Cadillac Deville 2001 won't start, engine won't turn over

520

Asked by Jan 21, 2014 at 07:13 PM about the 2001 Cadillac DeVille DHS Sedan FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My cadillac won't start. When i turn the key the engine wont turn over and when i do
turn the key all the way the dashboard lights all turn off. Also on the gear shifter there
is no longer a line under the gear showing what gear it was in. If i move the gear shift
up and down a few times hard-ish the line comes back so i put it back in to park and
tried again and still nothing and then the line under the P disappears again. The line
doesn't always come back after messing with the shifter. At first i thought maybe my
battery was dead so i tried to jump it and after that when i tried to start it it still would
not start. This time when i tried to start my car, it started beeping at me (the same
beating that happens when you leave the key in) and locks the doors on itself, then, on
the dash board screen it says "service theft system" then the over head lights started
to flicker and the light on my dashboard for my brights lite up and started flashing and
then stopped maybe 30 secs later. but slowly the battery died the rest of the way to
the point that the dash didn't even light up at all. So i took the battery out from under
the backseat and put it on a charger to charge. once it said it was charged i put it back
in to see if it helped, it still wouldn't start. It is possible that the battery could be bad
but i want to make sure its not something else before buying a new battery. It sounds
likes its a mixture of a bunch of things and I'm not sure what to do. Help please.

73 Answers

32,185

You have triggered the anti theft system.

65 people found this helpful.
32,185

Turn the ignition switch to "Off." Pull down on the top of the fuse panel lid beneath the steering column. Remove the fuse panel lid. Pull the fuse that is labeled "ECM" or "ECU." The inside of the fuse panel lid shows a chart indicating where each fuse is located. Pull the fuse straight out of the fuse panel. Turn the ignition switch to "ON" without starting the engine. Leave there for five minutes. Turn the ignition switch off. Put the fuse back into its slot in the fuse panel. See if it starts.

58 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful
520

I can't find a fuse box under the steering column. Where is the ecm or ecu fuse located?

52 people found this helpful.
32,185

Look under the rear seat bottom.

20 people found this helpful.
32,185

Close the doors on the car. Put your key in the door lock on drivers side and turn to the left and right 2 times. Remove key and see if it starts.

23 people found this helpful.
1,175

I tried the key (left right) several trimes - did not work. Put the carin neutral - Started right up. So, what is the issue?

26 people found this helpful.
1,175

Found problem!! - replace the ignition "IGN1" relay (not the "Starter" relay) - working ever since

41 people found this helpful.
160

I'm having the same problem can I take the ign1 out and try that process or do I need replace it

16 people found this helpful.
1,175

I would replace it ($30 from Napa auto)

3 people found this helpful.
100

I have a cat deville replace the neutral safety three time what my problem

10 people found this helpful.
430

I have a similar problem. My car wont start or crank. Just a click coming from the back seat. I tried putting the key in the door and tried in neutral and still no start. Since it has been parked a while the service airbag light came on. Any ideas?

33 people found this helpful.
1,175

Again - I recommend replacing the IGN1 relay switch (on driver side of engine compartment over left front wheel - pull black plastic cover off to reveal the relays). It looks like a black cube/square. Costs $30 from NAPA - job took 10 minutes - no problems since

10 people found this helpful.
220

recently had to replace my starter and battery and alternator because alternator killed battery then starter went out so I tested n were bad replace was told alt was intermenting so that's wat caused issue now car wont start but before it went left traction light would come on n lights were dimming but now no crank nor starting n service theft system is on dash any suggestions???

17 people found this helpful.
1,175

Alternator does just that - it alternates between charging the battery and running the motor. If it dies - the motor runs on all battery then dies. This has nothing to do with the starter (which can die at any time w/o notice/warning). It makes since that lights dim when trying to start car with bad battery (the battery is draining b/c it is running the car with no help from dead alternator). Crank not starting - service theft system in dash: There are 2 starter relays on the N* - STARTER (which is tied to the theft system - big black plastic shaped like a capital "T") the other says ENG1 (which is tied to the ignition system - Looks like a small black cube). Change out the once that says STARTER looks like a Cap. "T" - charge battery, if that does not work then test (or replace starter - a long hard job but doable)

12 people found this helpful.
340

Where are these relays located I don't see any relays shaped like a capital T?

