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Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding #5389393 03/30/20 12:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 547
IMSA_Racing_Fan Offline OP
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Posts: 547
Hey everyone, newbe member here. I just purchased a 2012 Cadillac CTS 4 with a 3.6 liter V6 and all wheel drive. The car has 60k miles with no service record so I intend to replace every lubricant in the car. I intend to keep it indefinitely and my driving habits are a bit more spirited than the average Cadillac owner. These are my questions:

The owners manual calls for 5W-30 semi-synthetic. I searched for common issues with this engine and found the timing chains tend to stretch causing various trouble codes to light up and the only fix is to tear it down and replace the chains and tensioners. I live in South Texas where the heat averages 100 deg F in the summer. Should I go with a higher viscosity such as 10W-30 or 10W-40 to provide more shock load cushioning on the chain rollers and preserve idle oil pressure? The owners manual states to stick with the recommended weights (of course it always says that but IMO the engineers aren't concerned with the vehicle past the warranty expiration). Should I flush it before the change?

Transmission: Dexron VI I've ordered 6 bottles of Transtar ATF. Their website indicates this company manufactures GM labeled fluids.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/ATF-Flui...-LV-SP-IV-SPH-IV-WS-FZ-ZF6-ZF8/126963350

Front and read differentials: 75W-90 with 4 oz of limited slip additive. Ordered Mobile1 LS 75W-90 and no additive.

Transfer Case: This is my biggest question. Owner manual indicates Transfer Case Fluid GM PN 88861800
I called Mobile's customer support number, was transferred to a higher level of support, and the agent stated they list no fluid for this application. I found a topic on this board with a similar year and model vehicle and the final answer was either straight ATF or motorcycle engine oil as gear lube kills the carbon fiber clutch plates. If that suggestion holds am leaning towards a full synthetic H-D spec oil or just going with the factory fluid. I want to make sure the internals last.

I have bottles of Lucas Transmission Fix and Lucas Oil Stabilizer on hand. Should I use these or leave them out?

Thanks in advance. I've had success in the past keeping older vehicles running by going with my intuition and past experience as a service tech on vintage imports and dealership vehicles but this is the most complex vehicle I've tinkered with.


2012 Cadillac CTS 3.0
1997 Ford Aspire
1991 Jaguar XJ6
1986 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5389409 03/30/20 12:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
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Bailes1992 Offline
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What are the lowest temperatures you are likely to start the car up from cold in? (Does that sentence even make any sense? LOL)

Now I'm not familiar with this engine, we don't have it over here in the UK but I'm assuming chain driven and port injected?

Oils that are shown to give the least wear are those with thicker base stocks. If you're a hard driver and you enjoy changing your own oil then maybe synthetic isn't the way to go. You're likely to have the same or even better results using a quality mineral monograde such as Supertech HD30 or a a multigrade with a thicker base stock such as a 15w40 or 15w30 (can you still get Delo400 15w30??).

That said, something like Castrol Edge 0w40 A3/B4 should do you well too!


19 Volvo V40 D3 - 19 Jeep Renegade eTorq - 03 Ford Mondeo 3.0 V6 - 96 LR Defender 90 300TDi
Castrol Edge 5w30 LL
Valvoline Maxlife ATF
Fuchs Sintofluid 75w80
Fuchs Sintopoid 75w90
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5389414 03/30/20 12:34 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 104
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skip029 Offline
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Posts: 104
I'd definitely add an external Transmission and Oil Cooler.


Current: 2015 Nissan Juke (DIG-T AWD)

2008 Jeep Patriot
2004 Jeep Liberty
2013 Nissan Juke
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: Bailes1992] #5389417 03/30/20 12:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 547
IMSA_Racing_Fan Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 547
Hey thanks for the reply. It never drops below -10 C here. An old timer mechanic that I apprenticed under would say "those runny oils are used to achieve MPG targets for the EPA, always go with one weight higher"


2012 Cadillac CTS 3.0
1997 Ford Aspire
1991 Jaguar XJ6
1986 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5389437 03/30/20 01:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 487
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Bailes1992 Offline
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Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 487
Originally Posted by IMSA_Racing_Fan
Hey thanks for the reply. It never drops below -10 C here. An old timer mechanic that I apprenticed under would say "those runny oils are used to achieve MPG targets for the EPA, always go with one weight higher"


You'd be stretching it with a monograde 30 at -10°c, however a 15w** would work well.

