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Old 07-26-2010, 03:13 PM   #1
paromano32
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1999 SL2
Dizzy 99 SL2 won't start

So about 2 weeks ago, I was visiting my buddy's college about 2 hours away from home. My 99 SL2 DOHC was running completely fine aside from a little rattling noise under the car sometimes when accelerating up or down hills when I hit a bump. The next morning, I went to start the car and nothing. I called AAA and a guy came out and said I must have tripped the security system. He left in run for about 20 minutes, tried to start it and nothing. He was about to put it on the truck and wiggled the starter wire and bam it started. It was running fine for about 2 weeks, even took it to Kost and they said they didnt see anything wrong with loose wiring or anything. The other day it does the same thing. So I try the same thing with leaving the car in run for 20 minutes, but it hasn't worked. I don't get anything when the key is turned to accessory, only on run. After reading much material and posts over the internet, I've come to the conclusion that it has to be the security system or something electrically upstream of that which is causing the problem. I'm moving back up to college 3 hours away in 2 weeks and really need this thing to be reliable because I'll be a commuter. I know how to reset the security system so it cant disable the ignition. I'm just stuck at this point until I can get it to start again. Any help/advice is appreciated.

...
Current Cars:
--99 Saturn SL2 Homecoming Edition
--00 Jeep Cherokee
--74 Dodge Challenger

Past Cars:
--98 Saturn SL2 (R.I.P. 6/18/09)
--99 Ford Taurus LX
--80 Dodge Power Wagon

Last edited by paromano32; 07-26-2010 at 03:18 PM.. Reason: grammar

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Old 07-26-2010, 03:46 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

Your '99 has the rudimentary starter circuit interrupt acting as the theft deterrent system; its uses the remote to Lock (doors)/disable the starter circuit and Unlock (doors) to enable the starter circuit. Its basically a relay in series with the ignition switch's START signal to either allow the START signal to power the starter or open the circuit preventing the START signal from reaching the starter. Look in the instrument panel wiring harness near the steering wheel; the relay is taped to the harness. Its a common 87A relay that can be replaced or bypassed altogether. Relay socket pins 30 and 87 jumpered together bypasses this relay. The remote enables and disables this relay through the remote keyless entry module.

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Old 07-26-2010, 03:54 PM   #3
paromano32
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1999 SL2
Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

Thanks for quick response, I'll go ahead and try that tonight when I get home from work.

...
Current Cars:
--99 Saturn SL2 Homecoming Edition
--00 Jeep Cherokee
--74 Dodge Challenger

Past Cars:
--98 Saturn SL2 (R.I.P. 6/18/09)
--99 Ford Taurus LX
--80 Dodge Power Wagon

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Old 07-26-2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

I forgot to mention the obvious; rap the relay once or twice and the internal contacts may just connect just right to close the starting circuit for an immediate start. Sometimes tapping things gets it done for the time being if you don't have a replacement ready or don't want to jumper wires in cramped spaces, upside down.

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Old 07-26-2010, 07:38 PM   #5
paromano32
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1999 SL2
Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

I jumpered 30 and 87 and it cranked but wouldn't start. Tomorrow I suppose I'll try getting a new relay, unless there's something else that may need to be or can be done to get the starter to engage.

...
Current Cars:
--99 Saturn SL2 Homecoming Edition
--00 Jeep Cherokee
--74 Dodge Challenger

Past Cars:
--98 Saturn SL2 (R.I.P. 6/18/09)
--99 Ford Taurus LX
--80 Dodge Power Wagon

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Old 07-27-2010, 05:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

The engine cranking over means the starter is working as designed. All you did was bypass the theft deterrent system to be able to power the starter. Now you have a starting issue that's either fuel or ignition related.

Have someone crank the engine; have the coil wires off, after noting firing order, to observe for spark. No spark while cranking the engine would most likely mean the crank position sensor (CPS) failed, the ignition module a close second. The cps is behind and above the starter, mounted with one 10mm bolt. The ignition module is carrying the two ignition coils. Used modules and coils from the junk yard are cheaper than new and work just as well.

Fuel is tested by depressing the fuel test valve on the fuel rail; remove the large plastic cap to reveal the schrader valve (resembles the tire valve), cover loosely with a rag and depress the valve stem expecting a healthy spray of fuel. No fuel or a dribble means a fuel issue; fuse, relay, wiring, pump, ground.

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Old 07-27-2010, 10:00 AM   #7
paromano32
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1999 SL2
Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

I forgot to add when I jumpered the relay too, that I still didn't get anything in accessory; no radio, no chime, no dome light. That seemed to me that the theft system was still enabled and causing the starter to not be able to engage. Why else would I not have any power to accessory and only in run?

...
Current Cars:
--99 Saturn SL2 Homecoming Edition
--00 Jeep Cherokee
--74 Dodge Challenger

Past Cars:
--98 Saturn SL2 (R.I.P. 6/18/09)
--99 Ford Taurus LX
--80 Dodge Power Wagon

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Old 07-27-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

The Security affects the starter circuit only, NOT the ignition or fuel. But your latest post does explain why you had to bypass the relay. Your CHIME fuse is probably blown. If you replace it, you probably won't need to jumper the relay.

