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2003 CTS
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello:

I own a 2003 CTS. I recently went to get it inspected (I live in PA) and was told that it wouldn't pass inspection due to the fact that this rear plastic piece (not sure what it is called but it is a clear plastic "lens" like piece) that surrounds the license plate and covers the reverse light bulbs. Also, the LED in the red 3rd brake light is out and since it is an LED, you can't replace the bulb but must order the entire 3rd brake light assembly. These two parts apparently come together?

Anyway, cost for these two parts NEW is OVER $1300!!!! They said they found me a USED one for $475!!!

This seems to be insane pricing! I was wondering if anyone out there could give me some leads on where I might be able to find these two parts for less.

I would GREATLY APPRECIATE any help from the Caddy forum world.

I have attached a picture of the parts I need. This is from Google images and is not my actual car. Mine is in dark blue. Thanks again so much!
 

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2003 CTS
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
This is the exact part I need. It is the clear plastic piece that they are showing broken in this picture. Amy help finding this would be really appreciated. Does anyone know what this part is called or have a part number for it?

Thanks!


23396348_BG1.jpg
 

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06 CTS Sport/Luxury package
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9,803 Posts
Here are both of them together. For that price, you may want to snag it right now.

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=161731698493&globalID=EBAY-US

FYI, the third light isn't LED. It's actually neon for the first gen CTS.

Or you could go with the later 03-07 panel. Where it's color matched to the car.
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=151708642497&globalID=EBAY-US
It might be a different color than yours. But it could be painted.

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=231583896399&globalID=EBAY-US

I used the term "Cadillac CTS rear panel" in eBay.

KOT
 

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2003 CTS
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks King. I was hoping to just get the clear plastic lens that covers this part though. The rest of it I already have. I think it is bogus that they won't pass the car on this issue. They said that without the clear plastic cover, there are exposed light bulbs. I've driven the car like this for 3 years. First time someone wouldn't pass it. Maybe I should just go to another place for inspection after I fix the 3rd brake light issue.
 

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06 CTS Sport/Luxury package
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I see that there is just the plastic piece on auction. But it's way too much for it.
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=161725540937&globalID=EBAY-US

Besides, I can only imagine the pain it is to install it. I never seen one up close. But I am sure you'll have to do a lot of glue scraping and cleaning. So that you'll have a good have adhesion surface.

Imo, buying the one that is together is the better deal. Whether it's the crappy original like yours. Or the newer style that has the color match. They were built better and look better. They are a direct replacement. Many other members went this route.

Good luck

KOT
 

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2003 CTS
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Discussion Starter #6
WOW. $279 for just that scratched up plastic. I think I may go for the one you posted for $350 for both parts. Thanks!
 

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2004 CTS luxury package
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300 Posts
The third brake light will cost you less than 50 bucks to fix if you do this:

Get a heat gun.

Buy two feet of 12 volt red LED strip lighting.

Remove the third brake light assembly.

Using the heat gun, warm up the brake light assembly from the back side, being careful to only warm it up, and not melt it. Work your way from one end to the other, back and forth, as you warm it up. Use flat bladed screwdrivers to GENTLY pry the halves apart at the adhesive line, taking your time so as not to crack or break the plastic.

When you have managed to successfully open the light housing, you're sure to find that the neon power supply will be a rusty mess of junk. It may even be wet. The mode of failure of these is that the light housing develops leaks and water gets in. What's really needed is a drain hole in the bottom of the housing, and the power supply module should be silicone potted but GM didn't do that. Pull it out, and pull the neon tubes out, too.
You may wish to save the tubes in the event you ever decide to just replace the power supply module, but you may want to just go with LED lighting instead, which will be more reliable.

LED strip lighting usually can be cut to length about every 3 inches at a cut mark. Figure out how much will fit where the neon tubes used to fit, and cut it to that length.

Attach wires to the LED strip light at the provided location (Soldering skills required, usually) and splice the wires to the original connector harness, being careful to follow the original color code.

Seal up any exposed connections with RTV silicone. Place the LED strip inside the reflectors where the original neon tubes used to be.

Test it, make sure it works, and carefully reassemble the assembly, and apply a thin layer of silicone over the original seal.

Finally, carefully drill a small drain hole in the bottom of the assembly, where it would let the water out if more water were to accumulate, down in the receptacle for the old neon power supply.

Reassemble and know that you probably won't ever have to deal with this again.

Another option is to send me your lamp housing assembly and I'll do it for you for 100 bucks and send it back to you!

As for the finish panel, mine was in bad shape so I just bought the newer 2005-2007 style and had it painted to match my car, and it looks way better than the original. Not really cheap, though.
The newer style is pretty common on ebay. You might even find one in your car's color for a good price.

Your car appears to be black, so just snap this up and be done with the old style POS finish panel. Update your car to look newer.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/03-07-Cadillac-CTS-License-Lamp-Pocket-Trunk-Lid-Finish-Panel-Black-Good-OEM-/201358021897?hash=item2ee1df9509&vxp=mtr
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS , Sport Package
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111 Posts
You can try looking in your local scrapyard (Junk Yard). If you do find one don't take there first offer on the price haggle with them. Good luck. Remember a 03-07 part for the most part are compatible.
 
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