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Cadillac Repair/1993 Cadillac Sedan DeVille


QUESTION: Why is that my 1993 Cadillac DeVille will only start if the steering wheel is tilted all the way down and I hold the gas pedal? If it's really cold outside that won't even work.

ANSWER: Hello,

You need to be more specific. When you say "Start", what happens when tilted in another position? Does the engine turn over (crank) or is it dead?
Or, does the ignition lock cylinder rotation not seem right and forced?
These could be two separate issues. One mechanical in the steering column, or in that antiquacated piece of garbage known as the GM VATS system.

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

QUESTION: The engine will not turn over, it just goes "click".


Thank you for the follow up. Click tells you it is not a VATS issue, because you will have nothing.

The only possible reason I could even imagine that the lowered column would give you a start and not in any other position and only a click is the electrical ignition switch on the top of the steering column under the dash, and I am speculating, is where the rack is stretched enough in the column it is ready to snap off and in the other tilt positions is not pulling the ignition actuator rod back far enough.

Normally a click coming from the starter is telling you the solenoid is engaging, or attempting to engage and the lowered tilt position is pulling the rod far enough at the ignition switch to spin the engine.

It sounds like the steering column has to come apart.

Or have the VATS bypassed, because it is going to fail on you stranding you eventually. Then just put a junk yard column in. It would be the best cost effective approach.

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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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