Cadillac Timing Chain Problems

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My 2009 Cadillac
My 2009 Cadillac SRX

Here and in the comments section we’ll talk about timing chain problems on the Cadillac SRX. We’ll also discuss special policy letters sent to GM customers and criteria required to gain assistance.

I’ve written about first generation Cadillac SRX problems on several occasions here on the auto repair information blog. Although I haven’t had any engine problems with my particular crossover it’s getting hard to ignore the issues others are having with identical cars.

The people that are screaming the loudest are the ones having timing chain problems. Vehicles with a 3.6 L engine have a complicated set up when it comes to the variable valve timing and four overhead camshafts that are all chain driven by the crankshaft. If you pulled the timing cover off a 3.6 L engine I think you would be either impressed or sickened by the complexity.

2004 Cadillac Timing chain problem
2004 Cadillac Timing chain problem

For me whenever I see one of these timing chain setups, I think to myself, there must be a simpler way of doing this. The second thought is, if you are going to employ a system with multiple chains and four separate camshafts the chain you use better be of the highest quality possible. Titanium comes to mind.

Below are a couple of videos providing an inside look at exactly what this article is talking about. In fact at the time of this writing there is a very skilled mechanic named Nugget that put together 30 minutes of videos, divided into three sections, walking you through the Cadillac timing chain replacement procedure on a 3.6 L. He’s done the repair several times and has learned a few tricks that can help remove some of the pain from the procedure. This is the best way to learn about the timing chain issue without getting dirty.

General Motors knows about This Problem

3.6L VVT engine picture
3.6L VVT engine picture

I probably should’ve done more research when looking for a car to purchase. When I bought my 09 SRX there were plenty of people screaming about the 04’s with multiple cases of timing chain failure. Some of these people have replaced the chain only to have it fail again. It seems like the worst part about this problem is the dealer might be installing the same chain or at least one that isn’t any better than the one that failed. In most cases when General Motors comes out with a recall or special policy, improved parts are installed to stop repeat failures.

A few months after I bought the 2009 Cadillac SRX, I received a recall notice. The campaign number was 10287. The letter said they would and I quote “to ensure that your vehicle will not experience this condition your Cadillac dealer will change the calibration of the engine control module including the engine oil life monitor which in most cases will recommend more frequent oil changes”.

In my opinion, they’re trying to say the problems are caused from dirty engine oil. They moved up the service interval so the oil would stasy cleaner. I wrote a story about just this 2009 Cadillac SRX recall you can read later. When I took the car into the dealer I wouldn’t say I had the best experience overall. They tried to sell me a lot of stuff I didn’t need or want.

Timing Chain Special Policy

This brings me to a letter I received a couple of months ago and again I quote “recently you took your vehicle to the dealer to have customer satisfaction program 10287 performed. Your dealer reprogrammed the engine control module to prevent premature wear of the timing chain and the illumination of the service engine soon light. Further analysis has shown the reprogramming may not fully correct this condition for all vehicles.

We therefore are providing you with additional protection for the timing chain on your 2009 model year Cadillac SRX vehicle equipped with a V-6 engine. The coverage will be extended to 10 years of the day your vehicle was originally placed in service or 120,000 miles whichever occurs first. This condition will be repaired for you at no charge.”

Cadillac Timing Chain Symptoms

2009 SRX Crossover
2009 SRX Crossover

It’s not often that Cadillac will send you a letter and say, hey we’re going to extend the warranty. At this point I decided to start checking into the issue and talking to other mechanics about it. A rattling sound especially on cold start-up is one of the early warning signs slack is developing.

If it rattles a little on start up and goes away quickly this might not mean there is a problem yet. The dealership can provide an opinion on this. If you hear this rattling sound all the time or on heavy acceleration I suggest that this problem is becoming worse. Another sign it has developed slack is a check engine light. There are several different codes that might set in the computer if your chains developed slack.

As an example, I will use code number P0008. This is a camshafts position error code. Meaning that the camshafts are not aligned exactly the way they should be. All of these camshafts are connected to each other by the chain in question. If enough slack develops this will allow the cams to wander up and back in their positioning.

