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What is the cable connected to the ignition that controls the dash board's gadgets

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You mean by gadgets, warning lights and gauges? That would be from the ignition switch's run wire, the wire from the on position. This wire sends voltage to the ignition system, and to the dash for the warning lights and gauges-but not directly to the dash-the signal would reach the dash after being routed through the fuse panel to a fuse for the dash gauges and warning lamps. You need to check if that fuse is good.
Recall seeing any wiring diagram? The fuses are labeled either "hot at all times" or "hot in run or start". The fuses labeled hot in run or start are only sent power when the key is on, so power for those fuses are routed through, or turned on by the key being on. Depending on the car and its wiring set up, many will have relays that are turned on by the run wire, and power is then sent from the relay to that circuit's fuse in the fuse panel. This relay may be called the ignition relay. Or your car may have a different relay to send power from the run wire to the fuse panel.
The only way to figure yours out is to see a wiring diagram for it. Then you will see how power is sent from the ignition switch to the dash.
Wiring diagrams are almost always found in repair manuals. Check if your library has a manual for your car. Most libraries have quite a few repair manuals. Or parts stores sell repair manuals too, for about $25. Try to find a Haynes repair manual for your car. The other popular repair manual is from Chilton. My preference is Haynes, just my preference. I been burned by Chilton manuals sooo many times-incomplete wiring diagrams, incorrect information, incomplete information. Haynes are not perfect by any means, you want perfection-spend big bucks for a factory service manual ! In general, Haynes is more complete than Chilton.
OK, enough venting. If you have a test light, check for power at the fuse for the dash (may be labeled "gauges" or "instr pnl", something like that) with the key on. If it has power with key on, wire from the fuse goes to the dash. If that fuse has no power to it with key on, power has been lost between the ignition switch and that fuse-now you definitely need a wiring diagram to find the problem.

Posted on May 23, 2013


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Trouble with escalade

Vehicles: Escalade, Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, Denali, DenaliXL, YukonXL 1999-2005 with Distributorless Ignition System

Normally I'd recommend that you check your ICM (Ignition Coil Module), but the ICM in this vehicle is an integral component of the PCM (Powertrain Control Module), and is not separately serviceable.

In the US, one can go to Advance Auto Parts/AutoZone/Pep Boys, and get a free "ignition system check" which will tell you whether your alternator/voltage regulator may be failing/marginal. Also, by disassembling your battery and carrying it into the store, you can get a free battery load test on their in-store tester.

Also, you'll want to get a free "Check Engine Light" test from Advance/AutoZone/Pep Boys, since that'll give any DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) that the car's PCM may have stored. Once you have any DTC's stored by you car's computer, check the chart at the end of this solution for their interpretation - codes whose numbers exceed 1000 are Cadillac-specific codes. All of the included codes are stored in response to ignition coil faults.

These instructions apply whether your Escalade has a 5.3L or 6.0L engine.

Table of Contents:
Sec 1 - Adjustments - Ignition Timing
Sec 2 - Distributorless Ignition System - Description
Sec 3 - Ignition Coils - Removal and Installation
Adjustments - Ignition Timing

Ignition timing is preset and cannot be adjusted. Ignition timing is controlled by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

On V6 motors the distributor is located in a fixed, non-adjustable position. DO NOT attempt to rotate the distributor otherwise damage may result.

On V8 engines the distributor can be rotated for proper alignment of the rotor to the cap. The engine base timing is not adjustable by rotating the distributor.

The 4.3L, 5.0L, 5.7L and 7.4L engines use a distributor ignition system.

The 4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L and 8.1L engines use a distributorless ignition system.
Distributorless Ignition System - Description

The 4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L and 8.1L engines do not incorporate a distributor to deliver energy from a common coil to the individual spark plugs. The electronic ignition (EI) system is responsible for producing and controlling a high energy secondary spark. This spark is used to ignite the compressed air/fuel mixture at precisely the correct time. This provides optimal performance, fuel economy, and control of exhaust emissions.

This ignition system consists of a separate ignition coil connected to each spark plug by a short secondary wire. The driver modules within each coil assembly are commanded ON/OFF by the powertrain control module (PCM). The PCM primarily uses engine speed and position information from the crankshaft and camshaft position (CMP) sensors to control the sequence, dwell, and timing of the spark.

Ignition Coils - Removal & Installation

The ignition coil module is integrated in the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). Individual replacement is not possible, the entire PCM would need to be replaced.

Ignition Coils - Removal & Installation

If equipped with Regular Production Option (RPO) HP2, disconnect the Energy Storage Box (ESB).

Remove the spark plug wire from the ignition coil.

Disconnect the ignition coil electrical connector.

If equipped with regular production option (RPO) HP2, remove the auxiliary heater water pump bracket bolts.

Fig. 1 Removing the auxiliary heater water pump

Remove the auxiliary heater water pump from the studs, and reposition out of the way.

If equipped with RPO HP2, remove the starter/alternator control module (SGCM) cover bolts, and cover.

Remove the 3-phase cable nuts to the SGCM.

Remove the 3-phase cable from the SGCM.

Remove the 3-phase cable bracket nuts.

Remove the 3-phase cable bracket from the studs, and reposition the cable and bracket out of the way.


Fig. 2 Starter/Alternator Control Module Electrical Connections

Remove the ignition coil bolts. (see image below)


Fig. 3 Removing the ignition coil bolts

Remove the ignition coil.

To install:

Install the ignition coil.

Install the ignition coil bolts.
Tighten the bolts to 71 inch lbs. (8 Nm).

If equipped with RPO HP2, position the cable (w/bracket) and install the 3-phase cable bracket to the studs.
Install the 3-phase cable bracket nuts and tighten the nuts to 133 inch lbs. (15 Nm).

Install the 3-phase cable to the SGCM.

Install the 3-phase cable nuts to the SGCM and tighten the nuts to 80 inch lbs. (9 Nm).

Install the SGCM cover and bolts.

Tighten the bolts to 80 inch lbs. (9 Nm).

Fig. 4 Starter/alternator control module electrical connections (again)

If equipped with RPO HP2, position the auxiliary heater water pump and install it onto the studs.
Install the auxiliary heater water pump bracket bolts and tighten the bolts to 133 inch lbs. (15 Nm).

Fig 5 Removing the Auxiliary Heater Water Pump

Connect the ignition coil electrical connector.

Install the spark plug wire to the ignition coil.

If equipped with RPO HP2, connect the ESB


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DTC P0351: Ignition Coil 1 Control Circuit
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DTC P0353: Ignition Coil 3 Control Circuit
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DTC P0356: Ignition Coil 6 Control Circuit
DTC P0357: Ignition Coil 7 Control Circuit
DTC P0358: Ignition Coil 8 Control Circuit
DTC P1351: Ignition Coil Control Circuit High Voltage
DTC P1361: Ignition Coil Control Circuit Low Voltage

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  6. Set the airflow distribution knob to the Vent position.
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