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09 CTS DI FE3
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Discussion Starter #1
My friend is looking to buy a used 2003 or 2004 CTS. Do you guys have any suggestions as to what he should be looking for in terms of potential problems. He'd like a manual but will most likely end up getting an auto. He wants the 3.6 liter engine. I've heard of differential problems, anything else that may be problematic?
Thanks
 

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2018 XT5 Black on Black
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I'm in florida and I'm on the 3rd battery after only 51K, Heat not electrical the cause in this case. There have been a few crank position sensor issues(warranty) and a reflash for the rough idle as well. In my case, and I use mine for sales, it's been prety trouble free. Water pump was replaced at 30K (allmost forgot - also under warranty) . Mine was a 8K mile one owner in 04 when I porchased. I would do it again with the same circumstances. Good luck on the search.

Welcome to the forum, enjoy the ride :thumbsup:
 

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09 CTS DI FE3
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Discussion Starter #3
I'm in florida and I'm on the 3rd battery after only 51K, Heat not electrical the cause in this case. There have been a few crank position sensor issues(warranty) and a reflash for the rough idle as well. In my case, and I use mine for sales, it's been prety trouble free. Water pump was replaced at 30K (allmost forgot - also under warranty) . Mine was a 8K mile one owner in 04 when I porchased. I would do it again with the same circumstances. Good luck on the search.

Welcome to the forum, enjoy the ride :thumbsup:
Thanks for the info, anyone else have any thoughts?
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS Luxury Sport
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I have an 03 cts luxury sport with 42k miles. So far, I had to replace the battery, steering sensor, a/c compressor, and air bag module and harness. Tell your friend to aim looking for an 04, so he can at least get an 3.6 engine for a little more pep, the updated body color rear trunk bezel, and the dual exhaust. Overall, I'm happy with my cts.
 

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09 CTS DI FE3
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Discussion Starter #5
I have an 03 cts luxury sport with 42k miles. So far, I had to replace the battery, steering sensor, a/c compressor, and air bag module and harness. Tell your friend to aim looking for an 04, so he can at least get an 3.6 engine for a little more pep, the updated body color rear trunk bezel, and the dual exhaust. Overall, I'm happy with my cts.
Didn't realize the 03's didn't come with a 3.6. Thanks.
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS Luxury Sport
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c6vette I'm gonna bump this thread for you, bc the fellow cts owners should be helping you out more with info. For some reason, when you're new to the forum or not a supporting member your threads yield little to no responses. I know from personal experience. I'll leave it at that............Tell your friend the CTS is a great car, but do your research on each particular one he's interested in and MAKE the dealership run a carfax for FREE for him when he finds one he's ready to purchase.
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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Good cars. Only a small number have rear end problems. If the rear chatters when you back car up, you have a problem.

Find an 04 still in warranty.
 

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CTS
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Welcome!

I'd not be as concerned about '03 vs '04 as ensuring that you have a sound differential.

Our '03 is a super car, aside from the differential issue. Sure the '04 has a high tech V6, but the 3.2 is a fine little engine in its own right.

While it may be true that most have had no difficulties, a search will reveal a significant number of folks have experienced problems with their differential (within the V forum as well). This would be my primary concern if I was shopping for another.

I'm not familiar with the rear end chattering when reversing, but am all too familiar with the classic differential moan. After the car has been driven for 25 - 30 miles or so, listen for a moan or whine at 35 - 40mph or thereabouts under light throttle or trailing throttle. If you hear a moan, and it will be loud enough to identify, I'd steer clear of that particular car. True, apparently some moan & keep on trucking. Some get progressively worse and fail. Failure at speed is no fun...:eek:
 
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check for a clunk in the rear end when slowing to a stop....

occurs more when cold


I've only had my 03 for a few months... but this is something that I did not notice at the time, and am now kicking myself for since the warranty has now expired.
 

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2005 CTS 3.6 Auto w/ Sport & Luxury Packages
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Skip the '03 3.2 for the '04+ 3.6L VVT because the 3.6L drops more power, runs on regular unleaded, and isn't an orphan like the 3.2. Also, the '04+ models don't have the problematic in-dash analog clock that never seems to sync with the real time until replaced by the '04 instrument cluster. Sure, there have been some rear end issues on all gen CTS's but as long as you make sure the car is under warranty, either factory or extended, then you should be safe.

