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Old 12-04-2019, 04:45 PM   #141
98SaturnSL2Bett
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Maybe take your cousin?

I know that a junkyard is not the most appealing sounding place, but it really doesn't involve a lot of digging around. You'd probably be in and out in 10 minutes or less.

Follow the spark plug wires to the ICM. Here is a diagram, held in by 2 x bolts, 10mm head IIRC

https://parts.hendrickgmsouthpoint.c...M/IB96123.html

also, follow any wires from the engine to the body, transmission, etc., that are bolted directly to that part (e.g., not connected to a sensor or something). Those are grounds - unbolt the wire, scuff the area a bit with fine steel wool, and bolt the wire back to the ground area.

So, are you saying it's worth it for me to replace the new ICM I had my shop put in about a month or so ago to try to address whatever my issue is with a used part from a junkyard? Or, in the litany of posts, you didn't see I replaced it with a new ICM?

10 minutes you say? I hear stories from my Dad's friend who's gone along with my Dad and it has been a nearly all-day affair to search for things in the junkyard and get them taken out of the vehicles . . . .

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Old 12-05-2019, 03:20 PM   #142
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

I went back over the thread and have some suggestions. I noticed a lot of mentions of it starting after the battery is warmed (with a warmer or after recharging). A bit odd.

But if there is poor electrical contact normally between two parts, and they get warmed up and expand enough to make contact . . . then you have an intermittent situation that is fixed by warmth (or water getting in and making the electrical connection)

1) sometime when the engine is cool enough that you feel comfortable reaching in, make sure the battery bolts are not loose. They should be OK since Farm & Fleet did the installation. Next, grab the positive (red) cable with both your hands next to each other and flex the cable slightly. Should bend easily like soft wire does. If it feels "crunchy" at all under the plastic, replace it. Move your hands down a bit and repeat until you have checked the length of the cable.

2) Although you have new ICM installed, bet the mechanic didn't do anything beyond remove / replace. ICM is grounded through the mounting bolts. Use a brillo pad or similar to clean up any metal to metal contact surfaces you can reach, may need to buy a small narrow brush to clean the mounting holes if corroded. coat with thin coat of dielectric grease before reinstalling. I think wolfman has some pics in his gallery

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...-holes/cat/500

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...an-dis/cat/500

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...cat/500/page/1

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...-loops/cat/500

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...urface/cat/500

I think there are pics here, too, might be larger
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=140520

3) This is just to do if you get bored or frustrated. In front of your battery is a rectangular box with a knob on it. This is the UHJB (under-hood junction box). Unscrew the knob just enough to get the cover off. On the inside of the cover is a diagram showing what the clear, colored plastic fuses and relays (black or gray cube things) are for. (links are to pics, if needed) Look for anything that says, "PCM", "IGN", "FUEL". There should be a white plastic tweezer-like fuse puller in there. Swap out any PCM, IGN, FUEL fuse with another fuse of the same color. For relays, swap out with the same type of relay (look at the numbers / markings). Leave them swapped - if one of these is intermittently causing your problem, the no-start will be fixed and the problem will move somewhere else. Theres another fuse box at the passenger left foot panel.

I cant see pics at work but I think this thread has a pic of the UHJB
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho....php?p=2041204




Quote:
Originally Posted by 98SaturnSL2Bett View Post
So, are you saying it's worth it for me to replace the new ICM I had my shop put in about a month or so ago to try to address whatever my issue is with a used part from a junkyard? Or, in the litany of posts, you didn't see I replaced it with a new ICM?
There are a few parts where new, aftermarket units are hit and miss for quality - Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) comes to mind. I just put a brand new TPS on my car earlier this year, had to return it under warranty and install another one.

It's perfectly reasonable during troubleshooting to disregard a replaced as being the source of the issue. You had the problem before the part, you had the problem after the part, so it must not be that part, right? But if the new part is defective . . .

I've never had an ICM problem but I do think a few people have said that getting a good OEM ICM is better than aftermarket. The only problem is telling whether the junkyard OEM is good or not. That, plus the intermittent and apparently random issue you have, will make it tough to narrow down.

