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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS General Discussion Discussion, 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; Originally Posted by fritze18 I'm curious; if the dealer and OnStar have to re-program these modules, then why do they ...
  1. #31
    gm85 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Quote Originally Posted by fritze18 View Post
    I'm curious; if the dealer and OnStar have to re-program these modules, then why do they have to come from donor vehicles? Why could you not just purchase a new VCIM from the parts department at your dealership?
    Because a Salvaged unit is $65 from a used vehicle.... Compared to $400 - 500 buying it brand new (which is a big price to pay for bluetooth).

    Also, it seems that many are saying GM has placed restrcitions on the general public from buying an onstar module that does not match their vehicle.

  2. #32
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Ever notice how there are not many individual options anymore? Bluetooth is part of a more expensive package they want you to buy. So you have to understand why they are not just going to make it easy for you add the exact option you did not want to buy from them initially. Right or wrong, that is just the way it is. Jap and German cars are the same way.

  3. #33
    matthayes3741 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Great post, I just made a call to my uncle who's a senior project engineer for GM; he's going to talk to his friend from Onstar and get me the part. Any pictures you guys have would be awesome! Otherwise, I will post them when I am done. How do you disconnect the airbag.

  4. #34
    MoFex's Avatar
    MoFex is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyH View Post
    Ever notice how there are not many individual options anymore? Bluetooth is part of a more expensive package they want you to buy. So you have to understand why they are not just going to make it easy for you add the exact option you did not want to buy from them initially. Right or wrong, that is just the way it is. Jap and German cars are the same way.
    You are right. And BMW is the worst...no much we can do about it..

  5. #35
    gm85 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    VCIM Replacement How-To

    There are some pictures missing (I realized I should take some pictures WHILE I was doing it), but I’ll try to explain it as best as I can.

    Precautions and Notes

    First of all, safety first. As airbags are located in the areas that will be worked on, I recommend disabling the airbag system.

    Also, there are no guarantees. If you damage your vehicle or OnStar module, I’m sorry I can’t help you out.

    Write down all serial numbers on the module. You will probably never need them, but it’s handy to have a reference of since you don’t want to take your car apart again just to write down a number.

    Finally, as this may take a few hours, I recommend attaching your car to a battery charger, so you don’t drain your battery. Your car won't be on, but you'll have doors and the trunk opened and closed.

    The First image shows the Generation 7 OnStar Module (hereafter called the VCIM). You can see the Blue GPS and Maroon Cellular antenna connectors, as well as the 4 Wiring Harness Connectors (The CTS uses 3 of them).



    The next image shows the OnStar Generation 8 VCIM. It looks the same as the Generation 7 VCIM, with the exception of the addition of the beige Bluetooth Antenna Connector and Bluetooth Indicators on the label. The model pictured is 25990227 for the Gen 8.0 VCIM. It is recommended by csalmon to look out for 20787642, which is the Gen 8.1 VCIM.



    The next image is the picture of the Bluetooth Antenna. This antenna attaches to VCIM and is a about the size of two quarters side-by-side. It is Part Number 15938939. Note: The latch on the Bluetooth Antenna is pretty fragile. Do not continuously attach and remove it to the VCIM as you might risk breaking the latch.



    Disabling the Air Bags

    The service manual indicates to remove all fuses related to the airbag system to disable them.

    First of all, turn your wheels so they are straight ahead and turn the car off.

    There are two fuses. One in the fuse panel under the hood, labelled as AIRBAG IGN. The other is located in the trunk’s fuse panel, labelled as AIRBAG.

    Once you remove both fuses, turn your car onto accessory mode (no need to start it). Your DIC should display Service Air Bag, which means the airbags are disabled. Turn the car off and wait 1 minute before proceeding.



    Removing the Back Seat

    First, remove the seat cushion. Every Cadillac has always made this task very easy (plus, it’s good if you ever want to clean out the seat). Grab the bottom of the seat cushion. Push in (towards the back) and pull up.

    After you remove the rear seat cushion, you will need to remove the rear seats.

