I expect TO GO!!!, with zero delay.
Mustn't forget the Kate Walsh CTS ad where she says, "The real question is.. when you turn your car on.. does it return the favor?". Well, a rolling kickdown delay ain't exactly 'returning the favor', and I'm sure Kate would not approve. Why should I?

:cheers:
RAB.
 

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yatesd - Sorry, but can't agree with that. Operating exactly as designed?? Hey, are you just trying to stir us up?!!
I bought a Cadillac "luxury sport sedan", not a Toyota Prius! When I hit the 'GO' pedal in my CTS, in whatever circumstance (rolling or stopped), I expect TO GO!!!, with zero delay.
Mustn't forget the Kate Walsh CTS ad where she says, "The real question is.. when you turn your car on.. does it return the favor?". Well, a rolling kickdown delay ain't exactly 'returning the favor', and I'm sure Kate would not approve. Why should I?

:cheers:
RAB.
How many newer 6 speed transmissions have you driven? I just had the opportunity to take the 2009 Audi Q5 on a rally course and the lag in the transmission was the same (if not slightly worse) than the CTS.

I'm not saying it couldn't be improved from a driving dynamic perspective (I am sure it can). I just get the impression based on what I have read and compared, that this behavior is intentionally done by the manufacturers to comply with environmental goals (mileage or emissions).

So it is from this perspective that I believe it is not a defect or mistake by GM. Of course, anyone has the right to seek third party solutions...
 
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