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'99 Catera
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm baaaaccccck!!! (with continued problems)........

Finally got my ECM for my '99 Cat, installed it (myself), and had it programmed at the dealership ($45.00 after I ran down to them how much time it should take for them to program it. Courtesy of my newly purchase 2 vol. service manuals).

While driving off the lot, I started experiencing a 'creeping takeoff' which felt like the tranny. It was confirmed with the little ! light on display. It felt like trying to take off in neutral while in drive. This was also the same symtom I had before replacing the tranny 21 months ago. I turned around and had the mechanic take a look at it. He couldn't find anything outside of the tranny fluid being about a quart low.

Anyhow, the end result is that in order to drive it, I have to shift the tranny like it's a manual. Taking off in 1st, shifting to 2nd, 3rd, then finally Drive.

Just wondering..........programming an ECM shouldn't have an affect on the tranny, would it?!?!?!?!? Also, it's hard to believe that after 21 months (and $2,500.00 later), a tranny would go out like that!!!!!

Any other recommendations beside the obvious.......take it up to the dealership with the tranny receipt and administer the 3rd degree. Thanks.
 

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'99 Catera
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More drama...........................took my '99 Cat to the dealership stating that there was a problem with the tranny they put in.

They called me later in the day and said that it wasn't the tranny (?!?!?!?!), but the MAF and throttle body needed to be replaced. They quoted me the following:

PART PART COST LABOR (TIME) TOTAL

Mass Flow Air Sensor $221.69 $109.50 (1.5 hrs) $331.19 +tax
Throttle Body $369.64 $182.50 (2.5 hrs) $552.14 +tax
Throttel Body Connector $18.95 $18.95

GRAND TOTAL -------> $902.28 +tax

I almost laughed in their face!!!! While they were giving me these quotes, my wandered to this forum where I had read someone who had to replace their MAF, and it only took 20 minutes. One and a half hours?!?!??!!!?? What a joke!!!! I was looking in the service manual, and am quite confident that I can install it myself. But at $221.69, I instinctively know that's way too high.

I don't refute that these parts may have to be replaced in that my Cat has 110,400 miles on it. Plus, I haven't replaced them since I had the car, so I'm sure they need to be swapped out. But not for $900 + !!!!!! That's crazy!!! Someone please advise on where I can get these parts at a reasonable price........Thx.
 

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Catera, ..
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More drama...........................took my '99 Cat to the dealership stating that there was a problem with the tranny they put in.

They called me later in the day and said that it wasn't the tranny (?!?!?!?!), but the MAF and throttle body needed to be replaced. They quoted me the following:

PART PART COST LABOR (TIME) TOTAL

Mass Flow Air Sensor $221.69 $109.50 (1.5 hrs) $331.19 +tax
Throttle Body $369.64 $182.50 (2.5 hrs) $552.14 +tax
Throttel Body Connector $18.95 $18.95

GRAND TOTAL -------> $902.28 +tax

I almost laughed in their face!!!! While they were giving me these quotes, my wandered to this forum where I had read someone who had to replace their MAF, and it only took 20 minutes. One and a half hours?!?!??!!!?? What a joke!!!! I was looking in the service manual, and am quite confident that I can install it myself. But at $221.69, I instinctively know that's way too high.

I don't refute that these parts may have to be replaced in that my Cat has 110,400 miles on it. Plus, I haven't replaced them since I had the car, so I'm sure they need to be swapped out. But not for $900 + !!!!!! That's crazy!!! Someone please advise on where I can get these parts at a reasonable price........Thx.
You can replace both of these components in an hour or so. My question is do you need both? especially the throttle body??? unless the bushings in the throttle shaft are bad it should be problem free unless its leaking coolent etc. ..... Do you have any codes relating to the MAF sensor. The connector they refer to, is it for the throttle position switch??
I dont see the correlation to your trans problem, it almost sounds from your description that the trans is in winter mode??? starting in third gear???.
Get some one to pull the engine codes, autozone can probebly do it. For the trans codes you may need some one with a Tech 2 or Snap on with the trans software. Spend a little more time diagnosing it before you start throwing parts at it. With a MAF and throttle body problem I would think you would have more driveability problems, your description sounds like it's a trans problem. Just my .02.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Frank:

Thanks. Getting those codes was on my list of things to do because I just can't see how in the world the MAF and throttle body relates to a malfunctioning tranny.

Anyhow, went to AutoZone this afternoon, and came up with the following codes in order of precedence:

P1890 ------> Tranny
P1280 ------> Fuel Air Metering
P0100 ------> Mass Air Flow Sensor (this code showed up twice)
P1700 ------> Tranny
P1120 ------> Fuel Air Metering
P1220 ------> Fuel Air Metering
P0450 ------> EVAP Emission
P1275 ------> Fuel Air Metering

I went ahead and go some throttle body/intake cleaner and blew it out. I followed up on the recommended maintenance post by Peetyz and park the car on an incline (my driveway) facing downward before spraying up in their to avoid seepage going back into the intake.

