2003 Cadillac CTS Battery issue?

Tiny
AGOOD
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 CADILLAC CTS
Electrical problem
2003 Cadillac CTS 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 120000 kms

Driving today in traffic, my car seemed to act like it was running out of gas. Slowed down, and then stopped. Since I pretty much had a full tank, I knew this was not the issue. I simply turned the car off and then started it again and off I went. This however kept happening within 2 minutes of it happening previously. I noticed as well the battery light had come on some of the times. I pulled into a parking lot, and right before it shut off again it said something like engine pressure low shut of engine. It then shut itself off. During this time as well, the wheel would be very hard to turn and the brake pretty much impossible to press down on. After being in the parking lot a few minutes, I put some oil in, and got myself home. I then put more oil in later in the day. I made it to work, about 10kms away, no issues. Then on the way home about 4hrs later it started happening again when I was on my way up a bit of a hill. Same issues. I again managed to get myself home, but it no longer will turn over easily and takes quite a bit of key turning to start. Battery light is on now as well. I am hoping it’s just the battery? Any help is much appreciated!
Thanks!
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Thursday, March 18th, 2010 AT 7:37 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
A worn out battery can cause hard starting, but usually not stalling while you're driving, ... USUALLY. The battery light means the battery is not being recharged. That points to the generator.

When the problem occurs again, use a cheap digital voltmeter to measure the voltage across the battery terminals. It must be between 13.75 to 14.75 volts. If it is too low, suspect the generator, however, based on your other observations about hard steering, I would look closely at the serpentine drive belt. If a spring-loaded tensioner is weak or loose, the belt will slip and cause all of the symptoms.

Cardiodoc
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Thursday, March 18th, 2010 AT 8:50 PM
Tiny
AGOOD
  • MEMBER
Thanks, will try this. Do you have a rough idea how much each of the problems may cost to fix?
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Friday, March 19th, 2010 AT 8:15 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Chrysler alternators can often be repaired without removing them from the engine. Worn / intermittent brushes cost around $12.00 for the part.

Ford generators can sometimes be repaired on the engine by replacing the voltage regulator bolted to the back. Cost is around $30.00.

GM generators can be repaired but must be removed from the engine. Disassembly is very difficult, and there is no way to test individual parts beforehand, so to insure the defective parts are replaced, it often costs more in parts than buying a rebuilt generator. It is very common to replace these units four to six times in the life of the car. In addition, due to their design, they can cause problems for the many computers on the car while still recharging the battery. Many people have found that to prevent repeat failures of either the generator or the battery, you must replace both of them at the same time. Often the old battery will still work fine in older cars.

Check a number of parts stores for cost on a rebuilt generator. My friend just installed his fifth one on a Malibu. One store quoted over $200.00 for the unit wth a one-year warranty. The same store also had one with a five-year warranty, ... For $145.00.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, March 19th, 2010 AT 1:31 PM

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