Climate Control Gone Dark
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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, Climate Control Gone Dark in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I was driving my car yesterday when a smell of burning electricity wafted through the cabin. I immediately pulled over ...
  1. #1
    olddavidp is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 97 Catera
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    Climate Control Gone Dark

    I was driving my car yesterday when a smell of burning electricity wafted through the cabin. I immediately pulled over and disconnected the negative terminal to the battery.AAA towed it home, and I started looking for the culprit by checking all fuses and links, both under the steering wheel and under the hood. Everything seemed ok. so I started it up and see that there is no function or readout on the climate control. Completely dark with no illumination of anything. I re-checked all associated fuses, and there were many, but none burned out. Will this probably be the head unit that controls everything from the dash, or is this just a symptom of something else failing? My car has given me 20k miles of great driving, and although it has had its share of problems ( cam seals, coil pack replaced, MAF And O2 sensors) I believe that these should be expected in any 16 year old car. As it has only 76k on it, I am willing to do what is necessary to get it on the road. The local PicknPull has two in their inventory now. What have you people experienced in this situation? Thanks in advance for all your advice.

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  3. #2
    kaustein is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Climate Control Gone Dark

    Do some math and figure out what your car actually costs you per month. It might cause you to look at the new problem from a different angle.

  4. #3
    olddavidp is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Climate Control Gone Dark

    I suppose you're right about diminishing returns. But, even if I elect to part with it, someone has to fix it. Our local Cadillac dealer is intimidated by them and quotes extortion rates for work ($2400 for plugs, wires, cam seals and coil pack), that I accomplished for one day's time and $220 in parts. This isn't rocket science, just a different engineering mindset that requires much research to fathom. They still sell a version in Europe, don't they?

  5. #4
    investor74 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Climate Control Gone Dark

    Sorry, Old David. That's a real bummer. You have an unusual problem, even for a Catera. In years of following these discussions, I never saw that one yet.

    What would cause something to smell like it's burnt? A short somewhere? But that would pop a fuse. In the old days of alternators, there was a failure mode where you could get too much voltage. Have you checked the voltage in your car? Not that that would bring back the A/C controls, but maybe you could find out what caused it.

  6. #5
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Have the codes pulled, it may point to the cause/current problem.

  7. #6
    retho78 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Climate Control Gone Dark

    I would try to replace the climate control, if it goes bad again then something else is causing it.

    or

    Maybe the bulbs just went bad and you may got the smell or smoke from it. GM sells the bulbs and pretty easy to swap it out.

  8. #7
    hgqguy's Avatar
    hgqguy is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Climate Control Gone Dark

    If you need a climate control I have one. You can have it for shipping cost. I bought it for the bulbs behide the buttons. its not perfect but possibly the cheepest option to see if it fixes the issue. email me zaynezx6r@yahoo.com

  9. #8
    olddavid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Climate Control Gone Dark

    As usual, you are generous with your advice and help. I salute every person who took the time to consider my plight. My wife thinks I'm crazy, as this car reminds her of my 635 project of 20 years ago, which had her considering homicide. Same Teutonic engineering mindset. Same bizarre solutions to what are, seemingly, simple problems. But, these are front-engine, rear-drive cars that should be simplicity personified. Should be. I refuse to believe they cannot be made reliable once certain baselines are achieved. Am I delusional? Of course at some point even Napoleon surrendered. Perhaps this car is my own Russian front?

  10. #9
    JohnJJO's Avatar
    JohnJJO is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Gm do not sell bulb. There is no place wher u can by that bulbs, I searched really good ! Bulb can not be removed from plastic connector, its one whole pieace. U have to go to radio shock and buy all bulbs they coming two in a pack . Find one that same size . I had to un weld every single bulb from connectors and weld new ones in. Also OEM bulbs will have like plastic rubber cover on them, its keeping bulbs not so bright, save them and put them on new bulbs. Good luck

  11. #10
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    The rubber covers on the bulbs are for color, not brightness.

  12. #11
    olddavid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Climate Control Gone Dark

    It isn't the bulbs. I cannot imagine a scenario where they all fail at once without some more dire cause. I'm pulling the entire fascia today, and I will take pictures, as this has to be a once in 100,000 mile problem. No other operating light or warning system has been affected, so this will be trial and error with electricity, which sometimes confuses me. No, ALWAYS confuses me. My voltage is 13.2 and battery less than 18 months old, so I'm golden with charge.

  13. #12
    JohnJJO's Avatar
    JohnJJO is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    That's true but in this case it lower brightnest, with them or with out same color but more brighter. I put mine back on, with out them its to bright and on dash board only what u gonna see its your climat control It's really catshing your eye while u drive. So I defiantly recommend to save thouse white bulb covers and put them on.

  14. #13
    JohnJJO's Avatar
    JohnJJO is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    That's true but in this case it lower brightnest, with them or with out same color but more brighter. I put mine back on, with out them its to bright and on dash board only what u gonna see its your climat control It's really catshing your eye while u drive. So I defiantly recommend to save thouse white bulb covers and put them on.

  15. #14
    hgqguy's Avatar
    hgqguy is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Climate Control Gone Dark

    once again, Ill be happy to send mine along for cost of shipping.. it is old, and IDk if the bukbs will illuminate behind the buttons, but its the cheapest trial option to see if it is your controller.. heck you may be able to swap some stuff and fix it completely.
    mine I bought just for the bulbs behind the buttons.. there was a bit of damage to the one I got.. the clear screen is cracked or a piece is mission. I dont recall.. I have not looked at it in 3 yrs. its sitting in the garage.

  16. #15
    olddavid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Climate Control Gone Dark

    Well, I've yet to take everything apart, as some jacka#* ran a stop sign and nosed my car. No insurance. I had just procured two climate control panels with the expectation of fixing it this weekend. Now, its back to the yard for a headlight a driving light and then on to alignment/repair. I figure I can make it drive as well as ever for $2-300, so its a no-brainer for transportation. And I had just spent the afternoon chasing down a driveability gremlin - my first MAF failure. My error was not starting with the MAF, as I started changing O2 sensors first. But, no matter what, my untouched low mile car is no longer the virgin queen. Oh well, I'm retired and this car has taught me to think in modern German and is a damn good road car when all working properly. I'll post pics of my dents and progress soon. We're all in this together, and therefore everyone's work is relevant.

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