In the interim, I'm looking at replacing the MAF. GM Direct has it for $115.28 After that, I'll have AutoZone run another scan on it before taking up to the dealership hoping that they will honor the 3 yr/100,000 mi warranty on the tranny. Does any of these other codes like the Fuel Air Metering and EVAP Emission ring a bell? Or, could they be tied to a faulty MAF? Thanks.
 

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Frank:

Thanks. Getting those codes was on my list of things to do because I just can't see how in the world the MAF and throttle body relates to a malfunctioning tranny.

Anyhow, went to AutoZone this afternoon, and came up with the following codes in order of precedence:

P1890 ------> Tranny
P1280 ------> Fuel Air Metering
P0100 ------> Mass Air Flow Sensor (this code showed up twice)
P1700 ------> Tranny
P1120 ------> Fuel Air Metering
P1220 ------> Fuel Air Metering
P0450 ------> EVAP Emission
P1275 ------> Fuel Air Metering

I went ahead and go some throttle body/intake cleaner and blew it out. I followed up on the recommended maintenance post by Peetyz and park the car on an incline (my driveway) facing downward before spraying up in their to avoid seepage going back into the intake.

In the interim, I'm looking at replacing the MAF. GM Direct has it for $115.28 After that, I'll have AutoZone run another scan on it before taking up to the dealership hoping that they will honor the 3 yr/100,000 mi warranty on the tranny. Does any of these other codes like the Fuel Air Metering and EVAP Emission ring a bell? Or, could they be tied to a faulty MAF? Thanks.
The codes are related to the MAF sensor, are there any air leaks around the unit? a scan tool can measure the MAF voltage, w/o that your making a calculated guess. For 115 and the dealer confirming it spend the 115. The trans codes are tied to the trans control module, clear up the MAF codes first.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The codes are related to the MAF sensor, are there any air leaks around the unit? a scan tool can measure the MAF voltage, w/o that your making a calculated guess. For 115 and the dealer confirming it spend the 115. The trans codes are tied to the trans control module, clear up the MAF codes first.
OK, got the MAF sensor and the cabin air filter to boot. Replaced both. Timed myself on replacing the MAF and it took about 20-30 minutes to do mainly because I had a little resistance from one of the clamps (a far cry from the 1.5 hours the dealership would've charged me in labor alone).

Anyhow, went back up to AutoZone and had them scan me out. Good news...elminated 5 of the initial 9 error codes. My goal is to get results that only reflect the transmission in order to get the dealership honor their warranty w/o making reference to other problems. Bad news..........still have 4 error codes left. Good news.........2 of the 4 are related to the tranny. Bad news............the other 2 codes consists of the following:

P0450 -- EVAP Emission sensor :banghead:
P1280 -- Fuel Air Meter :annoyed:
P1700 -- Tranny :yup:
P1890 -- Tranny :yup:

Can anyone shed light on the EVAP Emission sensor and Fuel Air Meter issues? I would like to resolves these myself before my next showdown with the dealership. :duel: Thx.

MoeRome
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, I've checked, double checked, and went to about 4 different AutoZone shops and got scanned. I'm still getting the tranny codes, BUT I'm still getting....

P0450 -- EVAP Emission sensor
P1280 -- Fuel Air Meter

Per suggestions from this forum, and between trips to the different AutoZone shops, I reseated the fuel cap, and refitted the Mass Air Flow sensor. Still getting the same readings. The 'stealership' were still saying (according to their scan) that the throttle body is the culprit. They would so much as deal with the tranny codes until they "replaced" the throttle body.

So..........I scouted around until I found a new throttle body for $192.00. A far cry from the #369.00 + the dealership wanted. It came with the connector as well (the dealership wanted to sell me that as a separate item).
Even got the gaskets for a little under $6.00 a piece.

Found a place that works strictly on foreign cars and ran down my situation to them. They said they'd be more than happy to put it on for me (since I discovered in my recent move, I don't have all of my tools), but they said that I would have to get the car reprogrammed again!!! Oh yeah, they projected a 2 hour job which calculates to be $140.00 in labor.

Does this sound right in having to reprogram the ECM? Or, should I just go ahead and acquire the tools to do this job myself which I was intended to do in the first place?
 

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I actually just had the P0450 -- EVAP Emission sensor code about a couple weeks ago. I have been stressing out because my car had to go to emmisions, and i had already recieved the pink slip, which meant final warning, If i didnt go my liscense was getting suspended, and if i did go chances are i would fail. I took the car to a local garage and they looked at it for about 30 mins and said they couldnt find anything. He reset the OBD so there were no codes and recommended that i put 2 full tanks of gas in the car before i go to emmisions. I put about 1 through, went to emmisions, and passed! so im just hopin it wont show back up
 

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I'm wondering if the ECU was flashed properly. For all you know they could have flashed it for an L300 again.

Were there any transmission problems prior to this ECU being installed?
 

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moerome said:
Another stumbling block in the saga of getting a replacement ECM installed in my '99 Cat. Here goes.........

