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First Cadillac... problem car? SES light comes on a week after purchase...


c-j-k

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Hello!

I just moved to the US from Europe (for the next six months) and needed a car that will run ok for this time without major repairs... My brother then persuaded me to buy a 1995 Cadillac Seville SLS (with Northstar 4.6 engine) with 183k authentic miles (clean carfax)...

On the test drive everything seemed to be ok, but a week later the SES light went on :( I had no clue what to do, so I just searched the internet and found this Cadillac forum... So far thanks to the forum I found out how to see the error codes, but I have no real clue what they mean and how serious my car's problems are...

I hope someone here can help me out!

The error codes are the following:

current are A047 and

P039 (this one is the one thats current, when the SES goes on)

history: P052

P071

P109

S036

S044

then it says NO IPC

NO SIR

NO TCS

The car is overall in a fair to good condition (good color, but some dings and dents nothing serious on the body as far I can see), has new tires and the brake discs and pads are fine... it runs smooth and sounds good...

We paid around $3000 was the price ok? The car was driven around one year in Missouri and the rest of its life in Arizona... Did we buy a lemon and got ripped off?

I would be glad if someone can help me out and thanks a lot for every answer...

Chris

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Welcome to Caddyinfo; glad you found the place.

P052 (E052) ....................................................... PCM Memory Reset

This is not a code to be concerned with, as it often indicates that the battery has been disconnected for some reason.

A047 ........................................................ Low Refrigerant Charge

The air conditioning has low refrigerant, and the a/c compressor likely will not run

in order to protect the compressor. The system has a leak, and needs repair. It is possible that the leak is so slow that simply recharging will help, but more likely that the A/C needs service and repair.

P071 (E071) ................................................ Intermittent MAP Signal

The Manifold absolute pressure sensor is a part of the fuel injection. This would be a simple and not too expensive fix. The MAP is easy to get to, easy to replace, and not too expensive.

P109 (E109) ....... Keep Alive Memory (KAM) Reset/PCM has lost primary battery power

S036 ...................... Electronic Level Control Compressor Short to Ground/Open

Your car uses an air compressor system to ensure that the rear stays level even if loaded with luggage. The compressor system requires repair either to the wiring or the compressor or the tubing connections.

S044 ..................................................... Lift or Dive Signal Fault

This is an indication that one of the body dynamic sensors needs attention.

The trade on buying a high mile car is that it costs a lot less -- your car probably cost over $45K new, and you bought it for $3K -- but it requires more care, repair, and maintenance. If you address each item that is worthwhile, you can keep your Cadillac running and in good repair for as long as you care to for much less per month than the cost of a new car payment.

Congratulations on your purchase, and I hope this helps.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Hello!

My brother then persuaded me to buy a 1995 Cadillac Seville SLS (with Northstar 4.6 engine) with 183k authentic miles (clean carfax)...

On the test drive everything seemed to be ok, but a week later the SES light went on :( ......................................

Did we buy a lemon and got ripped off?

I would be glad if someone can help me out and thanks a lot for every answer...

Chris

First off welcome to the board! It is an invaluable resource when trying to diagnose problems, and can be quite comical at times too..

Now to your SLS, first you need to realize that it's 12 years old and has 183,000 miles!!! LOL....Personally I would expect some sort of mechanical trouble from any used car that has over 150,000. Did you buy a lemon? Did you buy a problem car? Nope...you just bought a "used" car with high mileage!

At any rate your problems don't seem to be critical, even the P039- Torque Converter Clutch (TCC)/Viscous Converter Clutch Engagement (VCC) Problem is not really a big deal....

The TCC/VCC are basically one in the same. The TCC locks the torque converter to the engine at 41 mph so as to eliminate slippage, thereby improving fuel mileage. It uses a viscous silcone fluid to do it, hence VCC. I don't know enough about it to expalin it in any further detail though our old Guru once did, but I am not sure that post still exists. It is likely the TCC solenoid that is not engaging. It is an expensive fix as the trans has to be removed or at least lowered to get at the side cover. It will not leave you stranded. Worst case is that there will be some minor slippage (like early automatics had before TCCs) and your fuel milage will suffer by about one MPG as your RPM will be 100 - 200 higher at any given speed.

As for your other codes..

