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Old 04-14-2009, 12:38 PM   #1
DebbiR
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1997 Saturn SL not starting

My 1997 SL is not starting. This is not all the time,just when i need it the most, or when i've stopped for gas at midnight on the interstate 200 miles from home. (Oh yes!) Turn the key nothing happens. Have headlights,interior,radio. tried jumping it,no help.The first time it did it we had stopped for gas, pump was out so started it moved to other side turned it off then it wouldn't start. tried jumping it two times,no luck, turned key on at least 50 times...no luck, then the third guy who stopped to help tried tightening the ground,tried it again it started. Started a dozen or so times over the next couple of days and it did it again. Tryed turning the negative terminal tighter again, tried it ,it started so it must be the ground right? Well replaced the ground battery cable, tried it several times while it sat there started fine. Moved it 50 feet or so,tryed it again wouldn't start. Kicked it...so much for the ground wire theory.Got up the next morning went out..it started. Drove it to advanced and had them hook it up to check battery/alternator/charging. Machine says everything is fine. Decided to give it another chance next morning, started, drove about 1/2 mile, forgot cell phone,ran back, turned it off ,ran back out, won't start. Now ready to use it for target practice.Still keep thinking its something to do with the battery wires because everytime it has started back up,with the exception of letting it sit overnight, i had just messed with the wires. Also am wondering if its a coincidence that all three times it's pulled this it had been started, ran for a short distance, and turned off.Also noticed that although i have interior ,radio etc, when it won't start the radio light does dim somewhat but I don't know if it does that all the time. I am laid off so a trip to the saturn garage is looking really expensive but i don't know what else to do. Any suggestions other than kicking it again?
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:27 AM   #2
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

Remove the battery cables and clean the corrosion off of them. Also clean the battery terminals them selves.
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:36 AM   #3
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

Did that at my buddys garage,drove it home, turned it off. Tried starting it again about 10 minutes later, won't start. Tried it again an hour later started. Any other suggestions? Thanks
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:31 AM   #4
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

During a no start situation, does the car crank over?
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:54 PM   #5
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

No,does not crank. Does nothing,no clicking like a low battery would sound, but the fuel pump is running,radio turns on.and all regular dash lights come on when you turn the key 1/2 way but turn it the whole way and nothing changes.The only thing i've noticed is that the radio light goes a little dim, but i don't know if its always done that. Also , now that i'm looking for to things to be wrong i've noticed that my radio light is really bright and goes pretty dim when you turn the headlights on. Again,might be normaL or???? My husband had to move it out of the way tonight.Hadn't messed with since yesterday morning. It started right up moved it 200 ft. Turned it off, hr later wouldn't start. Any ideas???
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:23 AM   #6
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

hmmmm.....check the cables thoroughly. Make sure they are seated properly at the battery and make sure the other ende of the cables are corrosion free.

The other thing if its an auto:
During a no start, move the shifter into N. Then try cranking it.
Manual:
Make sure you clutch switch is working properly with an ohm meter. You can jumper the switch if needed.

The last thing is the starter. If possible, during a no start situation, get under the car and hit the starter with a mallet. Then try to start the car.
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:47 PM   #7
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

And remember the negative cables from battery to car/motor/wherever, are just as important as the positive cables.
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:04 PM   #8
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

Make sure the negative cable is grounded properly. The one to the trans and the one to the body. Also check into the coil packs and make sure they are alright. Try cleaning them and the towers off as well as the ICM (Ignition Control Module).

Sometimes it helps to pull the sleeve back on the cables to make sure they are not corroded inside the wire itself.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:57 PM   #9
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

It sounds like bad connection on starter or starter solinoid or starter since your headlights dim when you turn ign if starter bearings bad or connection bad still shows drain you dont say car doesnt start and you charge batt so battery is not problem or charging sys or ign mod since it either turns over and then starts or no turn over in which case cant start. hope you fixed by now if not hope I helped
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:04 AM   #10
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

I too would be inclined to think it is a bad starter. Either the contacts in the solenoid are coated with crud or arced away, or the brushes are worn down, barely touching the commutator. These conditions produce those same symptoms you are experiencing in any car. Could also be a cable to the battery that has gotten badly corroded where it attaches to the starter.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:18 PM   #11
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

The only other thing I can think of is a bad ign switch or connection on ign switch
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:48 PM   #12
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldk View Post
The only other thing I can think of is a bad ign switch or connection on ign switch
A bad switch would not give the "click click" noise. A bad switch means NO power is even getting to the starter. Since there is clicking that means there is power getting there, just not enough or enough but the starter is bad.

+1 bad connection. That will yield the same results.
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:44 PM   #13
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

I see nowhere in her post that she says there is clicking in fact she says there is not even a clicking sound as she puts it like a dead battery ,of course if battery were dead we know it could not click
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:38 PM   #14
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Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldk View Post
I see nowhere in her post that she says there is clicking in fact she says there is not even a clicking sound as she puts it like a dead battery ,of course if battery were dead we know it could not click
Eh crap I thought this was another thread. My apologies.

PS this thread is from April...
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:57 PM   #15
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Smile Re: 1997 Saturn SL not starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbiR View Post
My 1997 SL is not starting. This is not all the time,just when i need it the most, or when i've stopped for gas at midnight on the interstate 200 miles from home. (Oh yes!) Turn the key nothing happens. Have headlights,interior,radio. tried jumping it,no help.The first time it did it we had stopped for gas, pump was out so started it moved to other side turned it off then it wouldn't start. tried jumping it two times,no luck, turned key on at least 50 times...no luck, then the third guy who stopped to help tried tightening the ground,tried it again it started. Started a dozen or so times over the next couple of days and it did it again. Tryed turning the negative terminal tighter again, tried it ,it started so it must be the ground right? Well replaced the ground battery cable, tried it several times while it sat there started fine. Moved it 50 feet or so,tryed it again wouldn't start. Kicked it...so much for the ground wire theory.Got up the next morning went out..it started. Drove it to advanced and had them hook it up to check battery/alternator/charging. Machine says everything is fine. Decided to give it another chance next morning, started, drove about 1/2 mile, forgot cell phone,ran back, turned it off ,ran back out, won't start. Now ready to use it for target practice.Still keep thinking its something to do with the battery wires because everytime it has started back up,with the exception of letting it sit overnight, i had just messed with the wires. Also am wondering if its a coincidence that all three times it's pulled this it had been started, ran for a short distance, and turned off.Also noticed that although i have interior ,radio etc, when it won't start the radio light does dim somewhat but I don't know if it does that all the time. I am laid off so a trip to the saturn garage is looking really expensive but i don't know what else to do. Any suggestions other than kicking it again?


Got a 97 saturn sc2, went to start nothing, no sound when key was turned. Had no interior lights, no [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]power [COLOR=blue !important]windows[/color][/color][/color], no power door locks, and no door chimes. Had lights on dash and radio, still nothing. Went to passenger side [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]fuse [COLOR=blue !important]panel[/color][/color][/color], popped it off and looked on back of panel, took out the one that is a 10 amp fuse marked body and replaced the new fuse and lord and behold it cranked! Hope this will work for some of yall that are having the same problem. .89 cent 10 amp fuse, and my car started!
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