2001 Cadillac DeVille DHS Starter Just Ticking

pointy_earspointy_ears Member Posts: 4
edited July 2016 in Cadillac
Car was starting, but sluggishly, so I replaced the old starter. After replacing with brand new starter, car won't start. When I turn the key to "Start" position, starter ticks rapidly, multiple times in succession, but does not engage with engine. The "Security" light comes on on the dash, but this car's sensors are prone to giving me notifications that I know to be false ... so there may or may not be a security trigger.
Possible fixes that I have read and tried, unsuccessfully:
- Turn key "On" for 15 minutes, turn off, then start.
- Disconnect battery, turn key "On", reconnect battery, then start.
- Remove "ECM" or "ECU" fuse, turn key "On" for 5 minutes, turn "Off", replace fuse, then start; *could not find any such fuse.
- Bypass VATS system by soldering on a resistor to match the one embedded on the key; *there is no resistor visible on my key.

...soooooo, if you can think of anything else for me to try, or if I missed something, PLEASE HELP! Why won't my Cadi start?


  • pointy_earspointy_ears Member Posts: 4
    Updated information:
    It appears (if I'm reading things correctly) that we have error codes for
    - P0335 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Malfunction
    - P0340 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Malfunction
    - P0385 Crankshaft Position Sensor B Circuit Malfunction
    - P0386 Crankshaft Position Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
    Might I have accidentally not reconnected something properly when installing the new starter? Would that possibly explain those codes and symptoms?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sounds like you have a battery, battery cable or starter relay problem. The codes are probably false because of the low voltage.
  • pointy_earspointy_ears Member Posts: 4
    The battery's brand new (sorry - forgot to mention that). So, what should my next step be?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well it could be new AND dead. It should be load tested, and then the charging system checked with a VOM meter while the engine is running to see how many volts are going into the battery. If those two things check out (I suppose you could try a jump start instead of a load test--if it starts right up, there you go...), then I would check the tightness of BOTH battery cables AND the engine-to-frame ground cable) and if that checks out I'd do a voltage drop test on those cables--continuity is not enough.

    If all that checks out then I might suspect the starter relay and/or solenoid. But most often, when a solenoid (which is a relay) buzzes and clicks like that it isn't getting proper voltage. If that "new" starter is a rebuilt and if it came with the solenoid attached, and if that rebuilt is from a chain store, it might not be any good.
  • pointy_earspointy_ears Member Posts: 4
    Nope, I had no interest in trusting a remanufactured starter. It's new new.
    Now, here's the weird thing about the starter ticking. Obviously, I'm familiar with a starter making one tick when you turn the key and there's insufficient voltage ... but this ticks something like a dozen times in a row when you turn the key to the "Start" position, with the ticking continuing even after you release the key back to the "On" position. Does that mean anything?
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