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FIXITMAN
FIXITMAN, Master Technician
Category: Cadillac
Satisfied Customers: 17349
Experience:  ASE MASTER CERTIFIED, AA DEGREE AUTO/DIESEL TECH.
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I have a 2007 Escalade. I was driving yesterday morning and

Customer Question

Hi Dave. I have a 2007 Escalade. I was driving yesterday morning and I parked and the dash went crazy, the tach, temp, fuel and speedometer needles all went to zero. The digital DIC replaced any number with '---' and the A/C would blow but it would switch back and forth between the outside air (vent) and the inside AC. Also there was a lot of ticking coming under the dash as well as the chime that happens when the vehicle is started up for the first time except the chimes were consisted and wouldn't stop. I had every message popup, service Air Bag, service traction control, ABS, service suspension, and service engine light is on. Transmission won't shift out of first gear now either. What can this be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cadillac
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is Bobby. Thanks for the question. This is almost always caused by a voltage issue. If the voltage is low enough in the system this will occur. I would start by testing the battery and the alternator. If those are both fine then some of the time this is an ignition switch problem, but the majority of the time it is a battery cable issue. This vehicle has a ton of issues with the battery cables failing internally and causing this. You may want to replace those if everything else tests fine. Did you plan on fixing this yourself?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Bobby,
Yes I would like to fix this myself. I'm not very car smart so how would I test the alternator? I just put a brand new battery in about 6 months ago. The negative battery wire from the battery to the ground on the engine block did break about 2 years ago and I replaced that then. I noticed there is some rust on that ground point so maybe the two ground wires going there need to be cleaned and regrounded. Would you agree? The one thing I would like to tell you also is the passenger side airbag sensor keeps going on and Off. I have taken it to the dealer twice for this but they can't replicate it. The service airbag keeps coming on and off. Sometimes I hit a bump in the road and it goes off or it goes back on. Could this be related by chance? Is there any need to reset my ecu at all? I've spent some time googling things and that was something that kept coming up was resetting the ecu for electrical issues like this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did forget to mention that the gauges going all crazy happened when I had the car running and parked in a parking lot with the vehicle running waiting for my dad to meet him for lunch. I had gotten a Carwash right before so maybe something was wet and was shorting out? Just trying to give you all of the information to help.Thank you!!
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. You can have the battery and alternator load tested by most auto parts stores for free. I would pay attention to what you mentioned though. I would clean all grounds and make sure that they are tight. I have had more positive battery cable failures on this vehicle than anything else that I have worked on. Unfortunately it is very hard to diagnose. One other place to check, since this happened after the wash, is under the kick panel under the far left side of the dash. I have found water intrusion in that area that can get into connections and cause this.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How many grounds are there in total that I need to look for? Just don't want to miss any. I dont have any water on the inside of my truck I do know that. It just came out of the blue to be honest. Where is the positive battery cable connected to, and is it easy to access and change?
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

The positive cables has one lead that goes to the buss bar above the battery and the other goes to the starter. As for the ground, you have the one that goes to the front of the engine and the one I have seen the majority of the problems with is the one that goes to the front of the passenger side frame.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
On the ground on the engine I have 2 that are grounded there. One is a short one off a wiring harness and the second is the battery negative wire. What is the one off a wire harness, that is supposed to go there correct? So the positive that goes to the starter could cause these electrical issues? I just don't want to throw money at it just to have nothing fix it you know. I'll start with the grounds and cleaning them and if the cables are bad I'll replace them. In guessing the positive cable is more challenging to replace than the negative correct?
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

The grounds I mentioned are just for the cable. There are other grounds but these will not typically cause this. As for the positive, it is not the section that goes to the starter that usually causes this. It is typically where the connection end connects to the cable or right after and it has a voltage drop in the cable itself.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just to update you on the progression. I tested the battery and alternator. The battery tests at 12.47 volts and when the vehicle starts that jumps to 14 volts. I cleaned the contact on the ground going to the engine block today as well. My dad found online that another common ground fault that there was a recall and TSB was on the driver side just behind the wheel attached to the frame right below the running board. Is that known to cause these issues? Also do you know why the airbag on passenger side keeps going on and off? It is connected and keeps intermittently as I mentioned above that it doesn't stay on consistent. I've had this at the dealer twice and am wasting money on the can't replicate this outcome. You don't happen to be close to the Cincinnati area willing to look at this would you?
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately I am in California. As for the grounds that your dad mentioned, there are issues with it that will cause various issues, but not typically what is occurring with your vehicle. As for the air bag light this is typically caused by either a failing seat occupant sensor or the wiring under the seat. I would recommend checking the wiring under the passenger seat to see if any of the wiring is worn through from the seat moving. If any of it is worn then it can definitely cause a series of electrical issues.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. I cleaned the ground and the bolt on the engine block today. I didn't change the power cable from the battery to the buss block. Based on what I've done so far what would the next thing to check be? If the vehicle is out of warranty do they typically do recalls or TSB's free of charge? The Cadillac dealer here is one of the highest priced in the country from what I hear. Athletes have their cars take. To Indianapolis and Columbus because of the rates they charge. I'm just trying to not get ripped off and fix my issue before it becomes a real big issue.
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately unless it is a recall it will not be covered for free. Are the symptoms still there every time you drive it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Today after cleaning the contacts the service suspension came on as did the air bag. The next couple times I test drove it the only thing was air bag. The most recent was the air bag and service suspension system. Why would the service suspension be intermittent?
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

Most of the time it is intermittent because of the voltage issue. Can you tell me what the voltage reading is at the buss bar connection and the connection at the fuse box under the hood?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can do that tomorrow. It's 1am now. Can you clarify if I put the black lead on the negative battery terminal and the red on the buss bar? Also clarify where and how to test the second location you referenced. Sorry I'm not a car guy. I wish I was but!
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

With the black lead on the negative see what the voltage reading is with the positive lead at the Buss Bar and at the large metal terminal at the fuse box under the hood. See what the readings are when the key is on and when the engine is running.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the clarification Bobby. I will get this information tomorrow and let you know. I appreciate your help and guidance on this! Have a great night and I'll update you tomorrow.
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

Same to you. I will look for your response tomorrow.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I just tested those two points. Both of them from negative terminal to the buss was 12.50 with key in on position and 14.50 with engine running and 12.50 from negative to fuse block terminal at key in on position and 14.54 with engine running.
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. And was the issue occurring while testing it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The service airbag light came on and the service suspension system came on when I tested these.
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

Do me a favor and check the wiring and ground connection under the passenger side front seat. Check for any broken wiring or loose connections.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Bobby, I had to go out of town for work so my truck is at the airport until I get home Friday. I'll check that ground this weekend and let you know!
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 1 year ago.

No problem. I will await your reply.