CTS doesn't turn on...
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, CTS doesn't turn on... in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; Hi there, hopefully someone can help me. My dad has a 2003 Cadillac CTS and is having issues with it. ...
  1. #1
    avalosf2 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2003 Cadillac CTS
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    CTS doesn't turn on...

    Hi there, hopefully someone can help me. My dad has a 2003 Cadillac CTS and is having issues with it. He was told it was could be the starter or the crankshaft position sensor. Both have been replaced. He was also told that it wasn't the alternator...

    He charges the battery and the car starts (newer/replaced battery). As he drives it shows the battery at 14.5 V then it slowly goes down. After our 15 minute drive it went to 14.1 V. He turned it off then immediately tried to turn it on and nothing. Not even a crank sound. Just lights coming on. We looked at the information screen and the battery read at 12.1 V. He tried turning it over 4 times.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

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  3. #2
    beccam23 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Ibsen having the exact same problem for the past week. It's terrible. I went in for my brake hose recall yesterday tho & ever since then it hasn't done it. Praying it don't do it again I read it might've the ECM failing. But who knows!!!

  4. #3
    Kanzy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: CTS doesn't turn on...

    It looks like a electronic problem to me. If I understood what you wrote, the original battery is still in the car, so it is more than 10 years old. If so, I think you should change it for a new one.
    In this car, to work properly, the electronic and computer system requires a good and steady voltage of more or less 14 volts. If I were you, I'd buy a new one and give it a good long slow charge with a battery charger before using it. Even if your battery is strong enough to crank the engine, it may not be good enough to give the computers the voltage they need to work properly.

  5. #4
    avalosf2 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thread Starter

    Re: CTS doesn't turn on...

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll be looking into the recall tomorrow.

    The battery is a newer battery. The ground cable going to the frame looked clean, but I read somewhere that it was a problem for someones car. We went ahead and took the ground off and scraped some paint and replaced... On the inside display, the volts went from 12.1 to 15. The car turned right on. We'll see what happens. I'll update later tonight.

    Thanks!

  6. #5
    avalosf2 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thread Starter

    Re: CTS doesn't turn on...

    As soon as he returned he said it was showing 14.3/14.2 Volts. He turned the car off and tried to turn it on again successfully. About 20-30 minutes later he went to start it and nothing. The display read 12.1 volts. We have it on a charger now. We'll fully charge it and go from there. It's a newer battery, but then again I'm sure there are new batteries that don't work like they should.

    Is there a specific brand of battery that Cadillac owners use more often than other brands?

  7. #6
    Kanzy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: CTS doesn't turn on...

    You've got to give it a SLOW charge (10 amps or less) for many hours using an automatic charger. Let it on for at least 12 hours or more. Batterys don't like fast charge

  8. #7
    curtc's Avatar
    curtc is online now OCD - Obsessive Cadillac Disorder
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    Re: CTS doesn't turn on...

    A battery at 12.1v should be plenty to start a car. My STS shows less than 12v prior to start up all the time when it's cold outside and starts just fine, brand new battery. When driving voltage will jump around a little, it won't stay steady. If it's at 14.3/14.2v while driving I'd say that is perfectly fine. Looking at the DIC voltage while driving will literally drive you insane. Doesn't sound like a battery issue to me at all, sounds more ignition related.

    These cars have battery load management systems which will greatly impact the DIC's voltage readings. It adjusts to many variables including current draw, estimated battery temp, state of charge, etc.
    Past Cadillac's

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  9. #8
    69stangscj's Avatar
    69stangscj is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    You could also take it to an AutoZone or Advanced Auto and have the check your charging system for free.

  10. #9
    pearl03's Avatar
    pearl03 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I had same problem, found out that our 03 CTS needs at least 14 volts to start. My battery would be 14.3 - 14.7 while running but would drop to 11.7 - 12.3 once I shut it off. Would not start and would need a jump. Once running would be back up to 14.3 - 14.7 v. Got a new battery, put it in, now starts all the time. New battery holds at 14.5 v when not running and up to 14.9 v when running. The higher output battery is essential to our cars.

  11. #10
    Kanzy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: CTS doesn't turn on...

    pearl03, you're right. On these cars the computer system requires a good high and steady voltage to work properly. A lots of us think that if the battery is strong enough to crank the engine, it's good enough, but it's not true. They keep changing expensives parts when they could just give a good slow charge for many many hours to their battery, and it would often do the job. I think when you have an electronic problem, the very first thing to do is give a good slow charge. You have nothing to loose.

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