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Old 08-16-2019, 12:17 AM   #1
Jalen
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2002 SL1
Default 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

Good evening! it's been a while since I've been through here with a problem.

My SL1 has been going strong for ages, but tonight, it finally died. Well, at least, it stalled out and would not restart.

Symptoms/Conditions:
Car had started ok, drove for about 20 minutes. Stalled in neighborhood. Turning key produced no sound. No click, no whir, nothing. Fiddled with it, then sat for like 20 minutes and boom, it fired up.

Got where I needed to go, took off again, and made it about four blocks before it stalled again. This time, no starter again. No sound, nothing. Lights didn't even dim like they usually do when cranking the engine.

Diagnosis so far:
I'm suspecting the clutch/starter interlock switch on the clutch pedal. I'd never noticed it contacting before but today, it started becoming quite noticeable in 'feel' and sound. I noticed no other electrical issues, no battery lights (except when in 'on' and not running), and I was successful in bump-starting it with a push from some friends who came to rescue me.

Plan of action:
My fear is that this switch may be just fine but the starter is dead. Tomorrow in the daylight, I'll be trying to test conductivity at the switch, as well as the starter once I get it up on stands.


Any tips/suggestions? Am I pointed in the right direction?

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Old 08-16-2019, 12:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

Unplug the switch, shove a regular ATC/ATO 30amp fuse in the wire connector (the S-Series mini fuse's might work but less reliably).
If it works fine with the fuse in place, the switch is borked...if it still doesn't work the switch is probably fine and something else is borked.

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Old 08-16-2019, 06:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

If it stalls when driving, that has nothing to do with the clutch interlock switch. I'd be looking at the major power connections. Negative battery ground to chassis and motor. Positive battery to UHJB and starter.

It would seem like the CPS is not suspect. If it died and the car stalled you could still crank it.

Fetch's fuse idea is cool. I made a little jumper with male spade disconnect terminals on the end.

...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 08-16-2019, 08:41 AM   #4
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2001 SL1
Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

The clutch safety switch only allows power from the ignition to activate the starter and wouldn't cut power to a running engine or other components. As Waiex191 suggests, I'd be looking at your battery cables for connectivity and condition. Also look at you ground points and other major power components.

...
2001 SL1 MT (433,500 km @ 06/2019)
1999 SL2 MT (277,300 km @ 06/2019)
2011 Suburban LT (128,250 km @ 06/2019)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

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Old 08-16-2019, 10:24 AM   #5
Jalen
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

I noted that I stalled it out. It was stalled out by bad clutching on my part. Once I got it bump started, it ran solid for 30 minutes without so much as a dip once I had my wits more about me and I was able to get home. Starter still won't engage.

Last edited by Jalen; 08-16-2019 at 10:24 AM.. Reason: More detail

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Old 08-16-2019, 10:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalen View Post
I noted that I stalled it out. It was stalled out by bad clutching on my part. Once I got it bump started, it ran solid for 30 minutes without so much as a dip once I had my wits more about me and I was able to get home. Starter still won't engage.
Yes that changes things for sure. Bypass the clutch safety switch by unplugging it and inserting a jumper wire in the socket as mentioned. If the starter engages then this is likely your problem. Be mindful that your car will now start while in gear; no need to press the clutch to start so make sure you are in neutral.

If the CSS test is inconclusive then proceed to testing the starter itself. Is there power to the purple wire (from ignition when starting)? Is there continuous power from the battery? Sometimes you can tap on the starter while someone is turning the key and that will be enough to get a couple more starts out of the starter. If all wiring and circuits prove good then it's likely the starter itself.

The recommended and most economical starter is from DB Electrical >> https://www.dbelectrical.com/starters/automotive/. You can also buy DB Electrical Starters on Amazon.

Sometimes a battery will have a bad cell and will not be sufficient to power the starter however other electrical will look fine. I've experienced this recently with a 10 month old battery. This could be a possibility too.

...
2001 SL1 MT (433,500 km @ 06/2019)
1999 SL2 MT (277,300 km @ 06/2019)
2011 Suburban LT (128,250 km @ 06/2019)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

Last edited by trottida; 08-16-2019 at 10:42 AM..

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Old 08-16-2019, 10:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

Starters are notorious for failing in the S Series. Thank God for manual transmissions. I love my DB Electric starter. Less than $40 shipped and more reliable than ones I've bought for way more.

