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Battery Terminal Bolts??


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Hey everyone, I hope all is going well for everyone here this holiday season including your families and beloved Caddies.

I have a problem however and it has gotten worse since the cold snap started where I live (-24 °F / -31 °C and then try an extra -10 °C or more at night).

Car is a 94 Seville STS with 138,000miles and runs great other than it currently being an ice cube.

Lately I have noticed the battery wasn't holding much of a charge because some mornings I couldn't get the thing to start and when it did start, it would start hard like I left the interiors on all night enough to drain the battery down. I had the old battery replaced but my problem remained the same. Battery voltage when driving cold would be 14.5V and then would rapidly decrease to 12.6V unless I was on the highway getting cool air onto the alt and then bringing the voltage up to 13.2V at the very best. Alternator is a brand new Hitachi replaced in the spring because old AC Delco one had a bad voltage reg and all the lights would flicker and drive everyone insane, but yet it always maintained voltage above 13.4V in the warmest conditions. I can't seem to find any lights or electronics staying on after the car is off, but I haven't had a chance to get my friend to come help me out with a multi-meter yet.

But the question I'm really in need of an answer is about the positive battery cable. I don't think mine is a factory setup of the typical GM ones that I can't stand in the first place.

I have the two cables with eye clips and then a seperate pin that is threaded on both ends. A nut is threaded on one end and then threads into the battery terminal. The cables then slide onto the pin and then another nut threads on and pinches the cables tight to the other nutt which is making contact with the nut pressed against the lead terminal.

Is this a factory GM setup???

I'm starting to wonder because this pin and the nuts look out of the ordinary on this caddy and am wondering if they are less conductive than what is originally supposed to be on there... My knowledge on electrical is severely limited other than the red wire connects to the red and black to black etc so forgive me.

Has anyone suffered a phantom drain with these cars? And if so what is the most common problem?

I read that a bad PCM can present the symptoms I'm getting but I want to try and figure the small stuff out first.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Here is the standard set up

PositiveBatteryTerminal-1.gif

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Your charging rates sound normal

Keep an eye on the Hitachi alternator, these cars are sensitive to having an OEM alternator

We have had people who have had battery drains, and it has been aftermarket amps not turning off, vanity lights, trunk lights, and the retained power circuit not turning off.

You can put a meter on your battery and start pulling breakers/fuses until you find the circuit that is causing the drain

What oil are you using in those temps? (viscosity)

We had a member having cold battery drain, it was a bad cable, but your description of your positive cable does not sound right

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Well that is quite a bit different than mine, thanks very much.

You can purchase a new bolt and 'LUG' at the dealer, it makes a big difference, mine was bad

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Thanks again, I will have to try and go through the car more thoroughly then. Going to pick up a new bolt just to be sure though as the car is 15 years old. Cables look intact and were clean before I cleaned and regreased them last week

I'm using 10W-30 but I typically have it in the garage or plugged in with an oil pad heater which in my experience works much better than the typical block heaters. I usually drive my truck in the winter anyway but its nice taking the Caddy out when running small errands or for a night out with the lady.

It's supposed to be a couple degree's above freezing here on Wednesday/Thursday so if I don't succeed today, I'll just roll it into the garage one of those days and let the Sierra suffer the cold as it usually does :rolleyes:

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Thanks again, I will have to try and go through the car more thoroughly then. Going to pick up a new bolt just to be sure though as the car is 15 years old. Cables look intact and were clean before I cleaned and regreased them last week

I'm using 10W-30 but I typically have it in the garage or plugged in with an oil pad heater which in my experience works much better than the typical block heaters. I usually drive my truck in the winter anyway but its nice taking the Caddy out when running small errands or for a night out with the lady.

It's supposed to be a couple degree's above freezing here on Wednesday/Thursday so if I don't succeed today, I'll just roll it into the garage one of those days and let the Sierra suffer the cold as it usually does :rolleyes:

One other thing to look for.

Radar Detectors...cell phone chargers...iPod chargers and anything else that is plugged into the cigarette lighter.

Even if the cell phone is not plugged in and charging...the charger is still pulling juice.

Over a period of week or so, with the car not being driven...it will pull the battery down where it may not start.

Don't ask how I found THAT out. :D:D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I hope everyone had a good Christmas with their friends and family, and that their New Years was enjoyable as well.

I just thought I would update everyone on the situation with this horrible problem I seemed to have solved thanks to everyone who posted here.

I had went to the dealer and got the new bolt because mine was not at all the proper one and was not providing proper clamping force onto the battery. I had then cleaned the wires and all connections on the ends of them right into the electrical box under the hood with baking soda and hot water (which worked better than the electrical cleaner I had purchased in the spray can).

After applying dielectric grease to the connections I installed the battery out of my hibernating 86 Deville (which is a bit larger) while I had my proper battery charging and decided to fire it up and take it for a test drive. Car started up with no hesitation and the battery meter always remained in between 13.8 and 14.7 even with the rear defrost on, heated seats, etc. (Torture test). I drove with that battery for a few days because I never got around to changing it out and then one morning I just couldn't get it started. Volt meter was reading 9.7 volts. I disconnected the battery and noticed that there was almost virtually no contact between the two positive cables because the plastic coating was just too thick.

So I put two washers in between and voila! Started right up!

Since then I put the proper battery back in the car and the only difference I can notice is my batt volts are in between 13.4 and 14.8 now. When I have the rear defrost in it does drop to 13.2 but only at red lights.

I am noticing my rear antenna makes noise for a few seconds after coming down so I think I may need to keep an eye on it in case it was possibly draining my battery before.

But otherwise the car is happy to start up anytime now in this frigid weather and I thank you all for the great advice! Looks like a good cleaning on all connections and some washers was the cure! :D

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