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Registered
1992 Sedan Deville, 1999 Deville Concours
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, Cadillac Forum Members!

The Service Engine Soon light came on in my 2004 Cadillac Deville a few days ago. The last time I drove my car, this light started flashing, which I knew wasn't good. I canceled my Thanksgiving Day plans and drove the ten miles back home, not wanting to break down on the highway the day before Thanksgiving. This same light came on a few months ago, so I went to the Cadillac dealership to have it checked out. The light went out before I got there, but the service guy said that my transmission was about to die on me. When I inquired about the cost of having it repaired, he said it would be $5,000, which I thought was insane. I read on here about how to check the trouble codes and managed to get inside the computer. On my dashboard, I have three buttons on the right side: INFO, INFO RESET and ON/OFF. When the computer asked me a question, like PDM? or ALL?, I wasn't sure how to answer yes, but when I pushed the ON/OFF button, I got a code that stayed on the screen just briefly. It showed PDM U1714 and then PDM ID: 2510. I don't know what any of this means. I probably didn't do it correctly to get the code I really need. I looked at the list of DTC codes and this one wasn't even on it. At this point, I'm afraid to drive my car anywhere because of the Service Engine Soon light. If this is a transmission problem, I need to learn as much as possible about how to proceed because I don't have $5,000 to hand over to Reynolds Cadillac here in Central Virginia. Does anyone have an suggestions about what I should do next?

Tony
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
Joined
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67,179 Posts
Please read the correct procedure to pull codes in the sticky on the main Deville page - "How to pull codes". The section by JimD.

That sticky also tells you what the functions of the DIC control buttons change to when in diagnostic mode.

If the system asks "ALL?" the codes will automatically scroll through the car's monitored modules in alphabetical order. You need to be fast with a pencil.

If you press "NO" the system will go to the first module ?? ABS ?? and read those out - if any, then it asks if you want to delete codes, you answer "NO" and you press the correct DIC button to scroll to the next module.

There are 4 types of trouble codes -
P = Powertrain
B = Body
C = Chassis
U = power and data

A flashing SES is "Miss detected". A steady STS says there's a powertrain or emissions- related fault.

The $4700 is for a rebuilt transmission and torque converter replacement. Labor alone is over 22 hours.

DIC controls.jpg
 

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Registered
1992 Sedan Deville, 1999 Deville Concours
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi Submariner,

Thank you for your reply! I don't have LOW FAN and HIGH FAN buttons to use for YES and NO, but I discovered that the ON/OFF button works in my case. I have the same buttons that are in your picture. I went through the codes numerous times to make sure that I had them all. I'm baffled as to why I can't just scroll through them manually, so I can take my time to write them down. I turned off the ignition after every time because I was afraid that I would clear the codes by mistake. I suppose that if I push on the bottom of the ON/OFF button, it would be NO. I ended up with a list of six codes:

IPM B 0419 HISTORY
IPM B 0429 CURRENT
PCM P 0300 CURRENT
PCM P 0741 HISTORY
PDM U1714 CURRENT
RIM C 0658 HISTORY

What is the difference between a CURRENT code and a HISTORY code? I'm guessing that the HISTORY codes are previous problems that have been fixed.

Now I understand why it would cost me $5,000 to have the transmission rebuilt. Would I be able to have a remanufactured transmission installed instead? I've seen places online that specialize in that sort of thing, but I imagine there are cons to going that route as well.

Is it safe to drive my car while the Service Engine Soon light is on? My experience with older Buicks back in the day was that once the transmission went, you would be stranded on the side of the road. I just don't want to do any further damage to my car.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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18,909 Posts
Hi Submariner,

Thank you for your reply! I don't have LOW FAN and HIGH FAN buttons to use for YES and NO, but I discovered that the ON/OFF button works in my case. I have the same buttons that are in your picture. I went through the codes numerous times to make sure that I had them all. I'm baffled as to why I can't just scroll through them manually, so I can take my time to write them down. I turned off the ignition after every time because I was afraid that I would clear the codes by mistake. I suppose that if I push on the bottom of the ON/OFF button, it would be NO. I ended up with a list of six codes:

IPM B 0419 HISTORY
IPM B 0429 CURRENT
PCM P 0300 CURRENT
PCM P 0741 HISTORY
PDM U1714 CURRENT
RIM C 0658 HISTORY

What is the difference between a CURRENT code and a HISTORY code? I'm guessing that the HISTORY codes are previous problems that have been fixed.

