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94 Seville; 95 FWB; 07 DTS
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Discussion Starter #1
Couple weeks ago the ignition key was stuck in the lock, and I had to force it out. Everything was fine for a few days until one day when the car refused to start. So figuring the lock was involved, I decided to take a closer look.



the photo above shows the ignition lock cylinder. Clearly, one of the PASS key wires is broken. It is broken so short that I cannot resolder it, but that is not the issue.

Previously, maybe a year or so, I bypassed VATS and it has been trouble free.
So my question is this: is this broken wire the reason why the car wont start. And if so....WHY?
 

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1997 SLS
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It looks like the VATS wiring in the photo. Like you say, since you bypassed it, those wires are now defunct. I'm thinking there are other wires that are not making contact inside the tumbler or column that could be your problem. I'm not positive, but the Starter Enable Relay (SER) is under the dash kind of above the gas pedal, but more towards column, if that makes sense. You should do a cranking test (key to start position) to see if the SER is getting juice on one of the primary leads. If nothing, then you have a problem in the tumbler. The good news is you've torn it down so you are nearly there for the replacement, if need be. If the SER gets juice, then the next fault along the way could be the NSS (neutral safety switch). Finally, it could be the starter. BTW, do you get accessories to work in the "on" position?
 

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2010 DTS
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How did you "bypass" it? Put resistors inline? I think that wire still has to complete the circuit. You could probably cut the other wire, solder them together and tape them off. I'll bet it would start then.
 

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1994 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe
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How did you "bypass" it? Put resistors inline? I think that wire still has to complete the circuit. You could probably cut the other wire, solder them together and tape them off. I'll bet it would start then.
Exactly! My money is on this
 

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94 Seville; 95 FWB; 07 DTS
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Discussion Starter #5
I bypassed via the in-line resistor method. The wire is broken so short on the lock cylinder end, that there is no way to get a proper joint. I wish I could zoom that picture.
 

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94 Seville; 95 FWB; 07 DTS
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Discussion Starter #6
^^^^ Ok I misunderstood at first but I get it now. Anyway I tried as you suggested, I did not actually solder it though....I used aligator clips. But I did not fire. Oh yeah, the accessory position works as does diagnostics and such.
 

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I have to agree with greg on this one. The wire that is broken is the pass key lock wiring. But, as you said a year ago you disconnected the pig tail at the bottom of the streering cloumn and soldered in a resistor, Thus bypassing the wiring harness in the steering cloumn to the ignition switch. Then all was well for a year, so I suggest not using the aligator clips and solder the resistor in place.

Is the car a crank no start or is it a no crank no start?
 

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1997 SLS
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Firstimecaddi - if when you bypassed the VATS reader, you soldered the resistor chain in place under the dash, then those small wires we see in your photo are defunct. Anything you do to them won't change your circumstance. I'm betting when you pulled out the key by force, some other crucial contact point got out-of-alignment to power the SER. That's the next step...find your SER and see if any of the primary wires (sorry, don't know the color codes) are getting voltage when the tumbler is put in the start position. If your original VATS bypass went bad, you would see the theft deterrent message on the dash.
 

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94 Seville; 95 FWB; 07 DTS
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Discussion Starter #9
@Frank to bypass I simply cut the wire and soldered in the appropriate resistors on the end of the wire that is connected near the base of the steering column..to that 13 pin connector. The wires that lead from the lock cylinder just dangles there, I am not sure if I understand you.

re
so I suggest not using the aligator clips and solder the resistor in place.
no crank no start.
 

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94 Seville; 95 FWB; 07 DTS
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Discussion Starter #10
right now I do not have access to a DVM. The one I have right now is inoperable.

I already ordered a new cylinder and keys, even though I am unsure if that is the fix.
 

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Can't hurt. I guess the question is, is how old is that broken wire? Did it cause your first problem or is it a new break that caused this problem. I guess the new cylinder will answer that question.
 

