Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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: Car not starting and alarm not working.

Having your car not start after having a brand new battery installed can be a frustrating experience. Even though the battery is indeed new, the fact that there is no start and a non functioning alarm in your Cadillac DeVille,...

Q: What conditions affect the operation of the Intelligent Key?

Your car’s Intelligent Key offers a very wide range of functionality. However, it works on radio waves. As such, there are plenty of different factors that can affect its operation. Understanding these can help you troubleshoot problems. Strong...

Q: Does a water on 4.9L 298 V8 Fi work on a 4.5L V8 pfi

The water pump that was used on the 1988, 1989, and 1990 DeVille with the 4.5L engine (VIN "3" or "5") is identical (same part number) to the pump used on the 1991-1995 DeVille with the 4.9L engine. If you...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.