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1996 Cadillac Seville STS
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, about a month ago I bought an indash off of the internet. I took it to a "reputable" shop here in Houston and got it installed. I always absolutely HATE taking my car to be worked on by others, but somethings you just have to let them do. So I get the car from them that day and get in the car. I crank it, runs perfect, except indash doesn't open. I call the manager (not the installer) and he tries, no luck. He turns off the car. Waits a bit, tries to crank the car, and nothing, just a starter click. He looks nervous. He turns the key backwards in the radio position, then turns it forwards, car starts fine.

He gets out the car and says some BS like "I don't know how Cadillacs work or anything, but if all else fails, do what I did."

I suspiciously respond with "Ok" and leave the shop with a fishy feeling. About 2 days go buy and the indash isnt holding any memory, resetting all my settings every day. I decide to go to the same shop to get it fixed since they installed it. I get in the car and guess what, no crank, just starter clicking. Did this for about 5 times. Car finally starts. I leave to the shop. I get there and tell them about the memory problem, they say they'll fix it.

I walk up to the MAIN manager and say, "My car doesn't want to start sometimes ever since I got that indash installed." ( I thought it might be draining the battery and didn't allow it to start.)

He nervously says "Um, um, no man, that has nothing to do with it. It's your car, nothing we did."

They fix the memory thing and I leave.

EVERY SINGLE DAMN TIME when I tried to turn on my car it turned ON PERFECTLY, ALWAYS, I know that for a fact that it has never failed me like that.

So I put up with it, I'm thinking I probably need a new battery, since I hear the starter engaging but engine is not turning on. Sometimes the DIC would read the battery volts at 11.8 volts, which confirmed my battery/indash suspicion, but I never changed the battery because I went out of town, and got back yesterday.

I need a CV joint replaced, so I take it to a shop where my dad knows the owner. The owner is not there, but another guy is and he has a Cadillac Seville 1995 STS, almost like mine. I tell him to recharge the AC system while he's at it.

I drop it off at 9 am. Its 4 pm. I get a call from him saying, "Your car won't start." I told him its probably the battery, he says "I'll put a booster on it."

I go and check it out, and now the starter ISNT EVEN CLICKING anymore. During the process, the guy says "I fixed the CV joint, I even drove it around the block to make sure the noise is gone."

In the process of driving, I know this jerk was messing with my audio and all that, turning up my subwoofers( I ALWAYS leave em off when other people are in it), opening my indash, playing with it on the screen because they're fingerprints all over it, a reason I don't like other ppl working on my car.

Dude is saying that I might need a new starter/solenoid or whatnot, and I know they'll charge me a crap load.

Is the starter hard to change myself?
Think the indash/battery thing messed my car up?
Think it might be a battery?
Think the shop (audio shop) messed it up?
If so, should I take legal action?

Please help, thanks.
 

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2013 XTS
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2,087 Posts
On the northstar the starter is in the center of the engine underneath the intake. I think with the right direction and time it would be do able yourself.
I would be pissed though about them messing with the radio especially if they put greasy prints on the screen.
 

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1996 Cadillac Seville STS
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I heard its pretty easy, but the shop called and said that the car wont start, and now we have no way of getting it home besides towing it. They're trying to start it just once, so I can drive it home.

I just want to know where the bolts are at so I can do it.

I'm pissed about the screen too. Its an LCD and I don't want them touching it. Luckily I'm a detailer and can get it clean easily but the fact that its there is what pisses me off. Ugh.
 

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1996 Deville (sold), 2000 Mustang GT
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1,300 Posts
When the starter goes bad it needs more and more volts to crank the motor over, eventually leading to a dead battery. Chances are when they were installing the head unit they left the accessory power on for a good bit, and drained the battery. Add in a dying starter, and its highly likely the battery was drained far too much. Call the company (not sure which one you picked) that installed the headunit, and talk to whoever is the highest ranking, and let them know what the problem is. Tell them you think it may be the starter, but you never had problems before getting the headunit, and that you will replace the starter, but if that doesn't work, they will be hearing from you. As far as the starter its under the intake manifold, not a bad job to do yourself as long as you torque everything properly, it also gives you a chance to check on some other things while the manifold is off, and replace the gasket. I would find another mechanic, that doesn't screw with my car, or just unhook your subs before you bring it in.
 

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1996 Cadillac Seville STS
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I think they left the ACC power on too long probably too.

The day I went in to tell them about it, I said,"It never use to do that, bla bla bla."

The guy said "No, that wasn't us, that has nothing to do with it."

I replied and said, "Are you sure? What about the ACC? Any of that?"

He made no eye contact kept staring at his computer and shook his head no. Jerks.

I think you have good ideas. Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. I took the car in at 9 am and its 6 pm now. The owner/main mechanic went in and said its a bad starter. I AM NOT keeping the car they're over night knowing that they know what I have.

As for the subs, I was already going to disconnect/take em out, but when I remembered I was on the road already, and it was too late.

Anyone else?
 

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1996 Cadillac Seville STS
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Update:

They finally got the car started.

But that's the least of my worries. They guy that "helped" me, is such a dumbass that I'm so pissed off right now. The dude wrote up the receipt and everything. He owns a effin' Cadillac and he can't even SPELL CADILLAC. He wrote C-A-D-I-L-L-I-C STS on it. TO TOP IT OFF, THE JACKASS CHANGED THE WRONG CV JOINT WHEN I SPECIFICALLY STATED THE DAMN DRIVERS SIDE CV JOINT. HE CHANGED THE SAME ONE I HAD ALREADY GOT CHANGED AND HAD A WARRANTY ON. ON TOP OF THAT, THE GUY CHARGED ME 305$ TO CHANGE IT. WHY THE HELL WOULD I TAKE MY CAR TO GET THE SAEM CV JOINT REPLACED IF I HAD A DAMN WARRANTY ON IT.

