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2016 ELR
2016 ELR
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398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well my car is at a store parking lot with the system disabled :mad: . Really sucks, not that great of an area, nothing I can do. It's actually parked outside the locksmith shop, who tried to get me another FOB going, but programming messed up the system.

I ordered a new FOB and it looks like the exact replacement. He took my old one and the new one, stuck it in the key dealie in the center glovebox and started his process. These guys have this major expensive looking programming device that sits ontop of the steering wheel while another gizmo is plugged into the OBD port. He looked like he knew what he was doing.

First of all, the system has a 12 minute lockout so you can't do anything for 12 minutes. I'm not sure if that means the processing takes that long or the lockout is so that no one can just get in and program a key in a jiffy and take off - 12 minutes forcing a time delay so one (you) could get their shotgun if someone was stealing the car.

Anyway, he got all done and now neither key will get the car to start. Everything works, except you can't get it into gear and the steering is locked too. The car with a lock on it symbol is now on the top left of the dash screen. He tried and tried, called everyone he knew and everyone said it should have worked but it didn't. We even tried removing the battery neg terminal and resetting things to no avail.

Of course after he gave up, said he was really sorry and has to leave for the entire weekend out of town, now I'm kinda screwed until Monday. He did offer to repay us if we have it towed, but I thought I would try the collective genius of the ELR forum first..... geniuses???

I also of course Googled ELR theft deterrent system and nothing comes up. Plenty of threads about how to reset tons of other Cadillacs, but not the ELR. He claims to have done many Cadillacs and this is the very first car he says he's ever had a problem with...

Okay I'll wait to see if anyone has any wisdom first. I'm hoping the Cadillac service dept is open tomorrow morning (Sat) in case no luck. Thanks
 

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Catera 2000 & Catera 2001
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483 Posts
I never heard story, how someone somehow programmed immobilizer key to the car with out using tools successfully. If that was that easy it would be useless system. Sorry you have to deal with it, as much as I hate dealers, for this type of things I probably gonna use them over locksmiths. Even tho there is one situation when dealer ruined catera's keys and won't be able to do anything, that's how useless dealers are sometimes. I would find maybe another locksmith but tell them entire story so they don't waste your not their time, or stealer. They might be open on tomorrow half day.

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2011 CTS4 Coupe, 2014 ELR, 2018 XT5 AWD
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Sorry but it looks like there is no way to reprogram without a scan tool. A dealer is probably your best option at this point. FYI, here is the info from the service manual.
UPDATE!
Maybe there is hope.
Here are the fob programming procedures, including one that needs no scan tool.
 

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Catera 2000 & Catera 2001
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483 Posts
Do you have a chance to read codes? It might give you some idea what's wrong with it, also I got elr book so I can see code's definition. According to it, bcm has built in transmitter for theft system, so it receives all signals from the remote. So I guess bcm either deleted your original key while wasn't be able to program new one, or something like that. Does your dash turns on at all, besides intro screen and that locked car symbol?

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2016 ELR
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When I first got the car, I added a 3rd fob myself. Purchased on ebay because I'm cheap, and added to the car per the procedure detailed in the owners manual. Need all the keys together, flip the physical key slot in the trunk, working key in holder, follow prompts, etc. Worked fine - no dealer / locksmith / or electronic tools needed. Never bothered getting the physical key cut, because I only used the remote features of the third fob to remote start the car.

Although it is a bit easier to add a fob if you have one that works, as long as your car isn't from Canada, you can add them if they all aren't working - just a bit more involved procedure. The owner's manual details this procedure, which should work unless the locksmith somehow changed the programming in the car.

Should be able to do this yoursef. Go with the procedure detailed on page 34 of the 2016 ELR owners manual. Good luck!
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Catera 2000 & Catera 2001
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When I first got the car, I added a 3rd fob myself. Purchased on ebay because I'm cheap, and added to the car per the procedure detailed in the owners manual. Need all the keys together, flip the physical key slot in the trunk, working key in holder, follow prompts, etc. Worked fine - no dealer / locksmith / or electronic tools needed. Never bothered getting the physical key cut, because I only used the remote features of the third fob to remote start the car.

Although it is a bit easier to add a fob if you have one that works, as long as your car isn't from Canada, you can add them if they all aren't working - just a bit more involved procedure. The owner's manual details this procedure, which should work unless the locksmith somehow changed the programming in the car.

Should be able to do this yoursef. Go with the procedure detailed on page 34 of the 2016 ELR owners manual. Good luck!
View attachment 614160
Finally they do things easier for owners sometimes

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2016 ELR blk on blk w/ the perf. package 2016 gmc 2500hd denali w/ plow package
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50 Posts
When I first got the car, I added a 3rd fob myself. Purchased on ebay because I'm cheap, and added to the car per the procedure detailed in the owners manual. Need all the keys together, flip the physical key slot in the trunk, working key in holder, follow prompts, etc. Worked fine - no dealer / locksmith / or electronic tools needed. Never bothered getting the physical key cut, because I only used the remote features of the third fob to remote start the car.

Although it is a bit easier to add a fob if you have one that works, as long as your car isn't from Canada, you can add them if they all aren't working - just a bit more involved procedure. The owner's manual details this procedure, which should work unless the locksmith somehow changed the programming in the car.

