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Cadillac Repair/1999 cadillac deville


QUESTION: While driving 1999 cadillac deville the battery light came on and then went off. A few miles down the road the car just quit running. When I put on the emergency flashers smoke came out of the steering column. I shut the flashers back off. I tried starting the car. It would start, but would not continue to run. Any ideas what may have caused this.

ANSWER: Hello,

You definitively have an electrical problem and because of logistics, I have no clue as to where to start.
This vehicle can not even be looked at without the right equipment. That would be a factory service manual from Ebay. You can use the flow charts to attempt to diagnose the problem. It sounds like something fried. The electrical ignition switch under the dash and on top of the column could have fried, not offering power on the run circuit. That may explain the smoke from the column. Do not confuse the ignition key cylinder with the electrical ignition switch.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Had to take the car to a cadillac dealer. The positive battery cable was almost corroded off and the smoke came from grease in the flasher switch. Thought you would like to know. Thank You for your help and quick response.


I am glad that worked out for you. May I suggest cleaning the battery terminals every three months and make sure they are greased as well. The best way to clean is use baking soda and water. The chemical reaction is kind of cool to watch as it bubbles away the corrosion.

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Rob Painter


Alarm system questions cannot be answered on this forum. These systems are not what I can answer. Without being physically at the vehicle and not knowing what kind of electrical service has been done on the vehicle, there is no possible way to give an accurate answer over the internet. My expertise is in Ignition/key based anti-theft systems. These issues include GM VATS (resistor chip in key blade) PASSLOCK (MRD)-ignition lock rotation based, no special ignition key and the PKIII Transponder (computer chip in key) systems. These systems are not alarm based and are integral with the starting of the engine. This is why I cannot diagnose alarm problems without physically looking at the vehicle: Alarm systems are a completely different annimal than ignition key/lock based anti-theft system. Many alarm questions come from vehicles 10 years old, and since older, many hands that had been involved over the years.I am an expert in all GM factory (ignition/key based)systems. Alarm system questions pose to many situations beyond my knowledge as to what has been done to the vehicle over the years. Some guy may have actually wired the stereo into the alarm system. Who knows? Over my past 30 years in vehicle wiring repair, I have seen unbelievable wiring disaters done by guys that consider themselves "mechanics." I have seen stereos and alarms intalled using surgical tape. I have seen modules burn up, un-fused circuits, wiring jambed between the doors and even lamp cord used for a starter kill. To answer alarm questions over the internet without examining the vehicle is like asking; What does it take to remove a dent?


Education/Credentials-ASE certified. 11 years with a GM dealer and 17 years with a repair facility dealing with only the repair of theft recovered vehicles.

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