: 1998 Cadillac STS starter clicks but won't start....HELP Please

11-11-10, 09:43 PM
Hi Everyone new here and hoping you guys can help me. I have a 1998 Cadillac STS when you try to start it the starter clicks but the car won't start. When you go to start it the dash lights come on, then when you turn the key the lights go off, the car goes dead and flashes security, have tried both sets of keys I have. What's really weird is it kills the battery also. Stumped and need some advice.

Things I have done so far:

Checked the battery
Checked the alternator
Replaced the starter
Couldn't find any blown fuses or relays and power is getting to the front fuse box.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


11-11-10, 09:54 PM
Sounds like a dead battery to me. How did you "check" it?

11-11-10, 09:56 PM
Battery is fine, autozone tested the battery and we also pulled the battery out of another car that we know is good and had the same result.

11-11-10, 10:06 PM
Are the cables clean and tight? was there any corrosion on the cables? If there was, sometimes the corrosion can get under the insulation. Might also check the grounds. You can use a jumper cable and run a redundant ground from the battery to any good ground on the engine to test it. Also make sure the cable connection on the starter solenoid is tight.

Don't forget to pull the DTC's.

11-11-10, 10:27 PM
I will try looking for grounding issues tomorrow, all of the cables looked good, terminals were clean and connections were tight on the starter it self. If there was a bad ground would the starter still click? Could it even be getting power with a bad ground? Thanks.

No DTC's at all...

11-12-10, 05:17 AM
A bad ground just means increased electrical resistance which lowers the amount of current that can be drawn from the battery and sometimes will get hot. If you have a loose or corroded ground you will probably be able to use the radio, interior lights, dash display but when you try to start it the current demand goes up and the voltage drops causing lights to dim or go out. A broken or disconnected ground on the other hand will not even try to start and if it is at the battery nothing electrical will work. Put a voltmeter between a bare bolt on the engine and the negative post (not connector) and you should not get more than a few millivolts if any if you have a good ground. Incidentally, the same problems can be caused by a bad connection in the positive side of the circuit. You can also put your meter between the posts of the battery while someone tries to start the engine. If the voltage drops way down like 7 or 8 volts you probably have a bad battery. Your battery should read somewhere around 12.75 sitting without anything on. Good luck


11-19-10, 03:36 PM
I had the same problem on my '94 Deville Concours, and I thought it was the starter. But as Ranger suggests my problem was in the ground. Cleaned and tightened the ground cable, and "she's" been running right since. What led me away from the battery was also interior lights, radio, open door alarm, etc. A few minutes work and like I said its been right as rain since.