(1997 Cadillac Eldorado--great car!!)
Ok, here's the situation: I've had problems with what I believe to be the fuel pump. About 10% of the time, the car will not start as it should. By this I mean, I have to damn near burn up my starter and pump the accelerator (I'm sure it being a fuel-injected car this does nothing except make me think I'm having a positive effect on it) before it finally catches and fires right up. No big deal. 10% I can deal with. I figured either bad pump, injector, lines, blah blah. On to my real problem...
The other day I went to start it and had the above problem. I did my little technique to no avail. I waited a few minutes and tried again. No go. The third time I cranked it, nothing happened at all--no sounds period. I thought I burned up my starter but then noticed my DIC reading a message about "Starting disabled...theft system detected." I called AAA to tow it but because I placed the e-brake on, it wouldn't release without the car running and being in Drive.
After messing with the gear shift, I tried cranking it in Neutral and IT WORKED!!! But then the DIC read "Theft system problem...car may not restart." I drove it to the dealer who diagnosed the problem to be in my PCM (apparently Cadillac language for the Body Control Module (BCM)). They told me the part listed for $550, labor costs of $150, and tax would fix the problem. I said no for now and drove it home and have been plowing my way through a bunch of threads and posts of people who are way more knowledgeable on this ____ than me.
I've outlined the information I've found so far and would like it very much if someone who knows this issue would help me put together a solid gameplan. I'm no mechanic by ANY means and I will probably end up taking this plan to the dealer and getting their mechanics to execute it. Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
The problems and solutions I have found on this issue thus far are many:
1. PASS Keys:
o Bad Resistor -- take keys to dealer and have them tested.
o Try using the spare key (I did and same message).
o Pull DTCs (whatever that is).
3. Replace the cluster:
4. Ignition Lock Cylinder
o Bad chip
o Bad Ignition wiring issue
o Bad contacts in the ignition cylinder.
5. Bypassing the VATS
o This may lead to a $2 resistor and a very cheap fix.
6. Two rack actuators and wiring missing/damaged inside the column.
o If so, bypass the lock and actuator using a 1/8" diameter steel rod.
7. Nuisance code:
o Suggestion is to "pause between key positions when starting the car to let the computer catch up to all the diagnostics on flash up."
8. Reset the computer:
o Disconnect the ground from the battery and leave off for several hours to reset computer.
9. VATS (Vehicle Anti Theft System) is a "widely known" problem.
o $75 parts cost (including keys), make sure the resistance matches current ones.
o Bypass the VATS ($30)--if so, "make sure the person patches into the VATS wires on the column-side of the plug," in case if ever in the future fixing it correctly is easy and cheap.
§ Measure the resistance of the key pellet, purchase one of equal measurement at Radio Shack for $1, then locate the two pin connectors under the steering colum and slice in the resistor.
o Make sure VATS is the same or a tad higher than what is currently on it, otherwise GM cars will not start.
o Bad decoder/reader, which are located in Timbuktu inside the dash.