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Good evening all!

I drove the '99 STS today 20 miles with no problems. After a 1 hour stop, it would not start. The symptoms are: No cranking. Dash board goes blank when I turn the key. Not sure if that is normal or not.

I have checked all fuses under hood and rear seat which sound like they are ignition related. I swapped out relays which sound like they are related to ignition as well. I unhooked both battery cables multiple times, cleaned them. I kept them off the battery for 10 minutes minimum. I have 12.0 volts on the DIC, and hooked up both another car, and a jump box. The other car gave me 13.3 volts on the dash. I am in search of the next step. I plan to verify the starter is not bad by jumping across the relay. Are there other obvious items to check before I go too far? I had AAA tow the car to my house, so I can work on it there. I am looking for an elimination tree to work from, if anyone can reference that for me.

Thanks in advance for any help,

Ohio Jim

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Yes, I think you are on the right track -- are you getting power to the starter? Since you mention the dash going blank, that gives the impression you are?

Similar no-start symptom can be the PRNDL switch fault, which can be mitigated by running the selector through all the gears and soundly back to park. If the car then starts replace the PRNDL switch.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Thank you Gentlemen!

I plan to get into the work tomorrow. Jim D, no, unfortunately I do not have a second key. Although I found an all metal key under shifter last week. I was going to ask what it is for. It is in a GM black pouch. Should that start the car as well? I did not see a security light on the dash. KHE, is the started solenoid on the starter? I did not want to pull the manifold unless I need to. I was hoping to figure out how to bypass a relay in the under the hood fuse box to rule out the starter. There are two relays and maybe one more under the back seat. I should be able to put 12v to the starter, at the relay, to see if something else is telling the car not to energize the starter...no? The 'almighty Bruce', lol. I say that with reverence Bruce. I cannot remember you ever chiming in on a post of mine. Thank you for taking the time and effort. Your second "?" mark has me wondering if you are asking, or telling me, the blank out display is normal. Is it? I did try park and neutral many times, however, I did not know to do the hard park! Will try that next. I did have a P0603 current code. Looking that up, I see it has to do with the ICM keep alive memory error. Could that be a culprit? Lately I have noticed a couple of times the radio will give me a slight 'boom' when I start. (The amplifier.) The radio station seems to go to another station as well during those starts.

Thank you all!

Ohio Jim

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If the dash goes blank, two things occur to me: ignition switch, and battery cable or battery. The keep-alive memory error is a sign that the battery voltage has gone below 9.0 Volts lately, another sign that the battery or battery cable is a problem. Also, if the radio switches stations, that is yet another sign that the battery voltage is going to zero.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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i am not certain if you are seeing battery drawn down and insufficient to turn over starter or starter not engaging. I do like Jim's hint of disconnect and thoroughly clean battery connections as these can be a bit finnicky on the NS in my experience

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Cadillac Jim,

I was trying to start the car today by altering the pressure on the key to see if I could get the 'boom' from the stereo, or get the starter to engage. I suspect it to be an ignition problem. Does anyone know how I can verify the ignition switch is good or bad? Last year I had a few instances where the car would not start, acting as not enough voltage to crank, or 'dirty' cables. I documented this through some posts. I used a spray to clean and coat the connections, and the problem disappeared for months. Now I fear it has returned, so I think I only masked the problem. I have looked closely at the positive battery cable at the battery, and can find no sign of degradation. Last year I verified no corrosion on the negative cable at the floor board connection. Bruce, I feel the battery being about a year old is not the issue. I had 12.0 volts today, and tried to jump it with a reading of 13.3 volts when attached to the jump vehicle. The tow operator hooked a jump box and said he also got a 12.0 reading from the connections under the hood. I will hook up a charger overnight and try to start it again in the am.

Thank you both,

I will keep you posted.

Jim

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I would agree with Kevin 100% re the solenoid failure IF you have experienced several (many) no-crank events in the recent past.

And if the solenoid is failed, there is no--way to cause the starter to engage by messing around with jumpers in the fuse/relay boxes.

The key you found is called the "Master" key. That key will operate any lock installed when the car rolled off the production line. The only thing that key will NOT do is crank the engine; the key does not have a transponder head.

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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There is a main ground 4 gauge cable that runs from the alternator to the right side frame rail. Just follow the washer bottle down near the a/c lines. The ground stretches over time and leaves you with the condition you have. So, if you can jumper off the body of the car to the engine with jumper cables might work. Depending on rust, the bolt might be hard to get out and sometimes I use a map gas torch to warm it up on the bolt head but be careful.