GM V6 Timing Chain Set
GM V6 Timing Chain Set

The only way to solve a rattling condition or a check engine light problem like this is to replace the chains. There’s other things that can go wrong in this system and I have seen mechanics talking about cam actuators with chipped teeth and worn gears. This is on top of the stretched chain. In the end the timing cover will have to be removed and the system inspected for damage and wear.

In closing it’s nice to see General Motors and Cadillac stepping up with the additional coverage on the problem vehicles. Unfortunately, assistance starts at the dealership level. This leaves interpretation of the problem up to them. They will not perform the operation unless there is proof positive the timing chain is bad. This means a set trouble code or disassembling the front of the engine for verification.

In talking with a few Cadillac mechanics it is unclear whether they’re replacing parts and components with improved parts. It would be a travesty if they were pouring all of this money into customer satisfaction and still using poor quality parts. The preceding article is just my opinion as a master technician and owner of a Cadillac SRX with a 3.6 L VVT engine. You can find customers discussing this issue on the Cadillac customer Forum. If you would like to read additional articles here this next link will take you back to the auto repair information blog home page.

62 Replies to “Cadillac Timing Chain Problems”

  1. Don Dove

    If I have a 2008 Cadillac SRX and the engine code of P0008 indicates timing chain issues or camshaft actuator solenoid. I took it in and they want to charge me $3200 to replace timing chains. They eliminated the solenoid concern. They called Cadillac and this vehicle was not part of the “generation 2” models that were recalled or where they would extend the warranty. Who do I call or write to petition for coverage on this vehicle. Cadillac is supposedly known for excellence.Thanks Don Dove

  2. Mark Gittelman

    Don I am surprised it’s not covered Especially if it’s a 3.6 L with under 100K miles? I would start elevating this through Cadillac customer service (800# in owners manual). Make a record of all communications with case and file numbers. The first question that needs to be answered is why your SRX falls outside of the “extended policy” on timing chain repairs. Also note that Cadillac customer service has much invested in social media. I tweeted (hashtag) #Cadillac and they where tripping over themselves asking how they could help.

  3. norma hemauer

    Hello Mark,
    We own a 2008 SRX that has a little more than 86K miles. Last week-end the “Check engine light” came on and the car would no longer start with the factory equipped remote start. My husband took the car to our mechanic-not a GM dealership but an independent-great service and an honest man.

    But anyway he hooked it up and the engine code P0008 came up. He told my husband what it entailed and have been searching on the web for either a recall notice or help. That is how I found you. What measures do you suggest? We were thinking of trading it in prior to this, gas mileage basically. We love the car and previously owned a CTS 2004. We are thinking about the CTS Wagon.

    Has the timing chain problem been fixed? Our mechanic thinks that Cadillac will help-have you heard anything about this? Really hate to put $3-4K into it just to trade it in.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks, norma

    • Mark Gittelman

      Hello Norma: The P0008 code refers to cam timing and should be covered for 10 years 100K miles at no charge as long as the car has been well maintained and the oil is filled to it’s proper level. The only time I’ve seen this repair denied is when lack of maintenance (oil changes) is found. If the dealer says your not covered document why and contact customer service to open a case. Yes my gas mileage stinks as well I celebrate when I pull down 15mpg average.

  4. monte 79

    i just had the same problem with my 2008 srx v6, the same code p0008 and i called cadillac the guy said bring it in if anything is wrong with your timing chains its free. thanks to gm.i will be there monday morning.

  5. Melissa

    Hi, I am a bit more optimistic after reading this blog. I have a 2009 Cadillac CTS with 40,000 miles on it. The timing chain just went. I had heard from the mechanic that my exact year and model had a recall for the timing chain. They are calling it a “special”. GM and Cadillac claim that because my VIN is not on a list I am not entitled the timing chain repair/replacement. I have not warranty left of my car. I bought is used two years ago at a GM dealer. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I have made about 5 calls so far and keep getting the same response, “You are no longer under warranty and your VIN# is not on the list.” P.S. My car was under warranty up until March of 2013.Thanks, Melissa

    • Mark Gittelman

      Melissa: I wouldn’t think this would be a fight to get this covered if your car has the 3.6L V6. If it has the Northstar V8 then it would not be. My second question would be who you called? You need to call Cadillac customer service (not the dealer) and open a case and get the case number. Tell them you need to provide News outlets and your legal team with documentation of your efforts to resolve the problem. I have the same year car and received a “Special Policy” letter from the General stating the the warranty on the timing chain has been extended to 10 years, 100K miles. I’m on Google Helpouts if you want to talk about it one on one.
      You can use Promo code MARK57F the first helpout is free.

