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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,450 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 #22

May 232016

CTS

  • 74,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was traveling approximately 65 mph on a 3 lane highway, while mainitaning a constant speed. Suddenly all power to the vehicle cut off including my power steering and braking. In a panic as I as coasting I was fortune enough to weave my way across 2 lanes to the side of the highway and roll to a complete start. After gathering myself I turned the ignition from the run position to off. I looked up and noticed there was smoke coming out from under the hood. I jumped out, lifted the hood, and heard popping and steam/smoke rising up from underneath the engine by the firewall. I pulled the oil dipstick and I was about a quart low, and it looked normal. I waited about 30 min and checked the level again with the same result. I then tried to start the vehicle and there was not response at all. I was unable to roll up my windows, and there was no power to display any information on dash. When my wife arrived I hooked up jumper cables and after a while I was able to turn the key forward to see the instrument panel. It said my battery was at the correct volts, and there were no warning lights on my dash. When I turned the ignition to start. My dash flickered rapidly and there was a clicking noise but the engine made no sound as if it was trying to turn over. So I called tow truck and got towed to my house. The vehicle was purchased by me in 09 with 32K miles. It had an issue where it was eating up to 4 quarts of oil every 1K-3K miles. I had purchase an extended warranty so bye 50K miles they tore apart engine replacing pretty much the entire engine. The car currently has less then 20K miles since warranty rebuild and I am at a loss. I put a new battery in it and that has done nothing to help. Still just makes a strange clicking noise. I have no idea what to do now. It is a 2005 Cts 3.6L base automatic transmission

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #21

Aug 182015

CTS

  • 104,600 miles
After a routine oil change at brogan Cadillac service in totowa, NJ, the recommended service (approx cost $1200) was the rear diff bushing was worn and the rear axle seals are leaking fluid. An internet search uncovered GM recall# 07204 for this make and model that states "the rear axle pinion seal does not meet all of the specifications and may experience a fluid leak." When I called GM to inquire about this issue I was told that although there was a recall for this particular problem for cars sold in New Jersey, it was specific to certain VIN numbers and my vehicle was not included in this group. However, the customer service agent made 2 follow up calls to me and the supervisor offered to look into my situation and would contact me once she spoke with the dealer. Please note: For the past two or three years the service stability system alert warning indicator light comes on every time I start the car and inquiry at the dealer led to me have the struts and shocks replaced but the alert has never reset and the warning still comes on. Additionally, the internet search uncovered GM recall #09149 for the service brake systems which the alert has been on for a few years as well. The brake system has been serviced several times to replace pads and rotors and the warning is still persistent. I had been told it was the sensor that needs to be replace and not to worryabout it. Now I wonder if this too was "VIN specific" and did not include my vehicle but leaves me unsafely at risk. I realize that enormous expense is connected to recalls, however my safety as well as the safety of everyone who places confidence in car manufacturers to do what is right is at stake. We drive these vehicles and do not realize the gamble we take when serious issues are not dealt with consideration for safety first! will you please save my life and get GM to fix my car?

- Paterson, NJ, USA

problem #20

Jun 052015

CTS

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Cts. While driving at 10 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the rear axle pinion seal needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Hanover Park, IL, USA

problem #19

Mar 252015

CTS 6-cyl

  • 109,524 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The traction control turned off when I was driving at about 45mph. I have loss of motive power and traction control will not turn back on. I know there was a recall for this same years powertrain seal going bad and think that this is a defective model that wasn't recalled. Please let me know what can be done about this serious issue"?"

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #18

Aug 042014

CTS

  • 119,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that the vehicle jerked backward and would not accelerate. The contact shut off the vehicle and once restarted, the failure recurred. The vehicle was towed to a repair shop where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. Additionally, the contact stated that the key would become stuck in the ignition switch or would be difficult to remove. The power windows also failed and would open and close independently, as well as the radio becoming inoperable. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer, who diagnosed that the transmission and the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The ignition switch was replaced but not the transmission. The contact later discovered that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 14V394000 (electrical system) the manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 119,000.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

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problem #17

Feb 122014

CTS 8-cyl

  • 51,250 miles
Shifting gears was accompanied by clunking in rear differential. This occurred when shifting or when letting off the accelerator. In March of 2014 a whining also accompanied driving at speeds of 50 - 70 mph. My Cadillac dealer replaced the differential with a new one under a private warranty program. Within 2 weeks the differential was again making the same noises. Dealer said that Cadillac would not do anything about the problem. Note: Servicing mechanic noted after changing the differential fluid, that the fluid taken from the newly installed differential was burnt black.

