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Old 02-24-2015, 07:37 PM   #1
dylank
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Default Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

Where to begin...

My girlfriend got home from work Friday with no issues with the car. Monday tries to go to work and the car wont start due to what appeared to be a bead battery, it was about 15 degrees Fahrenheit all weekend. Her and the neighbor try to jump start the car but realized a little ways through the jumper cables were reversed. They then corrected them but were unable to get it to start. I was off today so I put a few gallons of gas in the car(she said it was on E when she got home) and let it charge for about ten minutes. It still would not start, so I let it charge for a long time and tried to pump the gas while starting. Still nothing, it seems like the starter is working and the lights come on strong. Something I did notice is that the radio does not come on and am wondering if the reversed jumper cables blew a fuse or fried something. I pulled all the fuses in the fuse box under the hood and they all seemed fine. The dash lights come on, horn works etc., just the radio and lack of starting is all I can see.

Any ideas?
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

blown/severely aged battery and fusible link.

what's the voltage of the batt after charging- if it takes a charge( from a battery charger- not cables?)
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

Did you also check the fuses in the interior fuse box?

Does the SES light come on?
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

I do not have a voltmeter to test that, but before charging the battery is almost entirely dead, wont crank even once but after charging the battery cranks the starter really well. Its getting dark/cold so I can try a different battery tomorrow and will let you know.

However if the fusible link was melted there would be no power at all to anything, correct? Everything has power but the stereo it seems.


I wish I had more knowledge about this stuff so sorry if my reply was off base at all.
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

cheapy voltmeter is cheaper than a battery and a charger and a fusible link.

Harbor Freight works fine.

Have to start somewhere...
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

I ran down and checked the inside fuses as @madpogue suggested and sure enough the radio fuse was blown. I replaced it with an extra from under the hood and it fixed it. But still wont start... Also the rest of the fuses inside were fine.
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

I have an extra battery from another car I can try tomorrow, I would do it now but my hands cant take the cold! But I will try that tomorrow!
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

The reversed jumper cable trick is the initiator of a huge problem, sometimes terminal.

First, does the engine turn over?
2nd, does the fuel pump prime - 2 sec run when key first on.
3rd, do you have spark?

If all 3 items above are verified YES then follow the steps below to the letter.

Once you experience a protracted failure to start there are several things that if done will markedly increase the probability of starting the car after verifying that you do have both spark and fuel.

1) remove PCM B fuse
2) place battery on a slow charger for 16 to 24 hours before the next start attempt
3) remove all plugs and place about a tablespoon full of engine oil in each cylinder and crank engine over 1 or 2 complete revolutions
4) install new plugs
5) install new wires
6) verify correct plug wire routing and dress, do not assume it is correct
7) replace PCM B fuse and turn key to RUN for 3 to 5 seconds but do not crank engine, then turn back off to lock position
8) wait 30 seconds
9) repeat #7 and #8
10) turn key to RUN, wait 3 seconds and continue to CRANK, only crank engine for about 5 seconds if it does not start, that will be ~21 revolutions of the engine

If the engine does not start after following these steps its time to start looking at other causes of not starting.
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

1. No the engine does not turn over...
2. I did not quite understand step 2. did you mean does it run for two seconds and then die?
3. I don't know how to check for spark.

I have also searched Google in a effort to find what exactly a protracted failure to start is and am not having much luck.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

You have a protracted failure to start.

the 2nd step is to listen for the 2 second fuel pump run when the key is first turned to ON but not crank.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

Have you checked everyone of the large green fuses with an ohmmeter? The ones in the fuse box under the hood.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

I had to cook dinner and do family stuff but in the morning I will check the green fuses(square boxes?) and also try to listen for the fuel pump. Is there somewhere specific i should listen to, and what am I listening for? I will report back in the morning after I have tried the known good battery, checked fuses and listened for the fuel pump.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

You can hear the pump whir from the tank if you listen closely. The large fuses are on the end of the fuse box and are all 30A fuses. If you make multiple attempts it requires 30 seconds with the key off to reset the time delay.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

The fuel pump sounds like it kicks on for a short amount of time, I also checked all of the green 30A fuses and they were all intact. The only items I was unable to check were the gray square boxes also located in the fuse box, but those were all labeled horn and other non-essential functions. I took the battery down to Advanced Auto Parts to have it tested and the results were as follows:

Voltage: 12.41V
Measured: 214 CCA
Rated: 365 CCA
Temperature: 68 degrees Fahrenheit

The extra good battery I have has top posts and the Saturn takes the front facing screw in kind. I bought post adapters but the difference is too large to connect them still. I am trying to avoid buying a new battery if that is not the cause... Any advice?
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:21 PM   #15
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

If the engine doesn't turn over, how did you expect playing with the gas pedal to do anything? Doesn't do anything unless held to the floor on an EFI system...floods out a Carb and screws you over for at least an hour.
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The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a manual
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

I did not know that about the gas pedal, I unfortunately do not have much experience with cars. Except for stumbling my way through a water pump, thermostat and radiator replacement the only things I have ever done are an oil and transmission fluid change. That's why I have come here for wisdom, Knowledge and experience from people like you.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:51 PM   #17
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by dylank View Post
1. No the engine does not turn over...
Do we have a terminology failure here? "Turn over" = "Crank", not 'start and run'. You said it was cranking earlier.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

Get a 2a or so charger and charge that battery for 24 hours or more.

Get he plugs out of that engine and pull the PCM B fuse and oil the cylinders. Once battery is charged (24+ hrs) on charger. The spin engine over with plugs out. After that you will verify spark by replacing plugs, pull the fuel pump fuse in the inside fuse box. Remove the 2 coil wires on the left hand coil and have someone watch for sparks between the towers on that coil while you crank the engine.

That battery you have is basically junk but it might charge up enough to get the car started.

The gray boxes are relays, leave them alone.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

Yeah it is cranking as in the starter sounds like it is working. I guess i misunderstood.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:57 PM   #20
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Default Re: Reversed Jumper Cables - 2000 Saturn SL2 Automatic

You know more than the average person that can't tell the difference between a wrench or screwdriver. After all, you did more than most, replacing a radiator, water pump, t-stat, oil, and xmission fluid change. You're greasy enough to be beyond the beginner stage. Learning about EFI systems is almost rocket science only because of extensive electronics married to the basic way engines run. The EFI system is what makes starting effortless when basic maintenance is done. Pumping the gas pedal was normal for older non EFI systems using carburetors and distributor ignition systems. No pedal needed when starting EFI systems except in extreme conditions where several failed starts occur.

My first best impression of EFI systems was owning a sports car back in '77 - it always started whether summer or winter without pumping the gas pedal since the carburetor was eliminated and fuel injectors are commanded by the pcm to inject fuel in the right amount for effortless starting.
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