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Old 01-08-2017, 06:06 PM   #1
Jeeprz!
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1998 SC2
Default 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Hello Saturn peeps! it's been a while!
Just had an odd no start issue and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on it.
First I'm in Northern Ohio and it's been BurrrFrigginCold out single digets at night around here for a few weeks.
Anyway 2 days ago (Fri) my nephew used my car to jump his and left mine running as I was leaving anyway, I ran some errands and turned it off/on a couple of times with no issues.
I didn't use it on Sat, just went out (Sun) to start it and nothing, but lights, radio heater fan etc all kicked on normally.
So I turned everything off and tried several times, cycled the brake and shifter (auto) still nothing, no clicks, no slow turn over.
So I jumped it with another car, gave it a good 5 min and tried it, nothing.
Checked battery cables just to make sure, fine. gave it another 15 min with the jump car (2013 Rogue) nothing.
Tried the put it in Neutral start several times, nothing.
Sat for a moment trying to think of what it could be (starter, relays, etc.) tried it one more time before I planned on getting out and it started, sputtered for a few seconds (it normally fires right up) then went to a normal idle.
I mentioned my nephew because I wasn't out there when he jumped his car so I wasn't certain if he was careful with the cables and maybe could have shorted something like a relay - but I drove it after him and it started normal several times.
I'm letting it warm up now and will take it for a spin and bring it back home to turn it off and restart it before I go anywhere to make sure I hopefully don't get stranded with it.
It has a bit over 1/4 tank that I put in on Friday (it lives outside) and I haven't had an issue with it in the winter before but even if a fuel issue I think it would still turn over.
Any thoughts on what that could have been?

...
"Officer, turning on your lights and siren just because you lost the drag race is just poor sportsmanship."

"Turtle" the Green 1998 SC2 Auto DOHC 160k that doesn't burn any oil!

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Old 01-08-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
billr
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Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Well, let's jump down and cover the end question first. Nothing in the fuel tank can prevent it from cranking, forget about looking at that end of the car.

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Old 01-08-2017, 08:19 PM   #3
Jeeprz!
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Hey billr thanks for the feed back.
I was thinking the same thing, even IF it had fuel line freeze every other car I've ever had would still turn over, and I haven't heard of any FI cars even having the fuel line freeze issue since back in carb days.
But I know certain cars can have their quirks, so while pondering possibilities I was wondering if the pump happened to freeze (very unlikely anyway) if it would cut out the starter circuit.
So I went around the block, turned it off, let it sit a few minutes, fired right up. did that a few more times then ran to town about 20min away, was in the store for about 30min at least, fired right up when I came out.
The Battery is a Walmart Maxx that is only 6 months old I forgot to add.
So "maybe" it was the very first sign of a possible starter death in the future.
Only other thing is that the key cylinder tends to feel a bit "sticky" sometimes, have to jiggle the key to get it to come out but it's been like that since I bought the car years ago.
Do you think pulling the neg cable and hitting the key cylinder with some electrical contact cleaner might be a good way to clean it out? - not saying that was the issue but it just reminded me of it.
I always heard never put anything into one even dry graphite or lock lube as it will tend to gum it up even more.

...
"Officer, turning on your lights and siren just because you lost the drag race is just poor sportsmanship."

"Turtle" the Green 1998 SC2 Auto DOHC 160k that doesn't burn any oil!

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Old 01-08-2017, 08:55 PM   #4
guyg
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Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Video on cleaning by RichPin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iLPpXVElU0

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Old 01-08-2017, 10:03 PM   #5
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Thanks guyg!

...
"Officer, turning on your lights and siren just because you lost the drag race is just poor sportsmanship."

"Turtle" the Green 1998 SC2 Auto DOHC 160k that doesn't burn any oil!

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Old 01-08-2017, 10:20 PM   #6
Jim@HiTek
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Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Spent 3 winters in Fairbanks Alaska and the first 3 weeks or so at -20F were an eye opener for me. The car had multiple symptoms that changed from day to day. Following the advice of the old timers there, I put in a oil heater, a radiator heater, and a small $20 battery float charger from Walmart. Never had another problem starting.

If you are parked near a power source, and can bury your power cord in the snow so it's not an attractive theft item, you might consider installing at least the oil heater.

Of course in Alaska, the stores and business usually had free electrical outlets in the parking lots but if you get it started at home and get it warmed up by driving around, restarts shouldn't be too much of a problem.

At least this might give you some get round2it time.

...
2001 Saturn SL1 SOHC
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Having this happen right after the jumpers were used, and having it run poorly for a short while once you got it going again, both hint at things I could guess about. However, I would be tempted to just drive it a bit and see if it has settled down. If it starts and runs fine now, it will be very hard to find anything to "fix".

