Ambient light for front footwells
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS Appearance Mods Discussion, Ambient light for front footwells in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; My '09 CTS was built in late May 2009, delivered to me in early June. I soon discovered that the ...
  1. #1
    RAB's Avatar
    RAB
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    Ambient light for front footwells

    My '09 CTS was built in late May 2009, delivered to me in early June. I soon discovered that the front and rear footwell ambient light applications were deleted in production by Cadillac/GM as cost-cutting measures during the 2009 CTS model year. I didn't really care that the rear footwells on my '09 car lost the ambient light feature, but I wasn't pleased about the loss of the front footwell ambient lights. I therefore decided to order the Front Footwell Lamp Kit, p/n 19170639. I picked up the kit today, at a GM dealer in north-east Michigan.
    When I arrived home today I decided to go ahead and install the lamp kit. I'm happy to report that it literally took 5 minutes per side to install each lamp assy at the driver side and passenger side footwell locations. It was an easy install - the provision was still there in the vehicle for each lamp assy to simply plug in. The kit ended up costing about $50.00, so I guess that wasn't too bad, all things considered. I really like the results.
    For those who may be interested.. I have scanned, uploaded (to www.keepandshare.com) and attached here a link to a .pdf file of the GM SPO instructions for installation of the Ambient Front Foot Well Light Kit for the '2008+ CTS. Hopefully this will be helpful to those here contemplating the application.
    Here's the link: http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/view...d=1391291&da=y


    RAB.

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    C "T" ess's Avatar
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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Thanks for the instructions. I didn't realize that I had the ambient lighting until I read them. That's another job I can check off the list.

  4. #3
    ekessler507 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    So, does the light kit you purchase do one footwell or both?

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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Quote Originally Posted by ekessler507 View Post
    So, does the light kit you purchase do one footwell or both?
    The light kit does both front footwells. There are two LED light/cable assemblies in the kit - one for each side. The nice (but quite subtle) lighting effect for both driver & passenger makes the money spent worthwhile. I'm very satisfied with the result. (This added feature is another way the CTS sets itself apart from some/most of its competitor vehicles).

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    rchern is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Those are great directions, but it's a little hard to see the connections in the picture. Are there other connections that are there that could be confused with the light connections? When you put the light into the holders does the light have to face a certain way or is it a no brainer? When you replace the panel, how does the light shine through? Do you know where the light would go in the rear? I'd like to try this in my 2010. Thanks for any help.

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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Quote Originally Posted by rchern View Post
    Those are great directions, but it's a little hard to see the connections in the picture. Are there other connections that are there that could be confused with the light connections? When you put the light into the holders does the light have to face a certain way or is it a no brainer? When you replace the panel, how does the light shine through? Do you know where the light would go in the rear? I'd like to try this in my 2010. Thanks for any help.
    When you carry out this installation (i.e. ambient lights for the front footwells) it is very straight forward, and there exists zero possibility for confusion. There is only one available socket/receptacle (on the driver side as well as the passenger side) for the connector from the light assembly to plug into.
    For info, I've included a couple of photos below.. taken when I installed the front ambient light kit in my '09 CTS several weeks ago.
    When you insert the light assembly into the holder in the panel, it can only go one way, and it is a no-brainer. The light shines through to the footwell area through a tiny hole in the panel. Everything you need is already there in the car, except of course for the two light assemblies. It's entirely plug & play.. at least that's the way it was on my '09 CTS. I'm unaware of what might have changed on the 2010 car.

    The ambient light kit/mod for the rear footwells is covered in a separate thread. That installation is definitely not plug & play, and requires that additional wiring (included in the kit) be run from under the front seats all the way to the dash. Installation instructions (by way of a link to a .pdf) are included in the thread I speak of. Note that the ambient light assembly for each rear footwell is attached to the underside of each front seat.
    I made the decision not to go with the rear footwell ambient light mod for reasons of unreasonable complexity (time & effort to install) and minimal bang for the buck. I hardly ever have rear seat passengers in my CTS, therefore my rear footwells needn't have ambient lighting.

    View of installed driver side ambient light assembly, with connector applied to pre-existing socket/receptacle:


    View of installed passenger side ambient light assembly, with connector applied to pre-existing socket/receptacle:


    Hope this helps.


    RAB.

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    rchern is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Excellent job with the pictures RAB. It couldn't be much clearer now. I guess I should check to see if the wiring is there in my car before I order. Thank you very much.

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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Quote Originally Posted by rchern View Post
    Excellent job with the pictures RAB. It couldn't be much clearer now. I guess I should check to see if the wiring is there in my car before I order. Thank you very much.
    No problem at all. That's an excellent idea.. checking to see if the provision still exists (i.e. the necessary wiring & receptacles) in your 2010 CTS to accommodate the front light ambient light kit. The provision "should" still be there. Please let us know.

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    FrankRizzo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    I have installed these in my 2008 as well as retrofitted the dash light pipes however none of them light up. I don't see anything obvious, like a fuse missing. Any idea why the provision (plug) would be there for these lights but they would not light up?

