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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; Nevermind, this is not productive. I will ensure I respect other's opinions. Please keep in mind, that there are a ...
  1. #46
    matthayes3741 is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Nevermind, this is not productive. I will ensure I respect other's opinions. Please keep in mind, that there are a lot of people out there that never setup our Onstar in the first place, so the argument about getting into an accident does not apply to me.

    On a productive note, I ordered this part from Nordstrom (my uncle is on vacation for a couple weeks and I didn't want to wait), and they canceled the transaction after I did "buy-it-now" and sent payment. They did refund my money the next business day, but stated that they had "already sold it."

    I guess I will wait until my uncle can send me one.

  2. #47
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    I have been watching this thread with interest but I just thought I'd chime in here since people seem to want to make things personal.

    First, Kudos on the writeup on the install, nicely done.
    Next, sure you can take a module out and put another one in all day but you are headed for problems if you do.
    The assumption that because the box looks the same and has all the same connectors on it would be like saying that a Pentium II computer would be the same as an i7 because they look the same on the outside and do the same things. Just because the connectors fit doesn't mean it is the same thing with a bluetooth antenna on the outside. There are literally hundreds of VCIM part numbers to sort through and some have only software differences. While I'd say you shouldn't have an issue taking a module out of a car of the same year/model and putting in yours that has a different set of features, there is no telling what kind of software differences there are and how the change may affect other systems on your cal, albeit likely very minor. Most people find the advantage of BT worth the loss of other things or minor glitches and that's fine.

    I know all us dealer techs are idiots and theives but we have a pretty difficult job to do. GM has recently issued a TSB that specifically addresses this change. It is not condoned or supported by GM to modify vehicles with factory options that the car did not come with. Not to say that it can't be done but it certainly is not covered by warranty. If a dealer chooses to help a customer out for free that is up to the dealer.

    As for what OnStar will do or not do, that is up to OnStar on a case by base basis. If you put a module in, tell the advisor what you did and they choose to activate your unit then they can do so. Don't be surprised if it doesn't work or if they refuse to help you based on this modification. We have been told by GM time and time again in more ways that I can remember not to swap OnStar hardware from one car to another.
    There is no telling what kind of problems you could run into if this is not done properly.
    OnStar knows exactly what module was installed from the factory in your car and they can read the information out of the module that is installed in your car. If the numbers don't match it can cause issues.

    And just as a side note, installing a CAI certainly CAN void engine warranty if it is related to the failure. Any modification can cause warranty issues. I work at a pretty tolerant dealer and we don't mind working around a few mods, but if you do something and it causes the car to be damaged then the warranty certainly can be nullified. The Magnuson Moss act that people keep touting does refer to this. If it can be proven that the modification directly affected the failure it is not covered but it has to be related to the system that failed. I certainly wouldn't try to say that your radio problem won't be covered because you put a CAI kit on your car but if you ingested water in the engine and bent the rods it would be related to your CAI kit install and the warranty would not cover that.

    We do a larger V business here than problably anywhere in the country and I see things from CAI, superchargers, suspension mods, and even nitrous. A lot of dealers won't tolerate it.
    I take exception to people lumping all dealers together or insinuating that we are all crooked. Granted there are some out there but it depends on the people that work there.

    I think it is cool that a lot of you have taken this up and tried it but as stated, don't be surprised if some day soon OnStar stops helping for whatever reason.
    Sorry for the long winded reply.
    The bottom line is that when you buy a car in this modern age you should be more careful to be sure it has the features you want so you don't run in to problems.

  3. #48
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    PS, I have been working with OnStar systems since 1997 when they were dealer installed and you had to be certified to even touch one.
    When the OnStar digital upgrade was going on GM called us and asked us what we were doing because we were having so few problems and so many dealers were screwing things up so bad. They wanted to know what system we had come up with to make it smooth and efficient to do the upgrade.
    I know more about this stuff than most (sorry to sound like I am bragging, just want to make it clear that I know what I am talking about here)

  4. #49
    jcr_CTS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    I don't intend to do this mod to my '08 CTS but I understand the reason for wanting to. When I was waiting for my car to be delivered there was a lot of discussion about bluetooth. Not having it wasn't a show-stopper for me but it was an annoyance. What gave me some relief was that early on many of us were told not to worry about it. We were told that it would be an easy "Dealer Installed" option. Well, that never turned out to be the case. I love my car but I am still a little disappointed that it doesn't have what I was told would be available. I know, I know, I can buy a new CTS with the option but that is a pretty high price to pay for bluetooth.

