Why won't my 1996 cadillac seville start after the obvious?

Asked by Jul 22, 2014 at 03:52 PM about the 1996 Cadillac DeVille Sedan FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My husband had expended his
knowledge on our car and replaced
(in the past three months) the battery,
alternated, and just recently to no
success, the starter, manifold
gaskets, and the battery cables.  He
had also changed the oil. The car has
very low miles (under 40k) and was
running wonderfully. Three days prior
to replacing the starter it developed a
hot bitter near wire burning smell. No
fuses appear to be bad ( although I
could not list what he checked)

The car has said to 'service
emissions system'.
The peculiar thing is that initial day it
happened we thought it was a dead
battery ( again after the alternated
replaced) and just wouldn't take a
charge. Husband took it in and they
said it (new battery) was fine. Putting
it back in the car he got it started and
drove it home (about 2miles) and the
next morning dead as could be.  
Knowing the battery & alternater are
fine it had to be possibly the starter.
The men at o'riley tested the starter  
said it was fine. We replaced battery
cables on old starter and manifold
gaskets- still wouldn't really turn
over, decided to buy new starter and
same thing wouldn't really turn over.
It tried harder each time but the 4th
try smoke coming from the starter
area.  Any clues? Unless I get
feedback I have to spend a ton I
towing and labor which I'd like to
avoid if possible.  Thanks!

3 Answers


It sounds like one of the wires from the ignition to the starter has melted or grounded itself out. I would get under the car and carefully follow all of the wires from the starter back as far as possible. I would also check the major grounds from the battery into the frame.

Thanks Reelin68, we Had a mechanical electrician (recomended by the mill's mobile mechanic) look at all of the electrical. He was stumped and about to give up when he took the belt off it started right up! So, the result? The AC unit was completely froze up and the belt turns around that (?). Insurance paid for towing both ways and now waiting on a new part which will be another $200 to DIY but we were only charged $35 for locating the issue- well worth it if you ask me! Thanks again for the help! Husband: 'the older I get the less this becomes a fun puzzle'


You actually lucked out. Because if it had started, you probably would have driven it, and the belt would have smoked right off the car. That was the smell.....the belt just spinning around the pulley. Congrats on finding the issue!

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