Oct 21, 2011
Car Talk Plaza
Box 3500 Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA 02238
Dear Tom and Ray,
I have a very disconcerting, anxiety-generating problem with my 2001 Cadillac DHS. It has been a very good car for the past 85,000 miles. I am 86, and I wish to drive it until I am bound, at some time, to fail state driving test.
For approximately a year, when attempting to start the car in my garage or anywhere driving about, the car will fail to start when simply turning the key in the ignition. For no apparent reason the engine fails to start. After many, many attempts to start the engine with the key, there is nothing there. It may take one or two extra turns of the key or many times, approximately 8 times more or less, before it starts. It has never failed to start eventually even after using the second and third original equipment key.
My Cadillac dealer has not been able to diagnose the problem because the car computer has never shown a fault of this nature. Consequently they have been unable to resolved the problem. I have in one instance, after the car failed to start, had them send a mechanic with the necessary equipment to read the car computer, and he could not locate anything. And with the first turn of the key, by him, it started. The problem is additionally concerning when I have friends with me going out for dinner at a distance from home and not having confidence in getting home safely.
I have not been able to get any information from General Motors World Headquarters and other local Cadillac dealers. I left the car with my Cadillac dealer to test it off and on for four days and with no discernible fault occurring.
It would be helpful if someone would be able to give me advice on how to proceed.
H. James Thrall