: Stability System Disabled, Engine won't turn over, Dash lights and tai lights stay on



jburn18
08-18-13, 01:16 PM
Hey everyone,

I am in trouble! My wife was driving our 03 Escalade yesterday and called me complaining that she had lost power going up a hill. She said when the vehicle lost power the doors unlocked, it tried to die, and the service engine light popped on. She parked it and I got home to take it for a test drive. Everything seemed normal on start-up, checked all fluids, no unusual lights, other than the service ride control message which stays on since my compressor went out. For the last few months I would randomly see a Service Stability System message. Always went away, so I never pursued it. Headed out the driveway with the Escalade, seemed fine. I started up a fairly steep hill and punched it, all of a sudden, the vehicle acted like it was out of fuel, died instantly. The message center displayed "Stability System Disabled". I rolled back down the hill in neutral, and parked it. Then things got weird. I noticed the theft light was lit up, as well as the service engine light, and the traction control light. Turned the key off and back on and all previously mentioned lights remained lit up, and same message displayed. I tried to start it, but the engine would not turn over. I hear what seems to be a relay clicking when i turn the key over, but the starter never engages. I pulled it back to the house. The first thing I did was have the battery tested. It tested bad, only 200 or less cranking amps on a 1000 amp battery. Replaced the battery, and much to my dismay, no change. Also, my tail lights stay on until I unhook the battery. I filled up with fuel yesterday, so I know it's full, but the fuel gauge is reading empty. Weird. So i figured I needed to read the codes. Bought a code reader at O'Reillys. The code reader only gives me an error message. I tried it on my other two vehicles and it worked fine. I checked all fuses in both fuse boxes. No bad fuses. The closest dealer is two hours away, not that I would trust them anyway. I've got a mess on my hands! I really appreciate any help I can get.

Main Questions right now:
1: Why wont the code reader pull the codes and how can I fix that?
2: Why wont the engine turn over at all?
3: What would cause the vehicle to die all of a sudden and display "Stability System Disabled"
4: Do I have a prayer of fixing this on my own?

Thanks everyone!
Love this forum by the way, I have used it many times but never posted anything!

the cadillac man
08-18-13, 02:15 PM
Hey everyone,

I am in trouble! My wife was driving our 03 Escalade yesterday and called me complaining that she had lost power going up a hill. She said when the vehicle lost power the doors unlocked, it tried to die, and the service engine light popped on. She parked it and I got home to take it for a test drive. Everything seemed normal on start-up, checked all fluids, no unusual lights, other than the service ride control message which stays on since my compressor went out. For the last few months I would randomly see a Service Stability System message. Always went away, so I never pursued it. Headed out the driveway with the Escalade, seemed fine. I started up a fairly steep hill and punched it, all of a sudden, the vehicle acted like it was out of fuel, died instantly. The message center displayed "Stability System Disabled". I rolled back down the hill in neutral, and parked it. Then things got weird. I noticed the theft light was lit up, as well as the service engine light, and the traction control light. Turned the key off and back on and all previously mentioned lights remained lit up, and same message displayed. I tried to start it, but the engine would not turn over. I hear what seems to be a relay clicking when i turn the key over, but the starter never engages. I pulled it back to the house. The first thing I did was have the battery tested. It tested bad, only 200 or less cranking amps on a 1000 amp battery. Replaced the battery, and much to my dismay, no change. Also, my tail lights stay on until I unhook the battery. I filled up with fuel yesterday, so I know it's full, but the fuel gauge is reading empty. Weird. So i figured I needed to read the codes. Bought a code reader at O'Reillys. The code reader only gives me an error message. I tried it on my other two vehicles and it worked fine. I checked all fuses in both fuse boxes. No bad fuses. The closest dealer is two hours away, not that I would trust them anyway. I cant take it to any repair shop in the area because there are none, just a couple shade tree guys who "Dont have the stuff to work on that computerized crap". Anyway, I've got a mess on my hands! I really appreciate any help I can get.

Main Questions right now:
1: Why wont the code reader pull the codes and how can I fix that?
2: Why wont the engine turn over at all?
3: What would cause the vehicle to die all of a sudden and display "Stability System Disabled"
4: Do I have a prayer of fixing this on my own?

Thanks everyone!
Love this forum by the way, I have used it many times but never posted anything!