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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankRizzo View Post
    I have installed these in my 2008 as well as retrofitted the dash light pipes however none of them light up. I don't see anything obvious, like a fuse missing. Any idea why the provision (plug) would be there for these lights but they would not light up?
    Frank, the fact that your '08 CTS wasn't originally equipped at the factory with option code TSQ (accent lighting, LED spotlights, dash & door mounted LED light pipes) may mean that a feed wire (or wires) could be missing at a power source / junction / fuse panel location, the presence of which would otherwise energize the circuit(s) you've tapped into.
    When you installed the dash light pipes.. did you find a provision (plug/receptacle) behind each trim panel piece for each light pipe connector to plug into? I just want to be clear on the exact provision (plug or plugs) you are referring to. The provision for the front footwell ambient light kit provides a total of two plugs/receptacles.. one on the driver side, and the other on the passenger side. Each of those receptacles is meant to be a power source for one (1) only front footwell ambient light assy.
    Have you checked for evidence of a blown fuse at the fuse panels? It would be great if we had a wiring schematic for the car, now wouldn't it?
    FYI.. I've just checked the interior light operation on my '09 CTS, and note that by moving the stalk-mounted light switch to the Parking Lamp position (even with the ignition switch in the OFF position) will cause the dash & door mounted light pipes to turn ON as well as the footwell ambient lights. I also confirmed that the brightness level of all these accent lights is adjustable by way of the dash-mounted instrument panel brightness knob (rheostat). That info might be helpful for you or others in troubleshooting the problem.
    Do you have a multimeter (voltmeter)? The first thing I'd be doing is to check whether I'm missing the positive feed, the negative feed or both the positive and negative feeds at the plugs/receptacles you've tapped into. One of the tricks in troubleshooting electrical circuitry is to try to narrow things down.
    Hope this helps somewhat. If you have any further questions, feel free to send me a PM. (Yes, my background / area of expertise is electrical). Good luck.
    Cheers,
    RAB.

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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Last week I looked under the drivers side dashboard for the connection for the ambient lighting and I couldn't find it. This week I got my hands on a 7mm socket so I was able to get under the passenger side of the dashboard. There's no connection for the ambient lighting. The wiring doesn't even look the same as it does in the picture that someone posted on this thread. I guess the first year GM just eliminated the lights (probably a last minute decision) and when they retooled for 2010 they took out the connection. Oh well.

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    New Bee In New York is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Great thread RAB. Thanks for posting EVERYTHING related to this mod. I'm off to the dealer tomorrow to place an order for the kit. Are the LED's in the kit white or something a little more subdued?

    Now ... if they only made a kit to lock the gas door.........

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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Quote Originally Posted by rchern View Post
    Last week I looked under the drivers side dashboard for the connection for the ambient lighting and I couldn't find it. This week I got my hands on a 7mm socket so I was able to get under the passenger side of the dashboard. There's no connection for the ambient lighting. The wiring doesn't even look the same as it does in the picture that someone posted on this thread. I guess the first year GM just eliminated the lights (probably a last minute decision) and when they retooled for 2010 they took out the connection. Oh well.
    rchern,
    Well that's pretty lousy, isn't it?... no connections for front ambient lighting under the dash on your 2010 CTS Sedan. And yet at gmaccessorieszone.com they advertise the availability of the Front Footwell Ambient Light Kit (GM p/n 19170639) for the 2010 CTS Sedan and Wagon.
    I'd want to complain big time about this to someone at GM.. but who the heck do you complain to? (who would be listening?). Oh well.. at least by way of the info provided in this thread you didn't waste your money on the light kit for your 2010 car. From what you've determined it appears the front ambient light kit is only geared toward the 2008 & 2009 CTS, and is not plug & play compatible with the 2010's.
    By the way, the pictures posted in this thread were my own. I took the photos in mid-September when I applied the front ambient light kit to my late-build '09 CTS.
    Final note.. you could still make the front ambient light kit work on your 2010, however it would take some additional wiring and represents something you would most likely be uninterested in taking on.
    Robert, if you decide you want to proceed anyway, send me a message and I will assist in any way I can.
    Cheers,
    RAB.

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    rchern is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Thanks for the offer RAB but I'm not going to go to a lot of trouble. If it was just plug it in it would be worth it. It just sucks how little by little they take things away every year. Ambient lighting, mirrors that tilt down when you back up, heated washer fluid, rainsense,taking the limited slip differential and putting into another package, etc,etc. It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you've supported them by buying their cars (I've had 6 General Motors cars in a row now) and they nickle and dime you. You would think that for a company that is in as much trouble as they are would maybe throw a couple of extras for customers that are spending as much money as we are for a car. But, I still love my new car though.

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    RAB's Avatar
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    Re: Ambient light for front footwells

    Quote Originally Posted by New Bee In New York View Post
    Great thread RAB. Thanks for posting EVERYTHING related to this mod. I'm off to the dealer tomorrow to place an order for the kit. Are the LED's in the kit white or something a little more subdued?
    Now ... if they only made a kit to lock the gas door.........
    New Bee - thanks, my pleasure.
    To tell you the truth I'm not sure what type of lights they are - LED or incandescent. I didn't study them that closely at time of installation. Note that the light produced/projected is quite subtle, and shines through an approx. 3/16" diameter hole ("pinhole") in each respective under-dash panel (driver and passenger side). The object of the application is to provide a very subtle glow of light on the legs and feet of the driver and front seat passenger. At night, in the city, these footwell "ambient lights" really aren't all that evident with the vehicle positioned under bright street lights. In rural / more sparcely lit areas however, the footwell ambient lights become much more apparent and provide the desired effect CTS designers had in mind. It's pretty cool, sexy even. Hey, just ask Kate Walsh!
    Linked-in below are a couple of photos of the under-dash panels (driver & passenger side) showing the pinhole light produced by the ambient light assemblies:

    Driver footwell ambient light:


    Passenger footwell ambient light:



    RAB.

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