Since the '03 3.2 engine is an orphan, there is a not much aftermarket development for it. On the other hand, the 3.6L VVT is starting to see some aftermarket support, which should be encouraging to any future owner.
 

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c6vette I'm gonna bump this thread for you, bc the fellow cts owners should be helping you out more with info. For some reason, when you're new to the forum or not a supporting member your threads yield little to no responses. I know from personal experience. I'll leave it at that............Tell your friend the CTS is a great car, but do your research on each particular one he's interested in and MAKE the dealership run a carfax for FREE for him when he finds one he's ready to purchase.
the forums just been slow lately --


new diff, as with any used car: warrenty, new tires, brakes, non-smoker, a bodycolor matched rear bezel is a + , idk much else thats CTS specific, but these are just some, hope it helps.
 

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03 White/Diamond CTS (sold)
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like others have mentioned try going with the 04....

but if you do decide on the 03, rear diff. is one of the known issues.....
other than that, check under the spear tire - some had water there.....

other then these 2, i had other problems with the car, but don't get me wrong - the car is def. a good choice!!!

if you need more info on it, try searching the forum - i did a whole write up on the 03.... with problems i had!!!

good luck in your search!!!




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http://www.cadillacforums.com/cadill...cat=500&page=1
 

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CTS
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but if you do decide on the 03, rear diff. is one of the known issues.....
Yeah, if I were pickin' & choosin' right now, I'd go for the '04 ~ also.

But don't get the idea that the differential issue is only a problem for '03 models. It can be a problem with all CTS models, '03 - 07.

GM apparently feels it's cheaper to deal with them one by one rather than reengineering the unit & doing a recall...which may or may not eventually be forced on them by the feds. Depends on the outcome of the current NHTSA investigation.

The good (???:mad:???) news is that the problem apparently no longer exists with the '08.
 

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08 Platinum Escalade, 08 CTS, 01 TransAm WS6, 07 SolsticeGXP
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If there is ONE thing I remember when buying a CTS... when I did all my research online, and stuff...

Every single article I read, pretty much told me to shy away from the 03.

If I am not mistaking, it was the first year of production. No one really liked the base engine. Little complaints about the clock in the dash, etc. etc.

I absolutely made it my business to get an o4, and I'm pleased to pass along my opinion.

My 2004 CTS is great.
I installed a few goodies like a 2007 sports grille and spoiler, plus I changed the ugly rear bezel under warranty, and put in proper tail pipes.

The car is just a beauty.

I can't believe it was put into service at the end of 2003, and now we're 5 months from 2008, and it sits in my driveway looking AMAZING and running AMAZING.

I had to bring it to dealer for many issues... Hey, it may be a caddy, but it's still a GM! LOL! Usually after three visits, they fix the problem.

My engine bay is spotless, as is the interior and exterior.

I highly recommend doing the 2004 thing.

I mean no offense to anyone who owns an 03, but it's something I read EVERYWHERE, and I agree....!
 

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If there is ONE thing I remember when buying a CTS... when I did all my research online, and stuff... etc, etc, etc...

Every single article I read, pretty much told me to shy away from the 03. etc, etc, etc...

I mean no offense to anyone who owns an 03, but it's something I read EVERYWHERE, and I agree....!
Yeah, it's this stuff that makes everything suddenly crystal clear...:thumbsup:

Just messing with ya a bit.

Actually, nearly all the reports I read were overwhelmingly positive - performance, design, handling, et al - 3.2 pinch hitter included.

There was mention of a new higher tech V6 to replace the 3.2 which would further boost performance, but no big knocks against the 3.2 which GM went with to get the CTS out of the blocks.

Sure, the new V6 is technologically superior, but, again, the little 3.2 isn't a bad little plugger either - as many on the board will attest to.
 
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on a side note, I am quite impressed with the 3.2

I've driven the 3.6, which obviously has more power, but the 3.2 still moves fairly well.
 

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03 White/Diamond CTS (sold)
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on a side note, I am quite impressed with the 3.2

I've driven the 3.6, which obviously has more power, but the 3.2 still moves fairly well.

of course it does..... and after the tonya and v-exhaust which i did to mine i got about 30 more hp.... dyno proved!!! :)


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http://www.cadillacforums.com/cadill...cat=500&page=1
 

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08 Platinum Escalade, 08 CTS, 01 TransAm WS6, 07 SolsticeGXP
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It's ALL about the STUFF!

But hey ~ if you take an 03 and put on an 07 sports grille and spoiler... it should be fine!

:D
 
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