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Cadillac Repair/Thank you, and follow up Question


QUESTION: How do I make sure that following cited problem is fixed?

History: Theft Problem:Car may not re-start" started to flash on Dashboard on August 9th/13.
Cadillac 1994 Deville towed to GM dealer on Aug. 10/13 after engine did not re-start after many trials.
2. Dealer claimed that it was the ignition key and unit. Whole module was replaced, but problem remained.
3. Dealer then claimed that the problem was the battery. New battery installed, but the problem remained.
4. Dealer then claimed that the alarm-system was the problem, and that it would have to be removed. Alarm-system removed, but problem still remained.
5. Dealer then claimed that the starter block-motor was the problem. New starter block-motor installed, but problem remained.

6. After all the above, plus over than $800.00 payments (car battery and motor were still under warranty; if not costs would be greater), I insisted that I would NOT take the car from store until initial problem "THEFT PROBLEM: Car may not restart" was not showing-up on Dash-board read-out.
7. Picked up car from Dealer on August 31st/13. Theft-Problem lights read-out was not showing. Engine started, but had to turn ignition key farther and farther forward.

8. During September 1st through September 13th/13, car starts, but stalls. Have to use many trials for re-start.

9. Today, September 13th, 2013: several trials before start and re-start, and "THEFT PROBLEM: CAR MAY NOT RE-START" now shows again on Dash-board read-out.

10. At a loss as what to do. Dealer did NOT supply, although asked for detailed write-up on what was done to "fix" the problem. Please help. I live with wondering whether or not Car will re-start -- if engine turned off.  
Thank you very much.
Glenn Harewood


You have two issues here. You just had your pocket fleeced of $800.00 of which i give the correct aswer for your problem for free and I cant even feed my family. What is wrong with this story?
The second issue is this: VATS with that ugly chip in the key has had known problems for over 20 years and beause of thier convenient or intentional ignorance with the replacement of perfectly good components you sold demad your money back and share half with me. I am serious and I will supply you with the threat.
Using my phone is very frustrating to use to answer questions because my computer crashed and using my phone here makes spelling and writing difficlult in about 8 font.
Here is a simple guaranted fix every time that dealer wil not do. Bypass the VATS junk! Shouldnt cost over  $60 and never have a no start because of it again. Contact local alarm stores and they can bypass this VATS junk. The wires for vats bereak internally and the computer cannot see the resistor key and the engine will not start at times supying that warning. It is quite comonfor a dealer tocharge $800.00 for a new ignition lock which was doomed for failure. I deal with this VATS junk and average of twice a week for the past 15 years
You have two issues here. You just had your pocket fleeced of $800.00 of which i give the correct aswer for your problem for free and I cant even feed my family. What is wrong with this story?
The second issue is this: VATS with that ugly chip in the key has had known problems fot over 20 years and ifthe eaer is t incotento cooked, you sold demad your money back and share half with me. I can supply you with a letter to the dealer accordingly.
All the parts the dealer replaced were probably fine. They refuse to bypass under the guise of security, but in reality it just enrichens the dealer and GM.
Never go to a dealer again. The leading service centers can repair problems better and cheaper than the dealer. i worked for GM dealers for 11 years and the quality of technicians under me was sub-standard. The thought is that they must know the car better. Service centers have to get the diagnoses right the first time and cant be parts changing at the consumers expense. This is not arrogance and my readers response supports this- I am the best when it comes to these VATS issues and I can repair cars thousand of miles away. The dealer has the car and cant figure out the problem!

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

QUESTION: Thanks very much for your clear advice. Mr. Painter.
My follow up question(s) are:
1. What are my chances of my getting compensation for the  unnecessary removal of the $1,000+ alarm-remote-lock system? This was an after-factory installation which was functioning when I first had the car towed to the dealer's. I now have NO remote-lock-unlock facility, and am still stuck with the no-start/re-start problem.
Without prejudice,I will gladly share a few hundred with you, were I to get some compensation for this unnecessary removal of a normally functioning system. Dealer has tried to claim that it was this after-factory remote system that was the initial problem; but it back-fired when, after removal, the engine still did NOT start.