NOW WHAT DO I DO??!?!?!

He said "I won't charge you for the FREON or whatever, but if it makes that noise again, bring it in tomorrow."
That's if it starts gotdamnit. I still have the same noise coming and got charged 305$ for it.

What do I do, seriously?!
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,978 Posts
My money is on the battery for the starting problem.

As far as the CV joint, yeah take it back and demand that he change the correct one. Bring your warranty with you to prove that you had the other one changed and would never have told him to change that one, because you know he is going to say "this is the one you told us to do".
 

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1996 Cadillac Seville STS
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'm glad you chimed in Ranger.

I seriously thought/think it's the battery too, since the DIC would show 11.2 volts sometimes when starting and only when it finally crank it would go up to about 13.2-13.7

The owner of the shop/mainmechanic, supposedly "confirmed" its a bad starter. From what I've seen, starters rarely go out on these kinda cars, but that doesn't mean everyone is exempt from that problem.

I finally got the car home and parked in the garage and turned it off. Waited about 20 seconds and tried to turn it on. It did, but sounded kinda weird, like it was struggling. But later on, about 30 minutes later, I turned it on (it turned on) and I kinda think I've figured out why it made that noise, the starter/solenoid wasn't disengaging, kept trying to crank after the car was already on, I moved the key a little forward and it stopped.

Ranger, should I test the battery at Autozone or something, or should I buy a new one?

About the whole 305$ thing, we're gonna talk to the onwer tomorrow and demand this be corrected.
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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4,764 Posts
We need to start praying for you, man. Sorry to hear about your troubles; also sorry to hear you are in Houston. That town is bad news for good mechanics; many rip offs down there.
 

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1996 Cadillac Seville STS
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, lots of mechanics rip ppl off over here. I seriously have never been to a good, honest, reliable, consistent shop before down here.

UPDATE:

Personally spoke on the phone with the guy that changed the CV joint. Turns out he's put himself into a pickle. He had the nerve to say that when he looked at the CV joint that it wasn't busted or anything, nor that it needed a changing. But regardless, he STILL changed it. A nice act of kindness, maybe a phone call telling me it didn't need to be changed would've prevented all this. I know for a fact I said driver's side and he did the passengers side, which is why the passengers side was perfect, because it had already been fixed.

When he did the AC recharge, this dude owns a 1995 Seville STS and told me, "Yeah, I know, I gotta clear the computer stuff so the compressor will engage."

He cleared the PCM codes, not the ACM codes...because I checked the codes when I got home and the AC/Compressor off code was current.

The guy is a complete douche.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,978 Posts
Can you describe the sound that the starter or solenoid makes? Does the engine crank and have a normal cranking sound?
 

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1996 Cadillac Seville STS
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
It sounded like just a click.

Yesterday was the sound of it trying to continously engage when the motor had already turned on.

Update:

Went out to start the car, everything is absolutely perfect. Turned on the first try, starter not malfunctioning. When it was acting up, it would read 11.8 volts on the DIC, today it read perfectly at 13.6-13.8

Diagnosis?
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,978 Posts
Your description sounds like a weak battery or a bad cable connection.
 

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1996 Cadillac Seville STS
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
^^^ I know that much.

So, first thing tomorrow morning I will double check battery wires and connections. Any specific areas I should be wary of?

If it doesn't crank after a good check, I am taking the battery out and getting it tested. If it is weak, I will just get a new battery.

Any other suggestions?
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,978 Posts
So, first thing tomorrow morning I will double check battery wires and connections. Any specific areas I should be wary of?
Just make sure there is no corrosion on the cable connections and that they are not loose.
 

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1997 SLS
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550 Posts
Slick, in case it turns out to be a bad starter, here's a tech tip I copied into my files for future reference in case mine ever goes out. Again, this is NOT MY PROCESS so I haven't done it myself. The author claims the gasket is reusable and can be cleaned up with carb cleaner. According to him, retorqueing the intake manifold bolts correctly is CRUCIAL. Here's the write-up: (I'm guessing he meant to say disconnect battery cables first)

Step one remove the air cleaner box and the duct to the air intake. The Mass Air Flow sensor is that black thing at the end of the engine where the duct is attached.
Remove the engine cover. It has 4 nuts holding it on. Now remove the long black plastic line that is running from left to right (facing the engine) put is aside. Disconnect the two vacuum lines on the back side right side. Straight down from there you will see a nut holding the fuel line just remove that nut. It will be important later.
Now remove the spark plug wires – label them or make sure that the numbers that are on OEM plug wires is there so you can put them back later.
Remove the 10 bolts that hold the intake to the block. They are not tight and can be removed with a nut driver or a socket. Note that the four nuts that you took off earlier that held the engine cover on were attached to 4 of the 10 bolts you are removing.
Now you should be able to lift the intake manifold up a little. Look at the fuel delivery lines to the fuel injectors next to the Power Steering pump (Left Side) you will see a thin wire attached to a steel tube (part of the fuel lines) this is a ground you will need to remove the bolt that is holding it.
You will be able to lift the manifold from the left side.
Now you should be able to lift the manifold up 8 to 10 inches from the left side the right side will be held down by all the stuff attached to the throttle body. This should be enough for you to get the starter out.
You should be able to see the starter and remove it. Only two bolts hold it in. Remove them – then pull the starter back to you left pull it up and hold it on the valve cover and remove the nuts holding the wiring on to the solenoid.

Take the starter to a parts house and have it tested --- if it is bad replace it. Remove the gasket (reusable) and clean it with break or carburetor cleaner and clean the block and the manifold then re install.
Torque bolts to 7.4 lbs.
Reverse above steps and test.
 
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