98 Seville electrical problem and stalling

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#1
98 Cadillac Seville STS
104,000 miles.

Just given this car by a family member but has a couple of issues. Battery is dying due to a drain somewhere in the car. Family member had car in shop, and shop ended up putting a disconnect switch at battery because they couldn't fix the problem.
I charged the battery to 12.8 volts on meter, and let the car sit with key off for the day. By the evening, the voltage was down to 9.5 volts. Putting my current meter in series with battery and key off, I was getting up to a 9 amp drain! The current would fluctuate from 0.8 to 9 amps randomly.
Pulling fuses and relays one at a time I would lose the current drain, but when reinstalling the fuses/relays, I wouldn't immediately get the current drain back. It would take up to a minute before the drain came back.
I have an OBDII code reader, and no codes are coming up.
I have the service manuals, but not much information on stalling or drain. Manuals show the parasitic current drains for individual components, but all are in the mA range, not amps.
Family member says battery is about a year old. I have disconnected the factory stereo amp and pulled the cigarette lighter fuses,
but no change. The alternator output is 14.6 volts, and will run the car with battery off with no problem.

Also, have an intermittent stalling problem when car is stopped at light or traffic jam. Car will start back up with no problem. Have checked intake filters, etc. Thanks for any help on this.
~john
 
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#2
104K is a good time for a full tune up.
Which circuit or fuse does takes the drain away.
You need to test with the battery connected to circuit.
Pull one fuse at a time and see which one takes the battery drain away.
And remember when you hook a computer circuit back up to give it time to power down before checking drain.
How much drain do you have?
 

kev2

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#3
Is this the fun to work on Northstar engine?
let us know any aftermarket add ons, modifications etc.... is any audio added, especially problematic remote starter or alarms.

A possability is a problem  with alternator....  disconncting battery feed during drain would be a easy check....easier to say than do.  Can you hear fuel pump running at time of high draw, cooling fans,


PS have you run the diagnostic check on the vehicle .....no scan tool needed access thru Driver Info Center =DIC.


edited.... climate controls to read DIC
 
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#4
Thanks for responses. Everything is factory. I traced the problem down to the Bose radio amplifier in the trunk. I can hear relay contacts in the amplifier intermittently opening and closing evey 30 seconds or so with both the key and the radio off. When the relay pulls in, I'm getting a 5-9 amp drain on the battery. The service manuals(3 books, about 3000 pages), have no schematic of the internals of the amplifier (that I can find!), and bose.com has no info on it. What they are calling the amp is really the remote stereo, so disconnected, no radio. I'm going to leave it out to see if the battery remains charged overnight.

Yep it's the Northstar. Heard of alot of problems with it, but my father-in-law gave me the car and it's iin excellent condition, so I can't complain too much.

I haven't looked into the stalling problem yet. Father in law had new plugs, air filter, etc replaced when he started having the stalling problem. I can't get much info on what all was done, as he is forgetful and he can't find the shop receipt, and can't even remember who worked on it.

Kev2, could you tell me how to read the codes without using the code reader? I have looked through the manuals and they only reference using a remote reader. I have an OBDII reader, but am hoping to get detailed code info by accessing the through the DIC.

Thanks again!
john
 

Gus

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#5
To get a true reading, you are going to have to put those modules to sleep......you need to attach your amp metter in series, but you also have short it out with a jumper wire....leave the wire on there for at least half an hour to be sure...by then your meter may have shut off.....turn it back on, then remove the jumper wire and you will get a true reading....
 

Gus

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#8
Transman, I don't work on Caddy's....but I do work on Park Ave's.....if you disconnect the battery on a PA, and check for a draw, it can sometimes take up to 20 minutes for the different modules to stop communicating with each other and go to sleep.....if you watch the meter, it will initially be high, and over the course of 20 minutes, it will eventually drop down, in stages, to about 25 milliamps.....that's why GM has that special tool to insert between the battery cable and the battery......it has a built in switch...you attach your meter to it, open the switch and read the amps......without this, every time you accidently open the circuit(jumper falls off, meter goes to sleep, bad connection, etc.), the process starts all over again....

A Caddy, having more modules, may take more time......maybe some Caddy guys can give some info on this....

Just read this the other day.....Gm has a new EVAP test out there....called EONV.....with the key off, the computer checks the evap system....this can be mistaken for a draw....
 

Transman

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#9
I agree and we just dealt with a caddy draw problem. It was an '05 and the manual, which we verified, stated that it takes 50 minutes for all the modules to enter sleep mode. We made our own shunt and it did the trick but the labor cost of dealing with one of these systems with this problem can be outrageous. Transman
 

jjm

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#10
Typical needlessly complex GM garbage...

The problem might be a Class II network failure causing one or modules to stay on in a power draining state. But you'll need to pull codes to find out, and unless your OBD II tester is a Tech2, it's pretty much useless on this vehicle.

The good news is, Caddy still had self-diagnostic capability built in on your vehicle... something they seem to have left out of 2006 and later vehicles. So you'll need to pull some codes for us and post back:

- Turn ignition "ON." Engine can be either OFF or RUNNING.

If you've got digital instrumentation:

- Simultaneously press the "OFF and "WARMER" (red) buttons on the A/C control until all display segments are illuminated... including the dash.