I would clean the bolts and surfaces as mentioned above before hitting a junkyard for another ICM. That might resolve it.

I think you confirmed you are getting fuel and tried starting fluid unsuccessfully on a recent no-start, and since the engine still cranks, that leaves air (which is almost never a problem) and spark. We're assuming good compression based on how it runs when it starts


Quote:
10 minutes you say? I hear stories from my Dad's friend who's gone along with my Dad and it has been a nearly all-day affair to search for things in the junkyard and get them taken out of the vehicles . . . .
I suppose it depends on the car, how well the yard is organized, and the part you are pulling. The one I use the most, I can find the general location of Saturns online before I go (the rows of cars are numbered).

The ICM is just a few bolts and you don't have to remove anything other than spark plug wires to get to them. Saturns are about as easy to work on as they come*. There are other cars where you need to spend 4 hours removing parts just to get to the part you want to work on.

*I don't usually think about it, but we have several female regular members who do a lot of their own work on their cars. It's fairly rare on car forums.

...
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11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 151k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 12-05-2019, 03:54 PM   #143
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1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Thread summary:

Quote:
Has 140K miles. I'm the original owner. The car's been well taken care of.

New parts (2019):
  • plugs, wires
  • CKP,
  • ECTS, connector
  • new Fleet Farm battery; new engine valve cover gasket & new PCV
  • Fuel filter (OEM, 2014) has 20k miles
  • New exhaust and muffler (2014)

My shop was able to repeatedly start it there after wiping off the "wet" new plugs. Mechanic said they were wet with fuel after us trying to start it at home

Dad checked the ohms for the crank shaft position sensor and some other things and they all tested out fine. Not throwing any codes for the sensor to pick up. Dad says the fuel pressure is good. He thinks it's not sparking or not getting the spark to be able to start.

Turns out the car has gotten unhappy with how I've been starting it for the last 10 years -- it just had enough of that turn the key 2/3 or 3/4 of the way and wait until you hear the fuel injectors have fired and the fuel gauge powers up.

In 10 or 15 minutes time, my neighbor had me try starting it a different way AND IT WORKED!! EVERY TIME!!! . . . So, the magical way to start my car now is to turn the key about 1/2 way, once, twice and then on the third time turn it all the way over to start it. Worked great last night. Kind of didn't want to start that way cold this morning, but I gave her a little gas and she fired right up!
I still cant get a clear sense if this is an fuel or spark issue.

Unknowns / not tried (with comments in italics):

1) Actual fuel pressure. Dad checked, presumed good. I'd like to see an actual number to rule this out - should be 45-51 PSI. I bolded the 45 because a few people mentioned 40 PSI, which is low. Particularly would want to see this when experiencing a no-start. Auto parts stores have fuel pressure testers in their free loan a tool programs, so this will cost $0 or buy one at Harbor Freight for bout $20. Easy to DIY - there is a dust cap covering what looks like a bike tire air valve (Shrader valve) - just screw the tester onto the port.

You can see the location in the pic in this thread http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=193907


2) compression test

3) clogged exhaust/cat - remove the front O2 sensor, take a leaf blower and point in rear exhaust, feel for air flow at the O2 hole. I note your list of maintenances shows muffler/exhaust twice but this almost certainly does not include the catalytic converter

4) Dinner with ZuluKono I don't think it will help anything, but it should be free for you and we can give the guy a little hope

5) Check the 5V power at the MAP or TP sensors, or at the EGR valve; whichever is easiest for you. The 5V should come up instantly at key-on. If it is lazy, taking several seconds, or doesn't even come up to a good "5V" (4.80 to 5.20), then the PCM is suspect. PCM failure is rare but does happen, and sometimes problems with PCM connections cause intermittent weird things. This would be a quick test with a DVM -digital volt-meter - also available at the loan a tool programs if you don't have one

6) test the new ICM

7) CKP sensor signal/circuit (not the sensor itself, but the wiring and connections.

