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Old 12-14-2019, 06:22 PM   #1
Bud Tierney
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Default No Start problem

2000 LW1 Wagon; no previous trouble...
Hit starter, got quiet click,immediate loss all electric...
Pulled battery cables, seemed snug, looked good, wiped off, reinstalled...
Turned on key, all electrics back, hit starter, whuzzed engine over, no start, engine unresponsive (doesn't sound like trying to start)...
Car operated year or so with basic security off, lock/unlock with key (fob transmitter unreliable, new battery no help)...
So: what hoppen???
Random signal from failed battery-cable connection telling Passlock I'm trying to steal the car (assuming Passlock independent of basic security)?
Randon signal burned out one of innumerable fuses? See several in owners manual list referring to Ign, fuel...some seemingly repititive...
Random signal burned out some other component??
Have no test eqpmt or electronic knowledge; I'm 88, and while can probably fold myself to get at interior fuseblocks won't be comfortable.....
.Suggestions appreciated...try fuses?...leave alone, don't make it worse, haul to electronic capable shop?? Maby thxx!!! Byd

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Old 12-15-2019, 02:11 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No Start problem

Mileage? Any maintenance history? There are two security programs; 1)factory alarm system for horns and lights (disco effect/attention getter), 2)factory engine immobilizer (Passlock) with a flashing yellow security indicator of a car symbol with large padlock. Horns and flashing lights aside, Passlock (when enabled and activated) disables injector operation to prevent the engine from running; disabling injector operation prevents fuel from entering cylinders so the engine cannot run. The starter can turn over the engine but the engine will never fire up without fuel injected into each cylinder.

The security indicator has four modes under remote keyfob control; off, blinking once every two seconds, flashing quickly and on. If it remains on all the time, Passlock failed self tests and disables itself from interfering with engine running. When flashing quickly, injectors are disabled against theft attempts to steal the car without using the ignition key.

Is security flashing during starting? If flashing, resetting may be as simple as leaving ignition on for 10 minutes until flashing stops then cycle ignition off. Cycling ignition on again should turn off security. If security is off during starting, this may be either a fuel or ignition (spark) problem.

Last edited by fdryer; 12-15-2019 at 02:17 AM..

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Old 12-16-2019, 11:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: No Start problem

Many thxx for reply...
As security has been off for over a tear, and have no unusual indicators on dash, looks like a haul to the professionals somewhere...
I seem to recall seeing something somewhere re' a Saturn shop here (in or near Portland , OR. Will check the phone books and google in the Am.
Again, thxx. Bud

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Old 12-17-2019, 01:42 AM   #4
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No Start problem

True story occurring years ago with a commercial airplane crashing into the Florida everglades prior to landing at the airport. A burned out indicator bulb and fixating on troubleshooting caused this crash. Three flight crew made up this flight. During landing checklist callouts, landing gear was switched to down position, expecting three lights to indicate right, left and nose wheel gear down and locked for landing. One light stayed off. All three flight crew were fixated on determining whether or not the bulb burned out or the gear didn't lock in down position. This scenario occurred before crew resource management was developed to divide tasks with overlaps to cross check against each other. The pilot flying is supposed to concentrate on flying while the co-pilot and flight engineer attend to everything else. The airplane was on autopilot and it was determined from a long investigation that the pilot in command that should have been paying attention to instruments on this night flight without any visual clues to know if the plane was upright or banking while the co-pilot and flight engineer were more than capable of troubleshooting what should have been a simple problem, didn't mind the plane and became engrossed with the light indicator and most likely tripped the autopilot switch off with his foot as he moved around. The plane gently pitched forward and crashed, killing everyone on board. All because no one was flying the airplane and everyone assumed autopilot was engaged. The bulb was found with its filament burned and split, not broken from the crash. The gear was down and locked but the bulb burned out. A secondary method to ensure landing gear is is locked in down position requires a flight crew member to walk down the aisle and look out over the wing for painted tabs indicating each landing gear is locked. If the pilot simply allowed the two crew members to troubleshoot this problem, the crash could have been avoided.

Your security light may have burned out. If security is enabled and active, you won't know it because the indicator isn't working. The alternative is to plug in a reader to check for error codes. Passlock isn't emissions related so an error code about security won't show up on generic readers. Manufacturer specific error codes requires better readers, now available for reasonable cost for the diyer, visiting GM or repair shop with their expensive reader/scantools. Passlock security error codes may be 'B' or 'C' type codes. 'B' for body, 'C' for chassis, 'U' for network and 'P' for engine and xmission. The wrench light is turned for non emissions (P) codes. The wrench light may be burned out too.......

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Old 12-17-2019, 10:52 AM   #5
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No Start problem

Just my 5 cents worth. totally agree with Fryer about the burned out bulbs. Many have the situation with noticing a running issue on their car and they take it to the auto shop to have the Codes read. First thing the store will say is 'is the CEL' lit?'. That's putting total trust in 1 single bulb even though all your senses are saying there is something wrong with the car.

On the L series, the instrument cluster has only a few bulbs that are pretty much just for illumination. That includes the odometer bulb. Most of the 'warning bulbs' are hard soldered leds' on to the cluster circuit board. If you remove the cluster from the car, the plastic back of the cluster is 'welded' to the front, so is more or less sealed. You would need to split the cluster to get to the cluster.

My son has a 2003 L series where the low fuel led doesn't work. If it worked it should come on at 'self check' stage, but it doesn't. All the bulbs on that left hand lower side are leds on the circuit board. Oh Joy!

There are several companies online who renovate clusters to install bust led's , put in new stepper motors. I can easily get the done on my Suburban. I've checked online and have been unable to see anyone who offers refurb on the L series.

