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2004 CTS-V
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Discussion Starter #1
Really strange problem with my 2004 CTS-V. I last drove the car 2 weeks ago. Parked it in my garage on a battery trickle charger. I come in to start it today, when I turn the key I don't get any dash lights or any chimes or anything. The power door locks won't even work. Headlights come on no problem. The engine turns over but refuses to catch and stay running. It will turn over, catch for half a second and then shut down, like it's not getting any fuel.


The only parts of the car that are working are the engine starter, the headlights, and strangely the eject button on the CD and DVD players. So obviously there's power. Two weeks ago when I drove it was just to get the oil changed, and there have been no issues with the car up to this point. Anyone have any idea why the engine won't catch?
 

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'05 CTS-V
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7,971 Posts
I'd start with the battery. Give it a full charge with a "normal" charger (and/or take it to a auto parts place to have them test it). You have power, but not enough to energize things that would normally power up when you turn the key, so it sounds like you don't have enough juice.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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Discussion Starter #3
I'd start with the battery. Give it a full charge with a "normal" charger (and/or take it to a auto parts place to have them test it). You have power, but not enough to energize things that would normally power up when you turn the key, so it sounds like you don't have enough juice.
I appreciate where you are coming from on this, but the battery is on a trickle charger 24/7, and I have enough power to run the headlights as well as turn the starter indefinitely. It's not a battery issue.

If the battery were failing, I wouldn't be able to sit there and crank and crank and crank.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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1,175 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Is there a ground, or a fuse, that would cut off power to every system except the ignition relay and the headlights?
 

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2003 Deville
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22 Posts
I think your car is stuck in ‘anti theft’ mode, unfortunately this issue makes a person crazy, it’s showed up out of left field leaves no DTC codes and sometimes vanishing a few days/weeks/months later like am nothing ever happen.

you could be anything from needed a new ignition (at the steering column- caused worn keys, wires disconnect at the ignition) battery, key fob, etc, yes makes the impossible extremely possible

is your ‘ANTI THEFT’ light on and staying on (if it is it just helps confirm my thoughts but if it’s not it doesn’t mean anything) to start off, switch batteries, try using a different set of ignition keys and a different FOB (if you have more then one) if not then get new batteries for the FOB and work with that one, if there’s a relearn procedure for the the FOB (the remote control lock / unlock car / alarm on your keys) thenuse the relearn in the instructions, make sure that you have plenty of volts to start that car,unless you have a good booster box your only going to get a couple turns before you drain your battery down, regardless if it’s on a trickle charger)

I would look up this topic and take someone’s advice and try and hunt the issue down, there got to a million you tube videos on the GM ANTITHEFT and when it all goes wrong how to get it back on track again, because there a lot to it and it happens a lot and I’m not very good at explaining this, but for fun also make sure you disengage the alarm / anti theft (turn it off using the owners manual, key and FOB) and also if there is a lock unlock key for the drivers door, lock and unlock it by hand with the key, let me know how you make out and if you have any questions drop me a line, hope I help your out.

best

Paul
 

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'93 SedanDeville 60 Special
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232 Posts
You did not mention how old the battery is and what the temps of weather are.

Could have one or more battery cells degrade that would allow about normal voltage level
but cannot handle current load

Have or borrow a battery load level tester ( cheap ones like Harbor Freight like $35)
Check connections to battery or grounds, clean tight

As to VATs, normally on GM vehicles, when door is open the security light flashes
If it does not could be voltage got low enough that the BCM and PCM lost security seed sync and would
have to do a relearn for it
Check around if mouse, etc nested and eating wiring.

Disconnect 1 battery lead for a few minutes, then re-install and maybe have controllers re-sync up again
Another case where a good OBD-II scanner would lead to what the problems are but at the least look to see
if there are any DTCs. either history or current show up after doing the re-sync
 

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2004 CTS-V
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1,175 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Battery is in good shape, temps were around 75 degrees. The battery has tons of power - it will crank the car over and over and over and over, the engine just won't catch for more than a second and a half.

I also went in and cleaned the grounds, including the two on the back of the engine, but it made no difference. I disconnected the battery for a few days, came back and reconnected it, no difference. I tried a different key, no effect. I don't have any fobs synced to the car (old ones batteries died a year or so ago, new ones haven't been synced yet).

I believe it's an anti-theft problem the more and more that I think about it. I'm going to put a scanner on the car this weekend. It's in my winter storage garage at this point, so I have a lot of time to figure this out, but if it's antitheft, from what I understand, it's not easy to fix without dealer intervention.

I really appreciate all of the advice, especially in the last two posts. I'll keep you updated with any codes I can pull from the car.
 
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