  6. Robin P

    I have a 2005 SRX with a 3.6 I purchased in May 2013 with 41,000 miles. In Sept 2013 I had to have the timing chains replaced and had my own mechanic do it. It’s not even a year and that familiar sound is back. Think it’s worth going to a Cadillac dealer for help?

    • Mark Gittelman

      Robin: I do think it’s worth going to the dealer as you’re still on the outer edge of the special policy offered for 10 years or 100K miles, depending on the cars original in service date. I would start the process by calling the customer assistance hotline and ask about reimbursement of the first repair and assistance with the second? Get a case number to provide to dealer service department. Keep in mind the special policy talks about a check engine light code caused by the loose chain. Noisy chains are not covered.

  7. Ron

    I fixed my cadillac the way you all should ..I replaced the car with a Maserati Ghibli and I will never buy a new GM car or truck again. To have a 47 thousand dollar car dead in my drive with 105 thousand miles on it is the kind of thing you should just let go as a lesson and don’t give them even one chance to make it right. All reports show that they knew about this long ago and did not even fix it after the redesign . This problem is part of what is call Planned obsolescence so when the car gets older and this happens its too expensive to repair and the car is then junked and they sell a new car. But this bomb went off to soon and we all got left holding the bag. This is the consensus of all of us on the Cadillac forum . I laugh each time I start my Maserati (67K) knowing that I would have for sure bought another caddy had they not done this to all of us not just me. So ditch these guys they don’t deserve your money. Ron

  8. BILL

    I just had my timing chain replaced under warranty on my ’07 CTS. I didn’t even make it home and it broke down on the side of the road. I had it towed back to the Cadillac dealer and they said that my transmission lines to the radiator let go and that this had NOTHING TO DO with the timing chain being replaced. the bill is going to be $750 to fix now. Can someone confirm for me that the timing chain replacement caused the issue with the transmission lines into the radiator? Does the radiator have to be removed to replace the timing chain? I AM LIVID!

    • Mark Gittelman

      Bill: You don’t have to take the radiator out to perform the operation, but the timing of the failure would seem more than a coincidence. I would call Cadillac customer assistance and ask for help. They might split the cost in order to retain customer loyalty. If they think your not going to buy another Caddy they won’t help.

  9. dave

    Hi Mark – 2006 SRX V6 107,000 popped a P0008 code this weekend. Sounds like the timing chain issue. Code was read by a local auto parts store. Mobil 1 FULL Syn every 5k or less for past 3 years. All documented. Wife reports that the light is now off. Hope it stays that way…however, perhaps I should investigate a replacement sooner, than later – if my friends at Cadillac (ex body engineer) are going to do the right thing. Based on all I’ve read, it isn’t clear to be if this issue ($3200 ‘issue’) would be covered by a hidden, or explicit, extended warranty. Not a lot of talk about the 2006 – as if the timing chain were any different given the same configuration as the other years.

    • Mark Gittelman

      Dave: It’s important when seeking assistance from Cadillac that the engine position malfunction code be present at the time of diagnosis. If and when the light comes on, Don’t clear it until it’s documented on a repair order. Technically the special policy expires at 100k, but since your close they might help or split it with you?

  10. Stefanie

    Hi there, I just called Cadillac customer care after reading this post. My check engine light came on very recently on my 2008 SRX, under 100K miles. The lady put me on hold for over 10 minutes “researching” my claim of a special warranty, or an extension of any kind. She came back and said there was no such thing. So for those of you who were able to get this deal of a new timing chain could someone please tell me the proper wording to use so that I can get this taken care of on my car too? I don’t want to pay for something that is basically a recall. Thank you!

    • Mark Gittelman

      Stefanie: A couple of things to note. The timing chain problems are on the 3.6L V6, The V8 is not included. The car has to have an issue caused by a stretched chain. Specifically they are looking for a stored code for a camshaft timing error. If your issue doesn’t meet the criteria it’s not covered. Since this is a special policy it’s open to interpretation by the factory. Some people have had no problem getting this covered were others have had to put up quite a fight? I don’t know why this is?