Now I understand why it would cost me $5,000 to have the transmission rebuilt. Would I be able to have a remanufactured transmission installed instead? I've seen places online that specialize in that sort of thing, but I imagine there are cons to going that route as well.

Is it safe to drive my car while the Service Engine Soon light is on? My experience with older Buicks back in the day was that once the transmission went, you would be stranded on the side of the road. I just don't want to do any further damage to my car.
==============================
STEP #1 - STAY AWAY FROM THE STEALERSHIP -
that is the LAST place I would take my Cadillac!

when discussing codes - we ALWAYS ask you to include the full code along with its DEFINITION -
there are THOUSANDS of them - and no one has them all memorized -
OR - we MIGHT remember them wrong -

go here for the best list of Cadillac code definitions -

with that said -
a CURRENT code means that the problem exists NOW -

a HISTORY code is one that happened recently -
but is NOT happening NOW -

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

when the computer scrolls through the codes - it displays modules alphabetically -
here is a list of the modules -
you may not have some of them - and you might have some that are not on this list -
ABS - Antilock Brake System
AMP - Amplifier
DDM - Door Driver Module
DDS - Driver Door Switches
DIM - Dash Integration Module
IPC - Instrument Panel Cluster
IPM - Instrument Panel Module
IRC - Integrated Radio Module
LRD - Left Rear Door Module
MSM - Memory Seat Module
PCM - Powertrain Control Module
PDM - Passenger Door Module
RCC - Rear Climate Control
RFA - Remote Function Actuation
RIM - Rear Integration Module
RRD - Right Rear Door Module
RSS - Road Sensing Suspension
SDM - Sensing and Diagnostic Module - supplemental restraint system - seatbelts and air bags -
TTM - Tilt/Telescoping Module
VTD - Vehicle Theft Deterrent

NOW - let's get down to business -

only EMISSIONS related "P" - Powertrain - codes will illuminate the SES light -

you have ONE - CURRENT - EMISSIONS related "P" code -

P0300
this is a generic misfire code -
our on-board scanners will not display WHICH cylinder is misfiring -
although that information IS stored in the computer -

take the car to any big auto parts store and ask them to check the codes -
P0301 is a misfire in cylinder #1 - P0302 is cylinder #2 - P0303 is for cylinder #3 - etc-

once you discover WHICH cylinder is misfiring -
diagnosis is MUCH easier -

THIS CODE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TRANSMISSION -

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

you have ONE - HISTORY - EMISSIONS-related "P" code -
P0741 -
this is a VERY common code - and it IS related to the transmission -

without getting TOO technical -
this code is CAUSED by a worn out seal - DEEP in the trans -

the ONLY way to FIX this problem is to remove the trans - take it apart - replace the worn seal -
the cost is typically $2500 to $3000 from a trans repair shop -

BUT WAIT - THERE IS SOME GOOD NEWS -
you CAN simply "ignore" this code - and live with it FOREVER - WITHOUT fixing it -

the ONLY adverse side affect is a slight (1-2mpg) loss of gas mileage at highway speeds -
MANY members have this code/problem and have lived it for YEARS -

it will NOT cause ANY other damage to the trans - or shorten the life of the trans -

the ONLY issue would be if you live in an area WITH emissions testing or inspections -
an illuminated SES light would be an immediate FAIL -

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

for the other CURRENT codes -
B0429 - Temperature Control #3 Rear Circuit Range/Performance
this is a VERY common code -
the back seat temperature control setting doesn't match the actuator setting -
ya - I know - this is gibberish -

