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Cadillac DTS Electrical Issues

dackeldackel Posts: 2
edited August 2017 in Cadillac
Anyone having a battery drain problem with 2006 DTS Luxury III? My battery has been lasting approximately ten days prior to failure. Car has less than 500 miles on it. I agree about the lousy fuel economy.


  • alvinlalvinl Posts: 5
    We have had this problem. We bought the car Dec. 02, 2005. On February 10, 2006 car was setting in our garage and would not start. When I bought the car the mileage was 56 and the first time it would not start the mileage was 412. On May 01, 2006 the mileage was 974 and car would not start and it was setting in my garage,again. I did not buy this car to have to drive it every day or every week. The dealer claims that they cannot find anything wrong the first time, they charged the battery and ran a series of tests on it. The second time it happened, they replaced the battery, charged the new battery and ran another series of tests and said they could not find anything wrong. I know of another Cadillac (2006) in the neighborhood that has experienced the same problems. This must be an engineering flaw in the electrical systems, computer, or something. Each time the only solution that the dealer gave me was to drive the car more. I paid too much for this car for this to be happening. My other car did not have this much mileage on it until it was about 18 months old. It still started and never gave any problem of this nature. I also hear that the Corvettes are facing this same problem on a regular basis and I know that this is not a car that people want to drive every day. There has to be a problem in the systems of these automobiles. If it can happen in my garage it can happen anywhere. I do not believe that driving the car more will solve the problem it may only delay or hide the problem for awhile.
  • rprossilrprossil Posts: 62
    I don't own a DTS but my father is looking at one. The issue with modern cars is all of the electronics that use a small (very small) amount of battery power to maintain settings and memories. For the average person who drives a car daily, it never becomes an issue, but judging by the miles you noted, your car is driven very little, so when it sits, the various components and accessories gradually discharge the battery. Even something as simple as the clock in the car will wipe out a battery if left long enough. Other than driving the car more so the battery recharges regularly, the other thing you can do is get a trickle charger to plug in when the car is in the garage and sitting for extended periods which would keep the battery maintained at the proper charge. They are relatively inexpensive and are available at most auto part stores or somewhere like a Sears auto center. By the way, this was explained to me by an electrical engineer who used to work for a large truck manufacturer. Hope this helps.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    I have an '03 Deville and also drive it very little -sometimes only once or twice a month around town for a day. I also use it on trips - that's why I got it -for the 400-800 mile trips I take every couple of months. I replaced the battery a couple of months ago just because it was 3 years old not because there was anything wrong with it. The car always started even though it had not been driven for weeks. I think that there must be a problem with a car that can't sit for a month without a battery charge. Another thing to remember for those of you who sparingly drive a car. Oil should still be changed at least every 3 months. It breaks down when the car is not driven. My mechanic friend says that this type of driving is considered "severe use". Forget about the usual 3,000 mile oil changes. Just do it every 3 months.
  • alvinlalvinl Posts: 5
    The first time that it happened the car only sat for four days, after being driven for more than 100 miles. The second time it happened the car sat less than ten days. I had another vehicle that sat six months and it would still start. I believe your explanation by the electrical engineer, but this tells me that the electrical design is not keeping up with the loads that are being put on it. This in my opinion is a design and engineering flaw. If GM knows this then they need to make this apparent to potential customers and/or not overload the system they have designed.
  • Hi all,
    I hope someone can help me or I will be forced into selling this gorgeous vehicle!! I just purchased a 2004 DTS with every known option and only 37000 miles. It is just BIG husband is 6'4" and the drivers seat does not go back far enough for him to be able to drive comfortably. His knees are literally up against the dash!! Is there any solution to getting the drivers seat to go back a few more inches?? Hope so or we are going to have to sell this super luxurious baby!! Thanks so much and hope I can get a solution!!
  • dotbowelsdotbowels Posts: 43
    My 2003 DHS was that way :(

    My 2006 DTS goes way farther back

    Check with service manager before you get rid of it. Couldn't do anything on my 03

