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Old 11-30-2014, 01:56 PM   #1
Freak Storm
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2002 SL1
Default neutral safety switch or starter?

I've got a 2002 SL1 and have a few instances when there was power, but no crank at all.
Since buying the car about a year ago, it has always needed to be started in neutral.
Just this afternoon, it started fine, drove just a few miles for an errand, went to start it again after 15 minutes or so and nothing.
After 30 minutes checking/wiggling wires and multiple attempts at restarting, etc still nothing.
Then after searching the forums here, saw mention of the NSS. Checked wires, nothing, then I tried tapping on it with a wrench and it started right up.
I don't have a multimeter for testing.
Should I just replace the switch and see?
Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-30-2014, 02:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: neutral safety switch or starter?

I think you could extract those two contacts from the NSS (actually part of the gear selector switch) and jumper them together. If it always starts OK for a while like that, it would confirm that is the problem. Have you adjusted the switch? That could be done with just a test light.

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Old 11-30-2014, 05:08 PM   #3
Freak Storm
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Default Re: neutral safety switch or starter?

Haven't tried adjusting the NSS yet.
Will try a jumper and see what happens, although having little time and opportunity in current Michigan weather, I might just replace it and the starter at the same time.
Thanks for the advice!

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Old 11-30-2014, 08:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: neutral safety switch or starter?

You do realize that you will have to learn how to adjust that switch if you replace it? I figure you might as well adjust the existing, just as a learning run, even if adjustment doesn't fix it. It's pretty easy to do.

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Old 11-30-2014, 08:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: neutral safety switch or starter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
It's pretty easy to do.
Your results may vary, but here's some info . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...81&postcount=3

Btw - does jiggling the shifter in Park or Neutral have any effect? That might suggest some needed adjustment.

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Old 12-01-2014, 08:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: neutral safety switch or starter?

Thanks Billr, I realize that now, will give it a go!

Chazberry, I've tried jiggling and forcing the shifter and it did nothing. Thanks for sending the link, more troubleshooting ahead!

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Old 12-01-2014, 11:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: neutral safety switch or starter?

One method to separating a starting circuit from starter problem would be measuring the START (12v) signal at the starter solenoid, the single small gauge purple wire on its own terminal. Pulling this wire off and measuring it for 12v when someone turns the ign switch to START will verify the entire starting circuit from ign switch to NSS to this wire. As long as the ign switch is held in the START position, 12v should be on this wire. Not seeing 12v means a starting circuit problem. With 12v measured here in START and intermittent starting leaves you with most likely a worn out starter.

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Old 12-01-2014, 11:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: neutral safety switch or starter?

Be aware that the contacts in that switch used for adjusting it have a very, very narrow range of angular travel. I find that if you adjust it, then move the shift lever in-and-out of P several times you won't always get a "good" reading each time, it will be intermittent depending on minute slop in the shifting and switch mechanisms. Don't let this bother you, and don't waste time trying to get the switch adjusted to give a "good" reading every time. The working contacts in that switch, those for the shift indication, BU lamps, and neutral safety, all have a much wider range of operation and will be fine.

Edit: I should add... there are many threads here about the joy of adding a long "sense lead" to the small terminal on the starter solenoid (PPL wire), that is a great tool for determining if the problem is in the wiring to the starter (like NSS) or the starter itself. Plus, if it is in the wiring, it gives you a way to force cranking and get out of an inconvenient situation.

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Old 12-01-2014, 02:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: neutral safety switch or starter?

^ You are absolutely right and the only reason I state to disconnect this START wire from the starter before measuring it. I cannot stress this enough for anyone crawling under the engine as it easily avoids powering up a starter if this wire is left connected to the starter.

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