Should be able to do this yoursef. Go with the procedure detailed on page 34 of the 2016 ELR owners manual. Good luck!
View attachment 614160
I did the exact same thing.no problem either,also have 3 fob's too
 

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2014 ELR
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If you unhook the 12 volt battery for a few seconds it resets the system. Had to do this when I tried to program a third fob and it did exactly what yours is doing. It would unlock the doors but none of my fobs would start the car.
 

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2016 ELR
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If you unhook the 12 volt battery for a few seconds it resets the system. Had to do this when I tried to program a third fob and it did exactly what yours is doing. It would unlock the doors but none of my fobs would start the car.
That didn't seem to be a solution here.. According to the OP in the original post...

We even tried removing the battery neg terminal and resetting things to no avail.
 

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I purchased a new CTS in 2014 and the dealer lost the second FOB. They ordered on and I took it in on a Friday to have it programmed. The same thing happened the tech botched the programing and they had to wait for Cadillac (I am assuming Detroit) to access the car on Monday. The cars was ready by noon on Monday. Since they use the same FOB my guess is you will need the help of Cadillac.
 

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2016 ELR
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Since they use the same FOB my guess is you will need the help of Cadillac.
A 2014 CTS and 2016 ELR definitely do not use the same fob. They may look the same, but there are many internal differences as the model years advance.

I will say though that I also had a CTS before my ELR, and added a 3rd fob to it the same method as detailed in the respective owner's manuals - just different fob part numbers.
 

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2016 ELR
2016 ELR
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398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
An update here - first of all I didn't know that I had any replies to this, I usually get email alerts and for some reason got NONE regarding my thread - ugh.

Anyway here's what happened: I tried everything that day, and also found out that the manual is wrong where it says to reprogram keys turn physical key out of key FOB "counterclockwise" 5 times to enter programming mode. You can't because there's not enough room to do that due the key design. You can only turn it clockwise. I tried that, and it did work as far as "reprogramming mode". But to no avail.


After the tech left for the weekend with his tail between his legs, I tried everything, battery disconnect, swearing at it, nothing would help. After trying the reprogramming function, THEN, the car went totally dead as far as the dashboard information - nothin'. The car would lock and the windows would work, but that's it. Dead as Elvis. That continued for at least 24 hours thru the weekend. I kept thinking perhaps there's a time lock or something.

On Saturday late afternoon I got a tow truck driver out there to tow it. He seemed like he had an IQ of about 80. He was just going to back up to it (a front wheel drive car :mad: ) and just pull that sucker onto his bed even when the wheels, steering and tranny are locked :oops:🤯..... from the rear!!!! Of course I told him you can't do that!!!! No dollies no nothin just plain brute (moron) force.

So then he was going to pull it from the front and just pull the car onto his skid things he had. But I freaked out that he was going to brute force it onto the skids then onto the truck on dry pavement. So I told him to get lost.

I came back Monday 3 days later and now when I tried to start the car, the dashboard came alive so there is some sort of time lock of some sorts. Theft deterrent mode still on.The new smarter tow truck driver said he'd have to pull it onto his bed too, but the pavement was now wet, and he hammered the skids under the tires. he had no problem getting the car up on his much longer and lower bed (much better for low front ends like the ELR). The locksmith showed up for work right then and didn't miss a beat. He offered to pay for the tow, and he did. I am still out the $300 FOB though...

Off it went to Cadillac. 3 days later they got to it. Had to wipe out all the data and start fresh. So all in all, it cost $411 to reprogram the car and get my keys and new key working, plus the $300 I paid for the FOB for a total of $711 big ones.

They said the system was accessed incorrectly and made it lock down. The locksmith had some fancy stuff and said he's done many a car and many cadillacs. But whatever, it's just my luck. Glad to have my heavenly ELR back, boy did I hate driving gas cars for a week -sucks.

No, I didn't go back to the locksmith and demand he do something about him messing up my car. It just in one of those situations that's bad for all involved. I learned a lesson and he made nothing (probably went minus) on the FOB. So I'm just going to chalk it up to bad luck and an education is expensive 🥺 . Fortunately my car parked in a Fred Meyer parking lot for 3 nights didn't get messed with so I am thankful for that.....
 

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2016 ELR
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Glad you got things sorted. For the future, FYI - new ELR smartkey fobs can be had on ebay for typically $40-$100. Just learn it into the vehicle yourself as per the manual. That is, if you want to save $650, towing, time, and stress. :) It's really pretty easy - did it on my prior CTS and ELR. At least for the 2016, the GM part number is 23434879. Somebody is even selling 10 of them - for about the price you paid for one!
 

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I followed the instructions to the letter.
After turning the key 5 times in 10 seconds: nothing.
I disconnected the battery.
Same thing.
It. Can’t be the new fob because it won’t even go into programming mode.
Does anyone know of a YouTube video specifically for the elr?
 

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2016 ELR
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I followed the instructions to the letter.
After turning the key 5 times in 10 seconds: nothing.
I disconnected the battery.
Same thing.
It. Can’t be the new fob because it won’t even go into programming mode.
Does anyone know of a YouTube video specifically for the elr?
I believe it was mentioned you have to turn the key the opposite direction than is stated in the manual. I think I just stumbled accross that because it wouldn't turn well the way that was described. But yes - it should say you are in programming mode if successful. Had no problem programming my 3rd fob. Everything is time sensitive, and must be done exactly as stated though.
 
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