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97 Seville SLS
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I've been checking out this forum for awhile trying to debunk a few issues with my SLS, so far I'm loving the vast amounts of knowledge here. That said, This first post is gonna be a big one, please bear with me!

I still have a few questions/concerns I need help with, and since this is the first Caddi I've owned I figured I should seek answers from veterans.

It's a 97 SLS with a Y engine, 230,xxx miles, tons of DTC codes in the history - 4 in the current (which I'll get to in a minute) and so much shoddy handywork done to it, I can surprise the most experienced mechanic, which is where my first issues begin.

I bought the car from an impound lot, for 800 bucks, and of course I know that you get what you pay for, but I really love the the look of the late 90's caddi's so i figured why not. Being a do-it yourself kinda guy, I got it home and started digging through the mess to see what I'd gotten myself into and surprisingly I was greeted with only a few minor issues....or so I thought. My first day driving it I noticed that the security light was always on, but it would start and drive no problem, if I parked it and shut off the engine the lights would flash (front and back) as if the hazards were on, except my headlights were flashing as well, the first thing that popped in my head was the security system was tripped, Then I realized there were 2 separate keys for the door and the ignition...I only had the ignition key, and since there was no key fob either, I figured there was no way to shut off the alarm, luckily after 10 blinks the lights would go off and everything was gravy. Then I made a new door key. The moment I unlocked the door with the key the flashing lights stopped the security light went away and no more battery drain...However, i realize now that the previous owner must have had this same issue, and knowing a bit about how security systems work-especially the factory installed ones, I'm afraid that someone chased a few wires and found out how to disable the immobilizer...not a major problem, but I'm starting to suspect they used trial and error to find the issue, as I have found numerous other issues, which i would relate to the alarm-the major one being the Horn.

The Horn seems to be located next to the battery cradle inside the passenger side fender...at least it looks like it is, but all of the wires to it are cut, and there is no replacement horn, I don't know if it did, but can anybody tell me if the factory alarm had a flashing light and horn combo? Because that would explain the horn wires being cut-although I'm not sure why they didn't just pull the fuse.

then there's the suspect wires hanging under my dash right next to my pedals, they are connected to a small module with absolutely no markings on it, just a small black rectangular box, for the life of me I cant figure out what it is, its approx 3 inches by 2 inches hanging down to the left of my brake pedal.

Now for the codes that I found, (thanks for having all that info readily available on here btw, saved me a lot of trouble!!!)

I came up with 4 current codes that I understand but am Hoping for a silver lining on:

DTC C1232 LF Wheel Speed Circuit Open or Shorted
DTC C1235 RR Wheel Speed Circuit Open or Shorted

DTC C1712 LF Damper Actuator Open CKT
DTC C1717 RF Damper Actuator Open CKT

since these all seem to be open circuit issues, what is the likelihood of having to replace 2 front struts and 2 wheel speed sensors/hub assemblies, vs replacing harnesses and connectors, I'm crossing my fingers here because 600/strut is going to ruin my day for sure.

The history codes probably matter towards my next question but I'll admit I haven't checked them all out yet, the next question is more of a "has this ever happened to you" type of question, and I wonder if it's a faulty part, or just something that these Northstar engines do.

When starting the car COLD (I'm in MA and it's winter, avg 34F) It starts right up, and I usually let it idle for a bit to warm up, no problems start until I try driving it - as long as I give it gas it goes, but I've noticed that when I hit the brakes my RPM's drop and the car stalls out, but if I let it sit for 10 mins gently giving it gas for half of that time, it will drive brake and operate as if all was good and normal. When it cuts out I hear the fan, and what could possibly be the fuel pump humming away, and after checking all connections to the battery and determining there are no loose cables or other probable cause for a stall out I'm left with a phantom problem-Now, I have to admit I still haven't given this thing a tune up, and who knows when the last time it got one was, so my real question is I suppose, do these engines have issues in the cold, or should I stop playing guessing games and get the tuneup out of the way before going all Sherlock Holmes on the car.

I know this is a ton to read, and my apologies if I put anyone to sleep with my post, but I'm loving everything about this car so far, and I feel like if I put some Money and time in I could possibly make out with a pretty great ride, If there's any additional info I can offer let me know.

Thanks!
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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70,711 Posts
The mysterious black box......... dollars to doughnuts it's a tracking device - "We sell you the car, you make the payments on time or we turn off the car !".

These cars have a skrillion sensors - and you're looking at wheel speed and suspension attitude sensors. The car has fully active suspension control. Either failed front hubs, faulty height controls, or poor electrical connections - that diagnosis is your hands-on problem.

Unless some HVAC function which calls for A/C compressor operation is set, fans should not run until a coolant temp of 224 is reached - extended idle or stuck in traffic. The tune up thing - the car takes AC Delco #41-950 Platinum plugs - PERIOD. It's probably time for a set of AC Delco plug wires. Talk to Chris in parts at Rippy Cadillac over there >>>>>

Search the Cadillac Tech Tips for how-to's on throttlebody cleaning. Study the whole Cadillac Technical Archive up ^^^ in the top black bar. Read all the sticky posts just above, and do the same in Engines; Northstar Performance.
 