8) Measure battery voltage while it is cranking Battery can test good with engine both off or on, but voltage drop during cranking can lead to electrical weirdness if there is any problem in the entire circuit causing a drop due to additional load from cranking

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 151k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 12-05-2019, 10:40 PM   #144
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Dinner hell!
She works in a liquor store,
so I can see this going straight to drinks.

To the OP:
After all this I'm still thinking fuel delivery.
I've been following this, but don't want to
go back through the whole thread.
What's the fuel pump history?
Is it one of the parts that you've replaced?
Do you like tequila?

...
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:17 PM   #145
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Bett, correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that you get the best starting after you put a battery charger on it. After 8 pages of chasing the problem(s), I don't recall did anyone already check what the battery voltage is when the car is not running?
If its not at least around 12.5vdc on any old volt meter (and like 14+ vdc when engine is running) then putting a charger on it and it starts, shows battery/alternator or a parasitic battery drain pulling it down. A simple test.

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Old 12-06-2019, 04:59 PM   #146
98SaturnSL2Bett
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1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I went back over the thread and have some suggestions. I noticed a lot of mentions of it starting after the battery is warmed (with a warmer or after recharging). A bit odd.

But if there is poor electrical contact normally between two parts, and they get warmed up and expand enough to make contact . . . then you have an intermittent situation that is fixed by warmth (or water getting in and making the electrical connection)

1) sometime when the engine is cool enough that you feel comfortable reaching in, make sure the battery bolts are not loose. They should be OK since Farm & Fleet did the installation. Next, grab the positive (red) cable with both your hands next to each other and flex the cable slightly. Should bend easily like soft wire does. If it feels "crunchy" at all under the plastic, replace it. Move your hands down a bit and repeat until you have checked the length of the cable.

2) Although you have new ICM installed, bet the mechanic didn't do anything beyond remove / replace. ICM is grounded through the mounting bolts. Use a brillo pad or similar to clean up any metal to metal contact surfaces you can reach, may need to buy a small narrow brush to clean the mounting holes if corroded. coat with thin coat of dielectric grease before reinstalling. I think wolfman has some pics in his gallery

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...-holes/cat/500

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...an-dis/cat/500

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...cat/500/page/1

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...-loops/cat/500

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...urface/cat/500

I think there are pics here, too, might be larger
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=140520

3) This is just to do if you get bored or frustrated. In front of your battery is a rectangular box with a knob on it. This is the UHJB (under-hood junction box). Unscrew the knob just enough to get the cover off. On the inside of the cover is a diagram showing what the clear, colored plastic fuses and relays (black or gray cube things) are for. (links are to pics, if needed) Look for anything that says, "PCM", "IGN", "FUEL". There should be a white plastic tweezer-like fuse puller in there. Swap out any PCM, IGN, FUEL fuse with another fuse of the same color. For relays, swap out with the same type of relay (look at the numbers / markings). Leave them swapped - if one of these is intermittently causing your problem, the no-start will be fixed and the problem will move somewhere else. Theres another fuse box at the passenger left foot panel.

I cant see pics at work but I think this thread has a pic of the UHJB
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho....php?p=2041204




There are a few parts where new, aftermarket units are hit and miss for quality - Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) comes to mind. I just put a brand new TPS on my car earlier this year, had to return it under warranty and install another one.

It's perfectly reasonable during troubleshooting to disregard a replaced as being the source of the issue. You had the problem before the part, you had the problem after the part, so it must not be that part, right? But if the new part is defective . . .

I've never had an ICM problem but I do think a few people have said that getting a good OEM ICM is better than aftermarket. The only problem is telling whether the junkyard OEM is good or not. That, plus the intermittent and apparently random issue you have, will make it tough to narrow down.

I would clean the bolts and surfaces as mentioned above before hitting a junkyard for another ICM. That might resolve it.