In our last episode, I had mentioned in a previous thread of this post that I found an ECM off a 00 [COLOR=blue! important][COLOR=blue! important]Saturn L300[/COLOR][/COLOR], same OEM part # for $60.00 vs. paying $450.00 for a brand new one from the [COLOR=blue! important][COLOR=blue! important]dealership[/COLOR][/COLOR]. Anyhow, the part came in yesterday evening.

This morning, I spoke with the service guy about the cost for a reflash of the used ECM. After conferring with the mechanic, he comes up with an interesting explanation:
1. The mechanic needs the VIN from the vehicle the ECM came from.
2. He would have to contact GM to get "security codes".
3. The "security codes" are needed to unlock the information of the vehicle on the used ECM.
4. Then, he would need to "remove" the old information.
5. Install the new firmware with my vehicle information.
6. Total cost of the process............$365.00!!!!!!!

I told them that's okay. I will be up to get my Cat and have it towed back home, and send my ECM off for an R & R for a third of the cost.

Has anyone heard of this process with ECMs?? It was sounding like a bunch of crock since I spoke with a tech at Cardone Industries who specialize in R $ R of ECMs. He told me it was pretty much a matter of overwriting the firmware and vehicle information with mine.
That's funny!!!

The crap that these idiots try to pull is ridiculous, and when you call the out on their BS, they're so used to it they never act surprised.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The ECM I ended up getting was from another '99 Cat. Albeit, I had to return it because it was bad and acquired another one. As far as the tranny is concern, it was replaced, as in brand new, not rebuilt back in Nov 2005. It has a 3 yr./100,000 mile warranty on it. There weren't any problems with it whatsoever during the ECM episode.

Unless I'm totally in left field, I don't see the correlation in having to reprogram the ECM just to replace the throttle body. Plus, the service manual doesn't even mention it. At most, you're suppose to partially drain the coolant before starting on this venture.
 

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I have a 2000 catera with 52k. My tranny does the same thing. The sport mode light on the dash starts flashing. Then you have shift it like a manual. It seems to do it less when it's cold outside. Anyone know the cause?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
UPDATE

And the hits just keep coming..........I went ahead and got the throttle body, connector, gaskets and Mass Air Flow sensor for about $420.00 total. A far cry from the $902.00 the dealership was going to charge w/ labor. Installed the MAF myself (less than 25 minutes), and went to another dealership to intall the throttle body and reprogram the ECM.

Went back to the dealership that initially installed the tranny back in Nov 2005. They called me back stating that according to their records, it was a remanufactured tranny and it only had a 12 month / 12,000 mi warranty!! What the flip.......!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!! After bickering with the service guy, I started making calls to the owner of the dealership. After unsuccessful attempts of getting a hold of him, it was onward up the chain of command to the Cadillac Home Office.

I opened up a case with the home office and was contacted by a rep in less than 24 hours. The rep told me that she didn't know why the dealership would tell me about a 12/12k warranty when most GM parts come with a 36 month / 50,000 mile warranty. She was going to contact the dealership and get back with me the next day.

THE NEXT DAY.............came home from class a little early when the phone rang. It was the service guy at the dealership. He said that they had "got it straightened out with GM", and the warranty on the tranny was indeed
36/50k, and they will take care of everything. About 15 minutes later, the GM rep calls letting me know that she got the dealership square away on fixing the tranny. Straightened out, or squared away......you be the judge.

5 DAYS LATER (DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY)..........................the dealership calls back stating that the mechanic keeps getting codes on the throttle body which he noticed was newly installed. He needs to straighten it out before he can address the transmission. I said look.......you guys need to address the transmission only, if there's a problem with the throttle body, I'll deal with the one who installed it. Unfortunately, the mechanic wouldn't touch it. I contacted the service manager at the dealership who installed the throttle body for me, and we both came to the conclusion that these folks here are pretty much salty for sicking the home office on them and they want to try and squeeze me for any $$$$$ they can. I arranged with the service manager to bring the car back in, have his mechanic take another look to ensure the throttle body, connectors, and wires are all seated correctly, and run a scan.

TODAY............Spoke with the service manager, and he said that all checked out with the throttle body. However, when they ran the scan, they came up with the following....
  • Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor (probably the P0450 AutoZone was getting)
  • Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor
  • Transmission Control Module
No throttle body codes whatsoever. He said that when I come to get the car tomorrow, he will have all the codes for me as ammo to get transmission done like it's supposed to be done. If not, there will be another call to the home office. Heck, as a matter of fact, I think I'll call the rep anyway when I get in the office tomorrow morning.

Let you know how it turns out.............
 

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theres a valve (i cant recall the name) twards the back of the engine blew out on my car and it cause the tranny to not shift out of third and had the sport trac light flash. 500 to have it replaced but just a quick tip threw autozones web site you can purchase a subscription to alldata (what many dealerships use to price parts and how much to charge in labor) and it can help keep you from getting screwed if they say somthing else these numbers are a standard so if they wont do it for that price someone else will.
 
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