    Good luck
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    My '03 is about right but I'm looking forward to the next DTS with more seat travel. What I'd do is check -not with the dealer - but with a body shop. It might be possible to remove the seat and move the track back. Unless the track is on a hump like my new '90 Mitsubishi Galant which I sold in a month because of seat travel it should be possible to move the track back. You'd lose some back seat space but probably nobody rides back there anyway. The dealer most likely will try and sell you a new one. Let me know what the body shop says.
  • dispencer1dispencer1 Posts: 489
    So what did you do? Take it to the body shop or what?
  • Well, unfortunately, I have not been able to do anything. Cadillac said it doesn't recommend any fix, the dealership was useless and body shops want seat extensions like the ones available for Ford Mustangs.....leaves me with not many options!! I was really hoping for a better response, but no one seems to want to take this project on!! Any ideas???
  • lanzzlanzz Posts: 76
    I have a 2006 DTS Performance - I drive it about once a week, and I have not had the battery drain issue yet. I had heard of people having the same issue with the STS, which is one of the reasons I went witht the DTS instead.

    I know that On Star wakes up and polls periodically for a specific number of hours after the car is shut off. It is, however, supposed to stop waking up after the car sits for more than X number of hours - 8 hours, if I recall.

    Any chance you have a battery with a bad cell? Would not be the first time this has happened, even in a new car.
  • Went to BBB and challenged GM on battery drain. GM will not do anything to correct the problem. My understanding is that dealers have received a letter from GM telling them how to better keep batteries charged up on lot and improve customer satisfaction with this problem in the future. What does that do for you when you are away on a long trip and come back to an airport at midnight and your caddy will not start.
  • acp60acp60 Posts: 6
    I have an 06 DTS, and the battery had to be replaced with
    450 miles on the car. It sat for 2 weeks, while on vacation.
    Upon my return the car wouldn't start. Roadside Assistance
    replaced the battery. I called Cadillac customer assistance
    and essentially told them what you stated about the design
    problem. The response I got from the person I spoke to, Terlin, she never heard of the problem. I think the Cadillac engineers need to assess the problem. There are other problems I am having with this vehicle which I will list at another time, as I am in the resolution stage at this point.
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    I hope you still read this conference. I just bought a 2006 DTS and have had the same problem. Coincidently enough I also spoke to someone at Cadillac with same name and was given a response similar to yours. Can you bring me up to date as to what has happened with your car since your post on November 30, 2006. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated. The car was sold to me new and has only a little over 400 miles on it. I am taking the car to the dealership next week and am eager to offer suggestions as to how to resolve this problem.
  • chefcctchefcct Posts: 7
    I also just got a 2006 dts and the car wouldn't start after having it 1 week. Though it has 17,000 miles and 1 year old. Can you tell me what has ahppened in your case so I can be more informed with my dealer. It sounds like the same problem.
  • chefcctchefcct Posts: 7
    what has happened with your battery problem? I too seem to have the similar problem.
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    The dealer changed the battery and "noted numerous low voltage codes stored in BCM. ECM and TDM. Cleared codes" this is the text from the invoice. Hope this will help you resolve your cars problem. It has only been three days since this repair was done and car has been okay since then.
  • chefcctchefcct Posts: 7
    I now have an additional piece of information. When I had the car jumped by cadillac service the man told me that there is a software update to Onstar. It seems that Onstar keeps communicating with the car and runs down the battery. My battery tested fine. So far, it is working fine after 1 week.
  • i got in my car after lunch today and it was dead,i checked battery it is fine,when i turn key to acc.,the only thing that comes on is display where speedometer ,etc. is,no radio,a/c,door locks ,nothing, u can hear a clicking in the fuse box beside battery,and also none of my key remotes will work now,they wont lock door or pop trunk,its weird,any help will be appreciated
  • conkedconked Posts: 14
    We bought our DTS-III Performance in January 2006 and it has performed beautifully until Monday. It was completely dead. We could not pop the trunk and nothing would work. I put a "digital" charger on the car and it said the battery was "open." Then I put an older "dumb" charger on it and it took a charge so I brought it to the dealer where they told me they couldn't find anything wrong. We even had a "check engine" light on but they said there were no codes stored in the computer. When I got home with it I looked at the car with my laptop computer and it said there had been 20 minutes and one "warmup cycle" since the last codes were Cleared so the dealer was pulling my leg when he said there were no codes.
    :confuse: This car now has about 14,000 miles on it. It had been sitting in the garage for only one day. Sometimes it sits for 3 or 4 days and we've never had this problem before. The dealer said there was another DTS in at the same time with the same complaint. They said "drive it for a few more days and maybe it will happen again--then call roadside assistance" Wow--is that lousy service or what?
  • Hi ,
    I recently bought a used 2006 dts and the same thing happened to me. Car dead, battery and all else fine.
    There is an onstar update that fixed mine. I guess when onstar is trying to communicate with my car it takes power. For some reason onstar wasn't turning off and the battery was draining. Onstar knew of the fix and downloaded some type of software fix into my car and all has been fine ever since. Hope this helps.
    If not feel free to write me.

