Cadillac Owners Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

· Registered
2018 ATS Standard; (RIP) 2004 Sedan Deville
Joined
·
227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why I left GM

My relationship with GM products began in 2010 when I was gifted a 2004 base model Cadillac Deville from my old man. Despite the forthcoming complaints you will read, this was the best car I ever owned.
The ’04 Deville was pre-bailout American perfection. It idled so quietly you could barely tell if it was running. The suspension—including air-ride rear shocks—was flawless. The steering was firm at speed and the vehicle cornered better than any other American luxury sedan—no body roll for a tank on wheels. Heck it even had climate controls on the steering wheel (if your vehicle has this in 2022, DM me and I’ll send you a box of cookies).
Despite complaints about the 4.6L 32-valve Northstar V8, I never encountered serious problems, as I drove the vehicle from 85,000 miles to 155,000 miles over the course of five-and-a-half years. Sure, an ignition coil would periodically fail which would cause raw fuel to enter the exhaust system, subsequently frying the catalytic converted—this only happened once or twice (Palladium was cheap back then). Replacement air-ride shocks for the rear were $15 each online—I redid the entire suspension for chump change.

About four years into owning the Deville, something happened with the steering system. I’m not a mechanic or engineer—don’t bug me with the details. My local mechanic advised me to take it to the dealer because that kind of repair was beyond him.

And so I did. I brought the vehicle to Northbay Cadillac, on the Gold Coast of Long Island and was assured it would be an easy fix and that I should have the car back in five days. Those days came and went. Fortunately, they provided me with an ATS loaner…a vehicle I quickly fell in love with. As much as I loved the ATS, I became curious as to why I had not heard from the dealership after a week and phoned them and was advised that they had not begun work on the vehicle yet. I cannot recall the excuse they proffered. It made me wonder though: Why on earth tie up a loaner car while…not performing work on my car. After about two-and-a-half weeks, the Deville had been repaired and I had put about 1,000 miles on the ATS I gave back them. They could never sufficiently explain as to why the repairs took so long and I did not push them. At around 155,000mi another ignition coil failed, which caused the catalytic converter to again fail and I opted to sell the car for peanuts.

After 2.5 years of leasing an Acura ILX I leveled-up to a RWD 2.0L Turbo Base ATS. Lean and mean, this was the sportiest car I have ever had. At around 1-2 years of a 4-year lease, I began having USB connectivity issues. This was a big concern as this car had no Navigation system and I was reliant on Android Auto. Replacing the USB port was met with a bunch of attitudes and nastiness from lotboys to service managers alike. Confusion is another word that comes to mind—everyone in the equation seemed to be confused as to how to make a simple repair in a very basic vehicle. Nonetheless, they completed it within a day. Pheeew.

During the subsequent service visit for oil/filter, I specifically asked the service manager to NOT rotate the tires on the car (I was using snow tires in the rear and there was no need for a rotation). They went and did it anyway. When I received one of those stupid email surveys, I entered a lot of zeroes. Upon returning to the dealership for the next round of service, I was met with hostility and anxiety from everyone in the service department. I was being questioned as to why I gave them so many 0’s. Peculiar client service to say the least. I complete your survey on my own time and you get angered by how I completed it? This doesn’t work for me. Also, during this visit I witnessed a customer’s red XT5 backed so hard into a metal pole that the bumper was indented 2”. Another poor Cadillac customer!

I wanted to purchase this car because while I knew the reliability was suspect, the buyout price was cheap. At around 2.5 years into the lease, I noticed oil seeping from the area of the headgasket. I mentioned this to Cadillac Service (again, at Northbay) and was assured that oil seeping from an engine with 28,000 miles on it is no big deal and they would just…wipe it off with a rag. Incidentally, I babied this car and it was only used for easy and short city driving. Yes, I did make sure to do an “Italian Tune Up” once or twice / month. I also ensured to drive easy for several miles after said tune-up as I was advised by a friend of mine who builds Gulfstream jets for a living. He’s pretty adept with the cars he builds as well.

Obviously, I opted not to buyout this car (who the heck buys any car with oil coming out the engine?)

