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2006 CTS
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, So here goes. My wife drives our '06 CTS 3.6l, we bought it new in Aug '06. The car has 68k miles on it and I maintain it meticulously, i.e. new oil every 6k(of course Mobil 1), air filters, etc. In June of this year she was driving to work, highway, and she feels the car buck and the engine light comes on. Lucky she is very close to a rest area, she pulls in and shuts down the car. I get a phone call and promptly come up with my father in-law to look at the car. She had gotten a ride to work from a coworker. I determine that there is a timing chain issue and get the car started and moving. I get about halfway home and the car stalls and will no longer start. I get a tow truck to tow the car to my house, about 20miles from the nearest Cadillac dealer. I call Cadillac customer service, I am given a case # and am told to get it to the Cadillac dealer and Cadillac maycover some of the repairs under warranty (remember this is an 06 with a 50k mile warranty) but there are no guarantees. I get this elevated to a supervisor, same result. By this time I am fuming, this is BS and there is no way that when you purchase a high end vehicle costing 30 to 50% more than a "conventional" sedan you should spend 10x more in service and repair!!

So I call my Cadillac dealer, which is also one of the largest dealers in the country. I relate my story to the parts manager who sympathizes with me and confesses that they are doing dozens of these timing chains. He also puts me in touch with the technician that this dealer has assigned to timing chains because there is sooooo many to replace. He tells me what parts to get and some tips on putting the timing chains back on (there are 3). With the parts, about $300 and my newfound knowledge I go to town. The job was completed in about 15 hours. I got the car started, but......... it idled rough.

As fate would have it we got a recall to have the brake hoses replaced so I decided to have the rough idle diagnosed as well as the air bag light that also coincidently appeared. So I found out at the cost of $200+ that I have bent exhaust valves in cyliner #4 and the seat cushion needs replacement. The cost of the parts: The valves, head gasket set and associated parts $225+(this is at trade pricing, per the service manager whose ear I got on the first phone call), the cost of the seat cushion: $500. To have this all done at the dealership is approximately $4,500!!!! What kind of garbage is this?

So, this weekend I decided to tackle the valve replacement. It took only 6 hours to get the left side cylinder head off. I tried with no success to remove and install the new valves, no good. I waited till Monday 8/9 and went down to the dealer. Drove to the bay that my technician operates out of and he lent me the special tool necessary to remove and reinstall the valves, by the way they were bent, took another 6 hours to reinstall everything (no extra bolts) and the car started immediately and is no longer acting like it has high performance cams in it.

I want to extend my thanks to: Sean, Peter and Dan from my local dealership, because of there help I was able to complete this. This forum for its availability of excellent tips and help and TXBest for sending me the manual saving me an additional $135

Thank you all I really appreciate it
 

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2006 CTS
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
By the way, the dealership that I deal with is doing 2-4 of these a day!! Another dealership I have spoken with is also doing these like they are going out of style, they both stock all the parts necessary as well as the valves and parts associated with that job. This is an epidemic and cadillac should honor these parts under warranty!! I for one am sending them a HUGE bill for the trouble this has caused me, if they don't submit, I'm sure that since these parts are not mentioned anywhere in the owners manual as maintenance items, I can win in small claims court. Government Motors, penny wise and pound foolish, no wonder we had to bail them out. According to my tech, these items are lowest bidder, and cadillac has changed the p/n. This means only one of two things: 1. They changed the specs for the part. 2. They changed vendors. Either way this is a defacto admission of guilt of a faulty part and they need to back it up!!
 

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2007 CTS Thunder Gray
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1,055 Posts
Wow sorry to hear about this. It seems like I have read about a lot of timing chain failures on both the STS and CTS forums. Is this just a 3.6L problem? Or is the 2.8L facing it too?
I wonder if there has been any discussion of covering failures under warranty.
 

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Green Money 2002 Escalade
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127 Posts
sorry to hear about this buddy! But im glad you got it fixed.. I would continue to hammer GM, dont let it go and keep calling the head of Cadillac, until they pay! Im kinda glad i have the 3.2:) This seems to be a real serious problem with 3.6 05-06 model!!!!!!
 

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Cadillac
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314 Posts
im glad my guys could help and consider yourself lucky you have the mechanical ability to do the job, but please dont bash my shop calling my prices garbage, we quoted you $2225 for the chains and removing the head, not 4500, we work striclty by chilton and my guys are top notch as far as goodwill or reimbursement thats up to G.M.
 

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2005 Cadillac CTS
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67 Posts
Wow I'm glad to hear of another "success" story in the DIY replacement of the timing chains. Hopefully, I wont come across any valve-train complications when its all said and done....

@ mmechura

Any tips you can pass along that helped you get the job done? I would appreciate it!!
 