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Registered
1998 Cadillac Seville STS
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306 Posts
On my 98 STS the horn blows when the alarm goes off, but it does it a lot more than just 10 times.

If the black box that is hanging near the pedals does not look like something that was a part of the car, it could be either an aftermarket alarm system, or perhaps a tracking/immobilization device that some auto finance companies use.

As far as the stalling issue, the first thing I would recommend is cleaning the EGR valve. On mine, it just takes the removal of two 10 mm bolts to take it off. You will want to have a new gasket on hand before you reinstall it.
 

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Registered
2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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26,323 Posts
:welcome:

Yes, the factory alarm flashed the lights, and honked the horn.

With that mileage, 2 bad wheel speed sensors are definitely no surprise, but check the connectors first.

The damper actuator codes are no surprise either, but since they're both for the front, I wouldn't be surprised if someone has already replaced them with passive struts. If that's the case, you can use resistors to trick the computer into "thinking" that they're active. If you really want to retain/go back to active, Monroe makes active replacements, for about half the cost of the AC Delcos.

Plugs, wires, and a good TB/IAC valve cleaning would be a good starting point for the hard start issue.

Oops, sub and 98cadillac beat me..... Forgot to hit post.

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I just realized something. This is an SLS. Are you sure it has active suspension? Look at the label adhered to the underside of the spare tire cover. Do you see RPO code F45?
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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70,711 Posts
MC - Did the late 90's cars have the option to enable/disable horns/lights when using the fob alarm set function ? I know you can pick and choose in my 2002 ......
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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26,323 Posts
I had a '97 SLS, and I'm almost positive it did. Not sure what year it started though.
 

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Registered
97 Seville SLS
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks everybody for the responses, I'll definitely be checking out the tech threads in here, and following up on the leads you've hinted at.

@Moist yes F45 is on my code list, and the info center is constantly flashing that service msg for suspension so I'm assuming that someone changed it out for the cheap stuff at some point and just left it be, I haven't had a chance to put it on a lift and really take a good look at it yet, but I'm 99.9999% sure I wont find the original OEM air suspension in there.

Glad to see the horn was part of the alarm, now I know why the idiots cut it, I'm sure they didn't realize that it makes it an auto fail on inspection though, but who cares it's not their car right?

There was another thing and it may relate to the mystery box, if someone had installed a remote starter, they would probably need to install some form of antenna for it right? because i have this very strange, and very broken antenna coming out of my ceiling liner along the windshield and drivers door pillar area, and I'm wondering now, if they installed one, could they have bypassed the immobilizer in order to start the car without the chipped key?

This car is probably going to make the rest of my hair fall out isn't it?


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oh and Sub, when I was looking up the specs for the tune up parts I thought it said use double platinum plugs? or do they just foul out too fast? I was definitely planning on AC Delco everything though, no sense in skimping on details with this beauty like the previous owners did.
 

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Registered
2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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26,323 Posts
Jey109 said:
Moist yes F45 is on my code list, and the info center is constantly flashing that service msg for suspension so I'm assuming that someone changed it out for the cheap stuff at some point and just left it be, I haven't had a chance to put it on a lift and really take a good look at it yet, but I'm 99.9999% sure I wont find the original OEM air suspension in there.
No "air suspension", just rear ELC. The car is suspended by coil springs all around. There are air bladders incorporated into the rear shocks, that are inflated to compensate when weight is added to the rear.

The ELC is not the reason for the message or codes. Your car has active suspension (CVRSS), which uses input from many sensors throughout the car, to vary damping force based on driving style/conditions. The system uses variable valving in each damper, controlled by an actuator. Those are the actuators the codes are referring to.

There was another thing and it may relate to the mystery box, if someone had installed a remote starter, they would probably need to install some form of antenna for it right? because i have this very strange, and very broken antenna coming out of my ceiling liner along the windshield and drivers door pillar area, and I'm wondering now, if they installed one, could they have bypassed the immobilizer in order to start the car without the chipped key?
yes. They would have had to.

This car is probably going to make the rest of my hair fall out isn't it?
Do you want me to make you feel better, or give you an honest answer?
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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20,104 Posts
MC - Did the late 90's cars have the option to enable/disable horns/lights when using the fob alarm set function ? I know you can pick and choose in my 2002 ......
-------------------------------
the answer is YES - and NO -

YES - you can select whether the parking lights flash -

ONCE for LOCK - TWICE for UNLOCK - when using the fob -
but the horn does not sound -

this information starts on page 2-16 in the Owners Manual -

----------

Hey all, I've been checking out this forum for awhile trying to debunk a few issues with my SLS, so far I'm loving the vast amounts of knowledge here. That said, This first post is gonna be a big one, please bear with me!

I still have a few questions/concerns I need help with, and since this is the first Caddi I've owned I figured I should seek answers from veterans.

It's a 97 SLS with a Y engine, 230,xxx miles, tons of DTC codes in the history - 4 in the current (which I'll get to in a minute) and so much shoddy handywork done to it, I can surprise the most experienced mechanic, which is where my first issues begin.