Edited by barczy01
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Jim D,

Thanks for the insight! When experiencing no crank events prior, I always undid the battery cable, reattached, and whaaalllaaa, the car started! I must have been just buying time until now! I wish I knew what I was doing. I have cleaned and protected the battery cables many times. The situation would go away for days, weeks, or even months. Now it appears to be much more.

Barczy01,

That is very interesting. I will look into the ground situation and report back. Thanks!

Ohio Jim

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My 96 STS was very finnacky about the battery cables. It might have a problem and they would look ok and correctly attached and tight, but if I took them off the battery, and separated the various cables, then reassembled and reattached that would fix the issue. I think you are saying that is what you have been doing, so perhaps it suggests that one of the cables is intermittant?

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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There is a battery cable that goes directly to the solenoid. If the solenoid clicks but the starter doesn't engage, either the solenoid contacts or the starter is bad.

The solenoid is pulled in by a starter enable relay. It gets is power thorugh the 50 Amp BATT 1 Maxifuse. The coil is powered through the ignition switch and the Park/Neutral Position (PNP) switch and the coil is grounded through the IPM, which has the key and security electronics.

The starter enable relay in on the underhood Maxifuse/Relay block. It's the big one on the lower right, looking from the front toward the strut tower. The power through the PNP switch comes in through the YEL wire to terminal F, the IPC grounds terminal D through the YEL/BLK wire. Power through the BATT 1 Maxifuse come through the RED wire to terminal B, and the PPL wire on terminal E goes to the starter solenoid pull-in coil.

The connector to the starter enable relay is eight connectors in one row. In my picture on pate 8A-202-104 they are lettered A through F from right to left; you can sort it out by the wire colors. Terminals A and C are not used, terminal B is the RED wire and terminal F is the YEL wire.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Put a test light on the purple wire going into the valley of the starter. If the light turns on when the switch is in the crank position, then your looking at a starter.

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All,

I haven't been ignoring your help lines, I have merely been working 14 hours and day and attending a few grandchildren soccer and baseball games... Hopefully I will be under the hood Sunday with a copy of the great information you have all took the time and trouble to write. I thank you all sincerely, because I really need to get this car fixed!...UGGHHH!

Bruce,

All I have done in the past is unscrew the cables, clean them with battery cleaner, and reassemble. Sometimes, when I was in a parking lot, I merely unhooked the cables and reattached, and the car always started. The cables never look corroded, however, does the positive cable come apart at the battery? The two wires look fine from the bottom side of the red cover on the battery screw, however, could there be corrosion between them? I will try to separate the cables.

Cadillac Jim,

The battery cable going directly to the solenoid looks as though it comes off the alternator. You wrote in part, "... In my picture on pate 8A-202-104 they are lettered..." Where do I find that picture?

barczy01,

I will look for the purple wire and try what you are describing. All I have seen so far is the heavy cable going under the manifold which has a black corrugated casing on it. Would the purple wire be in that casing as well or going under the manifold by some other route?

Ohio Jim

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I came to think of the cables as a bit of black magic on my 96. Most of the time they were fine, but if they did have a problem the answer was to take them off the battery, disassemble the incoming positive cables from each other, reassemble, and reattach.

They did not ever appear to not be connected, but clearly there was some issue there that was not obvious.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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All,

I haven't been ignoring your help lines, I have merely been working 14 hours and day and attending a few grandchildren soccer and baseball games... Hopefully I will be under the hood Sunday with a copy of the great information you have all took the time and trouble to write. I thank you all sincerely, because I really need to get this car fixed!...UGGHHH!

Bruce,

All I have done in the past is unscrew the cables, clean them with battery cleaner, and reassemble. Sometimes, when I was in a parking lot, I merely unhooked the cables and reattached, and the car always started. The cables never look corroded, however, does the positive cable come apart at the battery? The two wires look fine from the bottom side of the red cover on the battery screw, however, could there be corrosion between them? I will try to separate the cables.

Cadillac Jim,

The battery cable going directly to the solenoid looks as though it comes off the alternator. You wrote in part, "... In my picture on pate 8A-202-104 they are lettered..." Where do I find that picture?

barczy01,

I will look for the purple wire and try what you are describing. All I have seen so far is the heavy cable going under the manifold which has a black corrugated casing on it. Would the purple wire be in that casing as well or going under the manifold by some other route?