At around the same time my Father, proud owner of a 2010 DTS Platinum, began experiencing slight engine knocking from his car. He took it to King O’Rourke dealership (Long Island…but not my fancy Gold Coast). He was told the vehicle needed a new oil filter and new oil pan. This took that dealership 20 days to fix…or so my elderly father thought. (They never offered him a loaner car…not even a Chevy).
As the lotboy was bringing up his car, it was banging, clanking and making terribly loud noises to the point that other clients were looking at the car. My father refused to take the car back—he was concerned for his safety at this point.

After another 1-2 weeks at King O’Rourke my father was advised that the car was ready to be picked up. When he arrived at the dealership he asked what had happened and they told him not to worry, they just ran the engine with no oil in it and these cars are made to be run with no oil in the engine. (Again, I bounced this off my mechanical-engineer-gulfstream friend…he disagreed. He is a fan of motor oil).

And so my father safely took the car back home. Drove it about a hundred miles and again—banging and clanking. He brought it back to King O’Rourke where they again did not offer him a loaner car and it took them another several days to fix (or bandaid) whatever it was they did to break his car of twelve years. Then they were nice enough to drive it to his house and I pray that it is safe because both my mother and father drive around town and on highways in that vehicle.

I left GM for Lexus and am encouraging my parents to do the same.
During my and my families experiences with GM/Cadillac, I have been able to surmise the following:
  • GM does not value nor understand client service
  • GM does not value brand loyalty within a family—we were a family of Cadillac owners
  • GM does not understand its own products. Their service departments do not understand the tech/infotainment systems, they struggle to repair a steering column failure and they do not understand the simple tasks of internal combustion engine repair.

Coda:
I went to my first Lexus service appointment last weekend and heard myself saying:
Make sure they screw the oil filter on properly. Please don’t evacuate all the oil from my car and then run the engine. The service manager looked at me like I was on hallucinogens. I told him about my father’s recent experience with GM/Cadillac and he replied,
“It’s okay. You’re with Lexus now.”
 

· Super Moderator
Go ahead, blame me. Everybody does 🙄
Joined
·
17,623 Posts
Your three identical threads focusing on poor dealership experiences have been combined into one.
Best of luck with Lexus.
 

· Registered
2020 CT6 Premium Luxury; 2009 DTS Premium Luxury; 2009 STS V6 AWD & 2002/2000 Eldorado ETC (traded)
Joined
·
741 Posts
I went to my first Lexus service appointment last weekend and heard myself saying:
Make sure they screw the oil filter on properly. Please don’t evacuate all the oil from my car and then run the engine. The service manager looked at me like I was on hallucinogens. I told him about my father’s recent experience with GM/Cadillac and he replied,
“It’s okay. You’re with Lexus now.”
Since you only went there one time, it's not assured that your experience will be any better in the future since you only had an oil change which can be done at a variety of shops and dealers. Lexus has issues too but it sounds like you went to underperforming dealers as others here have suggested. Good luck anyway.
 

· Registered
96 FWB
Joined
·
4,337 Posts
"I left GM for Lexus and am encouraging my parents to do the same.
During my and my families experiences with GM/Cadillac dealers, I have been able to surmise the following:

  • GM dealers does not value nor understand client service
  • GM dealers does not value brand loyalty within a family—we were a family of Cadillac owners
  • GM dealers does not understand its own products. Their service departments do not understand the tech/infotainment systems, they struggle to repair a steering column failure and they do not understand the simple tasks of internal combustion engine repair."
I first only skimmed the original post before heading down the replies.
Theeeeennn I re-read the OP in detail. A little late for the pile-on, and not taking a cheap shot by any stretch, but I did a 'Fixt That Fer Ya' that concurs with 'bout 100% of the posts after it.
Otherwise, GM's dealers ain't got no magic 1st Place dibs on crap service - crap attitude - crap (current market's inexperienced & shortage of) employees. It sounds like you remained in love with that ATS years into it, and you just got to hating the dealer's guts for chronically terrible attitude/service and their responses to what sound like normal service issues. And this may have all been with a single dealer IDR. That's something the majority of others on here would certainly not have tolerated without researching more productive alternates.

Come back after a couple years to grade the dealer you've chosen to service your new car.
 

