: NO START, but the battery is good

05-31-08, 02:51 PM
I have a 99 cadillac deville base model. The car currently does not start. At first, it started taking a few seconds to start (it didn't sound slow - there was a rapid clicking coming from the starter before it would fire up). I had the battery tested- it was good. I'm wondering if the starter is bad, but there are no codes. Oh yeah, the connections were good as well. So, now if I need to replace the starter, I kno it's under the intake manifold, so what all bolts do I need to replace than the six obvious ones beside the fuel injectors? Anybody had this problem?

05-31-08, 03:09 PM
Does the starter motor actually roll the engine over smartly? Or just click?

If you'll go back through this Forum (Performance....) for several pages you'll find at least 4 threads concerning your manifold removal, with pictures.

It's an afternoon job.

05-31-08, 03:43 PM
At first there was a rapid click, now there is nothing. The dash lights up, but no cranking, clicking, antying. There are no current codes, just a history IRC 1552 code, but I think that's from taking out the battery to have it load tested.

05-31-08, 07:44 PM
Yeah, get the battery load tested before tearing into the starter. My money is on the battery.

05-31-08, 10:13 PM
Well I put a new starter in (pain in the you know what), but still nothing, I just don't get it. I tried jump starting it with my trusty lincoln, but still nothing. I had the battery tested at Autozone, and the machine said good batter. Do you guys think it might be the ignition switch, and if so, how do you get if out of the steering column? I don't see any bolts.

06-01-08, 04:26 AM
:hmm: Was 99 Deville Passkey or VATS? Does your ignition key have the resistor slug?

The start circuit usually goes ignition switch -> starter enable relay -> neutral safety switch -> starter solenoid. If you can trace that path it should lead you to the fault. Any of the components listed going bad could cause your problem. Getting to the NSS may be easiest, its usually on top of the transaxle. Depending on if you have voltage on the start circuit at the NSS when the key is turned will determine which way to continue.

06-01-08, 09:11 AM
I just cleaned the battery connections- still nothing, so new starter, not the issue, cleaned the ignition switch with WD40-nothing. I can hear the fuel pump priming when I turn on hte key, but dead silence from the engine, nothing at all coming from the starter. What does the neutral safety switch look like?

06-01-08, 10:20 AM
The neutral safety switch should what your shift cable is connected to. Try wiggling the shifter while holding the key in the start position.

06-01-08, 04:37 PM
Thanks Ranger, but that didn't work either, I guess its getting about time to trade it in. It has 165k miles on it and has given me 0 problems until now ( I know, it falls within the bad head gasket years), but I found a immacculate 97 Lincoln Town Car Cartier in Cordvan REd, I think I ought to trade it in. Lincoln doesn't have the glitziness of a cadillac, but I will never have to worry about all the things that are on a Cadillac

06-01-08, 09:28 PM
I found a immacculate 97 Lincoln Town Car Cartier in Cordvan REd, I think I ought to trade it in.


06-03-08, 03:01 PM
Argg! Linkolins - for those that really want to drive a Cadillac - Argg!!! K_C

06-04-08, 04:59 PM
ignition switch -> starter enable relay -> neutral safety switch -> starter solenoid.

Chubbyranger, the guy says he can hear the fuel pump, but I'm guessing that's with the ignition switch in the "on" position. I'm curious as to how to diagnose the ignition switch and the starter enable relay. Where on a 97 SLS would the starter enable relay be found? The reason I ask is that my car is 11 years old and if the starter conks out, I don't want to remove the intake manifold and replace it to have this same dilemma. Can you outline how to test each component before resorting to replacing the starter?
Thanks - Greg

06-04-08, 11:28 PM
On my 90 Deville the starter enable relay was buried up under the dash along the right (passenger) side of the steering column. All by itself just hanging by one 10mm bolt. I pulled it and jumped the connector and got crank but no run since Passkey also shuts off the fuel injector pulses as well. That was the point where I concluded the Passkey wires were broken in the column and used the resistor bypass trick. That required a Factory Service Manual that provided very precise locations for all electrial components. If you have located the NSS I would try pulling the connector off and probing it for 12 volts with the key in start, use either a multimeter or test light. If you want to gamble that 97 is the same as 90, poke around where my starter enable relay was, but again FSM showed me which two wires to jump together. Without that wiring diagram you are just rolling the dice.