  5. #50
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    I'm just curious; what would happen if there was a legitimate reason for replacing the unit. Say a simple failure or due to collision damage.
    Under warranty doesn't the dealer swap out the unit with a re-manufactured unit from a place like a Delco repair store and I wonder if a body shop would order a new unit or try to purchase the one from the car that the rest of the parts came from.
    I'm not on either side here just a question or two.

  6. #51
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    If the parts are on restriction (as gen 8 systems are) we are required to call GM Technical Assistance (TAC) to verify that we are properly diagnosing the problem.
    TAC releases the part from a company called Autocraft that operates out of Texas and they ship the replacement part overnight.
    There is a system in place to order replacement parts that are not on restriction.
    Either way Autocraft gets the "core" back and I would think if I sent back a non-BT core after I ordered a BT module that some flags would go up.

    I think Autocraft might do retail sales if you want to call them and price a unit with BT. I still doubt you'd get support on it (although you might) and they are expensive.
    I had to replace one that had a 9mm slug in it and it cost the guy like $600.

    The only place I heard you would be able to "add" BT was on this message board and it was based on hearsay.
    I never saw or heard anything from GM on adding it later, and if I remember right I told people over and over that GM would never do that.
    I know it is frustrating and for a lot of people it is a deal breaker. Sales people are not educated on how to tell if a car has it or not and even more irritating is the fact that it was a mid year change on a car that everyone wanted. Frustrating? Absolutely.

    Believe me I understand wanting to do it also, I'd love to have this feature on my Trailblazer. If I want it bad enough I'll either buy an aftermarket kit or buy a car that has it already. I want a Camaro real bad and if I swing it I assure you I'll be ordering the option package that includes it.

  7. #52
    Gramzster is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    I just wish that GM would listen to their customers and understand that there is a huge demand for bluetooth nowadays, especially as cell phone bans are being introduced in every state and province.

    If GM produced a replacement VCIM module designed for generation 7 cars (and maybe sold it for $100 if you buy a 1-year subscription), I would be first-in-line to purchase it (and would much perfer doing that, than replacing the module myself).

    I know they had a similar program for the transition from analog to digital, so hopefullly they will consider doing it with bluetooth. With the bulletins being released by GM, it proves that this is something people want!

    (Aside from needing the module programmed.... which I still need to do) the swap shows that it is at least technically possible to add bluetooth to a non-bluetooth car, so I don't understand why GM can't produce a Bluetooth/Onstar module designed for non-bluetooth and non-Gen-8 cars.

    BTW, I am holding onto the original VCIM that came with the car. If GM/OnStar ever decides to create a upgrade program, I'll put the old module back in a heartbeat, and have bluetooth installed in a way that GM says is OK.

  8. #53
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Kudos to everyone, especially ewill (and ewill, you have EVERY right to brag whenever you want, you have earned it; anyone who thinks otherwise will answer to me )

    This is what I was talking about. We need to evaluate mods like this from both sides of the coin.

    As far as GM not initially offering bluetooth: all these handsfree laws just started happening in early 08. The CTS was already in production. I give major props to GM for phasing it in when they did.

    And I am unaware of any car company installing bluetooth as a separate option (although I am sure there are some out there) Every one I have seen has always been part of another package. My mom wanted it on her 09 Maxima, but was not prepared to shell out another $5k for all the other options she would had to have taken to get it.

    It would be nice if everyone offered it as a dealer option. But this world is not nice. My hats off to Gramszter and others like him who take the blind leaps for something they want, paving the way for others to follow.

  9. #54
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    If they ever offer it and change their stance on the modification I'll be ready and waiting to install all of them that people want.
    I don't particularly understand why they don't offer it but I kind of assume that there are engineering issues that I may not understand.

    As I mentioned elsewhere the new Global vehicle formats (like the SRX) are even more sensitive to module swaps and doing something like this can not only render the system you are tampering with inoperative but it can completely disable the vehicle and even cause other issues which may lead to replacement of multiple modules.
    Sad but true.
    We have already been warned by GM about this more than once.

