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Discussion Starter #1
Pretty easy. Anything I should look out for when buying a Gen1?
specifically

1. I have seen/heard that the differentials can be a little weak?
2. What is should I pay for these? what is too much?
I'm looking at the 2004-2008 models. (under 20k is my max budget)
3. should I be afraid of higher mileage? (I see them regularly at 100k+ miles)
4. this would be a daily driver, I do my own wrenching, any other earth-shattering issue to be aware of? \


Thanks for any consideration. I'm new to the forum. (and have yet to own a Cadillac or gm product)
 

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https://www.cadillacforums.com/threads/buying-a-used-v-checklist.195214/ - That thread was started years ago, but it's still a good guideline.

1. Depends on what you're looking to do with the car. Most of the original, weak(er) diffs have probably been purged from the fleet over the past 15 years. The later diffs, which made it into production I think in '05 or '06, and were used for dealer replacements from then on, were not nearly as prone to failure.
2. I haven't shopped for one in 12 years, so I don't know. '04-07 is the year range for the 1st gen. Even a really, really nice one should be under $20k I think.
3. I don't think high mileage is much of a concern - no more so than any other car. I'm not aware of anything that becomes an issue specifically because of higher mileage. The bushings and mounts that people recommend replacing would be recommended on a 50k mile car or a 100k mile car.
4. None that I'm aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
that's pretty much what I wanted to hear. Milage these days semes to brake things other than motors. Water/fuel pump suspension bits.

Thank you much sir.
 

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On question #3, I only have the one data point, but mine's been kind of a dog ever since I bought it with 100k miles in 2014. Water pump, radiator, thermostat, alternator, dual-mass flywheel, rear main seal, one shock, and the tire pressure sensors have all gone out between then and now (at 150k miles). Transmission's on its last legs also. If I could go back I might've put more emphasis on finding a low mileage example, but honestly there aren't many to choose from so you may not have the option. I know even back then I looked for a good 5 months before I found a clean one. Still love my car though, don't regret buying it one bit, would 100% do it again. Good luck man.
 

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05 Stealth Gray CTS-V, 08 Light Platinum SRX V8, 05 White Diamond STS4 V8 1SG
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On question #3, I only have the one data point, but mine's been kind of a dog ever since I bought it with 100k miles in 2014. Water pump, radiator, thermostat, alternator, dual-mass flywheel, rear main seal, one shock, and the tire pressure sensors have all gone out between then and now (at 150k miles). Transmission's on its last legs also. If I could go back I might've put more emphasis on finding a low mileage example, but honestly there aren't many to choose from so you may not have the option. I know even back then I looked for a good 5 months before I found a clean one. Still love my car though, don't regret buying it one bit, would 100% do it again. Good luck man.
So I bought mine with 97k in 2010. Has something around 120k on it now (maybe a tad over, I forget). It sits in my garage most of the time because I don't drive it in the winter and generally refrain from commuting in it because of the rigors of daily driving. Cars are meant to be driven but this was a special car for me to buy 10 years ago and as a result of my care, it is still in excellent shape. After I bought it the list of things I did is modest and some were just mods:
  • Starter (intermittent no crank)
  • Engine mounts (poly)
  • I did a steering rack but shouldn't have bothered - I was hoping to remove some play and the new one has play, too. It wasn't leaking.
  • Stainless braided brake lines. This did make a difference.
  • Trans fluid
  • I flush the clutch every other oil change
  • Coolant change a little while back for good measure
  • AGM battery (group 78)
  • Had a weird ground problem in the fuse/relay box but fixed by shimming a bolt - still not sure what that was about but I've had zero issues since
  • Sanded some key grounds and as a result have never had oil temp sensor issues
  • Added aux-in via XM input at back of nav unit
  • Bluetooth module in place of OnStar
I also had some warranty work done as it turns out the car was certified when I bought it. I managed to convince the dealer (actually two dealers) to replace some stuff back in late 2010:
  • Battery
  • Passenger headlight for oxidation
  • Nav unit for scratches on screen
  • Plastic trim around the driver's seat (cracked)
  • They did repair a wiring harness for the outside temp sensor I believe
  • Oh, fuel pump recall but we all got that right?
The car has the same brake pads (Hawk HPS actually), diff, clutch, shocks, and everything like that, from when I bought it. Everything works. Haven't even replaced any bulbs if you don't count the warranty headlight.