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The Mighty Kael, 2004 Black CTS, Every Option
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2,432 Posts
jeez, a whole used low mileage engine is only about 1500 from ebay.

I thought this engine was a non interference type, it shouldn't be damaging valves by losing the chain.


also to the guy that wants to take GM to court:
in 2006 they changed the design on timing chain and issued a press release that it was to "make it quieter". so I don't think you will get far on the admitting guilt due to defective part.
 

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Cadillac
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258 Posts
This begs the question, should 3.6 owners be changing there timing chains as a matter of prevention BEFORE the pos snaps and causes additional headaches?

I am really peeved about this, a chincy chain yeilds a pretty good car to to POS status, I hope they go bankrupt again. There is no excuse for this garbage.
 

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2006 CTS
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
To Cadillac Roadside, I never intended to bash your shop, in fact I called several people out for their help above and beyond the call of duty. I did state that the entire valve/timing chain job + the seat cushion replacement came to approximately $4,500. This was not a condemnation of your shop but a notice to all who participate in this post that it is alot of money to repair something that in no way should break!! Neither the timing chain nor the passenger side seat cushion should need replacement, the seat cushion is a safety issue and for a sensor to "go bad" due to normal use is ridiculous, cadillac should be standing beside these items as I said to you on the phone. Your dealership is one of the countries largest for a reason, you provide top level service, accomodating personnel and an excellent customer environment, in fact with my letter to cadillac condeming there crappy warranty I will be sending a second letter of commendation for all of yours and your dealership's help with my situation.
 

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2006 CTS
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
To CTS_Newbie,

As for tips the wiring harness does not need to come all the way off to complete this job, you can push it up and over for access to the timing chain cover and pull it down in front when removing camshaft covers. The lower water pipe needs to be loosened from thermostat but not removed, you can push it down and out of the way, removing and reinstalling is very difficult. Before you loosen the water pipe, remove the alternator, its a PITA if you do it the other way.

Once you have the timing chain cover off you MUST get the engine in the correct position!!!! There is a small arrow on Crankshaft sprocket and a small dot on the engine block, about 5:00, line these two up. At this point the flat spots on the rear of the Left Bank(drivers side) should be even with each other, make sure they are. Now remove all the timing chains and associated guides, tensioners.

Installing the chains: Begin with the Left Bank (drivers side) and line up the white links with the L on both cams and the hole in the intermediate sprocket. This is tough to do but make sure it is right!!! I use a small flashlight or a screwdriver to confirm the white link's position. Install the guides and tensioner for the Left Bank.

Install the Primary chain next. Line up the blue links with the arrows on the intermediate and crankshaft sprockets, install the guides and tensioners.

The Right Bank (passenger side) chain is last. Rotate the crankshaft/left bank approximately 60 degrees clockwise, make sure the flat spots on the right bank camshafts are even (you can use a straight edge to confirm this). Now install the chain with the white links on the R on the camshafts and over the hole in the intermediate sprocket, I do this with a small screwdriver in the hole for position and leave it there to hold the chain in position while I install the guides and tensioner, make sure everything is in the right position or you'll do it all again!!

I reccomend using only GM parts and RTV sealent, if there ever is a recall or some adjustment is made be GM you won't be covered with aftermarket parts or supplies. I replaced all 3 chains and the Primary chain tensioner, per my Cadillac dealer parts manager. From what I have heard there hasn't been a problem since they have been installing the new hardware.

Good Luck!!
 

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Cadillac 2007 cts
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107 Posts
I have a 2007 2.8 same problem timing chains. Have 89000 km on it . dealer says all covered under powertrain warrenty.
 

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06 Cadillac CTS 3.6L [Sold :( ] 02 Mustang GT 5Spd
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1,161 Posts
We need a DIY!! I am seriously worried about this and would like to change my chains now before anything goes wrong! A full DIY write up would be a huge help! On a difficulty level 1-10 what would you rate this job (changing the chains) as? I have pretty decent background in auto work but have never done something like this. Now im afraid to drive the damn thing for fear of this friggin unacceptable issue! :bonkers:
 

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2006 CTS
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
difficulty level 1-10 is a 7. Alot of care has to be taken when aligining the timing chain(s) and the marks I will see if I can find the description in the manual and post it here.
 

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did I miss something? why wasn't this covered under the 100k mile powertrain warranty?

edit: apparently i did miss something... and i forgot about the older warranty limits
 

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2013 Acura ILX / 2011 Camaro LS
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1,007 Posts
yeah, problem with a 07 compared to a 06 is the 07 has the 100k powertrain, 06 only has 50k powertrain I believe. I have gm majorguard coverage on mine till 65k, I plan on getting that extended as well when I hit 60k
 
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