OK -
our cars actually have a THREE-ZONE climate control system -
separate temperature controls for the driver - passenger - and back seat -

there are special modules called MIX DOOR ACTUATORS that open and close the various doors
to mix cold air - hot air - and outside air - to the selected temperature -

there is one mix door actuator for the (main) driver side -

the passenger side and back seat share another mix door actuator -
it has a split shaft -
a big - square outer shaft for the passenger side -
and a small - "D" shaped inner shaft for the back seat -

what happens is that the small "D" shaped shaft gets rounded out - stripped -
and can't ACCURATELY move the cable - that moves the mix door -
SO - the back seat SETTING - doesn't match the ACTUAL POSITION of the shaft -

the solution is simple - replace the faulty mix door actuator
the on-line - discounted price is around $60 -
this is the EASIEST actuator to replace -
it is located to the LEFT of the glove box - takes around 30 minutes to replace -

U1714 - Loss of Front Door Module to Window Motor Normal Speed Comm.
try this: it may work - it might not - but it won't hurt anything -
with the ignition ON -
lower the passenger side front window -
PRESS and HOLD the UP button - for 10 seconds after the window is fully closed -
then PRESS and HOLD the DOWN button - for 10 seconds after the window is fully opened -
close the window -

Is it safe to drive my car while the Service Engine Soon light is on?
the CORRECT answer is: IT DEPENDS on what CAUSED the SES light -

a misfire COULD be dumping raw gasoline into the exhaust and catalytic converter -
this CAN destroy the cat -

the P0741 code will also illuminate the SES light -
it is absolutely safe to ignore this code - as explained above -
 

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Registered
1992 Sedan Deville, 1999 Deville Concours
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hi Basscatt,

Thank you for your delightfully detailed response to my post! This is far more than I would have ever expected from anyone here on Cadillac Forums. I'm beginning to get a better understanding of what the problem is with my car. The SES light came on one afternoon when I accelerated quickly to get onto a highway. The following day when it started flashing, the engine was idling very rough, which sounds like was caused by a cylinder misfiring. If the only code that's related to the transmission is P0741 and if I can just live with the worn out seal, I would save myself a lot of money.

I appreciate the list of modules that you gave me! As I was going through all the codes in my car, it would show NO ABS CODES and so on for every module. I was overwhelmed by all the abbreviations and what they might stand for, but now I know after reading your list here.

I'm not worried about any codes related to the temperature and the passenger's window since I can live with very minor things like that. I imagine that these codes would be presented to me as major problems if I were to take my car to the Cadillac dealership.

Do you always stay away from the Cadillac dealerships? I have this idea that they have the best mechanics to work on Cadillacs, but I might be wrong about that. Would a place like Auto Zone have the diagnostic machine to read these codes? If this is indeed just a problem with a cylinder misfiring, where do you recommend that I take my car to get it fixed? I've only taken all of my Cadillacs to dealerships, sometimes the Ford dealership as well, but I've paid them thousands of dollars over the years. Even the Cadillac dealership didn't realize my 1999 Cadillac Concours had a blown head gasket until I had spent $5,000 in repairs for two visits. That car is now sitting under my carport because I can't afford to shell out any more money for that major repair.

I'm trying to learn as much as possible about this current problem so that I can get the SES light to go out and avoid having the transmission rebuilt. I'm sure that the Cadillac dealership would be happy to do it for me, even if it didn't really need it quite yet. My car only has 103,000 miles on it, but maybe that's around the time when the transmission starts to wear out in Cadillacs. Once again, thanks so much for your helpful response!

Tony
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
Joined
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67,179 Posts
Thank you for your reply! I don't have LOW FAN and HIGH FAN buttons to use for YES and NO, but I discovered that the ON/OFF button works in my case.
Of course you don't have the Low Fan and High Fan buttons. That's the wrong year group of instructions. Which is why I advised you to study the correct procedures for your year of car - the section by JimD. Post #2. It's all in the "How to pull codes" sticky.

