Both the newer and older models of the Cadillac Escalade have something great to offer. Keep in mind that this car also has certain problems, know and continue reading the common failures of the Cadillac Escalade .
From high reliability ratings to great performance, it’s no wonder the Escalade remains a popular choice among today’s drivers. Even its resale value is good, it only depreciates 47% in five years.
How good is the Cadillac Escalade?
The Cadillac Escalade enjoys average reliability, with some of its model years scoring better than others. It was given a rating of 2.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 6th out of 19 full-size luxury SUVs in its category. On the other hand, other users also rated the Escalade an 84/100, giving it first place out of five models reviewed in its segment.
Other reports also ranked the 2021 Cadillac Escalade second of nine vehicles in the large luxury SUV market. With these figures, it is clear that the Cadillac Escalade can easily enjoy a long life with proper handling and regular maintenance.
Common failures of the Cadillac Escalade
Although the Cadillac Escalade is a reliable full-size luxury SUV, it still has its fair share of issues. Here are the common Cadillac Escalade failures reported for the different model years:
1- Transmission problems
According to some 2016 Cadillac Escalade owners, transmission problems are common for some units of this model year . They report that the transmission can make grinding noises before jumping out of first gear.
Others shared that the transmission can jerk suddenly and produce a loud “bang” when braking. When you downshift, it can give the impression that the vehicle is trying to get away from itself.
Some owners have complained that the transmission in their 2016 Cadillac Escalade was shaking and shifting hard. Despite these issues, no recall has been officially issued by Cadillac as of this writing.
2- Suspension problems
Although complaints from those who drive a 2014 Cadillac Escalade are fewer compared to other model years, one owner experienced one of its worst problems yet. Being inside the vehicle while driving reportedly feels like being thrown in a cage due to its faulty magnetic suspension.
According to the owner, a mechanic later determined that the vehicle’s front struts were leaking. Unfortunately, at 52,000 miles, this issue was no longer covered under the bumper warranty and he had to replace the struts on his Escalade at his own expense.
3- Failures in the door handles
Some 2007 Cadillac Escalade owners have had problems with the exterior and interior door handles on their vehicles. In some cases, all four handles have become detached from the door . According to these reports, the problem is attributed to the doors being too heavy for the plastic handles.
At the time of writing this report, no recalls have been made to fix this issue. Some owners have resorted to replacing faulty handles on their own.
4- HVAC mode door actuator failure
Malfunctioning mode door actuators are among the most reported problems with the 2004 Cadillac Escalade. Complaints typically describe intermittent HVAC temperatures and inaccurate air delivery due to the faulty part.
Many owners of this model year also experience hot air being blown in through the vent on the driver’s side , while cool air is being blown out of the vent on the passenger side.
Some owners had to stop the vehicle and restart it at least twice to resolve this issue. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary solution.
5- Problems with the instrument panel indicators
Many 2003 Cadillac Escalade owners have reported problems with the gauge on the instrument panel. Some report that the entire instrument cluster is slow to come on, while others have noticed their cluster turning on and off randomly.
There have also been cases where the indicators keep moving back and forth even though the panel is turned off . Warning lights, such as the check engine light and ABS light, can also come on by mistake.
A common fix for erratic instrument panel behavior is to replace it with a new one.
6- Failure of the anti-theft system
Theft deterrent system failure is among the most reported problems with the 2000 Cadillac Escalade. According to some owners, their vehicle would not start until the security activated light was turned off . In some cases there was no warning at all (your vehicle simply wouldn’t start despite having full batteries).
The security light may come on due to a malfunction of the anti-theft system. Replacing the ignition switch resolved this issue for some owners of this model. Unfortunately, Cadillac has not issued any official calls to fix this problem at the time of writing.
If you’re in the market for a Cadillac Escalade, be prepared to embrace the potential good and bad. As long as you are aware of the issues that the specific model year you are planning to purchase may have, the purchase should be low risk. Knowing what to expect will help you avoid costly repairs through preventative maintenance, so you can maximize the life of your full-size SUV.