But for now, keep the relay bypass in place. And do the spark and fuel tests described above. Another thing to observe - turn the key to RUN (but NOT to START), and listen closely, behind you, for a faint "whrrrr"; that's the fuel pump priming the system, and it should run for about 2-3 seconds. Let us know if you hear it.

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Old 07-27-2010, 01:48 PM   #9
paromano32
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1999 SL2
Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

I actually checked most of the fuses including the chime fuse last night because I had read about the chime fuse affected things also. I'll see how much I can get done with the spark and fuel tests tonight.

...
Current Cars:
--99 Saturn SL2 Homecoming Edition
--00 Jeep Cherokee
--74 Dodge Challenger

Past Cars:
--98 Saturn SL2 (R.I.P. 6/18/09)
--99 Ford Taurus LX
--80 Dodge Power Wagon

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Old 07-27-2010, 07:59 PM   #10
paromano32
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1999 SL2
Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

Soo I come home from work tonight and my dad says he walked up to it pressing unlock and lock and holding them and then tried to start it. It fired right up no problem and started and started again. I set the security to 11 chirps where only lock and unlock will function and put the original relay back in. Everything now seems to work fine again and I'm confused as anything. I feel as if I still need to look into this so this problem won't happen again if it wasn't solely the security system that was doing this.

...
Current Cars:
--99 Saturn SL2 Homecoming Edition
--00 Jeep Cherokee
--74 Dodge Challenger

Past Cars:
--98 Saturn SL2 (R.I.P. 6/18/09)
--99 Ford Taurus LX
--80 Dodge Power Wagon

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Old 09-16-2010, 06:04 AM   #11
DNO36
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2001 SL1
1996 SL2
Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by paromano32 View Post
Soo I come home from work tonight and my dad says he walked up to it pressing unlock and lock and holding them and then tried to start it. It fired right up no problem and started and started again. I set the security to 11 chirps where only lock and unlock will function and put the original relay back in. Everything now seems to work fine again and I'm confused as anything. I feel as if I still need to look into this so this problem won't happen again if it wasn't solely the security system that was doing this.
OK Paromano, 1st, excellent thread to all, well done!!
2nd, what exactly did your Dad do? Did he press them both at the same time?
3rd , you set the security to 11 chirps?? What is this??
4th, is everything still OK?
TIA
Dean

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Old 09-16-2010, 06:17 AM   #12
fdryer
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Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by paromano32 View Post
...... I set the security to 11 chirps where only lock and unlock will function and put the original relay back in. Everything now seems to work fine again and I'm confused as anything. I feel as if I still need to look into this so this problem won't happen again if it wasn't solely the security system that was doing this.
Uhh, GM/Saturn's factory security system doesn't have any programming feature that allows 11 chirps to set. You must have an aftermarket security system that isn't a GM system. As mentioned before, your Saturn's security system only has the starter interrupt as a basic theft deterrent. Saturn's remote has "GM" embossed on the back cover. If your remote doesn't have this logo its an aftermarket security system. This changes everything described and adds some more confusion.

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Old 09-16-2010, 12:24 PM   #13
paromano32
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1999 SL2
Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

This actually happened again to me about a week ago. I'm at school now, so I had to get it towed to a station where he said that he relearned the security system and charged me about $100. I checked out the back of my remote and it does have GM embossed on the back of it followed by what looks to be a serial number. In other posts, I've read that there are different settings for the security system which entail only lock and unlock, horn beep but no ignition disable, ignition disable and not another thing, etc. etc. When I set my security system following some of those posts, it did chirp 11 times and that supposedly meant that only lock and unlock would function without having ignition disable on. The mechanic that relearned my system said that if this happens again that the other solutions will be either replacing the ignition cylinder or the security module itself. I'm still baffled at this point.

...
Current Cars:
--99 Saturn SL2 Homecoming Edition
--00 Jeep Cherokee
--74 Dodge Challenger

Past Cars:
--98 Saturn SL2 (R.I.P. 6/18/09)
--99 Ford Taurus LX
--80 Dodge Power Wagon

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Old 09-16-2010, 12:51 PM   #14
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 99 SL2 won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Uhh, GM/Saturn's factory security system doesn't have any programming feature that allows 11 chirps to set.
From http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59192 :
Quote:
#of key cycles
1..active.. horn enabled..alarm enabled..ign kill enabled
...
11..no horn sound.. all parts of security system disabled.. Will just lock and unlock vehicle
...
...
3.Use a jumper wire to provide a path from the RKE system program circuit (cavity 8) to ground (cavity 4). Use an available Saturn lead kit and splice, to create a jumper wire as shown. Grounding the program circuit causes the horn chirp. Count the number of horn chirps. The number of chirps will correspond to the mode the RKE module is in.
...
Saturn Security System Mode Chart Number of IGN Cycles (Horn Chirps)Mode (Active/Passive)
Double Press LOCK button for horn chirp
Content Theft
Immobilization
...
11
Disabled
Disabled
Disabled
Disabled
If you've bypassed the relay, the RKE/Security is no longer a factor in the no-start. This may be one of those "things that go away by themselves can come back by themselves" Murphy's Law applications.

Are the radio, chime, dome light, etc. working now, or still no?

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