Edmunds Answers



  • lokki 05/27/09 10:21 pm PST

    The interior main fuse panel is located under the steering wheel behind the trim panel that your knees always hit. Turn two screws on bottom side about two or three turns
    (they will not come all the way out) and then lift panel up and out,

    Apparently this is fairly common... and has a very interesting cause if your case is the usual one. It is related to the failure of your heater aux water pump

    See below:


    1) the "multifunction" module is failing and powering down the circuit due to "low-power" fault. you did not say if the radio works when the car is off, or if it works and fails. Do your trunk and fuel door still work with the remote? Try this - use the remote when the car is running and the radio has failed, and see if it causes the radio to come on. If it does, it is resetting the module (because voltage is applied to the opposite side of the failure when the remote is used). I never fixed mine - I just soldered a jumper across pins 12 and 14 of the module. When it chokes now I lose my interiorlamp but the radio stays on (I'll replace it someday).
    2) There are TWO fuses that control the radio - one powers it when the car is OFF (twilight mode) and the other when the car is ON. If radio works with car off but not ON check those fuses again.
    3) Failing heater auxillary water pump

    - will cause the multifunction module to "low-power" fault the radio circuit....strange but true. "

    And see this thread as well


    it is not as hard to fix as it seems. The engineers that designed the electrical system must have been on cheep drugs! I had the same problem and found that a auxillery water pump on the right (passenger) side of the engine compartment, was shorted. A 12 volt motor that runs it failed, and blows a 10 amp fuse labled "CLAMP" in the fuse panel by the drivers knee. there are several fuses labled CLAMP, in that fuse box. This one powers the radio, autodoor locks(drivers side only) the high beam indicator, the map lights (only when driving!) the above mentioned coolant pump, power automatic window up and down( the push and release feature) and I think the engine fan power after key out. Replace the pump(test it first!) then a new fuse, and hopfully you are good to go! I found this without any diagram, just by common sense trouble shooting and some reading on the net. I would have never thought that anyone in their right mind would wire anything this way. The only thing this method would acomplish is to let you know something is wrong! I think a check engine light would do.

  • amberlinda 05/31/09 11:45 am PST

    THANKS!!! I found the fuse box. Now, there's another problem that I forgot to mention. The speedometer & the techomenter doesn't work. I'm beginning to think my sister bought a lemon. She doesn't have a lot of money to spend on this car since she's out of a job. What are some things that she needs to check to see why the speedometer doesn't work. She thinks one of her friends might be able to help her figure it out. The 1997 Cadillac Catera showed 120 miles, now we think it could even be more since the techometer also doesn't work. She paid with taxes and everything, $1634.00. Do you think that was too much? She says the car run fine and it has good tires.

  • lokki 06/03/09 8:32 pm PST

    If the tach and speedo aren't working and the ABS/TC lights are on, the problem is the EBTCM. (eletronic brake traction control module ) You can still get them from Cadillac for the small fee of $1300.00, but a company on ebay can fix it for about $200.00. However, you need to pull it, and send it to them. Looking under the hood, it is on the driver side, at the point where the radiator hose enters the engine block. It has a lage plug of wires, and some brake lines hooked to it. Only pull just the plastic part off and send it in.

    The 97 Catera is a very expensive car to maintain; they have quite a few problems. It's just my opinion, but I don't think your sister should put any more money into this car than she needs to to keep it running safely for as long as she can. They are beautiful looking but very complicated, and they're not known for their reliability.


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