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Cadillac Repair/1992 Cadillac won't start


I bought this 92 Cadillac sedan deville with 135,000 miles several months ago. It started fine; then it wouldn't start for awhile; then it started fine; now it won't start. A so called "mechanic" aka parts changer put a new starter on it but it still won't start. What is the most likely cause?

Thank you in advance for your advice.



Attacked by the old "parts changer" huh? Yeah, far to many out there like that.

The most common inherent problem that GM blessed its owners with is the so called Vehicle Anti Theft System a/k/a VATS, which was almost a guaranty that the owner would have to show up at least twice during the life of the vehicle to replace the ignition lock cylinder and harness. In the 90's the repair would cost at a dealers about $500.00 but in 2013, the cost has creeped up to $800.00. Same junky part, same labor. Oh what a deal!

The black chip in the ignition key, which is not a computer chip, but a resistor chip, meets each wire via contacts on each side in the very front of the ignition lock. These wires break inside their plastic insulation. Even with an ohmmeter one will never find the break, because as the wires are moved, the wires go back together until the next time the engine does not crank.

The cost to bypass is very cheap, however requires going to Radio Shack and your skill level can take take anywhere from 1 hour plus and although simple to someone like me can be challenging.
I just feel it is better to recommend calling around to car alarm stores and ask them if they have the resistor bypass pack to bypass. Shouldn't cost over $60 to get it done.

To verify this is your problem and so you can drive the vehicle there, as silly as it sounds, take the column and tilt it in the lowest position. Try starting and continue until it is in the full up position. You might have to hold your foot on the brake, put the trans lever in neutral and repeat the process. The goal is to get the wires back together one last time to get the car started to take it over for repair. The broken wire will go back together.

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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