Question about 1997 Cadillac DeVille

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I has a 1997 Cadillac DeVille it will not turn over immediately, I have to turn it over around 3 times before the car will crank up. Some tells me it is my starter and some is telling me I need a new battery. I need to know what do it sound like could be the problem

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  • deborah_stat Aug 05, 2010

    Yes it was very helpful. Thank you for your expert solution to my problem.



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The starting system includes the battery, starter motor, solenoid, ignition switch, circuit protection and wiring connecting the components. An inhibitor switch located in the Transmission Range (TR) sensor is included in the starting system to prevent the vehicle from being started with the vehicle in gear.
When the ignition key is turned to the START position, current flows and energizes the starter's solenoid coil. The solenoid plunger and clutch shift lever are activated and the clutch pinion engages the ring gear on the flywheel. The switch contacts close and the starter cranks the engine until it starts.

Voltage Drop Test

I has a 1997 Cadillac DeVille it will not turn - db57b09.gif

Fig. Schematic of a voltage drop test

NOTE The battery must be in good condition and fully charged prior to performing this test.

  1. Disable the ignition system by unplugging the coil pack. Verify that the vehicle will not start.
  2. Connect a voltmeter between the positive terminal of the battery and the starter B+ circuit.
  3. Turn the ignition key to the START position and note the voltage on the meter.
  4. If voltage reads 0.5 volts or more, there is high resistance in the starter cables or the cable ground, repair as necessary. If the voltage reading is ok proceed to the next step.
  5. Connect a voltmeter between the positive terminal of the battery and the starter M circuit.
  6. Turn the ignition key to the START position and note the voltage on the meter.
  7. If voltage reads 0.5 volts or more, there is high resistance in the starter. Repair or replace the starter as necessary.
NOTE Many automotive parts stores have starter bench testers available for use by customers. A starter bench test is the most definitive way to determine the condition of your starter.

When the charging system is operating normally, the warning lamp will come on when the ignition switch is turned on and will go out when the engine starts. If the lamp operates abnormally, or if an undercharged or overcharged battery condition occurs, the following procedure may be used to diagnose the charging system.

Voltage Test
  1. Make sure the engine is OFF , and turn the headlights on for 15-20 seconds to remove any surface charge from the battery.
  2. Using a DVOM set to volts DC, probe across the battery terminals.
  3. Measure the battery voltage.
  4. Write down the voltage reading and proceed to the next test.

No-Load Test
  1. Connect a tachometer to the engine.
CAUTION Ensure that the transmission is in Park and the emergency brake is set. Blocking a wheel is optional and an added safety measure.
  1. Turn off all electrical loads (radio, blower motor, wipers, etc.)
  2. Start the engine and increase engine speed to approximately 1500 rpm.
  3. Measure the voltage reading at the battery with the engine holding a steady 1500 rpm. Voltage should have raised at least 0.5 volts, but no more than 2.5 volts.
  4. If the voltage does not go up more than 0.5 volts, the alternator is not charging. If the voltage goes up more than 2.5 volts, the alternator is overcharging.
NOTE Usually under and overcharging is caused by a defective alternator, or its related parts (regulator), and replacement will fix the problem; however, faulty wiring and other problems can cause the charging system to malfunction. Further testing, which is not covered by this guide, will reveal the exact component failure. Many automotive parts stores have alternator bench testers available for use by customers. An alternator bench test is the most definitive way to determine the condition of your alternator.
  1. If the voltage is within specifications, proceed to the next test.

Load Test
  1. With the engine running, turn on the blower motor and the high beams ( or other electrical accessories to place a load on the charging system).
  2. Increase and hold engine speed to 2000 rpm.
  3. Measure the voltage reading at the battery.
  4. The voltage should increase at least 0.5 volts from the voltage test. If the voltage does not meet specifications, the charging system is malfunctioning.

About your battery, can find interesting information how to test HERE;
also, I suggest check the connections and make sure that the cable is not loose. One year had a bolt that was too long, thus the cable connection could be intermittent. The fix was a spacer or couple of washers, but I would suspect the battery going bad. How old is it?

Tell us news.

Posted on Aug 05, 2010


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