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STS and Escalade
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Discussion Starter #1
If someone could give me some input on this problem, it would be greatly appreciated. Here's my story:



Boy, did my husand and I just get RIPPED off!

We have a 2000 Cadillac STS with 110,000 miles on it. About six months ago, I started getting a computerized message saying "Service Stability System." At that time, the ABS and Traction Control light would come on in the dashboard panel. When I would turn the car off and turn it back on again, all messages and lights were back to normal.

As time went on, sometimes I would hear a funny noise when I would turn a corner or press on the brakes. This started happening more often; so we decided to take it in today.

About two months ago, the dreaded "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" light came on. I really doubt that these two problems are connected.

When we went to Silver Star Cadillac in Thousand Oaks, CA, this morning, I explained everything to the service guy, Sandy Silberstein. Actually, on the way over there, the "Service Stability System" message came on; so I just left it on so that he could see it for himself.

Well, folks, the car was also in dire need of a car wash, which is usually done when you take your car in to the Cadillac dealership. Anyway, Sandy called this afternoon and said that the problem was that we needed a new TRANSMISSION!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the symptoms of a bad transmission are a "slipping" of the transmission or the automatic transmission doesn't shift the gears properly. I've never heard of the steering wheel or the brakes making a funny noise being indicative of transmission problems.

Well, we told Sandy that we would just come pick up the car and think about it (by the way, the cost for the new transmission was quoted as around $3,100).

When we went to pick up the car, my husband told Sandy, "Thank you. Are we all set?" Sandy replied, "We'll have to charge you for an hour. That will be $110."

My husband said, "$110 for hooking it up to a computer?" Sandy just kind of shrugged.

Well, when they brought the car around, it was still in DIRE need of a car wash. And guess what? The dreaded "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" light was still on. They didn't even have the courtesy to reset the damn thing!!

Well, NO more Cadillacs for us. No wonder the American Auto industry is in such bad shape. :annoyed:

Thanks for letting me VENT. I need that...........

I'd really like to hear from anyone who has had any experience with this "Service Stability System" error message. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Paulette Gallimore
 

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'03 STS 122K, '01 STS 161K - 3/3/11
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671 Posts
You can read and reset your own codes.... read this.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-seville-cadillac-eldorado-forum/138258-how-pull-codes.html

Here is what they mean

http://myweb.accessus.net/~090/dtcobd2.html

I am guessing there is a tranny code being set and thats why he is saying you need a new tranny, and also why your "dreaded" check engine light is on (not sure when this became dreaded).

Service Suspension System could be anything... Run the codes and it will tell you exactly whats wrong.

Quite frankly, $110 an hour for any certified shop to look at the car isn't the worst deal, certainly not "ripped off", especially at a Cadillac Dealership. If you had searched around and found out how to run the codes before, you probably wouldnt have had to take it to a shop, atleast not until you know whats wrong.
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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792 Posts
I will apoligize in advance, but am in just the kind of mood to vent right back...and before you ask I am not part of the automotive industry in any way.

To me, people like you are a big part of the problem with the US automotive industry. You are overly demanding and don't give a damn about maintenance and then complain about the cost when little problems become big problems.

If your car is in dire need of a wash, then wash it yourself! Don't expect such from a dealer when you just ask them to "Tell me what's wrong."

To many people here, the Seville STS is one of the most simply beautiful cars ever made. Take a filthy--but beautiful when clean--car to any shop and they will suspect that you really don't care much about the car.

While simply beautiful at the skin, the Seville STS is also one of the most complicated and expensive passenger cars ever produced. If you cannot afford to maintain, then buy new and trade when the factory warranty expires and accept the depreciation.

If you regularly see a warning--let alone MULTIPLE warnings--take the car for service or attempt to repair yourself. Don't wait for six months!!!

While I must admit that the problems you mention would not [seem] to indicate a transmission problem, such could be the root cause as again, this is an extremely complicated vehicle with systems that attempt to compensate for problems in other systems. Fail to address the root cause and other things fail and repair bills become very high very rapidly.

You do not seen to understand the purpose of the "dreaded" Service Engine Soon light. In nearly all cases that light indicates problem(s) that will cause emission (pollution) to exceed limits allowed when it was manufactured.

Get off your high "Cadillac" horse, come down to earth and realize that YOU--not the manufacturer or the service provider--are the real problem because you simply don't care about your vehicle!!!
 

