Car doesn't start. Help!
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Cadillac Allante Forum Discussion, Car doesn't start. Help! in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Please help. I replaced the Starter and the battery. I took the car to the Cadillac dealer and they said ...
  1. #1
    pizanaj is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Exclamation Car doesn't start. Help!

    Please help.

    I replaced the Starter and the battery. I took the car to the Cadillac dealer and they said it was the wire from the ignition to the starter, and they added a redundant wire. It still fails to start on occasion.

    I asked if it was the ignition switch or the alternator, and they said those were good.

    Keep in mind it starts fine about 90% of the time. It was 10% that frustrates me (at the gas pump, on a hot date, etc.)

    I've spent over $1000 on parts and labor, and I'm debating to sell it because of it. I love this car. Help!

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  3. #2
    gschott is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): '93 Allante
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    Don't give up yet. Sounds like you need a better person at diagnosing the problem. You said you installed a new starter... if all your non starting episodes are after you have driven the car and reached the normal operating temperature, then it is probably the starter. Some GM starters get too hot under normal operations (too close to exhaust) and an internal breaker prevents the selinoid from engaging until the car cools. Also, check all connections from battery to ignition and the grounding cables. Keep trying, it's usually a small item that prevents starting. Good luck.

  4. #3
    pizanaj is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    You seem to know what's going on! Thanks. Here's the starter history:

    The original starter was shot. I bought an Ultra starter. According to the Cadillac guys, this starter was crap. So I got duped into buying a $400 AC Delco. And it still gave me problems. I thought of the overheating issue. I also live in South Texas (Brownsville), and it is hot here. But I know there has to be some sort of work around for the overheating (if in fact it is overheating).

    Has anyone else experienced Starting problems? Thanks again!

  5. #4
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
    Automobile(s): 1988 Allante' (sold), 1984 Eldorado, 84 Sedan DeVille
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    I'm not completely clear on the symtom? Does it not crank over or does it crank over but not fire? If it does not crank then it could be the starter, or a symtom of the alarm system which prevents cranking. If it cranks but does not start hot, then it could be a fuel pump relay or an oil pressure switch which supplies power to the fuel pump when it sees oil pressure. I need to know if it cranks over or not? Thanks

  6. #5
    FSU_Noles's Avatar
    FSU_Noles is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 93 Allante, 06 CTS
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    Search around your town and see if you can find a starter/alternator place - those are usually the guys that know starters inside and out (obviously) and they can usually tell you in short order what is the problem if it is your starter.

  7. #6
    pizanaj is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    I apologize for my ignorance as I am not a car geek... As for computers... well I'm a geek. What is the difference between starting and cranking? Are the words interchangable?

    I turn the key and the car starts like a champ (85%)

    I turn the key and there is a the click and a split second delay. Then it starts. These are the times I say, "thank you". (10%)

    I turn the key, there is a click, but no start. (5%) I try again. Same results. The gauges (not digital) indicate the battery is fine and the rest is fine too. As turn the key again and the power to the car (gauges, DIC, etc.) is drained, while the click is heard.

    NOW... The check oil pressure light stays on a little longer than the rest of the lights (the stop engine, air big, traction, etc.) at times.

    Also, the oil level gauges seems to be moving from hi to low sporatically at times. (Now I'm sounding like a hypochondriac).
    Are these clues?

  8. #7
    dennis x is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    I had my exhaust system worked on 4 years ago and the dealer snaped the manifold bolt to the exhaust pipe which allowed some heat to hit the starter, since I couldn't get snapped bolt out I got some roofing tin and some exhaust clamps and molded a heat shield around starter no more no start issue when the car got hot,

  9. #8
    Allantesource is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    Cranking means the starter will spin the engine. Starting means the engine runs after cranking. The symptoms you have outlined are a cranking problem that is most commonly the starter. There is a chance a bad connection somewhere could cause the same symptom, so make sure battery terminals are good as new and all ground wires in the circuit are CLEAN and TIGHT. I have had two or three Allante' starters with the "delayed crank" that later progressed to "click only". Replacing the starter in all cases corrected the similar problems I have experienced. Always check the message window when the car will not crank to make sure the antitheft system has not thrown a curve at you. And just for grins try changing the position of the tilt steering column from all the way up to all the way down to see if that makes any difference.

  10. #9
    pizanaj is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    To everyone! Thank you all for your help! The Allante' has been acting fine after I swapped the battery. Except one time I stubbornly turned it on and off repeatedly. It froze on me, the DIC did not note an anti-theft message. However I think I tripped it. But it hasn't giving me problems.

    I will keep you all informed. Thanks again.

  11. #10
    jteolis's Avatar
    jteolis is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    On my 87, I had a problem with my neutral safety switch, every once in a while I needed to jiggle my shifter, and then it would start.

    Just a suggestion!

  12. #11
    pizanaj is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    Guys, there I go again...

    I think the starter may be overheating. I took a quick trip (about 60 miles). I stopped to visit of about 2 hours. I got back in the car and the starter would crank (all there was was a click). I tried serveral time to start it with no avail. About 20 min. later, it started. I did not ask questions I just gunned it home. I got home and turned it off. I tried turning it on again and it didn't want to start.

    I think there is a bit of overheating involved. I lifted the hood and everything feels extremely hot. (I know Cadillacs product a lot of heat, but seriously, it's hot).

    Is there a starter out there that can crank at extreme temperatures? Any other suggestions?

  13. #12
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    Assuming its a starter sold to you by a Cadillac ser. dept, then it has a warranty. A good starter should have no problem cranking a hot engine. This is assuming good clean grounds. Heat shields, higher torque starters, bigger cables are out there for modified engines that run hotter than stock. My gut feeling is the original problem is still there. Any good mechanic can test a starter for excessive electrical draw when hot. I would have the people that recommended the starter and diagnosed it, recheck it at NO additional charge.

  14. #13
    pizanaj is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    I really think it's the wires on that connect the ignition to the starter. About how much do you think that costs? I'm tired of getting stranded. Any recommendations?

  15. #14
    Bob Rich is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    Because your problem is temperature related, it is probably not in the low current, control side of the start circuit. You most likely have a high resistance connection on the ground side of the circuit, or possibly the positive side (not as likely). The only way to beat down something like this is to measure voltage drops from the battery to the starter on both the positive and the return side with a good meter with long leads while cranking the engine hot.

  16. #15
    dennis x is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Car doesn't start. Help!

    I just had a bad memory, 5-6 years ago I had a no start problem with my 1990. It was the theft system, I had dealer put a chip in the line so car always thinks the right key is in? Never had a repeat, car starts every time Hope this works for you

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