9 Most Common Problems of the Cadillac XT5

9 Most Common Problems of the Cadillac XT5 [EXPLAINED]

9 Most Common Problems of the Cadillac XT5

We go the extra mile in listing down and troubleshooting common problems for all sorts of vehicles, and now we’ll be doing the same thing for the Cadillac XT5 for this guide!

Much like the Cadillac ATS (cadillac ats problems) executive car that we’ve previously covered, the Cadillac XT5 crossover SUV is plagued with its own set of issues that you should know about before buying one.

Thus, we’ve gathered all the commonly reported problems of the Cadillac XT5 as well as each of their potential solutions right here, which can hopefully help you decide if this is one luxury crossover SUV that you would want to add to your wishlist.

What are the most common problems of the Cadillac XT5?

Common problems of the Cadillac XT5 include engine stalling, transmission shifting issues, brake fluid leaks, air conditioning failure, and liftgate malfunction. 

Other reported problems are improper roof rail airbag deployment, exploding sunroof, premature tire wear, and various electrical problems.

While the Cadillac XT5 is a considerably new vehicle model from General Motors (GM), it is far from flawless like any other car out there.

The Cadillac XT5’s flaws start to become especially evident when we talk about the 2017 model year, in particular, which happens to be both its first model year and the year with the most reported problems.

The nature of such problems can vary from those concerning major mechanical components like the engine and transmission to more specific features like the airbags and the sunroof.

However, this doesn’t completely remove the possibility of these problems developing in newer model years of the Cadillac XT5 as well.

To help you be prepared for these kinds of issues, we’ll be providing descriptions of them based on owners’ reports and existing recalls from the manufacturer as well as possible ways to remedy each of them below.

Engine Stalling

Engine Stalling

Problems that concern a car’s engine need immediate attention, and in the case of the Cadillac XT5, you need all the professional attention you can get for its engine stalling issue.

The engine stalling issue has been reported mostly in 2020 models of the Cadillac XT5 with owners complaining of the engine suddenly stopping while they’re out on the road and refusing to start after several attempts.

Furthermore, this phenomenon has also been observed in models that have barely even crossed the 2000-mile mark yet.

This prompted the manufacturer to look closer into the stalling problem and issue a recall (#20V639000), which states that the culprit was leftover plastic covering the fuel pump jet nozzles.

The leftover plastic is basically a result of a flaw during the manufacturing process, wherein the tips of the nozzles are partly obstructed from flowing fuel through normally.

Since the fuel pump jet nozzles are unable to provide enough fuel to the engine due to the blockage, this has created a fuel starvation situation (insufficient fuel supply) that eventually led to the engine suddenly stalling.

The solution to this issue was to have Cadillac dealers replace the fuel pump module of affected Cadillac XT5 models (including other GM vehicles). 

Transmission Shifting Issues

Transmission Shifting Issues

Cadillacs are known to develop all kinds of issues with their transmission system, and the XT5 compact crossover SUV is no different judging by the complaints of people that have already tried owning one.

Most of the commonly reported transmission-related issues for the Cadillac XT5 specifically come from 2017 models, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for this model year when shopping for a secondhand unit.

Unsmooth Shifting

The Cadillac XT5’s transmission, more specifically the 8-speed AF50-8 automatic transmission, can suffer from unsmooth upshifts or downshifts despite the unit being relatively new.

Such problematic shifting has been reported to occur in units with as low as 1,800 miles on the odometer, leaving suspicions of a factory defect on the transmission.

In some cases, the transmission also appears to shudder during deceleration, which is yet again another common issue with automatic transmissions from Cadillac.

Shifter Gets Stuck in One Gear

In other consumer reports, owners have had the unpleasant experience of not being able to shift the Cadillac XT5 out of the parking gear, rendering the SUV stranded and in need of towing to the nearest mechanic.

While the affected unit was reported to be a 2017 model, the failure mileage is still considerably low at only 19,000 miles ever since being driven out of the showroom floor.

Malfunctioning Stop-Start System

Modern Cadillacs like the XT5 come equipped with the manufacturer’s own “stop-start” system that’s primarily for saving fuel, though it has also been observed to have a few hiccups that can result in a sudden unintended burst of acceleration.

Cadillac’s stop-start system is designed to turn off the engine (cylinder deactivation) when coming to a dead stop, then restarts it again as you’re ready to move forward.

However, owners have complained that the system can sometimes be delayed when turning the car back on again, which leads to the car suddenly lurching forward as a delayed response to the driver’s initial throttle input.

The Solution

All of the abovementioned transmission problems have been linked to a malfunctioning transmission control module (TCM) software, and thankfully, Cadillac has already issued a recall for this specific component.

The Solution

The recall (GM Recall #N182163380) covers all 2017 and 2018 models of the Cadillac XT5 that are equipped with the 8-speed auto transmission and orders dealers to reprogram the TCMs of affected models at no charge.

Leaking Brake Fluid

Leaking Brake Fluid

Cadillacs are no strangers to some type of fluid leaking from their systems. But in the case of the XT5, you need to specifically look out for brake fluid leaks the most.