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Super Moderator
2010 DTS
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Does not sound like a trans to me. Follow STSS's advice and pull the codes. Even if the dealer cleared them, the light would come back on as soon as the fault was detected again anyway. An hours labor is pretty standard to run the diagnostics. It is usually deducted if the work is authorized. Otherwise people bring the car in and basically say tell me what to fix. The mechanic doing the diagnostic isn't working for free. I fail to see a "rip off".
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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If the Service Engine Soon light is always on, I can bet you they were saying you needed a TCC Solenoid replacement (PCM P0741). Now that wouldn't mean you need a brand new transmission, but it would still be an expensive repair ($2000 +/- a little bit).

Service Stability System could be anything really, from a steering wheel position sensor, to a wheel bearing, to the ignition switch shoring out. Pull your codes and and report back to us.
 

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STS and Escalade
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Discussion Starter #6
Well, thank you so much, SwampeastMike, for the input. I hope that you feel better now.............

We've been loyal Cadillac owners for 15 years -- $200,000 worth.

I took a car to the dealership today for two separate problems: One, the service engine soon light was on; and, two, the "service stability system" error message.

The vehicle hadn't been washed for a month, and it could have used a wash, which used to be normal protocal when you brought your car in.

With the "service stability system," I was having turning and breaking problems at times, not always.

When they hooked the car up to the computer for the "service engine soon" light, it mentioned a problem with the air flow with the tranny being involved. They just assumed that it need a new transmission.

They gave us back the car that needed a wash with the "service engine soon" light still on, trying to convince us that the braking and turning problems were "transmission" related.

The least they could have done was to reset the "service engine soon" light and written down the code for the $110 bucks; but we didn't even get that.

We got back exactly what we dropped off, minus the $110 bucks.

Had I taken the car in without the "service engine soon" light being on, do you think that they would have told me that my transmission needed to be replaced? I think not -- "replace brakes," "replace TCC Solenoid," replace "steering wheel position sensor," but not a new transmission.

The whole point of this post is "customer service," and we didn't get that today.

We're going to take the car in to an independent transmission shop to see what they say.

When I get the "exact" code(s) back for the "service engine soon" light," I will post that as well.

In a roundabout way, I think that STSS was genuine in trying to help me. I feel that Ranger and ryannel2003 were VERY genuine and VERY helpful as well.

SwampeastMike wanted to vent, and I can appreciate that. BTW, SwampeasMike, don't try to get ahold of me for the next couple of hours. I will be busy WASHING my car............ I just hope that I can back it out of the driveway without the "service stability system" light coming on.

Later,
4t9rs
 

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1997 Cadillac STS (BOSE w/AUX In, Massage Seats, URPAS, "Z")
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6,405 Posts
As everybody here mentioned, your car is already equipped with a code reader. No need to send the car to some shop so they hook up some computer to tell you what’s wrong. You can read the codes yourself. Please click on THIS link and follow the instructions. Then once you have the codes on a piece of paper, either find what they mean HERE or post the codes for us and we can help you gladly. No need to bash Cadillac and US industry for the fact that nobody washed the car, I never ever in my life had somebody washing the car for me. I have to admit my blood boiled too reading the “US industry comment”, we are all here car lovers, Cadillac in particular and I believe we have a certain “autochthon car industry vibrant cord”.
So please follow the instructions, you will be delighted to find out what a piece of engineering your car is and you had no idea. Then let us know the codes and we can point you (hopefully) to the right direction. And understand that sometimes cars (no matter the make) do break and please try to act on the first signs, do not ignore the little light because later can get more expensive.
 

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'03 STS 122K, '01 STS 161K - 3/3/11
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First, I was trying to help, but my tongue is still bleeding from biting it. I personally would have said everything swampeastMike said and then some. If I hadnt been so bored last night, I woudlnt have even responded to your post, I personally cannot stand when people come to a forum just to complain. Come to the forum before you do anything and we might be able to help you, instead we just get b*tched at even though we had no chance to help. From your last post though it doesnt look like you dont want to help yourself at all (you said you are still going to take it to a tranny shop to check the codes, even though I explained you can do it all yourself, very quick and easy)

Also, I would not let a dealer wash my STS.... Hand wash only!!!! (My hand)

Also, if you have an on-going problem that is causing the check engine light (like maybe a bad O2 sensor, bad Crankshaft Position Sensor, etc.), the light will come back on immediately when the car is started after clearing the codes. There is likely nothing the dealer could have done to make you happy short of fixing the problem.
 

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2010 DTS
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(you said you are still going to take it to a tranny shop to check the codes, even though I explained you can do it all yourself, very quick and easy)
You forgot FREE.

