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How to Troubleshoot the Electrical System in a Cadillac Escalade

by Contributor

The Escalade not only is made by Cadillac, it's also the Cadillac of SUVs. The top-of-the-line features exceed those of other luxury SUVs with items like seat warmer and tire pressure sensors. The electrical features make loads of electrical demands even when the Escalade isn't running. The 2004 Cadillac Escalade was a bad year for electrical systems, but the recent years have shown improvement.

Step 1

Replace an older battery with a recommended replacement if you're experiencing one electrical glitch after another. Be prepared to pay more because the cheapest batteries just don't have what it takes to power an Escalade.

Step 2

Rule out battery or alternator problems first if you have a starting problem. If they test ok, you may have a problem starter. Use an ohmmeter to test the resistance reading of the solenoid. Replace the solenoid assembly with a high or low resistance reading. A reading over 1.3 ohms may mean a break in the winding continuity. If your reading is below 0.8 ohms, you probably have a short in the winding circuit.

Step 3

Consider checking your headlamp wiring if lamps flicker or remain off. The cause could be an electrical overload. Overload can also cause problems with the windshield wipers too. However, if ice or snow exists, clear from the windshield first and then try your wipers.

Step 4

Recognize that the wiring circuits of a Cadillac Escalade use a combination of circuit breakers, fuses and fusible thermal links to reduce the chance of fire. Access the panel fuse block on the driver's end of the dash or the underhood fuse/relay center near the brake fluid reservoir at the end of the engine compartment. If you notice a broken or melted silver band inside a fuse, remove the fuse with a fuse extractor and replace it with one with identical amperage.

Step 5

Realize that electrical system troubleshooting sometimes lies in the codes in the controller. Start checking for stored trouble codes. If testing reveals a wiring problem, a wiring schematic can help you repair it. Clear any trouble codes so that they don't reset.

Step 6

Check if the power liftgate refuses to unlock from your car remote or the overhead console switch. If you have this problem with a 2007 Escalade, you have a software problem that requires reprogramming the TIS Remote.

Get help from a certified mechanic if your SUV exhibits powertrain problems. The electronically-controlled transmission and electronic throttle control provides major horsepower that can only be serviced by a mechanic with the right knowledge and tools.


  • If you have an important fuse blow during a trip, borrow one the same amperage from something you don't need, such as a cigarette lighter.


  • Don't add anything electrical to your Cadillac SUV until you check with an authorized dealer. Some add-on electrical equipment can interfere with other components and even damage the Escalade.

Items you will need

  • Fuse extractor
  • Screwdriver
  • Ohmmeter

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