If you've got analog instrumentation (likely, because it's an STS):

- Simultaneously press on the A/C control the "OFF" and "PASS WARMER" (up arrow) buttons. [/b]

- After the segment display test, the driver message center displays all set codes, current and history in module order.

To exit, simply turn the ignition off.

Record all codes and post back. If you need some wiring diagrams afterwards, I might be able to help.

Joe

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#11
Thanks for your response. I did a load test on the battery that "was a year old" and it failed. I replaced it, and am no longer getting a battery drain. Before I changed it, I was gettinga 3 volt loss sititng overnight. Now I'm losing about a tenth of a volt sitting overnight.

Yep, my OBDII scanner is no good on this car. The instructions you gave for accessing the codes won't work, as I don't have "warmer" or "passenger warmer" buttons on this A/C. It has thermostats for driver and passenger. Alldata.com also listed a procedure for accessing codes using the driver info center buttons, but I don't have some of the buttons they mentioned either.

The problem I need to work on now is the stalling problem. I found an NHTSA bulletin that describes the problem to a tee, but cannot find the detailed bulletin info, just the bulletin title. I have the factory service manuals and a subscription to AllData.com for this car, and they don't list this TSB bulletin. I have emailed them the information below to see if they can help me. Here's what I have found on the net:

Make : CADILLAC Model : SEVILLE Year : 1998
Manufacturer : GENERAL MOTORS CORP.
Service Bulletin Num : 150201

Date of Bulletin: FEB 15, 2001

NHTSA Item Number: 619241

Component: ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE:GASOLINE
Summary:
THIS PRODUCT TECHNICAL INFORMATION CONCERNS AN INTERMITTENT STUMBLE OR STALL CONDITION. SOME CUSTOMERS MAY COMMENT THAT INTERMITTENTLY THEY EXPERIENCE A STUMBLE OR STALL CONDITION WHEN COMING DOWN TO A STOP. IN MOST INSTANCES THE ENGINE WILL RESTART, SOMETIMES WITH AN EXTENDED CRANK, AND A POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODE P1599 MAY OR MAY NOT BE PRESENT. *TT

This is exactly what's going on with the car. Doesn't happen all the time, and sometimes happens when the car is in park. I have tried to make the car stall by hard breaking and lurching, but can't make it stall. Thanks. ~john
 

Transman

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#12
If you have just replaced the battery you may need to give the computer a chance to "relearn" it's idle strategy. It may take a few hundred miles to get all the bugs out. The biggest common problem I have found with the caddy and stalls has been ground wire connections. The main one from the battery to the engine as well as right at the battery.
This particular model does not support onboard diagnostics without the scan tool. Our Modis reads it fine but you can't bring up the data into the instrument panel like most other caddys.
If you get it scanned and can post the codes we can help more and although the problem can be a sensor or other computer issue, we find that usually the problem turns out to be a basic issue, plugs, wires, filter, poor ground or poor connection. Another place that gives common problems is the "Range Mode Position Switch" (neutral switch) which is on the trans right where the linkage connects. It's job is to tell the computer which range you have selected and is a common problem of corrosion or contamination at the connector. Take it apart and look for oil contamination or green fuzzy corrosion. Good Luck and post back, Transman
 

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#13
Don't despair... I'm almost positive this vehicle has self-diagnostics.

Try this instead:

- Turn ignition "ON." Engine can be either OFF or RUNNING.

- On the right side of the IP press the "ON/OFF" button and the "UP ARROW" end of the info button on the driver information center simultaneously for a few seconds.

- All the dashboard lights will illuminate, including the segments of the flourescent display. You are then presented with text. Should be something like "ALL?" which you'll toggle through and accept, then "DISPLAY ALL CODES", which you'll also accept. Then it will display all codes alphabetically accoding to module.

As for the idle, I agree with Transman about giving time for the idle to relearn.

Joe

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#14
Thanks jjm!

I'm at work but i phoned my son and he was able to bring up the codes with your instructions. I'll post what I find.

I let the car run for 3 hours last night and didn't have a stalling problem, so I'll drive it a while like you and transman suggested.

This is a great site. I just donated $25.00 to this site through PayPal.

Thanks again.
john
 

jjm

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#15
Wow! Donations are great! Without them it's HIGHLY UNLIKELY this site would be able to continue for the benefit of us al... and we're always glad to go the extra mile to help those who help this site.

As for the stalling problem, if the engine is running fine - nice and smooth and all - and then just suddenly dies, then restarts like nothing happened, I'll bet it's the crankshaft position sensor (CKP). I'll further bet you have one or more of the PCM codes stored:

P0315, P0335, P0336, P0337, P0338, P0339, P0385, P0386, P0387, P0388, P0389, P1336, P1345, P1372.

Many times these failures will not illuminate the "Service Engine Soon" lamp or message on the DIC because the failure is intermittent, but they'll set a HISTORY (in Cadillac speak) or "soft" code, which basic OBD-II scanners often don't display. Dealt with this recent on a 2000 DeVille.

Cadillac did have problems with crankshaft sensors in early 2000 model year Northstars causing stalling that led to a recall - bad solder joints if memory serves - but the 1998s should not be affected... unless one of those sensors was replaced around that time and the replacement was part of that bad batch.

Could also be the camshaft position sensor(s), but I'm leaning towards the crankshaft position sensor(s) (CKP) if it's the type of intermittent failure I'm describing... but the codes will tell all. And now you know how to get them (which isn't in any shop manual) hehehe!

Joe