1997 Cadillac Catera crazy electrical issues. Turn signal

Tiny
CAMOSILVER
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CADILLAC CATERA
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 139,000 MILES
Just bought a 97 catera with 139k. The turn signals do not work, and if you turn on the hazard lights (which don't work either), the temp gauge and gas gauge stop working and the needle goes to zero, as well as the ac stops blowing when the hazards are turned on. But, with the hazards on, if you hit the turn signal, the hazard lights will then work. Turn the hazards off again and you get your ac back and gauges back.

the fuse for the flashers is good, so is the flasher relay. I swapped in 2 new ones from autozone to make sure it wasn't an issue with that relay.

a few days later, it got worse. Now the ac won't turn on at all, and the hazard/turn signal lights don't come at all now under any combination of hazard light button and turn signal positions. The gas gauge and temp gauge both do not work at all now. Traction control button doesn't wok now either. If you try using the turn signals a few times, a warning light on the dash pops up, it's basically an exclamation mark inside a circle that kinda looks the the sun. Same thing happens when you push the "sport shift" button on the shifter.

also, there is a button next to the shifter with a snowflake on it to start the car out in 2nd gear for winter driving, and I think this is stuck on now because the car acts like it's stuck in 2nd gear. Pushing the button does nothing.

any ideas here? I replaced the BCM(number on the new BCM matched the original perfectly) and I still have all the same issues.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 AT 1:06 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
I would initially check all the fuses, with a test light. The icon with the exclamation I believe is the check trans light, this would explain the second gear starts as that is more than likely a default(limp home mode). I sounds like you have multiple electrical issues that may relate to a ground problem. Has the car been wrecked and/or had some frontal body repairs?
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 AT 10:32 PM
Tiny
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The car was not in any accidents as far as I know/can tell. I do not see any signs of frame damage or paint work.

I will test the fuses with a test light, but as far as a ground issue, where can I locate the ground points that I should check?
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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 AT 10:47 AM
Tiny
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  • MEMBER
I tested the fuses with my test light and found that the flasher fuse had blown. After putting in a new one, I got the gauges back and ac back, but only when the hazard lights are on. Basically, re placing the fuse put me right back to the initial problems I had, as I stated in my very first paragraph:

"the turn signals do not work, and if you turn on the hazard lights (which don't work either), the temp gauge and gas gauge stop working and the needle goes to zero, as well as the ac stops blowing when the hazards are turned on. But, with the hazards on, if you hit the turn signal, the hazard lights will then work. Turn the hazards off again and you get your ac back and gauges back."

you think it could be the wiring to/from the flasher relay(we know the relay itself is good)? The flasher relay also controls the turn signals, and the flasher relay isn't getting any power unless the hazards are turned on. It's gotta have something to do with the wiring in between the turn signal switch, relay, and hazard light button.
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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 AT 1:55 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
I am not readily familiar with the electrical architecture on the 97, I would assume the 98 is similar, if not exactly the same. I am going to try and research it to see if I can find what ties them all together.
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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 AT 10:26 PM
Tiny
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Thanks!
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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 AT 10:48 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
You have a ground called G103 that is a major player, it is said to be located under the battery, near the inline harness connectors(round/3 of them). This ground controls all thats affecting you, and more. I am curious if possible battery acid got to it, or its loose. Either way, if you can access and find it, I would clean it of any paint, corrosion, etc. From this ground there shows to be a couple of splices that tie all the circuits together that G103 controls. There is no exact location for these splices, other than near G201 branch break off, and G201 is inside the vehicle allegedly near the relay center. There is also the turn signal flasher, that is in the direct center of the relay center to the right of the column, down low byeside the fuse panel. It has three wires, on ignition hot from flasher fuse, one hot at all times from hazard fuse, and G103. Which reminds me, does your hazards work with key off, they should. This may be very difficult to track down, you are not dealing with the easiest vehicle to work on, european vehicles can be very tough when it comes to electrical problems. At any rate, clean up G103, and check power and ground at that flasher, and we'll try and go from there. If you can find an electrical schematic, or even a factory service manual for this vehicle, it may be to your advantage. I would not bother with a haynes or chilton manual, it would most likely be of no help. E-bay might be worth a try if you have the time.
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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 AT 11:40 PM
Tiny
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The hazards do not come on while the car is off. They do not come on while the car is on either, unless you hit the turn signal switch, in either direction.

The prong on the block for the hot wire that houses the flasher relay is only getting power when the hazard button is on. It does not have power when the hazard lights are off, as you say it should.

I found what I think is the g103, it looks good corrosion wise, but will be taking a closer look in a minute.

I have looked everywhere online for a downloadable service manual or wiring diagram, I don't want to buy one because I will be selling this car as soon as it's fixed, and I never plan on buying another catera, ever.
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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 AT 1:47 PM
Tiny
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That ground, g103, was very clean, I couldn't see anything there that would cause a bad connection.
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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 AT 2:08 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
You are correct on the power to one being with hazard switch on(from hazard fuse), one other terminal should have ignition sw power with the hazard switch off(flasher fuse), and the third should have continuity to ground. The hazard lights should work with the key off though. Just out of curiosity, are these the only symptoms? Do you have functioning head/park/tail lamps? The fact that you had a blown flasher fuse might have something to do with it. Do you have a fax#, or would you like me to mail you some schematics? Unfortunately, without putting my hands on the vehicle, I feel we may be running in circles.
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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 AT 11:05 PM
Tiny
CAMOSILVER
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The head lights, parking lamps, tail lights, and back up lights all work as normal. The only things malfunctioning are the turn signals and hazards, and the gauges and ac not working while the hazard button is off.

My fax # is 352-369-3328 if you have wiring schematics or any additional info. I know it's hard without being in front of the car, but I do appreciate the help!
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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 AT 11:52 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
I am working on your request. I have about 12 pages to send you, I just haven't been able to access a fax with my work schedule and commute time.
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Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 AT 9:43 PM

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