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Cadillac Repair/1999 sts hard start


i have a 1999 Cadillac sts, i can jump in and sometimes it will start without an issue and other times ill get in and hit the key and it will just crank and crank and you have to crank it multiple times and then it will fire up and run ruff for a few min. then smooth out an run perfect, my fuel pressure is 43psi while running and over 50 with the key on. i already replaced the ignition switch so what could cause this issue?


I understand the good fuel pump pressure, however the fuel pump may be on its way out. One complaint for continual cranking without starting would be a problem at the fuel pump. When is the last time the distributor cap and rotor were looked at?
Your biggest problem here is that this problem is intermittent and is hard to get some sort of common denominator for diagnoses. The second biggest problem is logistics and I am not at the car.

You could go on Ebay or Craigs and buy a factory service manual. There are diagnostic flow charts that may assist you. However, the problem must be there at the time you are trying to diagnose it, or you are just guessing, which leads to unneeded parts changing.

Just so you are aware, there was no reason to change the VATS ignition lock. There is nothing wrong related to the so-called vehicle security system. Has nothing to do with fuel or electrical in anything other than the start position. The common issue with VATS is that the wires in the ignition harness would break inside the plastic casing and then go back together tilting the column in many cases. This would cause a no crank situation with a warning on the dash, saying the engine would not start for 3 minutes and a security issue. In no way does it have an issue like you are describing.
It is very common because people are not familiar with the way the so-called anti theft works, that if there is any type of drivability problem, the first place they go after is the security.

Dealers were good to blame any after market accessory including a stereo for drivability issues and everything else. Why? Because they had no concept as to how anything other than factory installed components worked. This is not an exaggeration. I dealt with it and the technicians when I was a service manager.

I just wish you could have come to me before wasting the money on replacing the ignition lock. Oh well, now you understand the VATS.
I wish I could be of more help, but without being at the car when the problem pops up, I do not want to try to change parts on a guess. You really should have a factory service manual anyway, because it is great for diagnosing so many problems and it tells you exactly where everything is, how it works. It is by far the best tool anyone could own if they want to work on their car without the guess work.

Thank you for the question and if you can some how give me more details like weather affecting the vehicle when the engine does not start, something and possibly I might be able to assist you farther.
I hope you don't mind, but I thought I would hawk our business a bit.

Good Luck!

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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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