Driving the car and all at once all my dash lights went out and now it will not start

Tiny
LARRYAROSS
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CADILLAC DEVILLE
  • V8
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
I was driving the car and all at once all my dash lights went out. I continued driving home and turned off car and it would not restart. Would not turn over at all. Headlights still work but no radio or dash lights.
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 6:52 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sounds like the charging system needs to be checked. Charge the battery at a slow rate for about two hours, then try to start the engine. You can start the testing by measuring the battery voltage with the engine running. It must be between 13.75 to 14.75 volts. If that is what you find, it is okay to have your mechanic perform the rest of the tests, but that requires a professional load tester.

GM generators starting with 1987 models have an extremely high failure rate. When you need to replace the generator, to reduce the number of repeat failures, always replace the battery at the same time unless it is less than about two years old. These generators develop a lot of harmful voltage spikes that can damage the internal voltage regulator and diodes, and interfere with computer sensor signals. The battery is the key component that dampens and absorbs those spikes, but it loses its ability to do that as it ages and the lead flakes off the plates.
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 7:20 PM
Tiny
LARRYAROSS
  • MEMBER
I have not put battery on charger yet, but I did try jumping it and it did nothing. Headlights still strong and interior lights are strong but and horn works. Windows do not work or wipers or air conditioner or radio. All these things went out while I was driving, but engine continued running fine until I turned it off and then it would not restart. I figured if battery was low that jumping it would at least make dash lights come on. Do you think it could be a fusible link gone bad?
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 8:41 PM
Tiny
LARRYAROSS
  • MEMBER
Car wont even try to turn over. I can hear fuel pump kicking on like normal. I think I mentioned all the dash lights went out accept the park-drive- neutral lights and the security light blinks like it usually does when I turn key on.
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 8:45 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Measure the battery voltage to at least one decimal place and tell me what you find.
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Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 AT 2:46 AM
Tiny
LARRYAROSS
  • MEMBER
Replaced battery and still no dash lights. Headlights and interior lights work. Turn signals work. Wipers do not work. Stereo does not work. Horn does work. Electric seats do work. I can hear fuel pump kick on. But will not turn over at all. All of the things that do not work went out while I was driving and csr still ran until I turned it off and then would not restart.
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Monday, October 3rd, 2016 AT 4:06 PM
Tiny
LARRYAROSS
  • MEMBER
Could it be the chip in my key or maybe the main fusable link or a neural switch? I am at a loss. Car sitting in my drivrway and does not begin to turn over when I turn key other than door chiming and security light. Odd that I lost all my dash lights beside the P R N D 3 2 1 light. Wipers wont come on either. Turn signal flasher unit is working and turn signals are working but no dash lights showing anything at all.
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Monday, October 3rd, 2016 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
LARRYAROSS
  • MEMBER
Windows will not work either.
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Monday, October 3rd, 2016 AT 4:14 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I've been pouring over the wiring diagrams and I'm very disgusted to find that Cadillac did something that Ford was famous for. That is making the instrument cluster the most intelligent, (unnecessarily-complicated) computer on the vehicle. The wipers, radio, and starting systems are all computer-controlled, and that computer is the instrument cluster. This is not an area of my expertise except for what I read on other posts. My suspicion is the instrument cluster needs to be repaired, but before it is unplugged, your mechanic will check the 12 volt feeds and the ground circuits. If any of those are missing, the cluster will be dead or unable to perform some of its functions. I'm afraid this is likely to be a job for the dealer unless you have a good auto electrical shop nearby. The best you're going to be able to do yourself is check the fuses inside and under the hood.
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Monday, October 3rd, 2016 AT 6:03 PM
Tiny
LARRYAROSS
  • MEMBER
I tracked it down. I found the hidden fuses under the small fuse box in the engine department andfound the 50amp ignition fuse was burnt. I am surprised that by the ignition module not getting power that I lost so many electrical components, but I replaced it and all functions came back and car is running great. Thanks for your help.
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Thursday, October 6th, 2016 AT 11:58 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I didn't really help with this problem, but I'm happy to hear it's solved. Come back and see me again.
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Thursday, October 6th, 2016 AT 2:55 PM

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