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Discussion Starter #1
Our youngest son owns the subject Caddy. It has about 70K miles on it and seems to be in good condition. It has the Northstar engine. He left on a trip from Moscow, Idaho to St. Louis, MO about 2 weeks ago with it, to visit his brother who works there. It ran perfectly all the way there and he wasn't driving slowly. A few days ago, he and his brother decided to drive up to Springfield, IL to visit their Mother's brother. A few miles out of St. Louis, the engine suddenly died, and although he could get it started, it would not continue to run for more than a few minutes.

Of course, when the engine died, the battery light came on, and he interpreted this to mean that he was having battery trouble, which, or course, is not the case. He had the car towed to a local garage. They determined that his battery was very hot, and worn out (which I agree with since the battery was the cheapest WalMart POS battery the original owner could find, and it was old). They replaced the battery, then tested the car. The car continued to stall. They then replaced the crankshaft sensor, and at least two others and charged him $600.00

After that work, he tried, again to make the trip to Springfield, and the same thing happened again about 15 miles further down the road. He had it towed to the Cadillac dealership (at my advice, and you don't have to tell me how stupid that was of me). They told him he needed a crankshaft sensor (!!!), held the car over a weekend, and charged him another $600.00

He has told me that the computer keeps telling him to change oil, but he just changed the oil before he left on the trip. Undoubtedly, the outfit who changed the oil didn't reset the computer, so that issue is one I can fix here.

Now he is finally on his way back. Today we called him when he reached Billings, Montana and he was absolutely furious. The car keeps stalling on him and is very difficult to get running steadily every time he stops or slows down, like through a town. Once it is running at a higher rate of speed it, apparently, keeps going. So he drove 12 hours steadily today, and had trouble getting the car to run at every stop he made for gas.

Reading as much as I can find on the net about this issue, I come up with many possible scenarios: crankshaft sensor (so far changed twice), bad battery cables, EGR valve stuck or worn out, fuel filter, fuel pump. But since he is (now) still close to 1K miles away, I can't do much from here. He also has very little mechanical talent, so he misinterprets what the car is trying to tell him, and can't translate that for me. I built cars for years, and cars and engines and other mechanicals "talk" to me.

At this point, and from what little I can learn from him, I suspect the fuel pump or something in the fuel system.

So....has anyone here had the same or very similar issues with their Eldorado? Any help out there for this old man (78) and his son?

My wife has suggested that we drive over there to meet him and follow him home, or at least to my brother's and sister's place in Missoula, but that is 250 miles from here and I'd really rather not do that if I can avoid it.

Ken Gordon
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Might start with a good TB cleaning.

Most sensors are monitored so if one fails, it should set a DTC that can be retrieved via the onboard diagnostics.

I doubt it's the fuel pump. If it was, he'[d have problems at higher fuel demands, like cruising at 70 MPH, no at idle. That's what leads me to think dirty TB. The TB is out of sight and out of mind and commonly neglected. His may never have been cleaned.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Might start with a good TB cleaning.
I'm sorry. I am not familiar, yet, with some abbreviations here. What's a "TB" ?

Most sensors are monitored so if one fails, it should set a DTC that can be retrieved via the onboard diagnostics.
Yes. I've learned that here over the past two days. But he is still almost 1K miles from here and as I mentioned, he is not particularly mechanically inclined. When/if he gets here I can do all that.

I doubt it's the fuel pump. If it was, he'd have problems at higher fuel demands, like cruising at 70 MPH, not at idle. That's what leads me to think dirty TB. The TB is out of sight and out of mind and commonly neglected. His may never have been cleaned.
Well, I talked with him this morning. He told me it started right up and now he is cruising around 85 MPH with no problems. He also told me that it does surge periodically, like when he mashes on the gas to pass or such. He is worried he will end up beside the road somewhere in Montana. He still has three mountain passes to cross too.

Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.

Ken
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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He also told me that it does surge periodically, like when he mashes on the gas to pass or such.
That "COULD" be a vacuum leak (loose, broken or pulled vacuum line or a torn TB plenum duct). DTC's will help when you can pull them. Be sure to post them AND their definitions as well as whether they are C - current or H - History.

Keep us posted and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That "COULD" be a vacuum leak (loose, broken or pulled vacuum line or a torn TB plenum duct). DTC's will help when you can pull them. Be sure to post them AND their definitions as well as whether they are C - current or H - History.

Keep us posted and good luck.
Thanks again. Will do.

He is now in Missoula, Montana, having traversed most of the state at 85 MPH. As far as I am concerned, this pretty much rules out the fuel pump as the problem. I have arranged with our local auto repair folks (family-owned, and completely honest) to 1) test the fuel pump, 2) replace the fuel filter, and 3) clean the TB. I also told them to do anything else they think might be connected with the problem. They have always been really good folks to deal with. I also told him to throw a can of injector cleaner in every other tank of gas until he gets here. So far, he has had zero problems. He will have lunch with my sister in Missoula, then will proceed home, another 250 miles. His Mom and I are keeping our fingers crossed.

Ken
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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STEP #1 - ALWAYS - check for DTC's - Diagnostic Trouble Codes - using the on-board scanner -
if you don't know how - go here -

post any codes you have -
ALONG WITH THEIR DEFINITIONS -

include whether they are C-Current or H-History -

for code definitions - go here -
 

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Discussion Starter #8
STEP #1 - ALWAYS - check for DTC's - Diagnostic Trouble Codes - using the on-board scanner -
if you don't know how - go here -

post any codes you have -
ALONG WITH THEIR DEFINITIONS -

include whether they are C-Current or H-History -

for code definitions - go here -
Thank you. Yes. I read about the DTC and how to get them last night, or early this morning.

Just as soon as the car arrives here, I'll take my digital camera or phone out to the car and do that.

I'll report back here.

Ken
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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I also told him to throw a can of injector cleaner in every other tank of gas until he gets here.
Be careful. That is strong stuff and too much can damage the insulation on the fuel pump motor winding.
 
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