Replacing the Original Car Battery on a Cadillac
Although this article is motivated by the Cadillac SRX battery problems I’ve experienced, I believe that all Cadillac owners will benefit from reading it. When my 2009 Cadillac SRX started to push beyond its six birthday I started wondering how long the original equipment battery would last. The model number on the OE unit is 48–7YR. In General Motors speak this translates to a 48 series battery intended to last seven years from the build date on the door jam.
This was intriguing to me, because I’ve never had a battery last more than about five years. The thought of getting seven years out of a car battery was amazing to me. Since the mighty Delco was now about 76 months old, yet experiencing no signs of a problem I decided to try and get a little more out of it. However, I was concerned that the car would not start at some point and leave me stranded. Therefore, I purchased a battery jump box and kept it in the car just in case. You can see which one I bought below.
What’s Covered in this Cadillac Car Battery Article
First, the reason I wrote this article. When I started researching for a replacement battery there was little to no good information available about the best replacement battery or how long a Cadillac SRX battery should last. We will cover both of these items as well as a few other important points. I believe the most important of these is the replacement choices available and the difference in costs.
Hint, our Cadillac’s came with an AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery and these are expensive. However, low cost lead acid replacements are often offered by less experienced parts counter people. We’ll talk about why you shouldn’t cut costs in this area. For those willing to take the time to read through this entire article they will also learn about the final days with my original equipment battery and how long it lasted on my first generation Cadillac SRX.
Finally, you’ll get to see the battery that I picked as a replacement. Also review service information involved in swapping it out and an unexpected problem with the express window feature. The express up-and-down feature stopped working after I replaced the battery. We’ll cover how to reset it. I know this sounds like a lot of information so feel free to scroll past sections to find what you’re looking for or bookmark and come back latter. Leave comments if you find something I failed to touch on and please share on social.
How Long Will a Battery Last on a Cadillac
The short answer to this question is directly related to the model number of 48 – 7YR. Although I purchased the jump box and planned on running the battery down until I needed to jump the car, it didn’t happen that way. I was about three months from the seven year anniversary date of my original equipment Delco battery. The car continued to start fine, but when I selected the battery voltage indicator on the Driver Information Center it constantly read above 14 V. Even after a long drive.
As the next couple of days passed the car continued to start fine, but the voltage gauge started reading 14.9 – 15.0 V. As an ASE certified master technician, I realized my alternator was full fielding in an attempt to charge the battery. I decided to bail out and replace it before the exhausted battery, took out my alternator. So to answer the question, how long does a battery last in a Cadillac SRX? For me the answer is 81 months or three months short of seven years. I should mention that your results will vary and I put less miles on my car than the average person.
Choosing a Replacement Battery for a Cadillac
I believe the quality of the original equipment Delco battery is beyond reproach. However, when I went to the Cadillac dealership to get a new one, I got sticker shock. They wanted $250 to cash and carry a new Delco battery. Then I would be left with disposal of the original equipment. If I had the service department perform the operation this pushed the price to $375 after paying a disposal fee and miscellaneous shop charges.
Amazon sells a 48 – 7YR for less than $200, you can check that out below. Unfortunately, I didn’t want my alternator to blow up while I waited for delivery. This left me with two choices in my area. I could get a never start battery from Wal-Mart for $140, but it wasn’t an AGM. I also had two choices at the local AutoZone. They stocked a standard lead acid battery or their Platinum Series AGM battery for $180.00.
GM rated the original equipment CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) at 730. They rated the platinum series Duralast CCA at 760. Unfortunately, this battery had been on the shelf for seven months. I prefer not to buy old stock when it comes to car batteries. However, with my back against the wall I decided to go with the AGM Duralast. After a couple of weeks of driving around the battery charged up nicely. My battery voltage indicator now reads between 12.5 and 13 V during normal operation.
Things you don’t want to do
I have been writing about common Cadillac SRX problems here on this blog for several years. Every once in a while I hear about an intermittent no start condition after replacing the original car battery. Although I don’t have a definitive answer to the problem, it seems that incorrect replacement batteries had been selected in these circumstances. You don’t want to save money and get a smaller battery that doesn’t fit properly.
You also don’t want to select a battery with less cold cranking amps than the original one. Our Cadillac’s call for a 48 BCI (Battery Council International) group battery. This is a large sized battery case with recessed positive and negative terminals. Not everybody stocks these replacement units and they can try to talk you into something they have on hand. Hold out for the right one.
Service Tips for Replacing the Battery
On my Cadillac SRX the battery fits tightly against the firewall on the passenger side of the vehicle. There is a plastic shelf that extends partially over the battery, making the replacement more difficult. This is actually the fresh air intake for the ventilation system and also the location of the General Motors cabin filter.
Once you remove the positive and then the negative battery cables you can remove the bolt from the battery hold down clamp. There’s no clamp bolts for the battery terminals. Cadillac uses a lever latching system to assure the proper tightness. However, they take a substantial amount of force to release and re-clamp. Once the battery is loose it will come out without removing anything else, but it is tight. I had a friend lift up on the plastic shelf which gave me an extra inch of clearance allowing the battery to come right out.
With that said, this re-emphasizes the importance of finding a direct replacement 48 series battery of the same proportions and style. If you think a larger battery with more cold cranking amps will last longer you’ll have a lot of problems installing the wrong car battery. Finally, before you reconnect the battery cables I recommend using terminal protection spray and color-coded corrosion pads. This will help reduce the maintenance required over the next seven years or however long it lasts. You can find both of these items below.
Unexpected Problems after Replacing the Car Battery
After removing the Delco battery it was about 20 minutes before I connected the new Duralast Platinum to the automobile. I thought for sure I would lose all my radio station presets. Nevertheless, that didn’t happen. There must be a capacitor on board to keep the settings alive. Although the radio stations remained the clock needed correction.
The thing I didn’t expect to have an issue with was the express up and down window features. I went to a drive-through and pushed down on the driver side window from the master control switch and the window only went down an inch. Despite engaging the express down feature, it no longer functioned after replacing the battery. Fortunately, resetting this feature is simple.
Resetting the Express Window Feature on a Cadillac
Push and hold the window switch all the way down. Continue holding it down after the window, reaches the bottom of its travel for five seconds. Then run the window all the way up and again hold the up position for five seconds after it reaches its full upward travel. You do this from the master switch and it re-sets the express window functions.
There‘s additional information available on this site for people with other types of electrical problems. You can visit this article if your car battery is losing its charge over a period of time. I also have an article with general information about car batteries not related to Cadillac brand automobiles. Finally, on the auto-facts.org website I have a popular article that talks about how long a car battery can last under a variety of conditions and circumstances.