    [email protected]
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Probably what your service manager meant is that there were no useful codes stored that would explain what went wrong. If something is seriously wrong, the battery should go dead again. Roadside assistance will send someone to jump start you if the battery goes dead, and this will take about an hour, perhaps less.
  • conkedconked Posts: 14
    I'm sure that you are correct. I just wish the dealer would have said what you useful codes. Telling me that there were no codes when there was at least one makes me more suspicious since I've already had other disagreements with this dealer. Roadside Assistance is a wonderful service but I'd like to avoid getting stuck at all so that I never have to use that service. Sorry for the rant and thanks for your comment.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I understand that you don't want to find a dead car again. My 2007 SRX had a dead battery a few days after I got the car. I think what happened was that in trying out the third seat power stowing, I ran the battery down so that overnight the battery went dead. Since then I have been more careful when moving the third seat, making sure that I drive the car soon after to recharge the battery. I have not had any more problems.

    I wonder if you might have left a door open enough that the interior lights stayed on? Or, perhaps the car did not shut itself down and ran the battery down. At this point the thing to do is keep on driving it as you normally would. I would check to see if the battery is run down early enough in the day so that there is time to get help if needed. I did that for a while after the SRX's battery was dead, but now I don't worry anymore.
  • conkedconked Posts: 14
    Well, the car was dead first thing in the morning when my wife was going to use it to go to work, otherwise your suggestion is a good one. This car is smarter than I am so if I leave the trunk open or leave a door open it turns off the lights after a minute or two. But, having been through this battery thing with lesser vehicles (trunk light stuck on, seat switches stuck, etc.) we certainly checked all those things. This was really an odd situation in that the battery was completely dead but after just a few minutes on a charger everything was fine. I suspect a bad inter-cell connection inside the battery but the dealer won't replace the battery because it passes their GM authorized load test, whatever that is.BTW, the interior lights are LEDs so they'd need to be on for quite a while to drain that boat-anchor of a battery that sits under the back seat.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    If there is something wrong with the battery, then it will fail sooner or later. The load test should have indicated the battery was failing if that was the case. A few minutes on the charger would not have restored a completely dead battery either, so somehow the battery was disconnected from the car I think, but how charging it back up restored power is not clear to me, but I suspect a connection somewhere was restored when the charger was connected. This may never happen again, but if something is begining to fail, it will probably go again, perhaps so the dealer can find it.
  • conkedconked Posts: 14
    I agree with your assessment. There are so many different circuits on this car that COULD drain a battery that it might be difficult to find but the fact that it was fine one day, dead the next but magically came back to life, makes me think bad intercell connection in the battery, corrosion somewhere (but both the dealer and I checked for this at the battery and at every major grounding point) or maybe even a locked up starter solenoid? I just hope if it fails again it happens to me and not my wife. Better yet, I hope it doesn't happen!
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    . . .the electrical issue is fairly common across GM threads, especially the biggest and fanciest new ones. Lots of people seem to think it may be OnStar. Hardly seems possible OnStar could demand that much juice unless the batteries are working close to the edge.
  • Jess, Welcome to the club. Take your keyless entry pad and the keys to your nearest cadillac dealer and have them checked. A Low battery in the pad will prevent you from gaining access to the vehicles options. Also have the valet switch in the glove compartment checked to be assured that this system is not malfunctioning. One additional flaw I have found in my DTS is riding with the drivers side window even particially opened allows any moisture from the windshield including the washers, to wrap around the door and drips directly onto the control panels on the drivers side door which causes the contacts in the wiring harness to corrode and thus causes more malfunctions.
  • Good Evening. General Motors has a jumpstart location (usually near the engine block on the drivers side) which, if not cleaned and resealed periodically, will cause
    a battery drain, even though miniscule, as dirt and moisture may act as a conductor (such as a resistor does in a radio). By making sure that the caps and covers are properly seated may help prevent some of the battery drainage.
