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Avoid the 2009 Cadillac CTS At All Costs

Cadillac is well-known around the world for making some of the best luxury cars on the market. But, unsurprisingly, Cadillac has made some mistakes in the past, and some of its cars just aren’t up to snuff. Here’s why you should avoid buying the 2009 Cadillac CTS at all costs.

The 2009 Cadillac CTS’s worst problem

According to Car Complaints, the 2009 Cadillac CTS was the worst model year of the car. Not only that, but of the top three most serious issues that any CTS model year has had, the 2009 CTS had two of those three issues. The worst problem that many owners of the 2009 CTS reported was that the transfer case was dead. As a result, the transmission was severely damaged too.

This is a severe issue for three reasons. First, a dead transfer case can lead to serious issues. One owner on Car Complaints said that they suffered a total transfer case failure while on the highway, which caused them to crash their 2009 CTS. Not only that, but they claim that they suffered multiple collisions before finally being able to stop. Obviously, this is a problem that could hurt people.

But another reason why this problem is so severe is because it happens so early in the life of the car. A reliable car shouldn’t have too many issues before logging 100,000 miles on its odometer, but this problem shows up at around 61,000 miles, according to Car Complaints. And lastly, it simply costs a lot of money to fix. 

The only way to fix this transfer case problem was to just replace it. On average, Car Complaints said that it cost 2009 CTS owners about $3,500 to replace their transfer cases. For such an old car, it’s totally possible that you’re better off just buying a new car instead of spending that kind of money.

More transmission issues

2018 Cadillac CTS is on display at the 110th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The Cadillac CTS | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The second-worst problem among all CTS model years as well as among the 2009 CTS was that its transmission would fail. Transmission failures typically may happen after a lot of wear and tear, but like the 2009 CTS’s transfer case problem, these transmission failures were happening to relatively new cars.

Car Complaints says that the average mileage for these cars when their transmission failed was just 19,000 miles. And just like the transfer case issue, transmission failures can be dangerous. On top of that, the only way to really fix this issue, according to Car Complaints, was to just replace the whole transmission.

Once again, this was a costly repair to make. On average, it cost owners $4,000 to replace their transmission. And, just like the transfer case problem, with that kind of money, you could probably buy a new car instead.

Engine problems in the Cadillac CTS

Engine issues were also very common in the 2009 Cadillac CTS. The most specific issue that owners reported had to do with the car’s timing chain, which simply failed and needed to be replaced. Car Complaints doesn’t have any data on how much it cost owners to fix this issue, but on average, it happened at roughly 99,000 miles on the odometer. 

One of the most serious engine problems though had to do with the 2009 CTS’s vehicle speed control. For some reason, many owners reported that their cars would suddenly accelerate, even when fully stopped. 

Unlike the timing chain issue, this speed control problem had an average mileage of 24,000 miles, which means that it was happening to relatively new cars. And unfortunately, this speed control issue was so severe that it caused four crashes, two injuries, and one death. For these reasons, you should avoid the 2009 CTS at all costs.