| | |

2011 Cadillac SRX Problems: From Shorted Headlights to Separated Suspension, Be Careful


The 2011 Cadillac SRX is not one of the best of the models. From headlights that leak into the water and cut out to engine components that typically fail before 100,000 miles. Worse yet, the NHTSA is currently warning against driving a 2011 SRX due to a recent safety recall in which the suspension could separate from the frame.

2011 Cadillac SRX - Cadillac Photo

Key points

  • Cadillac’s 2011 SRX is one of the most problematic models, with seven recalls and 377 complaints filed with the NHTSA.
  • The most concerning issue with the 2011 SRX is the rear suspension possibly separating from the chassis.
  • Most of the time, owners report that the headlights fill with water, cut out, and cost around $1,200 per light to replace.
  • The most likely SUV powertrain problem is that the engine timing chain fails before 100,000 miles, costing $2,500 or more to repair.
  • The remaining problems include seat belt anchors that can break, faulty air conditioning, and a transmission that can slip out of the park.

The most concerning issue with the 2011 Cadillac SRX is a rear suspension that may not be fully attached to the chassis.

The 2011 Cadillac SRX has 377 complaints on file with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Among these, Cadillac launched an investigation and issued seven safety recalls.

Perhaps the biggest concern with the 2011 Cadillac SRX is a loose rear suspension toe link. This part connects the suspension to the SUV’s chassis, so it is crucial for the stability of the vehicle.

In 2014, a recall was issued for loose toe links on more than 290,000 GM vehicles, including the 2011 SRX. A survey was conducted in November 2020.

In response to the investigation, another recall was issued in June 2021 for more than 380,000 GM units. Due to the severity and recent onset of the problem, NHTSA also issued a warning to “immediately stop driving this vehicle” until recall repairs are complete. As of April 2022, this warning remains in effect.

2011 Cadillac SRX - Cadillac Photo

Common problems with the 2011 Cadillac SRX include exterior lighting problems such as poorly sealed headlights that absorb water and a short circuit

After subtracting NHTSA complaints related to the suspension, 332 remain to be deciphered. “Outdoor lighting” takes first place with 174.

Scrolling through the five pages of exterior lighting complaints, the headlights appear to be poorly sealed and prone to absorbing water. This can cause them to break down and burn, possibly resulting in a dangerous situation.

The owner talks about a popular Cadillac forum post titled “Leaking Headlights!” confirming, that poorly sealed headlights are extremely common.

“My headlights went out last week at night… Dealer says both headlights failed due to moisture… wants to charge me $2,900,” shares one owner.

“I replaced them both on my ‘luxury’ 2011 SRX. It was almost $2,000,” adds another.

A few class action lawsuits were filed against Cadillac over this, and the luxury car maker ultimately lost. Owners of affected models will now receive reimbursement for headlight repairs, which can total up to $1,200 per headlight.

2011 Cadillac SRX - Picture of Cadillac

With the suspension and exterior lighting out of the way, 158 complaints remain on record. Of these, just over 50 correspond to engine or powertrain. For a landslide, a timing chain that will likely fail before 100,000 miles takes first place.

This vital engine component monitors the opening/closing of the engine valves. If the chain breaks, the motor will stop producing power. Worse yet, if it happens while driving, it can cause major engine damage.

Another Discussion on the Cadillac Forums shows owners of 2010, 2011 and 2012 models having broken timing chains.

“…In September, the verification engine [warning light] came into our SRX. I took the car to my local Cadillac dealership…they told me the car needed a timing chain and it would cost approx. $2,500 plus tax to fix,” one sign read.

“Just found out my 2010 Cadillac SRX with 100,000 miles needs a timing chain. Cost to fix: $3,700…” shares another.

Cadillac has not yet issued recalls, and most owners pay for repairs out of pocket or have to trade it in for another vehicle.

2011 Cadillac SRX - Picture of Cadillac

2011 SRX’s Remaining Issues Raise Serious Safety Concerns, But Most Should Be Covered By Recall

Of the approximately 100 remaining complaints logged by NHTSA, many relate to problems already covered by recalls. However, the recalls point to fairly serious safety issues involving a faulty seat belt anchor and a faulty airbag occupant sensor that does not deactivate the airbags.

Fortunately, since the SUV is over ten years old, most of the recalls should have already been made. However, you should always run the VIN before purchasing to be sure.

Photos: Cadillac

Frequent questions

By Stephanie Stephan | May 2, 2022

Do Cadillac SRXs have many problems?

The Cadillac SRX infotainment screen may become unresponsive and distorted over time. There are lawsuits over the SRX headlight assembly. On 2010-2015 models, headlights can accumulate moisture, fog up, and fail at an average of 81,050 miles.

How long will a 2011 Cadillac SRX last?

Driver Advisor suggests that the Cadillac SRX can last between 160,000 and 180,000 miles with proper maintenance. However, the 2011 SRX is subject to a severe safety recall for a defective transmission shift cable. Shaking and hesitation can occur as early as 88,000 miles on average in the 2011 SRX and power loss as early as 21,000 miles.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *