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Registered
04 CTSV 500rwhp, 96 FTS-V T56 previously, 95 T56 Impala SS
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433 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I'm BACK! And most of you probably have no idea who I am. :) I was around when Sal started this place up and at the time had a 96 Fleetwood that I had built a motor for, done all up, and... oh yeah, put a T56 in it. ;)

Anyways, enough history BS! I have a new car for my wife and have some questions. I'm sure they've all been covered, but I can't seem to get the correct combination of words for the search to return what I'm really after.

The car is a Diamond White 03 STS with just 87K on it. We scored it for less than half of NADA, so we did pretty good, I think. :) Did someone say "pics"?? *NO!* Too bad. Here's one. ;)

Yeah, I know... Looks just like all the rest of them...

Anyways, even with the low miles, it's not without its issues. The passenger's heated seat doesn't work. The driver's lumbar doesn't work. Common places to start checking?

On most starts the air compressor comes on LOUD for about 45-60 seconds. I don't see the car move when it's "airing up" and no lights are on the dash and it appears to be driving fine. Is there a "muffler" or something for it that could be missing? Common place for leaks in the lines?

How the hell do you make the radio RDS be the default display on the radio? All it wants to show is the station number and preset. It doesn't give the call letters of the station or the song or anything unless I hit the "MSG" button, and even then it only scrolls through once and then goes back to the station numbers. Every other GM car I've seen automatically scrolls the available text that's broadcast. *shrug*?

Do they have rain-sensing wipers? If not, my intermittent setting has a mind of its own!

What are some things I should definately do or check as a new owner?

Ok, I guess that's enough "stoopid newb" stuff to re-start with. ;)

TIA for the help!

Oh, and why can't I find the option to update and change my sig? It's not in the User CP that I can see...
 

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Registered
2003 Cadillac Seville STS 73k Miles, '90 Chevy 1500 Reg Cab
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725 Posts
Welcome back and great looking car...looks just like mine only mine is blue! I'll throw my input in the question I've got answers for

Heated seats: Common problem on these, most likely a resistance wire in the seat element has broken/burned. Two ways to fix....either replace the heater element entirely(GMPartsDirect.com) or attempt to solder a splice in. Unbolt the lower seat cushion, unhook the heater cable and pull out the seat. Pull the leather cover off the foam/plastic base and on the bottom side close to what would be the back of the seat you'll probably see a slight burn mark in the foam, dig around carefully with an exacto knife and you'll find the two broken ends of the heater element. If you're good with wiring you can cut them both back to where its clean and solder in a patch, or replace the whole element.....there is a pretty good DIY review of how to replace the heater element, think its in tech tips.

Lumbar: Not sure....I'd start with figuring out what fuse circuit its on and making sure thats good.

RDS: Haven't figured that out in my car either....most info I can ever get is if you push the MSG button it'll sometimes give the name of the program and the DJ...but thats about it....if there is a secret to getting RDS scrolled I'd love to know it.

You should have rain sensing wipers, the right stick has 5 postions....starting from the top down you've got Hi, Low, Int(Rain Sensing), Off, then the bottom one is the manual single sweep. The rotary selector is supposed to control the sensitivity of the sensor, setting essentially the time between strokes. Personally having just come gotten out of a 2 hr drive in light rain I'm not a fan of the rain sensing, would rather have just good ole fashioned intermittent.

Far as other stuff, find out when the last coolant change was, if greater than 2 years ago DO IT. Its the easiest coolant change I've ever done, or find a spring special at a dealer to do it. Make sure if you do it yourself you get the DexCool Coolant, not just the any color/any model stuff that'll be a couple bucks cheaper. Oil change interval is based on a algorithm, usually between 6k-10k mile interval, it'll take 7.5 qts of 5W-30, synthetic or conventional, which ever you pick. Spark plugs are 100k mile so you should be fine on those, no wires for that model so thats not a question. Fuel Pressure Regulator(FPR) is a common problem but an easy fix.....if you're getting less than 20 mpg look in either the Tech Tips of Northstar section about how to check the FPR to see if its bad.

Other things to check out would be to pull the spare tire cover, should be a sticker on the bottom side with a list of 3 character codes(RPO) codes.....plug them into the link below to get the factory options your car came with. RPO Look Up, then post the results back here. Also the sticker on the drivers door should have a letter code by the tire size...W, Y, H, Z etc....post back that as well, it'll let you know what tire's were originally spec'd, which will also tell what the speed limiter is at, if there is one.

And the last thing I would say is that if you're friends with a local GM dealer, take the VIN and have them run it through the VIS system so you can see what factory service its had so far.

I've had mine since November and love it, hopefully you'll enjoy yours as much as mine!
 

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Super Moderator
2010 DTS
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87,580 Posts
Are you sure it is the ELC compressor you are hearing and not the AIR pump? It runs for about 40 seconds after start up. Mine is very quiet, but I've heard others say that theirs are rather loud.

Not sure what to tell you about the radio. Go through the owners manual 2 or 3 more times. It's not easy to understand.

Yes, you have Rainsense. It's the little black box next to the rear view mirror. Again, the owners manual 2 or 3 times.

I don't think you can change your screen name if that's what you are asking. One of the admins may be able to do that for you.

EDIT: I was going to add the heated seat comment that I forgot, but see that Iowa beat me to it so I won't bother. He said it all pretty well.
 

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Registered
'08 DTS Lux III Blk Cherry, '89 Brougham d'Elegance Dip Blue
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4,847 Posts
If your car has the rain sensing the stalk will say "Auto Delay" and there will be the box behind the rear view mirror. Took me a min to figure out I had that option as well. Kinda felt stupid when I realized that the car wasn't doing what I wanted it to because it wasn't supposed to, lol.
 

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Registered
04 CTSV 500rwhp, 96 FTS-V T56 previously, 95 T56 Impala SS
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433 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips , guys! Looks like I've got a little bit of work to do. (In addition to my wagon and Impala!) I'm gonna have a busy spring! :eek:

Thanks again!
 
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