I bought the car from an impound lot, for 800 bucks, and of course I know that you get what you pay for, but I really love the the look of the late 90's caddi's so i figured why not. Being a do-it yourself kinda guy, I got it home and started digging through the mess to see what I'd gotten myself into and surprisingly I was greeted with only a few minor issues....or so I thought. My first day driving it I noticed that the security light was always on, but it would start and drive no problem, if I parked it and shut off the engine the lights would flash (front and back) as if the hazards were on, except my headlights were flashing as well, the first thing that popped in my head was the security system was tripped, Then I realized there were 2 separate keys for the door and the ignition...I only had the ignition key, and since there was no key fob either, I figured there was no way to shut off the alarm, luckily after 10 blinks the lights would go off and everything was gravy. Then I made a new door key. The moment I unlocked the door with the key the flashing lights stopped the security light went away and no more battery drain...However, i realize now that the previous owner must have had this same issue, and knowing a bit about how security systems work-especially the factory installed ones, I'm afraid that someone chased a few wires and found out how to disable the immobilizer...not a major problem, but I'm starting to suspect they used trial and error to find the issue, as I have found numerous other issues, which i would relate to the alarm-the major one being the Horn.

The Horn seems to be located next to the battery cradle inside the passenger side fender...at least it looks like it is, but all of the wires to it are cut, and there is no replacement horn, I don't know if it did, but can anybody tell me if the factory alarm had a flashing light and horn combo? Because that would explain the horn wires being cut-although I'm not sure why they didn't just pull the fuse.

then there's the suspect wires hanging under my dash right next to my pedals, they are connected to a small module with absolutely no markings on it, just a small black rectangular box, for the life of me I cant figure out what it is, its approx 3 inches by 2 inches hanging down to the left of my brake pedal.

Now for the codes that I found, (thanks for having all that info readily available on here btw, saved me a lot of trouble!!!)

I came up with 4 current codes that I understand but am Hoping for a silver lining on:

DTC C1232 LF Wheel Speed Circuit Open or Shorted
DTC C1235 RR Wheel Speed Circuit Open or Shorted

DTC C1712 LF Damper Actuator Open CKT
DTC C1717 RF Damper Actuator Open CKT

since these all seem to be open circuit issues, what is the likelihood of having to replace 2 front struts and 2 wheel speed sensors/hub assemblies, vs replacing harnesses and connectors, I'm crossing my fingers here because 600/strut is going to ruin my day for sure.

The history codes probably matter towards my next question but I'll admit I haven't checked them all out yet, the next question is more of a "has this ever happened to you" type of question, and I wonder if it's a faulty part, or just something that these Northstar engines do.

When starting the car COLD (I'm in MA and it's winter, avg 34F) It starts right up, and I usually let it idle for a bit to warm up, no problems start until I try driving it - as long as I give it gas it goes, but I've noticed that when I hit the brakes my RPM's drop and the car stalls out, but if I let it sit for 10 mins gently giving it gas for half of that time, it will drive brake and operate as if all was good and normal. When it cuts out I hear the fan, and what could possibly be the fuel pump humming away, and after checking all connections to the battery and determining there are no loose cables or other probable cause for a stall out I'm left with a phantom problem-Now, I have to admit I still haven't given this thing a tune up, and who knows when the last time it got one was, so my real question is I suppose, do these engines have issues in the cold, or should I stop playing guessing games and get the tuneup out of the way before going all Sherlock Holmes on the car.

I know this is a ton to read, and my apologies if I put anyone to sleep with my post, but I'm loving everything about this car so far, and I feel like if I put some Money and time in I could possibly make out with a pretty great ride, If there's any additional info I can offer let me know.

Thanks!
------------------------
the FIRST investment you need to make -
is a Factory Service Manual -
ebay has them really cheap sometimes -
 

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Super Moderator
2010 DTS
Joined
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87,430 Posts
oh and Sub, when I was looking up the specs for the tune up parts I thought it said use double platinum plugs? or do they just foul out too fast? I was definitely planning on AC Delco everything though, no sense in skimping on details with this beauty like the previous owners did.
The reason for dual platinum tipped is because of the waste spark ignition. Spark flows + to - and then - to + alternately, thus the dual platinum tips to prevent erosion and add to longetivety. Google waste spark for an explanation. You want A/C Delco 41-950's.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Yeah, that ^^^ The correct plug is the AC Delco #41-950 professional Platinum plug. As ranger posted, platinum center electrode tip, platinum pad on the ground electrode.

Pictures in my albums and in www.rockauto.com
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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26,323 Posts
There is no button to disable RSS. The button in your glove box is the VALET SWITCH.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Which models have the TC disable button in the glove box ??? The newer ones had it on the console flat just rearward of the stick.
 

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My '99 deville has the TC disable in the glovebox
i'm pretty sure a '97 seville does too

the black box under the dash could be a VATS bypass box
 

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YUP
that's how the eldo and seville and deville were in the 90's

98+ sevilles are different
00+ devilles are different
eldo didn't change through the end in '02
 
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