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Cadillac Repair/2001 cadillac sls electrical problem.

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Question
The speedometer, tac, blinkers, cruise, and odometer have stopped working on my car. They will pop on every once in a while but mostly they are not working. Also, my service engin soon light is on when the things work but not when they don't. I'm not sure how to fix this or reset it. Do you have any ideas that will not cost an arm an a leg? Thank you.

Answer
Hello,

I have no ideas on cost without having any idea as to what the problems are. The check engine light is for emissions and means that the engine is not getting the optimum performance and mileage as designed. It is not a question of just resetting, because something (could be one of hundreds of different things-i.e. sensors, wiring, computer etc.), all depending on the code or codes derived from the computer. Pats stores commonly sell code testing equipment for low cost, but even if you determine the code and the general causation, it is not an exact science, and personally, I would take the car to a reputable repair sop (not Cadillac) where they can use more exacting diagnostic equipment, like the Tech II diagnostic scanner to pin point the exact cause of the check engine light being illuminated at times.

Now, before you do that however, the dash has to be functioning properly. This could be a bad instrument cluster with a cracked printed circuit board, or it could be as simple as a bad connection under the driver's dash at the fire wall bulk head. If this is a connection problem  at the bulk head, you remove the black plastic hush panel under the dash. Remove the 7/16 (11 mm) bolt and then the connector. Spray with electrical contact cleaner, then grease up with die electric grease, put it together and tighten the bolt and see if that fixes the dash.
I would highly recommend going to http://www.alldata,com and see if they have the factory service manual for your car. It's about $30.00 for a download that will last you for a year and you would be surprised as to all the things you can diagnose and repair yourself with the diagnostic flow charts. A factory manual is one of the best investments for a tool out there..

If you find that the instrument cluster is bad, there are places that can be found on the web that can send you a rebuilt cluster with a warranty for around $350.00.

Good luck and let me know what you end up with for a solution.

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Rob Painter

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Alarm system questions cannot be answered on this forum. These systems are not what I can answer. Without being physically at the vehicle and not knowing what kind of electrical service has been done on the vehicle, there is no possible way to give an accurate answer over the internet. My expertise is in Ignition/key based anti-theft systems. These issues include GM VATS (resistor chip in key blade) PASSLOCK (MRD)-ignition lock rotation based, no special ignition key and the PKIII Transponder (computer chip in key) systems. These systems are not alarm based and are integral with the starting of the engine. This is why I cannot diagnose alarm problems without physically looking at the vehicle: Alarm systems are a completely different annimal than ignition key/lock based anti-theft system. Many alarm questions come from vehicles 10 years old, and since older, many hands that had been involved over the years.I am an expert in all GM factory (ignition/key based)systems. Alarm system questions pose to many situations beyond my knowledge as to what has been done to the vehicle over the years. Some guy may have actually wired the stereo into the alarm system. Who knows? Over my past 30 years in vehicle wiring repair, I have seen unbelievable wiring disaters done by guys that consider themselves "mechanics." I have seen stereos and alarms intalled using surgical tape. I have seen modules burn up, un-fused circuits, wiring jambed between the doors and even lamp cord used for a starter kill. To answer alarm questions over the internet without examining the vehicle is like asking; What does it take to remove a dent?

Experience

Education/Credentials-ASE certified. 11 years with a GM dealer and 17 years with a repair facility dealing with only the repair of theft recovered vehicles.

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