: Tried to start the car...and all it did was CLICK ?

07-18-11, 01:04 AM
I was wondering if anyone on here has ever experienced this..

Everything is working normally in my 2005 v6 50,000 miles w/ orig batterty.

Yesterday I double park, put hazzards on and leave for 10 min.
I go back to the car.. press the starter button and all it did was CLICK.
- Check the voltage via the onboard display.. it was at a low 11 v
It appeared that I had all power.. radio worked. But I noticed the alarm activation (horn) was lower sounding.)
I ran an extention cord and boosted the battery. Car started.

While on the violtage raised to 13.6..and it fluctuates , peaks at 14v..
Let the car sit overnight.. started right up this morning.

What happened?
Is this an early warning of a bad battery? or something major perhaps?

Any advice would be appreciated!

07-18-11, 01:10 AM
Could be the starter or the starter relay. My 96 blazer clicked and the starter was the problem.

07-18-11, 01:13 AM
This is very common in the STS. Definitely have your battery load tested. It appears that the charging system is working (based on the voltages you mention once it was running). My car, along with numerous others on the forum have done exactly what you described. It is very commonly the battery.

Keep in mind that the voltages you mention are when not under the load of the attempted starting. If you had a volt meter connected to the battery while pressing the start button, you would notice it drop. With a bad battery, this drop will be substantial.

07-18-11, 01:16 AM
The battery seems to be shot.
Gots volts but short on amps.

07-18-11, 01:36 AM
I have a volt meter and will check it tomorrow by connecting and using the auto start on my remote.

If it is the battery, what should I replace it with? ..standard ac delco, or something else?

07-18-11, 02:01 AM
Personally, I would purchase an Odyssey battery. They are quite expensive but I'm not sure you'll find anything better. I would rate these a little higher than an Optima, which is also a decent choice.

07-18-11, 07:35 AM
Agreed with everyone above...this is how batteries of today fail. You get little, if any, warning when they're dying. Used to be, the engine would crank slower over a few days, maybe even a couple of weeks, then you'd get just a 'click' or the death rattle of the starter solenoid rapidly opening/closing. That click is the starter solenoid closing, in case you're wondering.

Five years on an OEM battery, BTW, is great! From the records on two cars I've seen, this vehicle appears to be a bit rough on the battery.

07-18-11, 11:43 AM
Also matters if the battery has been drained before and recharged. I noticed in my car stereo days that once a battery was dead and recharged 2 or 3 times it wouldnt hold a charge well.

07-18-11, 12:37 PM
Quick flooded-cell battery tech. For more in-depth info, here is a good page: http://www.batterystuff.com/tutorial_battery.html

In theory, they should last forever. That's not a typo...forever.

They fail (die) for a few reasons. Internally, plates can shake loose and cause an internal short. Externally, the case can crack or a post can break off.

The main reason they die, however, if because of sulfation. If you look inside a battery which is older, you may be able to see the plates are covered with a white, lumpy substance. This inhibits the interaction of lead with the acid, hence, eventually the battery will not hold a charge.

There are devices which will defulfate flooded-cell batteries. I have a homemade one, though I didn't make it. With said device, the only batteries I've replaced, since about 2002, are those which had failures. The OEM battery in my wife's 2002 RX300 lasted 7 years. Still have four 6-volt golf cart batteries, wired up in series-parallel, in the motorhome, which are from 2002. Those batteries I've run to well below where they should be, for extended life. However, periodic desulfation keeps them lively. Even had OEM engine batteries, two of them, from 1999, last 9 years. Both were shaken to death and suffered plate failure.

"Sealed" batteries are a misnomer, for the most part. Gel cell & AGM batteries are sealed. However, Die Hard/OEM/Interstate "no water needed" batteries still vent, lose electrolyte, and can likely be filled if you peel a sticker off the top of them.

Sulfation occurs when the battery is not fully-charged, i.e. after it sits for a while, after the car starts, and if you run accessories after the engine is shut off, the battery will sulfate until it's charged. Once sulfation starts, it continues, and it's a domino effect. The more sulfated it is, the less of a charge it will hold, and sulfation will proced at an even quicker rate. Much like, if your car burns oil, the rate of consumption increases over time, but to us humans, it's usually pretty slow.

Desulfation forces millisecond pulses of higher current, like 15V-16V, to the battery while it is on a charger of some sort. This reverses the process, and I have actually recovered batteries which anyone would say, "yep, dead".

I can say I've attempted recovery of a few truly sealed lead-acid (flooded-cell) batteries, for UPS-type items, and have not been successful. Usually you can tell how badly sulfated a battery is by how distended the case is. If the case looks like it had a buffet-style lunch, it's past-due for corrective action, though it may still come back to near-100%.

I try to desulfate all of our vehicles' batteries about once every six months, 'cause it takes a few days, and if you put it off too long, it can take a week or two. Plus, there is a likelyhood of walking. I'll pass. With four wheeled machines, for 9 batteries, total, the desulfator is almost always in-use.

As I understand it, the really short pulses of higher voltage force the sulfate back into the electrolyte...reversing the process, hence, cleaning the plates. This takes time, of course. It takes a good while for a battery to develop a sulfate problem, so it stand to reason undoing it takes a bit of time.

This isn't the full story. Do some Google searching, and you'll find plenty about keeping batteries fresh, longer.

Here's a short write-up which mentiones the unit I have, from Don Denhardt.


I've been quite happy with it...set me back about $200 back in '02, and has been used quite a bit, since. In fact, for the last two years, it's been in use, constantly, in high ambient temperatures. Never a problem.

edit: If you have a battery which you can remove the caps to add distilled water, you can put about an ounce of mineral oil in each cell to really cut back, and in most cases eliminate, corroded battery terminals (the white crud/surrounding rust). The oil traps the acidic vapor. I didn't believe it, either, but for the past 9 years, no corrosion!

07-18-11, 12:44 PM
I just replaced my original AC Delco in my 2006 a couple weeks ago. I tried to turn the car on and it just clicked. Sounds identical to your problem. I replaced it right away. Even if you can get it to start again, you might be somewhere very unfortunate when it chooses not to start next time.

I went with an Optima Red Top. This is always my go-to battery. It was about $200 at PepBoys. It is a group 78 battery.

I should mention that this battery doesn't exactly "fit." The housing that sits directly over the battery needs to be completely removed because of the top posts on the battery. The other part of the engine cover still fits, but it is very snug against the hood once it is closed. It is not really a problem, but I should mention that it isn't "perfect."

07-18-11, 05:32 PM
Nice info Mckelly. Went back and read the original post and I agree battery. Guess it was too late last night and I missed the part about him charging the battery and it started. Get the battery checked out or check the voltage drop when you go to start it.

07-18-11, 07:53 PM
I went with an Interstate HTP-101. Cost me $145

07-18-11, 09:13 PM
The V-Series guys say the N78 Optima Redtop fits fine.

What's different?

Try this thread. (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-sts-v-series-forum/157174-replacing-car-battery-other-than-oem.html)

07-19-11, 09:25 PM
He didn't get the one in that thread that says they now have one without the top posts.

07-20-11, 01:49 PM
They have one without top posts now....? Wish I saw that at Pep Boys.

08-06-11, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the info and back up on this. I winded up finding a local AC Delco authorized dealer and got the battery $160. Suposedly its good for 5 years.

08-06-11, 04:21 PM
AC Delco's in STSs suck!:bomb: