The CTS outscores some of the best of the imported luxury sports sedans. Drivers will like the responsive steering, agile handling, eager acceleration, and excellent brakes. All passengers should appreciate the steady, composed ride and plush interior. However, the cockpit was too snug for some, and the rear seat is a bit tight.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2011 Cadillac CTS has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
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POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
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NA
NA
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Engine Minor
NA
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Engine Cooling
NA
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NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
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NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 Cadillac CTS owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

"There are three, one on the dash, one in the console, and one in the rear seat. All have stopped working"

Melinda M., CA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Headlights

"Head light out $250 to replace."

Anonymous, FL (2011 Cadillac CTS CTS-V 3.0-L V6)

"Left Front Headlight filled with condensation. Dealer replaced"

J M., WA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Water in headlight housing"

Anonymous, IN (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"A head light was replaced after much argument despite a service bulletin point out that some of these headlight were defective. When the one they replaced failed they refused to replace it stating that Cadillac parts are only warrantied for two years."

Frank D., VA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Tire pressure monitor

"Two failed and were replaced, no warranty, and over $1500 to correct"

Melinda M., CA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Every time I get a flat, I have to change a tire pressure monitor, plus there is no spare tire in the car so AAA has to tow me to the dealer for another tire"

Anonymous, DE (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"sensors light came on--had to replace-----but biggest problem was the back door lift-----would not stay up---had to replace----very expensive"

Anonymous, MN (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"Washer mother shorted out."

Anonymous, TX (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Water pump failed at about 100,000 miles"

Leo S., IL (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Water leak in sun roof."

Anonymous, TX (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Hose was cracked, fluid loss caused engine temp to rise. Hose was replaced and system refilled. Car was almost 6 years old so hoses needed replacing"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Seal on sunroof leaked war into interior."

Anonymous, TX (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Trunk leaks water into well has done this for a couple of years, headlights have started to collect condensation"

Paul P., TN (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"The car's steering has a noise at low speeds."

Anonymous, PA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Wind noise

"noise from rear of vehicle"

Anonymous, IN (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

"The drivers side door latches, inside and out needed to be replaced"

Ted B., OR (2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6-L V6)

"The driver side door lock actuator went bad after six years with 3500 miles on it! Not exactly the quality one comes to expect in a Cadillac."

Frank D., VA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Seat controls - movement

"Passenger front seat frame was defective; replaced under warranty at no cost to me"

Marvin D., TN (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"This problem was caused by another car leaving a dent in the body."

David N., VA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Overheating

"Water pump went out, car overheated and the thermostat seized to the thermostat housing."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6-L V6)
Thermostat

"failed; engine temp rise and fall irradically"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Water pump

"Leaked"

Gary G., OK (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Leak in the water pump. Had it replaced"

Charles T., IL (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"transmission decided to give it up,so had to replace it,and they are very hard to find for awd"

Barry M., NS (2011 Cadillac CTS None 6.2-L V8 supercharged)
Stability control (ESC)

"Not working, $1000 replacement cost of wa sensor"

David T., ON (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"failed sensor"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Traction control

"Waa module needs to be replaced"

David T., ON (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Wheel bearings

"Wheel bearing and sensor issue. Caused many safety features to disable, stabilitrack, ABS, traction control but otherwise driveable."

Anonymous, (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"front driver side wheel bearing had to be replaced"

Anonymous, GA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"We changed the bearings in each wheel, one at a time over a12month period. Sucked because we had to take it to the shop each time. A lot of return trips, but the warranty covered most of the work"

Anonymous, DE (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Wheel bearing failure causing ABS to not function"

David T., ON (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Replaced front rotors & brake pads"

Anonymous, GA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Parking brake

"parking brake froze, wouldn't release. had to cut cable, have not repaired"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Cadillac CTS Unsure 3.6-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Condenser

"Condenser stopped working while returning from our summer vacation during the hot summer heat."

Anonymous, TX (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"One day all the Freon went out of the car condenser unit was no longer working. But unit had of been replaced which was a large job"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Speakers

"left side went in and out, a recurring problem that i finally had fixed for about $600 for a new amplifier"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"left side goes out on rough roads, comes back"

Anonymous, IN (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel injection system

"Three of the injectors had to be replaced, for a cost of around $5,000. I'm so glad I had an extended warranty to cover it."

Jamie H., WA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Rough idle, hesitation on acceleration. Out of warranty $700 out of pocket"

Joel E., IN (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"The Cadillac dealer says the airbag warning light is because of a sensor under the driver's seat. They want $1,200 to fix it."

Jamie H., WA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Light came on brought to Cadillac dealer who reset light but stated they had to order a sensor"

Anonymous, WI (2011 Cadillac CTS CTS-V 3.6-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint is peeling around the tail light on the right rear of the car"

D N., VA (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Had to replace the original battery, car needed a jump start."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Cadillac CTS 3.6-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine mounts

"One engine mount failed"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Compare 2011 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Jul 02, 2014
If the key is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
Summary:
This defect can affect the safe operation of the airbag system. Until this recall is performed, customers should remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the ignition key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring. General Motors LLC (GM) notified the agency on July 2, 2014 that they are recalling 554,328 model year 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS vehicles manufactured August 16, 2001, to April 28, 2014, and 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX vehicles manufactured March 20, 2003, to August 11, 2006. In these models, the weight on the key ring and/or road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will install two key rings and an insert in the key slot or a cover over the key head on all ignition keys, free of charge. The recall began on September 15, 2014. Owners may contact Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006. GM's number for this recall is 14172.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V394000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 554328
AIR BAGS, POWER TRAIN
Jun 19, 2014
If the roof rail air bags deploy unexpectedly, there is an increased risk of crash and injury to the occupants.
Summary:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2011 Cadillac CTS vehicles manufactured October 18, 2010, to June 2, 2011. In the affected vehicles, vibrations from the drive shaft may cause the vehicle's roll over sensor to command the roof rail air bags to deploy.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear drive shaft assembly, free of charge. General Motors distributed an interim letter to owners on August 27, 2014. Owners may contact Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006. GM's number for this recall is 14233.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V341000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 16932
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