Find a good local Mom & Pop shop. They generally do fine work at less cost than the dealerships. AutoZone is fine for doing scans, but you can do just as well in your driveway - as posted above. I, personally, would buy only shop rags and toilet paper from AutoZone - nothing else. Their store brand new and reman parts are notoriously unreliable.

Acronyms and module names - the sticky (push pin marked) on this Deville main page "Acronyms". Always study the stickies in any forum of interest - timeless info.

The Current P 0741 code is caused by internal seal failures in the transmission input shaft and torque converter. The ONLY way to permanently put out the SES light when caused by that code is to remove and repair the transmission and torque converter. You can clear the code from memory but as soon as the car complete its self-tests after a start-run-drive cycle the code will return. As posted, it's an automatic emission fail code. Why? TCC (Torque Converter Clutch) removes the last 300 or so rpm of converter slip when the car is in 4th gear, steady road loads, over 41 mph. That increases fuel mileage slightly (emissions and CAFE ratings) and so is part of the test requirements for emissions qualification.

Here's a table of engine rpm vs. road speed for the VIN Y and VIN 9 FWD Northstar cars with the 4T80E transmission. If your 2004 Deville i the base or DHS model it is a VIN Y car.

Final drive speed graph.jpg
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
·
18,909 Posts
Hi Basscatt,

Thank you for your delightfully detailed response to my post! This is far more than I would have ever expected from anyone here on Cadillac Forums. I'm beginning to get a better understanding of what the problem is with my car. The SES light came on one afternoon when I accelerated quickly to get onto a highway. The following day when it started flashing, the engine was idling very rough, which sounds like was caused by a cylinder misfiring. If the only code that's related to the transmission is P0741 and if I can just live with the worn out seal, I would save myself a lot of money.

I appreciate the list of modules that you gave me! As I was going through all the codes in my car, it would show NO ABS CODES and so on for every module. I was overwhelmed by all the abbreviations and what they might stand for, but now I know after reading your list here.

I'm not worried about any codes related to the temperature and the passenger's window since I can live with very minor things like that. I imagine that these codes would be presented to me as major problems if I were to take my car to the Cadillac dealership.

Do you always stay away from the Cadillac dealerships? I have this idea that they have the best mechanics to work on Cadillacs, but I might be wrong about that. Would a place like Auto Zone have the diagnostic machine to read these codes? If this is indeed just a problem with a cylinder misfiring, where do you recommend that I take my car to get it fixed? I've only taken all of my Cadillacs to dealerships, sometimes the Ford dealership as well, but I've paid them thousands of dollars over the years. Even the Cadillac dealership didn't realize my 1999 Cadillac Concours had a blown head gasket until I had spent $5,000 in repairs for two visits. That car is now sitting under my carport because I can't afford to shell out any more money for that major repair.

I'm trying to learn as much as possible about this current problem so that I can get the SES light to go out and avoid having the transmission rebuilt. I'm sure that the Cadillac dealership would be happy to do it for me, even if it didn't really need it quite yet. My car only has 103,000 miles on it, but maybe that's around the time when the transmission starts to wear out in Cadillacs. Once again, thanks so much for your helpful response!

Tony
========================
the ONLY reason I would take my Cadillac to the STEALERSHIP is FREE warranty work or recalls - period!

as a rule-of-thumb -
dealerships charge the highest hourly labor rate - and they always charge full retail for parts -

find a local - family-owned shop - to do the work -
you'll get better service and save money -

and - of course - check with us BEFORE you take the car anywhere -

ANY large auto parts store will check for codes using a hand-held scanner for FREE -
as for Autozone - DO NOT BUY ANY OF THEIR STORE-BRAND PARTS -
Duralast stuff is PURE JUNK -

as for the trans - don't worry about it - it is just fine - and should last many - MANY more miles -
 

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Registered
1992 Sedan Deville, 1999 Deville Concours
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Of course you don't have the Low Fan and High Fan buttons. That's the wrong year group of instructions. Which is why I advised you to study the correct procedures for your year of car - the section by JimD. Post #2. It's all in the "How to pull codes" sticky.