The Cadillac XT5 has been known to leak brake fluid from the front brake calipers, and with further inspections from the manufacturer, the source of the leak was found to be the caliper piston seal being either torn or misaligned.

Leaking Brake Fluid

Brake fluid leaks can decrease the braking performance of any vehicle and increase the chances of an accident to occur, which is why Cadillac went ahead and issued a recall (NHTSA #16V80200) to inspect the brake caliper assemblies.

The recall applies to all 2017 Cadillac XT5 models manufactured between April 16 and May 9, 2016. If any sort of damage or misalignment is found on their brake caliper assemblies, the dealer will effectively replace them at no charge.

Air Conditioning/HVAC Failure

Air Conditioning/HVAC Failure

One specific problem that can affect the overall comfort of the Cadillac XT5’s occupants happens to be the air conditioning system (or HVAC system) not working the way it should.

This is bad news for those living in areas that can reach 100 degrees during the summer, as the XT5’s air conditioning has been reported to not blow enough air from the vents despite turning them up to a higher setting.

The AC’s thermostat itself has also been observed to not function properly at times, as it barely changes the actual temperature of the air according to what temperature has been set in the system.

In most reported cases, the problem with the AC has been linked to a malfunctioning HVAC control module, which can completely disable the system and render it unresponsive to your inputted settings.

Air Conditioning/HVAC Failure

About 108 units of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 have yet again been affected by this, and the manufacturer has already issued a recall (N172088670) that instructs dealers to replace the HVAC remote control module at no cost.

But since we’re dealing with an entire system here, which is why it’s also called the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system, there can also be several other reasons why your Cadillac XT5’s AC is failing to do its job.

Cadillac XT5 Air Conditioning/HVAC Failure Causes:
Broken AC compressorDirty or clogged AC condenserDirty cabin air filterDirty AC evaporatorBroken blend door actuatorLack of refrigerant (refrigerant leak)Worn-out blower motor

All of the listed causes above can be narrowed down with the help of an authorized mechanic, so be sure to have one check your Cadillac XT5’s problematic AC for a proper diagnosis and repair.

Liftgate Does Not Work

The Cadillac XT5, being a modern SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) after all, comes equipped with a hands-free power liftgate that can conveniently open up by itself by simply moving your foot under the rear bumper sensor.

Though unfortunately, the Cadillac XT5’s liftgate has been known to malfunction to the point that it doesn’t work at all, which can be quite a hassle especially if you’ve got heavy cargo on hand.

Furthermore, the Cadillac XT5’s liftgate wasn’t primarily designed to be opened or closed manually, though it is still possible with the liftgate handle installed on it.

At the time of writing this article, Cadillac has yet to issue a recall regarding the liftgate issue despite numerous complaints, leading to owners taking matters into their own hands to get to the bottom of it.

Eventually, owners found that the root cause of the problem is that the liftgate control module has been flooded or damaged by water, resulting in the component not working.

The liftgate control module can be located via the spare tire compartment at the trunk. You may need to remove the spare tire cover in order to properly access it inside the rear bumper.

The video below demonstrates this for the Cadillac SRX, though it also applies to Cadillac XT5 models. We recommend skipping to the 3:02 mark for the location.

The liftgate control module can get flooded or wet during rainy weather driving, as it’s also a known issue for Cadillacs to leak from the roof, and that leak can also end up at the bottom of the trunk where the module is.

Due to the lack of proper drainage, some owners resorted to drilling holes near the module, while others even placed paper towels to soak up any water that can potentially get near it again.

As for replacing a liftgate control module that’s beyond repair, you’re looking to spend about $234 for one that fits 2017 to 2023/present Cadillac XT5 models, such as this.

Improper Roof Rail Airbag Deployment

Improper Roof Rail Airbag Deployment

Like many other modern vehicles out there, the Cadillac XT5 also comes with airbags placed at the vehicle’s roof rail for added protection, though some owners were unlucky enough to find out that it can also fail to deploy properly.

In the event of a crash, the faulty roof rail airbag (RRAB) on the Cadillac XT5 can only partially deploy as a result of a diffuser component on the airbag not being properly crimped during the manufacturing process.

According to Cadillac’s (General Motors) recall about this issue, the diffuser component can separate from the inflator due to poor crimping, thereby decreasing the effectiveness of the airbag and increasing the risk of harm to occupants.

To combat this, GM has ordered Cadillac dealerships to replace the roof rail airbag modules of Cadillac XT5 models from the 2020 model year at no charge, and such modules can be located either on the left side or right side of the vehicle’s interior cabin. 

Other GM vehicles that are affected by this recall include the 2020 models of the Buick Enclave, Cadillac XT6, Chevy Blazer, Chevy Silverado, Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, and GMC Sierra.

Exploding/Shattering Sunroof

Exploding/Shattering Sunroof

Sunroofs can be problematic mechanisms to deal with on just about any vehicle that has one, and the one on the Cadillac XT5 is no different judging by reports of it suddenly exploding or shattering into pieces.

Specific Cadillac XT5 models from 2017 and 2018 are part of the unlucky bunch to exhibit exploding sunroofs, which is obviously a pretty unlucky and hazardous situation to be in for the ones that happen to own them.

