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Cadillac Repair/cadillac relay


I have a 96 cadillac deville concours northstar, i suspect that its the starter relay cuz the car is not turnin over, not even makin a sound now. how do i check the relay 2 make sure thats the problem and not the starter itself?


I am going to address the VATS (Vehicle Anti Theft System) as well as the other systems the manufacturer leads us to believe they are protecting our vehicles from theft, giving the insurance companies the opportunity to deny theft claims under the belief that these vehicles are designed to be unstealable, which is simply not the truth. I am going to address all this, with what I am about to launch, in which there is the biggest fraud of all time masqueraded by insurance carriers and their experts.
After which, I will give you the diagnoses and repair of your starting issue.

GM was nice enough to install antiquated electronic junk in these vehicles all under the ruse of calling this system VATS (Vehicle Anti Theft System), which was never designed to prevent theft, but was designed to force the owner to pay up to $800 to repair at the dealer, for a product that would fail once again, costing the owner more problems on reliability in the future.

Ford is just as irresponsible with their term PATS (Passive Anti Theft System). Another factory installed piece of crap that like VATS only interrupts the starting of the engine and does not prevent theft.
Personally, I would list both these systems under consumer fraud because both of them including any factory installed ignition deterrents do not prevent theft, but what they do in fact do is serve as a tool for insurance companies to deny an insurance claim under theft, because according to insurance companies and their experts, make the vehicle unstealable as far as they are concerned.

There is no such product out their that is anti theft, yet we as consumers are stuck with this junk, like it or not and when it fails, the dealer is the one that makes money on the deal, and in the case of ignition lock cylinders and keys, they were never even manufactured by the manufacturer and they were subcontracted out to a place known as Strattec in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The same location that locksmiths acquire the same components from for half the price. Same identical parts except part numbers are different between GM and what the locksmith gets.
With this said, there is no such thing as anti theft. I just recently again heard the bull crap on a commercial for another product, in which it was rated as good with the Edison award referred to as the "On Star" anti theft system, which again is another blatant lie. On Star is a recovery system for after the car has been stolen, and calling it "Anti theft" is a great misrepresentation of truth.

As consumers, owning these vehicles we are lied to on a daily basis as are juries from insurance defense teams or the prosecutors for the sole purpose of implicating the insured/defendant with the theft of their vehicle, not only for a theft claim denial, but to ruin someone's livelihood.
Our firm has been the only one in the world on an international level that has represented the insured in these venues, because everyone else has been corrupted. We are very close to launching the truth to all of this and it will send shock waves through the insurance industry and through our courts in a way that has never been done before.
Plaintiff attorneys will have the ability to file major class actions going back for years for all the injustice that has been done under the ruse of "Forensics", in which some locksmith putting the title of forensic before his name has served as the catalyst for the report he has authored stating as to how such equipped vehicles were not stolen and how the reported stolen vehicle has been determined to be last driven with a key of the proper type. What we have put together is so chilling that there is enough to demonstrate a conspiracy against insureds by insurance companies and their forensic locksmiths, in which owners of vehicles with so-called "anti theft systems" are deliberately lied about and attacked, in order to deny an auto theft claim on their purportedly unstealable vehicle.
These events are about to be exposed with definitions of ambiguous terms masqueraded to appear to be factual events, in which one understands the terminology (which attorneys and the courts don't at this time) and then review the supplied reporting by the forensic locksmiths with a jaundice eye, it will be more than obvious that the cards are deliberately stacked against the insured the minute the theft claim is submitted to the insurance carrier during the recorded statement.
A preview of these events will be at

Now, please don't confuse this with a rant and a vehicle as old as this probably does not even have comprehensive insurance, but this question was a golden opportunity for me to address these issues on these vehicles with these so-called anti theft systems and what is going on through the US, Canada, the UK and Australia on a daily basis.

Now, as to your starting issues---

The way to easily determine if a relay or a bad starter is simple and only requires a test light and another person. There is constant power (battery positive cable) going to the starter. There is also starter only power going to the starter. If this is like the starter that GM has used for forty plus years, above the starter and part of it will be the circular starter solenoid, with a purple of yellow wire feeding into it. If the other person goes to start the engine while you have a test light to that terminal, and the test light illuminates while in the start mode, there is a problem with the starter.
If it does not illuminate, the starter disable relay will need to be checked. Location should be addressed in owners manual.
The reason I have all the above information is this: The VATS has one very thin wire (like the wires used in land line phones) running up and inside the steering column. There are two contacts in the front of the ignition lock cylinder, and when the key with that ugly black resistor chip is inserted into the lock, it meets those contacts to complete the circuit. On the other contact, that feeds the VATS wire leading down the steering column.
These wires move continuously when the ignition lock is rotated, and they are commonly known to break. The problem is that you will never see the break, because the wire breaks inside its plastic insulation.
When trying to diagnose where the break is with an ohm meter, just by slight movement, the wires go back together and the problem will not be located, because now it is temporarily fixed until the next time the engine doesn't crank. This problem is so prevalent that it will happen on every VATS equipped vehicle. It is just a matter of when.
The dealer will charge $800.00 for parts and labor to replace this ignition lock/harness assembly. Designed in 1986 and introduced first on the Corvette and used on the Corvette and many other vehicles, was used on the Corvette until 2005. That is 19 years GM used this junk on their vehicles. Electronics is good for 6 months before it is obsolete? What if you had a computer from 1986, how efficient would that be? This system because of its inherent failure was a real money maker for GM.
Now, what you may try to do before you test the starter, if this is your issue, try tilting the steering column in different positions and try starting. Tilting of the column moves these wires and may temporarily put the broken wires back together in which will cause the engine to crank.
If the engine cranks by doing this, you know the lock cylinder harness is the issue.

There are a couple ways you can repair this if this is the problem for less than $60.00. The easiest way is to call around to alarm stores and ask them if they can bypass the VATS. They usually have the VATS bypass kit containing all 14 resistors and can put a resistor in line, there by lying to the system telling the system that the correct resistor key is being used every time.

You can do the same thing, but it is a lot of screwing around. You need an ohm meter that can measure the resistor in the key (that ugly black thing). One the value is determined, you can go to Radio Shack and get a resistor with a resistor with in 10% of the value of the resistor in the key.
Once purchased, you can pull down the black plastic hush panel under the driver's side part of the dash. You go to the fire wall and find the bulk head where the wires go through to the engine compartment. You will follow the two very thin white wires (May be in orange sheath (not the orange wire. Cut before these wires go up and down steering column. Take both ends and insert the resistor between those two wires, by passing the steering column. You will find this is not the easiest chore because the resistor wire and the resistor are very thin. A butt connector is commonly used and tape is placed tightly on each side of the wire to hold it all together. Re install the hush panel and you will never have problem with the VATS junk again, if that is the problem.
I have been dealing with the VATS issues since 1987 and have been bypassing for the after market remote start since 1990. If you look at my archives, I have been answering questions on this very common issue for 10 years.
This was the world's first electronic factory installed purported "anti theft system" installed by the factory and designed to be problematic, not stopping theft, but commonly stopping the owner from driving his or hers vehicle.

I have given you the way to diagnose your starting problem, whether a starter, the starter interrupt relay or the VATS common issues. I have covered everything you need to know to diagnose and repair this vehicle starting problem.
If you find the starter or the starter interrupt relay to be the problem, bypass the VATS anyway, because if not the problem, it will be.

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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