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Battery died when I left the car in neutral while doing some work on the brakes, had to charge it and when I took it for a ride the center console lights And steering wheel lights are out, I do not pull any codes. Any thoughts?
 

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Battery died when I left the car in neutral while doing some work on the brakes, had to charge it and when I took it for a ride the center console lights And steering wheel lights are out, I do not pull any codes. Any thoughts?
I had that happen once just from leaving the fuel/range dialog selected when I turned the car off and then filled the tank up, it didn't like that. Tried restarting the car and it didn't work. Then I got out of the car and used the remote start to start it and when I got back in the car and pushed the button everything came back on. I was trying to think of a way to cause the software to enter the program at a different entry point and it seemed to work.
 

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I didn't see the topic earlier but with current vehicles whenever the vehicle battery drops below a critical level "glitches" often result. This is particularly common when starting with a battery that is heavily discharged or nearing end of life.

These problems often do disappear after disconnecting/reconnecting the battery. When doing this reset procedure either wait for a couple of minutes after disconnecting or wait a few seconds then do what is often referred to as a "global reset" by touching the FULLY DISCONNECTED battery cables together. There are smoothing and bypass capacitors located in most of the modules and these can take a short time to discharge so a very quick removal and reconnection of one of the leads may not allow sufficient time for a full reset to occur. I prefer the wait a few minutes method because you are less likely to create additional issues. This is also a reason why you want to keep a good battery in modern cars because it also acts as a surge suppressor to limit voltage transients on the 12 volt bus. As the voltage tries to rise, a good battery will draw heavy current limiting the peak voltage but a degraded battery with high internal resistance is not effective at providing this protection. With modern vehicles, damage can easily occur when trying to "jump" a vehicle that has a battery in very poor condition. When this event happens, it is much like when there is a lighting induced surge into unprotected house circuits where it is likely some devices will fail immediately but others will fail as a result of this surge a few weeks or months later as the degraded component suffers an early but not immediate failure.

Other "soft glitches" will disappear after you shut off the vehicle AND exit the vehicle. Just stopping and restarting won't be sufficient because with the driver's door shut, retained accessory power keeps most modules active and several primary modules not under the RAP system still retain power for a few seconds after the ignition is turned off. This is why you will hear some vehicle sounds a few seconds after shutdown even when RAP is active because other modules not needed for the infotainment and control systems are powered down after a few seconds even when RAP is supplying power.

And sometimes a hard failure occurs. My 2002 Olds Aurora did this when it was a couple of years old and I was driving in to work one morning. The forecast the night before was for decent weather but it started snowing moderately about half way through my 25 mile commute to work and I decided to change from CD to a local AM station to check the updated weather. Since the last time I had listened to that local station they had gone to nearly 24/7 syndicated talk radio with one of the well known idiots spouting forth. When I tried to change from that station I found that I couldn't change stations, back to CD, FM, or anything else nor could I turn the radio off or turn down the volume. Even using the OnStar button wouldn't override the idiot and I finally cured it by pulling into a gas station and pulling the fuse before my IQ dropped too much :) GM replaced the infotainment unit under warranty and the service tech had the same reaction I had, it reminded both of us of a scene from the Mel Brooks classic, "High Anxiety".
 

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2013 base ATS - I am having a similar issue. Got gas on Nov. 3rd and went to start my car afterwards and it did the same (I call it a sputter) sound when doing the push to start, took a few seconds of holding down and then the engine finally turned over. My entire center console lights were out and the lights on the steering wheel column that control the volume, cruise control, etc. My center column HVAC controls work - there is an amber light coming from where it WOULD indicate "auto AC" "sync" etc. but the lights with all the words and symbols are gone. No radio/media/Bluetooth response from those buttons or dials. My OnStar light also turned red. We checked all the fuses that are located by the steering column.

My car went out of warranty in 2018 (the 5 years bumper to bumper) and i'm barely at 70k miles this month. I have another 22 months of payments. Had issues with my actuator blowing only on my feet earlier this year, my gear shift clip broke while I was getting gas (and had to have it towed) 2 months ago, and my windshield just got a crack in it the day after my console went out. Owning a Cadillac out of warranty has been a nightmare that I can't wake up from.

I don't know how to make my own post, but hoping someone sees this and has some information. Also - how do I disconnect the battery? The corner felt panel with the plastic prongs wouldn't release all the way. We were trying to get to the battery/wiring and seemed like I needed to remove the hard interior plastic panel that's against my bumper & needed a special tool.
 

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2013 base ATS - I am having a similar issue. Got gas on Nov. 3rd and went to start my car afterwards and it did the same (I call it a sputter) sound when doing the push to start, took a few seconds of holding down and then the engine finally turned over. My entire center console lights were out and the lights on the steering wheel column that control the volume, cruise control, etc. My center column HVAC controls work - there is an amber light coming from where it WOULD indicate "auto AC" "sync" etc. but the lights with all the words and symbols are gone. No radio/media/Bluetooth response from those buttons or dials. My OnStar light also turned red. We checked all the fuses that are located by the steering column.

My car went out of warranty in 2018 (the 5 years bumper to bumper) and i'm barely at 70k miles this month. I have another 22 months of payments. Had issues with my actuator blowing only on my feet earlier this year, my gear shift clip broke while I was getting gas (and had to have it towed) 2 months ago, and my windshield just got a crack in it the day after my console went out. Owning a Cadillac out of warranty has been a nightmare that I can't wake up from.

I don't know how to make my own post, but hoping someone sees this and has some information. Also - how do I disconnect the battery? The corner felt panel with the plastic prongs wouldn't release all the way. We were trying to get to the battery/wiring and seemed like I needed to remove the hard interior plastic panel that's against my bumper & needed a special tool.
To remove this hard plastic rear end finish panel, you just need to pop off the two plastic caps covering the tie-down locations (if those are still there). Then you will see a torx bolt. Remove both of these along with the tie-down loops themselves. Then the only thing holding the finish panel on are four clips on the backside. Just wiggle and pull to release these.
 

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Sounds like your battery might be on it's last legs. Check out vid in this post on how to replace, will also show how to disconnet battery if you want to try reset by touching terminals trick:

 

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Sounds like your battery might be on it's last legs. Check out vid in this post on how to replace, will also show how to disconnet battery if you want to try reset by touching terminals trick:

Thank you! My battery hasn't been replaced since I purchased the used car in 2016. It has always read at 13.6v or so.
Last night I did the resetting trick without touching terminals (didn't know where the other one was lol). Unplugged the neutral one and gave it a few minutes. Plugged it back on and did a soft start without turning over the engine and it fixed all the lights. let it run like that with all the lights on only for about 3-5 minutes then turned over the engine for a full start. The quirks that followed were my remote was having trouble locking and unlocking last night - though no longer this morning; and the battery voltage on my drive last night was fine at the typical 13ish volts, but this morning it was at 15.3v. When I start my car it reads 12.6, then spikes to 13.9, then 14.8-14.9 within 30 seconds or so. - Do you think this sounds like a battery issue still, or something with the alternator? A battery is a minimal cost
 

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Since the alternator voltage is varying, sounds like it's doing it's job of adjusting as needed. Read the link in my thread to what rsingle wrote about how alternator output changes. 15.3 sounds high. Maybe battery is losing charge overnight due to age or a current drain. Or could just be cold morning in your area sucked a lot of juice out of it while cranking requiring alternator to pump out a lot of output to recharge.

If you could take a voltage reading directly on battery with a meter it would help to decide if battery needs replacement or not. When I read 12.4 on mine, it was a clear indicator battery was on it's way out.

Our cars take an AGM type battery, so the cost is more. ~ $200 for the O'reilly one.
 

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Your battery could be on the way out BUT if the car was parked where it got really cold and the weather is staying cold, part of the charge algorithm brings the battery to and keeps it at a higher rate of charge in cold weather. This is done both because the additional charge is needed to deal with cold weather starts AND the higher battery charge doesn't degrade the battery like it would in hot summer months. Although the battery is "maintenance free" unlike batteries of old (and industrial service batteries) where the cells have to be kept filled, these batteries still vent if charged too fast/high in hot weather and will vent reducing battery life.

If you have a volt meter, measure the terminal voltage at the batteries after it sits for a couple of hours after the last engine run (so that the "float" charge disappears), this will give you a decent clue as to battery health and for a better clue then load test it. I would be prepared for a new battery in the near future. These AGM batteries generally have a longer life but that is largely dependent upon how it was treated. My vehicles seldom see short trips so the battery stays well charged instead of going into deep discharge from frequent start/stop cycles with little operation in between. I have several Ctek battery maintainers on hand with semi-dedicated units for my Corvette, standby generator, and tractor but when I leave the ATS home when going on an extended trip I will throw a Ctek maintainer on it to keep the battery happy because there is a constant current draw with the ATS (keyless entry, "keep alive" for some other modules) that over time will reduce the charge level and this will lead to decreased battery lifespan.

But depending upon the age of your car and if you plan to keep it for some time, you might want to proactively change the battery regardless since it is far closer to end of than beginning of life and it is unlikely that you will need to change again before you sell/trade the car so you might as well get the benefit of a new battery now rather than later.

Rodger


Thank you! My battery hasn't been replaced since I purchased the used car in 2016. It has always read at 13.6v or so.
Last night I did the resetting trick without touching terminals (didn't know where the other one was lol). Unplugged the neutral one and gave it a few minutes. Plugged it back on and did a soft start without turning over the engine and it fixed all the lights. let it run like that with all the lights on only for about 3-5 minutes then turned over the engine for a full start. The quirks that followed were my remote was having trouble locking and unlocking last night - though no longer this morning; and the battery voltage on my drive last night was fine at the typical 13ish volts, but this morning it was at 15.3v. When I start my car it reads 12.6, then spikes to 13.9, then 14.8-14.9 within 30 seconds or so. - Do you think this sounds like a battery issue still, or something with the alternator? A battery is a minimal cost
 
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I decided with 5.5 years on my original battery it was time to change it and I did so this morning. It really was a simple process and doesn't require a dealer if you are even somewhat handy with tools. It took 15 minutes after I started to get the original battery out but 5 minutes of that was talking to my farmer neighbor from up the road who stopped by to let me know he is Florida bound for the winter. The steps are pretty basic:

1. Just to avoid problems, after you open the trunk put something to block it so you don't forget and close it with the battery disconnected which can cause a hassle. I used a spring clamp on one of the hinges but you can just throw a towel or something over one edge of the trunk to stop it from closing if you forget and try to close the trunk.

2. The OEM battery is a group 48/H6 AGM but a 94R/H7 AGM will also fit; since I probably will trade the ATS in around a year I went with a group 48 like the original which was $159. Be sure not to leave the elbow in the vent port of your old battery because your new battery probably won't include this item and it is required to safely vent gas into the tube. You must use another AGM battery, the charging system is set up for this type of battery and you are dealing with an enclosed compartment that uses a specific battery vent system.

3. The battery is on the drivers side of the trunk. Start by removing the small battery access panel which is there to allow you to easily disconnect the negative lead. ALWAYS pull the negative lead off of the battery post before doing any significant electrical work, it is the first connection to be pulled and the last to be reconnected. Some people like battery powered impact drivers for removing these terminals, I prefer to use a ratchet on battery post terminals to get a good feel for torque. Again, ALWAYS pull that negative lead first or very bad things are likely to happen. While Googling to find the battery size, I came across someone who popped one of the mega fuses in the positive lead holder while doing a battery change. If you do this during a battery change, you did something really wrong. Those mega fuse will typically open when there is a major wiring failure in the high current bus creating a short to ground OR the engine seizes at which point using the starter will pop the fuse in that lead.

4. You will need to remove the covers over two Torx screws that hold the tie downs at the rear vertical edge of the trunk and the Torx screws themselves. Trim tools make it easier to pop off the covers over the screws but a small straight blade screwdriver would also do the trick, just be careful not to scratch anything if using a screwdriver. The two Torx screws have a little blue Loctite on the threads, I used my Bosch battery impact to easily spin them loose but you can use a ratchet. Torx and similar fasteners are much easier with an impact where all you have to do is hold the bit tight to the fastener and let the tool take care of the turning torque. You could put more Loctite on them when you reinstall but what is on there is going to create plenty of friction and if you are actually using those mounting points to hold something heavy you are using the wrong vehicle to transport it.

5. Once the Torx screws are out the hold downs will pull out. At that point the entire plastic trim piece will pull up. It is held in place by several clips so it will take some force but that is just the way it is built.

6. With the center piece out of the way, remove the two "scrivets" in the trunk liner on the driver side, they are along the vertical section near the trunk opening. Trim tools make this easier but if you don't have them, carefully work the slightly loose with a screwdriver and then use a pair of needle nose pliers or similar to give you prying leverage under the head. I like trim tools for this but in the past I have pulled them without it.

7. With the scrivets out, you can now work the trunk liner inwards towards the center of the trunk. It was made flexible enough that there is no need to pull the liner entirely out and with the two scrivets removed you can easily flex it far enough for easy battery access.

8. Now you can pop up the safety cover on the positive side and loosen the nut on that side like you did for the negative lead. There is a video showing that you need to disconnect the heavy lead from the pack that leads to the engine but that is not necessary and GM didn't intend for this to be done as part of a battery change, that lead has plenty of flex and slack to leave it in place. ONLY loosen the terminal bolt and nothing else on that pack. The more leads you disconnect, the more potential for creating other issues. With the positive lead loose, carefully pull the large black plastic piece up with its attached leads and mega-fuses. It clips to the sides of the battery to hold it in place.

9. Now it is time to remove the hold down clamp over the center of the battery. Remove the nut (same size as the terminal clamp nuts), swing that end up and then pull that direction to free the tabs.

10. Remove the old battery as you push the positive terminal pack out of the way. Remove the vent elbow and put it in your new battery and lower it into place.

11. Hook the hold down tabs in place and lower the other end over the stud and tighten it back down. Place vent tube over vent elbow.

12. Now make sure that the positive connector is all the way down on the post. You will have to push down while also getting the clamps on the edges of the positive pack to grab the new battery. It should go easily but takes a little force. Tighten the positive terminal properly and close the safety cover.

13. At this point I connect the negative terminal to the new battery so that I can test start before putting all of the trim back in place. When you push the connector onto the negative of the new battery, it will spark slightly as it makes contact so don't be surprised. At this point, your alarm will probably go off, hit the lock button on the fob to shut it up. Make sure that the negative terminal is all the way down on the post and tighten.

14. Start the car. It may be a little slow turning over depending upon the state of charge of the battery when you bought it but I have changed many batteries and never had a vehicle fail to start. But I do have a large charger with a 500 amp boost standing by just in case. Be prepared if you need to trickle charge your new battery so you aren't stranded. Once started, let the engine idle while you put the liner and trim pieces back in place. Be sure to roll out the weather stripping to make sure that the liner goes under it instead of pinching it at the edge.

Take the ATS for at least a 20 minute drive or put it on a trickle charger or maintainer because it is likely that the battery was at a low state of charge when you bought it. Display the voltage in the DIC area and if it is staying at 15 volts or higher, keep driving until it drops into the 14 volt range OR plan on using a trickle charger because the battery is heavily discharged. I didn't need to index the windows or use idle relearn, your experience may vary but my battery was disconnected for a couple of hours while I was getting the new one and running other errands. You will note that your outside temperature display isn't working, it will come back up shortly after the next restart and will work normally thereafter. The ambient temperature display (and the info from this drives other systems) is designed to avoid false excessively high readings from heat soak when the car is parked and then restarted again a short time later. Because the battery was disconnected, the system doesn't know when the last start occurred so rather than use possibly invalid data, safe dummy values are used until the next start at which time accurate data is available and the outside temperature will again be displayed. Your TPMS system will also take a short time to report values after the battery install.

Rodger
 

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Rodger, good write up. One question, perhaps you did it but forgot to mention it: there is a plug on cap opposite the cap with the vent elbow. Did you transfer that plug to new battery?
 

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angel71rs, good point and yes there is a cap to plug the unused hole! Thank you for reminding me because I left that out of the write up. I changed the battery in the morning but got tied up on another project and didn't have a chance to add the change procedure to the forum until afternoon and hopefully I didn't forget anything else but I think that covers it and the process is pretty obvious once you pop the plastic trim piece and then pull the liner back.

Once again, a caution for people to always remove that negative terminal connector before you go further. One of the EMT/fire fighters I see from time to time had to deal with a minor burn and minor car fire from a guy who tried to remove the positive cable first and nicely tack welded his wrench between the terminal and an engine compartment brace. A fairly healthy battery can source around a thousand amps for a very short time which will very effectively arc weld to whatever it touches and the mega fuses won't protect against this sort of mistake and once it happens unless you have a BFH to knock it loose immediately you better just clear out, call 911, and wait for the fireworks to end. This guy was fairly lucky, got finger burns from the wrench but the battery exploded pretty quickly before setting a lot of stuff on fire. Since the negative terminal is already at vehicle frame/ground potential, if the wrench touches a metal brace it won't matter and once you have the negative cable free and out of the way then there is no way for the system to complete the path between the positive terminal and the negative return (unless you are working on one of those older vehicles with a positive ground in which case the positive terminal gets pulled first, whatever cable is grounded to the frame/block gets removed first which is going to be the negative cable in pretty much anything you see these days).

I changed the battery one time in my 2008 CTS and going from memory, it took just about as long. The CTS had a panel that was just barely large enough for access and it was an awkward process, once you move the liner inward in the ATS there is plenty of room.

The only problem someone might run into is thread locker can sometimes be very resistant to removal so you have to be careful not to damage the drive heads in the torx screws while removing them. They are really easy to remove with any of the battery impacts and that part of the process was under a minute to pop the covers and spin out the screws. If you go after these with a screwdriver with Torx head or a ratchet, just be really careful that you use enough force to hold the bit firmly in place. I really don't like these types of fasteners, the older Allen/hex are excellent drive types that easily transfer a ton of torque and are extremely resistant to bit slippage while the Torx fasteners remind me of some WWII era electronic equipment where Bristol/Spline fasteners briefly competed with the older Allen type and were found to be far less robust. Torx are somewhat like Phillips/cross point screw heads where the bit will try to rise up out of the head and that is especially true with the cheap fasteners GM used for those tie downs with drive heads that looked like they were made with a worn out mold or die.

The rear brakes on my 2006 GMC HD pickup had huge Torx fasteners that anchor the caliper assembly and a lot of people have had a ton of trouble with those. I used plenty of thread penetrant and let it soak in a couple of days before I started but that fastener required pretty much every bit of torque my 3/4" drive IR impact gun could deliver to break it loose. I don't worry about regular bolts or hex drive fasteners but you need to be really careful with Torx to avoid running into an issue with a stripped head. And like the old spline wrench, one size off will appear to fit and will just well enough to hopefully just destroy the bit instead of the fastener head before you realize you are a size off.

Rodger
 

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I too share your dislike for Torx, much prefer Allen. There must be some reason why manufacturers use Torx, I just can't figure out why.
 

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I too share your dislike for Torx, much prefer Allen. There must be some reason why manufacturers use Torx, I just can't figure out why.
They are probably a little faster on an assembly line because the bit will tend to self align to the fastener head without any work on the part of the assembler (or robot) while a regular Allen or bolt can require a little care to line up but once properly inserted the Allen bit stays in place. In manufacturing faster is cheaper and cheaper is better than good...

Rodger
 
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