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Important Info about 2007 STS Navigation


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The Navigation unit in my wife's STS died. Took it to several electronics repair guys with no luck. i think the last guy to look at it totally screwed it up. Nothing would come on at all. So I bought a used one and was told that I had to take it to a GM dealer to have it programed for her car. Not so now. Dealer tried for two hours to change from previous vin to mine with no luck. Dealer called the GM service center in Nashville. After several calls they told the dealer that they no longer allowed dealers to clear previous vins and they would not do it either. The only thing they could do was swap it with DENSO for a refurb for fourteen hundred dollars. So I paid four hundred twenty eight dollars for a used unit, one hundred four dollars to have the dealer try to program. Now fourtenn hundred dollars plus tax and shipping for GM to screw me again. Don't even ask what a new unit costs. You might faint. Four thousand for a new unit. This may be my wife's last Cadillac. At least no more navigation BS. If the dealer or GM gave me bad info, please let me know. BTW the outfit that told me the dealer could program it advertises on this site. OK.

Edited by DRJAY
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The Navigation unit in my wife's STS died. Took it to several electronics repair guys with no luck. i think the last guy to look at it totally screwed it up. Nothing would come on at all. So I bought a used one and was told that I had to take it to a GM dealer to have it programed for her car. Not so now. Dealer tried for two hours to change from previous vin to mine with no luck. Dealer called the GM service center in Nashville. After several calls they told the dealer that they no longer allowed dealers to clear previous vins and they would not do it either. The only thing they could do was swap it with DENSO for a refurb for fourteen hundred dollars. So I paid four hundred twenty eight dollars for a used unit, one hundred four dollars to have the dealer try to program. Now fourtenn hundred dollars plus tax and shipping for GM to screw me again. Don't even ask what a new unit costs. You might faint. Four thousand for a new unit. This may be my wife's last Cadillac. At least no more navigation BS. If the dealer or GM gave me bad info, please let me know. BTW the outfit that told me the dealer could program it advertises on this site. OK.

Hello DRJAY,

I apologize that they were not able to clear the previous VIN on the radio. I would like to do some additional research regarding this on your behalf. Could you provide me with your name, contact info, VIN, mileage and dealership you were working with in a private message? Thank you very much for your time.I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Gregory W.

Cadillac Customer Care

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Is there a exact procedure for resetting the VIN in a navigation unit? I personally have never done it...it may simply require finding someone with a Tech 2 with older software to do it. It happens that we have a GM Tech 2...with older software.

It's rare..but sometimes...certain tool options are removed from newer updates of the software.

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This sounds very much to me like the dealer had a tech that couldn't accomplish it so he told the service manager that it couldn't be done. GM Customer Relations will solve the problem.

EDIT: I just saw another post by Logan that said that new radios can only be programmed for the VIN once. This is an obvious theft prevention device that prevents people from reprogramming stolen radios at a dealer that doesn't ask for registration and VIN of both the donor and recipient cars, but it means that the PROM must be changed to reprogram the VIN, hence the rebuilt-exchange option.

This may or may not be known by the people that sold DRJAY the radio. If they don't sell them with blank ROMs, they are selling useless merchandise.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I know most of the folks at the GM Dealer that tried to program the used Nav unit. Have been dealing with them for years. The tech that hooked up the Nav unit tried for over two hours (still only charged me $104). They called the GM service center for assistance, still could not fix. After they made arangements to ship it to Nashville so they could clear the vin, GM called back a short time later to say they no longer allowed dealers to do it and they would not do it either. I am not questioning GM's reasoning. It could be anything from liability, waranty, or theft issues. BTW my wife rode in her girl friends new lexus ex350 this past week. She said it was nice but it ain't no Cadillac. Further, I apologize for the comment about getting screwed. We both love driving that STS on trips. I would love to put that Northstar V8 in my Jeep.

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Were there VIN programming instructions sent with the navi unit? If yes, can you post it here? Were they trying to change the VIN with a Tech 2?

Sounds like a GM policy change and the software was changed to reflect that. If that is the case..it would seem that a Tech 2 with older software would still be able to configure the VIN.

I have a Tech 2 with 2012 software. Your not in my backyard but are reasonably close.

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There are a lot of possibilities, but if the radio is of a vintage that allows reprogramming the VIN and Logan has a Tech 2 with software that supports that, then you have a very good bet there.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Snooping around...there are ways. Here is a video where the navi radio is sent in and the EEPROM gets reconfigured for $100.