There's also synthetic 15w40's out there such as Rotella T6 or boutique options from the likes of Amsoil or Redline.

I personally enjoy running cheaper oils and changing them more frequently. However, it's all down to an individuals taste. Regardless, this car will give up due to something that isn't an engine oil related failure, so don't think too hard about it.

Like I said before, you could use Castrol 0w40 A3/B4 for 10k intervals without a sweat!


19 Volvo V40 D3 - 19 Jeep Renegade eTorq - 03 Ford Mondeo 3.0 V6 - 96 LR Defender 90 300TDi
Castrol Edge 5w30 LL
Valvoline Maxlife ATF
Fuchs Sintofluid 75w80
Fuchs Sintopoid 75w90
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5389448 03/30/20 01:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,482
K
KGMtech Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,482
Ignore the oil life monitor and change the oil at least 2x per year with a top quality synthetic and you won't have much to worry about. If it is possible, a inexpensive amazon boroscope camera inspection into the valve covers will give you an idea if past maintenance issues caused sludge buildup


2017.5 Nissan Rogue SV FWD
2013 Nissan Maxima SV
2009 Ford Flex SEL FWD
1984 Yamaha XJ750RL
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5389454 03/30/20 01:29 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,696
K
ka9mnx Online Content
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K
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,696
5w-30 synthetic in the engine. GM Transfer Case Fluid as spec'd.


2005 Ranger 3.0 - SuperTech Syn 0w-20/Motorcraft
2000 4Runner 3.4 - SuperTech Syn 5w-30/Toyota
1997 B2500 Van 3.9 - M1 HM 10w-30/Mopar
1993 F150 4.9 - SuperTech Syn 5w-30/Motorcraft
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5389541 03/30/20 03:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 6,289
JohnnyJohnson Online Content
Online Content
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 6,289
Well I don't buy much these days I don't want my stash getting any bigger but this was a good deal.

[Linked Image]


2004 Corolla 140116
Out: Havoline Pro DS 10w-30 Purolator PureOne 10-29-19 136457
In: Pennzoil Platinum HM 5W-20 ST 4386
2006 Duramax 77077
Out: T6 5W-40 XG9100 73909
In: Rotella Dino PH9100 11-3-19
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5389595 03/30/20 04:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 8,859
4
440Magnum Offline
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Posts: 8,859
Do not up the viscosity of your engine oil expecting “better protection.” Use a better quality oil and change on schedule. Modern engines with variable cam timing may throw slow cam phaser response codes with the wrong grade oil, among other things like slower pump-up of lash adjusters and cam chain tensioner on cold starts... which if you’re looking to crutch up a sketchy timing chain design is the OPPOSITE of a good thing.

As for the Lucas additives... I wouldn’t use a Lucas branded product to start a fire, let alone in anything I cared about. No pour-in engine oil additives. EVER.

Last edited by 440Magnum; 03/30/20 04:56 PM.

'66 Dodge Polara & '69 Dodge Coronet R/T both 440/727
'08 Ram 1500 4.7/545RFE
'12 Challenger SRT8 392/6-speed
'99 XJ 4x4 4.0/AX15, '14 WK2 4x4 3.6/8HP
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5389612 03/30/20 05:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
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GMBoy Offline
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2008 CTS 3.6DI owner here. Timing chains are covered for 10yrs/120k miles as a special warranty. I run Mobil 1 5W/30 since original factory fill was FULL syn Mobil 1 in 2008. They later went to Dexos spec, but you should be running full synthetic. Before you even attempt the transmission fluid change be aware to the proper process. There is no dipstick - I can send you the detailed process which requires the car to be on a lift, level, motor running and at a specific trans temperature.

Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: GMBoy] #5389616 03/30/20 05:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 547
IMSA_Racing_Fan Offline OP
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I found it on YouTube but whatever you have is appreciated

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clb-Xw-RVPY

Will be on the floor woe is me.


