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Hey guys -- I could really use some help on this one.

For the past 3 weeks or so when I turned the key in the ignition, it would turn over a few times before actually starting (basically just took a while to start). The battery is 3 months old and always had a full charge. Never had any lights dimming or anything electrical that I noticed malfunctioning. Once it started, it ran perfectly well in every way. Then, today, I go to start my car and I get one "click" and then NOTHING. No accessories, no power anything (locks, seats, lights) -- basically NO recognition that my key is in the ignition. My key FOB won't work to unlock either. I am going to have it towed out to the dealership on Monday, but I was hoping that maybe with your guys' help I could figure out something else before Monday comes.
Thanks in advance! :)
1997 Seville SLS with 103,000 miles.
 

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:banghead: High Buffy! check out my thread discussion called "What happened? Help!" from MUGSANDLUKE (my two boxers). I just recently went through the same thing with my 2000 Deville DHS. No one seems to have an answer except computer blip and some other suggestions. I would be happy to fill you in on the details if you're interested.
PS - if that's you in the picture I'll drive to IL to discuss it with you in person. Aw, who am I kidding - I'd have to lose 20 years somewhere on the way. Good Luck and let me know if you want more info.
Steve
 

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You get absolutely nothing? Sounds like the fusible link blew. I'm not very familiar with the later Caddys, but many cars have an in-line fusible link right at the battery. The idea is that if the positive cable ever shorted to ground that the fusible link would blow, disconnecting the positive cable from the car, and preventing a fire.

I think these are located right in the battery end of the positive cable, right where it connects to the battery. I'm not sure if you're able to see if it's blown just by looking at it, but a simple test will reveal if this is the problem.

Also, your battery may have failed suddenly (e.g. internal failure, short). If this is the case and your battery is that new, then you should be getting a new battery free of charge, depending on the warranty.

If it is the fusible link, the next question would be, "why did it blow?".
 

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All good suggestions. The battery sounds highly suspect and is worth a close look. I've had brand-new batteries take a one-way trip to the Island of Misfit Batteries before. Consider also that the battery may be good but the charging system isn't operating properly. You should be getting indications of a charging system malfunction on the voltage monitor though. Good luck at the dealership.
 

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Do you have a volt meter? Test the voltage while starting. Both at the battery bolt and at the cable ( if you can get at it). I had an aftermarket battery that the bolt bottomed out before it really tightened the cable. Corrosion can cause strange problems. Make sure the cable ends are really clean and tight.

Voltage should be above 10v while cranking. Lower and it's a bad battery (or alternator). If it doesn't drop at all it's a bad connection.
 

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Hi Once again!

:shhh: Here is a very simple test to narrow down your problem. Turn on your headlights manually by using the headlmp knob instead of the light sensor system. Do they come on? Are they nice and Bright? If so, turn the key and see if they dim down. If they do not come on at all when you manually turn on the knob, the battery is dead. If they come on nice and bright but dim way down when you turn the key to start the N* it means the systems are drawing power and the battery is not charged enough to start the car. Could be a charging system problem. If the lights do not dim when you turn the key the computer has locked you out of the system for some reason, no one seems to be able to tell me why, but disconnecting the battery at the battery terminal itself, waiting five minutes, and reconnecting the battery will cycle the security system and should allow you to start the engine. Try these steps and let me know how you make out. Hope this helps.

Steve
 

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I do have the same problem.. Check to see if there is short going to or from the alternator. I noticed my problems were worse when it rained. I taped every exposed ground. So far so good.
 

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It is very common for certain wires to short to ground when the weather is wet or evn just damp. If the wiring is old or has any slight defect, the moisture allows the current to jump from the wire to ground, thereby shorting the connection and preventing a cold, wet start, or it can even cause misfires while the engine is running. Some of the older foreign cars are famous for this type of problem and with the increased ignition voltages in the newer cars, wires have to be kept in pristine condition to prevent such shorts.
 

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MUGSANDLUKE said:
It is very common for certain wires to short to ground when the weather is wet or evn just damp. If the wiring is old or has any slight defect, the moisture allows the current to jump from the wire to ground, thereby shorting the connection and preventing a cold, wet start, or it can even cause misfires while the engine is running. Some of the older foreign cars are famous for this type of problem and with the increased ignition voltages in the newer cars, wires have to be kept in pristine condition to prevent such shorts.

For my feeble mind, this does not explain how a "ground" wire connection can "short to ground". I still need help understanding the theory behind insulating (tapeing) exposed ground connections.
 

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Either he taped something that wasn't a ground (then you could go with MUGSANDLUKE's statement) or he inadvertantly did something else while taping grounds that fixed his problem.
 

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:bonkers: Regarding "short to ground theory". All or most of the external metal components in the engine area and body sections are in effect a ground connection, meaning they are a common connection to the negative terminal of the power supply or "ground". If the wire jacket (covering) is dried, cracked or damaged, or even has a very sharp bend, the high spark current, instead of exiting at the tip of the spark plug as intended, can actually leap from the wire to the closest ground point. If this problem actually exists you can sometimes see the spark jump from wire to ground on a dark rainy night since moisture in the air helps the current move from the wire, positive, to the metal, negative/ground, by serving as a conductive path. I hope that helps you understand this theory a little better. If you need more help just ask.
Steve
 

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anothereldoowner said:
I taped every exposed ground. So far so good.
Mugs,

I think the way he made it sound was that he taped every exposed ground "wire" or "connection". We certainly know he didn't tape up the whole engine.

We know the theory your stating. Reread what anothereldoowner said, quite misleading.
 

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I got it the first time but there was a request to clarify ther theory of a short to ground. Hence, my explanation. There could be many rwasons for the problem he has described. Of course we are only guessing at best.
 
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