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2003 STS - No start

1885 Views 22 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Submariner409
Okay, so last Tuesday I went out to start my car at about 10 AM. It was considerably cold (about 31°F) and when i turned the key my car wouldn't start.... All I got was multiple rapid clicks and the headlights were flickering along with the clicks. The clicks were in about a 8-10 click sequence. And it would last maybe 3 seconds. Even if I turned the key in the off position. So I went and jumped it from the under the hood positive terminal thing. And it started right up. After that it ran fine. Until today. (5 days later) I went out with my girlfriend to grab some food about 4 miles from her house....When I came back, the car wouldn't start. It did the same exact thing. It would click rapidly and the lights would flicker with the clicks...... The weird thing is that every electrical thing worked. (Windows, radio, dic, inside lights, headlights, etc). After turning all electrical thing off, I tried starting it again and it still just clicked. I checked the battery voltage on the DIC and it read "9.4 ok" that seemed extremely low to me, because I thought it was supposed to be at about 12.4. Anyway. We called my girlfriends mom, and she came and I jumped my car and again it started right up. Now here is my question. If the battery was bad, wouldn't the car not even have the ability to power any of the lights or radio? And wouldn't the car not even click? So what could it be if its not the battery. And how can I find the source of the problem?


Oh today when it didn't start it was also 28°F. I don't know if that has any relevance
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Ranger said:
It IS the battery. Replace it.
So if it is my battery why does it only happen once and awhile. Because today I was driving all day. So it should have been charged. Right?
Ranger said:
And don't try to cheap out. You NEED a series 79 battery with side vents as it is under the rear seat.
How much would you say one cost?
Okay. That's not to to bad. Thank you for the help Ranger!


basscatt said:
if you really have aspirations of some day becoming a REAL MECHANIC -
you should start by learning/reading/investigating on your own -
THEN verifying the information YOU gather by asking intelligent questions -

do an internet search "why do car batteries fail" - it will turn up a lot of good information -

here are two basic - but very informative articles well worth reading -
Thanks for the tip. Becoming a Cadillac Mechanic is my goal. I want to open my own shop with my father when I get out of college, and specialize in Cadillacs. I do a ton of investigating and reading.... That's actually what I do with most my time. But for my situation from what I read on this forum I didn't think that it was normal for the battery to be dead, but still be able to power the lights and radio and stuff, so I just wanted to see what other people thought.
I'll probably replace the battery tomorrow if I can get some extra time. I'll give ya guys a update when I get done with replacing the battery
UPDATE: Okay so. Today it wouldn't start again. So I ran it through the gears. And tried and it actually cranked a little but then started clicking. So I put it in neutral and and tried to start it and it fired up. Does this still seem like a bad battery?
MoistCabbage said:
Just replace the known bad battery before you go looking for other problems.
I will. I need to get the money together for the battery. But is it abnormal that it wouldn't start but once I switched it in neutral it started? I just can't afford to spend $150 on a new battery if the one in it now is perfectly fine.
Ranger said:
If you want to prove the battery bad, just remove it and temporarily replace it with another one from your buddy's car. Hell, you don't even have to remove it. Just set the test battery next to it and touch the cables to the terminals. Then have someone start the car. Just don't jump it. Both cables come off your battery and go on the known good battery. You want your battery completely out of the equation.
But isn't the battery in my car different than regular car batteries? If I'm correct I believe I read that it was a 79 Series? So if I were to do this I would have to track down someone with the same battery as mine? Or will any car battery work for this test?
Put a new battery in today. Fixed the problem. Everything is back to normal :)
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