Sounds like the PCM if not the bcm has failed(the first one can be ordered through a parts place the later one can not)

Since its throwing a reduced engine power mode try a replacement PCM and see if the truck starts(when mine failed it would lock out the starter to prevent me from starting the truck)

Call a parts shop and tell them you need a replacement PCM and give them the vin and the mileage(if you can read it on the info screen and the reduced engine power message can be cleared)

It is possible to fix your truck so don't give up hope yet

The PCM will lock out the starter if the PCM finds a major failure in a critical data bus that it uses with the other modules in the truck

jburn18
08-18-13, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the reply! Do you think a failed PCM is preventing me from reading codes?

the cadillac man
08-18-13, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the reply! Do you think a failed PCM is preventing me from reading codes?

Good possibility it is

jburn18
08-19-13, 09:39 PM
Hey cadillacman, The auto parts store told me there would be additional on-car programming required to complete the install of the pcm. If that is the case, will it be safe to make a two hour drive to the dealership for programming. This is of course if I get the part installed and the truck actually starts and runs without any other issues.

Also is the PCM also called the ECM? And is it located under the battery?

Thanks a bunch for your help!!

the cadillac man
08-20-13, 12:23 AM
Hey cadillacman, The auto parts store told me there would be additional on-car programming required to complete the install of the pcm. If that is the case, will it be safe to make a two hour drive to the dealership for programming. This is of course if I get the part installed and the truck actually starts and runs without any other issues.

Also is the PCM also called the ECM? And is it located under the battery?

Thanks a bunch for your help!!

It would be best to take it to the dealer before installing

As far as driving its up to you drive or tow which ever you feel comfortable with(I would have it towed as I hate having to sit at the side of the road)

The location of the PCM is mounted next to the battery under the plastic black cover

I am glad to help

If you need more help just post

jburn18
08-21-13, 05:51 PM
It would be best to take it to the dealer before installing

As far as driving its up to you drive or tow which ever you feel comfortable with(I would have it towed as I hate having to sit at the side of the road)

The location of the PCM is mounted next to the battery under the plastic black cover

I am glad to help

If you need more help just post


Sorry Cadillac Man, just need to clarify:
The PCM is supposed to be in tomorrow. The parts store got my VIN and Mileage and told me it was pre-programmed. Do you recommend I take the PCM itself to the dealer before I install it on the truck? Or should I install it then tow the truck to the dealership? Thanks again for your help!!

the cadillac man
08-21-13, 06:54 PM
Sorry Cadillac Man, just need to clarify:
The PCM is supposed to be in tomorrow. The parts store got my VIN and Mileage and told me it was pre-programmed. Do you recommend I take the PCM itself to the dealer before I install it on the truck? Or should I install it then tow the truck to the dealership? Thanks again for your help!!

Nope if its preprogrammed then you would just need to swap it out

If you need some help on doing that I have a factory service manual just let me know

YoshiMan
08-21-13, 10:39 PM
Just out of curiosity, which "parts store" did you go to for the pre-programmed computer?

the cadillac man
08-22-13, 01:40 AM
Just out of curiosity, which "parts store" did you go to for the pre-programmed computer?

Most can get them preprogrammed but you do have to have both the vin and accurate mileage(I found out the hard way)

jburn18
08-22-13, 12:02 PM
Just out of curiosity, which "parts store" did you go to for the pre-programmed computer?

Got it from O'reilly's. It was 155, plus 70.00 to have it programmed. I'm thinking about returning it. They have used ones online for 100.00 already programmed. Do you think that would be wise or would you opt for the re-man from O'reilly's? Also, the instructions say that I have to take it somewhere (dealer I guess) for a "GM Crankshaft Variation Re-learn". Is that true? I thought the PCM would adjust itself after a few re-starts. Maybe not? Also, that factory service manual would be great! I appreciate that!



Thanks Again!

the cadillac man
08-22-13, 12:07 PM
Got it from O'reilly's. It was 155, plus 70.00 to have it programmed. I'm thinking about returning it. They have used ones online for 100.00 already programmed. Do you think that would be wise or would you opt for the re-man from O'reilly's? Also, the instructions say that I have to take it somewhere (dealer I guess) for a "GM Crankshaft Variation Re-learn". Is that true? I thought the PCM would adjust itself after a few re-starts. Maybe not? Also that factory service manual would be great! I appreciate that!

Thanks Again!