A047 ........................................................ Low Refrigerant Charge

P052 (E052) ....................................................... PCM Memory Reset

P071 (E071) ................................................ Intermittent MAP Signal

P109 (E109) ....... Keep Alive Memory (KAM) Reset/PCM has lost primary battery power

S036 ...................... Electronic Level Control Compressor Short to Ground/Open

S044 ..................................................... Lift or Dive Signal Fault

P052 and p109 are common codes, they typically are set when the battery is disconnected. P071 may indicate that your MAP sensor is on it's way out (not hard to replace). A047 is pretty self explanatory: you should probably get the A/C system recharged. All "S" codes have to do with suspension-- SO36 means there is an issue with the rear air compressor that inflates the rear shocks...Not sure what S044 means, as my FSM (factory service manual) is out in the car, and it's about -4* outside right now!!

Here is a great site with all of the OBI-I trouble codes:

OBD-I trouble codes

Once again welcome aboard, and don't hesitate to post!

(*I just knew someone would beat me too it...Bruce and his typing skills... :D)

A.J.

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Hey,

thanks for your answers! :) The problem was I just moved over from Europe and needed a car really badly since I just had a rental car for two weeks... and my funds are quite limited... :/

After almost 10 days observing the ads in the newspaper and on the internet I just decided that a V8 car with a high mileage is better than a V6 oder 4 cylinder car with 150k to 200k miles...

The problem with Arizona cars is they almost all look nice from the outside, but have many miles on them or the miles are not authentic if you check on carfax...

So what do you think is there a chance, that I can drive my cadillac for the next six months without major repairs if I do the normal regular maintainance (like refilling oil and trans fluid, cooling fluid and A/C fluid (hopefully the A/C does not leak too badly :( but I have this familiy bad luck thing :'( ^^ )?!

Thanks again for you answers and I will be awaiting gladly your advise. :)

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So what do you think is there a chance, that I can drive my cadillac for the next six months without major repairs if I do the normal regular maintainance (like refilling oil and trans fluid, cooling fluid and A/C fluid (hopefully the A/C does not leak too badly

I don't see why not.

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Hey,

thanks for your answers! :) The problem was I just moved over from Europe and needed a car really badly since I just had a rental car for two weeks... and my funds are quite limited... :/

After almost 10 days observing the ads in the newspaper and on the internet I just decided that a V8 car with a high mileage is better than a V6 oder 4 cylinder car with 150k to 200k miles...

The problem with Arizona cars is they almost all look nice from the outside, but have many miles on them or the miles are not authentic if you check on carfax...

So what do you think is there a chance, that I can drive my cadillac for the next six months without major repairs if I do the normal regular maintainance (like refilling oil and trans fluid, cooling fluid and A/C fluid (hopefully the A/C does not leak too badly :( but I have this familiy bad luck thing :'( ^^ )?!

Thanks again for you answers and I will be awaiting gladly your advise. :)

I do not think a private seller can alter odometer data easily on Cadillacs.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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The only codes I would concentrate on are the "current" codes. The "history" codes mean they have happened in the past and it may be something to check on, but not worry about until they become "current". Clear the codes and see what comes back.

P039 - could only be a misadjusted brake switch located on the brake pedal arm or a wire short. Not a biggie.

A047 - means low refrigerant. Not critical unless it is hot. Could just need a recharge.

Make sure you do a couple WOT's every month to keep the engine from getting carboned up.

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Personally, I have never bought a used car that didn't need some attention here and there. The codes you have come up with don't sound life threatening or horribly expensive to repair.

I would take a sheet of paper and make a list of the items discussed in this thread. I would also add non-code items (cosmetic issues, rattles, broken or missing trim, accessories that don't work, and the like). Next, I would prioritize the items on the list starting with the most annoying and taking into account the expense and/or time it will take to resolve each item.

Having done this, you can focus your attention on the items one at a time or in logical groups, take care of them, and cross them off your list. After a few weeks (or months) you'll get the car pretty well sorted out like you want. Just be patient and stay at it.

Stay in touch with this forum. You'll find it a great help with taking care of these problems at the lowest possible cost.

Enjoy your Cadillac.

photo-36.jpg

Happiness is owning a Cadillac with no codes.

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(*I just knew someone would beat me too it...Bruce and his typing skills... :D)

People who can touch type can be sooooo annoying! :lol::lol::lol:

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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You made a great choice in a used car - just keep up the basic maintenance and repair items as needed or desired.

Pay attention to current codes and remember that most are "informational" in nature, and typically give you plenty of time to address a problem before it becomes a major issue.

