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Old 09-28-2019, 03:06 PM   #21
fdryer
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Aura won't crank

By testing battery power and main power cables using a direct jumper across the starter terminals to see and hear the starter engage and attempt too starry the engine, verifies several things all at once and eliminates half the problems. What you're left with is either an electronic or wiring issue. Another fact that makes troubleshooting difficult is your Aura probably having electronic starting incorporated into the security system. Both interact with each other for anti theft protection. Electronic starting is relatively new but uses low voltage signals to power the starting circuit. Conventional starting circuits uses 12v from the ignition switch to send 12v to the starter solenoid to power the starter. Electronic starting uses 5v signals from the ignition switch sent to either the bcm or ecm. As part of security, the bcm must recognize either the rfid key or turning the ignition switch as correct before sending a signal to the ecm. This go/no go signal is sent from bcm to ecm. The ecm receiving a go signal sends 12v to a start relay that sends 12v to power the starter. If security does not recognize a proper rfid key or someone jimmying the ignition switch, the bcm identifies a theft and sends a disable signal to the ecm. The ecm receiving this disable signal halts startup. Factory security is more sophisticated than many presume. This is proven by lower thefts with better factory security systems. GM uses several methods of theft deterrent systems, starting with disabling injectors then moving on to disabling starting circuits. Some GM systems may use a combination of everything to keep the vehicle from being driven away. The ever changing landscape of auto theft has led to at least two Teslas stolen without damage, one videoed in front of the owners home as it was driven away by two thieves.......

Check your security system and your owner's manual for normal operation of security. The blinking or flashing security indicator are tell tale indications of what's going on with security. In one sense, idiot lights are an appropriate term as they do tell the idiot what's going on without a screen displaying error codes or cryptic words pointing to a problem. Idiot lights; brake, abs, oil, battery, security, high beam, coolant level, etc..

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Old 09-29-2019, 03:32 PM   #22
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

There are a few things that will stop the computer from cranking the engine:
The Pass-key immobilizer system is activated.
Bad camshaft or crankshaft sensor.
The transmission is or the car thinks it is in gear.
Faulty ignition switch or circuitry.
At this point you really need to read the codes to see if any are being reported and let us know what they are.
Since you mentioned that it ran rough and died, I'm inclined to think there is a failed cam or crank sensor.
So far you have proved the starter and battery are capable of proper operation.
If you haven't, you can try to switch the relay you jumped with another one that looks like it in the fuse box.
Try to start...If success, the relay was bad.
If no success...Put the car in neutral with your foot on the brake...try to start.
If success...the PNP (Park Neutral Position) switch on the transmission is faulty or in need of adjusting.
...Read the codes...
Just another thought. Check the immobilizer fuse. It's in the fuse box inside the car, 2 above the IGN Sensor fuse.

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Old 09-29-2019, 03:36 PM   #23
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Here is a link to the owners manual, in case you don't have one...
https://my.gm.com/content/dam/gmowne...ura_owners.pdf

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Old 09-29-2019, 04:10 PM   #24
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Correction to above comment...
A bad Cam sensor is likely to stop the fuel injectors from working.
The Crank sensor might cause a no crank condition.

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Old 10-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #25
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Hello again,
I took this long to do further diagnosis, still no progress.

I know all of these are in good working condition:
- Fuses and relays
- Battery
- Starter
- Ignition Switch
- All ground wires
- No security lights
- No codes

There is a recall on the BCM connector and I figured I would check it since it can cause all kinds of electrical problems. I removed it and found that the previous owner had it fixed by applying the dielectric lubricant. I removed all connectors, no presence of corrosion.

I tied to start it in neutral, still nothing.

I think I am only left with either BCM, ECU or could it be the crankshaft sensor? Again, when I try to start it, everything goes dark in the dash and the only thing I hear is the click from the relay in the BCM.

Any thoughts?

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Old 10-15-2019, 03:28 PM   #26
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

A bad crank sensor would normally throw a code.
I can't help but think that the ECM thinks the car is in gear rather than park or neutral. This could be due to bad wiring or a defective, maladjusted PNP switch or a bad or defective shifter cable.
I'll run through a few other things to check.
Try this in hopes of isolating a little further. With the key in the ON position, foot on brake, Move the gear selector through the gears. As far as I remember the doors should lock in gears, unlock in park and neutral. (My Aura is not here right now so I can't confirm) If nothing happens there is something wrong around the PNP range selector.
Let's check it mechanically first:
The PNP switch is below the coolant reservoir on top of the transmission.
You'll see an electrical connector and the shifter cable attached to it (Make sure it's firmly attached) Have someone move the gear selector to make sure everything looks like its moving properly. Note the direction it moves when placed into park, give it a push a little further in case it's not fully engaging and try to start. If it starts there is an adjustment problem or the shifter cable stretched and needs to be re-adjusted or it's broken. There is a shifter cable recall Bulletin No.14152B.
https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/201...4V224-0659.pdf

