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Question
Started my 1994 Cadillac to warm it up (Minnesota winter). It ran for about 30 seconds,made a weird noise coming from back of car and shut off. Now it won't start. Will turn over but not start. Had a little less than 1/4 of a tank of gas in car.

Answer
Hello,

Cadillac have some common problems and are easy to address without being at the vehicle.
Unfortunately, your complaint does not meet that criteria.

I am very used to the brutal northern Wisconsin winters, and that is why I left and reside in East Texas.
Many strange things happen in those sub-zero temps.

Weird noise is subjective and doesn't help me for a potential diagnoses.
You state you heard this noise from the rear of the vehicle, but sounds carry in vehicles and going by your description, there are only 2 things that connect to the engine located in the. Rear. That is terrible mufflers and the fuel pump located in the fuel tank.
A muffler (although very rare) could have collapsed, creating a severe back pressure issue and causing the engine not to start.
Highly unlikely though.
I really wish I had the ability to hear that noise you describe as weird.
It is possible you heard the fuel pump cavitating (sucking air) if the fuel was not level in the tank being that low. The fuel pump could have burned up, which would prevent you from getting fuel and the engine would not start.
I have seen this a lot over the years. I also suggest for northern states in the winter to keep the fuel tank above 1/4 to prevent condensation from accumulating in the tank.

To check to see if fuel pump is running, just turn ignition on and put your ear by the filler. You should hear a humming sound. If not, go to the owners manual and find the location of multiple fuse boxes. Check the fuses.

You can take gasoline and put in a spray bottle. Remove the air cleaner. Have someone try to start the engine and you spray fuel into the throttle body. If engine starts and runs as long as you are spraying, you need a fuel pump.
Never do what others do by using eyther (starting fluid) meant only for diesels) because you can literally blow a cylinder head of this aluminum engine!

In the event you need a fuel pump, the tank has to be dropped. With the age and operated in the rust belt, you get to deal with another problem and obviously, you cannot heat the nuts up with a torch. You need to soak all mounting hardware with a good penetrating oil. There are many out there much better than WD 40.
Other than that, it is anyone's guess as to what happened. If there is fuel, plugs are getting spark and compression is not a problem, engine has to start.
Let me know your findings.

Good luck and enjoy the Minnesota winter wonderland!

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Rob Painter

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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?

Experience

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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