    I'd say honestly if all you want is bluetooth then it shouldn't be an issue, but don't count on OnStar working.

  10. #55
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    I can understand GM not wanting to retrofit bluetooth. Imagine the headaches they would have, not to mention what it would cost, if units got rushed out to dealers with something not programmed right. Everyone would then be bitching that GM never should have released it.

    As for dealers telling people don't worry, it will become available for install later in the year, that can hardly be blamed on GM.

    Myself, if my CTS had not come with bluetooth, I would try the bluestar. It requires disabling Onstar, but I would never activate onstar anyway. If it is as bad as some people have claimed, I would return it and then just install a parrot kit, with an external speaker if necessary.

  11. #56
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Another thing I don't understand is why they integrate bluetooth into the onstar module rather than the radio. Nissan's bluetooth is part of the higher end radios and nav units.

  12. #57
    Gramzster is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyH View Post
    Another thing I don't understand is why they integrate bluetooth into the onstar module rather than the radio. Nissan's bluetooth is part of the higher end radios and nav units.
    Actually I can. OnStar is an available feature on Most of GM's cars. As the radio and dash already have the required interfaces in place for handsfree calling (over OnStar), the most logical place to add Bluetooth would be through the OnStar module. That way, it's very easy for them to provide bluetooth accross their entire lineup.

    Otherwise they would have to redesign the dash and radios of most GM vehicles to support both OnStar and Bluetooth.

    Before Bluetooth was added to OnStar, the STS had bluetooth built-in to the navigation system.

  13. #58
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    I think it gives them a lot greater flexibility since most of the Navigation voice features are controlled through OnStar already. (there is only one microphone and it is connected to the OnStar module)
    The Nav radio in the STS with BT was really kind of crummy. The BT OnStar modules are a lot more reliable for BT operation than the radios were, not sure who's fault that was but it is true.

    The OnStar module is already an integrated cell phone, not that you are using that portion of it but I think the issue is that it is already programmed for the audio system interrupt and set to process the incoming and outgoing audio signals by design.
    I am sure that makes BT integration really simple.
    (another reason why it is kind of silly not to offer it .... these days.... as standard equipment)

  14. #59
    csalmon is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    I have gotten a couple of PMs on this subject. Just wanted to let you guys know that apparently because I am new to the board, I am not able to send a PM or reply.

    Agreif - From what I can see it is just under the rear seat. Hope that helps.

    Gram - I had no issues whatsoever with anything. I went through the whole thing with some guys from the Onstar engineering group at the tech center first and the talked me through it. From what they say it is now 100% mine and associated to my vehicle. My call to Onstar verified that and in my case, Onstar even gave me a free three month trial (but YMMV). You seem extremely knowledgeable about what you are doing and your picture walkthrough is excellent. I'm sure yours will be perfect.

    I am not saying that this will work for everyone. I think this modification is best left to people that are familiar enough with systems to completely understand what they are doing. I also say kudos to the dealer techs that have voiced themselves. They are right that in doing this mod there is all kinds of trouble that a person can get into. Not just trouble with the bluetooth but all kinds of other things (all the yellow connectors in the pictures are airbag connectors, so you don't want to touch any of them if you don't have to). I've been doing mods like this since I got my first car and my career has evolved that along that path.

    Good luck to anyone that is willing to try this and again, don't blame me if it doesn't work!

  15. #60
    csalmon is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008 Gen 7 to Gen 8 Onstar w/ Bluetooth Success

    Quote Originally Posted by Gramzster View Post
    Actually I can. OnStar is an available feature on Most of GM's cars. As the radio and dash already have the required interfaces in place for handsfree calling (over OnStar), the most logical place to add Bluetooth would be through the OnStar module. That way, it's very easy for them to provide bluetooth accross their entire lineup.

    Otherwise they would have to redesign the dash and radios of most GM vehicles to support both OnStar and Bluetooth.

    Before Bluetooth was added to OnStar, the STS had bluetooth built-in to the navigation system.
    It seems that bluetooth was not really considered important during the development of that radio. It wasn't until the end of the 2008 model year that there was push to integrate it.

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