Here is a video of a G6 with a broken shifter cable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lwcn3d3oATY

The no crank problem I had was caused by the ground wires for the PNP range selector switch being broken. To look at the ground. Follow the black ground wire from the battery down to the side of the engine block/transmission. There should be the battery ground lug and a second lug on the stud with 7 wires bonded to it. You'll have to move the air intake tube from the throttle body to get to it. In my case 2 of them were broken making the ECM think the car was in gear because there was no path to ground.
In the attached pic, you can see the circuit diagram for the 2 halves of the PNP switch. The circuit in the red circle is the neutral safety switch portion that tells the ECU whether the transmission selector is in park, neutral or in gear to determine if the engine is allowed to crank. A jumper wire from connector pin 12 to any ground will completely bypass the neutral safety portion of the switch. A jumper from pin 1 to ground will provide the normal ground if it is broken. Before trying to start with a jumper, put the gear selector in park, the parking break on and block the back wheels on both the front and back of the wheels, in case the transmission is really in gear. Be ready to shut it off if it lurches in either direction. If the engine cranks and starts with pin 12 grounded but not with pin 1 grounded, the PNP range selector is likely broken electrically.
The rest of the circuit tells the Transmission control module which gear the selector is in. The TCM tells the BCM which gear the selector is in.
Sorry this is long winded but hopefully it helps narrow things down.
Attached Images
File Type: png Aura PNP switch.png (75.8 KB, 1 views)

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Old 10-15-2019, 04:37 PM   #27
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

rochvids, in addition to a full press assistance from imadicted2u, there's a compelling issue that doesn't make sense. When you state "Again, when I try to start it, everything goes dark in the dash and the only thing I hear is the click from the relay in the BCM.", power is lost to electronics. Excluding ancillary electronics (airbags, OnStar, abs/tc/esc, etc), the ecm and bcm (including the tcm if used in Auras) are the primary electronics needed during starting and engine running. Since the bcm and ecm are intertwined due to factory security programs, both must have power when ignition is turned ON.

In everyday use, ignition is turned on to power all electronics (ecm, bcm, tcm, abd/tc/esc, airbags, etc. The tell tale indications of electronics turning on is the entire instrument panel lighting up then turn off, leaving a few indicators on (seat belt, oil, battery, etc). All indicators cycling on then off is the lamp test phase indicating the individual electronic modules are powering up and performing their own power up self tests. The bcm drives most of the indicators with the airbag and abs driving their own indicators. Once this lamp test cycle completes (less than a few seconds) and security is OFF, starting should complete with an engine startup. When you see the instrument panel indicators turn off during starting, this tells me there's a major power issue going on, disabling the bcm and ecm. Something somewhere in the power distribution circuit is disrupting power at the moment the ignition switch is turned to the START position.

Going on your descriptions, some issues to consider.

1-The battery is faulty when more power is needed to supply amperage for the starter. A partially or worn out battery will die the moment the starter is used since the starter draws anywhere from 50-150+ amps of current. All other electrical/electronic components nevr draw more than 10-15 amps when ignition is turned ON. Starting draws the most current from a battery and strains the battery cables supplying current to the starter. Battery voltage drops to as low as 10 volts during starter use but electronics will continue to run. If you are clear about lights turning of and dead silence when attempting to start, Battery and connections are of prime concern. Again, if I didn't suggest it before, is the battery in good condition or not? Any doubts should be eliminated by one of several methods; heavy duty jumper cables with a good known battery to supplement your car battery during starting, removing the battery and bringing it to your favorite auto store selling car batteries for in-store testing to ensure the battery is good, needs a charge or replacement. When power drops out during starting, the battery and cables are strained and drawing power away from electronics. Examples are the headlights dimming if turned on and starting. ELectronics will still run but drop out if battery voltage drops. Some info states voltage below 9v in insufficient for electronics and gracefully shut down on their own. Indicator lights in the instrument panel are clues to this.

The three main power connections from the battery are the red positive cable to engine fuse panel and interior fuse panel(s) and starter, one negative cable from battery to a nearby chassis stud and one negative cable from chassis stud to engine block. All other electrical connections branch off these main power connections. If you are sure main power is fine and not a battery or main power wiring, you may have to examine individual power and ground connections to the ecm and bcm........ Remember, the bcm drives most of the instrument panel indicators.