  • I have been experiencing continuing electrical problems with my 2006 DTS. At three months, the AC failed. The dealer told me that it was working again when the technician checked it out, and no problems could be found with the system. At six months, the car was stone dead sitting in my garage. ( I drive it everyday). Got it jumped by AAA and took it to the dealer. After three days, they couldn't find anything wrong--but replaced the battery. At 10,000 miles, the car stopped in its tracks on the way to work. On star also failed. Got it restarted after a five minute delay. Took it to the dealer again (where it is now). No dash lights, and the doors wouldn't unlock when I got to the dealorship. Also the gas mileage is terrible. Any other experiences like mine???
  • I have good news. My 2006 dts car wouldn't start again the other day and the service writer found a TSB that addresses my problem. It is technical service bulletin number 1906368. My vin matches up to cars that need to have the body control module reprogrammed.
    Give this info. to your dealer. This hopefully should fix your problems.
  • My one side of the rear heated seat won't turn on. The rear power control module(behind seatback), both top and bottom seat cushion elements, the LR door module and heater switch on/off button test ok. Power in feed wires (orange) and fuses are ok. Power is on to the rear control power module at the blue plug-in connector( orange wires behind seat back). Still no current flow to either of the elements. I'm pretty electrical but I'm stumped here. Right side of rear seat heater circuit works fine. Tried checking grd distribution but it does seem to be grounded ok.
  • conkedconked Posts: 14
    Back in December I gave the dealer the TSB number you suggested. He scratched his head and said something like, "this might apply...we'll check it out." When I got the car back the repair statement says "TSB 1906368-program remote entry key system to body control module and reprogram tire sensors to body module."
    I don't know if that had anything to do with the dead battery but we've been to Dallas twice and Denver once since then and have had absolutely no more dead battery issues.
  • conkedconked Posts: 14
    I had front seat heater problems with an earlier DTS, a 2000 model. In one case the seat element went open but I assume you checked for that. In the other cases, twice, the module was bad. If you have power to the module when the seat heater is ON and the element has continuity but no current flow, then given everything else you've checked, the problem almost has to be in the module, doesn't it? Fortunately, our 2006 DTS has not had this problem. Good luck with sleuthing this problem.
  • definitely not rear seat power module as left and right can be interchanged (so can L and R rear door modules) and still no power flow to left seat heaters. I did a complete interchange of the modules and both work fine on opposite side of car. I would like to know color code of wire(s) that needs to be "hot" to turn elements on at the power module end. Orange is needed but there must be some others. I am thinking of a wiring break in the harness is possible.
  • conkedconked Posts: 14
    Are the color codes on the left and right rear sides the same? If so, and the R side is working, you could check the voltages on the R and see how they differ from the L under HIGH, MED, LOW, and OFF conditions.
    A break in the wiring harness is a possibility but usually don't see that until the car gets much older and the insulation gets stiff...usually breaks frist occur where the harness exits the door and enters the body---you probably already know all this.
    I've also seen corrosion inside a connector cause failures but usually exercising the plug fixes that, at least temporarily. You did say you checked the continuity of the in-seat element, right?
  • Problem solved, break in wire (green) from rear backrest control power module to LR door window module. rigged jumper wire from door to rear seat connector C306 and everything powers up fine now
  • conkedconked Posts: 14
    I spoke too soon. Wednesday July 30 we drove the car for an hour or so and parked it at 1 p.m. in our garage. At 6 p.m. we were planning to leave and the battery was dead again. Cadillac Roadside Assistance said that no dealers have technician service any more in the St. Louis metro area and all they could do is call someone to jump start the car or tow it to the dealer. I jumped it myself on Thursday morning, drove to the dealer and they're telling me once again that they can find nothing wrong with any systems or with the battery. This is very disturbing. :confuse:
