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NHTSA — Power Train: Driveline: Differential Unit Problems

2005 Cadillac CTS (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,063 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.

2005 Cadillac CTS drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Cadillac CTS Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Jan 052011


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that while driving at low speeds and making a turn, he would notice a loud grinding noise coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who informed the contact that the noise was due to a leak in the seal located in the differential. The vehicle had not been repaired for the seal. The failure mileage was approximately 65,000.

- Friona, TX, USA

problem #38

Dec 032007


  • miles
I am the 2nd owner my local dealership is calling my problem "catastrophic failure due to customer abuse". I own a 2005 Cadillac Cts-V. my issue was about 10 or 11 days ago. I left work headed home and on the onramp to highway 240 in asheville, nc I hit third gear going about 45 or 55 mph and my rear differential made a loud pop the car jerked and then just began to free roll. I then proceeded to cross three lanes of traffic with no means of acceleration in a high traffic 60mph zone in order to get to a safe stopping zone. GM roadside service towed the car to the dealership I purchased the car at. The next day when I came to see what their verdict would be they told me that warranty wouldn't cover it and I would have to pay out of pocket for a new differential and labor amounting to around 2800 dollars. I had came to the same dealership three times prior to the incident and reported a popping in the rear end when shifting but there was no action taken at any of the complaints and to my knowledge none of my complaints were filed, they only told me that it was the clutch and I would just have to learn how to properly shift the car. I then called Cadillac customer service to make a complaint and to see if there was any way to have the warranty cover the cost. Customer service called me back and told me that they contacted the service manager at the dealership and he told them it appeared to be "catastrophic failure due to customer abuse". this is where I am stuck and the car is still at the dealership in their holding area where it will stay until, a: somehow by miracle they send the local Cadillac rep. And he oks the warranty repair or, B: I magically come up with the cost of repair. I was shifting to third, yes there were many close calls while getting the car off the road I had three lanes to cross at night in a 60mph zone on a busy night

- Mars Hill, NC, USA

problem #37

Dec 172007

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,700 miles
At 50mph rear differential let loose on my 2005 Cts Cadillac. Lost control spun, hit curb and median. Had to be towed out. Wheels locked. Could have been catastrophic had I went into on coming traffic.

- Collierville, TN, USA

problem #36

Nov 282007

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 36,500 miles


I was driving across an intersection at the other side of the intersection there was a small dip I shifted into second as I was exiting the intersection and went through the dip and accelerated out of it I heard a loud pop and the car started to slow down I pulled into a parking lot with the momentum that I had ant stopped there was a puddle of gear oil on the ground. There was a track of oil from where it popped to where I stopped a piece of the diff housing was laying in the street. I called aaa and they came and towed my 2005 Cts-V to the nearest dealership.

- Ridgecrest, CA, USA

problem #35

Oct 232007

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 38,000 miles
2005 Cadillac Cts V with 38,000 miles. While driving down a California freeway the rear differential locked up. We managed to pull vehicle off road. Car was towed to Cadillac dealership where rear differential breakdown was confirmed. Dealership has declined covering part under warranty as they say "improper driving" was the cause. This is a crazy statement as this car has been driven just like all of our other cars. This problem is highly documented and very dangerous. We were lucky to be able to get the car off the road without an accident.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

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problem #34

Oct 222007

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 43,000 miles
My 2005 Cadillac Cts-V has been sent to the Cadillac dealership numerous times concerning rear differential noise and clunking. After Cadillac claimed that the problem was fixed by replacing the drive shaft, on the same night the rear differential blew up under normal driving condition. The car was sent back to Cadillac and was denied warranty under the accusation of harsh driving or "hot rodding". there was no in-depth inspection or a mechanical and material analysis to determine the actual point of failure. The tech representative simple conducted a bias conclusion and accused me of "hot rodding".

- Lake Forest, CA, USA

problem #33

Apr 012007

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles


Rear differential failure of 2005 Cadillac Cts. I have a 2005 Cts and experienced clunking while driving. The car was returned to dealer multiple times with complaint of clunking noise. All times the car was returned and said to be in proper operable order. I finally decided to contact Cadillac direct and was told by customer service to bring my vehicle for yet another appointment. They changed the rear differential finally and stated that there was complete failure due to leak of fluid. [smch from E-mail]

- Massapequa, NY, USA

problem #32

Aug 112007

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 31,000 miles
(1) driving car from wet gravel incline up onto pavement. (2) loud noise from rear, car began to roll back down hill. Would not move further. (3) towed to dealership, rear differential and driveshaft damaged. Dealer refused to fix under warranty. Only owned car 2 weeks & bought extended warranty.

