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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #1
I went out yesterday to get a haircut. The car has been working fine since I replaced the torn plenum. I park, go inside, and come back out about 15 minutes later. When I turned the key to start it, I got a 'click-click-click-click-click' (5 clicks) and then nothing. Whether I turned the key to crank for a long time or a short time, I'd just get 5 clicks then nothing. The radio was on and I could hear each click through the speakers like it was some sort of electrical interference.

I put the window down and popped the hood. I stood outisde the car and turned the key to crank so that I could listen under the hood. With each click, it sounded like maybe the starter solenoid was trying to get the starter to engage the flywheel but was hitting it instead. I called AAA.

About 3 minutes later I decided to try it again. This time it fired up without a problem. I canceled the tow and went home. It hasn't done it since.

Any ideas? I'm dropping my wifes car off for service tomorrow and she needs to drive the Caddy. Naturally I'm concerned that it's going to do it again.

TIA,
Jim
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Battery or cables. What is the voltage reading? My money is on the battery.
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #3
Key on, engine off voltage is 11.9. Key on, engine on is 14.3.

It only did it that one time. I've been all over the place since then and haven't had any trouble. When it finally did crank it cranked normally (not slow). All other accessories worked and the lights were bright. I really think the starter was hitting the flywheel for whatever reason but I don't know why it would be doing that.

Thanks for the reply.

Jim
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Key on, engine off voltage is 11.9. Key on, engine on is 14.3.
That sounds normal. Maybe it's not the battery. Check the grounds and cables. Perhaps the alternator is going.
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #5
That sounds normal. Maybe it's not the battery. Check the grounds and cables. Perhaps the alternator is going.
I got huge trouble now. It did it again today. My dad came down to jump me. Didn't work. For some reason it decided to start and I was on my way. Once running the car is fine. I got home, shut it off, and the fun began. When I turn the key on, the dash lights up but the gauges don't work. When I turn it to crank everything goes dark. Sometimes you can hear the starter solenoid go, sometimes not. When I turn the key off it won't let me take it out. If I turn the key back on and put the car in gear, THEN shut it off then I can get the key out. Sometimes it takes 15-30 seconds to realize that I've shut the car off and then it will give the key back. The heater fan will run long after I shut it off. When I put it in gear with the key on then the gauges start to work. I've got error messages and codes out the ying yang. The best part is that when I finally get the key out, the dash goes through this sequence of lighting up the mileage, then the needles on the gauges, then the PRNDL. I swapped out my battery with my mom's and it did no good.

I don't know where to begin. I think I'll start by taking out the remote starter. It's definitely interfering with things, but probably not the source of the problem.

Jim
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #6
Okay. So now it's degraded into this fast clicking sound coming from the instrument cluster when I hook up the battery. I'm going to take out the after market starter and 'interface' box. If that doesn't fix it then I'm going to part the car out. It's going to cost more than it's worth to diagnose this one.

Jim
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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I am at a loss on this one. Wasn't this car a flood salvage that you rebuilt?

Don't mean to jump the gun on the parting out, but what color is the interior?
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #8
I am at a loss on this one. Wasn't this car a flood salvage that you rebuilt?

Don't mean to jump the gun on the parting out, but what color is the interior?
Yes, it's a flood total. Me thinks the flood has caught up with me, but who knows? The trouble began after I changed that stupid intake plenum. I might have pinched a wire or something. It all falls apart when you turn it to crank. The starter wiring runs under the intake. I'm going to check that out first, then remove the remote starter and interface module.

It might be the instrument panel since that was out of a wreck that had no windshield. I think it got wet. But it's been fine for almost 3 years now.

It's not going to be worth what the dealer will charge to diagnose and repair it. They'll just swap out modules (at my expense) until it starts working again. The interior is shale, I think. Pics are here: http://www.turbojimmy.com/dts/dts.html.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Since it just started after the plenum replacement, I suspect it might be a simple fix. If however, you are correct and the flood has indeed caught up to you and it comes down to parting it out, please keep me in mind for the center console & shifter.
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #10
Since it just started after the plenum replacement, I suspect it might be a simple fix. If however, you are correct and the flood has indeed caught up to you and it comes down to parting it out, please keep me in mind for the center console & shifter.
I'll definitely keep you in mind. Since the car has deteriorated so quickly I'm afraid what might have been a simple fix might be a big deal now. We'll see.....

Thanks,
Jim
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #11
So I got home tonight and on the advice of a guy from another board I cleaned the ground under the rear seat. Didn't fix it.