2012 Cadillac CTS 3.0
1997 Ford Aspire
1991 Jaguar XJ6
1986 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5389619 03/30/20 05:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,764
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WobblyElvis Offline
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I maintain my son's 2008 CTS with the 3.6 GDI V6. We use store brand synthetic 5W30 at 5-7,000 mile OCI's. Over 200,000 miles at present. The chain was replaced at 30,000 under warranty. I think there is nothing wrong with the design, they simply made a lot of bad chains. If you have a good one, there is nothing to worry about engine wise. The rest of the car is another story.

Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: IMSA_Racing_Fan] #5389621 03/30/20 05:48 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 547
S
super20dan Online Content
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Posts: 547
Originally Posted by IMSA_Racing_Fan
Hey everyone, newbe member here. I just purchased a 2012 Cadillac CTS 4 with a 3.6 liter V6 and all wheel drive. The car has 60k miles with no service record so I intend to replace every lubricant in the car. I intend to keep it indefinitely and my driving habits are a bit more spirited than the average Cadillac owner. These are my questions:

The owners manual calls for 5W-30 semi-synthetic. I searched for common issues with this engine and found the timing chains tend to stretch causing various trouble codes to light up and the only fix is to tear it down and replace the chains and tensioners. I live in South Texas where the heat averages 100 deg F in the summer. Should I go with a higher viscosity such as 10W-30 or 10W-40 to provide more shock load cushioning on the chain rollers and preserve idle oil pressure? The owners manual states to stick with the recommended weights (of course it always says that but IMO the engineers aren't concerned with the vehicle past the warranty expiration). Should I flush it before the change?

Transmission: Dexron VI I've ordered 6 bottles of Transtar ATF. Their website indicates this company manufactures GM labeled fluids.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/ATF-Flui...-LV-SP-IV-SPH-IV-WS-FZ-ZF6-ZF8/126963350

Front and read differentials: 75W-90 with 4 oz of limited slip additive. Ordered Mobile1 LS 75W-90 and no additive.

Transfer Case: This is my biggest question. Owner manual indicates Transfer Case Fluid GM PN 88861800
I called Mobile's customer support number, was transferred to a higher level of support, and the agent stated they list no fluid for this application. I found a topic on this board with a similar year and model vehicle and the final answer was either straight ATF or motorcycle engine oil as gear lube kills the carbon fiber clutch plates. If that suggestion holds am leaning towards a full synthetic H-D spec oil or just going with the factory fluid. I want to make sure the internals last.

I have bottles of Lucas Transmission Fix and Lucas Oil Stabilizer on hand. Should I use these or leave them out?

Thanks in advance. I've had success in the past keeping older vehicles running by going with my intuition and past experience as a service tech on vintage imports and dealership vehicles but this is the most complex vehicle I've tinkered with.


and yet you bought this anyway? why/ no one needs all wheel drive in Houston and the 3.6 engine has a long history of problems


99 silverado 5.3
2003 tundra v6
1981 toyota cressida wagon
2003 kia sorento
04 toyota highlander 4cyl 2013 toyota rav4
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: super20dan] #5389713 03/30/20 08:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 547
IMSA_Racing_Fan Offline OP
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Posts: 547
"no one needs all wheel drive in Houston"
Rain is common here. I didn't go to the dealership looking for this, I selected a less expensive, more utilitarian vehicle but they couldn't get it financed so the salesman plopped this one on the table and I was out the door nothing down no payments or interest for 90 days. Couldn't believe it because I was turned down by numerous finance firms a few months ago because my credit, while not bad, did not have enough on it. I think the Coronavirus has slowed down the economy to the point they need whatever sales they get.


2012 Cadillac CTS 3.0
1997 Ford Aspire
1991 Jaguar XJ6
1986 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours
Re: Cadillac CTS 4 AWD driveline care and feeding [Re: super20dan] #5389761 03/30/20 09:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
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clinebarger Offline
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Originally Posted by super20dan

and yet you bought this anyway? why/ no one needs all wheel drive in Houston and the 3.6 engine has a long history of problems


Troll much?


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
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