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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,751 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

problem #10

May 012015


  • 153,000 miles


Rear pinion seal failed and rear axle locked up. Lost control and was involved in accident. Shocked to find out there is a recall for 2005 and newer Cts (NHTSA campaign number: 07V589000, GM recall no. 07204) but not my 2004 which has an identical rear main seal. The part number used in the recall is the same to repair my 2004.

- Northbrook, IL, USA

problem #9

Sep 172014


  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that after parking the vehicle, it reversed four feet before coming to a complete stopped. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician was unable to locate the failure. The vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 7,000.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #8

Jul 302014

CTS 6-cyl

  • 140 miles
Was driving down the road at 55 mph and all of a sudden we lost drive power. The RPM's revved up to 4 before I could pull over on a busy road jumping two lanes of traffic with my three kids in the car. It was storming the car was running but would not engages in gear. When we got out there was transmission fluid poring and spraying out of the car we quickly knew to turn it off and call for help. When we got the car home we saw that the transmission line came off the radiator. I have seen sense then that this problem is very common and most peoples transmission are shot after this happens. Witch is a $5000 fix. There was no indicators that the part was bad or that the coolant pan was loose in the bottom of the radiator which striped out the nut on the line leavening me and my three kids stranded on the side of the road. Cadillac knew this was a problem so they put out a after market part with a quick disconnect not the screw in part like my car had. I found that out after I called around to have my car fixed.

- Irvine, KY, USA

problem #7

Jun 042014


  • 57,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that while traveling 35 mph, a humming noise emitted from the engine compartment. The vehicle vibrated and the engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact mentioned that after the speed increased to 60 mph, the vehicle no longer vibrated. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 57,000 and the current mileage was 57,565.

- Rhoadesville, VA, USA

problem #6

May 302014

CTS 6-cyl

  • 156,366 miles
The transmission cooler lines blew out of the radiator. The transmission fluid was blowing out all over the engine compartment front tires, front brakes, and onto the road. I saw on some forums, where they stated that this was a common problem for the Cadillac Cts. And I wasn't sure if anyone else had filed a complaint. It definitely was not a safe situation to be in. To be honest, I have owned/driven a number of cars, starting from a 1950 Chevy. I can't believe that the cooler lines blowing out of the radiator is now a problem. None of my previous vehicles had this problem and they were definitely not in any kind of pristine condition.

- Vandalia, OH, USA

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problem #5

Nov 252013

CTS 6-cyl

  • 175,000 miles
Had my cruise control set at 70 mph for highway driving when I heard a psshhh sound and cruise control broke violently and smelled burnt rubber with smoke coming from back end of car. Pulled over immediately and car smoke from back end and smell only increased. Thought for sure I had a tire blowout. Walked around car and nothing wrong with tires. Had car towed to an auto repair place and am told that the rear differential went out. I have since investigated and found many, many forums about this issue. There are no recalls for this particular model but a certain recall for 2005 models. This situation could have been deadly and I feel both fortunate and upset with GM that such a problem has been so commonly noted but with no "real" resolve. The auto repair place has called around and this is a special part that is not available in my state and a new one costs an estimated $1,200. With so many issues with models 2004-2006 how come there is no recall for 2004 and only a lesser degree of a recall for 2005?

- Corpus Christi, TN, USA

problem #4

Nov 212011

CTS 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


Noticed brown liquid leaking from the front driver wheel area. Had vehicle towed to GM dealer where they discovered a coolant line failure which created leaking of transmission fluid into radiator and coolant into transmission. Both transmission and radiator need replacing, car is unable to be driven. This was determined by the dealer and Cadillac to be a failure of the part, unable to be prevented and unable to detect. Consumer was not at all responsible for damage. Total estimated cost $4,900. Contacted GM where they offered to "split" the cost 50/50, myself reliable for the $2400. Although Cadillac took responsibility for the failure, I am responsible for the cost of repair.

- Capitola, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 052011

CTS 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
While driving for business the rear end started making a growling noise and then it started to cut in and out. Still makes noise and cuts in and out more in turns.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #2

Jul 052008


  • 28,000 miles
I have a 2004 Cadillac Cts 3.6L. I purchased the car with 28,000 mile on it and have noticed a whining and humming noise coming from the rear end. I brushed it off thinking it would not be anything. But then I did researched on it and noticed that there are numerous preliminary information bulletins the rear end problems. I have taken the car to the Cadillac dealership about 6 times or more with complaints and they have heard the noise but tell me that it is normal gear rash noise yeah right!!. here is a list of pi's take to ur dealership November 24, 2004 - pip3140 - abnormal noise and vibration while driving - kw accessory aftermarket axle buzz case growl groan howl moan prop rattle resonance shaft transmission whine body boom part modification no oem pip3051pi03-05 Cadillac Cts, Cts-V and srx howl whine noise from rear axle - kw accelerate deceleratejuly 8, 2004 pip3140piabnormal noise and vibration while driving - kw accessory aftermarket axle buzz case growl groan howl moan prop rattle resonance shaft transmission whine body boom part modification no oemnovember 24, 2004 pip3152bpi 04-05 Cadillac srx, Cts, Cts-V and 05 Cadillac sts shudder or bind on low speed turns - kw differential groan growl moan noise rear slow vibration December 7, 2004 pip3152fpishudder or bind on low speed turns - keywords axle differential groan growl moan noise rear slow vibrationoctober 28, 2005 pip3051bpihowl whine noise from rear axle - keywords accelerate decelerate September 13, 2005 pip3051apihowl whine noise from rear axle - keywords accelerate decelerate May 20, 2005 pip3152epishudder of bind on low speed turns - keywords axle differential groan growl moan noise rear slow vibrationapril 26, 2005 they have extend a "rear end warranty to me for additional 3yrs". check into this as it will save a lot of money when it does go out as we know it will <--- check this site out

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #1

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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