9 people found this helpful.
1,175

If you are facing the front of the car, under the hood, rhs over wheel, there is a compartment lid where you will find fuses. If you remove the entire plastic cover (that the lid is attached to) you will find a series of relays. Check your manual, you will find the location of the STARTER relay (looks like a capital T / essentially, it stands out because it is NOT a cube shaped relay)

13 people found this helpful.
220

Thanks very much for your help starter only took 40 minutes being it was under manifold wasn't that bad crazy thing of all this I was testing for ground n power at starter with test light n gave it power n nothing happin n then gave it ground to starter n all lights went normal n theft system went away ended up being a bad ground from engine to body frame the ground cable that is by alternator to frame was broken n wen tested was good but removing showed it was no good lol now car is running but ABS n traction control n brake light are on but its running is all matter at the moment hear soon ill look at them brake lights on the dash THANK YALL

5 people found this helpful.
110

I am having the same no dash lights no starting problem. I have a 1999 cadillac deville and to day I replaced the blinker/ wiper switch. Nevertheless I put it all back together and everything worked fine the car started and ran for a good bit. When I was putting my tools way and Jamin to music all of a sudden the radio cut off. I turned the key off thinking I blown a fuse and when I turned the key to start only the gear in Decatur was on the dash nothing else. So I turned the key back words and the radio came on and I could also roll up the windows. Does anyone have any idea what the cause of this is??? Plz help:(

11 people found this helpful.
170

can i replace my key swich to bypass the anti theft?? because i tried pulling all relays and it wont start..

17 people found this helpful.
340

I had the same issue with my 2001 DTS. My problem was the ground wire under the hood. It was broken,I replaced it and I haven't had a problem since then. Check to see if that wire is broken. It's a thick black wire bolted to the front of the engine block just above the alternator and the frame.

17 people found this helpful.
360

i have the same problem , starter tests fine battery tests bad , so inm thinking i need a new battery

6 people found this helpful.
360

it does exactly what everyone is saying

5 people found this helpful.
360

can it be the altenator

3 people found this helpful.
70

Had same problem today dash reading anti theft. Problem was a broken ground wire by the alternator 15.00 dollar fix

7 people found this helpful.
220

i have a 1998 DeVille...garaged for over 10 years...started once and then died...bought new battery, cleaned ground and all cables to battery...no dash lights or start...i am going to try neutral, the key in the door, and then the relays...any other suggestions?

14 people found this helpful.
220

nothing is working :( i need help please, can't get to work on Monday!

8 people found this helpful.
620

I have a 2001 Cadillac deville wen I turn the key I lose all power n it won't start I'll keep doing it over n over n eventually it will start but now jus won't all together I put a brand new batt n still nothing I'm lost have no idea what to do to fix n I got 3 kids I got to have my car plz tell me how to fix

62 people found this helpful.
430

I have a 2002 Cadillac ... that all of a sudden stopped turning over .... battery was fine... I was told my anti theft was stuck on ... I reset it .. checked my starter .. alternator . I Finally after 2 years found someone in calgary that figured it out. It was the mice got in my car and chewed 25 wires under my back seat under my Fuze panel ... as well as by my ignition it was a 200 $ fix worth checking into

10 people found this helpful.
1,175

I don't know what is is about mice and Cadis. I had one chew a hole in my air intake plenum (the tube between the Mass Air Flow and the throttle body). Gave me a rough ride and I could not for the life of me figure out why - I change rear plugs, rear coil banks, filter, smog pump - nothing. Took it in and the one place I kept overlooking (the bottom of the Intake plenum) was a hole

9 people found this helpful.
340

@ Spencer Briggs: I was having that same problem with mines. The inside of my ignition switch was dirty and it wouldn't allow the pk3 to read my key. Try cleaning the ignition switch with quick drying electronic cleaner. Just spray a little bit inside the ignition switch. So far I haven't had any more problems with starting. Hope this is helpful.