I put the key in, turn it, and all the weirdness started. It wouldn't let me turn the key back to get it out of the ignition. I stood there for a minute and thought I heard the fuel pump running. I might have muttered an obscenity or two. I popped the hood to listen for fuel running through the rails. I leaned over the RH fender to listen and the noise stopped. I stood up and it started again. Lean over and it stopped. Turns out I was leaning on the underhood fuse box. I grabbed it with both hands and wiggled it and all sorts of stuff happened. The car still won't start, but that's where the problem is. I had pried it apart and moved it around about 6 months ago when I replaced the idler pulley. When I put it back together I pinched a few wires. I don't know exactly what the problem is, but it's right there at that fuse box.

I need to dig out the FSM to see how that thing comes apart.

Jim
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Hopefully it will be a simple fix like a loose ground or a pinched wire. Half the problem is locating the problem and now you have that out of the way.

For your sake I am glad the console search continues.
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #13
Hopefully it will be a simple fix like a loose ground or a pinched wire. Half the problem is locating the problem and now you have that out of the way.

For your sake I am glad the console search continues.
Thanks. It was a really lucky find. When I was working on that plenum last week I had leaned on that fuse box more than once. Two wires are pinched and almost severed, but they're not big starter-type wires. I need to dig a little deeper. The fuse box is broken free of the inner fender. If I lift up on the box I can hear contact being made, relays clicking and the car is *almost* normal. There is still no communication between the PCM and the IPC but I suspect it's beause the color of the two pinched wires (orange and tan) indicate that they are a constant hot for something - probably the PCM or the IPC or both.

I'm glad the problem is self-inflicted, too, and not the result of the flood.

Jim
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #14
Welllll.....I'm not out of the woods yet. This is by far the most screwed up thing I've ever seen.

I removed the fuse box, cleaned up all the terminals, visually inspected the wires and put it back in. The two questionable wires (the pinched ones) were for the RH parking light and headlamp relay. I don't have any trouble with either one of those so I left them alone. The car still does the same thing.

So, I left the key on and rocked the fuse box and it did the usual - chimes chimed, doors locked by themselves, etc. I grabbed the harnesses that come into the fuse box to try to duplicate it. Didn't seem to do it. Then I noticed that A/C accumulator is attached to the same bracket as the fuse box. I wiggled the condenser and duplicated the problem. Eventually I narrowed it down to one metal A/C line. If I lift up slightly on that a/c line the car goes back to 'normal' (though it still won't crank). I pull up and down on it I can get the car to flip out (fuel pump running, relays clicking door chime, doors lock/unlock, etc.).

The screwed up thing is that I don't see where that line is touching anything. It must either be completing a circuit or interrupting one by way of a short. There is a lot going on in that part of the engine compartment - lots of wiring harnesses run through there and into the fuse box. That metal line might be touching something else that is shorted out and thus completing a circuit - I don't know. It still could be related to the intake job I did.

It's driving me nuts but I'm out of time. I'm going to be out of town for the next couple of weeks.

To be continued.....

Jim
 

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Wow! Getting more confusing instead of less. Good luck and keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Before I left for the trip the car started and ran fine. I drove it around the block a few times. I stopped it and started it a few times and it was okay. It didn't have any codes and all of the information re-appeared in the DIC. Everything appeared to be okay. I came out 30 minutes later and it was all messed up again.

I've abandoned the a/c line theory. I put a DVOM on it and nothing is happening when I move it - it doesn't complete a ground and it doesn't become energized. When I move that line it moves the bottom of the fuse box ever so slightly. I think the problem is right there at the harness that comes in the front of the box. I need to study the pin-outs. I'll be the guy on the beach reading the 2001 Cadillac Deville FSM.

Jim
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #17
I found the problem.

It was related to moving the A/C lines around, but in a way I didn't suspect. When I lifted the A/C line it moved the fat ground cable that goes from the alternator bracket to the body. That fat cable is broken at the alternator bracket. I think it's the result of a bad motor mount. The engine moves a lot but I never investigated- been doing it for about 2 years. I know there was a problem with one of the front mounts.

Anyway, I ran a jumper cable from the motor to the body and it's perfectly fine now. I just need a permanent fix.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Glad to hear it was an easy fix.
At least it's a simple problem. The radiator has to come out in order to get out the bolt that clamps the wire in place. I may run a wire to another, more accessible part of the engine temporarily.

Jim
 

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99 Seville STS, 08 STS4 N* 1SG F55
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Electrical problems are always tough. I just wasted 3 hours on my John Deere that has about ten wires total before I found a similar problem. Nice work getting through the diagnostic process.
 
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