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2004 CTS 3.6 Black on Black 1SC
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493 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When braking hard at highway speeds my front end has started shaking recently - the steering wheel literally feels like it is chattering back and forth rapidly an inch or so..

Car has 80K miles, I recently had new brakes, tires, and alignment done 5K miles ago, everything felt perfect until a few days ago.

Any ideas? front end parts to be replaced??
 

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The Mighty Kael, 2004 Black CTS, Every Option
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2,432 Posts
put the front up on jacks, see if the tire wobbles when you try to move it left and right.
might be tie rods.

might be a slightly warped rotor.

when you had your brakes done, did they replace just the pads or the pads AND the rotors?
 

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06 CTS Sport/Luxury package
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Or did they just resurface the rotors instead of changing them? Check your receipt to see what work was done. If it says that they replaced it, then call them up and ask if their rotors come with a warranty, and for how long time/miles. If it does, take it down and have them inspect the rotors for warpage as Kael said.

KOT
 

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03 CTS 5sp manual, 07 STS
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194 Posts
:yeah:

Defiantly warped rotors. I had the exact same problem. Changed out the rotors and no more shaking, at least from the front. You may have to change the rears as well. My car still shakes but I can tell it's not coming from the front (well because I changed the rotors). So Id say do both ends at the same time
 

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03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
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7,872 Posts
what kind of rotors did you put on? slotted gives you a little vibration at highway speeds when i hit the brakes but thats it.
could be a unbalanced wheel, tire pressure, warped tire, tierods (as stated above,also a common issue with around 80-100mi on the cts)
what size wheels and tires do you have on? wider tires or rims with a big lip could also cause this but if it is recent and you havent just changed wheels and tires i would say most likely that isnt your issue.
 

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2004 CTS 3.6 Black on Black 1SC
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493 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback - they (dealer) just cut the rotors and put new pads on when I had it done. I will have the rotors and tie rods checked out...
 

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2003 CTS "Ebony Maria" 2005 Cadillac STS "Grace"
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6,414 Posts
if he is doing that, then i want in...

:yeah: what everybody said above
 

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CTS 03
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1,765 Posts
A brake guy told me that if you don't torque the lug nuts evenly, it could cause the rotors to warp.
 

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03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
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7,872 Posts
A brake guy told me that if you don't torque the lug nuts evenly, it could cause the rotors to warp.
ive heard something similar..it was if it is unevenly over-torqued???
 

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2004 CTS 3.6 Black on Black 1SC
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493 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Send $$ to all who responded to your post.

I was trying to save money on this one due to just spending over a grand to replace calipers, rotors,and pads on my BMW (they refuse to cut rotors) - I guess going cheap and cutting the CTS rotors did not pay off...:thepan:
 

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03 CTS 3.2L (Sold) / 09 CBR 600rr /2014 GMC Sierra
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What kind of BMW &yr? ive heard bmw dealers milk their customers for service
 

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Cadillac CTS 2003
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144 Posts
Other than the easy money, I do not understand why shops offer the rotor turning, scraping, surface removal, etc. When I was young many years ago I did the same thing with my 1977 Mercury Comet and was back replacing the rotors within 6 months. From what I gather, the surface of the rotor has a layer that helps with the heat dissipation. You are removing a significant amount of a thin layer when turning the rotor, not just a bit of the overall thickness of the rotor. This is why the effort is short lived at best.

I learned my lesson and now spend the money on new rotors whenever the chattering occurs, typically after 40-50,000 miles or so. I understand the desire to save money on car repairs, so I strongly suggest you get the tools and knowledge to do that work yourself, thus having the money for the new rotors. It will still be a lot less expensive than the shop labor costs.

Brake jobs are typically straight-forward with the right tools (including a heavy duty dead-blow hammer to get the rusted rotor off the hub), knowledge and plenty of Liquid Wrench penetrating oil. It also gives you a good opportunity to inspect the rest of the suspension components for problems.

I know this is a Caddy forum and many of you are into the upgraded brake components, but I have had very good luck with Raybestos components on my non-Caddy vehicles. Not cheap but not expensive either.
 

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2004 CTS 3.6 Black on Black 1SC
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Discussion Starter #14
Other than the easy money, I do not understand why shops offer the rotor turning, scraping, surface removal, etc. When I was young many years ago I did the same thing with my 1977 Mercury Comet and was back replacing the rotors within 6 months. From what I gather, the surface of the rotor has a layer that helps with the heat dissipation. You are removing a significant amount of a thin layer when turning the rotor, not just a bit of the overall thickness of the rotor. This is why the effort is short lived at best.

I learned my lesson and now spend the money on new rotors whenever the chattering occurs, typically after 40-50,000 miles or so. I understand the desire to save money on car repairs, so I strongly suggest you get the tools and knowledge to do that work yourself, thus having the money for the new rotors. It will still be a lot less expensive than the shop labor costs.

Brake jobs are typically straight-forward with the right tools (including a heavy duty dead-blow hammer to get the rusted rotor off the hub), knowledge and plenty of Liquid Wrench penetrating oil. It also gives you a good opportunity to inspect the rest of the suspension components for problems.

I know this is a Caddy forum and many of you are into the upgraded brake components, but I have had very good luck with Raybestos components on my non-Caddy vehicles. Not cheap but not expensive either.

Appreciate that TomV and you are absolutely correct regarding completing the work yourself - I am an old hot rod guy that used to change motors in my '71 Camaro in about 5 hours and be back on the street looking for anyone to line up next to....At this point, Id rather watch my son's playing baseball while someone else is elbows deep in my car - But this time it backfired on me for beinig a cheapskate on the rotors - They told me the oem's are thicker than most and it was common practice to shave them - now I know better...
 

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2004 CTS 3.6 Black on Black 1SC
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493 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
What kind of BMW &yr? ive heard bmw dealers milk their customers for service
2004 325CI coupe - Black on Black (the way I like cars) and yes, they rape you on service once the freebie timeline runs out...
 

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05 CTS
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Personally...whoever told you that line about the CTS's rotors being 'thicker' so that shaving them is an option.....is a *******..lol

A rotor's a rotor..unless you're getting a 'big brake kit'. Resurfacing..or shaving a rotor really is just plain dumb these days. For the price of them, for what they'll charge you to resurface them, you can buy two new ones.

I'm not meaning to say 'You're stupid' by any means...dont take it that way. I'm meaning these folks at the dealerships/shops that say that kind of shit..just to get folks to do it...then see them back in 6 months or less....
 

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2004 CTS 3.6 Black on Black 1SC
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493 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
If you have ruled out a worn out suspension, give this a read:
Click: My rotor diagnosis (~long)
Thanks - certainly worth a shot - I am heading home now and will give it a few hard stops as described...I have mentioned before, not real proud but I drive this CTS and all cars very hard - WOT up to 80 every morning getting on the highway for my 35 mile commute, and then from 70-75 up to 100 mph every single day on the mile or so stretch before my exit going home, then jump off breaking lightly and smoothly into the exit lane and off ramp - I kill it on the way up, baby it on the way down, so maybe I do need a few real hard stops to clear things up...I will let you know.
 
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