    Slide the seatbelts out of the guides attached to the top of the seats (there’s a small notch so you can slide the seatbelt out). There are 8 bolts that mount the seats. 4 Large bolts under the seats (in the cabin) and 4 behind the seats (inside the trunk above the pass-through). I have the 60/40 split seat, so I’m unsure if it’s the same with the regular seats, but it probably is.



    At his point your trunk will look like this:




    Upper Panel Trim

    Next you have to remove interior trim above the rear shelf. Although the trim piece looks like two separate pieces, it’s one large piece that runs from the back door, to the rear window.

    Although the service manual tells you to remove the seat belt, I Do NOT recommend doing this. We’re not replacing the panel. Instead, once the panel is detached, just slide it down the seat belt and leave the seatbelt intact.

    Remove the Air Bag screw cover. There are 3 clips, but I found in my car they weren’t actually clipped to the panel, just holding the cover in snugly. Pictured below is the Air Bag Screw cover on the driver side of the vehicle. The driver side cover opens from the front; the passenger side cover opens from the back.



    Unscrew the screw behind the cover.

    Now you have to remove the panel.

    There are clips (I think approx nearby the circled red areas) that hold the panel in. Lightly tug on the panel until the clips detach from the vehicle. DO NOT PULL! See the next step for why.




    Once you have loosened the panel, you will notice the panel is still attached to the car. There is a rubber clip you will have to lift and slide the panel out from. Lift the edge of the clip and slide the panel back to remove it from the clip. It’s a tight spot, so you might need to work with it a bit.



    Once the panels are detached from the car, slide the panels down the seat belts.

    Removing the Rear Shelf Trim



    Now that the upper panels are removed, you can remove the rear shelf trim. The shelf is held in by two plastic anchors.
    I found the easiest way to remove these anchors is by using a pair of 90 degree pliers and grabbing the anchor behind the plastic head and pulling straight out.




    Lift and slide the shelf trim along the seat belt and place it down. It may be a big a bit finicky to remove, but it eventually will.

    At this point, you have access to the rear shelf. Your rear seat may be in shambles but hey! Now you have access to the module.



    Testing the New VCIM

    The VCIM is located on the Driver-Side of the rear shelf. You will see that it has 4 connectors: Two White, One Black, One Maroon, and One Blue. The Two white connectors are different sizes, so you can’t risk attaching them to the wrong connector.

    First of all, remove power to the VCIM. This is done through a fuse labelled ONSTAR in the trunk.

    To remove the wiring connectors, depress the latches on the connectors. The latches are on the underside of the connector and there is one on each connector to keep it in place. If you have depressed the latch all the way, the connectors should slide out fairly easily. Do Not force the removal of the connector!




    Now place Gen 8 VCIM on top of the old VCIM, and attach the wiring harnesses to the new module.

    Connect the Bluetooth Antenna.

    Re-Insert the Onstar Fuse.

    Now, start the car in accessory mode.
    Once the car is on, hold the OnStar button for a few seconds. Check to see if it responds “Onstar Generation 8”.

    Check the OnStar Light. Your Light may be red (as mine was), howevever once I had the module installed in the car for a few hours, it was green.

    Press the Voice Recognition button on the steering wheel. Say “Handsfree”, then “Bluetooth”. If the car responds with “Bluetooth Ready”, Success! You can move to the next step!

    If not, I’m not 100% sure about the options you have. You could leave the new module connected (and contact your dealership) or plug the old module back in and put the car back together again.

  6. #36
    gm85 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    VCIM Replacement How-To (Part Two)

    Remove the old VCIM (The Hard Part).
    Now that we know the Gen 8 VCIM is working with the car, it’s time to remove the Gen 7 VCIM.

    Before doing this step, take a break.... have a drink.... walk the dog.... Seriously because after doing this, I was pretty frustrated (as mentioned it took me 4 hours to remove it).

    You may notice the VCIM is mounted to a black plastic tray. The front of the VCIM is held in by two clips and the rear is held by a bolt.

