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1990 Cadillac Deville HELP ME Please...experts or anybody HELP


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I bought me my dream Cadillac. A 1990 Cadillac Deville w/ the strong 4.5L V8 with only 123k miles. Only a BIG problem! It starts when it wants to! What causes this? When it run i dont want to stop driving it, it runs perfect, shifts perfect. But sometimes i put the key in and the dash lights up but the car wont even try to start. No clicking noise, nothing. I put a new starter in it. Checked cables from starter. Idk what this is. What causes a vehicle to start only sometimes? Anybody with a clue? Im soooo frustrated! :-( please help me...

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When it won't start -- run the gear selector from park through the gear selections and back to park.

There is a PRNDL safety switch to ensure that the selector is in Park (or neutral) prior to allowing the engine to start. If this switch is dirty, weak, or needs replacement it

can become intermittant and the car will refuse to start sometimes, with no other symptoms (no clicking, etc). If this happens and you run the selector through its

various selections and back to park sometimes that will jiggle the switch enough to allow car to start until you can replace switch.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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No -- if this is the issue what you are trying to do (without breaking anything) is run the selector through the gears and snug it firmly but not harshly back into park.

If you do that a couple times and the car still will not start, then this may not be your issue, or it may be that the switch is too far gone and more diagnosis is required.

When you turn the ignition switch to start you see some results, but the starter doesn't start. So we need to think down the diagnostic tree on what can keep the starter

from starting.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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I believe that you can read the OBD I codes from a 1990 model. With the key on (engine running or off), try pressing the A/C buttons <Off> and <Pass Warmer> buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. If all the dash lights come on like you just turned on the key, release both buttons and watch the driver information center; the OBD codes will be presented one at a time. When you are done, turn off the key. If nothing happens, get the A/C back to where it was and you have lost nothing. If you do get a list of OBD codes, write them down and post them here.

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I have a Seville -90. Same engine and same problem. You can read about it here: http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=42899

I belive it´s the same problem. Mine did not respond to going through the gears BUT if I wiggle the wires around the switch it works again. Means there is a bad connection one way or the other. No codes on mine.

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Don't know about the 1990....My current books don't go back that far...but the '92 and newer Seville had a starter enable relay under the carpet very near the drivers door opening.

That era of engine is also know for having engine ground issues...look at the engine block cable ground...right next to the starter. It may look ok...but needs to be taken apart...cleaned and tightened.

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What did u do to fix yours goran?

I didn´t....... :blush: The problem has only occurd twice. First time I had to tow home but it healed itself over night. Second time I tried adwise from "KHE" to check connections on the gearbox. Had no tools so I just wiggeled and jiggeled tha wires and connections in that area and got a instant responce. Worked since then.

Guess i should do a proper cleanup and check!

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Wow. Well here is my update:

This morning i tried the PRNDL sequence and it didnt work. When on to check battery terminals, and found the negative was FULL of corrosion. Pulled battery, and found a 100 percent discharge. Battery is charging now at carquest and bought two new terminals for the battery. Can this cause my problem??? Thanks

Any other suggestions? Anything i should clean? Any relays in this model? Sensors?

Also found that when a fuse is placed in fuse ox for stereo, i get a big spark of elecricity, radio is after market? Can this cause a short? Remove radio? Again my car is a 1990 Cadillac Deville 4.5L V8. Thatnks

Edited by cadiman12
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Is it only me that thinks about a VATS problem???

Does your key have a little pellet resistor (chip) in it? If yes that resistor might be going bad. Try to start your car again and note if the security light comes on. If it does it is a VATS problem. When the system doesn't recognize the key it doesn't let the car start, and you have to wait around 3 minutes before tries.

My car has done this a couple of times. All of those times it was raining hard outside and my keys (sitting normally in the left front pocket of my jeans) had gotten moist. This will affect the resistance. So, every time that happened I wiped the key dry, waited around 3 minutes and the car started right up.

Try your spare key.

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If it were VATS he would definitely notice "Wait for 3 minutes" message. Here is a trick which should be done VERY CAREFULLY. Take a piece of wire and run it from battery positive terminal directly to starter positive. First, figure out which one on the starter is positive. Be careful, do not touch exhaust manifold or anything else with that piece of cable. Secure it on the starter somehow and start the car. If it start every time. Make that bypass more permanent and safe and forget about your problem.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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If it were VATS he would definitely notice "Wait for 3 minutes" message. Here is a trick which should be done VERY CAREFULLY. Take a piece of wire and run it from battery positive terminal directly to starter positive. First, figure out which one on the starter is positive. Be careful, do not touch exhaust manifold or anything else with that piece of cable. Secure it on the starter somehow and start the car. If it start every time. Make that bypass more permanent and safe and forget about your problem.

Did that. The car wouldnt start, that led me to notice the purple ground wire was the one that was bad. I yanked it real hard, and for some reason the problem got fixed. Edited by cadiman12
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If it were VATS he would definitely notice "Wait for 3 minutes" message. Here is a trick which should be done VERY CAREFULLY. Take a piece of wire and run it from battery positive terminal directly to starter positive. First, figure out which one on the starter is positive. Be careful, do not touch exhaust manifold or anything else with that piece of cable. Secure it on the starter somehow and start the car. If it start every time. Make that bypass more permanent and safe and forget about your problem.

Did that. The car wouldnt start, that led me to notice the purple ground wire was the one that was bad. I yanked it real hard, and for some reason the problem got fixed.

Okay, let us know if something happens again. There are several members on this board who owned 4.5 and 4.9 liter powered Cadillacs. The coolant probably has not been changed for years. The easy way to do that is removing radiator cap and siphoning out about a gallon of old coolant with 1/4 PVC tube filled with water. Buy a tube of Bars Leaks Golden Seal powder from Wal-Mart, pour it into the radiator before adding coolant. Make sure the hose connecting the radiator to reservoir is not plugged.

Buy a Factory Service Manual off eBay if you want to do your work on the car:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Dealership-1990-Cadillac-Deville-Fleetwood-Service-Information-Manual-/181000706297?pt=Motors_Manuals_Literature&hash=item2a247b98f9&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1990-Cadillac-DEVILLE-FLEETWOOD-Service-Shop-Repair-Manual-DEALERSHIP-GM-FACTORY-/161064675206?pt=Motors_Manuals_Literature&hash=item258033e786&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1990-Cadillac-DEVILLE-FLEETWOOD-Service-Shop-Repair-Manual-DEALERSHIP-GM-SET-/160939446110?pt=Motors_Manuals_Literature&hash=item2578bd0f5e&vxp=mtr

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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