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Now my turn to ask a new question-my 2017 ATS 3.6 is about to turn 20,000 mi. on the clock. In the past few months, I have been hearing the car become
noisier (don't think it is my imagination) at highway speeds only (65-70 mph). What I am hearing is an oscillating drone, not really sure which wheel, but the sound is what I have heard in past cars (my 2001 A6 was the worst), when a wheel bearing starts to go. But I am surprised I am hearing this at 20,000 miles with this car. Has anyone had to same experience? Would appreciate some feedback before I bring it to the dealer. Thanks/Alx
 

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Lift up your car and rotate each wheel one by one and listening for weird noises.
Sometimes bad bearings got vertical loose, so put one hand on 12 o clock and the other on 6 o clock then rapidly move forth and back. No loose should be notice, otherwise you may have a bad bearing.

I had something similar in my 2013 ATS. All bearings were fine, but the differential was wrong..
I purchased the car without oil in differential. I have not notice that which ended up differential carrier replacement.
2013 model have had sealing issues so I doubt yours may experiencing the same problem.
But I would recommend check differ oil. If looks good then ensure the level is correct, but if it's dark and contaminate a lot of metal you probably need new diff.
 

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Wheel bearings usually last a long time but a single extremely hard hit from a major pothole can create damage that rapidly results in failure. As Wojciech explained, there are some simple checks for bearings if one is really in bad shape. A bad bearing will also change its note when loading changes such as when going through a sharp turn at speed that loads one set of wheels and unloads the other set.

The differential is definitely a possibility although they generally have a pretty steady speed dependent howl. Tires will also develop this noise because most will wear differently on the leading and trailing edges of the tread blocks and low profile runflat tires are the worst at developing this noise. Rotation helps and if you have a staggered set like my RWD premium, you can still rotate side to side. After rotation, if tire wear is the issue then they will start growing quieter for awhile before starting to get noisier as the wear first begins to equalize and then starts becoming unequal again. The OEM Bridgestone summer performance tires on my ATS were the worst I have ever experienced for creating this unequal treadblock wear noise and the noise from the fronts was so bad you would swear you could actually feel it in the car.

Rodger
 

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Second the junk runflats. I thought I had a bad CV shaft until I got rid of them. Noise gone.
 

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Very likely that it's the diff. It's a very common issue with this generation ATS. I've had it replaced on both my '16 and my wife's '17. It will get louder and nastier over time. Do a quick search and you'll see dozens of examples.
 

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Its tires. I've owned 3 different alpha platform cadillacs. Every one of them developed this noise. Every time it has been tires. The rwd ats was at almost exactly 22000 miles. The 2 awd cts have needed them as soon as 8k miles and have never made it past 20k on a set. 3 cars from model year 2013 to 2017 have eaten a total of 7 sets of tires over a total of about 80k miles. 4 cylinder slow lane special with my old lady driving. Regular rotations, all season tires, top tier Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone. Alignment checked, Proper inflation always. Nothing seems to help. As a competent mechanic and experienced automotive engineer, it has been embarrassing to drop the car at the dealer and say "This pos needs wheel bearings" only to have the advisor say "could be tires". I argue that "tires are only 8k old and I know the sounds and symptoms of a bad wheel bearing". I've been wrong every damn time.

Love the handling, can accept the ride, hate the tire wear. I'm done. Maybe a ct6 next time but more likely an Audi or BMW. I'm ready to trade the horrible tires bad transmission and always malfunctioning cue for whatever inherent problems the Germans are designing in these days.
 

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Always start with the simple stuff first, odds are it’s the tires. Like someone else said if you can move the wheels around by rotating and the sound changes it’s probably a tire. Especially if you still have the factory run flats.
 

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I had a right rear wheel bearing go bad on my 2015 ATS. I run the Continental Sport Contacts and thought it was the tires- Finally the bearing made so much noise I was able to identify which one it was. Dealer did not cover this part so I repaired it myself. Not a hard job and part was about $100 on Rock Auto for the Delco bearing.
 

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Its tires. I've owned 3 different alpha platform cadillacs. Every one of them developed this noise. Every time it has been tires. The rwd ats was at almost exactly 22000 miles. The 2 awd cts have needed them as soon as 8k miles and have never made it past 20k on a set. 3 cars from model year 2013 to 2017 have eaten a total of 7 sets of tires over a total of about 80k miles. 4 cylinder slow lane special with my old lady driving. Regular rotations, all season tires, top tier Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone. Alignment checked, Proper inflation always. Nothing seems to help. As a competent mechanic and experienced automotive engineer, it has been embarrassing to drop the car at the dealer and say "This pos needs wheel bearings" only to have the advisor say "could be tires". I argue that "tires are only 8k old and I know the sounds and symptoms of a bad wheel bearing". I've been wrong every damn time.

Love the handling, can accept the ride, hate the tire wear. I'm done. Maybe a ct6 next time but more likely an Audi or BMW. I'm ready to trade the horrible tires bad transmission and always malfunctioning cue for whatever inherent problems the Germans are designing in these days.
Did you stay with run flats the whole time or did you switch to regular tires at all?
Thanks,
Jeff
 

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Did you stay with run flats the whole time or did you switch to regular tires at all?
Thanks,
Jeff
Runflats. GM won't warranty if you change to non oem tire. If they go to heck early enough in the life of the tire, GM will pay some of the cost of replacement. Plus, carrying a spare in the already small-ish trunk is a non-starter for me.

If I were to do this again, I would pull the factory tires on day 1. Install aftermarket tires with treadwear warranty, from non-dealer source. When they are dead at 15K miles, go collect on the warranty. Shortly before the time when ready to sell, trade, or return lease I would re-install factory tires and drive the ever-loving crap out of them before returning with about 1/8" tread on them. Getting the tires thru GM is just not a good deal as the pro-rated warranty is not nearly generous enough to be fair to the consumer. Something is wrong with this chassis causing it to eat tires like candy. Maybe the alignment spec is skewed too far toward 'track' at the expense of tire life. Maybe there is an error in the calibration of the AWD. Something ain't right, and I say that because it eats pretty much any brand that comes in the proper size. I know I've had Michelin, Bridgestone and Pirelli. Pretty sure there was a BF Goodrich in the mix at least once.

I happen to own an Audi which has a very aggresive AWD setup and it is far kinder to tires despite being far heavier and more powerful than the CTS. I don't know what's wrong with these cars but I do know I'm done being the guinea pig. Other MFR's have it figured out and I cant afford to keep funding Cadillac's field study on tire life.
 
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