- Canandaigua, NY, USA

problem #16

Jan 092014

CTS 8-cyl

  • 46,450 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Clunking sound and feel from rear axle when shifting gears. Appears to be getting worse.

- Canandaigua, NY, USA

problem #15

Dec 022013

CTS

  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the radiator failed and caused coolant to leak into the transmission. As a result, the radiator and transmission both needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 82,000 and the current mileage was 86,000.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #14

Jan 052012

CTS 6-cyl

  • 55 miles
I was hit front end never had a chance to react. 110 mph impact. Engine transmission brackets that are designed to shear off to keep engine from going into driver compartment did not. Everything came forward causing extensive damage, horrible injuries.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #13

May 182013

CTS 6-cyl

  • 121,500 miles
I was traveling on the interstate when it felt like someone had hit us from behind except there was no one there. I saw smoke coming from the back end of car and it smelled like something was burning. I pulled off to the side and stopped my vehicle. After stopping the car it I could no longer get it to move forward. It acted like it was not able to go into gear. Had a tow truck haul it home from el centro, calif to yuma, AZ. The car had to literally be dragged onto the tow truck cause the rear wheels were frozen in place. Luckily the wheels didn't cease while we were still moving. After removal of differential we discovered it was bone dry. I had replace a bushing not to long ago but saw no sign of leaks. I purchased the 2005 Cts new from a dealer in yuma and never received any notice of a recall for the seals. Or for anything.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #12

Jul 172012

CTS

  • 120,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that the vehicle would not respond when in reverse. The contact was able to drive the vehicle forward. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the transmission needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired because the dealer advised the contact that the part was unavailable. The manufacturer was notified and advised the same thing. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #11

Jun 042012

CTS

  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle jerked to the right and nearly caused a crash. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on numerous occasions and the contact was informed of possible underground wire defects. The vehicle was repaired and the dealer offered no further assistance. The failure continued. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 73,000 and the current mileage was 74,000.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #10

May 192012

CTS

  • 112,000 miles
While driving on the highway under normal operating conditions, my properly maintained and unmodified 2005 Cadillac Cts caught fire. The fire caused significant damage to the drive train and fuel tank with the plastic fuel tank seconds away from being totally breached by flames and likely significant injuries including death. The fire burned for 30-40 minutes until the responding firefighters were able to jack up the vehicle and extinguish the fire with water from underneath. Fortunately, the firefighters were able to extinguish the vehicle fire prior to the fuel tank breach with no apparent related injuries. Pursuant to an expert analysis and report, the following manufacturing and/or design defects sequentially caused said fire: 1. while driving, the rear carrier pinion bearing failed; 2. failed carrier pinion caused excessive play in the pinion gear; 3. excessive play in the pinion gear caused failure of the pinion gear seal in the ring and pinion housing; 4. failed pinion gear seal allowed the rear carrier lubricant to leak; 5. with vehicle in motion, rear carrier lubricant contacted rotating driveshaft assembly; 6. rotating driveshaft and pinion yoke "sprayed" lubricant in the rear axle housing area including onto exhaust, plastic fuel tank, rubber driveshaft coupler and floor pan; 7. heat from exhaust or pinion gear ignited lubricant & subsequent fire quickly spread across the bottom of the vehicle. Expert report concluded that manufacturing and / or design defects were previously well-documented by nhsa 2005 Cadillac Cts nhsa owner complaints and said fire could have been prevented by vehicle manufacturer through recall notices and use of non-combustible materials.