As for the wash, I suspect if it had been serviced, it would have been washed. Follow the advice given above. Pull the codes and let us know what you have.
 

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2001 Eldorado
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11 Posts
As STSS said above, resetting the "service engine soon" light would do no good, if the underlying problem was not fixed. It would just come back on. It isn't something that comes on every so many miles....it comes on when ther is a problem. As for the $110/hr, that's pretty normal here around Chicago....you honestly didn't get screwed over. Maybe you would have, if you let them change the tranny, but heck, they want over $100 around here, just to program a key fob.
 

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2000 STS
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This is what I think you have an STS that is 9 years old and has been put through the ringer. I have the same car I have replaced the head gasket, the motor mount, the whole supension the lower crank case, Catalytic converter, the torque converter, and a solenoid in the transmission, and coolant system. The only thing left is my power steering, paint job which she does not need because I have an excellent detailer, I have 20' already on her so do not need rims. need to do a face lift on the audio system ( Even tho the system is fine just the way it is!!!! ) I just want a newer version of the navagation system with real time traffic and Ipod hookup and bluetooth controls to my phone. My car was 52,000 dollars when she was new. to me my car is still worth that and more. This is my first Cadillac I have ever owned I have restored a 2000 STS back to new and never been happier!!! (by the way I spent over 12,000 so far in restoring her back to new not including what I paid for her) and that is nothing because if you went out and bought a new car and spent say 25,000 for something nice like a 300M now you just paid 25,000 plus any repairs that come along the way and you would still not even have the good 300. these cars "Cadillacs" have 300 horsepower, power everything plus my F**king seat messages my back and a** while I am driving down the road who could ask for anything more than that :).

These cars need to be taken car of and it is people like YOU that really piss me off because you cry because you got charged 110 for running a test on your car well guess what it is a Cadillac not only a Cadillac but a Cadillac STS and you took it to the dealer to have it looked at when you could of simply typed in google and took the time to research it yourself. and if you do not believe me about my car look up "blew my motor at a 160,000 :)" and you can see for yourself that i have done the repairs of what I said above.

I am going to stop now before I get in trouble with the admins that run this site for ripping you a new a**Hole Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I have never been so mad. Man up and fix your car or better yet sell it to someone who appreciates her more than you do. That car does not deserver you at ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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Well, thank you so much, SwampeastMike, for the input. I hope that you feel better now.............
No I don't "feel better". Actually it made me a bit sick to say such things and it took me this long to read the posts that came after. Thankfully it seems that all understood just why I vented back at you. Otherwise, I would have been asked to leave.

I do not claim to be any form of auto guru, but I have spent many pleasant hours digging through thousands of poorly organized pages to attempt to assist others with [mainly electrical] problems and from the personal feedback I've received, such has certainly helped.

Nearly all of us use hyperbole (exaggeration for intended effect), but I suspect that your reply to me is well beyond...

Were you the incredibly loyal and reasonably spending customer you implied, the dealer may well have HAND WASHED your beautiful car and would never have considered presenting a bill for simple diagnosis because they KNEW YOU WOULD HAVE THEM MAKE PROPER AND COMPLETE REPAIR!!!!!

The owner of the shop I use (we don't do towing) brought a flatbed to my home for my "baby" when it was overheating and I was too stupid to find the problem. He has seen and reasonably profited from a beautiful but OBVIOUSLY cared about until the second 18-year-old owner $2,000 thing ready for the scrap heap turn into a "new" car that my Cadillac owning family now envies.

I wash AFTER service as the shop has a gravel parking lot. Just like I cannot hire a housekeeper unless I've ensured that the house is particularly clean, I cannot take a dirty car for service...

Ma'am, I will again say that you are the most likely source of the problem and for that I will not apologize.
 

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1994 Seville SLS
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Hmmm i think you guys scared him away. Why do people have to be so condescending and arrogant when you guys are trying to help him? And why would someone drive around with the check engine light on for 6 months without knowing the problem? That's just plain crazy :cookoo:
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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And why would someone drive around with the check engine light on for 6 months without knowing the problem? That's just plain crazy :cookoo:
I refuse to believe that my replies were either condescending or arrogant--just brutally honest replies to a "plain crazy".
 

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1994 Seville SLS
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I didnt mean for that to be directed towards you i was talking about 4t9ers
Well, thank you so much, SwampeastMike, for the input. I hope that you feel better now.............
SwampeastMike wanted to vent, and I can appreciate that. BTW, SwampeasMike, don't try to get ahold of me for the next couple of hours. I will be busy WASHING my car............ I just hope that I can back it out of the driveway without the "service stability system" light coming on.
this seems kind of sarcastic to me.
 