06-05-08, 09:57 AM
Thanks for the tips, Chubbyranger...I will add this to my changing starter notes. I think I should locate both the NSS and the relay on my car so they can be diagnosed prior to removing the starter for change-out. Do I assume correctly that the NSS only permits a circuit flow to the starter when the shifter is in either Park or Neutral? Does anyone have an FSM for the 97 Seville that confirms these locations for the relay and NSS? Thanks again.

06-05-08, 10:25 AM
The NSS is almost always on top of the transaxle. Just follow the shift cable and it should be the electrical connector at the end. You are correct in the function of the NSS. The starter enable relay location is anybody's guess. Its possible they moved it around in case enterprising theives developed a quick bypass, its possible they left it in the same place for everything. Its possible your car is wired differently as well because I am going from memory on a 1990 Deville, but I'm assuming that the VATS system is essentially the same across all the cars it was used on. The diagnosis for me took two days and an e-mail to the former Cad tech that sold me the manual before I completed the diagnosis phase. You can also test the VATS wires in the column if you pull the monster connector off at the base of the steering column. Using an ohmmeter with the key out of the ignition measure resistance (should be an open circuit). Insert the key and measure again - should get some value - mine was 15K ohms. If no change then your wires are broken or the contacts on the ignition cylinder are dirty or damaged or your key is dirty or damaged. Just for kicks, did you try a spare key?

06-05-08, 02:03 PM
Thanks again Chubbyranger for the extensive info on diagnosing the starter components. Actually, mine is fine right now, but if the day comes when it wont start (no cranking, but battery and connections are good), I want all the information I can get to start the diagnosis. I like the idea of checking the NSS first - that way we would know if juice is getting supplied to the solenoid/starter. If the NSS doesn't get juice, work backwards to the relay and then back to the ignition switch. I will take some time in the near future to pinpoint those components on my car (97 SLS). Hopefully, they are in the same or similar locations you supplied.

06-05-08, 09:57 PM
Guys, I replaced the starter, it wasn't that big of a deal, you just need a long extension for your socket wrench. I lifted the intake manifold at the passenger side and did my work-sorta tight, but not that big of a deal. I'm more pissed about spending 200 bucks on something I most likely didn't need (for a teacher, that's a lot of money, lol). I'm going to order the ignition switch with the key on ebay and just take a day to do it. The steering wwheel has to be removed from what I've read. If anybody knows something easier, let me know.

06-05-08, 10:16 PM
You have to remove the airbag first. Be careful. Remove the fuse and wait about ten minutes to be safe. It will probably take you that long to get the cowling off anyway.

06-06-08, 04:50 PM
Usually FSM recommends to pull the airbag fuse and then disconnect the airbag connector at the base or along the bottom of the steering column. Airbag connectors are bright yellow and have a secondary tab to secure them. Once you have pulled the connector you should be safe. I think on 99, the airbag is removed by using a flat head screwdriver and turning the four latches on the back of the steering wheel. Note the wiring routing very carefully when removing the airbag because it needs to go back the same way. After removing the steering wheel mount bolt you may need a puller to pop the wheel - some cars do, some cars don't. After that the airbag coil is removed and you face the steering wheel locking ring. This requires a special tool; you can likely get it from Autozone. You need to compress the lock ring and remove the clip that holds it in. Next you're somewhere near the turn signal and ignition switches and somebody else will have to give you the rest of the instructions because I've never changed an ignition switch on a GM. This is one of those jobs for which a FSM is highly recommended.