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2006 CTS w/ 25k original miles (Sand Storm 3.6L)
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. So I have a dilemma. While I love my CTS and Cadillac is my favorite sub-$50k car brand on the road, the stories of snapped timing belts and costly repairs has me worried. Not to be overcome by the nightmarish stories I've heard, I decided that if I were to buy a CTS that I would purchase a low-mileage vehicle. Thus, I proudly purchased my 2006 CTS a few months ago and the vehicle currently has a bit over 26,000 miles on it. When purchased, I told myself if I ran into a non-maintenance issue I would fix it then sell the car afterward. Well, I did have an issue recently but in hindsight it was not a major problem. For the first time since buying it, I attempted to go pedal to the metal on my 3.6L engine which trigged a cylinder misfire and an ignition coil replacement. I did replace the coil and have been topping the engine oil off every 1,000 miles. After that check engine light issue, I begin to research other vehicles and even have a buyer for my CTS at a price higher than my original purchase price. But frankly if the vehicle I chose to replace it falls through, which it is looking like it might, I am more than happy to keep my CTS. In fact, I like my Cady more than most cars on the road. The vehicle's reliability does worry me though since I do not want to begin to travel for longer trips and run into issues. What else could possibly happen between 26k-36k that I could prepare for? There was a 700-mile trip I had planned that passed but this cylinder misfire would have likely occurred on the way there or back, which would have made it a much bigger issue.
 

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06 CTS Sport/Luxury package
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I bought my 2006 CTS way back in late 2008 with 30Kish miles. I now have 130Kish miles.

In that time I've had the steering rack replaced, could have been just the boot but I found a super cheap rack and replaced the whole thing.

Two coil packs, 10K miles plus between the two changes. Both were giving me "sputtering" at idle, hardly a flashing check engine light upon acceleration. It did, but under heavy acceleration, so I just eased into it until I replaced the coil.

Both drive shaft couplers, not sure if it could have been one or any of them. As I was chasing a very annoying vibration. Even had the rear differential replaced because of it, but that wasn't the issue. Though the rear diff replacement did fix a clunking noise when I changed gears. That could have been caused by me, because I have a heavy foot.

Two brake jobs. The first replaced the front pads and rotors, roughly at the 40K mark. The second, all four wheels pads and rotors at the 120K mark.

I check my oil level every now and then and top off as needed.

KOT
 

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2006 CTS w/ 25k original miles (Sand Storm 3.6L)
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I bought my 2006 CTS way back in late 2008 with 30Kish miles. I now have 130Kish miles.

In that time I've had the steering rack replaced, could have been just the boot but I found a super cheap rack and replaced the whole thing.

Two coil packs, 10K miles plus between the two changes. Both were giving me "sputtering" at idle, hardly a flashing check engine light upon acceleration. It did, but under heavy acceleration, so I just eased into it until I replaced the coil.

Both drive shaft couplers, not sure if it could have been one or any of them. As I was chasing a very annoying vibration. Even had the rear differential replaced because of it, but that wasn't the issue. Though the rear diff replacement did fix a clunking noise when I changed gears. That could have been caused by me, because I have a heavy foot.

Two brake jobs. The first replaced the front pads and rotors, roughly at the 40K mark. The second, all four wheels pads and rotors at the 120K mark.

I check my oil level every now and then and top off as needed.

KOT
Not Hyundai-level reliability, but not bad. How much did the non-maintenance cost you? Edit: seems like under $500.

Even though the spark plugs were rated to last 100k miles I am considering just doing a full replacement since I bought 6 spark plugs when I first diagnosed the misfire. Sounds like it may not be a bad idea based on this.

Which cylinder coil did you replace? Cylinder 5 had the misfire issue when I hard accelerated.
 

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'05 CTS-V
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8,026 Posts
Hey all. So I have a dilemma. While I love my CTS and Cadillac is my favorite sub-$50k car brand on the road, the stories of snapped timing belts and costly repairs has me worried.
I wouldn't worry about snapping a timing belt, since the car doesn't have one. :)

The vehicle's reliability does worry me though since I do not want to begin to travel for longer trips and run into issues.
Why does the vehicle's reliability worry you? Do you have some indication that the car was horribly neglected prior to you buying it? Do you see lots of reports of CTSs having timing chain failures at 26k miles?

What else could possibly happen between 26k-36k that I could prepare for?
There are all sorts of things that could happen, but the probability of any of them occurring is exceptionally low. Just keep doing your routine maintenance on time, keep the fluids topped off, and drive the car.

There was a 700-mile trip I had planned that passed but this cylinder misfire would have likely occurred on the way there or back, which would have made it a much bigger issue.
No, not really. Did the engine start misfiring continuously after you found the problem, or did it just do it when you did your WOT blast? I'm betting the misfire only occurred when you put the max load on the engine (and hence the max load on the ignition system components). The engine would've been perfectly happy to cruise around on the highway or through the neighborhood for thousands of miles.

Honestly, the "data" you'll get in response to these sorts of questions on an internet forum are statistically meaningless - it's just anecdotal evidence from a tiny, tiny fraction of the people who own these vehicles. You're better off looking at something like Consumer Reports to see what they've found with a much larger sample size. Keep in mind, though, that most cars of your vintage don't have only 26k miles on them - they have 3 or 4 or 5 times that much mileage, thus CR's reliability ratings are going to be based on data from a sample set of vehicles with way more mileage than you've got.
 

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06 CTS Sport/Luxury package
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Static1120 said:
I would say its maybe around 500-1200 including labor for those jobs.
Free labor for me. My brother is a manger at a shop and I've done some work at the shop, non mechanical work. :)

KOT
 

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2006 CTS w/ 25k original miles (Sand Storm 3.6L)
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Discussion Starter #7
I wouldn't worry about snapping a timing belt, since the car doesn't have one. :)


Why does the vehicle's reliability worry you? Do you have some indication that the car was horribly neglected prior to you buying it? Do you see lots of reports of CTSs having timing chain failures at 26k miles?


There are all sorts of things that could happen, but the probability of any of them occurring is exceptionally low. Just keep doing your routine maintenance on time, keep the fluids topped off, and drive the car.


No, not really. Did the engine start misfiring continuously after you found the problem, or did it just do it when you did your WOT blast? I'm betting the misfire only occurred when you put the max load on the engine (and hence the max load on the ignition system components). The engine would've been perfectly happy to cruise around on the highway or through the neighborhood for thousands of miles.

Honestly, the "data" you'll get in response to these sorts of questions on an internet forum are statistically meaningless - it's just anecdotal evidence from a tiny, tiny fraction of the people who own these vehicles. You're better off looking at something like Consumer Reports to see what they've found with a much larger sample size. Keep in mind, though, that most cars of your vintage don't have only 26k miles on them - they have 3 or 4 or 5 times that much mileage, thus CR's reliability ratings are going to be based on data from a sample set of vehicles with way more mileage than you've got.
My bad :D. Heard so many horror stories about the timing chain but I do top off the oil so I would hope it lasts 200k miles like other cars with them do.

Doesn't seem to have been neglected. Just worried about general reliability of the vehicle. CR gave it a decent rating but I hear a lot of stories on here, although it does seem to just be the unlucky few.

Misfire occurred between 35mph-40, so of course I took my foot off the gas. Engine light remained on and car shook at idle. Fixed now but not sure I could've driven too much further without damaging the engine.
 
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