    First, try loosening the nut from the bolt. As the bolt is mounted to the tray (and not the frame) there’s a good chance that the bolt will turn with the nut. (If not, loosen the nut, swap the VCIMs and tighten the nut to secure the new VCIM. If that’s the case, you really lucked out and are done this step).

    Now, if you look in your trunk, you will notice a hole in the trunk that is nearby the location of the bolt. However, the bolt is offset enough that using a screwdriver through the hole will not work to stop the bolt from turning.

    (I’ve indicated the Bolt’s approximate location with an arrow).


    Now, as metioned, the tray is bolted down using 5 bolts. 4 are towards the front of the tray, and 1 is at the rear, between the VCIM and subwoofer. Unfortunately, the rear bolt has a cap on it and is next-to-impossible to remove due to the position of the bolt and the closeness of the rear window.



    If you remove the front 4 nuts (while leaving the rear nut in place), you will notice you can lift the tray slightly. There may be some adheasive that is holding the tray down as well.

    In order to access the bolt under the VCIM, I had to improvise. I taped a wrench to a paint stick, lifted the tray, and slid the paint stick under the tray towards the bolt (of course, having a long wrench could help if you had that in your posession). I had somone shine a flashlight through the hole in the trunk so I could get a better view. It took a few tries, but I was eventually able to snag the bolt.




    At this point, loosen the bolt and remove the module.



    Install the new module, and attach the bluetooth antenna, as shown below



    Re-Insert the OnStar fuse and test out the module again. As mentioned before, this is the time where my console restarted, however that may have been due to the car recognizing the module, the module configured for parameters the car did not understand, or my car’s battery running low.

    If all is okay, reverse these steps to place the car back together again.

    Don't Forget

    Make sure all nuts are tightened down

    The Rear-Self may some playing with to get back into place.

    The interior trim needs to be reattached to the rubber clips (and also needs to playing with as well to get the clips to snap into the frame). Don't forget to slide the trim panel behind the rubber trim that surrounds the door.

    When putting the rear-seat cushion back into the car, there is a small hook on the back of the cushion. Line this up with the back of the seat, push back, then push down on the cushion.

    Finally, re-insert the Airbag Fuses.

    At this point, the VCIM and Bluetooth install are now complete!



    At this point, you will need to take the car to the dealership to have the module programmed. If you got it from a 2009 CTS, 95% of the parameters probably work with the 08 cts as well, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. The Dealership will use a Tech II to configure the device to fully work with your car. Ths process the Dealership needs to perform is the “OnStar Setup Procedure”

    Next, you will need to call OnStar and speak with a technical support advisor. As you probably bought the module from a salvaged vehicle, the Station ID is used by OnStar’s network to identify your car, and it will be associated with the previous vechile. Mention to OnStar that you replaced the module and you had the dealership program the module for your vechile. At this point they will associate the Station ID of the VCIM to your vehicle’s VIN. If you have OnStar already, this also means your account will be associated with the new module. (Your dealership may do this step for you as part of the setup procedure)

    Once you complete these last two steps, you’re finished!

  7. #37
    agreif is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success


  8. #38
    3forever is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Angry Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Hi Guyz.

    Let me fill you in on something. I work for a GM dealer. there are countless bulleting out there that sate is a car/truck was not equipped with the bluetooth option but with onstar the components are not interchangeable and programmable. If you want a car/truck with bluetooth then buy one that came equipped with it from the factory. THERE is a HUGE liability issue here having the wrong hardware in a car is tempting fate. If you have an active onstar account and you try to activate a different VCIM on your account for your car/truck #1 the onstar technical person should catch on to what your trying to do and decline the activation and #2 if for some reason your able to skirt the system and get it programmed and activated god forbid your ever in any kind of an accident where emergency personnel have to be dispatched to your location... Just letting you know your tempting fate!!!!!! Oh and also if do switch out parts like this good luck trying to get any kind of warranty assistance from the dealer.

  9. #39
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    ^um, look at Gramzter's write up. He stated that the dealer and Onstar themselves reprogrammed his unit. Unless he is lying. But come on, with all those pictures and that writeup, do you really think he is trying to pull a fast one on us? Puh-leeze.