Last time I talked to a auto zone rep(before they damaged my truck) I was told that the PCM is preprogrammed and Is a plug and play kind of deal
Also if you want a copy of the service
Manual pm me your email address

jburn18
08-22-13, 12:23 PM
Another thought: I haven't been able to retrieve any codes from the truck. The DLC has power (my reader powers up when I plug it in), but it gave me an error message. Does the BCM have anything to do with code reading?

alexmckinney
08-22-13, 12:39 PM
I just bought a 2005 Escalade on Tuesday. By Wednesday I had a similar issue. Took it back to the Caddy dealer where I bought it and their service guy found a loose ground and a short at the throttle. Fortunately for me they are fixing it right now and I should have it back today. Mine was doing all same stuff as as yours so I would suggest looking at the grounds. Seems like a common issue after a little research on my end.

jburn18
08-22-13, 12:56 PM
Thanks, will do. I'll check ground after work. Let me know if that fixed it.

the cadillac man
08-22-13, 07:26 PM
Another thought: I haven't been able to retrieve any codes from the truck. The DLC has power (my reader powers up when I plug it in), but it gave me an error message. Does the BCM have anything to do with code reading?

Is the cigar fuse blown?

The bcm may have something to do with the communications but I will have to look at my service manual to see

jburn18
08-22-13, 10:28 PM
Is the cigar fuse blown?

The bcm may have something to do with the communications but I will have to look at my service manual to see

Okay, It's not the PCM. I plugged in the new PCM tonight, turned on the key, and it has the exact same symptoms. First the traction control light turned on, then the service ride control message, then it immediately went to the stability system disabled message. The fuel gauge reads empty, and I know it is full. Also, I discovered my key fob doesn't work either. I tried to start it and nothing, not even a click. Then I tried my code reader, error message again. The cigar fuse is good. I checked the negative battery cable with an ohm meter against the block, good. I also checked the power wire to the starter, removed the wire, cleaned it, and re-installed it. No difference. I pulled the PCM back off and re-installed my old one. Where else could the problem be coming from?

the cadillac man
08-23-13, 12:10 AM
Okay, It's not the PCM. I plugged in the new PCM tonight, turned on the key, and it has the exact same symptoms. First the traction control light turned on, then the service ride control message, then it immediately went to the stability system disabled message. The fuel gauge reads empty, and I know it is full. Also, I discovered my key fob doesn't work either. I tried to start it and nothing, not even a click. Then I tried my code reader, error message again. The cigar fuse is good. I checked the negative battery cable with an ohm meter against the block, good. I also checked the power wire to the starter, removed the wire, cleaned it, and re-installed it. No difference. I pulled the PCM back off and re-installed my old one. Where else could the problem be coming from?

The bcm controls these items
Lights(inside and out)
Keyless entry
Memory seat and mirror
Wipers
Rear defrost
Hvac system
Audio system(radio and amp)
Both front door modules interface with it via the class 2 data bus
Accessory delayed power(radio, windows)
Onstar system(module and mirror)
Rear seat audio controls
Rear seat entertainment system(if equipped)
Front and rear seat warmers
Security system and pass lock system

If one or more of the items in the list is not working or acts up then most likely it is the bcm

Be sure to test everything to be sure it is the bcm

jburn18
08-23-13, 01:59 PM
Cadillac Man:
I checked over your list, this is what I found. Does the passlock system prevent you from reaing codes in any way?

The bcm controls these items
Lights(inside and out) yes
Keyless entry yes, today, yesterday it did not
Memory seat and mirror yes
Wipers yes
Rear defrost yes
Hvac system yes
Audio system(radio and amp)yes
Both front door modules interface with it via the class 2 data busyes, as far as I know
Accessory delayed power(radio, windows)yes
Onstar system(module and mirror) yes
Rear seat audio controlsyes
Rear seat entertainment system(if equipped)yes
Front and rear seat warmersFront does not work, it did before this happened
Security system and pass lock systemThe theft light stays lit

Some other issues: I noticed today that my gear shift indicator is not lit up at all. The gear shift functions properly, but the indicator is not lit up. My fuel gauge shows empty but I know it's full.
If one or more of the items in the list is not working or acts up then most likely it is the bcm

Be sure to test everything to be sure it is the bcm

jburn18
08-23-13, 09:50 PM
Tested relays tonight. All were good. Think I should try getting a BCM?

the cadillac man
08-23-13, 09:59 PM
Tested relays tonight. All were good. Think I should try getting a BCM?