...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 08-16-2019, 11:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
Starters are notorious for failing in the S Series. Thank God for manual transmissions. I love my DB Electric starter. Less than $40 shipped and more reliable than ones I've bought for way more.
I just had one installed in the 01 SL1 my daughter drives. She was working away from home this summer so I had to have one shipped to a local shop to be installed. I ordered from Amazon and they missed the deliver by date and the shipment seemed to be in courier purgatory; they sent a second one no charge and they both arrived a day apart. They haven't asked for the second one back yet so it looks like I got a 2 for 1 deal.

My daughter was giddy to learn from her coworkers that you can push start a MT vehicle. She called me thinking I didn't know this was possible. I guess I overlooked that lesson when teaching her. It's been about 30+ years since I've had a starter fail me. I've been driving S Series for 27 years now; it's never happened to me in an S Series.

...
2001 SL1 MT (433,500 km @ 06/2019)
1999 SL2 MT (277,300 km @ 06/2019)
2011 Suburban LT (128,250 km @ 06/2019)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

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Old 08-26-2019, 11:14 AM   #9
Jalen
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

It wasn't the switch. Switch ended up testing fine. Tested the S pin for conductivity, swapped starter. See below:

Unfortunately, my experience with that brand of starters so far has been bad. I got one last week, installed it... starter spins, no engagement with the engine. Pulled it out, ordered a replacement... and same thing. Starter spun, no engagement, then promptly stopped spinning at all. Checked, the teeth on the flywheel look fine.

I have power to the S(purple) pin and wire, checked it with a test-light. So now, two starters with no solenoid movement or engagement with the flywheel.

I have no idea where to go now with this.

Last edited by Jalen; 08-26-2019 at 11:15 AM.. Reason: More info

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Old 08-26-2019, 12:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

Read post#3, second sentence about checking main power, battery positive and grounds. There are two grounds, battery to chassis stud and chassis to engine block. The 'S' wire is fine as this powers the starter solenoid with the small purple wire. Battery positive and engine ground supply power to the starter motor.

Please, if you can, mention the starters by brand name to warn others if they are truly faulty. The dbelectric starter is well received by members here but be sure main power cables are clean and free of corrosion.

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Old 08-26-2019, 02:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalen View Post
It wasn't the switch. Switch ended up testing fine. Tested the S pin for conductivity, swapped starter. See below:

Unfortunately, my experience with that brand of starters so far has been bad. I got one last week, installed it... starter spins, no engagement with the engine. Pulled it out, ordered a replacement... and same thing. Starter spun, no engagement, then promptly stopped spinning at all. Checked, the teeth on the flywheel look fine.

I have power to the S(purple) pin and wire, checked it with a test-light. So now, two starters with no solenoid movement or engagement with the flywheel.

I have no idea where to go now with this.
2 identical failure with 2 identical starters is indicative of a problem that is not associated with the starter. As a matter of fact that is almost an incredible situation.

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Old 08-26-2019, 03:31 PM   #12
Jalen
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

That's true, but the second starter motor dying after litterally three start attempts?

Also, what no one seems to be understanding is that the starter motor is spinning. Well, one of the new ones. Both are DB Electric. The old one is utterly dead.

The gears are not engaging. Which means the solenoid is not engaging. on two starters. That have power to the S pin and both will spin the cog on the end of the extension. Neither will extend the solenoid and engage with the flywheel. Yes this is indicative of a system problem, but then why do I have power to the S pin and it's not engaging the solenoid, only the motor?

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Old 08-26-2019, 04:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

What starter did you order by number and how are you wiring it up?

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Old 08-26-2019, 04:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

This is the terminal view of the original equipment starter which is similar.

This post thread and specific post: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...63&postcount=6

This is a picture of the connections on the solenoid. The only way to cause the starter motor to turn without energizing the solenoid is to apply power to the large stud at the lower part of this picture.

If the purple wire terminal makes contact with the bottom stud or the attached connector the solenoid is bypassed and the starter will spin.

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Old 08-26-2019, 04:48 PM   #15
Jalen
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Default Re: 2002 SL1 5spd 237k - no start, power ok

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
This is the terminal view of the original equipment starter which is similar.

This post thread and specific post: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...63&postcount=6

This is a picture of the connections on the solenoid. The only way to cause the starter motor to turn without energizing the solenoid is to apply power to the large stud at the lower part of this picture.

If the purple wire terminal makes contact with the bottom stud or the attached connector the solenoid is bypassed and the starter will spin.

This is the exact kind of information was hoping to find. Thank you!

It gives me a place to go from here on testing the wiring.

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