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Cadillac Repair/1998 Cadillac Deville


I changed the battery on the car because it was 30 ears old and sounded weak when starting the car. After I put the new battery on it I got in to start it when I turned the key to on the display said apply brake to shift like always but when I cranked it it started and ran for about 3 secs and died then it just turned over. I checked all the fuses and grounds.  I cam out the next day and just tried to start it and it done the 3 secs thing and died. Sounds like the security system some how except I don't get a message on the display.


Yes, that would sound like a "security thing"  as you put it if the vehicle had a transponder system with a computer chip in the key and the computer did not recognize the key.

There is only one flaw in that thinking. You have the antiquated, problematic VATS (Vehicle Anti Theft System) that didn't prevent theft. What you have is a ugly black resistor embedded in the key that when inserted into the ignition lock completes the circuit by one contact in the front of the lock contacting the resistor and another contact contacting the other side of the resistor in the key. One very thin (Like old land line telephone wires) ire runs from the power distribution block at the fire wall up the steering column to the contact I was referring to. When the key is inserted, the other wire running down the steering column goes to the VATS module behind the glove box and then to the computer. Once the computer sees the correct resistance key (1 of 14 different values used) the engine will start.

As stated, You have VATS. VATS prevents the engine from cranking, and your engine is cranking and runs for 3 seconds.

For whatever reason, it sounds like you have a fuel delivery problem. The engine relies on the electric fuel pump in the tank to maintain its ability to run.

The first thing I would do is check ALL fuses. You stated you did, but this car has more than one fuse box. Did you check both?

Secondly, turn ignition on and go back by the fuel tank and see if you hear the fuel pump running. If not, you need to find out why. If it is, then you have to consider bad gas or the filter being plugged. You say you went years without changing the battery. When is the last time you changed the fuel filter?

Do not use what so many do-starting fluid at the intake--that can blow a head off-very dangerous and explosive. Get a spray bottle and put gas in it. Have someone try starting the engine and spray gas into the intake. If the engine continues to run while you are spraying, you will know it is a fuel delivery issue between the tank and the engine.

The problem could also be electrical.

Make sure that on the positive cable on the body feed lead that one wire didn't break off in the event the problem is electrical.

Get back to me.

Auto Theft Claims Master  

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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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