    Excellent work Gramzster It is more work than I would willing to undertake, and probably most people as well. But for those of you who are dedicated enough to do this, my hat is off to you.
    I wish we still had the rep system, you would get a boat load of it

  10. #40
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Great write up! Very exciting! I will also give this a try once the cold michigan winter ends :P

    Also, might I recommend pulling 12V during the whole installation process. Usually its best if you don't have anything up and running while you are pulling modules.

  11. #41
    jw38 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Quote Originally Posted by 3forever View Post
    Hi Guyz.

    Let me fill you in on something. I work for a GM dealer. there are countless bulleting out there that sate is a car/truck was not equipped with the bluetooth option but with onstar the components are not interchangeable and programmable. If you want a car/truck with bluetooth then buy one that came equipped with it from the factory. THERE is a HUGE liability issue here having the wrong hardware in a car is tempting fate. If you have an active onstar account and you try to activate a different VCIM on your account for your car/truck #1 the onstar technical person should catch on to what your trying to do and decline the activation and #2 if for some reason your able to skirt the system and get it programmed and activated god forbid your ever in any kind of an accident where emergency personnel have to be dispatched to your location... Just letting you know your tempting fate!!!!!! Oh and also if do switch out parts like this good luck trying to get any kind of warranty assistance from the dealer.

    Sorry, but you work for a GM dealer that I would NEVER take my car to. Cadillac is currently using the v8.1 OnStar module in the CTS and absolutely NOTHING has been changed with regard to wiring or DIC display messages. It is not the WRONG hardware. Rather, it is updated hardware that from day 1 was scheduled to be installed in the CTS. Based on your statement, there would be huge liability issue if I decided to install a different brand of tire on my car...because they would not be the same brand of tire that was initially installed on the car.

    The dealership that I bought my CTS from said that they would be more than happy to swap out the modules for me, and that if I decide to activate the OnStar system, it will function properly and will be associated with my vehicle's VIN.

    On more thing, OnStar cannot prevent the activation of the new module. They have no way of knowing what version of module was initially installed in a particular car.

    You must work for the kind of dealership that believes that installing a CAI kit will void the engine warranty. WRONG...and illegal!

  12. #42
    matthayes3741 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Quote Originally Posted by jw38 View Post
    Sorry, but you work for a GM dealer that I would NEVER take my car to. Cadillac is currently using the v8.1 OnStar module in the CTS and absolutely NOTHING has been changed with regard to wiring or DIC display messages. It is not the WRONG hardware. Rather, it is updated hardware that from day 1 was scheduled to be installed in the CTS. Based on your statement, there would be huge liability issue if I decided to install a different brand of tire on my car...because they would not be the same brand of tire that was initially installed on the car.

    The dealership that I bought my CTS from said that they would be more than happy to swap out the modules for me, and that if I decide to activate the OnStar system, it will function properly and will be associated with my vehicle's VIN.

    On more thing, OnStar cannot prevent the activation of the new module. They have no way of knowing what version of module was initially installed in a particular car.

    You must work for the kind of dealership that believes that installing a CAI kit will void the engine warranty. WRONG...and illegal!
    That's awesome and DITTO. I find it funny that people are impressed with themselves that they "work for a GM dealer..." my uncle is a senior design engineer and is good friends with the GM Onstar tech's and they've told me from day one that this is doable. Especially considering it was installed in 08 CTS's after April.

  13. #43
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    it would behoove all of you to see both sides of this debate, rather than insinuate the person on the other side of the argument is an idiot

  14. #44
    jw38 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyH View Post
    it would behoove all of you to see both sides of this debate, rather than insinuate the person on the other side of the argument is an idiot
    I never said that he was an idiot. I simply pointed out the FACT that he is spreading incorrect information!

  15. #45
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    I never said you said he was an idiot. I said "insinuated".
    And are you 100% certain beyond a shadow of a doubt he is incorrect? Think hard before you answer that.

    All I am saying is we all need to see things from another's point of view sometimes.

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