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Old 09-21-2017, 08:20 AM   #1
jokerier
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Dizzy 2000 LS1 intermittent starting issues

Good Morning,

My daughter has the 2000 LS1 Saturn sedan and has had intermittent issues with it not starting. It will go fine for a month and at the most inopportune time, won't start. All electric works, no ticks, no spinning starter, nothing. Radio comes on, dash, etc...

I have seen the security problem and reset that with her car.

We go in gear, out of gear, with no improvement. When having this problem, I can jumper the starter while she holds the key in and get it going again. Once we get home from there, it will start back up usually.

I have replaced the starter, checked the wires, replaced battery, and replaced the neutral safety switch (automatic). I purchased a starter relay that was supposed to be for this car, but I can't find it, damn near pulling the dash off all the way. It's not behind the instrument cluster, not above the steering column taped on the wire bundles. It's not in any of the three fuse box panels in the car or under the hood. It's not behind the starter, or around the starter. Does anyone know where this might be or have any idea on what else I can try?

I see negative reviews on the manuals to this car and hear that Saturn almost built everyone different to where this one may not even have a starter relay.

Any advise would be appreciated! Thank you.

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Old 09-21-2017, 09:04 AM   #2
fdryer
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2000 LS1 intermittent starting issues

Which engine? I despise Saturn for changing model designations to be ambiguous. L200/2.2L or L300/3.0L is just easier to deal with. The L-series models use the conventional 12v starting circuit from ignition switch to starter.

As to a starter relay, it doesn't exist in the L-series models. This presumes you're describing a starter relay separate from the starter having its own relay or solenoid (they're one and the same).

Ions have a separate starter relay due to adding to the conventional 12v starting circuit - a lower voltage starting circuit, computer controlled starting. So instead of a single starting circuit, there are two starting circuits in the newer cars - a low voltage/computer starting circuit to control the 12v starting circuit. Yes, two circuits in the starting system as opposed to having a single circuit.

Re-examine both battery cables. Early L-series models were plagued with severe positive cable corrosion from damaged battery side terminals leaking battery acid into the cable and eating copper wires. The only way to see damage is cutting or peeling back heavy insulation on battery cable terminals. Replacing the positive cable fixed this issue. Other cable related problems may be one of two battery ground connections - chassis and engine block. With battery and starter replacement, recurring no start problems may be battery cables, wiring between ignition switch and starter, ignition switch, Park/Neutral safety switch.

Last edited by fdryer; 09-21-2017 at 09:13 AM..

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Old 09-21-2017, 10:47 AM   #3
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2009 AURA XE
Default Re: 2000 LS1 intermittent starting issues

The heavy battery cables are hard to bend, but they will flex a bit. If you bend them and you feel a "crunch", the wiring has become corroded (as mentioned in the previous response) and should be replaced. Second possibility is a loose or undersized wire in the starter control circuit. I found this problem with my L200. Ultimately, I replaced the wire with one of a larger size, carefully tightened the connections, and the problem went away.

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Old 09-21-2017, 12:20 PM   #4
jokerier
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Default Re: 2000 LS1 intermittent starting issues

Thank you both! I'll check and replace the wires. It is the 4 cyl 2.2l motor and there is a solenoid on the starter, so that makes sense why I couldn't find one.

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Old 09-22-2017, 12:09 PM   #5
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 SL2
Default Re: 2000 LS1 intermittent starting issues

Just my 5 cents worth as well.
How old is the Starter?
Sometimes Starters can develop a 'flat spot' on the armature. When the starter stops on a flat spot, the contacts don't contact and you get a no start situation.

I had this exact same issue on a car I owned in the UK. We replaced the alternator, put a new battery on, etc, etc, then dealer mechanic who worked on the car found the flat spot issue. The only cure was a new starter. Never had any problems after that.

You can also have a bad earthing situation to the starter and that will give similar issues.

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