  11. Stefanie

    Hi Mark, I do have the V6, and the code read was P0008. Which I believe is the cam miss-fire error. So I guess I will call Cadillac customer care again and see what I can find out. Thank you

  12. virginia wasik

    I have a 2008 SRX and had my timing chain replaced twice under the warranty.. Now I have 10027 miles and the timing chain just went again, GM will not cover the cost of the repair. I’m only 7,000 over the extended warranty for this defect and they will not cover not one cent of the repair. My code is P0018 not P0008, what does that mean… How much does it cost to replace the timing chain?

    • Mark Gittelman

      Virginia: P0018 is a cam position error code. As for the timing chain replacement cost, this can vary greatly across the country as Labor rates can be $125hr in NY and $60 in Alabama. Regardless of your location I would expect a repair total between $1000 – $1500.

  13. EP

    I’ve been researching the LY7 timing chain issue since the dealer gave us a $4,000 estimate for further diagnosis Tuesday, with total repair costs “likely $10,000 to $11,000.” Now understand that they don’t even know if any exhaust valves are bent yet and they want the $4k just to tell us for certain what’s happened. This is one of dozens, if not hundreds, of online discussions about the issue.

    Ours is a 2005 SRX. It had a bit over 60,000 miles on it at the time of the timing chain failure — no noise, no warning, no codes, nothing until the catastrophic failure. It had been professionally maintained by the SoCal dealer who sold it to my mother-in-law up until 37000 miles, and then by me, and I put Mobil 1 in every 5,000 miles. I never trusted the automatic system to calculate oil life, and the message was never on when I changed it.

    Very sad. As soon as I complete the repair, we will be dumping it, and we will never own a Cadillac, nor set foot in a Cadillac showroom as long as we live. Unfortunate. I was considering replacing my AMG with a V, but there’s no way on the planet that will ever happen after all that I’ve read.

  14. Sheila Haugen

    I have a 2010 Cadillac SRX with this problem. I got code P0017 Exhaust camshaft position. Brought to a mechanic and he says I need new timing chain guides and one cam is off. No longer have warranty. Any chance gm will do anything for me? Suggestions? How much have you guys paid for timing chain repair?

    • Mark Gittelman

      Shelia: The special policy is on the 3.6L V6 in the first generation cars. Since your 2010 is the first year for the second generation the special policy will not apply. However, you should still call Cadillac customer assistance and let them know that they have an “opportunity” to assist you, making your family, friends and coworkers Cadillac customers for life. In other words they are more likely to help, if you promise to buy more Cadillac’s.

  15. 2008 CTS 3.6

    2008 CTS with 120K miles
    I’ve learned a few things about these 3.6 timing chain issues in the life of my CTS that I thought I’d share here.
    1) Most synthetic oil I’ve used makes the chains a bit noisy at cold startup. I’m not sure why this is, but I’ve always used 5w-30. I’ve since moved to conventional oil to minimize this problem.
    2) The car uses a little bit of oil. About 1 quart per 1500 miles. If I keep it topped off, I don’t hear any chain noise at startup. I now check it every 600 miles or so at top off as needed.
    3) I also had the P0008 “check engine” light come on one time. This was preceded by a slight flutter in the engine RPM. I removed the offending cam phaser and cleaned its oil passages thoroughly with carb cleaner. I’ve had no problems with it the last 20,000 miles, and it was a simple 15 minute fix.
    4) Because of #3 above, I now change the oil between 4 and 5,000 miles so the phasers’ oil passages don’t get gunked up and throw a code. I also installed a magnetic drain plug for added assurance. I hope this helps some people out and may surely lead to fewer timing chain issues for any worried about their cars. If you do some research, you’ll find a lot of luxury car makers have had timing chain issues in V engines…Audis come to mind. I think it’s a bit challenging to have a DOHC V-engine with timing chains anyway. They’re very long and tricky to keep quiet compared to belts. Proper maintenance is a must. Keep it full and change it frequently!