Given of the items in the list confirms it then the bcm will have to be replaced

I know how you feel as my previous car did this and it drove me crazy and I got afraid of driving it as I couldn't get it fixed(Chrysler wanted to keep it in the shop for a week)

jburn18
08-23-13, 11:17 PM
Given of the items in the list confirms it then the bcm will have to be replaced

I know how you feel as my previous car did this and it drove me crazy and I got afraid of driving it as I couldn't get it fixed(Chrysler wanted to keep it in the shop for a week)


Thanks again! Gonna get a bcm ordered. Anything in particular I need to know about installing it? Programming or otherwise?

the cadillac man
08-24-13, 12:13 AM
Thanks again! Gonna get a bcm ordered. Anything in particular I need to know about installing it? Programming or otherwise?

Not sure as I never had to go through the process but I do have a factory service manual which describes the install process if you want to attempt doing the work yourself although the programming would have to be done at a dealer with the tech-2

bigirb2002
08-24-13, 12:47 AM
i have a hunch its a bad ground

the cadillac man
08-24-13, 01:50 AM
i have a hunch its a bad ground

I went through this issue with my previous car and I know it wasn't a ground as I had checked all of them(the car I am talking about is a 99 Chrysler Concorde)

FYI I had the ground cable get loose once and it gave the truck just enough power to work certain things and attempt a start( theft lock light didn't stay on) but the whole dash was dead(radio guages onstar etc etc) also the op replaced the battery and checked the cables yet his truck DOESN'T even crank

The fuel level is read by the bcm via the data bus from the PCM
I also know when the bcm on the Concorde I had acted up the security light would stay lit as the op mentioned and the car wouldn't crank(as in nothing from the starter at all) the next time it would start and run fine(yet drive you crazy with the low fuel chime dinging every few seconds as you drive the car)
I have been there so I know how to tell when a module is failing
I had the PCM to fail in my truck and the dash went nuts temp gauges pegged at full hot and messages popping off five at a time and nothing from the starter even though everything in the truck worked(lights included) you name it it worked
Also a bad ground don't cause a battery to go dead(bad module yes ground no)

jburn18
08-24-13, 08:31 AM
I went through this issue with my previous car and I know it wasn't a ground as I had checked all of them(the car I am talking about is a 99 Chrysler Concorde)

FYI I had the ground cable get loose once and it gave the truck just enough power to work certain things and attempt a start( theft lock light didn't stay on) but the whole dash was dead(radio guages onstar etc etc) also the op replaced the battery and checked the cables yet his truck DOESN'T even crank

The fuel level is read by the bcm via the data bus from the PCM
I also know when the bcm on the Concorde I had acted up the security light would stay lit as the op mentioned and the car wouldn't crank(as in nothing from the starter at all) the next time it would start and run fine(yet drive you crazy with the low fuel chime dinging every few seconds as you drive the car)
I have been there so I know how to tell when a module is failing
I had the PCM to fail in my truck and the dash went nuts temp gauges pegged at full hot and messages popping off five at a time and nothing from the starter even though everything in the truck worked(lights included) you name it it worked
Also a bad ground don't cause a battery to go dead(bad module yes ground no)


Thanks for the explanation, makes me feel better about dropping the cash on the BCM. I've checked all grounds I can trace out. But I would be more than willing to check more if I knew where to look. I've checked the negative cable against the block, checked the ground cable on the back of the block to the firewall, and visually check various wires I came across. Where else would the major grounding points be? I've got a few days before the BCM gets here.....

the cadillac man
08-24-13, 11:45 AM
Thanks for the explanation, makes me feel better about dropping the cash on the BCM. I've checked all grounds I can trace out. But I would be more than willing to check more if I knew where to look. I've checked the negative cable against the block, checked the ground cable on the back of the block to the firewall, and visually check various wires I came across. Where else would the major grounding points be? I've got a few days before the BCM gets here.....

I don't think there many more but I will look at my service manual to see for sure

89 Coupe DiVille
08-26-13, 09:07 PM
YA aaa I am having the same symptoms with my 2003 escalade!!! ITS DRIVING ME CRAZY where is the BCM ?

the cadillac man
08-26-13, 09:32 PM
YA aaa I am having the same symptoms with my 2003 escalade!!! ITS DRIVING ME CRAZY where is the BCM ?