  • It isn't as if I've never worked on cars. In fact, I've worked on them since the 1960s, even changing out engines, and rebuilding transmissions. I just thought that a Cadillac service facility should be able to find and repair whatever was causing this problem. But after the last incident I decided to roll up my sleeves and go to work. I thought that I might find corrosion under a crimp hidden by heat-shrink so I decided to solder all the cables coming off the battery and going to the under seat and under hood fuse modules. In the process, what I found, was a bad ground at the floor under the back seat. The ground cable, which is common to all the electrical systems in the car, is attached to the floor with a plated screw, but in this case the screw mates with a threaded hole that had the same paint job as the outside of the car, and the ground terminal sits on the painted floor with no "star washer" under it to bite into the chassis. Checking from the battery end of the cable to ground points around the car gave ohmmeter readings all over the map. So I ground the paint off the chassis under the ground terminal and put it back together with a big star washer under the terminal. I'm hoping this will solve the problem.
  • My mother's 2007 DTS has not experieced any problems with it starting, but she has experieced it cutting off in traffic (!) at least 5 times. After the first 3 tim;es, the dealer kept it for 10 days only after my mother said she did not want it back - they did not find anything wrong, except that some codes were missing related to the brakes???? (GM even came to "investigate", but refused to talk to my mother!) They fixed the codes, then she took the care in about 3 months later for the regular oil/maintenace and to have them look at some vibrating that she was feeling in the front end, and they discovered that the brake pads were worn. They fixed them, but then she experieced the car cutting off while driving 2 more times. The dealer and GM have not resolved the problem and basically tried to make it sound like it is something my Mother is doing while driving??? My parents have been Cadillac owners for 50+ years, but this is the last one! To make matters worse, the salesman talked her into leasing the car and she has no options until the lease is up! So much for customer service!
  • Hello, I know the exact part that you will need to resolve your problem. It's called a Crankshaft sensor. I have a 2003 DTS and this was happening to me sporadically usually at stop lights or when I would come to a complete stop. Lindsey's Cadillac, which is the dealer in my area, could not find the problem. Fortunately a friend of mines had the same symptoms with his DTS and he visited a Caddy forum in which someone told him to get a Crankshaft sensor. I believe the part was roughly $60 bucks. I paid $70 or so in labor. Never had the issue since. I didn't even take it to the dealer to replace the part, I used a local Midas in the area that knew GM cars and they replaced it for nearly a fraction of what the dealer was charging. Good luck, and I am 100% sure this will resolve your Mom's DTS issue.
  • Thank you, Caddylvr. The car is in the shop right now - they still haven't found anything. I will pass on the info. Much thanks.
    Sharon O.
  • My 2008 Cad. DTS has a humming noise when the car is shut off. I suspect that it has something to do with the reomote outside mirrors. recently I see what appear to be hydraulic fluid staind near the mirror on the passenger side. Dealer is clueless.
  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    Here's a new one for you: Saw a streaming leak in my driveway just after pulling into the garage. Then noted a puddle under the car: Red, oily liquid. Called the dealer who had it towed in. The fluid was from the power steering. Per the maintenance write-up: A return line had a hole burned in it from contact with a battery cable. Wonder how many of the dead battery episodes are due to the battery grounding out to some part of the car.....
  • acp60acp60 Posts: 6
    I have a Cadillac 2006 DTS. If I don't drove the
    car for 7 days the batter dies. I have had 3 new batteries installed, numerous visits to the dealer and each time I get the same answer, "we checked everything and we don't find any problems". After reading all the the similar complaints on line how is it that GM can't come
    up with a resolution. Plus the battery is located under the rear passenger seat. Brilliant
    design. Is there any reason the tax payers should loan GM any money. They need to be allowed to fail and thus survival of the fitist
  • cadymancadyman Posts: 3
  • acp60acp60 Posts: 6
    Your problems sound very familiar to mine. I have
    an '06 DTS and went through the same episodes. I submitted my problems for arbitration under the lemon law, but GM went into bankruptcy. Now I am back where I started. GM needs to work on their QA
    if they expect to survive.
  • chefcctchefcct Posts: 7
    I had your exact problem last year. The service writer found a TSB that addresses your problem. It is technical service bulletin number 1906368. My vin matches up to cars that need to have the body control module reprogrammed.
    Give this info. to your dealer. This hopefully should fix your problems. It fixed mine!
  • chefcctchefcct Posts: 7
    I had your exact problem last year. The service writer found a TSB that addresses your problem. It is technical service bulletin number 1906368. My vin matches up to cars that need to have the body control module reprogrammed.
    Give this info. to your dealer. This hopefully should fix your problems. It fixed mine!
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