8 people found this helpful.
150

1995 Cadillac. deville. the anti theft system keeps coming. on what do it do

13 people found this helpful.
180

This is an extreme weird one...2004 Deville operates flawlessly night before...next morning back seat fuse box clicks only on start and engine does not crank as partial dash lights stay on with climate displays coming on and of and engine fuel pump can be heard running...Turn off and remove the key from the ignition and partial Dash lights and displays stay illuminated with the fuel pump still running and the only way to turn everything off is to remove the negative terminal off the battery of which is a new battery...I swapped IGN1 relay with known working relay from rear lighting system and no luck...wondering if ignition switch recall has something to do with this as next is to check grounds and starter however a bad starter or ground should not allow the dash system stay powered up after removal of the ignition key and having to pull the battery terminals to remove power from the car?

18 people found this helpful.
140

Cadillac deville , pulled relays under hood, now it will not start, tryed discounted battery for a while , still will not start, tryed setting key, need help please! Any suggestions

14 people found this helpful.
120

Have an 02 esclade , wont start, new battery, checked alternator, pulled emc fuse , checked ground wires no luck . Can you guys give me some new clues

12 people found this helpful.
290

I have a 2001 Cadillac deville which will not start I turn the ignition key over and all it did was make a sound like someone sucking like the last bit of something out of a cup I turned it off my lights on my battery on my lights come on told it couldn't be the lights and I check the battery the battery has power still will not come on after awhile it just completely stopped even clicking or making that noise it just won't turn over at all now so could someone please help me figure out what's going on

26 people found this helpful.
290

Sorry auto type

3 people found this helpful.
70

My '01 cadillac seville was working like usual. I drove to work, sat in my car at breaktime, then got back in it after work. Turned the key...nothing happened, no lights, no clicking noises, absolutely nothing. I called a friend and he said i might have tripped the security system. He told me to lift the backseat and move the battery and the cords around the battery a little bit. Then press the door locks on the key. Guess what, the door locks worked. Then i got back in the car and the car started up!!! I didn't even need a jump on the battery. Drove home like normal. Moral of story, if the car won't start, lights don't work...perhaps the security system was somehow tripped.

7 people found this helpful.
460

Guys I have a 2001 Cadillac DTS\Deville Mine is at 154,000 miles CHECK THE GROUND CABLE , specifically the master ground coming off of the alternator . pop the hood , look in front of your fusebox (front left under hood , down towards the frame) . youll see a large black wire with a 5/8 bolt holding it in place . these wires corrode , and cause ALL KINDS of WEIRD things to occur . Mine broke 90%of the way through . not a complete break . the car wouldn't start intermittently. I was getting , check suspension system messages .I was getting a security light on dashboard . check engine light . service theft system message I was getting symptoms of a car with a bad battery or bad alternator . and both tested fine . the alternator was only charging when I let my foot off the gas pedal . and when I accelerated of would stop charging and run off battery power alone . it was such a mystery to me at first . I was ripping my hair out . one thing after another on the car started failing. I didn't know where to begin ... Figured out it was this stupid heavy gauge ground wire corroded and broke . replaced it . and the car runs like the day it did from the factory . I wrote this for any others out there pulling their hair out . I hope I can help.

30 people found this helpful.
90

Sean, I gave your post to my local mechanic, he read it and seemed less than impressed. He called me later in the day to report that you were 100% correct. Fixed car for $100. Thank you for your help.

