Q: Car keeps saying the starter is disabled

asked by on

I lost the keys, so i had the cylinder changed. Now it's saying starter disabled

My car has 50000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It sounds like the new key needs to be encoded with the powertrain control module (PCM). The original key has a resistor in it with a specific resistance value. If the PCM sees a different resistance value, it will disable the starting system. This is the theft deterrent in action. Hopefully, you have a new key that has a resistor in it. If so, the new key will need to be initiated with the system.

Doing this on your Cadillac may require a professional scanner that is usually very expensive. On most GM vehicles, there is a key relearn procedure that does not require a scan tool. I have used this procedure on many other GM cars and some Cadillacs. Sometimes this works and other times it requires the scanner. The only way to know for sure is to try. The procedure is as follows:

  1. First, you will need to have a good battery and/or access to a battery charger.
  2. Then, turn the key on and leave it on for ten minutes. The security light should stay on for ten minutes. When it turns off, you will have one minute to cycle the key and repeat this step two more times.
  3. Repeat Step 2.
  4. Start the car. If it starts, this procedure was successful. If not, you will need a professional scanner.

If you need any further assistance, I recommend contacting a professional in your area with the necessary equipment to do this for you. Or, if you’ve encoded the new key with the PCM and are still having problems, you may want to consider contacting a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to diagnose and replace your starter. Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car keeps saying the starter is disabled

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: 06 dts 110k new plugs and packs started idle shuttle hesitant at first then stops bought car used i believe fuel filter is origina

Hello, thanks for writing in about your Cadillac DTS. The fuel filter and fuel pump may be the cause of this issue. You should have the fuel pressure tested first to see if the fuel pump is failing. Replace the...

Q: How do I replace the smart key battery?

If the smart key battery dies, you can easy replace it with any CR2032 battery. To replace the smart key battery, follow these steps: 1. Remove the smart key rear cover by prying it open. 2. Remove the old battery....

Q: It started an oily substance leak but oil level reads full. It soaked a piece of cardboard and gravel underneath in one night.

Even though the level reads full, it could still be an oil leak. It only takes a very small amount of oil to make a huge mess. Even just a few ounces would make a huge mess, but would be...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...