You also mentioned that your remote fob is wonky. Might I suggest you invest in a replacement (you can get them online for like $20.00 BUT you will need to have it coded at the GM Dealer, which may cost you about $60). my son's car had a wonky fob, so back in 2015 we got a replacement online for $10.69 and the coding at the GM Dealer was $57.50. No issues since.

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Old 12-17-2019, 02:52 PM   #6
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2003 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: No Start problem

Wouldn't you be able to determine if a bulb was out by checking them with the key in the on position ?

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Old 12-17-2019, 02:56 PM   #7
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2003 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: No Start problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
Just my 5 cents worth. totally agree with Fryer about the burned out bulbs. Many have the situation with noticing a running issue on their car and they take it to the auto shop to have the Codes read. First thing the store will say is 'is the CEL' lit?'. That's putting total trust in 1 single bulb even though all your senses are saying there is something wrong with the car.

On the L series, the instrument cluster has only a few bulbs that are pretty much just for illumination. That includes the odometer bulb. Most of the 'warning bulbs' are hard soldered leds' on to the cluster circuit board. If you remove the cluster from the car, the plastic back of the cluster is 'welded' to the front, so is more or less sealed. You would need to split the cluster to get to the cluster.

My son has a 2003 L series where the low fuel led doesn't work. If it worked it should come on at 'self check' stage, but it doesn't. All the bulbs on that left hand lower side are leds on the circuit board. Oh Joy!

There are several companies online who renovate clusters to install bust led's , put in new stepper motors. I can easily get the done on my Suburban. I've checked online and have been unable to see anyone who offers refurb on the L series.

You also mentioned that your remote fob is wonky. Might I suggest you invest in a replacement (you can get them online for like $20.00 BUT you will need to have it coded at the GM Dealer, which may cost you about $60). my son's car had a wonky fob, so back in 2015 we got a replacement online for $10.69 and the coding at the GM Dealer was $57.50. No issues since.
There are actually 10 bulbs plus the odometer one.
1 for each turn signal indicator
1 for the temp gauge
1 for the fuel gauge
1 for DRL indicator
1 for High bean indicator
4 for illumination of the IP

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Old 12-17-2019, 03:03 PM   #8
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2003 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: No Start problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
Just my 5 cents worth. totally agree with Fryer about the burned out bulbs. Many have the situation with noticing a running issue on their car and they take it to the auto shop to have the Codes read. First thing the store will say is 'is the CEL' lit?'. That's putting total trust in 1 single bulb even though all your senses are saying there is something wrong with the car.

On the L series, the instrument cluster has only a few bulbs that are pretty much just for illumination. That includes the odometer bulb. Most of the 'warning bulbs' are hard soldered leds' on to the cluster circuit board. If you remove the cluster from the car, the plastic back of the cluster is 'welded' to the front, so is more or less sealed. You would need to split the cluster to get to the cluster.

My son has a 2003 L series where the low fuel led doesn't work. If it worked it should come on at 'self check' stage, but it doesn't. All the bulbs on that left hand lower side are leds on the circuit board. Oh Joy!

There are several companies online who renovate clusters to install bust led's , put in new stepper motors. I can easily get the done on my Suburban. I've checked online and have been unable to see anyone who offers refurb on the L series.

You also mentioned that your remote fob is wonky. Might I suggest you invest in a replacement (you can get them online for like $20.00 BUT you will need to have it coded at the GM Dealer, which may cost you about $60). my son's car had a wonky fob, so back in 2015 we got a replacement online for $10.69 and the coding at the GM Dealer was $57.50. No issues since.
There are actually 10 bulbs plus the odometer one.
1 for each turn signal indicator
1 for the temp gauge
1 for the fuel gauge
1 for DRL indicator
1 for High beam indicator
4 for illumination of the IP

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Old 12-17-2019, 05:38 PM   #9
Bud Tierney
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Default Re: No Start problem

Gentelmen: Many thxx for the fascinating and illuminating (pun intended) bulb circuitry comments, but as my security was disabled/turned off (per Op Manual) a year ago. and as I understand Passlock is part of that security system, it doesn't seem to apply to my problem.
And, yes, I should've gotten a new remote fob; it was just so much easier to turn off security. After all, who in their right mind'd even consider stealing an old Saturn wagon?? (My apologies to anyone offended)...
Which leaves me with a couple more appeals:
I vaguely recall some shop in the Portland ares advertising as Saturn specialists, but the local phone books show nothing, and per Google Portland is overrun with lifetim Saturn Specialists, all simply living for the opportunity to lovingly rejuvenate mine...
Has anyone here had good service from a Portland shop, hopefully one with a North/Northeast/Southeast (East side) address??...
And in conformance with the demise of brick and mortar , I see several house call outfits; anyone here used any of them??

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Old 12-17-2019, 06:26 PM   #10
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No Start problem

BT, are you able to make some preliminary tests for fuel, fuel pressure and spark? If you are physically able to and have help, you might be able to narrow a problem down quickly. Presuming the starter turns the engine over, fuel and spark are the two main culprits to test.

If the battery has a full charge, try holding the gas pedal to the floor, wide open throttle. This tells the engine computer to stop fuel injection to prevent flooding the engine after several starting attempts fail to get the engine to run. One to three starting attempts, each one no more than five seconds per start. This clears the engine of excess fuel, dry out spark plugs and let spark ignite any fuel left in cylinders. Once this is done and the engine still fails to startup, move on.

The easiest way to test for fuel and spark would be spraying starting fluid into the throttle body then trying another start. Manually feeding starting fluid relies on spark to ignite the fuel/air mixture and should result in the engine starting up for a brief moment.

1-If the engine does startup from spraying starting fluid, there's a fuel issue.

2-If the engine doesn't startup from starting fluid, a spark issue is the problem.

Be leery of anyone attempting to take advantage of you.

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