2004 Cadillac CTS Delayed shift from reverse to forward

  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 82,000 MILES
This problem happens in the morning after the car has sat all night. We live in northern Minnesota, but we have a heated garage for the CTS. The problem happens in the summer as well.

When we back out of the garage in the morning (about 30 yards) and shift the car into forward, it does not engage for about 5 to 6 seconds. It goes into gear fine the rest of the day and this only occurs once in the morning. The dealer machanic was able to duplicate the problem, but can't find anything wrong iwth it.

We purchased an GMC extended warranty for $2,200 when we bought the car used. It has about 500 miles left on the warranty, so I want it fixed before the warranty runs out. We were thinking of asking for an extention of the warranty on just the transmission, but that probably won't happen.

We have had the car into the dealership twice and they are telling me nothing is wrong with it.

I have heard this is a know problem with the 2004 CTS and that there is a service bulletin relating to it.

Do you know what the problem is? Do you have a suggested course of action.


Do you
have the same problem?
Saturday, March 13th, 2010 AT 4:30 PM

1 Reply

There used to be a bulletin on it, it has been revised to just a 'follow si diagnostics' phrase. A few years ago I had an XLR that was the same way, and I referenced that bulletin although, I can't remember what it was that I did. If it were me to evaluate, I would look at the forward clutch housing. It applies in all forward gears and, if there is an issue with the piston/seals, it would cause your symptom. I understand that this only occurs once, after cold soak, but all it would take is heat and pressure, to make the seals pliable and functional. Here is the current version of that bulletin to show you.
#05-07-30-001B: Information for Delayed Shift Engagement from PARK to DRIVE (Diagnose and Repair Using SI) - (Jul 17, 2009)

Subject: Information for Delayed Shift Engagement from PARK to DRIVE (Diagnose and Repair Using SI)

Models: 2004 Cadillac CTS, SRX, XLR

with Automatic Transmission 5L40-E/5L50-E

Built Prior to VIN Breakpoints Listed Below

This bulletin is being revised to remove the statement to contact TAC and direct dealers to use SI for repair. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 05-07-30-001A (Section 07 - Transmission/Transaxle).

Built Prior to VIN Breakpoint:
VIN Breakpoint



If you encounter a vehicle with this concern, diagnose and repair using information found in SI.

GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.

I understand that it says PARK to DRIVE, but reverse to drive would be accomplishing the same, it would be the first engagement to drive gear. Also consider the VIN break, is your vehicle prior to it. Ironically, there is not an SI diagnostic procedure for delayed engagement, there is a line in the roadtest diagnostic that states 'verify engagements are immediate and not harsh' after it specifies park to reverse, reverse to neutral, neutral to drive shifts. 5-6 seconds would suggest that there is a cause for concern.
Was this
Sunday, March 14th, 2010 AT 12:33 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides