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Hey, guys!

I have to give up the love for the guys, helping me out with my "not starting" problem -- I have learned SO much stuff about the basics of diagnosing 'car no startee!' problems from this. I will post some links to good sites, good articles and information about those kinds of important initial diagnostic stuff. In the meantime, here is the link to the thread:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=3700

Everything moves along smoothly throughout that thread -- knowledge is power, and being able to collect and interpret data, and understand the basics enough to (at least in some small way) interpret the data meaningfully, is just the KING. It's turning out to be a lot like programming -- never, ever, ever "just fix" something. Never "just fix" something by putting in a 'black box' to handle something. Never "just fix" something by rewriting the whole thing without first knowing how to make it work (however imperfectly) by adapting the old methods. Never "just fix" something by assuming you know where the problem is, and replacing(rewriting) a chunk of it -- while that may in fact solve the problem, it is not as efficient, and does not guarantee that you won't run into it in the future.

And it's the CONTEXT -- the opinions and insights of people that have experience with working with relevant systems -- that allows us to peer through the fog and figure it out. You guys would probably have figured it out trivially if you had been here in person, but, heh, for just reading what I write, you guys were f*cking SPOT ON, to the point where this forum and the previous owner of the car were in almost complete agreement at all points.

So!

It's time for Round Two. ;)


Round two involves some shaking.

The car has ridden remarkably smooth thus far. And, I have to say, it is one of the most comfortable rides, and certainly the most comfortable drive, that I have ever owned (power assist or whatever -- I have one of those thick, grippy wraps on the steering wheel, and that + the power assist steering, well, it feels like liquid when I steer).

On Friday, I used my car to take a group of us to a little get-together about an hour distant. And I got a lot of complements -- they really liked the seats. They even liked the deep, throaty rumble of the engine -- and despite that deep rumble, they all commented on how quiet it was in the car (compared to one girl's Corsica, and another's Saturn, and a dude's Honda. :D).

But we noticed something as we slowed down going through a small town halfway through the trip.

As the car had slowed down (braked initially, then let off) and was slowly rolling up to the light (about 15 mph and coasting, slowed down early out of respect for the WEIGHT of the car), we noticed that the car was shaking.

Not the heavy sympathetic vibration you sometimes get when the engine is acting weird (my old van had that when it was cold; you could rev it WAY up and it would accelerate to maybe 30mph, but it would be shaking so hard that you'd always chicken out before you got to 30; it would fix itself there after 10 mins running and warming up . . .). No, this was stranger. It evened out after you sped up -- at 35mph, I doubt that anyone could notice it, and even at 30 I don't know if you could separate it from the 'noise' vibration created by normal operation. But at 15 mph it is absolutely discernable.

Let me describe the shaking, and why I think it might be something to do with wheels, or something that rotates with the wheels.

- The shaking seems to be tied to the speed of the car, although it becomes impossible to notice past 20mph. The shaking is not a tight, repetitive vibration -- at low speeds, the entire body of the car seems to wobble, or rotate slightly -- at least that's how it feels inside; I've had people watch from outside and they don't notice anything strange with the wheels or body.

- The shaking increases in noticability as speed decreases, until about 5 mph where the car is moving so slowly that the 'shaking' is more like a slow, soothing 'rolling' sensation.

- The shaking (well, this shaking; obviously the engine vibrates a bit, but not noticably) appears to be absent when the car is not moving, even when revving the engine.

- This shaking DOES intensify when you step on the brakes! (I have a feeling that's significant). If you are braking, you will notice the shaking at higher speeds than if you are coasting or driving normally. The shaking can be really intense/noticeable if you are braking strongly.

So.

Let's start at the very beginning, which is a very good place to start.

What sorts of things might be causing this? Tires all funky? Whole wheel not on tight? :eek: Needs 'alignment'? (what is this again? :( I am always confused about this). This shaking is sometimes very bad and sometimes much less severe -- maybe if the front wheels aren't aligned or aren't tight or something, when I take a corner, they might be ligned up slightly different every time? I don't know -- this stuff, I haven't read up on it at ALL. I'm going to be -- gonna be googling to save my ass tonight -- but I figured I should post this, so that hopefully someone who has experienced or fixed similar problems can chime in.



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FINAL NOTE:
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This is a very important note -- I found out about it 2 hours after I posted my thread, but I decided it was unimportant in the context.

I posted this in the wrong forum.

My car is actually a '90 SEDAN DEVILLE. Not a Seville. :( I just clicked the wrong link.

I really don't think it should matter too much, given that any issues I have encountered are likely to be basically issues that are not year+model centric. All of my problems seem so far to be basic car issues. Still -- if the mods would pop this into the correct forum, I'd be appreciative. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And like a moron, I forgot to mention:


-Also, my "Service Engine Soon" light is on. Not too worried; will check fluid levels etc, see about getting new fuel, air, etc filters.

-Also, the back tires are a bit older than front, and both are used, and back driver's side has a very slow leak -- put air in it once a week and the pressure doesn't appear to drop, although I've been informed that if you leave it off until once every 2 weeks, it starts to get noticeable. ;) Anyways, that's the background on the tire situation.
 

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Mr. Luc: Does the shaking occur at low speeds when you're braking or just when you're not breaking? You said the shaking intensifies when you're braking...maybe you have warped rotors.

2. Your service engine soon light came on. Run the codes. It was funny...my light has flashed on recently a couple times and inexplicably it goes away and doesn't come back after I attempt to run the codes.
 

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For sheer logics of your situation i would visually check things. just to help everyone out so they can help you better.

1. Check your tire tread makesure everything looks kosher.

2. Check your breaks, pads and rotors(like jigga said)

3. Drink a beer and take a deep breath

4. put everything back to gether

5. put the lugs on tight

6. report back


As far as the vibrations it could be a wheel bearing too. I don't think you can tell visually if they are shot.
 

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You probably have a bad tire. A broken belt or seperated ply in one or more tires will cause the exact symptoms you describe. One by one, inspect the tires tread area for lumps, bumps or disfigured tread pattern in one area.
 

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if it helps.. i had a similar problem like this right after i bought my cadillac when i went back to school.

the problem wasnt actually the car, it was the road. At intersections, esspecially heavily traveled ones, the pavement becoems warped around traffic lights. it turns into rumble strips that you only notice when going slow. hey are causes by braking the the pavement being pushed foward by thousands of cars. what starts as on little pice of pavement, eventually becomes the size of a small speed bump.

when accelerating it does the opposite, it pushes the pavement back. You never notice it if you are going over 25 MPH though. If it hapens EVERYWHERE even on back road where no one ever goes, then its the car. If you live in a small or large metropolotan area, it very well miht be the roads.

If not, I think it may be as simple as your rotors are warpped.... and warped rotors WILL cause a vibration that feels like an unballanced tire.
 

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mr_luc said:
Hey, guys!


As the car had slowed down (braked initially, then let off) and was slowly rolling up to the light (about 15 mph and coasting, slowed down early out of respect for the WEIGHT of the car), we noticed that the car was shaking.

Not the heavy sympathetic vibration you sometimes get when the engine is acting weird (my old van had that when it was cold; you could rev it WAY up and it would accelerate to maybe 30mph, but it would be shaking so hard that you'd always chicken out before you got to 30; it would fix itself there after 10 mins running and warming up . . .). No, this was stranger. It evened out after you sped up -- at 35mph, I doubt that anyone could notice it, and even at 30 I don't know if you could separate it from the 'noise' vibration created by normal operation. But at 15 mph it is absolutely discernable.

Let me describe the shaking, and why I think it might be something to do with wheels, or something that rotates with the wheels.

- The shaking seems to be tied to the speed of the car, although it becomes impossible to notice past 20mph. The shaking is not a tight, repetitive vibration -- at low speeds, the entire body of the car seems to wobble, or rotate slightly -- at least that's how it feels inside; I've had people watch from outside and they don't notice anything strange with the wheels or body.

- The shaking increases in noticability as speed decreases, until about 5 mph where the car is moving so slowly that the 'shaking' is more like a slow, soothing 'rolling' sensation.

- The shaking (well, this shaking; obviously the engine vibrates a bit, but not noticably) appears to be absent when the car is not moving, even when revving the engine.

- This shaking DOES intensify when you step on the brakes! (I have a feeling that's significant). If you are braking, you will notice the shaking at higher speeds than if you are coasting or driving normally. The shaking can be really intense/noticeable if you are braking strongly.

;)

My .02 on it bring it to a tire place (That is trustworthy) most will inspect your tires, brakes etc for free.
I would say you possible need one (or all) of the following,
alignment 2 wheel $39.00 4 wheel $55.00
could be some simple as just having your tires rotated and balance
I would guess your rotors need to be turned or replaced, you can replace them your self, not hard at all. The cheaper way of course is to turn them if there still thick enough.
Or as Katshot said could just be one simple tire.
To add to katshot drink 2 beers better buzz. :)
 

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I vote for a bad tire or possibly warped front rotors. My car did something very similar, but only while decelerating and a new set of rotors and pads took care of it.
 

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toomanytoyz said:
I vote for a bad tire or possibly warped front rotors. My car did something very similar, but only while decelerating and a new set of rotors and pads took care of it.
First of all, I have to say -- no offense to anyone here -- I think you have the most beautiful car I've seen here.

