: Protecting flaking radio buttons

01-28-07, 11:03 AM
I am near the end of warranty, and just had my third warranty radio installed because of flaking buttons. This is a "fresh" radio with an internal part date-stamped in Oct '06.
I don't think it is widely known, except among thieves, but each radio is coded to the individual car's main electronic control unit - not the VIN. So, when the new radio is ordered the dealer must go into your unit using the "Tech II" tool and read this code: and then order the radio with this code. The factory then imputs the control unit's code into the radio.
About the radio: It is manufactured by Delphi and "assembled" in Mexico. It's overall part number is 10359362.
The radio has an easily-detachable face plate that contains the buttons. There is a part number on this face plate, which is 09383465 1, but my guess is this part number is only for the face plate "surround", and may be a Delfi proprietary part number.
There are no part numbers embossed on the buttons themselfves, but there are on the electronic assemblies which are activated by the buttons. For the left side is 02622, right side is 02628. I don't know if these assemblies include the buttons.
The two rotating knobs at the bottom of the radio also have part numbers:
The left knob is 12238119 REV B.
The right knob is 12238120 REV B.
These part numbers are for the electronic assemblies, probably not the buttons alone.
My guess is that these assemblies are not only difficult to obtain from Delphi, but also are expensive.
As you can tell, I disassembled my radio to detach the buttons. It isn't particularly hard to do, but it is tedious. The assemblies are attached with tiny (maybe 2mm) socket screws. I wound up detaching the buttons only, and sprayed the knobs in place.
I used Minwax water-based Polycrylic protective finish (sic) satin finish, which is the modern equivalent of "varnish". Bought it at Lowes.
I used brand-spanking-new 3M masking tape. Masking tape does age, but new 3M tape does not bleed, and is easy to work with. I advise using new 3M tape. You will be happy with the result and the cost is cheap.
Were I to do this again, I would not remove the radio from the car, but spend a lot of time masking. I cannot tell any difference between the finish and surround where I masked (the knobs) from where I removed the buttons for spray.
I did some practice sprays on scrap to get the hang of it, and then did two light coats. The coating drys very quickly, not like traditional varnish. This is a good Saturday project, requiring minimal skills and patience. The only caveat is that you need warmth for the coating to work as advertised, so wait until a nice warm spring day. I took some pictures, but seem unable to post them. If you want pictures, email me directly.

01-28-07, 11:14 AM
I would say you know your radios...Good write up:2thumbs:

01-28-07, 11:18 AM
I was thinking nail polish. Spraying would probably look just as good.


01-28-07, 01:45 PM
Good deal Rey. I'm looking at having to do something like this soon... Radio number 2 is beginning to flake.

01-28-07, 01:50 PM
Get yourself and wear a pair of driving gloves.

Besides the increase in grip, you will find that the buttons won't peel.

It is your fingernail that "breaks" the paint bond that causes them to peel.

Hey GM!

What's wrong with using colored plastic?

01-28-07, 04:15 PM
CORRECTION. When reinstalling the radio I noticed a sticker on the radio indicating a manufacture date of April 1,2004. My CTS-V was manufactured on Sept. 5, 2005. Above I noted that the little circuit boards for the buttons had a manufacture date of October 2006, which means they were installed long after the radio was originally manufactured.
My guess is that GM does not scrap these radios when returned with flaking buttons; and that they just update the buttons with the new assemblies. If this is true, then there is probably a possibility of purchasing these assemblies for those in need after their warranty expires.
BTW. thanks Chef for the compliment, but I am by no means a radio expert. I just follow the FAQ for radio removal and then used common sense.
Also, it is my sense that fingernails do not cause the flaking. My fingernails are fairly short, and only the pads of my fingers touch the buttons. My theory is the sweat on my fingers is saline enough to break down the laquer finish over time.

01-28-07, 05:09 PM
All the paints (that I know of) are water based now.

Mine didn't start to peel until the surface was broken by my fingernail.