Find a good local Mom & Pop shop. They generally do fine work at less cost than the dealerships. AutoZone is fine for doing scans, but you can do just as well in your driveway - as posted above. I, personally, would buy only shop rags and toilet paper from AutoZone - nothing else. Their store brand new and reman parts are notoriously unreliable.

Acronyms and module names - the sticky (push pin marked) on this Deville main page "Acronyms". Always study the stickies in any forum of interest - timeless info.

The Current P 0741 code is caused by internal seal failures in the transmission input shaft and torque converter. The ONLY way to permanently put out the SES light when caused by that code is to remove and repair the transmission and torque converter. You can clear the code from memory but as soon as the car complete its self-tests after a start-run-drive cycle the code will return. As posted, it's an automatic emission fail code. Why? TCC (Torque Converter Clutch) removes the last 300 or so rpm of converter slip when the car is in 4th gear, steady road loads, over 41 mph. That increases fuel mileage slightly (emissions and CAFE ratings) and so is part of the test requirements for emissions qualification.

Here's a table of engine rpm vs. road speed for the VIN Y and VIN 9 FWD Northstar cars with the 4T80E transmission. If your 2004 Deville i the base or DHS model it is a VIN Y car.
========================
the ONLY reason I would take my Cadillac to the STEALERSHIP is FREE warranty work or recalls - period!

as a rule-of-thumb -
dealerships charge the highest hourly labor rate - and they always charge full retail for parts -

find a local - family-owned shop - to do the work -
you'll get better service and save money -

and - of course - check with us BEFORE you take the car anywhere -

ANY large auto parts store will check for codes using a hand-held scanner for FREE -
as for Autozone - DO NOT BUY ANY OF THEIR STORE-BRAND PARTS -
Duralast stuff is PURE JUNK -

as for the trans - don't worry about it - it is just fine - and should last many - MANY more miles -
Hi Basscatt,

Thank you for your response! It's good to know your thoughts about Cadillac dealerships. I have to admit that I was lured into their excellent customer service, providing me with a brand new Cadillac as a loaner car while they were working on my car. It was fun to be able to drive the Cadillac SUV, even though I found it too fancy with too many features on it and was always happy to get my DeVille back. I imagine that in reality I was paying for that luxurious loaner car indirectly. You and Submariner have helped jar my memory with your recommendation to find a local shop instead of going back to the dealership. Back when I had my 1992 Cadillac DeVille, I used to take it to a smaller shop and was very pleased with their service. Sadly, my beloved 1992 Cadillac was totaled when a Cadillac DTS hit me from behind going 60 mph as I was trying to pull into my driveway nearly three years ago. That car was like a tank and probably saved my life that day (along with the guardrail that it was slammed into)!

I'm planning on taking my car to a place in Culpeper, Virginia, tomorrow to have them check out the SES light. If the transmission isn't the problem as you say, I will be GREATLY relieved since the Cadillac dealership made me think it was on the verge of going out the last time I went in for an oil change.

You guys here on Cadillac Forums make me feel like I have a family of other Cadillac lovers, which is great! Most people I know don't get my love for these cars, a love that started back in the 1970's when I rode in a Sedan de Ville. You and Submariner409 have been so helpful with your comments and suggestions, and I thank both of you for them!

Tony
 

·
Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
·
18,909 Posts
Hi Basscatt,

Thank you for your response! It's good to know your thoughts about Cadillac dealerships. I have to admit that I was lured into their excellent customer service, providing me with a brand new Cadillac as a loaner car while they were working on my car. It was fun to be able to drive the Cadillac SUV, even though I found it too fancy with too many features on it and was always happy to get my DeVille back. I imagine that in reality I was paying for that luxurious loaner car indirectly. You and Submariner have helped jar my memory with your recommendation to find a local shop instead of going back to the dealership. Back when I had my 1992 Cadillac DeVille, I used to take it to a smaller shop and was very pleased with their service. Sadly, my beloved 1992 Cadillac was totaled when a Cadillac DTS hit me from behind going 60 mph as I was trying to pull into my driveway nearly three years ago. That car was like a tank and probably saved my life that day (along with the guardrail that it was slammed into)!