- Nokesville, VA, USA

problem #31

Jun 012007

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 4,000 miles
I have had 3 rear differentials replaced in the two years of ownership for my 2005 Cadillac Cts-V. they were evaluated by my dealership to be faulty and were replaced under warranty. Currently, my 4th differential is not giving me a problem but I am confident it is simply a matter of time.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #30

Sep 202005

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 16,000 miles
- degradation of the rear carrier assembly (E.E. rear differential). - replacement of rear carrier assembly 3 times (on 4th differential by 45K miles) - no catastrophic failures, but on all occasions carrier assembly became so noisy that it could be heard with the windows down at speed with the radio on. Had it replaced before a failure, as the car was under warranty. On the 3rd differential, the pinion seal began to leak also.

- Elkridge, MD, USA

problem #29

May 012005

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 27,000 miles


I have a 2005 Cadillac Cts-V my first issue was back in 05/05 8,200 miles on car while driving car would not allow me to shift or change gears the car stalled and rolled to a stop. I called for road service 2 hours from home they towed car to an area dealer who later called to inform me the rear differential failed and GM had refused to pay for service. I had the car towed to my local dealer at my expense, at my dealers request. They informed me that GM said the car had excessive tire wear and damage was caused by driver abuse or aggressive driving I was forced to hire an attorney and pay for a vehicle I couldn't drive for several months. Late in August 05 Cadillac agreed to pay for the repair. 01/07 27,000 miles I was driving the Cts-V changed gears from 2nd to 3rd approx 30 mph heard a clunk and rear end started to whine I parked the car, called road side service, they towed the car to the dealer. Customer service rep called a few days later he said the rear end has failed again and needs complete replacement the hangar baring is bent, the main bolt is broke in two pieces and is recommending a complete new rear end he also said GM refused to pay for service to his surprise. Here we go again. My local dealer has the car it has not been repaired as of yet, so yes the old parts are available. The Cadillac Cts-V rear differential is weak and may break causing this car to skid or suddenly stop, causing an accident, injury, or death. Cadillac knows of problem and has provided some customers with warranty repair, offered 100,000 mile extended warranties for others and yet denied repair for customers with similar problems. This rear differential is under rated for this cars horse power and was designed for use in the standard Cts version of this car the rear tires have also been a problem showing early signs of wear. I had to replace my first set front and rear at 8,500 miles, these tires are worst rated tire by consumers at and

- Canyon Country, CA, USA

problem #28

Oct 062006


  • miles
2005 Cts V... noticed howling whining noise coming from rear end. Cadillac has replaced two rear differentials in my car and attempted to fix the whining noise three other time and I still have the noise coming from the rear end. My car only has 12,000 miles and needs a third rear differential.

- Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #27

Sep 202006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,400 miles
The differential assembly in my 2005 Cadillac Cts-V was whining after only 5,000 miles and had to be replaced.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #26

Mar 312006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 8,000 miles
Several rear end differential failures. 1 at 4000 miles, the second at 8000 miles. And the third is loud and makes noises from the day I got it back. GM tried to void and not cover the rear end so I had to take it to another state for them to fix it for me. They just start out quiet and then get louder and louder and louder. The last one died with my family in the vehicle at 40 mph durring regular driving. Rear locked up then broke up in half. It killed the driveshaft and several other parts when it locked up. I have had 20+ GM cars in my lifetime and this one is the worst built rear end ever. If I tried, I bet I could kill it in one full throttle launch. But, of coarse wont try that cause it will break.... also, needed a wheel alignment, clutch update, and several other things done. The radio acts funny and paint on one button is comming off, and my head liner lights dont work. Also I have had to replace all 4 tires 2 times already with factory replacements and I only have 10,000 miles on mine"?"

- Warsaw, IN, USA

problem #25

Apr 182006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 17,500 miles
Cts-V rear differential whinning at 35-40 mph GM did replace it. I had a 2003 Cts and the rear differential locked up while driving 35 mph and skidded about 20 feet. GM replaced it 3 times and finally bought the car back. One year later we bought the 2005 Cts-V and its doing the same thing, GM needs to figure this out before someone dies....

- Edwards, CO, USA

problem #24

May 072006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 7,300 miles
Differential began whining at 500 miles. Was told the noise was normal by the Cadillac dealer. Rear differential failed at 7500 miles with the dealer informing me I had abused the car.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #23

Apr 272006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 12,000 miles
Rear end whining noise (now broken), and clutch/drive train noise.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #22

Apr 042005

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,909 miles
Rear end leaking and wining replaced rear diff.

- Forked River, NJ, USA

problem #21

Mar 132006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Rear differential makes whining noise which is getting progressively worse. Car only has 4,000 miles.

- Hinesville, GA, USA

problem #20

Feb 152006

CTS 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 4,500 miles
1-whine in rear end between 44 and 47 mph 2-noise got louder as time went on (at 6700 miles) 3-rear end was replaced.

- Walnut Creek , CA, USA

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