Ohio Jim

Ohio Jim I can tell you the purple wire is in the black casing toward the firewall. There are 2 black casings, one goes toward the radiator and the one you want is the other.

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I got my picture from the 1997 factory shop manual for Eldorado, Seville, and Deville. I put the page numbers in so that others can find it easily.

The big red battery cable to the solenoid goes to the battery positive terminal. There are three big red cables on the positive terminal. The other two go to the alternator and over to the Maxifuse block, which powers the car itself through fuses and circuit breakers. The ground cable has two big black wires. One goes to the engine block and the other goes to the chassis under the battery.

Some cars and other models use one ground cable on the battery and a ground strap from the engine to the chassis. I see from Rock Auto that there is such an engine-to-chassis ground cable for the 1999 Seville. The battery ground cable has one large cable to chassis ground and a smaller ground wire to a harness connector, possibly going to the alternator. The positive cable seems different from the 1997 too, in that there are two, a "CABLE,BAT POS 4 DOORS; 33IN LG, SWITCH TO STARTER" cable with a covered connector and two lug connectors, and a positive cable with one large cable and one small cable on it "W/O BAT HEAT SEN AND RETAINER."

Until I changed my battery cable in about 2003, I had occasional problems as Bruce mentions in post #16 above, and my solution was the same: pry all three terminals out of the big red positive connector and clean them out. Over time, corrosion would get between the terminals and one of them, usually the starter cable, would get a flaky connection. Auto parts stores sell stuff to spray on the terminals and copper washers if you need to tighten up the force on the terminals inside the big red plastic. The new replacement cable was different, it was better sealed and I never had a peep from it.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Success????

Thank you all for the replies. I was able to work on the car Sunday evening. I was unable to get a response from the starter solenoid, so I took the plunge! I removed the intake manifold; no small feat for myself! Found a giant mouse nest! That is just the beginning. Cleaned it out and found the cables covers, (black corrugated), were melted to the cables. I cleaned them up as best I could, and covered them with Kapton tape. My son had a starter from a 2001 STS on the shelf, so I installed it about midnight. The bottom of the intake manifold does not look good. Kind of burned and peeling. I tried not to disturb it much, and coated it with some epoxy and Kapton tape, to make sure it was not sucking air. I put it all back together, but the car now has a pronounced miss! Appears to be coming from both exhaust pipes... It through a code about 10 miles into my commute tonight. I will retrieve the code on lunch. Car is idling very rough, and has some surging issues on the highway, but it IS running! lol

I will report further news.

Ohio Jim

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The car does not have true dual exhaust so it would be normal to hear the miss from both exhause pipes.

Are you sure you reconnected all the vacuum lines? It is easy enough to miss one or more. If you missed a vacuum line or an EGR tube connection, the car will run very rough.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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KHE,

Thank you! I will need to go through the lines again, as I worked on it with a trouble light, in the driveway! It is easy to miss something simple, like an electrical connection on the intake to the map sensor or that ground on the front of the engine off the fuel rail. I know I got those, but not sure about everything else. I will check it out from start to finish and report back. Like I said, I have an engine light on now, so I need to pull the code.

Thanks for the tip!

Ohio Jim

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I removed the intake manifold; no small feat for myself! Found a giant mouse nest! That is just the beginning. Cleaned it out and found the cables covers, (black corrugated), were melted to the cables.

That sounds like a smoking gun alright; good job. :yupi3ti:

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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All you nice, helpful, generous, guys out there!

Okay, So I went out to get the codes now at work...I have a host of non-applicable codes, but these I feel might be related to the current miss and hard start issue...

PCM P0151 Current

PCM P0603 History (I began having this one when this all started.)

SDM B1161 History

SDM B1171 Current

The car started on the second try. It is real weird. The cranking starts and then just when the car acts like it is going to start, I hear a slight grind, (like starter on flywheel), then it may or may not start. It sound like it is trying to start, and the starter of compression is 'blocking it'. It sounds like it is trying to fire up, but something is stopping it. Almost like if you have a compression stroke when the timing is way off on a distributor engine..

I will need to look up the codes to see what might be happening. I did not find any unhooked vacuum hoses or connectors. I know I do not want to keep starting the car like this, because is sounds bad!

Any thoughts?

Ohio Jim

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Sdm codes are air bag related

P0151 is an o2 sensor could that be unplugged or chewed through?

Codes : http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=2415

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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The oxygen sensor that is throwing the code is the one on the exhaust manifold on the firewall side. Cylinder number 3 is the second one from the passenger side on the firewall side.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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