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Cadillac Technician
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The stability light is most likely related to the steering wheel position sensor. It will be an expensive repair too but not nearly the $3,000 you were quoted on the transmission.
Indeed the check engine light (MIL) could be a P0741, that is common on that type of car and it is costly to repair because of the location of the parts required to fix it.

I might argue a few points but I'll try to be a little more PC than some of the other posters here.

If you have an expectation of your service visit be sure to let your advisor know. If whoever picked up the car had said to the advisor "Oh, I thought you would wash it for me" then they might have apologized and done it.
It is not standard operating procedure for cars to be washed at every dealer, although some of us do that for our customers.
There is a lot more to diagnosing a car than "hooking it to the computer". This myth has perpetuated over the years to something so unrealistic it is unbelieveable. Believe it or not us technicians still have to have more than 3 firing neurons to interpret what we see on the scan tool. Codes are helpful but they point us in the right direction so we can do some testing and isolate the cause, identify what you need to fix the car, and get you an estimate. That takes time. I am not sure if you know how the flat rate system works but if we don't sell hours we don't get paid. While I would like to be able to check every car for free and then have you tell me that you don't want any work done, that doesn't pay my bills. I try to be more fair than most (if not any) guys I know in the business when it comes to this and often I'll ask the advisors to give you credit on the repairs for checkout time from a previous visit.
I wouldn't expect any of you to work for free and frankly I don't really appreciate the public's expectation that I do it.

I would tell you this, it seems that you went into the shop with a semi-unrealistic expectation and your advisor let it happen. He should have explained to you up front that there would be a charge for diagnosis and if you want to be nasty about it you can call BAR and complain. In CA they have to be within a certain amount of the original estimate or BAR will climb up their butts and pitch a tent. If they didn't present you with that information before hand they don't have a leg to stand on.

As far as resetting the light, any one of a hundred people on here can tell you how to retrieve the codes and clear them with the buttons on the dash. Yes they could have done it but would you be just as frustrated when the light came on as you drove home? You opted not to fix the problem so they left a light on that would likely be back in short order. It can also help them if you decide to return for the repair. If they clear the code and it DOESN'T reset and you take it back they won't have anything to go on except the history and what if the first guy made a mistake?

Now I am not trying to beat you up, you honestly had a bad service experience. It could have gone a lot better if you had a better service advisor who explained all these things up front or if someone had asked him the right questions. Granted I don't think it is fair to expect you to know what to ask, you just want your car fixed. However, please don't blame the whole corporation for your one bad experience. This short sighted knee jerk reaction is what is killing the US automotive business. There are a lot of hard working honest people that don't deserve to be punished for the mistakes of one service advisor.

A 9 year old car with over 100k on the clock is going to break and it is going to cost money to fix it.
Find a good shop that will communicate properly with you and try to be a bit understanding.
The guys on the forum here are great at giving advice and I try to help when I can.
I have heard of some complaints in Thousand Oaks before so if nothing else you can ask these guys about another good dealer in the area and don't be shy about asking questions.
I certainly hope your next experience is better than this one was. Please don't read this with any malice, I am just trying to say some things that I think it will be helpful for you to know.
I am not trying to be rude in any way. Sometimes it is easy to read something that isn't there.

Best of luck on fixing your car, those are indeed nice vehicles.
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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...However, please don't blame the whole corporation for your one bad experience. This short sighted knee jerk reaction is what is killing the US automotive business. There are a lot of hard working honest people that don't deserve to be punished...
Thank you sir for a voice that I suspect is from a fine and reasonable man intimately tied to the US automotive industry who, unfortunately is now likely scared for his own survival in a trade that he truly enjoys.

That is exactly why I chose to be brutally honest instead of politically correct.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Lindsay Cadillac and ewill3rd will be around for one hell of a long time. Count on it.
 

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I am scared for the industry but not necessarily for my job.
Frankly I think if it came down to it me and Mr. Lindsay would be waiting here to service as many Cadillacs as we can if it were just the two of us.

I do love my job and I love working for the Lindsay organization. We take care of our customers and they take care of us and I hope we can do so for a long time to come. I appreciate the support of members including sub who say great things about us and a lot of members that bring their cars to us for service.

I do wish more places knew how to run a real business that focuses on customer service without being silly, but you can't control other people.

I appreciate brutally honest as long as it is polite ;)
 
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