  16. Tracey

    I have the Cadillac 2006 CTS with 72K miles, and throwing the P0008 code. My dealer (where I purchased the car exactly one year ago), tells me there is no warranty and that it will be at least $2200 just to open the transmission up to see what is needed, prepare for a bill of around $2800. Now I see there is a special warranty for this? Can I please get some more information on how to find out about this? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Mark Gittelman

      Tracy: I’m a little confused by your post. You mention an engine timing chain code, but reference opening up the transmission for diagnosis? However, I can tell you this, The special policy outlined in this article applies to the first generation SRX not the CTS. I don’t know of any for the CTS.

  17. Jonathan Carr

    I have a 2008 Cadillac SRX. I have had more problems with this car then one should have. I have had 3 universal joints replaced, several tire rods, 3 steering wheels, timing chain (twice) and several other problems. I am on my second extended warranty. My car is in the garage again for a ‘cam phaser’ problem This car is a piece of crap. I had made a post on Cadillac forum about all these problems. A Customer Service Rep reached out to me and asked me to call them. They looked into all the problems I had and their response was ‘you have an extended warranty, what’s the problem’. I will NEVER buy another GM product, ever.

  18. Saul Saucedo

    Hey everyone, my 2004 CTS has thrown up the P0017 code. But get this, I have 392,927 miles on this CTS. I bought the car new from Mataga Cadillac in Stockton CA and have had very few problems with this car. I don’t like taking my cars to the dealers unless there is a recall, or if there is a repair I do not want to do myself. I’ve been working on cars since I was 7 years old, so getting under the hood is usually not a problem. My transmission went out at 250,000 miles and the dealer gave me a great deal and warranty. I changed my water pump at 90,000 miles and recently again at 391,000 miles. I changed the fuel pump at 383,000 miles which was ridiculous compared to my other GM cars. Other than that, I have had no other problems. I’m looking to get another CTS since 400,000 miles on one car is about 2 cars-worth. Oh, and as a risky experiment, (don’t laugh) I changed my oil every 50,000 miles. I won’t do that on a Chevy or Buick, but this CTS is almost bullet proof.

  19. Renee

    Hello I have a 2010 Cadillac CTS, My check engine light goes on and off. I recently took my car into a dealer to determine why the light was on repair and was told that my timing chain has gone bad and need to be repaired. The diagnostic code reflected on the estimate is P0017. I brought my car pre-owned in 2012 and purchased an extended warranty which expired April of this year, so I’m out of luck. My car has 75,000 mile. I was told the cost to repair the problem would cost 1600.00 is this a fair estimate?

    • Mark Gittelman

      Renee: The price is inline with what a dealer would charge in a large metropolitan area, as labor rates fluctuate with location. with that said, you might save by going with an aftermarket shop. However, I would rather pay more and have someone who’s done the operation before working on my car because it’s a complicated repair.

  20. Charri

    Hi Mark, Have read your article and the feed regarding the timing chain and cam phaser/cam position issues. My husband just bought (July 1, 2015) a SRX, 3.6L, V6 auto 5 spd for me as a surprise. It has 121,697 miles on it. The CarFax showed it was a corporate car with two subsequent private owners….. it sat on dealers lots and at auction houses – presumably people were afraid to touch it cause of these recall issues. There is NO indication (from CarFax) that the car was ever serviced for the recall.

    I see from the posts that the ‘special policy’ you cite was for 10 yrs OR 100,000 miles. 1) I’m wondering if we have a problem with the timing chain or these cam ‘issues’, will we have any recourse to get it covered by GM? 2) Can we ask the GM dealer to replace the timing chain? 3) Is there any extended warranty we can purchase that will cover this for us in the future? 4) Is there any validity in what your poster (2008 CTS 3.6) wrote about the steps he took with his CTS (dropping synthetic oil, topping off oil more frequently, cleaning cam phases with carburetor cleaner, and installing a magnetic drain) and should this be done with a SRX as a preventative measure? We are taking the car to our private mechanic this coming week and was wondering if this was worth discussing with them.

    I hope you can give us some insight / guidance on how we can approach this matter both preventative, and in the event it actually occurs. I had a very hard time emotionally giving up my Jeep Cherokee Sport I bought in 1997 that has 220,000 miles on it (still running), but I can no longer tolerate the lack of A/C. My husband did a loving thing by purchasing the SRX for me and I’m already loving this car’s luxury and smooth ride! If we incur multiple and or ongoing expensive mechanical problems with the SRX, I’m afraid it will kill the joy of this beautiful event.