I consider this car to be very reliable. Despite putting so few miles on it I still love it and have no plans to sell. It's just such a great driving vehicle. This car has been on The Dragon and other western NC roads - best thing ever. Could use another 100 hp I guess but it is extremely well balanced as it sits. You can access the total performance of the car even on the street. It is very rewarding though my Michelin Pilot Super Sports seem to be aging and don't have the grip they did back in 2011...
 

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I just bought an '07 with 130K miles two weeks ago. It's in relatively good shape.

Issues when I bought the car:
  • Heater did not work - completely clogged heater core - flushed and now get blazing heat.
  • High beams came on when right turn signal was activated with headlights on - replaced turn signal stalk - fixed
  • Windshield wipers stay on if fuse is in - this is according to previous owner, I have not verified the fault yet, but through research I think it is due to the auto-wiper sensor coming loose from the windshield.
  • Center channel speaker in dash buzzes - I have not yet addressed this.
  • Wet oil on outside of oil filter and bottom of oil pan - I changed the oil this past weekend and discovered that the oil filter was loose and that it had a thick buildup of either old oil filter gasket material or sludge, which prevented the gasket from sealing against the block. I cleaned it with engine degreaser and a brass wire brush, installed new filter, and it no longer leaks.
  • Rear control arm bushings on both sides are bad - new poly bushings on order.
  • Slow leaking power steering rack. The shop that did the pre-purchase inspection said it should not require replacement for awhile.
Common issues already addressed by previous owners:
  • Poly engine, trans and diff mounts.
  • Short throw shifter with upgraded bushings.
  • Trans and diff fluids looked really good and smelled fresh - regardless, I changed them to Amsoil.
  • New thermostat installed (stock temp).
I test drove four Vs before buying this one. Some commonalities I found amongst them:
  • Sloppy shifter
  • "Loose" feeling suspension
  • Only one of the four had a dry oil pan, the rest had wet oil. The oil pan gasket is a common issue on these cars. To check underneath without a lift, I duct taped my wife's handheld makeup mirror to a 9-iron and used it to inspect under the cars.
  • Cloudy/hazy/peeling headlights
 

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Windshield wipers stay on if fuse is in - this is according to previous owner, I have not verified the fault yet, but through research I think it is due to the auto-wiper sensor coming loose from the windshield.
Check here - COMMON ISSUE: Windshield wipers won't turn off. For whatever reason, I see a lot more mentions of wipers not turning off in the V6 CTS forum than here in the CTS-V forum. I'm fairly certain it's the same system on both versions of the car, but I've very rarely seen it come up in this forum.
 

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Check here - COMMON ISSUE: Windshield wipers won't turn off. For whatever reason, I see a lot more mentions of wipers not turning off in the V6 CTS forum than here in the CTS-V forum. I'm fairly certain it's the same system on both versions of the car, but I've very rarely seen it come up in this forum.
Ah yes, thank you! I forgot about this other possible (and likely) cause. I already have the wiper module saved in my Amazon cart, just in case cleaning the rain sensor did not work.
 

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On question #3, I only have the one data point, but mine's been kind of a dog ever since I bought it with 100k miles in 2014. Water pump, radiator, thermostat, alternator, dual-mass flywheel, rear main seal, one shock, and the tire pressure sensors have all gone out between then and now (at 150k miles). Transmission's on its last legs also. If I could go back I might've put more emphasis on finding a low mileage example, but honestly there aren't many to choose from so you may not have the option. I know even back then I looked for a good 5 months before I found a clean one. Still love my car though, don't regret buying it one bit, would 100% do it again. Good luck man.
I have a 2007 CTSV with 150,000 miles. It has the supercharged LS2 6.0L I'm pretty sure anything older than that had some problems and 2007 models were upgraded. Those engines are solid just like any other car just depends on how it was treated. Mines a 6 speed manual which I prefer over a automatic with paddle shifters. One problem I had was the starter going bad. They tell you to take the catalytic converter out to have enough room to get it out. Every forum I read the bolts are sized and mine was too broke 2 sockets. My mechanic took 3 engine mount bolts out of the right side jacked up the trans and motor just enough to get it out. Was a much better way to go about it. They could of either made the starter 1/2" shorter or moved the cat back a couple of inches and it would be a 10 min fix. I advise getting the carfax and being patient. I looked for 2 years and this one just fell in my lap. It's in excellent condition runs like a bat out of hell and got it for $13,000. It was a one owner and I dont see how it could of felt any different when it was new. I added a chip to the intake you can find that gave it 50 more HP and8 to 10 more mpg. It actually works. Simple to hook up.
 

