Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?
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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Ok, looks like I'm one of the many unlucky Catera Owners who has experienced the likings of a failing EBTCM. ...
  1. #1
    aschulz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    Ok, looks like I'm one of the many unlucky Catera Owners who has experienced the likings of a failing EBTCM. I have the common symptoms; TCS and ABS lights are on, steering is stiff because of speed sensory steering, speedometer isn't working, no cruise control, and my car isn't logging mileage (probably the only good thing out of this, lol). It is sporadic and does it when ever it wants. When ever it doesn't do it the car runs great, like it used to when I bought it with 67,000 miles on it (now has 80,000+).

    This all started after I got my oil changed, and then I got my brakes in the back replaced, and the back right rotor replaced. After leaving the shop I decided I was going to check the see if the breaks would work in an emergency situation, so at 40 miles an hour I slammed on the breaks and the car skid a little and then stopped. Immediately the symptoms that I described above showed up. I drove it back to my uncles shop and he couldn't figure it out, in fact the only reason I think I know what is wrong with my car is because of this forum.

    I might be mistaken but I think it doesn't do this when it is wet or raining for some reason. I noticed this last week when we had a rainy day in Kansas City, MO and the symptoms didn't show up at all. Just a thought!

    Well I can't go the brand new replacement method ($1,000+). Unless you guys suggest purchasing from the Circuit Solutions in Moscow, Idaho, which is Bosch rebuilding service (read that on one of the 80 threads I surfed on this helpful website). I'm kind of confused about that. So it is only $250, and you have to send your old one to them and they take your old broken one and fix it, or they build a new one based off your part? I'm not a mechanic just a 20 yr old kid, who loves his Cadillac and is not ready to give up on this car, lol.

    I was also considering finding a 1998 Catera with low mileage in a salvage yard and buying a used EBTCM. I'm know this is a common problem with the Cateras and I'm kind of hesitant to buy used, idk.

    I do plan to do the labor on my own, using a bay in my uncle's shop.

    To make sure it is the EBTCM, how do I test it? I'm sure if my uncle knows, but I was just curious.

    OK so to conclude this long post, Should I:
    1) Go the brand new dealer replacement route and pay for professional service?
    2) Use the Bosch rebuilding and do it my self?
    3) Buy a used one from a salvage yard and do it my selft?

    Thanks for your help!

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  3. #2
    1986cimarron's Avatar
    1986cimarron is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    Give me the year of your car and the trouble code it has and i can get you a diagnostic flow chart. There are many of them for the EBTCM.

  4. #3
    aschulz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    1998 Cadillac Catera

    Codes are:
    P1844 - Torque Reduction Signal Circuit Desired By TCM
    and I think
    P1700 - Transmission Control Module (TCM) Requested MIL Illumination
    not sure about the second one!

    Your help is greatly appreciated!

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    aschulz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    I think I'm just going to send my EBTCM to Circuit Solutions in Moscow, Idaho. They seemed legit when I called and talked to a receptionist.

    If anybody has any suggestions, I'm all ears!

  6. #5
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    You should have another code for a missing VSS signal.
    Based on your symptoms I'd say you are on the right track.
    Changing it out yourself is no walk in the park, at least 2 of the screws are absolultely miserable to try to reach.
    You'll have to remove the radiator hose on that side to access everything too.
    Does the rebuilder stand behind the part at all or is it a your on your own kind of deal?

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    aschulz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    Yes, they have a 5 year warranty and he seriously thinks it could last forever after he does his work on it! Apparently the main problem is with the wiring inside the ebtcm, Bosch used wire that aren't strong enough the the circuit running through them. Some other issues with the part were explained but I can't remember all of them right now. They advertise on ebay, which kind of freaked me out until I did more research on them and actually called.

    The Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) didn't fail. I was told that the VSS had failed and that I need to replace it so I did and it didn't fix the problem so I took the part back and put the old one back in. The speedometer is failing because the EBTCM is failing, why it does that I have no clue. Probably something to do with the abs system in my car.

    I attached their advertisement document.

    I think they are legit!
    Attached Files

  8. #7
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    The VSS code sets because the EBCM transmits the wheel speed to the ECM, when the EBCM quits working the signal to the EBCM is lost.
    The VSS is actually the right rear wheel speed sensor. The EBCM generates a signal to the ECM to report vehicle speed.

    The one in the transmission is just an output shaft speed sensor for the Transmission control module.

    That's why replacing what you thought was the VSS didn't change anything and why the speedometer quit.

  9. #8
    1986cimarron's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    Document ID# 257339
    1998 Cadillac Catera


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DTC P1844 TCS Torque Reduction Request Circuit




    Circuit Description
    If the ABS/Traction Control System detects the excessive wheel spin, the ABS controller sends a signal to the ECM requesting reduced engine torque. The ECM reduces engine torque by retarding spark timing in response to this signal. This signal also travels to the TCM. The TCM monitors this signal in order to prevent redundant requests for torque reduction which could result in excessive spark retard. The Traction Control Torque Reduction Request Circuit is pulled up to B+ within the ABS controller. The ABS controller induces a signal on the circuit by Pulse Width Modulating the circuit to ground. The signal frequency is constant at approximately 100 Hz. The requested amount of timing retard passes over to the TCM by varying the duty cycle of this signal.