I am noticing a common trend through all of these posts. Also, googling *quickly* brought up this page:

http://www.trustmymechanic.com/frontend.html

A gem from that article:
Hitting a curb or large pot hole can cause the wheel weights to come off, and sometimes the weights sling off the wheel at high speed if they were not installed properly. Out-of-round or out-of-balance will not cause a pull in the front end, but will definitely cause shakes and shimmies. If you can drive out of a shake or shimmy by varying the speed of the car, it is a good clue that you have an out-of-balance problem. A simple way to check tire balance: if the shimmy is present at one speed, but better or not present at a different speed, then a balance problem is likely. An out-of-round tire or a bent wheel will usually produce a wobble or shimmy at all speeds, and replacement of the tire or wheel is usually the cure.
Wow.

The thing is -- you can find a lot of information googling. It is only here, when I have the context of people that have experience with cars and getting them repaired (shit, I haven't been driving that long, heh, got my license at 17 because I just wasn't too concerned with it), that I can be sure of the information that I dig up, because it checks with what you guys tell me.

When I find my check card (and, damn, if I can't find that soon I had better cancel it and get a new one . . . mental note, doh), I will probably make a $50 contribution this site, just because it is so valuable. More than anything else, it gives me context, and that has already saved me $$$. Big $$$. I know for a fact that I would have had to get the alternator replaced if I took it to my ordinary mechanic. Instead, I just took the battery to Expert Tire to get it load-tested, $8. They're good for diagnosis, and fair-priced for tire/wheel stuff, but crappy and expensive for everything else -- was going to cost me $104 to buy and have them install a new Interstate battery for me -- instead I got one myself and put it in, 35.99 total with 2-year replacement. I mean, I've saved assloads already.

All I need now is someone with sewing experience -- heh, my mom owns an industrial sewing machine that can sew thick things like leather, and even shag carpet, heh -- I might try to whip up some leather covers for the poor, abused, cracked vinyl-covered-foam armrests.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh, doh, forgot to say what I am probably going to do:

Ok! I am going to have them check the balance, and tell me what it needs tire/wheel wise. I know for a fact that all of the tires are used and that the back ones are the oldest -- now, the shaking seems on first blush like a front-end thing, but I was informed by people in the backseat that it was VERY present back there as well, and in any event if the back driver's-side tire, which I know has a slow leak, is seriously out of balance, it would even make perfect sense with the direction and particular characteristics of this shaking. (be surprised if it's a right tire; it just feels like it originates on the left-hand side . . . )

I will def. keep this updated. Might be getting it checked tomorrow -- gonna try and set something up at expert tire.
 

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mr_luc said:
First of all, I have to say -- no offense to anyone here -- I think you have the most beautiful car I've seen here.
Well thanks! :D

And you're right, this place is great! It's a wealth of valuable information, and the people are great. :) Good to see the site has helped you out. :)
 

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Mr_luc

That is great about the knowledge that you have retained. Knowlege is power and MONEY in the car world. The more you know the more you save and the more power you have. (in your car that is b/c you save so much you can mod more).

About sewing. I had my mom fix my leather seats with out a problem. She said anyone with sewing experience can do it (NOT ME). Now i am trying to convince her to stitch the caddy emblem in the front headrests. So you have an update on your car. Everything working ok. Glad to see you happy about fixing your car. Keep us informed.
 

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JJhomer83 said:
Mr_luc

That is great about the knowledge that you have retained. Knowlege is power and MONEY in the car world. The more you know the more you save and the more power you have. (in your car that is b/c you save so much you can mod more).

About sewing. I had my mom fix my leather seats with out a problem. She said anyone with sewing experience can do it (NOT ME). Now i am trying to convince her to stitch the caddy emblem in the front headrests. So you have an update on your car. Everything working ok. Glad to see you happy about fixing your car. Keep us informed.
Well, this experience has completely changed my outlook on cars. And also my strategy regarding owning multiple cars at once . . . I still like the idea of having backups, but . . . but man.

See, SINCE I didn't know anything about cars, and it seemed that breakdowns were inevitable, my strategy was:

1) Buy a 'safe' car for relatively cheap, one that is reliable, runs well -- it doesn't have to be cool.

2) Buy a SUPER cheap, underappreciated, 'cool' car that can be your baby -- you can learn about cars from that one, and having the 'safe car will allow you to fix it up without having to worry about being stranded, no transportation etc.

Several things conspired against that plan, however. ;)

1) I was able to get 2 cars that I considered individually each pretty stinking cool -- a 77 Toronado, which appealed to me because of sheer mass and beautiful interior, and a 90 DeVille, for $1200. (Essentially $600 each, although in reality the Caddy was most of that cost).