· Registered
2019 CTS Sport
Joined
·
1,200 Posts
Yeah you got a bad dealer or two...unfortunately the way that dealers have locked down car sales, a bad dealer or two can completely ruin an entire brand experience. I am fortunate to have one of the best service departments I have ever experienced in my life right down the street from me and they happen to be a Cadillac dealer. They can't sell cars to save their lives, but their service department is awesome, so I remain a very happy Cadillac customer. I've "left GM" twice and come running back both times - it doesn't get better than GM and Toyota. I know this from extensive experience. As bad as some guys think it is here - just take a quick stroll at any FCA/Stellantis brand forum and marvel at the horrors they deal with. There isn't an acceptable dealer in the network...the best you can hope for is to find one that doesn't treat you like you're a suspected Russian spy in the Pentagon.

Conversely to your experience - i've only got one Lexus dealer within an hour drive of me and they're a horror show. There is a good Toyota dealer though...unfortunately I can't drum up any level of enthusiasm for any Toyota vehicle that isn't truck-based. I will be considering a Tundra or Sequoia next year when I replace my Tahoe, but I think the Silverado is probably going to win that battle because a Tundra ain't no Silverado as they say and Toyota treats vehicle ordering like a Lord/Serf relationship.
 

· Administrator
2002 F55 STS, 2014 Explorer XLT, F-150s
Joined
·
79,505 Posts
Having spent 5 years (2014 - 2019) working part-time behind the parts and service counter at our local Western (Tire &) Auto for something to do I've probably heard it all when it comes to dealers, repairs, reliability, this brand vs. that brand - whatever. 12 mechanics, 4 wheel/tire techs, 3 service writers, and 6 counter people - you hear all sides. ANY dealership or brand has good days, bad days, and some days we don't want to remember. Take ANY motor vehicle fault you desire - let's say brake calipers - today might be GM problems, tomorrow we see Honda troubles, Thursday it's Ford, and so on. Last week Firestone tires sucked, this week it's Goodyear. Last month we couldn't keep Pennzoil in stock; this month it's Mobil 1..... and on and on and on.

Among 3 other careers, I have been in and out of the motor vehicle service and maintenance business since 1954 or so. Seen a lot of plusses and minuses - and they're not confined to a fortunate single brand or dealer. Had my own fair share of setback, too. Remember - two "awshits" NEVER make one "Attaboy!". Your brand new Flapfish SVX-3b may run forever or die at 234 miles on the odometer. Joe might fix the spark plug; Benny might break it. Mary is a precision shelf stocker; Billy drops washer fluid all over the place. Luck of the draw.
 

· Registered
2010 DTS Premium 2010 Escalade EXT
Joined
·
660 Posts
I gotta say one thing about Lexus.... my buddy has a 2010 full size Lexus sedan, 120k miles and still runs smooth as glass. It's been driven in New England winters for all 12 years of its life. We had it up on my lift recently changing oil, and I was shocked to see how good it still looked underneath. You mighta thought it was a Florida car, basically zero rust. Whatever rustproofing Lexus does to their chassis components REALLY works.

Compare this to a GM vehicle that's been living 12 years on heavily salted roads, well, there is no comparison. The GM vehicle would be heavily rusted, if not totally gone.

But my garage is still full of GM vehicles. Maybe I'm just a sucker, haha.
 

· Registered
2012 SRX Luxury
Joined
·
677 Posts
As Sub' has said. It takes people to make the services all work correctly. One drop of the ball here or there and you get shoddy workmanship and bad raps all around. It's easy to say Lexus is better till you get that guy who worked on it and screws up. It happens in the servicing industry whether on cars or mainframe computers.
 

· Registered
2019 CTS Sport
Joined
·
1,200 Posts
I gotta say one thing about Lexus.... my buddy has a 2010 full size Lexus sedan, 120k miles and still runs smooth as glass. It's been driven in New England winters for all 12 years of its life. We had it up on my lift recently changing oil, and I was shocked to see how good it still looked underneath. You mighta thought it was a Florida car, basically zero rust. Whatever rustproofing Lexus does to their chassis components REALLY works.
My driveway currently has just such a vehicle, and it wears a GM badge. No rust issues, and nothing other than routine maintenance for it's entire life. This would be the 4th in it's lineage (that lineage being "my trucks") that have done same, all wearing GM badges. I'll give you a hint - it's not the badge that matters in these cases, it's the owner.