    Conditions For Running The DTC
    Tests continuously

    Conditions for Setting the DTC
    The TCM detects an open, short to ground or power on the Traction Control Torque Reduction Request Circuit.
    Conditions meet for 65 ms
    Action Taken When the DTC Sets
    The MIL/STL will not illuminate.
    The TCM memory stores the DTC at the time of the first failure.
    Traction Control disables.
    Conditions for Clearing the MIL/DTC
    A History DTC clears after forty consecutive warm-up cycles, if no failures report by this diagnostic or any other non-emission related diagnostic.
    TCM battery voltage interrupts.
    The scan tool clears the MIL/DTC.
    Diagnostic Aids
    For any test that requires probing the TCM harness connector or a component harness connector, use the Connector Test Adapter Kit J 35616-A . Using this kit will prevent damage to the harness connector terminals.

    Check for the following conditions:

    Poor connections at the TCM or at the component. Inspect the harness connectors for any backed out terminals, improper mating, broken locks, improperly formed or damaged terminals, and poor terminal to wire connection. Refer to Engine Electrical, Troubleshooting Procedures, Checking Terminal Contact for proper procedure.
    Damaged harness. Inspect the wiring harness for damage. If the harness appears to be OK, observe the scan tool while moving any related connectors and any wiring harnesses. A change in the display may help in order to locate the fault.
    Test Description
    The number(s) below refer to the step number(s) on the Diagnostic Table.

    Check the circuit for the following conditions which may cause an intermittent problem:

    Poor connections at the ECM or TCM. Inspect harness connectors for any backed out terminals, improper mating, broken locks, improperly formed or damaged terminals, and poor terminal to wire connection. Refer to Engine Electrical, Troubleshooting Procedures, Checking Terminal Contact for proper procedure.
    Misrouted harness. Inspect the harness in order to ensure that the harness does not route too close to any high voltage wires such as spark plug leads, or too close to high current devices such as the alternator, electric motors, solenoids etc.
    Damaged harness. Inspect the wiring harness for damage. If the harness appears to be OK, observe the scan tool while moving any related connectors and any wiring harnesses. A change in the display may help to locate the fault.
    DTC P1844 - Traction Control Torque Reduction Request Circuit Step
    Action
    Value(s)
    Yes
    No

    1
    Was the Powertrain On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) System Check performed?
    --
    Go to Step 2
    Go to Powertrain On Board Diagnostic (OBD) System Check

    2
    Turn off the ignition.
    Disconnect the TCM.
    Turn on the ignition with the engine off.
    Use the DVM J 39200 in order to measure the voltage on the Traction Control Torque Reduction Request Circuit at the TCM harness connector.
    Does the DVM indicate the specified voltage?
    B+
    Go to Step 6
    Go to Step 3

    3
    Turn off the ignition.
    Disconnect the ECM.
    Turn on the ignition with the engine off.
    Use the DVM J 39200 in order to measure the voltage on the Traction Control Torque Reduction Request Circuit at the TCM harness connector.
    Does the DVM indicate the specified voltage?
    B+
    Go to Step 11
    Go to Step 4

    4
    Turn off the ignition.
    Disconnect the ABS controller.
    Use the DVM J 39200 in order to check the harness for continuity on the Traction Control Torque Reduction Request Circuit from the ABS controller to the TCM and from the ABS controller to the ECM.
    Is the continuity indicated?
    --
    Go to Step 5
    Go to Step 7

    5
    Use the DVM J 39200 in order to check the continuity between the Traction Control Torque Reduction Request Circuit and ground.

    Is the continuity indicated?
    --
    Go to Step 8
    Go to Step 10

    6
    Use the test light J 34142-B connected to ground in order to probe the Traction Control Torque Reduction Request Circuit at the TCM harness connector.

    Does the test light illuminate?
    --
    Go to Step 9
    Go to Step 12

    7
    Repair the open or high resistance request circuit.

    Is the action complete?
    --
    Go to Step 13
    --

    8
    Repair the request circuit shorted to ground.

    Is the action complete?
    --
    Go to Step 13
    --

    9
    Repair the request circuit shorted to B+.

    Is the action complete?
    --
    Go to Step 13
    --

    10
    Check the ABS harness connector for a poor connection or poor terminal tension. Refer to Engine Electrical, Troubleshooting Procedures, Checking Terminal Contact for the proper procedure.

    Was a problem found and corrected?
    --
    Go to Step 13
    Go to Antilock Brake System (ABS)

    11

    Important
    This vehicle is equipped with a Theft Deterrent System which interfaces with the Engine Control Module (ECM). Program the new ECM with the frequency code of the theft deterrent module currently on the vehicle.


