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Old 09-03-2005, 01:46 PM   #1
michellej0000
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Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

My 1997 Saturn SL2 has run so great until now. It has 150,500 miles on it. I drove home Tuesday, parked. Wednesday morning, it would not start. Would not turn over, or make any sound at all. We have determined it is not the battery or alternator, so we thought it was the starter. I got a starter and we installed it yesterday. Turned the key and still absolutely nothing. (same as before.) We've looked at all the fuses and they all look fine, but we switched some around of the same type and still no difference. The headlights, interior lights, radio, and everything work when I turn the key, just no crank. What else could it be? I'm so broke I can't tow it to a car parts place to have a diagnostic hooked up. Any suggestions?
Help!
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:18 PM   #2
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If your sure the batt is good then I would check to see if you are getting power to the starter solinoid then start looking at clutch switch ignition switch
check fuses as well
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:31 PM   #3
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First welcome to the boards. Sorry to hear about your car. The good news is that the fix should not be to hard nor expensive. You have eliminated the expensive pieces. There are 3 different switches that can fail or come out of adjustment that will cause a no start condition and your car only has 2.

1 ignition switch
2 neutral safety switch (automatic tranny) or clutch start switch (Standard tranny)

Check out the General Information on starters and these test procedures also. A quick check of the neutral safety switch is to try to wiggle the shifter in park and in neutral while holding the key in the start position. The only other thing I can think of is a fusible link (wire) that goes from the alternater to the starter.
Good luck and let us know what you find.
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Old 09-05-2005, 12:08 PM   #4
michellej0000
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

Thanks so much for the helpful links and info! I've printed it all out and will take it home to my husband who I hope can figure it all out. I'll let you know how it goes!
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

I have a 97 Saturn SC 2 which is almost the identical problem as the op here. Wont start. It was fine, started every time then I shut it off for maybe 5 minutes, went inside to get someone, came out, nothing. The battery is fine, starter is fine, neutral switch is fine, and we're going nuts here. I thought sure we had an answer with the neutral switch but nope.
Any other thoughts???
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:36 AM   #6
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

Check the starter relay. IIRC it's in the underhood fuse box. Swap that one with another non-essential relay. There are a few of them that are all the same. The next thing would be to check the condition of your battery cables and connections. The bolts on the side post battery may be tight, but the cable could still be loose. Also, there could be hidden corrosion underneath the insulation.
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:54 AM   #7
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Fuzz View Post
Check the starter relay. IIRC it's in the underhood fuse box. Swap that one with another non-essential relay. There are a few of them that are all the same. The next thing would be to check the condition of your battery cables and connections. The bolts on the side post battery may be tight, but the cable could still be loose. Also, there could be hidden corrosion underneath the insulation.
Thanks I'll try that in the morning.
While looking at all the fuses yesterday, we tested the large green ones and they were fine but in the diagram, none say starter relay. Only for lights, cooler, etc. Any idea about that?
Thanks again for the ideas!
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:37 PM   #8
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

I found the starter relay under the steering column and replaced it. Still nothing. I tried jumpering it from c-1 to a-2. nothing. I swear this is driving me nuts! Any other thoughts or do I just drive it off a cliff?!
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:44 PM   #9
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

Do you hear a CLICK when you turn the key from RUN to START?
YES: Starter or battery connection could be the issue
NO: Power is never getting to the starter. Aside from the above, the ignition cylinder is the other possible suspect.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

It's not the cylinder either.

I'm on to the chime fuse now. Replacing it did fix the chime but didn't help start the car.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:09 PM   #11
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

kinda hard to drive of cliff if you cant start! sorry couldnt resist. the problem you have is very traceable a starter is nothing more than a dc motor with a gear system allowing it to (once energized by the battery) turn the motor and then all the complexites of a running eng can begin.so you say the starter is good the ing switch is good the clutch or nuetral switch is good and the solioid relay is good oh and the battery and conections are good i dont know if your car is auto or stick but if automatic it may also have a switch on the brake. with that said I joined this forum because my 27 year old bought a 97 saturn and it codes crank sensor yet we replaced also changed temp sensor because coolent fans dont come on i think maybe bad ground but neither here nor there i will find the problem. I am 58 and have been fixing cars since i was 9 my trade is eletronic tech. so volt meters are my friend.I would have to say something does not make sense something you checked has to be bad. the starter is a high draw motor so a relay is needed so a low amp switch like your ing switch through all safty switches dont burn up. the relay energizes and throws on a switch internal that can handle the high draw of the starter. if everything is good from battery to starter the way to see is turn on headlights turn key to start if lights dim starter is drawing(bat or connections bad) if not you need to take step back and recheck ,starting with terms positive and negitive.
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:29 PM   #12
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

let me say one more thing that may help if you can jump starter at starter solinoid and starter works then you need to check that starter relay you found yel/blk wire should be ground if you dont have vom meter to check you can use a clip lead. strip back a little bit of that wire clip to ground and try to start. this relay is in front of safty switches like clutch and park / neutral switch so if either dont pass b plus to starter solioid starter will not engage even if starter relay is working. hope this helps
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:10 AM   #13
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

Had same issue with my 1995 sc2, click, but no turning over. Spent days going over it and nothing. Finally went under the car and there was a wire that was plugged into some thingamabob down there. I unplugged it and noticed that it was a little oily in there. I wiped both sides plugged it back up and voila! It started right up! Started up great for months. The other day back to click and no start. Got under car pushed were the wire plugged into thingamabob and again started backup. I have no clue were that wire goes to, or what it's plugged into. But I have no doubt the wire itself or whatever it plugs into is the cause of this strange won't start problem. I plan to do a more detailed investigation about this wire and it's purpose. Hopefully this will help someone.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:52 PM   #14
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

What you referred to as the thingmabob under the car could have been the neutral safety switch. The switch can be good, and making the connection when the car is in park or neutral (for an automatic), but still have a bad connection the the wires coming to it. I dont know about Saturns, but some cars have an interlock switch under the console, near the shifter. Volvos 240's from the 80's have it there.
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:52 PM   #15
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Re: Saturn SL2 won't start-not the starter

did you check the fusible link from the stater, bend it and pull slightly to see if the wire is broke on the inside
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