4 people found this helpful.
150

I have a 01 caddy deville dts and for a few days the battery was going up and down had altenator checked they said its good but tried to boost battery nothing happened when it first started happening if I just keep turni g the key it would catch and start now it will not start at all all the light come on the first issue wasbi couldnt get it out of park had to use shift lock to get it out of park which they said was due to battery problems dealer says it could be bad battery bad cable connection or something to do with the starter sylenoid in firewall but I have yet to male it to the dealer as it will not start ...can anyone please help

4 people found this helpful.
150

The only light that is on is the battery light the traction control light was going on and off mostly at night time

3 people found this helpful.
90

See Sean's answer above, I would check the GROUND CABLE as Sean suggested, and its the cheapest so why not check it first.

4 people found this helpful.
150

Where exactly is the ground cable and how do I fix it I am doing this alone with only help from the internet and advice from parts dealers going to dealership next week if I can just get it atarted

5 people found this helpful.
90

Amber, the ground cable is attached to the alternator mounting bolt and also attaches on the car frame. See Sean's post. Remove and replace the ground cable as it costs around $50 for a new cable.

1 people found this helpful.
150

Put a new battery new ignition relay cant even get anyone to the dang ground cable off they cant even get to the bolt thats on the altenator cleaned my ignitio. Switch im so fed up does anyone live in missouri close to the bootheel that can help me the ground cable lools to be intact so im not sute my battery light is still on aftet a new battery and the theft systen light is on as well

3 people found this helpful.
30

I have a promblem with my 2005 duvillle i just got....n i was listeing to music for a while....then i start to crank but it wont turn ova ...did i drain my battery ....but iknow my battery good though can you help me

3 people found this helpful.
230

Did you check your grounds. Chassis to motor sounds like it could be the problem.

5 people found this helpful.
40

Bro it may sound crazy but I had the same problem I turned on the head lights and the car started right up try it

4 people found this helpful.
100

No crank No start Dash Lights go out once turn key. I replaced Battery, I replaced starter, I tested all of the fuses ECM IGN1 . Still same problem. I tried the neutral start, I tried the key in the door trick. I am going to check the ground wire, but I'm getting power so I don't think it's that. I will also try cleaning ignition, but other than that I'm out of tests. Any suggestions ??? Please???

10 people found this helpful.
110

I would still check the ground wire

3 people found this helpful.
10

I have the same issue with my 2000 Cadillac dhs described in the headline, did anyone ever fix there's

1 people found this helpful.
110

fixed mine, replaced chassis to motor ground line

2 people found this helpful.
10

Where is that located @john

110

Sheik, the ground cable is attached to the alternator mounting bolt and also attaches on the car frame. See Sean's post. Remove and replace the ground cable as it costs around $50 for a new cable.

6 people found this helpful.
10

Ok I'll check that out thanks @john

10

My dashboard reads it's in drive but it in park and won't start. I even can't go in reverse

1 people found this helpful.
40

Sean, You helped me win a trip to the spa! After my husband had diagnosed the issue about 5 with different diagnoses each time I went to the interwebs for some answers. I read this forum and went to my husband suggesting he check the ground wire. He dismissed me and continued to get stranded each time he turned the car off when the security light popped on. So finally, he was tired of hearing me repeat myself he agreed to a bet! He checked and the wire was almost completely off the bolt. He fixed it and it hasn't don't it since. So instead of washing his car, I get to spend the day at the spa!

4 people found this helpful.

Same problem. Suddenly stopped starting. Checked fuses. 10A O2 sensor. Replaced and it fired right up. Unbelievable. !

10

The ground wire to the starter was good on mine. Turned out to be the ground Wire to relay panel under hood was the problem.

1 people found this helpful.
30

Tried everything listed here & still no starter engage. End up sitting in car with all doors shut having key out of ignition and with keyless entry pushing door lock and open 2 times. Put key in ignition and started right up.

3 people found this helpful.
50

I have my 2005 Cadi Deville it wont Start, and traction control system is on and ABS light is on.

5 people found this helpful.
30

I have a 1998 cadillac deville when i put my key in to turn it everything goes blank but check engine light soon is the only thing that stays when i turn but when i stop the turn all lights come back on...but there is a clicking under the hood...if your standing in front on the car the clicking is coming from somewhere to the right...can someone help me i got 2 kids...one im back and forth to appointments with ....

