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Old 03-27-2015, 07:08 PM   #1
soccoach
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Default Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

My wife was driving to work today and at a stop light the battery light came on and then the car stopped. She was able to restart the car and drive a short distance to her work. When she left work the car did nothing, no lights, nothing. I came and jumped the car. Still no lights, nothing. I took the battery to Auto Zone and the battery tested perfect with a full charge.
AAA tried to jump the car and the same thing. NOTHING.
I checked the wires and connections, no problem.
Is there a sensor or relay that can completely shut down the car? Ideas?
I have searched the web and this forum and have found no answers.
Please help, this is my wife's transportation car.
Thanks

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Old 03-27-2015, 07:25 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

Loose battery cable connection to starter? Worn out starter? Try banging the starter a few times with a piece of 2x4 lumber - this may allow a worn out starter to work, indicating replacement is needed (original starter?).

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Old 03-27-2015, 07:28 PM   #3
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

When you check battery cable connection to the battery take both the positive and negative loose and then remove the bolts in the connectors. Now slide teh plastic cover off and really inspect bot positive and negative in the crimp area for any green or white corrosion. There is nothing else but the ignition switch that completely shuts the car down except if the yellow security light is lit on the cluster. When you turn the key to ON but not crank the dash lights have to cycle and even with the key off the headlights and brake lights work and if they do not then it is in the battery cables most likely.

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Old 03-27-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

If the dash lights do not cycle then the starter will not crank so no point in beating on it as the field magnets are glued to the frame and can break free from impact.

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Old 03-28-2015, 05:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

I have checked the battery cables. They have contact and minimal corrosion. However I did as suggested, (Not beating the starter yet since I have NO power at all) and took them apart, cleaned them and reassembled them.
Still NO electrical anywhere.

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Old 03-28-2015, 06:09 AM   #6
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

Do you have a voltmeter? If yes check for voltage to ground at the red wire at the fuse box and at the plate the red wire is bolted to. If you get zero then check at the big red wire at the starter to ground and see if you get voltage. If any of these are no then it is 1 of the battery cables. If no voltmeter just turn on the headlights or step on the brake, if they do not light it is battery cables or thier points of connection.

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Old 03-28-2015, 06:27 AM   #7
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

One of two battery cables isn't making connection despite appearances. Presuming this car doesn't have a custom made power switch to cut off all power, the battery cables are suspect. Did you check for loose/corroded ground connections? The negative cable connects to chassis and engine grounds so there are two places to examine besides the battery terminal. Examine all battery connections carefully for signs of corrosion or damage.

If you have a multimeter or test light, these may help to measure for voltage by probing the end connections; battery positive at the starter to ground, battery positive to chassis ground or engine block ground.

Something loosened or burned (?) that may have caused this power disconnect.

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Old 03-28-2015, 02:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

OK, so I put the battery back in the car this afternoon, about 20 hours later, and the car started immediately. What's up with that?

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Old 03-28-2015, 02:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

Anyone can make armchair quarterback guesses since no one works on your car. You are in the only position to determine what's wrong by reviewing all suggestions and, more importantly, examining all work you or anyone else did.

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Old 03-28-2015, 02:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

The last time I had my car in for an oil change, the mechanic said everything was great. I had to put a gasket on the oil pan plug because it was leaking. Other than that, the only thing I have done was to remove the battery, have it tested, and then one day later replaced the battery, and voila! It worked.
It is my wife's transportation car and I would hate for this to happen again. I have read other posts where similar events have happened. I'm just looking for an idea on why, so I can fix it.
A friend suggested the FOB alarm system, but would that shut everything down 100%?

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Old 03-28-2015, 04:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by soccoach View Post
.....It is my wife's transportation car and I would hate for this to happen again. I have read other posts where similar events have happened. I'm just looking for an idea on why, so I can fix it.....A friend suggested the FOB alarm system, but would that shut everything down 100%?
If you mean factory on board (FOB?) alarm system, no. Passlock does not shut down main battery power. Completely removing battery power kills all memory needed for several modules requiring it; radio presets, ecm/pcm emissions parameters for customized dynamic emissions controls as well as retaining live error codes needed for correct/timely repairs, OnStar memopry and the bcm to retain memory for various sub functions. Remove power altogether and problems can pop up unannounced. Usually none occurs when replacing a battery, disconnecting power for troubleshooting/repairing/replacing electronic modules, maintenance requiring power removal, etc.. Its not a good feeling to lose faith in a car that was always reliable when needed as we take full advantage of having this reliability in almost every car most own.

Passlock is the factory theft deterrent system while the alarm system simply provides the loud horn and flashing lights. All Passlock does, when enabled and active (flashing security indicator); disables injector operation to prevent engine running, driving the car away. Battery power is never disconnected.

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Old 03-28-2015, 07:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

I get what you wrote, but I am still at a loss as to what caused the problem. I don't trust it now. Any ideas?

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Old 03-28-2015, 07:58 PM   #13
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

Again, POWER appears to be the problem when lights won't turn on. That's one hint. This still means the main parts to power; battery, battery cables, their condition and all connections. It doesn't get any easier or simpler. If you can prove the battery is good then that leaves battery cables, their condition and connections.

Early L-series cars suffered battery cable damage as a result of incorrect tightening and damaging the battery positive side terminal, resulting in breaking the battery terminal. Over the course of ownership intermittent power problems couldn't be explained until close examination revealed severe cable corrosion underneath the heavy insulation; battery acid leached out and entered the positive cable and simply ate copper wires. Once enough acid ate away the copper wires, poor electrical problems popped up. Appearances looked fine until the cables were disconnected and carefully examined. There are threads in the L-series forums about it. One member paid about $400 to have Saturn find out for him..........

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Old 03-28-2015, 09:17 PM   #14
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Car died, no power 2002 Saturn SL1

Maybe check the 12volt wire from the underhood fuse box to the inside fuse panel. That connection was bad on my car and caused a puzzling problem of no starts. Wiggle the fat red wire going into the IFP to see if that starts the car. If so, just run a new 12v wire from UFB to IFP. I used crimp on terminals on the ends of the wire and plugged them into unused 12v sockets on the box and panel.

...
Saturn 2002 SL2
Still under 85K miles.

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