Scott

1996 El Dorado

2006 STS

2000 Corvette

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Hey,

thanks for your answers! :) The problem was I just moved over from Europe and needed a car really badly since I just had a rental car for two weeks... and my funds are quite limited... :/

After almost 10 days observing the ads in the newspaper and on the internet I just decided that a V8 car with a high mileage is better than a V6 oder 4 cylinder car with 150k to 200k miles...

The problem with Arizona cars is they almost all look nice from the outside, but have many miles on them or the miles are not authentic if you check on carfax...

So what do you think is there a chance, that I can drive my cadillac for the next six months without major repairs if I do the normal regular maintainance (like refilling oil and trans fluid, cooling fluid and A/C fluid (hopefully the A/C does not leak too badly :( but I have this familiy bad luck thing :'( ^^ )?!

Thanks again for you answers and I will be awaiting gladly your advise. :)

Welcome to the boards and to Arizona, I like to think Arizona is exactly like the way you described the cars here. It looks nice when you move here but...........well you'll find out it's almost better to be in a state that has bad winters than move here but hey that's just my opinion. When I first moved here it took me awhile to find the right car and when I did I just couldn't pass it up a 92 ETC with 72000 miles for 2 thousand dollars, the first day I took the car home the MIL light came on and I had a bad PCM. I took it to a mechanic and wasted about $1000.00 for them to do nothing to it, oh yea good luck finding a good mechanic here, anyways I paid $50.00 from a junk yard for a new PCM and that solved the problem. I am currently looking for a 96 or newer Eldo and they are extremely hard to find here in good condition.
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sorry for not writing quite a while, but I moved recently in an apartment (from the hotel) and I still have no internet here in my new place...

Thanks to all of you for your answers... :)

After driving my cadillac a while (ca. 400 miles) I think now I know why he sold it (instead as he said because he was moving out of state and therefore he needed to buy a truck for all his stuff... and i begin thinking I paid way too much for it :( ...) ...

How do I notice a blown headgasket? Or what are the signs for that?

Because... the car is either leaking or using coolant... I checked the coolant when I got the car and once in a while since then and now (in the last 2 weeks). And when I ckecked the last time 2 days ago (after maybe 400 miles overall) the coolant tank was almost empty...

It can be that the car is just leaking coolant, because sometimes when I drive, it smells like burnt coolant... But I do not really know what is worse... I read that you cannot do much about it, when on a Northstar engine the headgaskets are blown, because replacing them costs a fortune... Is there anything I can do? Do you think I can still drive the car when I regularly refill the coolant??

What do you think about this "heal-a-seal" stuff? Is it working??? (They promise it will, when used correctly, solve almost any headgasket problem... ^^)

And what about this powder or tablets to fix minor leaks in the cooling system?

@ Poobah

thanks for the tip with the list. I tihnk I will really do this :D

@ Astrak

Did you finally find an honest and good mechanic? If you would like to share this info ;) I would like to take my caddy to someone who can tell me (for a not too high price) what should be immediately done for keeping the caddy in driving condition... and where from AZ are you (if I may ask)?

@ all

Thanks again for your posts!!!!!! :)

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How do I notice a blown headgasket? Or what are the signs for that?

Loss of coolant with no visible external leaks.

Overheating.

Misfire when cold.

Excessive exhaust steam.

How do I notice that the headgaskets are blown, because replacing them costs a fortune..

They are expensive to repair ($2000 - $3000) due to the fact that the engine has to be dropped.

Do you think I can still drive the car when I regularly refill the coolant??

For a while. It will slowly get worse.

hat do you think about this "heal-a-seal" stuff? Is it working??? (They promise it will, when used correctly, solve almost any headgasket problem... ^^)

SNAKE OIL. It won't work. This is a lengthy read but rfishing found out the hard way.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadil...ht=thermogasket

And what about this powder or tablets to fix minor leaks in the cooling system?

It is not meant for nor will it help a bad head gasket. Get a cylinder pressure test done to find out for sure.

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hmm, ok maybe the headgaskets are still intact or not too bad, because my caddy has no exhaust steam at all, just the bit, when the enginge is cold, and its cold outside...

also the car is (so far I can tell) not overheating... at least not while driving in the city or the highway and also not while driving 1st gear for a while on a parking lot. There it just got up to 221 at an outside temp of about 78... But I had no chance so far to drive a while uphill or so... :/

There also must be a leak in the cooling system (I just can not see it), but it is wet under the coolant tank and I am sure i did NOT overfill the tank... :D But I cann not see any coolant leaking neither when the engine is running, nor when its off...

