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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,262 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Cadillac CTS drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Cadillac CTS Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #32

Oct 052012

CTS 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles


I have had numerous problems with my 2004 Cadillac Cts. The most recent is with my rear differential. The latest problem with the differential prompted an online search with the results showing that each of the problems I have had with my Cadillac Cts is one that has happened with 1000's of other 2004 Cts model Cadillac.

- North Bend, WA, USA

problem #31

Jan 012004


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Cadillac Cts. While driving 10 mph, she heard a rumbling noise under the vehicle as if it were unstable. Instability while driving increased the risk of a vehicle crash. The dealer replaced all four tires; however, the failure resurfaced. An authorized technician concluded that the differentials needed to be replaced. No repairs have been made. The failure mileage was 35,000. The current mileage is 118,000.

- Woolwich Township, NJ, USA

problem #30

Aug 152008

(reported on)


  • miles
2004 Cadillac Cts. Consumer wants to know what happened with the investigation on the 2004-2005 Cadillac Cts-V. the consumer stated he drove the vehicle about 200 miles before the rear end needed to be replaced. The manufacturer informed the consumer they were not aware of any problems with the limited slip differential.

- Pigeon Forge, TN, USA

problem #29

Feb 112008


  • 34,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Cadillac Cts. The contact purchased her vehicle with numerous failures. She stated that the recall repair should have been performed prior to the sale of the vehicle. The contact experienced several issues with the front end suspension, steering wheel shaft, and rear differential. She was informed to take the vehicle to another location because it was under warranty; however, due to the number of failures, the vehicle was not repaired at all. The dealer does not want the contact to trade the vehicle in or take it back. The contact believes that the vehicle is a lemon. The failure mileage was 34,000.

- West Bend, WI, USA

problem #28

Jan 162008

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
Powertrain problem as many others already posted.

- Morneo Valley, CA, USA

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problem #27

Mar 252004

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
Oil leaking from rear diff in 2004. Dealer replaced seal, but leaked again in 2006 and dealer then replaced rear diff. Then in 2007 a seal on the new diff leaked and was replaced. It appears that the rear diff is improperly designed and will continue to fail outside my warranty period. In my opinion, the rear diff is the only design problem with the 2004 Cts.

- Bartlett, IL, USA

problem #26

Apr 252007

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 10,000 miles


Rear differential leaking - driver side axel seal will need to be replaced again. Was replaced for same issue at about 6K miles now same problem at about 10K miles, I suspect the case is warping.

- Northville, MI, USA

problem #25

Apr 202007

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,150 miles
1) I took my car in on 3/30 complaining of a leaking rear differential. I was informed nothing was wrong with the vehicle. 4/20 I was driving on the highway at normal speeds. I down shifted and heard a loud bang. The engine revved yet the car wouldn't move. The rear differential had quite literally exploded. 2) the housing to the rear differential shattered causing one of the bolts to come out and the remainder of the housing to hang at an angle. The internals of the differential looked as though a grenade had been set off in them. The passenger side rear half shaft was hanging out of the housing. 3) I'm currently locked in a fight with my local Cadillac dealership. They are trying to refuse warranty.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #24

Feb 022007

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 11,234 miles
2004 Cadillac Cts-V rear differential leak\noise. Howling differential replaced 2005. New one now leaks and whines.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #23

Oct 042006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 33,777 miles
So ill start off with about complaining to the dealer about my rear end making a moaning whinning sound. I went in more than once to tell them about how it keeps getting louder and that I know something is not correct. I am currently selling my car and want it perfect for anyone who buys it. The Cadillac dealership keeps telling me that all of this is normal and they do nothing. So let me tell you a little bit about how it all starts. I was at a raceway road course practicing driving one of my race cars for a race that I have coming up. My girlfriend wanted to go around the track a few times to see how it felt so I took her for a little ride in the Cadillac nothing more than driving up a windey road. We pack up our stuff and I leave with my girlfriend to meet my folks for dinner. I started driving up a freeway on ramp and hit a little bit of water as I was accelerating then get a little bit of wheel hop and boom! my car suddenly stops in front of a big rig that was on my tail the whole time and I barely have time to move to the side of the road without getting ran over. I trailer my car to the dealership and they tell me my car was abused! I knew about the rear ends and didn't want to deal with the car and all its problems and that is why I didn't want to risk dealing with it. I feel that this is a huge hazard that Cadillac seems to just be ignoring. They need to do something before someone gets killed. I keep thinking about it and how it could have been a lot worse for me and my girlfriend. The dealership refused to fix this problem but at least we walked away! now I am scared for whomever I sell this car too. Someone from this website needs to do a google on all of the problems we are having because I don't think people know about this website. Thanks guys, michael lebard.