I think you confirmed you are getting fuel and tried starting fluid unsuccessfully on a recent no-start, and since the engine still cranks, that leaves air (which is almost never a problem) and spark. We're assuming good compression based on how it runs when it starts


I suppose it depends on the car, how well the yard is organized, and the part you are pulling. The one I use the most, I can find the general location of Saturns online before I go (the rows of cars are numbered).

The ICM is just a few bolts and you don't have to remove anything other than spark plug wires to get to them. Saturns are about as easy to work on as they come*. There are other cars where you need to spend 4 hours removing parts just to get to the part you want to work on.

*I don't usually think about it, but we have several female regular members who do a lot of their own work on their cars. It's fairly rare on car forums.

Thank YOU so much for this!!! I've printed out a couple of copies for me and my mechanics.

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Old 12-06-2019, 05:00 PM   #147
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1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Thread summary:



I still cant get a clear sense if this is an fuel or spark issue.

Unknowns / not tried (with comments in italics):

1) Actual fuel pressure. Dad checked, presumed good. I'd like to see an actual number to rule this out - should be 45-51 PSI. I bolded the 45 because a few people mentioned 40 PSI, which is low. Particularly would want to see this when experiencing a no-start. Auto parts stores have fuel pressure testers in their free loan a tool programs, so this will cost $0 or buy one at Harbor Freight for bout $20. Easy to DIY - there is a dust cap covering what looks like a bike tire air valve (Shrader valve) - just screw the tester onto the port.

You can see the location in the pic in this thread http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=193907


2) compression test

3) clogged exhaust/cat - remove the front O2 sensor, take a leaf blower and point in rear exhaust, feel for air flow at the O2 hole. I note your list of maintenances shows muffler/exhaust twice but this almost certainly does not include the catalytic converter

4) Dinner with ZuluKono I don't think it will help anything, but it should be free for you and we can give the guy a little hope

5) Check the 5V power at the MAP or TP sensors, or at the EGR valve; whichever is easiest for you. The 5V should come up instantly at key-on. If it is lazy, taking several seconds, or doesn't even come up to a good "5V" (4.80 to 5.20), then the PCM is suspect. PCM failure is rare but does happen, and sometimes problems with PCM connections cause intermittent weird things. This would be a quick test with a DVM -digital volt-meter - also available at the loan a tool programs if you don't have one

6) test the new ICM

7) CKP sensor signal/circuit (not the sensor itself, but the wiring and connections.

8) Measure battery voltage while it is cranking Battery can test good with engine both off or on, but voltage drop during cranking can lead to electrical weirdness if there is any problem in the entire circuit causing a drop due to additional load from cranking


Ditto for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 12-06-2019, 05:04 PM   #148
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1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZuluKono View Post
Dinner hell!
She works in a liquor store,
so I can see this going straight to drinks.

To the OP:
After all this I'm still thinking fuel delivery.
I've been following this, but don't want to
go back through the whole thread.
What's the fuel pump history?
Is it one of the parts that you've replaced?
Do you like tequila?

How did I go from being encouraged to enjoy a free dinner on you to me paying for the alcohol because of where I'm employed???

No to tequila. It's fine in a margarita, but I can't imagine drinking it straight.

Fuel pump history . . . I'll have to think about and get back to you.

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Old 12-06-2019, 05:06 PM   #149
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Bett, correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that you get the best starting after you put a battery charger on it. After 8 pages of chasing the problem(s), I don't recall did anyone already check what the battery voltage is when the car is not running?
If its not at least around 12.5vdc on any old volt meter (and like 14+ vdc when engine is running) then putting a charger on it and it starts, shows battery/alternator or a parasitic battery drain pulling it down. A simple test.

To be honest . . . I'm not sure and/or don't remember. I'll think harder or look at my notes and get back to you.

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Old 12-06-2019, 05:07 PM   #150
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you. Your attention and time and jokes are all a great help to me.