To make matters worse, the manufacturer has not yet issued a recall and denies any liability as to why it happens, often informing owners that the explosion or shattering is due to an outside object hitting the glass.

Of course, some owners beg to differ, as they have also experienced the exploding sunroof phenomenon even while the vehicle is stored in their garage and completely away from the elements.

While exploding sunroofs are nothing new in the automotive world, they can still put a big dent in your wallet, especially considering the Cadillac XT5’s sunroof is a modern panoramic one.

With no current recall to cover the repair bill, you’re going to have to either rely on any applicable insurance you have or be prepared to shell out $1,100 just to get the replacement glass alone. 

Don’t forget to also have your interior vacuumed of glass shards!

Premature Tire Wear

Premature Tire Wear

It’s good practice to check the condition of your tires regularly, though, in the Cadillac XT5’s case, you may need to check them sooner than you think.

Multiple model years of the Cadillac XT5 have received numerous complaints about their factory tires wearing off way too quickly, which are tires from either Michelin Tires or Continental Tires. 

Depending on the brand of tires that are fitted on your Cadillac XT5, you may experience slightly different symptoms of premature tire wear.

But regardless of the tire brand, the normal expected lifespan of a set of tires on the Cadillac XT5 is about 40,000 to 50,000 miles.

However, due to the premature tire wear issue, this can be as short as 20,000 to 30,000 miles, as experienced by several owners.

2017 to 2018 Models (Michelin Tires)

Cadillac XT5 models from 2017 and 2018 were equipped with Michelin Premier LTX tires that actually come with a 60,000-mile warranty, though many owners have reported that they are down to just 3/32” at a third of that distance.

3/32 of an inch is the legal limit for any tire treads before you really need to swap the tires out for new ones. Unfortunately, there is no current recall from the manufacturer that addresses the issues of the 2017 to 2018 Cadillac XT5’s Michelin tires.

2020 Models (Continental Tires)

2020 Cadillac XT5 models are also part of the group that received complaints about premature tire wear, though this time, we’re dealing with sets of rubber from Continental Tires.

As with the Michelin tires of earlier models, the Continental tires have also been observed to last nowhere near their expected mileage even with proper maintenance.

Luckily, a recall (N212329050) does exist for these newer Continental tires, which covers 2020 Cadillac XT5 models as well as many other GM vehicle models that possess the affected DOT numbers listed in the recall.

According to the tire manufacturer, the Continental tires fitted on the affected vehicles may have been over-cured during the manufacturing process, which can result in their sidewalls, treads, or belts breaking and losing air.

Thus, if you’re specifically eyeing a 2020 Cadillac XT5 with the factory tires still on, it wouldn’t hurt to check if it’s part of the recall so that you can have any defective Continental tires replaced at no charge.

Various Electrical Problems

As time passes by, you can start experiencing different electrical problems on the Cadillac XT5, which can include issues like malfunctioning door locks, multiple error codes popping up, and the entire vehicle losing power.

Do take note that since the nature of electrical problems can have many different causes, we recommend having them properly diagnosed by a mechanic so that you know what you’re exactly dealing with.

Sudden Loss of Power

Sudden Loss of Power

One of the most major kinds of electrical problems that you can experience on the Cadillac XT5 is the entire vehicle suddenly losing power completely, meaning the engine and electronics just shut down as you’re driving.

The majority of sudden power loss complaints come from owners of 2017 and 2018 Cadillac XT5 models, and the issue seems to commonly occur at speeds of 60mph or more.

In some instances, 2017 models of the SUV have also been reported to accelerate on their own even though there is no pressure or obstruction on the gas pedal.

While there is no recall for this specific issue, some mechanics have been able to diagnose it as being caused by non-other than a failed electrical system. 

Malfunctioning Door Locks

Malfunctioning Door Locks

Another common electrical complaint on the Cadillac XT5 is that the door locks seem to suddenly malfunction. In short, you may find them suddenly locking or unlocking automatically.

Having no control over the SUV’s door locks has put some owners in dangerous situations that have left them trapped inside for longer than they’re comfortable with.

Again, no recalls have been issued regarding this problem. In fact, malfunctioning door locks are more of a symptom of a general problem with the Cadillac XT5’s electrical system again rather than its own thing.

Multiple Errors and Warnings Pop Up

Multiple Errors and Warnings Pop Up

Aside from the vehicle shutting down or the door locks not working, you may even experience your dashboard displaying all sorts of error codes and warning notifications that don’t make sense.

Such codes and warnings can relate to the check engine light, service StabiliTrak, antilock brakes, traction control, parking brake, and brake assist.

As with the other electrical issues, mechanics have had a hard time trying to pinpoint the exact cause of the errors. 

Combine this with the fact that no trouble codes get detected upon diagnosis, and you’ve got quite an unusual problem that’s already quite tricky to solve even with help.

With that said, the electrical system does have many different components, so it’s very much worth getting things like the battery, alternator, fuses, and other related parts properly checked one by one, as you may be able to find the culprit better that way.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)