Question about 1997 Cadillac DeVille

4 Answers

Starter hangs up sometimes and only clicks other times and them nothing at all sometimes

When I get ready to start my car the starter hangs up and won' shut off sometimes and other times it won't do nothing and other times it just clicks.What do I need to do to fix this?but it starts up most of the time if you will play with itlone enough.

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  • bcunni777 Oct 01, 2008

    could this have any thing to do with the wiring horness for the starter?

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4 Answers

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With a Caddy, getting to the usual suspect in this type of problem requires using the Dealer. But, not always.

What happens is this, a hot wire from your battery connects to your starter. Then that hot terminal will normally connect to your charing system, the component at risk is the alternator. As these elements of the wiring harness are subject to high vibrations, the nuts connecting the wiring can become loose over time. If so, this can lead to an intermittent start issue.

It is also possible that the solenoid in your starter could be about to fail. However, you would also have the solenoid clicking symptom.

Mostly, the above are the problem spots, but that doesn't rule out your ignition switch gang and all the extra safety stuff involved so you can't start the car wrongly, such as while its in gear. There is a lock out switch on your gear selector so it will only start in Park and sometimes these designs will allow you to star in Neutral. There is also a lockout switch on your break pedal. This is true for most cars. In a smart car like yours there are going to be other spots where an issue can arise.

Taking your car to the dealer allows them to connect a computer to a harness in your engine compartment and a software program looks for these sources of lockout and checks their integrity, often while an assistant 'giggles' if you will wiring or devices, like the gear selector and break pedal.

This is what you need to do, call your dealer and have them come get your car and drop off a courtesy rental for you. Let the techs solve your problem and run other checks on components before they fail too based on how much mileage you have.

Good Luck,
Worldvet

Posted on Oct 01, 2008

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  • Master
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Hi,

Check the starting solenoid (most likely) and/or the starter (likely).

The starter system is initiated at the ignition switch when the key is turned to start. At this point, the ignition switch then provides +12VDC to the staring solenoid. The starting solenoid then performs two (2) functions. It provides the switching action (hundreds amps) from the battery heavy cable to the actual starter motor. The solenoid likewise pushes a small pinion gear along the shaft of the starter motor to engage the ring gear. The ring gear is of course on the edge of the flywheel which in turn is attached to the crankshaft.

Starter system problems could be corrected by:
1. check battery, battery cables and connections;
2. charge the battery if required;
3. clean brushes and guides of brush holders of the starter motor;
4. clean the commutator and commutator segments;
5. check/replace the armature or field coils if determined to be defective;
6. in some extreme cases it could be the drive pinion or the flywheel gear ring is defective.
7. often it is the big switch that the solenoid activates that looses contacts causing no +12V internally to the motor.
8. It could possibly be a defective the IGN switch itself. Relative to this, you might try and check the connectors/terminals and electrical joints.

In the picture below, the upper portion is the starter solenoid while the one below it is the actual starter.
starter hangs up sometimes and only clicks other t - c9b6a69.jpg
Given the amount of work to overhaul a starter, you might consider just replacing it. On the other hand, a solenoid is repairable except when burned.

This of course assuming that all other vital components of the car are working.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Oct 01, 2008

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Basically the contacts inside the solenoid on the starter are worn and loose the is the case because when it hangs up the contacts are shorting between the posts and when it clicks the primary contact is not receiving the neccessary voltage. you can just remove the solenoid to be repaired but often times because the solenoid is faulty it also damages the starter too. so you are better off just replacing the whole starter. very seldom will you have a problem with the harness for the starter have both symptoms at the same time it's usually one or the other not both. please rate this thanks

Posted on Oct 01, 2008

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You need to change the starter. If you need any other assistance let me know. If you could take a moment to accept and rate my solution accordingly it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Lee

Posted on Oct 01, 2008

  • Lee A.
    Lee A. Oct 01, 2008

    Nothing is impossibly just highly improbable. You can check the harness. It sounds like it may be a solenoid problem. I myself would change the starter first and go from there. Please reconsider and accept and rate the solution.
    Thanks,
    Lee


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