: Question about a non working RKE on a 97 Catera

03-28-06, 12:57 AM
I just bought a Catera a few weeks ago. I really like the car. I am hoping I won't have some of the problems mentioned here about this year car. But the car did have a new engine put in it recently. Anyway to the point. The car came with a key fob, it did not work. I thought it might be the battery so, I changed the battery, but broke a capicator (I think). I glued it back in place with the contacts touching where they should be. Still didn't work. So I figured I farked it. I bought a fob just like it from ebay with all the same numbers and everything (learned that from this forum). I can't even get that to work with my car, not sure why. I checked all the fuses under the dash, they are all ok. Judging from the book there really isn't a fuse there that controls RKE or anything related. I did read here that there is a fuse box in the trunk somewhere under some fabric or something. I can't find it. Is there even one there? If so, someone please point it out to me with a picture or something lol. I am trying to find all possible reasons why my keyless entry doesn't work. I know I can get it checked at a dealer and all. But I really don't want to pay to get it checked. Not even sure if they charge.
Please help.

03-28-06, 06:57 AM
The fob, as you call it, is actually an RF transmitter. You have tried two so far and experienced two failures. It is not likely both fobs are defective, but it is at least possible BOTH could have dead batteries. Be sure you have a new, good, battery and then try it in BOTH fobs and attempt to activate the RKE.

If your RKE continues unresponsive after the above, chances are it is the RF _receiver_ in your vehicle which has failed.

Sorry, but if it WAS a capacitor you broke, it cannot be repaired by glueing back todether. You must replace the cap. They are cheap, but you need to be able to identify the value. Try a radio or TV repair shop or even Radio Shack if you know how to solder.

03-28-06, 08:46 AM
There is a way to setup a key fob, like a new one, you have to turn the key on and off like 5 times in 15 secs, then leave it in the on post. (not running)

the doors will lock then unlock, press and hold the lock button until the doors lock then release the fob button. press the unlock button once and the doors should unlock then lock on there own. turn key off. this should program the key fob if the fob and the RF in the car are working right.

I think this is right I'm doing it from memory, I think it is in the owners book also.

03-28-06, 10:59 AM
Will that procedure work on a 97? I have a 98 and have never seen anything like that before. I've only heard that the dealer has to reprogram a new fob with special equipment. This sounds like something that would work on a newer Catera - but it would be great if this does work on the older Cateras!

03-28-06, 02:02 PM
Ok well I tried the turn the key on and of thing. Nothing happens. Not that my fob doesn't work but the doors don't lock like stated. Maybe doesn't work on my year catera. The doors do lock when the car is put into gear though which I assume is normal. My horn doesn't work though. I think it is the horn relay, since the fuse is ok. I can't see how that would have anything to do with the keyless entry. Does anyone know of the fuse block in the trunk area? I read about it somewhere here. I can see where I broke the first fob, I just think the second one isn't matched to the car yet.
Frustrating. How do I know if the reciever is bad?

03-28-06, 02:20 PM

There is no procedure involving turning the key on-and-off, or pushing dash buttons or anything else that an owner can do to add a new key fob or replace a defective one. The new (or replacement) fob must be matched to the car using the Tech II tool at the dealer. Only dealers and people who want to spend a few thousand dollars heve the Tech II tool. Folks who talk about some owner-performed process are confusing resyncing a key fob that was once working on the car with adding a new one or replacing a defective one. The resyncing procedure is in the owners manual.

03-28-06, 02:36 PM
So basically I have to go to the dealers and have them reprogram the fob. Which could cost me like $40?
Will they be able to test the reciever and all first? Hopefully without charging for that.

03-28-06, 04:22 PM
I got a 97 Catera about a month ago, it didn't have a key fob (it broke, said the former owner). I bought one on ebay, carried it to the dealer, and he hooked up the scan tool and in 2 minutes had it programmed. He didn't charge me anything. Guess it depends on the guy's mood or something...lol. Anyway, I think that Catera's are the only model that have to be programmed by the dealer (another Catera trait..lol). Hope this helps!

03-28-06, 04:48 PM
When i got my Catera, it had the Key fob which was working but frustrated me a whole lot.The range was like 6 feet from the car maximum and I always ended up going back to my car in the parking lot because of fear that i might have forgotten to lock the car up. I replaced the whole alarm system with an aftermarket one. I did the install myself, which wasn't easy at all for a first timer because of all the work to be done. I spent 2 days working on the car, but i am very pleased. I have a very long range now, I have remote start, i have a pager and my car locks itself up automatic so if i forget, it takes care of itself. I got the whole system for about 200 dollars. What I'm saying is that for all the things that i can do now with the new alarm/remote system, i think it's worth the money, compared to what i had before.

07-14-06, 02:03 AM
Hey Steve a while back you posted you put an external oil cooler in a catera - which unit was it. I'd like to put one in to cool things off at the car seems to act up a bit when it gets hot outside.