01-28-07, 05:31 PM
I have purchased on 2 occasions used nav units for my wife's CTS & when you install them the theft lock appears & locks the unit. The dealer clears the theft lock with the tech II and it will then relearn the new vin & work . That is what I was told & it worked both times. These were used nav units & they were not coded to my wifes car from Delphi, So how did that work if they had to be coded from the factory ?
I started out in the CTS forum & those guys really have there stuff together on Nav installs since most CTS's didn't come with Factory Nav , They have mastered the way to do an install of a Nav in a car that didn't come with it, And Cadillac says it can't be done.

01-28-07, 05:57 PM
There is no secret to the theftlock system on these radios. The radio is programmed with the proper VIN by a program in the scan tool.
When the unit is powered up it checks the stored VIN against the stored VIN in other modules in the car. I am not sure which specific modules that it does the check with, but I am pretty sure the DIM and or RIM are involved and possibly the ECM. At any rate, all we do to order a radio is call our Delco repair facility and give them the model number. They ship us a unit that installs and comes right on. We do have to so the "radio setup" on the radios in the V because the steering wheel mounted controls are different.

The faceplates and buttons are available but you have to know how to get them. James and I offered to get buttons for those who are interested and we haven't heard from anyone yet. I have replaced some buttons on an Escalade and it looked brand new when I finished.

Cadillac doesn't really say it "can't" be done, but they do tell us not to put GM factory options into a car that didn't come with them. Some dealers are more resistant to that type of modification than others.

All the units we get back from our service centers are "refurbished" units.
They replace any damaged parts, upgrade any software or hardware as required to bring them up to the latest releases, clear the theft information and package them up to ship to us.

I hope your attempt at protecting the finish does hold up.
It appears to me that fingernails start the damage, but things like armor all or other finish enhancers can really do these units in.

01-28-07, 06:07 PM
but things like armor all or other finish enhancers can really do these units in.

Yeah, you think this is adding to the problem ?

01-29-07, 06:00 AM
I had one customer that seems to use some sort of finish enhancer and possibly some sort of hand lotion that ruined almost her whole interior.
I think one time we replaced her climate control head, radio, and console with the trim plate.
She came back less than a year later and some of it was almost as bad as it was the first time.
There was almost no paint left on the HVAC control and the trimplate was down to bare plastic.
It was horrible. I couldn't help her the second time, and I know we cautioned her about it the first time.

I started seeing that on Tahoes a few years back, certain finish enhancers will cause the paint on these panels to bubble and loosen from the panel, then you just simply wipe it off and you have bare plastic. On the one I mentioned above, you could tell she had been using it on the entire inside trimwork. The buttons are a different story, they just really require a mental effort and gentle touch to protect the finish. I can't say it is a great design but I can't say I have a solution either.

I can tell when a long fingernailed person has been driving the car too.
(not to say that it is always that problem)
Some of these buttons look like people use chainsaws to press them.

01-29-07, 10:10 AM
I guess you have to be Italian (now, be careful here, guys) to avoid peeling or flaking buttons ..... I've had my V for 2 1/2 years and my buttons show no signs of flaking or peeling. I don't wear gloves and, yes, I do push the buttons.

01-30-07, 12:07 AM
did you guys get the replacement buttons in yet?


01-30-07, 02:39 AM
Please tell Me.... Why does this seem to happen to some cars and not others... I have had mine for at least 2 months and it hasn't happened to mine yet... I mean there is a very little spec where it came off prior to my ownership but, it hasn't gotten any bigger

01-30-07, 05:36 AM

We can get them overnight. I just need the model number for the radio.
If you pop the radio out it is the 8 digit number on the top of the unit.
I just have to call my repair facility with the number and tell them what buttons I want. They do cost $16 a piece (sadly) but if you want some just PM James with the info and we can get you some.
We don't have any way to stock them because they don't have GM part numbers and parts doesn't want to keep them so we do them one radio at a time.