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Cadillac maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

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    All motor vehicles need upkeep from time to time — whether that’s preventive maintenance or fixing things that break — and Cadillacs are no exception.

    If you’re wondering how much it’ll cost you to keep a Cadillac on the road, keep reading. We’ll go over what you can expect to spend on maintenance and repairs, how Cadillac compares with other manufacturers and how you can keep these expenses low with an extended warranty or maintenance plan.

    Key insights

    • Cadillacs cost more to maintain and repair than the average vehicle, but they’re often more affordable to keep running than their luxury counterparts.
    • Ownership costs vary by model. For example, an Escalade is usually far more expensive to maintain and repair than a CTS.
    • Cadillacs come with longer-than-average factory warranties that can protect you from repair bills for some time.
    • If you want to maintain that kind of protection once your factory warranty expires, consider an extended warranty from Cadillac or a dedicated warranty company.

    Are Cadillacs expensive to maintain?

    Cadillacs are luxury vehicles, which normally means you’ll not only pay more to buy one — you’ll also spend more when it comes to upkeep. On average, Cadillacs cost $783 per year to maintain and repair, according to RepairPal (a site that compiles automotive repair cost data). RepairPal also rated Cadillac’s reliability at three out of five gears, which placed it 26th out of 32 car brands.

    “Cadillacs aren’t as preferable anymore,” said Mike Miles, a mechanic who’s wrenched on everything from motorcycles to airplanes. “This follows the trend of American brands being outranked by their European and Asian competitors.”

    How Cadillac compares to other automakers

    To put that $783 per year figure in context, RepairPal claims that the industry average for repair and maintenance costs across all vehicles is just $652 per year.

    Cadillac owners make an average of 0.4 trips to the mechanic per year, which actually aligns with the industry average. However, 17% of all Cadillac repairs are considered “severe.” That’s considerably higher than the 12% industry average.

    Just bear in mind — these industry averages are based on data for 345 different models, so the statistics for your model may vary. (And your personal experience may vary even more.)

    MakeAverage maintenance and repair costs*
    Cadillac $783 per year
    Honda $428 per year
    Toyota $441 per year
    Ford $775 per year
    BMW $968 per year
    *According to RepairPal

    To offer you a better idea of how expected upkeep costs break down from model to model, we’ll look deeper into three Cadillac models: the CTS, XTS and Escalade.

    Cadillac maintenance and repair costs by model

    Cadillac’s CTS, XTS and Escalade models showcase the range of upkeep costs that can come with Cadillac ownership, varying from an estimated $663 per year to $1,007 per year.

    ModelAverage maintenance and repair costs*
    CTS $663 per year
    XTS $875 per year
    Escalade $1,007 per year
    *According to RepairPal

    It’s worth pointing out that, while all of these models have upkeep costs above the industry average for all vehicles ($652), they are also less expensive than their average vehicle in their respective classes.

    • Midsize luxury cars, like the CTS, average $739 per year in repairs and maintenance.
    • Full-size luxury cars, like the XTS, average $976 per year.
    • Full-size luxury SUVs, like the Escalade, average $1,127 per year.

    We should also note that RepairPal’s estimates above lump together maintenance and repair costs, though these are really different services. While maintenance refers to routine, preventive check-ups meant to prolong your car’s life span, repairs are needed when something goes wrong. This distinction matters because maintenance and repairs require you to budget differently.

    Cadillac maintenance costs

    The benefits to maintaining your Cadillac are numerous — you’ll keep it operating at peak performance, increase your safety and prevent more serious problems later on. However, maintenance can be costly, especially for luxury vehicles.

    High-performance vehicles often result in high-price maintenance visits, even for a standard check-up. According to Kelley Blue Book, a typical oil change for any vehicle costs between $35 to $75. Cadillacs often land above this since they typically need synthetic oil, a more expensive product.

    Maintenance requirements can vary between models, so Cadillac recommends following the schedule in your owners manual.

    (Cadillac does offer new vehicle owners a free first visit at participating dealerships, but that won’t make a significant impact on your long-term ownership costs.)

    So, what does a typical preventive service for a Cadillac cost? Well, the figures vary. An Escalade will typically put a bigger dent in your wallet than a CTS will, but your exact maintenance costs will be different depending on where you go and what services you need.

    2017 Cadillac CTS maintenance costs

    We got some estimates for common maintenance services on a 2017 CTS in Austin, Texas, to give you an example of what maintenance costs look like, but remember that your experience will probably vary somewhat.