Much better to laugh out loud through all of this than cry and total up my bills

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Old 12-06-2019, 05:28 PM   #151
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Quote:
Originally Posted by 98SaturnSL2Bett View Post
How did I go from being encouraged to enjoy a free dinner on you to me paying for the alcohol because of where I'm employed??
this seems appropriate



or maybe this


...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 151k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 12-07-2019, 12:01 PM   #152
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Oh, I'll pay for the booze.
I just figured since you work at a liquor store
you might enjoy drinking it as much as I do.
I have a fling with Margarita every summer.

...
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Old 12-07-2019, 05:27 PM   #153
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Alright,

I have a minute here to update you all on a few things:

1) The battery warmer doesn't help the problem at all. I had a chance to try to use it the other day for 2 hours before I needed to try to start it and take it for the day. No difference.

2) There's no more guessing about whether it will start for the first start of the day. It will not. Unless I deplete the battery a little by leaving lights on and then use the 10 amp charger for 10 - 20 minutes. Then it will start.

3) As of last night, now I'm having problems with my car not starting after work. It sat for about 7 hours and wouldn't start. I've received special permission to park close to the building and had to do the lights/charging thing at work last night. Then it started.

4) I now have a new 72-month Fleet Farm battery in it as of Monday of this week (they very nicely replaced my less-than-one-year-old battery for me at no charge). No difference. Wasn't the battery. I know, I know, none of you thought it was anyway. It was a cheap/free thing to change to see if it made a difference for me.

5) I have an appointment with a tech guru that's connected to my regular auto shop for Tuesday/Wednesday 12/17 - 12/18. He charges $200 to come out to my shop and look at my car in their parking lot. They call him when they're stumped and, quote, "Can't tell the customer/client that they're crazy". So, don't really intend to DO anything more on my own with it between now and the guru. Hopefully he'll be able to find something (cheap) and all will be settled by Christmas/New Years.

Happy Holidays!

P.S. Even if a liquor-store working girl likes to drink, she still needs to eat

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Old 12-17-2019, 01:35 PM   #154
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

One mini-update for all of you:

My car no longer has an intermittent starting problem. It straight-out won't start at all. The last time I know for sure that I had no problems starting it and using it, was a week ago Saturday, December 7th to go to work and then a comedy show in the evening.

No matter what tricks I try now, it won't start. I'm AAA towing it to my original shop tomorrow morning for their techie-guru contact to come and look at it (and work on it?) in their parking lot for $200 for him to come out.

Hopefully I know something by tomorrow afternoon. Also hoping that the fact that it's not intermittently starting anymore makes it easier for him or anyone to figure out what's wrong and fix it.

Stay tuned, more soon . . . .

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Old 12-17-2019, 01:47 PM   #155
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Yeah, having it be a "hard failure" should help a lot. We eagerly await.

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Old 12-17-2019, 02:19 PM   #156
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
Yeah, having it be a "hard failure" should help a lot. We eagerly await.
+1

(unless the hard failure and intermittent failure are unrelated - knocks on wood)

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Old 12-20-2019, 09:35 PM   #157
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
+1

(unless the hard failure and intermittent failure are unrelated - knocks on wood)
Ok, not much of an update. My shop is closed now until Thursday the 26th. They're going to bring back the specialist guru tech guy then to look at it again.

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Old 12-20-2019, 10:29 PM   #158
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Well, you probably won't like this:

A competent shop should not have to call in a "specialist" to determine why an engine won't start.

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Old 12-27-2019, 09:46 PM   #159
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

Well, I got my car back this morning. So far it's working, but of course I have no faith yet after all that I've been through.

They replaced the crankshaft position sensor with a GM part. Cousin and I had put in an auto store version of it in October. They also cleaned the connectors, or something like that.

So, I'll have to go back and look over who wins the bottle of liquor bet on this. I'll give it a week or so too, to make sure it's actually fixed this time

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Old 12-28-2019, 11:59 AM   #160
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 won't start when parked on driveway incline

^^ this is easy, Waiex191 nailed it on the 1st response to your thread way back on October 16th (2-1/2 months ago) !!!!

Saying: "If there is no spark, I'd suspect the crank position sensor before the coils. Dying coils show up as a misfire.

The incline should have no effect."

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