Lexus makes quality vehicles, but so does Cadillac. They've been trading blows in quality rankings for the past like 15 years in fact.
 

· Registered
92 Fleetwood 2dr cpe - FWD, 96 Seville SLS, 02 Seville
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
I started with a toyota Celica in 1981. Took a tour through GM with a blazer s-10, 2 suburbans, a truck, 4 cadillacs, and now. . Back to the very beginning - a celica and a Tundra.

Had gotten fed up with stealerships, some ma&pa ignorance and bad GM transmissions. So I became my own major work mechanic (5 engine swaps and rebuilds so far). I'm a toyota quality fan.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
2010 DTS Premium 2010 Escalade EXT
Joined
·
660 Posts
......... I'll give you a hint - it's not the badge that matters in these cases, it's the owner........
I don't get your point at all. I was talking about chassis rusting. My point is that, all other things being equal, a Lexus chassis apparently resists rusting much better than a GM truck chassis.
 

· Registered
99 ETC 13 XTS 69 Chevelle 17 Yukon
Joined
·
968 Posts
I may be getting off topic but when talking unbody vs frame vehicle and premium vehicles. Now I have 2013 XTS and it is very clean underneath and I do spray under vehicle several times during winter which is what Raven is hinting I think. Now Lexus is owned by Toyota and their trucks, and some other vehicles do have rust problems that out rank GM.In this link and toyota dealer in my area always has a stack of new frames outside dealership.
Toyota pays $3.4 billion in class-action suit over rusty truck frames - Autoblog
Frame still Covered for Replacement? | Toyota Nation Forum
 

· Registered
2019 CTS Sport
Joined
·
1,200 Posts
a Lexus chassis apparently resists rusting much better than a GM truck chassis.
My point is that one random guy's car is not evidence of any reliability or durability of an entire brand. I can name countless examples of GM vehicles that went to 200k+ miles with no issues and no rust but that's not evidence either...its just a bunch of vehicles that happened to hold up...and it's largely due to their owners care regimen.

GM and Toyota sell over a million vehicles a year each, a handful of examples tells us nothing.
 

· Registered
2010 DTS Premium 2010 Escalade EXT
Joined
·
660 Posts
My point is that one random guy's car is not evidence of any reliability or durability of an entire brand......
Ok, ok, certainly a full-blown Motor Trend study would be better, I agree.

But I will add that a couple of years ago, I went shopping for a slightly used Chevy or GMC truck, trying to find one 3 to 5 years old. At that time (just prior to COVID), there were actually a lot of trucks for sale and there were deals to be had. I looked at lots of trucks, and many of them were horribly rusted underneath, it was unreal. They would look new from the driver seat or around the exterior, but look almost ready for the junkyard underneath. I ended up keeping my old truck................
 

· Registered
2019 CTS Sport
Joined
·
1,200 Posts
But I will add that a couple of years ago, I went shopping for a slightly used Chevy or GMC truck, trying to find one 3 to 5 years old. At that time (just prior to COVID), there were actually a lot of trucks for sale and there were deals to be had. I looked at lots of trucks, and many of them were horribly rusted underneath, it was unreal. They would look new from the driver seat or around the exterior, but look almost ready for the junkyard underneath. I ended up keeping my old truck................
And in reply to this I need only leave this link...

 

· Registered
2018 ATS Standard; (RIP) 2004 Sedan Deville
Joined
·
227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I gotta say one thing about Lexus.... my buddy has a 2010 full size Lexus sedan, 120k miles and still runs smooth as glass. It's been driven in New England winters for all 12 years of its life. We had it up on my lift recently changing oil, and I was shocked to see how good it still looked underneath. You mighta thought it was a Florida car, basically zero rust. Whatever rustproofing Lexus does to their chassis components REALLY works.

Compare this to a GM vehicle that's been living 12 years on heavily salted roads, well, there is no comparison. The GM vehicle would be heavily rusted, if not totally gone.

But my garage is still full of GM vehicles. Maybe I'm just a sucker, haha.
That's the whole idea. And I got a pretty rare one.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top