Behind the knee bolster under the steering column

89 Coupe DiVille
08-26-13, 10:11 PM
Thank you

jburn18
08-27-13, 11:49 AM
Well bigirb2002, You are the lucky winner of the guessing game, unfortunately there are no prizes, just a nod of appreciation for making me check things twice. Cadillac Man, I certainly appreciate all your help with the service manuals and suggestions, they are greatly appreciated!!! I found the problem last night!!! I hadn't ordered the BCM last weekend because I wanted to triple check the grounds and make certain I found all of them. I dug through the service manual (Thanks Cadillac Man!) and found a few hints to help track them down. I spent about 1 1/2 hours laying under the truck tracing every wire I could see, cutting open insulation, etc. It was a huge pain! I was laying under the starter and my flashlight just happened to catch something shiny near the top of the engine, behind the intake manifold. I laid there for a good 15 minutes just trying to get the right angle to see what the shiny thing was. After contorting my body in ways that would impress most Olympic class gymnasts, I was able to see a broken wire barely sticking out of the end of a wire shield. I had to pull all the plastic off of the top of the engine and here's what I found:
139377

139385


There is no way to visibly see the terminal end. I had to stick the phone back behind the intake to get this photo:
139393

It was a chore to get to the bolt that secures the terminal end but here's how I did it, a Twelve inch extension connected to a 3/8 u-joint, connected to a 6 inch extension, connected to a 3/8x1/4 adapter, follwed by a 1/4 u-joint with a 13mm socket on the end:
139401

139409

I put a new terminal end on, added a 6 inch piece of wire, and taped it really good to try to keep the vibration of the engine from breaking it again:

139425

139433


I put everything back together, turned on the key, and the truck started like nothing ever happened. I can't believe that one little 18ga wire could cause so much to go wrong. Took it for a test drive and everything functioned perfectly! What a happy ending. Luckily I was able to find the solution. I hope this helps someone else out there!! Thanks again everyone for all the advice and assistance. It's nice to have a place like this to shoot ideas around. I would not have fixed this issue if it hadn't been for the help of Cadillac Man and Bigirb2002!! Thanks everyone!!

jburn18
08-27-13, 12:11 PM
Just for curiosity: What IS that wire grounding?

the cadillac man
08-27-13, 12:22 PM
Just for curiosity: What IS that wire grounding?

I am going to look at the grounds section in my service manual to see as that had me stumped I never thought that wire would cause that kind of problem weird as heck

89 Coupe DiVille
08-27-13, 05:02 PM
Thank,s every one !!!!!Who would think that little black wire grey stripe such A problem. We wish we knew what that wire was for?

the cadillac man
08-27-13, 10:52 PM
Thank,s every one !!!!!Who would think that little black wire grey stripe such A problem. We wish we knew what that wire was for?

Going to check the wiring diagrams and the ground points and see what it is for

bigirb2002
08-29-13, 10:28 PM
it is then engine harness ground. im telling you guys from years working on cars. every car that gave crazy off the wall electrical problem has ended up being grounds for me. keep that in mind if you have a crazy electrical prob. hahahaha i remember my civic i hit the brakes then signal lights came on,turn the headlights on the left side high beams came on and right side signal and low beam, hit blinkers and the headlights flashed. all of that because i forgot to tighten down the body harness ground on the left side of civic. You live you learn!!!!!! glad i could help dude!!!!!!!!!!!!! on my civic i tapped into 3 random sensor grounds and grounded them to engine to prevent the same issue u faced. its a old honda trick.

the cadillac man
08-29-13, 10:55 PM
it is then engine harness ground. im telling you guys from years working on cars. every car that gave crazy off the wall electrical problem has ended up being grounds for me. keep that in mind if you have a crazy electrical prob. hahahaha i remember my civic i hit the brakes then signal lights came on,turn the headlights on the left side high beams came on and right side signal and low beam, hit blinkers and the headlights flashed. all of that because i forgot to tighten down the body harness ground on the left side of civic. You live you learn!!!!!! glad i could help dude!!!!!!!!!!!!! on my civic i tapped into 3 random sensor grounds and grounded them to engine to prevent the same issue u faced. its a old honda trick.

I know what you mean I had a Chrysler Concorde but since I didn't have a service manual for it I never looked into the electrical issue it had but because I didn't I now have my escalade

But I have had that kind of problem and its not fun to hear the low fuel chime 20-30 times in one trip(I had a full tank when the car did that)
Also the headlights would turn on and off by themselves(that made night time driving real fun)

jburn18
08-30-13, 11:18 AM
Thanks for identifying what that wire is! Great to know for future reference!