I'm planning on taking my car to a place in Culpeper, Virginia, tomorrow to have them check out the SES light. If the transmission isn't the problem as you say, I will be GREATLY relieved since the Cadillac dealership made me think it was on the verge of going out the last time I went in for an oil change.

You guys here on Cadillac Forums make me feel like I have a family of other Cadillac lovers, which is great! Most people I know don't get my love for these cars, a love that started back in the 1970's when I rode in a Sedan de Ville. You and Submariner409 have been so helpful with your comments and suggestions, and I thank both of you for them!

Tony
=====================
well Tony - thank you for the thank you -
it's nice to hear and it's the ONLY thing WE get in return for our time and efforts -

regarding the trans -
like I already said - IF you don't have emissions testing or inspections in your area -
your trans IS and WILL be just fine -
and DO NOT be tempted into adding ANY kind of SNAKE OIL to "help" the trans -
your transmission AND your wallet will thank you -
 

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Super Moderator SEMPER PARATUS
2003 DeVille Base
Joined
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4,498 Posts
Tony, I've been living with the P 0741 code for 5.5 years. We don't have emissions testing in my county so I just clear the code and keep driving. As Bass mentioned, leave the snake oil on the shelves and money in your pocket.
 

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Registered
1992 Sedan Deville, 1999 Deville Concours
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hi byrdman,

Thanks for the input! I'm still learning about what to take seriously and what not to worry about when it comes to these codes. I took my car in today to have it checked out, and the code they found was P0304. There was a bad coil above one of the cylinders, which was causing the SES light to come on. The owner of this shop told me that when this light starts flashing, the problem is quite bad and would have led to problems with the catalytic converter. I was just happy that the parts were still available and that they could fix it in less than two hours. The part itself was $378 and included coils for four cylinders instead of just the one that was bad. It's frustrating that I have to pay for the whole assembly instead of just one coil, but that's the norm these days.

Do you still have your 2003 DeVille? How many miles does it have on it? I'm curious to know how long I can continue to drive mine now that it has over 103,000 miles on it.

Tony
 

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Registered
1992 Sedan Deville, 1999 Deville Concours
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
=====================
well Tony - thank you for the thank you -
it's nice to hear and it's the ONLY thing WE get in return for our time and efforts -

regarding the trans -
like I already said - IF you don't have emissions testing or inspections in your area -
your trans IS and WILL be just fine -
and DO NOT be tempted into adding ANY kind of SNAKE OIL to "help" the trans -
your transmission AND your wallet will thank you -
Hi basscatt,

I took my car in today to have the SES light checked out, and the mechanic came up with the code P0304. One of the coils above the cylinders was bad, which was causing my engine to idle so roughly. The owner of the shop said that the flashing SES light means that the problem is quite bad and that the bad coil would have affected the catalytic converter eventually. In my 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, I had two lights, Service Engine Soon and Service Engine Now, so I suppose the the flashing SES light means the same as Service Engine Now. Just the diagnosis of this problem was $95, and the replacement coils were $378 for four, even though only one was bad. The total for today's visit was $546. I was just happy that they could locate the replacement coils and install them in less than two hours while I waited. I'll never know how much my bill would have been if I had gone to the Cadillac dealership instead, but I imagine that it would have been higher. Driving back home tonight, I had peace of mind not seeing the SES light on and having my Caddy back in good shape!

Tony
 

·
Super Moderator SEMPER PARATUS
2003 DeVille Base
Joined
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4,498 Posts
Hi byrdman,

Thanks for the input! I'm still learning about what to take seriously and what not to worry about when it comes to these codes. I took my car in today to have it checked out, and the code they found was P0304. There was a bad coil above one of the cylinders, which was causing the SES light to come on. The owner of this shop told me that when this light starts flashing, the problem is quite bad and would have led to problems with the catalytic converter. I was just happy that the parts were still available and that they could fix it in less than two hours. The part itself was $378 and included coils for four cylinders instead of just the one that was bad. It's frustrating that I have to pay for the whole assembly instead of just one coil, but that's the norm these days.