And what about this powder or tablets to fix minor leaks in the cooling system?

It is not meant for nor will it help a bad head gasket. Get a cylinder pressure test done to find out for sure.

I am sorry I think I was a bit unspecific... this was just meant for minor leaks within the cooling system, lets say parts like, tubes, or the radiator, or the cooling tank (?)... or something like that... I spoke to a mechanic recently and he said it works fine on the N* enginges... !?

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Yes the sealant tabs are OK for Northstars or any engine for that matter. Surge tanks are known to crack on the underside. I'd replace it rather than try to patch it with the sealant tabs.

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Check for spots under the car that might give you an indication of where it is leaking. Check around the end tanks on the radiator, hose connections, water pump area, and around the surge tank. If your passenger side carpet is wet it could be the heater core.

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I'm in Tucson, well Marana actually which is part of Tucson. No I haven't found a good mechanic around here I have pretty much given up hope on finding any descen customer service around here. Sorry to say such bad things about Arizona but hey it's only plus is the weather in the winter time besides that you should probably move to a midwestern state during the summer. Almost ever mechanic let alone customer service type person around here is a schister and out for money, not anything else. This is just what I have seen in a year that I have been here(I used to live in Nebraska where you could at least depend on another person to fix something correctly and take pride in their work). I'm sorry about your car, when people say "Arizona car" they mean it hasn't been in any snowy areas that may cause rust this doesn't mean the car hasn't been stolen sent Mexico had the VIN changed and wrecked 10 times before it went for sale here with a "clean carfax".

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hmm, so far I could not really check UNDER the car, because it is raining the last two days... and the ground is too wet to see anything... but the only really wet spots at the engine I can see, are under the coolant tank...

the carpet on the passenger side is not wet...

But now I have a new problem... :( everyday a new problem :D but I hope I can get some help and advise here to solve this one... :)

I think the starter is going bad or already went bad, because a few days ago the car did not start anymore... first I thought I may have something to do with the security system of the car, (either the built in one or the custom one...), but then I realised the starter makes a "click" noise, but the engine does not turn... when the security system is engaged the "clicking" does not occur... so I thought maybe it is the starter... In other cars I had it was no big deal to locate or replace the starter, but on this engine I could not even find it... ^^ so I towed the car to a garage near my place (a friend of my brother said he is an honest and fair guy), and told him the story... he then put off the engine top cover and showed me the position of the starter... he tried a few things and then he just hit the starter a bit with some metal "stick"... while turning the ignition and voilla the car started just fine... he did not even charge anything for that so far he was really nice... :) But he told me replacing the starter on a N* is very expensive and said he would charge $650 for it (inclusive the costs for the starter of about $260).... but so far we had a "reference" he would do it for $550... Is it really THAT expensive to replace the starter for the '95 N* engine??? I saw a bosch starter for it on the net for about $150 plus $35 shipping...

I took my caddy back home and 'til now I drive with it as is and when it does not start I give the starter a little hit with something (most times it really just needs a very light touch...), but now sometimes it even does not start after hitting it, and I can never start the car alone, because someone has to turn the ignition, while hitting the starter...

so now my question: is there a chance to replace the starter DIY ??? As I said before: on the cars I owned before it was no big deal and the starter was not really expensive...

Does anyone has a "manual" or any advise for that? Or do I really have to take it to a shop for that and pay more than 500 bucks??? I see the position of the starter is not easy to get to, but there must be a way... or maybe not???

Oh, and another thing: The engine (at least I think it is the engine) sometimes makes a very high frequent "feeping" noise... While accelerating it disappears... but when idling or not accelerating (when i take the foot off the gas pedal, after accelerating and letting the car run) it is back again... and its not there always... just sometimes...

