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Discussion Starter #1
The last week or two, it seems my 03 CTS has been a little difficult to start/turnover. Difficult is probably too strong of a word, since it's starts on the first try. It's just sounds a little labored when starting.

Today I start the car after it had sat in the garage for about two days. As soon as I turned the key, I noticed the dash clock spinning backwards to reset to the proper time. The time had been off by a few hours. The radio (a bose 6cd) played for a second or two, then shut down and displayed "Locked". I drove to my destination and the next time I started the car, the radio turned on like normal.

Any ideas what happened? Is my battery getting ready to go? I assume "locked" is some kind of anti-theft measure?
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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Sounds like low voltage or a sick battery to me. Check the instrument dimmer slider. There is a "no man's land" position on one end that can drain the battery.
 

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Yes it does sound like the battery is on the verge.
Have it checked.
When you turn the key on the radio checks the stored VIN information in it's memory with other modules on the car, if it doesn't match it will lock.
If the voltage was low you could have had some communication errors during this check.
The battery may have a bad cell, or you could have something drawing your battery down.
Proper diagnosis is the key.
 

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2005 CTS 3.6L, 2006 350Z, Ducati 996s
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dkozloski said:
Sounds like low voltage or a sick battery to me. Check the instrument dimmer slider. There is a "no man's land" position on one end that can drain the battery.
Haven't heard of this...explain more?
 

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2014 Cadillac CTS VSport
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AznPrydeRegalRyde said:
Haven't heard of this...explain more?
There are alot of bad slider switches and there is a TSB for this somewhere. It suggests that you do not leave the slider all the way in the brightest setting but rather more towards the center. With certain bad switches leaving the slider all the way to the end can drain your battery.
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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When you set the slider all the way to one end, interior lights come on. If you bring the slider back just a little way the lights go out but enough current will still be drawn by some circuit to drain the battery over time. Leave the slider away from this position far enough and it won't happen. If you monkey around with it for a little while you'll see what I mean.
 

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The overhead dimmer slider has a single "detent" position in it between regular dimming and turning on the interior lights.
If you rest the switch in the detent position, sometimes they are "miscalibrated" and it will actually cause the battery to be pulled down.
The trick is to slide it forward to the detent "click" then back it up a little bit so your lights stay bright but you don't get a battery drain.

I'd still have the battery checked by a pro.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Interesting. I was monkeying around with the slider a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had the battery checked today. As soon as the guy hooked up the tester and got a readout, he says "bad cell". New battery and the problem seems solved. Thanks again everybody.
 
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