2) The Caddy didn't start once I got it home! So I had to jump into fixing that one, right off the bat.

3) I got the Caddy fixed . . . and in the meantime have gotten very personally attached to it.

4) From a coolness point of view, the Caddy is really growing on me.


I don't want to abandon the Toronado. Perish the thought. But I mean, my old strategy was something like: "Buy both. Drive Caddy until you can get a $500 coat of paint on the Toronado. Then drive the Toronado full-time, driving the Caddy only when the Toro breaks down as it likely will."

Now, it's more like: "Bought both. Be a mechanical pimpsta' and get them both running well. Fix up interior on Cadillac and exterior on Toronado. Revel in the luxury of owning two enormous, beautiful, powerful vehicles that you actually enjoy owning and driving."

:D
 

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Hey got a few ideas about your caddy. You said that the int. is not up to par. I would recomend going junk yard shopping. Start buying odds and ends you need to fix it. Ebay parts. find as much as you can to get it to a condition you like. If the int. is falling apart onthe seems you can repair it so you don't have to buy "new" parts.
 

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JJhomer83 said:
Hey got a few ideas about your caddy. You said that the int. is not up to par. I would recomend going junk yard shopping. Start buying odds and ends you need to fix it. Ebay parts. find as much as you can to get it to a condition you like. If the int. is falling apart onthe seems you can repair it so you don't have to buy "new" parts.
That's a good idea -- the center console is not only cracked and split and whatnot, it's completely detached from the seat . . . it's just kind of sitting there on the seat. Heh, it's still useful and all . . . but yeah, that kind of stuff -- WAY easier than trying to jury-rig something on my own.

Junkyard shopping is gonna be key for my Toronado, though. The back bumper is the one really rusty part of the car. Gotta find a shiny one somewhere to go with the new paint job I'll be giving it.

(Also, since I don't want to change Toronado interior -- just generally, do you guys know of any paint schemes that go well with a leather burgundy/rust/reddish interior? Black is my backup plan -- would make the car look not only very classic, but very classy -- but if there's a different color that plays well with that kind of interior, I might give that a try . . . just rambling here . . . )
 

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mr_luc said:
That's a good idea -- the center console is not only cracked and split and whatnot, it's completely detached from the seat . . . it's just kind of sitting there on the seat. Heh, it's still useful and all . . . but yeah, that kind of stuff -- WAY easier than trying to jury-rig something on my own.

Junkyard shopping is gonna be key for my Toronado, though. The back bumper is the one really rusty part of the car. Gotta find a shiny one somewhere to go with the new paint job I'll be giving it.

(Also, since I don't want to change Toronado interior -- just generally, do you guys know of any paint schemes that go well with a leather burgundy/rust/reddish interior? Black is my backup plan -- would make the car look not only very classic, but very classy -- but if there's a different color that plays well with that kind of interior, I might give that a try . . . just rambling here . . . )
I would go with white or some veriation of that
 

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Psst! I want that info on the Service Engine Soon light!!!

With the key ion the 'run' position (do not start the car), hold "off" and "Warmer" on the Climate Control center and watch the display for codes. They should start with an E and then a 2 digit number - IE E49.

Do this, record the codes, and report back here!
 

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2dfx said:
Psst! I want that info on the Service Engine Soon light!!!

With the key ion the 'run' position (do not start the car), hold "off" and "Warmer" on the Climate Control center and watch the display for codes. They should start with an E and then a 2 digit number - IE E49.

Do this, record the codes, and report back here!
To add to 2dfx post. they can also have Axx, Ixx, Pxx, and then when it displays ECM? that is normal it means its done displaying codes
 

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2dfx said:
Psst! I want that info on the Service Engine Soon light!!!

With the key ion the 'run' position (do not start the car), hold "off" and "Warmer" on the Climate Control center and watch the display for codes. They should start with an E and then a 2 digit number - IE E49.

Do this, record the codes, and report back here!
AHA! I was wondering how to get 'codes'. :( Everybody always mentions them . . . I thought I had to plug something into this cable I see down by the dash, it looks like pretty heavy-duty computer cable with like 16 or 32 pins . . . ok, that sounds easy. I might step outside and do that now; the Dev server where I work is restarting right now.
 

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mr_luc said:
AHA! I was wondering how to get 'codes'. :( Everybody always mentions them . . . I thought I had to plug something into this cable I see down by the dash, it looks like pretty heavy-duty computer cable with like 16 or 32 pins . . . ok, that sounds easy. I might step outside and do that now; the Dev server where I work is restarting right now.
Sorry about that i never mentioned how to do that for you. My bad
 
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