Do you still have your 2003 DeVille? How many miles does it have on it? I'm curious to know how long I can continue to drive mine now that it has over 103,000 miles on it.
Tony
my Deville has just over 151K and despite the various horror stories that show up here, this car has been amazingly reliable and no major repairs. Sure, the items you expect to wear like brakes, struts, shocks, etc. but no engine or trans failures. That said, I'm a big proponent of regular maintenance, esp the cooling system.
 

·
Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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18,909 Posts
Hi basscatt,

I took my car in today to have the SES light checked out, and the mechanic came up with the code P0304. One of the coils above the cylinders was bad, which was causing my engine to idle so roughly. The owner of the shop said that the flashing SES light means that the problem is quite bad and that the bad coil would have affected the catalytic converter eventually. In my 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, I had two lights, Service Engine Soon and Service Engine Now, so I suppose the the flashing SES light means the same as Service Engine Now. Just the diagnosis of this problem was $95, and the replacement coils were $378 for four, even though only one was bad. The total for today's visit was $546. I was just happy that they could locate the replacement coils and install them in less than two hours while I waited. I'll never know how much my bill would have been if I had gone to the Cadillac dealership instead, but I imagine that it would have been higher. Driving back home tonight, I had peace of mind not seeing the SES light on and having my Caddy back in good shape!

Tony
============================
glad you got it fixed - BUT -
I REALLY HATE TO HEAR OF PEOPLE GETTING SCREWED -

I took my car in today to have the SES light checked out, and the mechanic came up with the code P0304
any large auto parts store would have connected a hand-held scanner for FREE -
and would have displayed the P0304 code in less than one minute -

The owner of the shop said that the flashing SES light means that the problem is quite bad
a FLASHING SES light just means the misfire is happening at the current time -
and has NOTHING to do with the "severity" of the misfire

and that the bad coil would have affected the catalytic converter eventually.
TRUE - that cylinder was pumping the unburned gas into the cat -

Just the diagnosis of this problem was $95
that's REALLY expensive -
he charged you a full hour of labor for a diagnosis that probably took 5 minutes -

the replacement coils were $378 for four, even though only one was bad
you could buy the genuine Delphi (a GM supplier) coil pack for $112 - with free shipping -

The total for today's visit was $546
looks like they charged you around $50 to install the coils?

I'll never know how much my bill would have been if I had gone to the Cadillac dealership instead,
but I imagine that it would have been higher.

probably $100 higher -
the shop you went to "got you good" -
I HOPE they at least send you a Christmas card -
 

·
Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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18,909 Posts
by the way -
we have members with OVER 500,000 miles on their Northstar-powered cars -
WITHOUT any engine problems -
 

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Registered
1992 Sedan Deville, 1999 Deville Concours
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
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glad you got it fixed - BUT -
I REALLY HATE TO HEAR OF PEOPLE GETTING SCREWED -

I took my car in today to have the SES light checked out, and the mechanic came up with the code P0304
any large auto parts store would have connected a hand-held scanner for FREE -
and would have displayed the P0304 code in less than one minute -

The owner of the shop said that the flashing SES light means that the problem is quite bad
a FLASHING SES light just means the misfire is happening at the current time -
and has NOTHING to do with the "severity" of the misfire

and that the bad coil would have affected the catalytic converter eventually.
TRUE - that cylinder was pumping the unburned gas into the cat -

Just the diagnosis of this problem was $95
that's REALLY expensive -
he charged you a full hour of labor for a diagnosis that probably took 5 minutes -

the replacement coils were $378 for four, even though only one was bad
you could buy the genuine Delphi (a GM supplier) coil pack for $112 - with free shipping -

The total for today's visit was $546
looks like they charged you around $50 to install the coils?

