Cadillac Repair/dash cluster

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Question
Rob.
I changed the dash cluster on my 1995 cad seville sts.The replacment was out of an 96 eldo.After I changed it I got an airbag light(service airbag system)that I did not have befor the change.The airbag light did not come on right away, maybe two days,and I had thrown the old cluster away.Noone could get the light to go off.I was told that I should have gotten the cluster out of a like car and same year. Idid that with no resolve.Now I am being told that without the old cluster it can't be fixed.Something about flashing the old one for info to be put on the replacement.My car wont pass inspection due this month with the airbag light on.Please help me if you can.
PS: the car has 278,000 miles ,run great,looks new, I cant afford another car I am retired and don;t have the funds for a huge repair bill either.
Thank you Steve.

Answer
Hi,

Here is your problem. Very few know anything about such components in these old cars, even the dealer. No one keeps factory service manuals for vehicles this old. I threw mine out 10 years ago for that year.
Instead of listening to these inexperienced goofs that consider themselves technicians, which many should not be allowed to lay a wrench on a vehicle, take the bull by the horns and fix it yourself. Right now, unless you have one, (factory service manual) you are working totally in the blind! You can most likely find one on Ebay or Craigs for $100 or less.
The manual has diagnostic flow charts that will walk you through your problem step by step. That is how we fixed vehicles in the old days before the new breed of parts changers.
I do not believe the vehicle is unfixable. You could have something as simple as a disconnected ground wire, but you will not know without the manual. Besides, it will help you with future problems.
You did not say as to why you changed the cluster in the first place.
Good luck and let me know what you found.

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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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