3 people found this helpful.

2001 Deville, same type problem, with increasing frequency of turning key, panel lights go out, and nothing. Sprayed electriclean into ignition switch, now it starts up every time

10

When Changing the Ground wire any ground wire sand the surface with sand paper , get clean flat metal then install tight. Put a little oring grease on top of wire connection to protect from corrosion

1 people found this helpful.
20

Having similar problems with my 2000 cadillac deville dts. Hook up jumpers thinking it needed a jump start car will turn over and crank but just wont fire up completel. It acts like it does want to start but then wont start cant seem to figure out what the issue is. Any help or suggestions. Also thought maybe its the cold weather but still cant figure out what the problem is at all

2 people found this helpful.

Check block ground wire...might be broke or loose..

Having similar problem with my 2003 Seville. Cut off on me while stopped at a red light and wouldn't start back up. Dash said service theft system. All lights on dash came on then went off. Car doesn't make any noise. I've fully charged the battery. Had the alternator and starter checked. Still nothing. What could it be?

10

Having same issue car ran fine turned off now wont start...tried everything my ground is fine cause I'm still getting power. As a matter of fact my headlights stay on even after keys are pulled from ignition and sounds are coming from the engine and from the backend the engine is kind of a hissing noise almost like an air sou d and the back noise is like a humming sound like air ride suspension almost but the only way to stop either sound or to turn off my headlights was to unhook battery. So I deff dont think its my ground. I did try the car in neutral thing and still got nothing except my cluster went haywire and threw me into what seems like a main/diagnostic menu and I have absolutely no clue what I'm supposed to be doing...if anybody could help me out of greatly greatly appreciate the help..just put @Brian if your responding to me please so I know

1 people found this helpful.
20

I have a 2003 cadillac deville dts..itll crank up for about 5sec then itll shut off followed by "service theft system"...can anyone help me out

2 people found this helpful.
30

My 1999 Cadillac Deville won't start. When i turn the key the engine wont turn over and when i do turn the key all the way the dashboard lights all turn off. AAA certified the battery as good (late 2016 battery). I tried replacing the Starter relay and that did not help. I have traced good ground on the block and on the chassis with a volt meter. I still took off the ground wire from the alternator to check, clean and replace. It was fine. I found a black/white wire that goes into the ignition relay socket that was broken. What is that wire for? (looks like it goes to one of the control connections on the IGN 1 relay - see picture). Fixing it didn't fix the problem but I wonder what it is for since I don't see a Blk/Wht wire in the wiring diagram for the starter system (I don't have a limo). I think I am down to dealing with the insane design of locating the starter under the intake manifold and hope that is the problem. (I can hear the solenoid activate but no crank on the starter). The headlights don't dim when cranking so the starter is taking no load whatsoever. Could it still be something else other than the starter? With all the posts about replacing starter not fixing the problem, I have been looking for anything else that can fix the problem. I haven't checked the neutral safety switch yet. I did try the key door unlock but that didn't help.

2 people found this helpful.
30

After checking everything for voltage, cleaning terminals and contacts, replacing relay, I finally decided to replace the starter. (best video on how to do it is here: It is a lot easier than you think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaoP6O6LmbY After reading about how it was never the starter from a lot of people, I was reluctant to replace the starter but had no other ideas. Changed the starter and the car started right up. I wish I had done this months ago.

1 people found this helpful.

My Cadillac starts its drawing power from some where and all dash lights are on saying everthing is meased up what do i do please help 2002 sts norhtstar engine

10

Marty, 06082019 2004 Deville. New battery, no start, dash lights go crazy, then dark. Replace ignition relay cube(in fuse panel under hood, #38 in owner's manual) and dash lights went bright and car started right up! $12.00 at NAPA! Thank you, cargurus! :-)

1 people found this helpful.

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