I'll never know how much my bill would have been if I had gone to the Cadillac dealership instead,
but I imagine that it would have been higher.

probably $100 higher -
the shop you went to "got you good" -
I HOPE they at least send you a Christmas card -
Hi basscatt,

Yes, I thought that the bill was pretty high, especially the $95 for the diagnosis. The owner came out and gave me an estimate of $450 before he ordered the coils, but when it was time to pay, the amount was $546. I didn't question it before I paid, thinking that he didn't factor in the labor when he gave me the estimate. I have to admit that the dealership people are far better at communicating with me, and they know me since I've been there for a number of problems since I bought this car from them in 2017. The guy I dealt with today isn't nearly as thorough and made no mention of charging me $95 for the diagnosis. The Cadillac guys always break everything down for me.

I'm familiar with AC Delco but not with Delphi spare parts. Do some people get their own spare parts and take them to the shop? I wanted to get my car fixed as soon as possible so as to avoid doing any more damage, but I didn't get having to pay $378 for these coils. I asked to see the old ones just so that I would have an idea of what they looked like, and I certainly didn't see that kind of money in the box of old coils.

So, I agree with you that they got me good. The challenge is to find a shop that isn't going to do that. This one is a husband-and-wife business, but I still need to do my homework so I can get these repairs down to more reasonable amounts.

I didn't realize that the Northstar engine would be capable of going for 500,000 miles. I've heard stories like that about Japanese cars, but never about Cadillacs. That's certainly encouraging to know!
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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67,179 Posts
DELPHI is/was/may be a HUGE parts and development division of GM. Google it.

For coil cassette pricing look in www.rockauto.com

A Northstar will go forever with proper maintenance. Stuff does wear out, and it takes a while of ownership to find out WHAT stuff.

If you haven't yet replaced the water pump drive belt tensioner pulley, do it yesterday.

Your P 0304 code pointed to #4 cylinder, the left (front) bank - the easiest of the two cassettes to replace. The right (rear)(black one) takes 3 times as long due to other parts interference.

Here's the ignition cassette setup for the 2000 - 2003 Northstar FWD engines. Right and left bank cassettes are identical except for color.

coil-boot-plug 1.JPG
DSCN0195.jpg
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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18,909 Posts
Hi basscatt,

Yes, I thought that the bill was pretty high, especially the $95 for the diagnosis. The owner came out and gave me an estimate of $450 before he ordered the coils, but when it was time to pay, the amount was $546. I didn't question it before I paid, thinking that he didn't factor in the labor when he gave me the estimate. I have to admit that the dealership people are far better at communicating with me, and they know me since I've been there for a number of problems since I bought this car from them in 2017. The guy I dealt with today isn't nearly as thorough and made no mention of charging me $95 for the diagnosis. The Cadillac guys always break everything down for me.

I'm familiar with AC Delco but not with Delphi spare parts. Do some people get their own spare parts and take them to the shop? I wanted to get my car fixed as soon as possible so as to avoid doing any more damage, but I didn't get having to pay $378 for these coils. I asked to see the old ones just so that I would have an idea of what they looked like, and I certainly didn't see that kind of money in the box of old coils.

So, I agree with you that they got me good. The challenge is to find a shop that isn't going to do that. This one is a husband-and-wife business, but I still need to do my homework so I can get these repairs down to more reasonable amounts.

I didn't realize that the Northstar engine would be capable of going for 500,000 miles. I've heard stories like that about Japanese cars, but never about Cadillacs. That's certainly encouraging to know!
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I'm familiar with AC Delco but not with Delphi spare parts.
Delphi is a major supplier for OEM parts

Do some people get their own spare parts and take them to the shop?
YES - some shops will agree to install "your-supplied-parts" - BUT -
you must understand that there IS a "risk" involved -

the agreement is that that shop installs the parts CORRECTLY - one time -
and that is the end of the deal -

IF that part goes bad in two days - the shop is NOT responsible -
so YOU would have to obtain a replacement part - AND pay for labor again -
 
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