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If you bypassed the VATS at the base of the column that broken wire cannot affect it anymore.
That is probably why you bypassed it in the first place.

We have to go back to post 1 here and give some real information. You have to define how it is the vehicle won't start.
Does it crank but not start? Does it not crank? What works what doesn't?

A lock is a lock, if the key turns then it turns. The electrical part of the switch could be an issue but if the engine cranks and won't start you are wasting your own time.
Passkey 2 (which is what you have) is a starter inhibit system. If you turn the key without a valid code the security light will come on and the car will not crank.
If it won't crank then you need to check your bypass. If you have a mechanical binding condition in that cylinder then you need a new cylinder, if you get a VATS cylinder you will need new keys so it would almost be worth restoring the operation of the VATS in the car if you are going to do that.

The initial issue here is that you have to clarify when you say "the car won't start".
I bet I could find a hundred ways to make a car not start but many of them have unique symptoms. Let's go back and start from the symptoms and find the solution rather than guess what the solution is to discover the problem.
 

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94 Seville; 95 FWB; 07 DTS
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Discussion Starter #14
alright, key turns no crank no start.
when key is turned, dash board lights up, diagnostics can be accessed.
where I did the bypass is still intact.

the problem first showed up as follows:
put the key in the lock, sometimes it will turn and start the car and sometimes it wont.

the other incident, with the engine running the key was stuck in the ignition and I was not able to swith off the engine and remove the key by the normal method.

I sprayed some lube in the keyway and forced the key to the OFF position using a pair of pliers. Then removed the key.

after that it worked for a couple days, then I went to the store, switched off removed key and went about my business. When it was time to leave the car refused to start. Turn key and nothing.
 

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1997 SLS
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It sure sounds like somethings broke in that tumbler. Is there more to it inside the column (i.e. a harness clip and contact points)? It looks like you will need to replace the whole assembly. ewill3rd is right though about the VATS. If you get a new keys and assembly, you should be able to restore the VATS by removing the resistor(s) and reconnecting all the grayish-white wires. Well, maybe new wires would be in order, but that should be a simple wire fish inside the column. BTW, do you recall what your VATS value was? I'm not sure if you can order the same pellet resistor or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
would the new lock cylinder come with the VATS wires already in place. So then it should be as you say "fishing the wire down the column" and plug it up.

the key is #6
 

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1997 SLS
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Since your picture shows the VATS wires to be already attached to the tumbler, I would assume the new one would be the same way and have the full length of VATS wiring. Now if there are soldering points on the tumbler, a new one might not have the wiring - I don't know how they come. But you would have to get a #6 pellet in the new key to properly interface with the VATS module, if you decided to reconnect VATS.
 

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The replacement cylinder comes with the wires attached, they go all the way from the lock cyilnder down through the column to the connector where you bypassed it before.
The lock cyilnder is cheap and comes with a flat metal key blank for the mechanical cut.
The keys are a bit pricey, when I do this repair I sell 2 and it MUST match the old key resistor.

That will fix your mechanical problem but I am afraid it has nothing to do with your cranks but will not run issue.
You need to check the basics.
You have to have 3 things.... spark, fuel, and compression.
Whichever is easiest to check first go for it.
A fuel pressure gage would be a good place to start, hook one up and crank it to see if you have fuel pressure.
From there I would get a spark tester and check for spark.

Good luck and thanks for the extra info, makes it easier to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
as stated earlier I already ordered a new cylinder and a pair of keys. I ordered #6 keys, so we'd see how it goes after I do that reinstall.

I note your point about fuel, spark and compression. And it came to mind... two issues that I intended to investigate.
1. under light acceleration (especially on an incline) I'd get this "shudder" and I could not quite tell if it was the trans or the engine.
2. there was always this "racheting" noise after shutdown.
 

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Oops, sorry I missed the note about the lock and keys.
Sounds like we got you going down the right road.
Keep us posted.
 
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