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Old 01-08-2017, 11:32 PM   #8
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Probably a low battery. A 8-10 hours on a good trickle charger will do wonders for it, also will save the alternator.

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Old 01-09-2017, 12:23 AM   #9
Jeeprz!
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

-Thanks for the reply Jim@HiTek
Even though I mentioned the current Ohio "cold" spell, it's nothing like Alaska, but thank you for your advice. I have family that live in Alaska and Wyoming and it's not that cold here, just seems cold here because it really has not been real cold around here in years.
When my uncle from Wyoming calls and says there's a moose in his front yard F'ing his truck - now THAT'S cold - lol, true story - totally destroyed his truck.

-billr
"Having this happen right after the jumpers were used, and having it run poorly for a short while once you got it going again, both hint at things I could guess about. However, I would be tempted to just drive it a bit and see if it has settled down. If it starts and runs fine now, it will be very hard to find anything to "fix".
That's why I mentioned it, my nephews are not known for paying attention to advice or what they are doing (or taking care of or giving back my tools I loan)
That was my thought and plan of action, even if I don't need to go anywhere tomorrow I plan to go fire it up just to see what it does.

-OldNuc
Good to hear from you again!
I'm out of work so I only drive it every few days now, and even though the batt is only 6mon old it's still a wallyworld batt.
If you recall I live in the country so any store I go to is usally 20 minutes min in any direction each way, which I thought would be ample time to recharge it (if all systems are go) and be good for an overnight start even in relative cold temps.

I shall see how it goes, I will test tomorrow, I can take it to a town and have the batt load tested. But maybe your right OldNuc, maybe it's not the temp itself but the sudden drop in temp that did it.
Just seemed weird that it didn't even try to turn over, but all the lights, fan, radio were normal, which made me think "panic" electric, relay, etc. issue.
That barn from my old pics is full of crap now so if I need to work on it I will have to do it in the driveway in the snow 8(

...
"Officer, turning on your lights and siren just because you lost the drag race is just poor sportsmanship."

"Turtle" the Green 1998 SC2 Auto DOHC 160k that doesn't burn any oil!

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Old 01-09-2017, 12:32 AM   #10
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Probably a low battery. A 8-10 hours on a good trickle charger will do wonders for it, also will save the alternator.
Hey OldNuc, can you expand on that?
I think I know where your going but it might be good for others to understand if they do a search.
- and if I don't know where your going please let me know.

- I'm thinking what you mean is if you have a weak/old/dying battery that instead of the battery starting the vehicle, and then the alternator recharging the battery while running said vehicle, the ****ty battery will keep pulling from the alternator while also running the vehicle putting stress on the alternator?

...
"Officer, turning on your lights and siren just because you lost the drag race is just poor sportsmanship."

"Turtle" the Green 1998 SC2 Auto DOHC 160k that doesn't burn any oil!

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Old 01-10-2017, 02:33 PM   #11
Jeeprz!
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Update -
Well I let it sit and didn't try to start it since I got back on Sunday night, just went out now (Tuesday @ 2:30 p.m.) and it fired right up on the first try.
Weird, I guess (and hope) that it was just a low battery?

...
"Officer, turning on your lights and siren just because you lost the drag race is just poor sportsmanship."

"Turtle" the Green 1998 SC2 Auto DOHC 160k that doesn't burn any oil!

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Old 01-10-2017, 03:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: 98 SC2 Auto weird no start issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeprz! View Post
Hello Saturn peeps! it's been a while!
Just had an odd no start issue and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on it. First I'm in Northern Ohio and it's been BurrrFrigginCold out single digets at night around here for a few weeks...I didn't use it on Sat, just went out (Sun) to start it and nothing, but lights, radio heater fan etc all kicked on normally. So I turned everything off and tried several times, cycled the brake and shifter (auto) still nothing, no clicks, no slow turn over. So I jumped it with another car, gave it a good 5 min and tried it, nothing. Checked battery cables just to make sure, fine. gave it another 15 min with the jump car (2013 Rogue) nothing. Tried the put it in Neutral start several times, nothing. Sat for a moment trying to think of what it could be (starter, relays, etc.) tried it one more time before I planned on getting out and it started, sputtered for a few seconds (it normally fires right up) then went to a normal idle. It has a bit over 1/4 tank that I put in on Friday (it lives outside) and I haven't had an issue with it in the winter before but even if a fuel issue I think it would still turn over.
Any thoughts on what that could have been?
Original starter?

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