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With the 2005 model year, they were using EPROMs that could be reprogrammed with the chip on the board. From what it sounds like, GM is now shipping the radios with PROMs that are burnt once and are done, permanent, and must have new chips (or new boards!) to be reprogrammed.

This guy is using a laptop-based EPROM burner, not a Tech II. GM could simply be leaving off the Tech II interface capability to reprogram the EPROMs so that you have to have the radio apart and a separate EPROM burner like in the video, or simply deleting that module from the Tech II software with an "update" like Logan says; I have no idea. But it seems like the guy is leaving something out so as not to give everything away to the unscrupulous out there, such as that you must have the new VIN to program into the EPROM to get the radio to work in the new car.

But, if the model year supports EPROM reprogramming, and Logan has a Tech II that can do it, well... he's offering to help.

When we bought my wife's 1999 Pontiac, the salesman explained TheftLock to us, so it was well in-place for all GM cars by then. Of course, it was in my 1997 ETC. That radio died after about a year and was replaced with a reman exchange unit under warranty. It was always totally great after that.

I think that aftermarket stereo stuff is a big hassle. I did it with my 1969 Chevrolet wagon, but I did all the work myself, and of course there was no TheftLock back then.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I now have a replacement navigation unit in the car. Still haven't got an answer from Cadillac Customer Service about why, or why not dealers can program a used nav unit. I would suggest that if you need to replace, DO NOT BUY A USED UNIT. I did and the dealer could not reprogram. They said GM would not let them. So after $1,935.00 I have a refurb unit in the car and my wifel is no longer bitching. Am I a happy customer? NOT! BTW who is Maxine? You know, the one who won't return your calls.

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Surprise, Surprise Maxine just called me back. No help. Would advise anyone buying a used nav unit to talk to their local dealer about reprograming the unit before they buy any used unit.. Am I a happy customer? Not. End of story.

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The problem is the outfit that sold you the radio, telling you that it could be reprogrammed. Whether they knew or not is irrelevant, they represented it as programmable for your car and you would not have bought it if you knew that this was not so.

I would print out some of the GM e-mail that says that a used unit cannot be reprogrammed and return the radio with it to the seller for a refund. If they stonewall you, file in small clams court (I believe it's free and you don't need a lawyer). You will probably collect quickly because litigation, particularly losing litigation with failed collection, does NOT look good on their résumé. Also, look for them online on a web site that offers reviews.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Jim: I tried to return the unit before I had my dealer ship it off to GM, but was told by them that the GM dealer was wrong etc. Not a plesant conversation. Without some documentation from GM, it is a waste of time and effort. In any case, for the paltry sum of $428 I am now a much better educated consumer of used auto parts, especially from the dealer in question. I appreciate you comments and concern.

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We're sorry to hear that we weren't able to work out a completely satisfactory resolution for you in this situation, DRJAY. Aside from this circumstance, how is everything with the STS?

Sarah (Assisting Greg)

Cadillac Customer Care

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For $428, I would consider small claims court. Ask the dealer for the TSB to file with your claim.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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We're sorry to hear that we weren't able to work out a completely satisfactory resolution for you in this situation, DRJAY. Aside from this circumstance, how is everything with the STS?

Sarah (Assisting Greg)

Cadillac Customer Care

For $428, I would consider small claims court. Ask the dealer for the TSB to file with your claim.

Sarah: I don't recall receiving any assistance from Cadillac Customer Service. I have done business with my local GM Dealer (Chevrolet) for over twenty years. I know a lot of them by first name, and I trust them. They were very helpful with this situation. I also know and trust Deborah at the local Cadillac Dealership. I simply prefer to drive one mile instead to twenty to the Cadillac Dealership. As for my wife's STS she is happy for now. She is an independent women. When she is ready for a new car, she will pick it out, and after fifty two years of marriage I will be happy to pay for it and keep my mouth shut, Caddy or Not.

Jim: My attorney bills at $115 per hour for legal actions. His casual advice usually is free. Like I said, for the paltry sum of $428 I am a better educated consumer of used auto parts from the dealer in question. My grandpappy told me that a good education doesn't come cheap. In this case maybe it did. If I have offended anyone on this forum with my posts, please feel free to delete my posts and or ban me from the forum.

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Jim: My attorney bills at $115 per hour for legal actions. His casual advice usually is free. Like I said, for the paltry sum of $428 I am a better educated consumer of used auto parts from the dealer in question.

Perhaps you could look for online reviews of the seller. Get the TSB or other information from either dealer that says that used radios can't be reprogrammed for your model and refer to it by number and date in your review.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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