Das Auto tends to produce vehicles that are primarily made of plastic. The Caddy is no different. Most major components from the clutch pedal box through to the radiator support are all made of the the finest German grade plastic. As a new vehicle this is not a huge problem, however once the vehicles start to age a little bit and have experienced driving conditions and fluctuating temperatures from being driven, the plastic components tend to fail in random order. Its a fault common with many vehicles manufactured in Europe and we have covered it in many of our previous blogs. If you want more information relating to this fault you can check out some of our previous blog article below.
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As far as snares specifically relating to the Caddy there is not too much in the common fault category for these and they are generally a good little van. Some common things that either go wrong on them or that can become very costly for the owners are listed below.
The switching mechanism in the sliding door often fails. The electronics don’t register that the door is closed and leaves the cabin light on all the time, this very quickly drains the battery. The faulty switch also leaves a warning on the dash to say the door is open even when it’s not. Its an easy enough part to replace.
The window switch for the electric windows are also known to give trouble. Again easy enough to replace but switches are not cheap. Equally annoying if the switch fails when the window is down.
The timing belt requires replacement in these every 150,000Kms. It’s a bit of a job on the Caddy and requires specialty timing tools to keep the cam shaft and timing shafts aligned. This job can be expensive as some shops will charge the owner of the car for the purchasing of the timing tools. In order to keep costs down it is advised to find a workshop that is already in ownership of these tools. Any European specialist should have these (for the record we own them).
The first models of the Caddy were common for injectors failing. After a few years of replacing them it has become apparent that in some cases the fault was actually caused by the wiring harness that runs to the injectors. Whilst injectors are still common for failure many are getting replaced by technicians who are not aware of the fault in the wiring. Be sure to get your mechanic to check and test the wiring harness before just replacing injectors.
The clutch master cylinder is known for leaking and its a nightmare of a job to replace. If you’re replacing it, be sure to order the O ring on the end of the fluid supply line between the slave and the master. When replacing it, we advise removing the clutch pedal box, it can be done in the car without removing it, but it’s much easier to just remove the pedal box and do it on the bench.
The clutch replacement in the Caddy can become very expensive. The caddy has a duel mass flywheel, the duel mass cannot be machined (although some machine shops are physically able to do it, the manufacturer says don’t machine them.) The correct clutch replacement method is to replace the clutch kit and the flywheel at the same time. Many shops just replace the clutch kit and get away with it but the correct way is to replace the lot. If done properly the replacement parts alone could exceed $2K. This makes the whole clutch replacement job very expensive.
The rear shocks are common for failure in the Caddy. In our experience it is more common to see this on vehicles that are not used as delivery vehicles. Our conclusion is that the suspension in the Caddy is made for carrying a fairly large weight and if it doesn’t have the weight it can cause the shocks to fail prematurely due to bouncing around freely with no load in the back.