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Cadillac DTS Electrical Issues



  • 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.
  • 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.
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