    • Mark Gittelman

      Charri: You have a bunch of good questions. As an owner of this car, my experience with trying to get the dealer to do the job under the special policy for preventative measures was unsuccessful. The car needs to exhibit problems with the chain and or set a cam timing failure code in the computers memory. with that said, it never hurts to ask, as the dealer can use their discretion on a case by case basis. You can even elevate this to the Cadillac customer care center.

      The timing chain issue boils down to the chain stretching and wearing. when this happens the timing is able to wander up and back a little bit and this is what sets the code. GM felt that changing the oil more often would alleviate the problem. I personally now change my oil when the oil life monitor reaches 50% and I stick with the mobile 1 full synthetic, recommended on the oil fill cap. With your car the unknown element is, how well it was cared for in the past 100K miles, and if a timing chain was already replaced? My suggestion for you is to enjoy your car and tackle problems as necessary.

  21. Charri

    Thank you, Mark, for your rapid response and information. Much appreciated. We are going to have the oil changed immediately – using your suggestion, staying with the Mobile 1 synthetic – and just move forward with the frequent oil changes as you suggested in your parameters for your own car care. My husband wants me to take the car to the Cadillac dealer for the first oil change and see if they have any information in their system regarding the cars service history that didn’t appear on CarFax history. Have a great day.

  22. Jeff

    Mark, Good article. Thanks for the in depth information. I am in the process of purchasing a 2007 SRX V6 with Luxury package only 62,000 miles one owner being traded in on new one. My daughter works at the Cadillac dealership where it is being turned in and and GM is giving me first dibs on it. According to Car fax it has had the real seal recall done and had time chain replaced around 24k. I am wondering if that timing chain replacement fixed the problem once and for all or will there be subsequent fixes that need to be done. Asking price is $13,500 in immaculate condition – fair price?

    • Mark Gittelman

      Jeff: As far as how long the new chain will last, nobody knows? Parts were supposed to be improved over stock, how much improved remains to be seen. As for the price I think it’s just a tad high. Highest book value is around $12k in new condition. Of course this fluctuates with location. If this is a NY City price then it’s good.

  23. Jeff

    Thanks Mark. It has the Luxury Collection package with DVD entertainment, Navigation, Ultra sunroof, Bose 5.1, Premium seating. Also why does this vehicle have two different size tires?

    • Mark Gittelman

      Jeff: It does have more options than most Srx’s. Just keep in mind, if you buy it, and then drive it around the block, that same dealer would offer you 12K on a trade in. The tire size is a big problem. You can’t rotate them which means they wear out faster and the choices in the odd sizes are limited and expensive. I wrote an article about the Cadillac SRX tire problems. You should give it a read.

  24. Sabrina Jones

    I have a 2006 Cadillac SRX that has a code P0008. Just was told that 3 timing chains, time chain sensors and crank shaft all need to be replaced. All I can say is that this is over $2k. This car has been nothing but problems since we purchased it. Just got off the phone with someone at GM Cadillac and all I can say is I’m not happy. If anyone has had this fixed were there any new costly problems that arose after having timing fixed.

  25. Mike Kinsella

    Mark, I just purchased a 2006 SRX 104000 miles and not 2 miles from the “dealer” the check engine engine light came on with p1008 code. It is back with the “dealer” he took it somewhere to get looked at, but I know he will not cover this problem. How long do you can I drive this without major problems. There is a little rattle when started but doesn’t last more than a couple seconds.

  26. jim morris

    I have a 2010 CTS with a 3.0L motor. It has 102 k on it. The timing chain let go and damaged the engine. It cost me $6000 for a used motor. No code came on at all. So this problem is in the 3.0L also not just the 3.6 L This happened last week. Can someone give me a phone number To call about this?