    Replace the ECM. Refer to Engine Controls, On Vehicle Service, ECM.

    Is the action complete?
    --
    Go to Step 13
    --

    12
    Check the TCM harness connector for a poor connection or poor terminal tension. Refer to Engine Electrical, Troubleshooting Procedures, Checking Terminal Contact for proper procedure.

    Was a problem found and corrected?
    --
    Go to Step 13
    Go to Test Description

    13
    Clear the DTCs with the scan tool.
    Turn off the ignition for 15 seconds.
    Start the engine.
    Operate the vehicle within the conditions required for this diagnostic to run. Refer to Conditions for Running the DTC.
    Check for any DTCs.
    Is DTC P1844 set?
    --
    Go to Step 2
    Go to Step 14

    14
    Were there any additional DTCs noted during the Powertrain or Transmission OBD System Check that have not been diagnosed?
    --
    Go to the applicable DTC table
    Go to Step 15

    15
    Does the Transmission now function properly?
    --
    System OK
    Go to Functional Test Procedure



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Document ID# 257339
    1998 Cadillac Catera

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    1986cimarron's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    Document ID# 247949
    1998 Cadillac Catera


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DTC P1700 Transmission Control Module (TCM) Requested MIL Illumination
    Circuit Description
    This DTC indicates that a transmission related OBD II failure has occurred. The Transmission Control Module (TCM) controls a dedicated Service Transmission Lamp (STL) which illuminates when a fail reports by certain non-emissions related TCM diagnostics. The TCM has no direct control of the engine MIL, but if a transmission fault occurs that is emissions related, the engine MIL must illuminate. A MIL Request circuit between the ECM and the TCM provides a means for illuminating the MIL, even though the fault was detected by the TCM. This circuit is pulled up to B+ within the ECM. In order to illuminate the MIL, the TCM pulls the circuit low. The ECM detects this and DTC P1700 is set, which illuminates the MIL.

    Conditions for Running the DTC
    Tested continuously

    Conditions for Setting the DTC
    An OBD II transmission DTC has been stored by the TCM.

    Action Taken When the DTC Sets
    The ECM illuminates the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) 1 second after the request from the TCM is received.
    The ECM records operating conditions at the time the TCM initiates the request. This information will store in the Freeze Frame.
    Conditions for Clearing the MIL/DTC
    The ECM will turn the MIL off approximately 1 second after the TCM request is no longer received.
    A History DTC clears after forty consecutive warm-up cycles if no failures report by this diagnostic or any other emission related diagnostic.
    The ECM battery voltage is interrupted.
    The scan tool clears the MIL/DTC.
    DTC P1700 - MIL Requested By TCM Step
    Action
    Value(s)
    Yes
    No

    1
    Did you perform the Powertrain On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) System check?
    --
    Go to Transmission Diagnosis
    Go to Powertrain On Board Diagnostic (OBD) System Check



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Document ID# 247949
    1998 Cadillac Catera

  11. #10
    catera2000 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    I am really interested in finding out if this rebuild works...before I drop a thousand bucks into a new one...please post again and let us know about it!

  12. #11
    aschulz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    Well today I spent four hours just trying to get the freakin' thing out. It was really hard to do, the part is just plain hard to get to. A big hassel to take out and get all 6 screws out of the darn thing, but well worth doing it on your own. I think I read people quoting $500 for labor and I got quoted by Cadillac at $1100 for a brand new EBTCM. I'm overnighting today, should be back a week from today. I'll update when I get everything working again.

  13. #12
    aschulz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    I got the part in mail yesterday, I will replace back in my car as soon as I can! Right now I'm moving to a new house so I don't have time. Will let you know how things are going and if I got screwed or not! (god I hope not) Total cost so far was $250 to have the part fixed, plus $14 shipping.

  14. #13
    aschulz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    Put the part in on Monday, and everything went pretty smooth! The ebtcm works great so far, seems to be fixed. I did have an episode on the highway when my TC and ABS light came on but my speedometer worked, so I just pulled over and turned my car off and back on and it went away. I think it was well worth the $250. Good luck to those with the same problem!

  15. #14
    pokerboy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    ok. i'm with you guys on this one but i found a wrecked catera and its got the part and the bad thing is tha i dont know if it fits my car < i have a 99 catera and the wreck is a 98 does anyone know if the EBTCM fits from a 98 to a 99 if it does its my lucky day. thanks

  16. #15
    aschulz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Possibly a bad EBTCM, What to do?

    Bosch 5.3 system is on the 1998 Catera, the 1999 Catera might have the same one, idk. I would take yours that is failing and send it to the Bosch rebuilder in Idaho, he should be able to fix yours that is failing, and it comes with a 5 year warranty. I did it and it worked great! I wouldn't risk getting a used one that also has the potential to fail later on because of a common design flaw in all the Bosch 5.3 EBTCM.

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