The average annual maintenance cost of a Cadillac is $783, which puts it below the national average for similar models. This automaker has been a central part of American car history but is sometimes more expensive to maintain than some comparable luxury models.
However, a 10-year average puts the brand at $13,406, lower than Mercedes ($15,986) and BMW ($19,312). The European makes are also 35%-45% likely to need a serious repair during that time. So, the question remains, are Cadillac parts expensive? Keep reading further to determine if Cadillac parts are more expensive than aftermarket parts?
Are Cadillac Parts Expensive?
Essentially, Cadillac parts are more expensive when compared to aftermarket varieties from other manufacturers. For instance, OEM axles for a 2020 Cadillac CT4 from the dealership cost $270.67; an aftermarket OE on Summit Racing’s website would be $188.99.
It is not uncommon for dealership parts to be more expensive than aftermarket parts. In most cases, they are the most costly option.
Who Supplies Parts to Cadillac?
The Cadillac brand has a fleet of manufacturers that provide their original parts. ACDelco provides OEM parts for General Motors. ACDelco offers a wide range of auto parts for all GM and non-GM vehicles, including car batteries, brakes, and spark plugs.
While it’s easy to believe aftermarket parts could be cheaper and better, they may not be under warranty if they fail prematurely. So, OEM parts from manufacturers like ACDelco usually warranty their high-quality products for a year.
Also read: Are Cadillacs Reliable? (Brutal Truth)
Brake Pads stop the vehicle’s motion by using hydraulic pressure to clamp down the rotors. This action creates heat and friction, which slows the car. Brake pads are made of organic material, semi-metallic compounds, or ceramic.
Brake pads should be replaced every 25,000-65,000 miles, depending on your driving conditions. A mechanic should inspect the braking system about every 12,000 miles to check the friction material left on your Cadillac’s brakes. This is also an excellent time to check on the condition of your rotors.
The table below describes how much brake pads cost.
|GM||ACDelco||Powerstop Evolution Sport|
I choose ACDelco brake pads since they are high-quality OEM parts that are easy to find; also, this variety is semi-metallic, which is less expensive, wears down slower, and is less likely to warp the rotor.
OEM brakes are great for general usage, are quiet and effective on the road, and are long-lasting. However, aftermarket brake pads will stop better, last longer, cost less, and be better suited for your driving style. Mechanics will typically charge $130 to replace the brakes for you. However, I recommend changing the brakes on your own.
Your Cadillac uses a method of combustion to create engine power, but it needs a clean mixture of fuel and air to do so. That is where filters come into play.
- Air Filters – These filters can come in various shapes and sizes of cotton, foam, or synthetic paper. The pleated material in the filters keeps dust, insects, or other debris from entering the engine. Cadillac recommends changing them every 7,500 miles in extreme conditions during regular tune-ups but replacing them every 15,000-30,000 otherwise.
- Oil Filters – These filters keep a continuous flow of oil throughout the engine and filter out the dust and metallic particles. It’s safe to replace these every 3,000-5,000 in Cadillacs.
- Fuel Filters – These filters remove harmful impurities like dust, grit, and rust from the fuel you add to your vehicle. It’s common for the fuel filters to last the car’s life. For example, it’s a good idea to change them every 40,000-80,000 miles in Cadillacs.
I don’t recommend buying used filters because of their diminished quality.
|OEM (GM)||ACDelco||Carquest Premium|
I would purchase GM parts for the fuel filters. Usually, aftermarket air filters and oil filters are sufficient replacements. Searching on CariD.com, summittracing.com, or oempartsource.com should help you find OEM parts cheaper than dealerships can offer you.
Mechanics will charge you $23 to change your air filter, approximately $45 for oil changes, and $61 to replace your fuel filter. You can do most of these independently, although I would hire a mechanic to work on the fuel filter unless you have quick-connect tools to remove the fuel lines easily.
The car battery starts the engine and provides power to various electronics such as lights and radio. There are two types of batteries:
- Standard wet-cell – these batteries are known as conventional batteries. They can vent gas and leak acid. These batteries usually have caps to add fluid.
- Absorbed Glass Mat – these batteries are best known for short recharge periods and handling harsher climates. However, they can go for more extended periods of disuse as well.
I’ve included a table below that describes the pricing for batteries. Before buying a used battery, do some research, and see the battery in person. Corrosion on the terminals is a problem. Also, don’t overlook the date stamp.
I would also check if the salvage yard offers a warranty with the used battery to save you a headache.
|Optima||Duralast Platinum AGM||Diehard Plat. AGM||Diehard Plat.|
Car batteries usually only last about three to five years; I would go with the Diehard Platinum AGM since these types of batteries could last longer in your Cadillac.
A mechanic will charge $95 to replace your battery; I advise doing this yourself. Searching on CariD.com or GM outlets should help you find OEM parts cheaper.
Starter and Alternator
Your Starter is an electrical motor that requires a fully charged battery to start your car. The Alternator regulates the electrical energy flowing through the engine and charges the battery.
These parts work in sync and are tricky to diagnose. I’ve included a table below describing the costs.
|GM||Carquest Premium||Carquest HD|
Starters and Alternators can last approximately 75,000-125,000 miles on your Cadillac depending on driving and environmental conditions. A mechanic will typically charge $150 to replace your Starter and $245 for the Alternator. I would hire a mechanic to perform these repairs. Searching on CariD.com or Advance Auto Parts may yield cheaper options for aftermarket parts.