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Show us this magic and non existent chip that adds 50 hp and 10 mpg to your factory supercharged 2007 CTS V1 please.

I'd love to see such a marvel.

-Byron
 

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I just bought an '04. Silver with black interior, 70,000 miles. I've been kinda/sorta looking for one for about 3 years, saw this one on CarGurus in Pasadena, called the dealer and asked for an out the door number, I think he was skeptical about me, and I was skeptical about buying it from a dealer. I got approved the same day, took the train to Pasadena (I'm north of Santa Barbara) the next weekend with a check in my pocket, had him put it on a lift just to make sure it had not been "Dukes of Hazzard"ed (YeeeeHaaaawwwwww), and underneath, it was untouched, 100% stock. It took probably about 1/2 an hour to do the paperwork, the guy did not blow any smoke up my ass, did not try to pull the ole "It's actually $4000 more than I quoted you, there was a paperwork issue with it.....", that's actually happened to me before and I was ready to walk, but my fears were unfounded. Thanks Raffi at United Auto Group in Pasadena.

On the way home, about a 2 1/2 hour shakedown cruise, I heard a howling from the front right at 80 and above, turned out to be the front right hub/bearings. Still had a little bit of a shake after changing out the hub, had the tires balances, they took 7 1/2 ounces off before starting and it took 3 ozs to get it balanced, Shake is gone. Let's see, what else? The shifter sucks. Very vague, and finding reverse is getting more difficult, time to either bush it or go aftermarket. Probably go aftermarket. I think I paid a little bit too much for it ($15k), but it is in much nicer condition than the rest of them I looked at. I wanted an 09-13 supercharged one, but I just didn't want to sign up for that much money., and this LS-6/T-56 combo works very well. The "bang for the buck" is very good for this car.
 

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I just bought an '04. Silver with black interior, 70,000 miles. I've been kinda/sorta looking for one for about 3 years, saw this one on CarGurus in Pasadena, called the dealer and asked for an out the door number, I think he was skeptical about me, and I was skeptical about buying it from a dealer. I got approved the same day, took the train to Pasadena (I'm north of Santa Barbara) the next weekend with a check in my pocket, had him put it on a lift just to make sure it had not been "Dukes of Hazzard"ed (YeeeeHaaaawwwwww), and underneath, it was untouched, 100% stock. It took probably about 1/2 an hour to do the paperwork, the guy did not blow any smoke up my ass, did not try to pull the ole "It's actually $4000 more than I quoted you, there was a paperwork issue with it.....", that's actually happened to me before and I was ready to walk, but my fears were unfounded. Thanks Raffi at United Auto Group in Pasadena.

On the way home, about a 2 1/2 hour shakedown cruise, I heard a howling from the front right at 80 and above, turned out to be the front right hub/bearings. Still had a little bit of a shake after changing out the hub, had the tires balances, they took 7 1/2 ounces off before starting and it took 3 ozs to get it balanced, Shake is gone. Let's see, what else? The shifter sucks. Very vague, and finding reverse is getting more difficult, time to either bush it or go aftermarket. Probably go aftermarket. I think I paid a little bit too much for it ($15k), but it is in much nicer condition than the rest of them I looked at. I wanted an 09-13 supercharged one, but I just didn't want to sign up for that much money., and this LS-6/T-56 combo works very well. The "bang for the buck" is very good for this car.
Creative Steel sells a very nice shifter, bushings and bronze link that help with the shifter feel.

Make sure you check the carrier bearing rubber, and the bushings in the suspension/cradle/diff.

Planning on modding the car, or leaving as is?

-Byron
 
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