Is there anything to lookout for when replacing the surge tank? (coolant tank)

Mabye I should try to sell the car with not too much loss and look for another one... ?! :/ But I think no one will pay what I paid for it and I think I am a bit too honest to conceal the deficiencies (failings?)...

ok, I hope this was not too much text!!! :$

I am looking forward to any help and advise... Thanks a lot,

Chris :)

@ Astrak

Yeah finding a car here really IS a problem especially if you do not have plenty of time... :/ I am pretty sure there are still some "good guy" seller around here... or lets say I hope... ;) but they may be hard to find so far I can tell... but aren't things changing this way everywhere? Where I am from things changed like this too, and that was also one reason for me to relocate, because when I was here in AZ last time things were a lot different... but that was more than 10 years ago... And as far I can see things here changed too, but maybe I had just bad luck ;) but I was really shocked when I found out how the apartment prices rocketed here around Phoenix... :/

But hey I am still not disappointed enough to give up ;) I like the weather here (even it rained a lot in the past few weeks), and the desert landscaping is just great! Hopefully I will find a job here really quick so I can afford all the repairs of my caddy... :D

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I am not sure how you are able to hit the starter to get it to start as it is located under the intake manifold and is not accessible. It is not hard to change though and you should be able to DIY. http://www.rockauto.com has them for $130 - $170.

The noise you describe may be a pulley bearing.

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hey ranger,

the mechanic i went to, took off the plastic cover of the engine. after that he showed me where to put a not too thick stick or something like that in. i am sorry i do not know if i can describe it, because yet i do not know the english words for all the stuff under the hood ;) ... sorry about that... but when you stand in front of the car, it is on the right side of the engine. under the fuel rail, quite in the middle of the engine. i am not absolutely shure if it is the starter, but as hitting it helps the engine to start, it should be it.... and I never hit it hard, just a little tick... not more...

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here is the MOD instructions for replacing the starter, ill let you judge if you think you can DIY, dosnt sound like much trouble at all....

NOTE: The 4.6L starter assembly is internally mounted, and located inside the block

galley under the intake manifold. For help in identifying components and

component location, refer to illustrations. See Fig. 8 -Fig. 9 .

Removal (4.6L)

1. Disconnect negative battery cable, then positive battery cable. Remove intake manifold cover. Loosen

fuel filler cap to relieve tank vapor pressure. Connect fuel pressure gauge (J-34730-1) to fuel pressure

connection. Place fuel pressure gauge bleed hose in a container and open gauge bleed valve to relieve fuel

system pressure.

2. Disconnect Intake Air Temperature (IAT) sensor electrical connector. Disconnect crankcase vent pipe at

air intake duct. Remove air intake duct and air cleaner housing. Disconnect transaxle vent hose and

vacuum lines at Idle Speed Control (ISC) actuator bracket. Disconnect vacuum manifold at throttle body.

Disconnect Throttle Position (TP) sensor and ISC actuator electrical connectors. Disconnect cruise

control servo vacuum hoses and electrical connector. Disconnect cruise control cable at throttle body.

Remove cruise control servo and bracket.

3. Disconnect accelerator cable at throttle body and ISC actuator bracket. Disconnect front bank spark plug

wires and position aside. Disconnect throttle body coolant hoses at throttle body and surge tank pipe.

Disconnect Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) pipe at throttle body spacer. Disconnect brake booster

vacuum hose at intake manifold vacuum fitting. Disconnect fuel rail ground wire at rear cylinder head.

4. Disconnect quick-connect fittings at fuel rail. Remove fuel rail bracket at EGR valve. Disconnect Positive

Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) hose at intake manifold. Disconnect injector harness main connector.

Remove 6 bolts and 4 studs securing intake manifold, and remove intake manifold.

5. Remove starter solenoid terminal "S" nut and battery cable nut. Separate wiring from starter. Remove

starter mounting bolts and any shims. Remove starter.

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I already tried a new battery... but the old one was also still good... no difference :( maybe the guy I bought the car from had a bad battery before and that damaged the starter?

Yes, I suspect the lead from the overflow tank (but isn't it in the N* more a pressure tank?) But as far I can see it is UNDER the the tank or at the site of it (where the seam is)... but the battery is not wet...

thanks steve6 for the instructions... :) Does not sound tooo hard...

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thanks at all of you for your time reading and answering my posts! this forum really is a great help for help seeking people like me... :)

I really appreciate your help.

And I already have another question... :/ At the overflow tank, there is directly under the cap a tube... should it be connected somewhere? Or is it not connected and just leading the coolant, that is somehow too much in the overflow tank under the car? Because when I checked the tank again today I noticed this tube just hanging around there not beeing connected somewhere...

Sorry for all these noob questions, but the N* engine is the most "different" engine I ever had in a car... :D

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