Either this problem is with main power or wiring (and possibly electronic module failure). A list of things to check requires a specific order of priorities to check before moving on to complicated (and possible) wiring and/or electronic issues. The KISS principle applies here to keep it as simple as possible before presuming (worse case) electronics failure where GM may have to determine the problem if at home diy troubleshooting fails. In my mind, keeping it simple is using a second battery to see if things still goes dark when starting.........to rule out battery failure.

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Old 10-15-2019, 04:47 PM   #28
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Here is the engine start program functionality:
The ignition switch is wired to the BCM. The Park Neutral Position switch is wired to the ECM.
The starter crank signal is generated by the BCM when the ignition switch is turned to start.
The crank signal is sent from the BCM to the ECM as a digital communications data signal. (So you need a scanner to read these signals)
As long as the ECM receives the crank signal from the BCM and the PNP switch data in the ECM indicates "Not in Gear" (Neutral or Park), the crank signal is applied to the starter relay and the starter cranks the engine.

You may have done this but worth going over again:
In the instrument panel fuse block:
Check fuses for continuity:
RUN/CRANK Cruise Control Switch, Passenger Airbag Status Indicator
CLUSTER/THEFT Instrument Panel Cluster,Theft Deterrent System
IGN SENSOR Ignition Switch

in the engine compartment fuse block,
Check fuses for continuity:
20 Body Control Module 1
21 Body Control Module Run/Crank
25 Body Control Module 2
26 Starter
try swapping relays:
31 Starter with 28 Cooling Fan 1
32 Run/Crank, Ignition with 30 Cooling Fan 2

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Old 10-15-2019, 04:57 PM   #29
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Check this fuse in the engine compartment fuse block too:
3 Engine Control Module IGN 1

When my car gets home, I'll disconnect the starter relay to simulate the problem and try to crank to see what the instrument cluster does. I'll report back on that later.

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Old 10-15-2019, 05:16 PM   #30
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Thank you all for the great info, I really appreciate you taking time to write such detailed responses. I am going to read what you posted again, take notes and head home later tonight or tomorrow, after I get out of work, and continue testing. I will report back with findings and updates.

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Old 10-15-2019, 05:24 PM   #31
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

SaturnFans helping SaturnFans is what the forums are all about...
Here is some info on the PassLock systems including key relearn procedure.
From what I gather the engine should still crank when the system is triggered. So I think you can rule that out.
https://repairpal.com/gm-passlock-anti-theft-systems

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Old 10-15-2019, 06:18 PM   #32
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Aura doesn’t have passlock. It uses an immobilizer. If you try start it with an unknown key it won’t turn over.

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Old 10-15-2019, 06:34 PM   #33
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by onefunkar View Post
Aura doesn’t have passlock. It uses an immobilizer. If you try start it with an unknown key it won’t turn over.
You're right, It has PASS-Key® III+ Electronic Immobilizer
I've never had a situation with my Aura to know if the engine doesn't crank when the system is tripped. The manual just says it won't start. I guess it's back on the table @rochvids.
Here's the info I can find on it.
http://www.cheviguide.com/cinfo-1239.html

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Old 10-15-2019, 07:15 PM   #34
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Ok, I removed the starter relay to simulate @rochvids no crank problem.
When key is turned to start...instrument cluster goes dark until key is released.
It didn't throw any codes.
Here is a short video:
https://i.imgur.com/k3GYj8S.mp4
I also confirmed that, with the key on, when the gear selector is moved from Park to Reverse that the doors lock. They remain locked through all the gears until the selector is returned to Park. However I'm not sure if that's controlled from the TCM connected side of the PNP range selector or the ECM connected side.
I also noted that my Aura will start in Park and Neutral, as expected.

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Old 10-15-2019, 07:51 PM   #35
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

My bad as I'm trying to keep up with changes in security. PassKey III is similar to Passlock in that both use proprietary software to disable one or more EFI functions to prevent common thieves from driving the car away. Ions with Passlock disable the starter, S and L series from model year 2000+ with Passlock disable injector operation (starter still runs but without injectors the engine will never startup). My guess is PassKey III disables starter and/or injectors for the same protection.

imaddictded2u, I think you mean bcm, body control module. The bcm does almost everything else unrelated to the ecm's role to run the EFI system for the engine, including emissions control. The airbag and abs/tc/esc have their own electronic modules for completely separate controls All modules send error codes to the bcm for transfer to the OBD II port. As I mentioned previously, the bcm runs almost everything except abs and airbags; Passlock or PassKey III security, door locking/unlocking, remote keyfob, runs most of the instrument panel lights, all interior/exterior lighting, gateway for all error codes generated from every module including itself, outputting thru the OBD II port and provides software/firmware updating when GM uses their scantool ro communicate to every module. GMs scantool is the only tool for diagnostics, troubleshooting, testing sensors, programming remotes, communicate to every module. Other aftermarket scantools can have some or many of the same features as GMs scantool but still requires accessing GMs website for online support (subscription fee) to utilize all of GMs support.