  27. Lauren Rhea

    I have a 2007 CTS with 86000 miles on it. The timing chain broke last week and shut my car down. Of course it damaged the valves, a coil pack, spark plugs and oil pump. GM is paying for the replacement of the timing chain under what they term as special coverage. In other words, they know it is a problem but won’t do a recall. But they will not cover the damage created by the timing chain breaking. They are charging me $491.00 under the special coverage saying I had to participate in the repair. So I am paying a participation fee because they made a poor product. I am paying this but this is the last GM car I will ever own. I am selling this thing to Carmax or someone and I will purchase a new car, anything but GM. I will return to Acura or perhaps a new Kia SUV. GM will continue to lose market share as long as they continue to make faulty products, charge a premium price and then come up with stupid crap like “participation fee” to get at least some of your money. They couldn’t just be fair about it and cover the damage caused by the chain. Cadillac of Knoxville is the dealer I used in Knoxville TN and the District Manager is who came up with this participation fee. I know this is just part of his game but it has cost them a customer. They also own Twin City Buick and they carry Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan.

  28. Marshall Houston

    Hello Mark, I am thinking of buying a 2007-2009 SRX. I have checked Carfax and I have noticed that some SRXs have had timing chains replaced. Are the vehicles that have had timing chains replaced okay to buy or should I start looking at other brands.

    • Mark Gittelman

      Marshall: It’s unclear at this time how long the new timing chains installed will last. So far, I have only heard of a few cases of repeat failures. These are also the SRX’s that had chains replaced years ago. The quality on the newer replacement parts might be better?

  29. Roger

    Well ya are scaring me to death. I have an 04 SRX and my check engine light came on yesterday. I took it to a parts store today and they said it shows I have a camshaft position sensor problem. About 4 months ago I had another check engine code that I ended up spending $1800.00 to get corrected. My ECM computer had to be replaced and the anti-theft module as well. This after mechanics first tried to correct my “misfire” problem by replacing coil packs and whatever else they could find. Now I’m being told that although the code says it’s a sensor it really could be the timing chain. If that’s the case my $200 repair job will be around $1200! I wanted a Cadillac my entire life. I thought they were the ultimate American car. Now I am finding them to be the ultimate American rip off. My car has less than 100,000 miles and I have already been out so much money on repairs that it’s ridiculous. I had a Honda Accord before this car and wish I had bought another one.

  30. Ray

    I have had my timing chain on 2007 SRX changed once and it has now broken again. My car barely has 70,000 miles. I have had nothing but problems due to this chain issue. I first noticed the intermittent noise years back. I had mechanics change belts probably unnecessarily over & over to try & fix it. The check engine light first came on only 2 months into my purchase. Batteries kept dying, oil constantly disappears, I have replaced the Crank Shaft, several Coils, Power Steering, etc. I’m now waiting for GM to cover this latest Timing Chain replacement because they did send out a letter a few years back extending the coverage. At the moment they are trying to make me pay for it because they already replaced it in 2013. I am still fighting over this matter, what a headache. This is the worst car I have ever bought.

  31. Trudy

    I purchased a “05 Cadillac SRX two years ago. It’s currently at 140k and check engine light came on registering the timing chain was not aligned. I am now heart broken reading all the comments. I purchased the vehicle when it was over 100k and was given a car fax history that showed no major repairs having been done on it. It was also a one owner vehicle. I thought my purchased was good. I just don’t now where to start. I have had this vehicle for a year and 7 months. I was not expecting to have this problem early on my recent investment. HELP! Is there anything I else I could do?

    • Mark Gittelman

      Trudy : I know how you feel, as an srx owner I’m heart broken also. You do have options. However, none of them are good. You could clear the code and trade it in against another car. You could ask Cadillac for assistance with the repairs even though you’re outside the window of assistance. All they can say is no. You could find a mechanic at an aftermarket repair center familiar or capable of doing the timing chain replacement. This can save you hundreds over the dealer service department. Note that with the miles and the list of inherent problems that plague the first generation SRX that option 1 might be the best one.

  32. Jay Binder

    I have a 2006 STS with 149,445 miles. We purchased it a little over 4 years ago at 76,000 plus miles. My wife loves it and being a Realtor you have to look successful. I maintain the car myself with oil changes on or before needed. The car was running perfect, no noises, nothing. She filled up at the local Shell station that we both go to all the time, only half mile from our house. She made it home that night and was pulling in the parking lot at her dentist the next afternoon when the engine stopped. The dentist is 9.7 miles from our house. She called me and said her power steering went out. I asked her if she tried to restart it, she said no. I went out there and checked the obvious, fluid and serpentine belt, everything was OK. When I tried to start it the backfiring and popping noise was deafening.