- Fillmore, CA, USA

problem #22

Aug 122006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,050 miles


The rear differential on my Cadillac Cts-V has failed twice in the 20,100 miles that I have driven it.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #21

May 042006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 14,500 miles
The rear differential in my 2004 Cadillac Cts-V had been whining and grinding for about 5500 miles (starting when the car had 9000 miles on it). The differential fluid had been changed three (3) times in 4000 miles and the problem was not solved. Finally, took the car to the dealership with 14500 miles and Cadillac agreed to change replace the differential with the 2006 part.

- Lafayette, CO, USA

problem #20

May 052006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 41,000 miles
The events leading up to this failure were daily normal driving. For the second time in two years, the rear end of my car began to exhibit a whining sound when accelerating in 4th gear, and the sound became progressively louder. The differential on my car was replaced under warranty.

- Hebron, OH, USA

problem #19

May 012006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 47,000 miles
Premature rear differential failure. Apx 5000 miles prior to failure the differential began to whine and during turns, the differential would grind horribly.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #18

Apr 102006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 18,500 miles
I just purchased this vehicle and noticed a whine in the rear. Took it in to lindsay Cadillac (great dealership) and they are now replacing the bearings. I hear this is a common problem with Cts-V's and I'm worried about what will happen when the warranty ends....

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #17

Dec 032005

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,654 miles
Differential gear whine-crack in carrier. Carrier assembly replaced by dealer. 43 days in service department.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #16

Dec 102005

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Rear differential of my 2004 Cadillac ctsv is too weak. It clunks, and produces excessive wheel-hop thus not allowing the power to transfer. The whole rear end of the car from the bushings to the rear cradle to the half shafts are too weak for the car. Over 1000's of Cts-V's of the under approx. 4,000 produced from 2004-2005 have had major issues. Service centers claim everything is normal. My car is continually in the shop. GM refuses to pay for these item and I have a 6yr 100K warranty. Service centers are not equipped to deal with this car, and GM failed to engineer it properly. In addition all of my interior parts rattle when I step on it, and some continue to rattle during daily driving. The paint quality of the exterior is the worst I have to see yet. There are weird blotches all over the place and are obviously due to poor paint application at the factory. I have owned the car for 3 months and so far have had to replace the radiator, the whole nav unit, the rear differential. And already, the nav unit is beginning to show the same indications of why it got replaced in the first place, and the rear differential is starting to make noises again. Also, the dual mass flywheel produces lots of noise. I have had it up to here with this vehicle.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #15

May 072005

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 17,300 miles
The differential was fine up until the time of casing failure. On a rainy night, the car exhibited a bit of wheel hop inherent on that car with a small amount of throttle. The casing shattered immediately. The differential was promptly replaced by an identical oem replacement.

- Billerica, MA, USA

problem #14

Sep 062004

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 0 miles
Major differential problem on a 2004 Cadillac Cts-V. really loud "clunk" noise on the car dealers claim it's normal. Differential is underrated for the horsepower that the car outputs therefore causing problems. GM denies claims on people and consumers are forced to spend over $3000 on a part that is faulty and will break again.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #13

Feb 062006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
The rear end in my 2004 Cts becomes prematurely unusable after normal use. I am on my second rear end, and it to now needs to be replaced. Three rear ends within 21,000 miles is premature as well as unacceptable.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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