The transmission control module (TCM) controls the electronically controlled xmission.

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Old 10-15-2019, 08:47 PM   #36
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
My bad as I'm trying to keep up with changes in security. PassKey III is similar to Passlock in that both use proprietary software to disable one or more EFI functions to prevent common thieves from driving the car away. Ions with Passlock disable the starter, S and L series from model year 2000+ with Passlock disable injector operation (starter still runs but without injectors the engine will never startup). My guess is PassKey III disables starter and/or injectors for the same protection.

imaddictded2u, I think you mean bcm, body control module. The bcm does almost everything else unrelated to the ecm's role to run the EFI system for the engine, including emissions control. The airbag and abs/tc/esc have their own electronic modules for completely separate controls All modules send error codes to the bcm for transfer to the OBD II port. As I mentioned previously, the bcm runs almost everything except abs and airbags; Passlock or PassKey III security, door locking/unlocking, remote keyfob, runs most of the instrument panel lights, all interior/exterior lighting, gateway for all error codes generated from every module including itself, outputting thru the OBD II port and provides software/firmware updating when GM uses their scantool ro communicate to every module. GMs scantool is the only tool for diagnostics, troubleshooting, testing sensors, programming remotes, communicate to every module. Other aftermarket scantools can have some or many of the same features as GMs scantool but still requires accessing GMs website for online support (subscription fee) to utilize all of GMs support.

The transmission control module (TCM) controls the electronically controlled xmission.
Not sure what you are referring to about BCM? Here is the schematic...for the Start curcuit and it's interconnections to the BCM and ECM
https://i.imgur.com/uKsTM5x.jpg
Here is the schematic of the PNP range selector switch and its interconnects with the TCM and ECM.
https://i.imgur.com/OWYbHMC.jpg
I find it odd is that none of the service info for troubleshooting a no crank mentions anything about the immobilizer as one of the possible causes but a crank/no start does list the immobilizer cutting off the injectors as a potential cause. This is why I question whether the immobilizer stops cranking. I'll see if I can get confirmation.
My $89.95 Launch EasyDiag scantool can read, graph and create reports for every parameter, every code, from every module in every OBDII GM vehicle. I also purchased the software module for $39.95 to do the same for all Honda vehicles and software modules are available for almost every make and model on the planet. It's an app loaded on my phone and uses a bluetooth dongle plugged in to the OBDII port for a wireless connection. All software and modules are updated for free every time the software is opened. It doesn't do all the TechII tool does but it's more than enough for a DIY tool.

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Old 10-15-2019, 10:20 PM   #37
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Aura won't crank

I guessed and your wiring schematic of the ecm start sequence verifies it as a software engine startup as opposed to conventional startup directly from the ignition switch sending 12v directly to the starter solenoid to get starter operation. I describe this as electronic starting. Push button start with electronics with our without the push button. The START relay is controlled by the ecm to enable actual starting. The ecm communicates With the bcm as part of security with PassKey unless security is solely handled by the ecm. If security is handled by the bcm first to recognize the rfid key, a go signal is sent from bcm to ecm, the ecm will send a low current start signal to the START relay to begin the starting sequence. With electronic starting, this circuit can be disabled as part of PassKey III security. You'd have to find out, if you have access to service manuals. Ions do the same, disabling the starting circuit as part of security.

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Old 10-16-2019, 08:49 AM   #38
imaddicted2u
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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2008 AURA XE
Default Re: Aura won't crank

One day my curiosity will get the best of me and I'm going to break something, but not today...lol
I wrapped my spare key in tinfoil but the Pass-key still read it, car would still start. I added a piece of tinfoil flat over the ring where the rfid antenna is and it couldn't read the key, tripping the immobilizer.
I can confirm that the security light comes on and the engine does not crank, just as @onefunkar and @fdryer had said.
When the key is turned to start position, the lights still all go out...except for the security light and the check engine light, the CEL goes out when the engine is started successfully, provided there is no active CEL codes. As does the security light a few seconds after a successful start.
So, @rochvids if the security light in not lit when the engine should be cranking, the no crank issue is not likely caused by the immobilizer.
Here is a short video:
https://i.imgur.com/iEAu0k3.mp4

...
2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)

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