- Nutley, NJ, USA

problem #9

May 192012

CTS

  • 112,000 miles
While driving on the highway under normal operating conditions, my properly maintained and unmodified 2005 Cadillac Cts caught fire. The fire caused significant damage to the drive train and fuel tank with the plastic fuel tank seconds away from being totally breached by flames and likely significant injuries including death. The fire burned for 30-40 minutes until the responding firefighters were able to jack up the vehicle and extinguish the fire with water from underneath. Fortunately, the firefighters were able to extinguish the vehicle fire prior to the fuel tank breach with no apparent related injuries. Pursuant to an expert analysis and report, the following manufacturing and/or design defects sequentially caused said fire: 1. while driving, the rear carrier pinion bearing failed; 2. failed carrier pinion caused excessive play in the pinion gear; 3. excessive play in the pinion gear caused failure of the pinion gear seal in the ring and pinion housing; 4. failed pinion gear seal allowed the rear carrier lubricant to leak; 5. with vehicle in motion, rear carrier lubricant contacted rotating driveshaft assembly; 6. rotating driveshaft and pinion yoke "sprayed" lubricant in the rear axle housing area including onto exhaust, plastic fuel tank, rubber driveshaft coupler and floor pan; 7. heat from exhaust or pinion gear ignited lubricant & subsequent fire quickly spread across the bottom of the vehicle. Expert report concluded that manufacturing and / or design defects were previously well-documented by nhsa 2005 Cadillac Cts nhsa owner complaints and said fire could have been prevented by vehicle manufacturer through recall notices and use of non-combustible materials.

- Nutley, NJ, USA

problem #8

Dec 092010

CTS

  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Cadillac Cts. The vehicle was being serviced at an authorized dealer for an unrelated issue when he was advised that the rear differential pinion seal was leaking. The rear differential pinion seals were replaced. The contact located a recall in regards to the failure under NHTSA campaign id number: 07V589000 (power train:axle assembly:axle shaft:seal) but was advised by the manufacturer that his VIN was not part of the recall. The vehicle was repaired at the contacts expense. The failure mileage was 89,000 and the current mileage was 95,000.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #7

Oct 012010

CTS 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
I have a 2005 Cadillac Cts with 67,000 miles. Since about 65,000 miles car has been making a rattling sound under the hood during acceleration. I have given the car a tune up, oil change and the car has other fluids are at level. Once my car has accelerated and the gears have changed (I.e, second gear) the rattling sounds stops..the noise is continuous and only happens at acceleration, not while idling. In addition every now and again when a front seat passenger gets in the car the airbag sensor/light comes on the dashboard. This problem doesn't happen often but it happens every once in a while. Upon doing my research for both these issues I find that I am not the only one having this problem...hopefully something will be done so that GM can address these serious issues without having the consumer/owners having to pay an arm and a leg.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #6

Jan 012010

CTS

  • 70,000 miles
Rear differential of my Cadillac Cts-V has begun to whine at 70,000 miles, dealer says the only option to fix it is to replace.

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #5

Dec 212009

CTS

  • 65,110 miles
I just bought the car on December 18th, 2009 from a small dealer. It snowed over the weekend in Delaware. I have been noticing a loud noise coming from the rear axles as I would try to navigate through the snow. It sounds like the rear is hopping up and down radically. This is happening from the point of take off when trying to drive through the snow at low speeds of 5 mph. I took the car to pep boys in philadelphia, pa to get an oil change and the mechanic's informed me that they heard the rear bouncing up and down when they were trying to Transport the car from the parking space to the car lift.

- Claymont, DE, USA

problem #4

Aug 202009

CTS

  • 80,000 miles
I own a 2005 Cadillac Cts with a 3.7 liter engine, and automatic transmission. I am the second owner, and purchased this vehicle when it had 55,978 miles on it. After driving the car for less then 2 years, it developed a noise coming from the back (rear end). I brought the car to my local Cadillac dealer. After a road test and inspection, the dealer determined that the problem was the rear differential, and it would need to be replaced at a cost of about $1700. I've owned many used cars over the past 30 years, some with over 100,000 miles on them, and I've never, never needed a new rear differential on any vehicle that I've ever owned! I understand that this is a common problem with this model. The dealer stated that the seals were good, and that all of the fluids were at the correct levels in the differential, and that the earlier Cts models had experienced problems with differentials, but that the problem was rectified with the 2005 model. Apparently it would seem that there are also problems with the 2005 model differential as well!

- Wakefield, MA, USA

problem #3

Oct 012008

CTS

  • 19,000 miles
I have a 2005 Cadillac Cts and have taken into the Cadillac dealership for rear end loss of control and bouncing of rear end. I know there was a recall on some type of rear end issues. I am tired of arguing with the ed morse dealership in tampa, fl about the recall and defect with the car. Please advise me as to what to do.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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