Generally, I would advise using OEM parts for Starters and Alternators. ACDelco parts are high-quality and should help maintain performance and the luxury Cadillac-owners want.
Essentially, spark plugs supply a spark of electricity that causes the air/fuel mixture to ignite. The spark plugs must be up to your vehicle’s specifications because they operate continuously.
I have included a table below describing the cost of spark plugs. Don’t buy used spark plugs as the conditions vary, and new ones are not expensive.
|Per plug||OEM||NGK Racing||Champion Racing||Champion Copper Plus|
I recommend changing your spark plugs every 30,000 miles in your Cadillac, especially if you’re using the OEM variety. If you notice rough idling or engine misfires, change them sooner. Bad spark plugs can drain your battery; however, higher-grade spark plugs may not need to be changed as often.
You don’t need a mechanic to charge you $280 to change your spark plugs; it’s a safe job, but it can be time-consuming, hence the high labor cost. I still recommend getting NGK because they will last longer; however, Copper plugs are OEM.
A timing chain is significant in your Cadillac’s combustion engine. The timing belt essentially coordinates the opening and closing of the valves. To do this, technicians must synchronize the crankshaft and the camshaft; if successful, this will keep the pistons from hitting the valves. This action is controlled by gears, which the timing chain runs over.
Over time it is subjected to intense wear and tear; however, misuse of your vehicle can shorten the timing chain’s lifespan. Going too long between oil changes and even using the wrong oil viscosity can cause timing chain pins and plates to wear. The tensioner gear keeps the chain tight, but it will stretch and put the engine out of sync when it’s wearing out.
When a timing chain needs to be replaced, it’s best to allow your dealership or a trusted mechanic to replace it for you. I would not DIY this job unless you have training. The timing chain controls the gears based on the vehicle’s speed, and if it’s even slightly off, there could be engine misfires or other issues.
Unfortunately, this is an expensive and time-consuming job. So, you will most likely pay $860-1,000 for labor and an estimated $700 for the timing chain and gears.
Car tires are a cushion of rubber constructed to fit over the metal wheel of Cadillac vehicles. They create traction and allow the car to drive safely on the road. The table below describes the brands available.
|Per Tire||Firestone Firehawk AS||Goodyear Eagle AS||Goodyear Assurance||Continental Extreme Contact|
Generally, I choose tires based on quality-tested reliability and go with Goodyear tires. You may be able to find deals on new tires at Walmart.com or your local garage.
I suggest replacing your tires every 70,000 miles, but you should refer to your car’s manual if unsure. Regular rotations at 7,500 miles will prolong the life of your tires. When buying used tires, thoroughly inspect them for dry rot, nails, or holes.
It’s best to take your vehicle to the shop to have your tires professionally changed, as most DIY garages do not have the necessary equipment to balance them properly
Usually, a belt-driven pump receives power from the crankshaft. When the car is in motion, the pump draws cooled antifreeze from the radiator, through the engine, and eventually back into the cooling system.
Below I’ve included a table for various pricing on water pumps.
|OEM ||Carquest Premium||Gates|
Generally, water pumps last 60,000-120,000 miles before you should replace them. A mechanic will typically charge $200 to change your water pump due to its location.
A water pump is an essential part of your Cadillac’s engine cooling system; with that in mind, I would purchase an OEM or Gates replacement part. Without a properly functioning water pump, the engine will overheat, which will lead to leaks, blown head gaskets, damage to serpentine and timing belts, and even a failed motor.
If you’re looking for something a little less flashy with comparable value to a Cadillac, then perhaps GMC is a good option. For instance, compare the 2021 Cadillac Escalade Platinum and the 2021 GMC Yukon SLE.
|Vehicle||Cadillac Escalade Platinum||GMC Yukon SLE|
|Engine||420.0-hp, 6.2-liter, 8 Cylinder Engine(Gasoline Fuel) 277.0-hp, 3.0-liter, Straight 6 Cylinder Engine(Diesel Fuel)||355.0-hp, 5.3-liter, 8 Cylinder Engine(Gasoline Fuel) 277.0-hp, 3.0-liter, Straight 6 Cylinder Engine(Diesel Fuel)|
|Size||211.9″ length, 76.7″ height||210″ length, 76.5″ height|
If you’re looking to stay in the GM family, then the GMC Yukon should provide just as much luxury and comfort as you need. It has the space and engine power to accomplish anything the Cadillac Escalade could do.
GM parts are more expensive than aftermarket parts. Although aftermarket and ACDelco parts are more accessible, it’s better to research thoroughly to ensure fitment and quality. Therefore, I suggest choosing aftermarkets for batteries, brake pads, filters, spark plugs, and tires.
Generally, you should inspect used parts with a fine-tooth comb; you do not want to compromise quality. In addition, it’s essential to select GM or ACDelco parts for starters, alternators, timing chains, and water pumps because of how crucial these parts are to other systems.
While it would be easy to debate this, choosing OEM or aftermarket parts comes down to risk and reward. Often, you are rewarded with reliability and quality when selecting OEM, but the same can be true for quality aftermarket parts.
Consulting reputable automotive websites may yield hidden discounts on OEM or aftermarket parts that dealers will not offer you. It’s important to consider all options when purchasing replacement parts.
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