    Tire rotation $69 to $88
    Oil change $151 to $240
    Air filter replacement $93 to $190
    Brake pad replacement $277 to $1,479
    *According to RepairPal for a 2017 CTS in the 78705 ZIP code

    Cadillac repair costs

    “Because Cadillacs feature high-end parts and custom designs, repairing them can be costly,” said Miles. “They have higher-level technology. … That’s why they’re so much more expensive to maintain — but they are more luxurious, so that’s the trade-off.”

    Because Cadillacs feature high-end parts and custom designs, repairing them can be costly.”
    — Mike Miles, mechanic

    Repair costs are hard to pinpoint because they vary based on your vehicle and what’s wrong with it. That’s also what makes them difficult to budget for. Unlike preventive maintenance, which happens on a prescribed schedule, repairs are often a surprise. What’s worse — repair bills are often considerably larger than maintenance bills.

    2017 Cadillac CTS repair costs

    We collected some estimates for fixing problems on a 2017 Cadillac CTS below, but these are just a small sample of what repairs can cost you. Larger issues, like a failing engine or transmission, can potentially cost you thousands of dollars to fix.

    Horn replacement $62 to $74
    Wheel lug stud replacement $86 to $106
    Fuel tank pressure sensor replacement $123 to $132
    Serpentine belt replacement $132 to $147
    Engine coolant temperature sensor replacement $476 to $510
    Control arm replacement $570 to $603
    Intake manifold gasket replacement $632 to $680
    Air conditioning refrigerant line replacement $652 to $679
    *According to RepairPal for a 2017 Cadillac CTS

    Repair costs can also add up if you need multiple things fixed.

    “I bought a 2012 SRX used with low mileage. My repairs now on this money pit are just under $10,000,” claimed Cristi, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Texas. “One of the problems is a particular code that is not specific to a problem, but rather has a list of possible problems to be fixed. They just go down the list and keep fixing and charging you until the problem is resolved.”

    On the upside, Cadillacs do come with factory warranties that can protect you from repair bills for the first few years of your vehicle’s life. New Cadillacs receive a bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, which covers repairs needed due to workmanship defects up to four years or 50,000 miles. They also come with a powertrain limited warranty, which covers your engine, transmission and drivetrain for six years or 70,000 miles.

    The issue with relying on your factory warranty is that it will eventually run out, leaving you with the choice of either finding a new vehicle or paying out of pocket when your car eventually breaks down. However, there are ways you can save money on maintenance and repairs later on.

    » LEARN: What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

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      How can an extended warranty or maintenance plan help?

      An extended warranty or prepaid maintenance plan can help you save money on your Cadillac’s upkeep, but it’s important to understand how these products work before you spend your money on them.

      Extended warranties are also called vehicle service contracts.

      Like your factory warranty, an extended warranty can protect you from repair bills for a set period of time. These plans have various pros and cons to be aware of, but the bottom line is that they can offer some peace of mind if you’re worried about getting stuck with a massive repair bill. Cadillac’s official extended warranties offer good coverage, but they tend to be expensive, so you might want to shop around and get quotes from other extended car warranty companies before you buy.

      Cadillac also offers prepaid maintenance plans for people who want to avoid rising prices. Basically, a prepaid maintenance plan lets you pay for future maintenance services now instead of later, which can save you money if prices go up or inflation gets worse. Cadillac’s two plans are called Pre-Paid Maintenance and Pre-Paid Maintenance Plus. (The Plus option goes beyond simple oil changes and tire rotations by also keeping you on track with air filter changes, fluid changes and spark plug updates.)

      At the end of the day, whether or not you choose to buy these products, it’s critical to be prepared for the costs that come with owning a Cadillac. We recommend you research your model’s reliability ratings and maintenance schedule to get an accurate picture of what you’re in store for, and make an educated decision based on what’s right for your financial situation.

      » MORE: Car warranty vs. car insurance

      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. RepairPal, “Cadillac Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
      2. RepairPal, “Cadillac CTS Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
      3. RepairPal, “Cadillac XTS Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
      4. RepairPal, “Cadillac Escalade Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
      5. Crest Cadillac, “Recommended Cadillac Service Intervals.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
      6. Cadillac, “COVERED SERVICE.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
      7. RepairPal, “Fair Price Estimator.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
      8. Cadillac, “WARRANTY & REPAIRS.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
      9. RepairPal, “2017 Cadillac CTS Repair & Maintenance Costs.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
      10. Cadillac, “MAINTENANCE PLANS.” Accessed April 6, 2023.
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