NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,505 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.

2003 Cadillac CTS engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Cadillac CTS Owner Comments

problem #15

May 022016

CTS 6-cyl

  • miles


2003 Cadillac Cts. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle starts up and drives for a while then shuts down without warning. The consumer also stated the idler arms and crank sensors were replaced.

- Mardela Springs, MD, USA

problem #14

Jan 132012

CTS 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
An oil leak after driving about 35 miles, completely drained oil. Brought car to Cadillac dealer who charger me $4500 to repair. Looked on mycarstats.com web site and saw another of the same problem...case #[xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Covington, LA, USA

problem #13

Dec 202002


  • 90,100 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated whenever the vehicle was not started for a few days it would only start with a jump start. The vehicle was taken to the dealer at least three times who stated the battery caused the failure to occur. A brand new battery was installed but the vehicle would not start. The contact also stated that the trunk was too heavy to stay in the up position each time she opened it. The trunk had fallen onto her head but there were no injuries. The manufacturer stated that there were no recalls and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 90,100.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #12

Oct 142010

CTS 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


2003 Cadillac Cts all I can say is im disgusted with this car nothing but problems. I don't know if that leakage that is reported on here had something to do with what happened but now I have a car sitting in my driveway which I can't use because it has a loud knocking sound coming from engine. Which most than likely needs replaced which is very expensive can I say first Cadillac and will never buy another one ever..

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #11

Jan 282011


  • 73,638 miles
While traveling at moderate speed vehicle began shaking violently and loosing power. The engine was missing on one or more cylinders. Dealer recommended replacing coil, sparkplug, valve cover gaskets and oil cooler. This seems to have been caused by a defect mentioned in cad Cts tsb id # 1609265 dated 2005. This tsb states that the crankcase vapors and engine oil will vent through the cam/valve cover seals when the crankcase ventilation system becomes blocked. The oil on this vehicle evidently vented and leaked several places including into the ignition coils causing a short. If this had happened in interstate traffic at high speeds this could have caused an accident or if the oil had leaked on very hot surfaces possibly a fire. The tsb specified kits that were to be installed to prevented this from happening. Evidently, these were never installed on this vehicle.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #10

Mar 062010


  • 104,060 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. While driving 60 mph the vehicle shut off without warning. The failure has occurred on three separate occasions. The manufacturer informed the contact that there were no related recalls and that the call volume had not accumulated enough to issue a recall. The contact stated that the manufacturer should be responsible for the repairs. The failure mileage was 104,060.

- Ford Heights, IL, USA

problem #9

Dec 092009


  • 75,000 miles


Oil leak from frozen PCV valve and valve cover gasket. Causes oil to leak onto engine and exhaust and fumes from burning oil to enter into the cabin of the car.

- Fort Smith, AR, USA

problem #8

Mar 062009

CTS 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Oil leakage from cam cover gaskets that require repair. 3.2L V-6 in my 2003 Cadillac Cts. Black smoke with extreme burning smell flooded vehicle interior compartment also smoke starts to come from under hood of vehicle. Pulled into safe location found huge oil leak on left side of engine around valve cover. Could have possibly started a fire due to highly combustible oil being blown on engine but luckily did not catch on fire. Check on-line found tsb 05-06-01-007A stating GM knows this is a problem. "when operating in extremely cold weather conditions. And GM doesn't have the parts available till June for my car and at a cost of $860 dollar. PCV hose kit, P/N 55558592 and oil filter cap, P/N 12589430. Safety of the drivers and passengers should be considered cause of the fumes being released in the passenger compartment. Several people I know have the same problem and there waiting also. A known problem and GM should step up and issue a recall on this.

- Marysville, MI, USA

problem #7

Oct 132008

CTS 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
V6 engine with coolant leaks. 3rd time something dealing with a leak reason for service. This time a water pump that lead to broken, crack pulley. I can find no one ever having this problem. I have been without a car almost 30 days.

- Trotwood, OH, USA

problem #6

Mar 202008

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
Design flaw? plastic valve cover failure. Oil leaking on engine.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #5

Jun 152007

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. The service engine soon light illuminated and now the engine is running hot. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that antifreeze was leaking into the engine. The engine needed to be replaced at the cost of $7,000. The vehicle is currently parked and has not been repaired. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 73,076 and failure mileage was 70,000.

- Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 012003

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
I am and have been experiencing numerous failures with my vehicle. I have contacted GM numerous times beginning approximately a few months after I purchased the vehicle to inform them that the vehicle is defective, only to be told my vehicle is out of warranty, so they refuse to fix it or give my one that is not defective. My vehicle is still defective to this date.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Oct 192004

CTS 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 27,772 miles
(1) flickering display lights; buzzing when turn signal engaged; battery died after 30,000 mile maintenance; eight [8] consecutive times of "engine hot--ac turned off" on dic--last time with check engine light on display.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #2

Mar 132004

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles
While driving 30 mph, the vehicle stalled. The consumer managed to restart the vehicle. There was a loud noise inside of the vehicle, rough jerks at shifts, vibration at mid to high speeds, loud noise from back tires when riding over bumps, burning smell from under the hood along with smoking, water in the tail light, black exhaust dust/dirt in the tail pipe, the engine would shake. The jerking was as if the brakes were applied while in drive.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #1

Nov 302002

(reported on)


  • miles
The dealer unkinked a fuel tank hose. This problem made it difficult to pump gas into the tank. This vehicle is not getting the proper gas mileage and burns too much oil, engine cooler leaking fluid, when the vehicle sits overnight it has to be cranked two or three times before the engine starts.

- Durham, NC, USA

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