    Not knowing about the timing chain problems I drove it (barely) to the local shop for a scan. All 6 cylinders showed misfire. My first thought was bad gas and my mechanic friend agreed. So out came the tank and there it was, a sample of gas that looked like a urine sample with water a the bottom of a large glass jar, problem solved, right? I sprang for a new pump because of the mileage and at this point very easy to replace. We pulled the intake and installed new plugs. It ran better but not near right so we figured all the backfiring probably caused the engine to jump time. After reading all the comments on your blog I was convinced I was right. My question to you is what company makes the very best timing chain replacement kit? I found one by CLOYES which was a name I am familiar with but there are so many, what do I do? Any input would be appreciated. Thank You for you time.

    • Mark Gittelman

      Jay: I really don’t know what the best brand for the replacement kit is. The jobs I’ve been involved with we have always purchased Delco branded parts from the dealer. However, they’re known for putting their name on other peoples parts. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Delco timing chain kit was actually made by Cloyes. At least they have some manufacturing facilities in the U.S. although one is in Mexico. The original junk parts I’m told are from China. In researching your question I found an interesting post about Cadillac timing chain repairs from a DIY guy. You might find it interesting?

  33. robert edwards

    Cant seem to get the right timing mark set up for a 04 Cadillac SRX. would like to see if you can show me the right timing marks, please

  34. April Bolin

    A year and a half ago, 16000 miles, my timing chain was replaced on my CTS at the dealership. Now my check engine light is on. I took it back to the dealership, figuring it is something that should be repaired under the warranty. They are saying its not timing chain related. That the cam shimmers need to be replaced at my expense. I know nothing about cars but have a feeling that they are taking advantage of me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Mark Gittelman

      April: I think you have a right to be suspicious. However, I don’t have an enough info to form an opinion. I would really need the code number that the vehicle is currently setting to check into it. Also the year of the CTS and the current miles. With that said, you could call Cadillac customer assistance an open a case. They might help you out depending on the year and miles. Or you could find another Cadillac dealer for a second opinion.

  35. Shervon Kee

    I need help! I purchased a 2006 Cadillac srx on August 15. It broke down on me the next day. Unfortunately it’s a used lot and pretty much no warranty. I had several diagnostics done and from them replaced 8 ignition coils and spark plugs and oil change and camshaft position sensors. All to find out my timing chain is gone. I don’t know what to do here 7000 down the drain. All I hear are bad things about these SUV’s please give me some insight. I can’t trade because they know it needs an engine. Thought bout fixing but after reading these reviews I guess that’s not right either. I just need a car this is the biggest inconvenience right now. Any suggestion?

    • Mark Gittelman

      Shervon: It’s awful hard to turn a situation like yours into a win. One important piece of information missing is the miles on the vehicle. Also some states have laws to protect consumers from what happened to you. In the end I think the selling dealer might be the best avenue to pursue for either a trade against another vehicle or resolution of the problem.

  36. Dave

    Why does everyone refer to this as a timing chain failure? The chain is the least of your problems. The major failure seems to be the tensioners. These are controlled by oil pressure and flow. Modern engines run very hot and this can cause oil to sludge up. It is the sludge that kills the tensioners. This is why GM is suggesting more frequent oil changes. If it were mine, I’d use high detergent synthetic motor oil and change it every 3000 miles. Synthetic oils hold up to heat longer than conventional oils and the detergents will help keep the oil passages and the tensioners clean. This would be a more expensive oil change, but well worth it. Bottom line, poor maintenance is the number one killer of today’s engines. This is the opinion of a 42 year engine parts professional.

    • Mark Gittelman

      Well said Dave. I know the engineers agree with your assessment as they reprogrammed my Cadillac oil change monitor in a recall to push me towards more frequent oil changes. I’m still not happy with GM over the design and longevity of the 3.6 L 4 cam 3 chain system. I also think the OE chain was sub par.

  37. Jerry Martin

    Hello all. I have a 2006 srx I’m the only owner. i have driven the heck out of it for work and at that time was so busy i neglected many oil changes, that I wont do again, but now I have over 250,000 miles on it and all I’ve done to it is replaced a cat converter, brakes and rear transmission mount. Needs a timing chain now, but i would say i got my moneys worth and this is by far the best car I have ever owned.

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