2. Should I insist on getting final documentation of repairs from dealer? Before I have the car towed to a shop where I hope the problem can be clearly diagnosed and fixed, I need to have documentation from the dealer, as to what they finally did, or did not do. They have so far refused to
supply such document ( I picked up the car on the September 1st/13 long weekend;(attendant was not there, but left message that paper-work may be supplied after pick-up).
This was my forth pick-up of the car, and truly, I do not want to return the car to that dealer. I need to be able to tell new mechanic what was, or was not done. My sole objective is to know that the engine will start, and re-start, as it normally did until August 10th/13.

I will try to get back as much money as I can because I will have to pay someone else for fixing a problem which, perhaps was unnecessarily compounded by the dealer.

I await your reply.
Glenn Harewood

Glenn and I discussed this situation when he called me.

Here is where we left it for my other readers. I am not into name calling except for this situation. Typical complaints I hear about delers and their fine service. The word I think in my opinion o describe these want to be technicians/parts changers would be "Morons."

Even a novice alley mechanic knows that the VATS is a glorified starter disable and only operates on the start circuit, so if the engine stalls, the starter, the battery and the VATS ignition lock w/harness and key has nothing to do with a engine stalling problem.
Since the VATS was around for 19 years (far exceeeded its electronic security value by about 18 years. This system was notorious for the the very thin VATS wire (Like telephone land line wires) and the wire running back down the steering column for internal breakage. The break normally could be detected by the use of an ohm meter, however since the broken wire was broken inside the insulation, any movement to the wires would reconnect the break. This system was of a very inferior design and caused cranking issues as well as that stupid 3 minute warning stating the engine "may" not start.
The best correction was to totally bypass the junk because first of all the VATS (Vehicle anti theft system) was in essence a lie and was never designed to prevent theft.. Ford is just as guilty with PATS (passive anti theft system) which by the way was designed so well, that everyone said impossible to defeat and yet I defeated this junk with one wire!

Oh, that's right! The VATS was bypassed for the after market remote start and yet the dealer was ignorant enough to believe this engine stalling problem was caused by that so they ripped that out as well.

As I told this gentleman on the phone, had he taken to a service center or some other garage other than the dealer, he would find these perfectly good components that had nothing to do with stalling would most likely not have been changed on a guess.

After 11 years working for GM dealers, it has been my experience that the incompetence suffered by this man was rampant! One thinks since the dealer represents the factory, they have got to be the best. Not in my opinion and evidently this gentleman will vouch for the crappy service that he still has the same problems he started out with $800.00 later and minus an alarm.

I have offered to write him an affidavit to illustrate the fact he was a victim of this dealer.
Some think I am arrogant, but more are aware that I know exactly what I am talking about. My feedback over the years supports the latter.

I wish you the best of luck in recovering the money in my opinion that was stolen from you and that you get the vehicle repaired by a competent technician.

For the stalling I was considering a plugged fuel filter or even more likely a bad fuel pump that I recommended he have checked out. For the dash VATS warning, its very possible the bypass resistor has a loose connection.
This is not the first dealer horror story I have heard. In fact, when dealing with VATS the aftermarket alarm store personnel know more than the dealer who are just parts changers.

A little bit about our business A&R Forensic Auto Lab. We serve as expert witnesses in the court system across the US and Canada commonly opposing the insurance paid forensic locksmith determining a reported stolen vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type. This statement is very general and yet is used as exacting to accuse the insured of having something to do with the theft. Because of the forensic locksmith statement, the insurance company manufactures a motive of the insured and the claim is denied. Sometimes the insured is charged with fraud and sometimes convicted when the forensic locksmith has no physical evidence to support his conclusions. This happens every day but Sundays when locksmiths are offering opinions as to how they speculate a thief could not steal the vehicle.
We have such a finely tuned process at this point, these cases should be the crown jewel for attorneys. Even if they have to appeal or reopen cases. We offer a written  money back guaranty with restrictions of course where we can totally crush any credibility as to the methodology employed as well as any factual basis on the physical evidence in 99% of the insurance paid forensic locksmiths. Once the carrier has no expert, there is question as to why such an aggressive speculative approach displayed as fact in a financial investigation was done.
We are not anti-insurance carrier and they owe it to their policy holders to investigate all theft claims. We do not condone insurance fraud and we assist them at their request. However, fraud in m opinion is rampant as it relates to many forensic locksmiths rendering conclusions made up out of thin air. Apparently, they do not take their sworn oath before testifying seriously, in which one swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The forensic locksmith has relied on the ignorance of the court, and unless we are involved as consultants, who will dare supply questions that will expose their opinions as to what they really are?

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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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