SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums - webmail


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-20-2016, 01:23 AM   #1
JustinWB
Junior Member
JustinWB is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Brick, NJ
Posts: 10

1998 SL2
Dizzy SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

Hello,

Last week I stalled out after about one minute of drive on my way home from work. I immediately thought the belt.. not the belt. Tried starting it, belts barely moved.. then just clicking. Finally the key got stuck and wouldn't come out. On top of that, the steering wheel would not lock into place and I couldn't shift in neutral . The next day I was able to get the key out but still, just clicking from what I believe is the starter. Had to tow it home.

At home the key got stuck again, checked battery and it's fine. Grounds seem fine to me. Obviously jumping it didn't work. The key turns fine now as long as I don't try it more than three times or so before pulling it out. Almost got it all the way on but stalled out before it was idle at all. Just clicking when trying to turn over.
I've seen a few people have a similar issue. Not sure if it's the ignition, starter, another electrical short, maybe even the starter relay.

Can someone please help?? I need the car fixed asap. It's Christmas soon and I need it to run but don't have the money to keep buying part after part to try and see what it might or might not be. I
JustinWB is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 12-20-2016, 10:18 AM   #2
BV22
Master Member
BV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of lightBV22 is a glorious beacon of light
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,171

2002 SC1
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

How did you determine that the battery is good? If you can get a ride, pull the battery and take it to a parts store to be load tested.

Remove, clean and reinstall the battery terminals. There are two major ground points, one on the drivers side of the engine, and one under the air filter box. Clean these ground points.
...
BV22
2002 SC1 5M
RIP Sept 1 2018
315,344 miles
BV22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2016, 12:07 PM   #3
Highmile
Senior Member
Highmile will become famous soon enoughHighmile will become famous soon enough
 
Highmile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 1,227

1995 SL1
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

I'll second the pull the battery and have it tested. If it tests good then good chance you may have a bad starter.

Starter won't explain why it stalled though. If old starter tests good then I'd check to see if the engine is seized.

Highmile
'95 SL1 618k and counting
Highmile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2016, 12:42 PM   #4
billr
Master Member
billr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to behold
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,375
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

When you turn and hold the key to "start" do you get a single click, or repeated click-click-click-click... ?
billr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2016, 02:19 PM   #5
marra019
New Member
marra019 has a spectacular aura aboutmarra019 has a spectacular aura aboutmarra019 has a spectacular aura about
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 7
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

If the battery tests good and you suspect it is a bad starter you may be able to test it by hitting the starter with a hammer. I did this and you could hear the tension in the starter release and the car was able to start another couple times. If this does work you obviously want to replace the starter as soon as possible. This isn't always a telltale sign that the starter is bad though. If the starter is completely done this wont work at all but I've seen this work several times. Still doesn't explain stalling though..
marra019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2016, 12:05 AM   #6
JustinWB
Junior Member
JustinWB is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Brick, NJ
Posts: 10

1998 SL2
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

I used a multimeter to test the battery and the ground wires.
JustinWB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2016, 12:08 AM   #7
JustinWB
Junior Member
JustinWB is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Brick, NJ
Posts: 10

1998 SL2
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

So the clicking question has a funny answer.. days ago it was just one click. Sat for two days... Now it's repeated clicking. I'm very confused. Don't think engine is seized.. only 85,000 miles and the belts have tried turning over a few times since this happened. A friend's husband who is a mechanic believes it may be the ignition switch itself. That I need a new key and ignition.
JustinWB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2016, 12:13 AM   #8
JustinWB
Junior Member
JustinWB is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Brick, NJ
Posts: 10

1998 SL2
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

Also.. after getting home the positive connection was a bit loose. I noticed the difference going sound when I left my door open (while key was stuck) and when I was checking the connections the dinging stopped. Lights also flickered. It was about 10 degrees that night.. is the weather a possible culprit of something else going wrong?
JustinWB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2016, 03:50 AM   #9
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 44,062
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

1-Unless you're experienced in troubleshooting main power problems, using a multimeter can be misleading. Just because a battery measures 12 volts doesn't mean it has the cold cranking capacity to power a starter. Either bring the battery to a store selling car batteries for testing or try a boost from another car battery. Finding a loose battery cable may be the difference between a dead/discharged battery or a good one that needs snugged connections, clean and free of corrosion.

2-Freezing temperatures creates problems overlooked/ignored in warm summer weather. Since cold temperatures shrink, contract things, a good battery and/or slightly loose battery connection begins to exhibit problems in cold temps. Batteries approaching their end of life tends to fail in cold weather - battery capacity to retain power plummets as temps drop. This requires some interest in maintaining a car over the summer, anticipating problems when cold weather comes around.

One way to gauge battery life, its warranty. Most batteries last until their warranty runs out then promptly die. Do you know how old the battery is and its warranty? If you don't, have it tested by any auto store selling car batteries. This eliminates unfamiliarity with multimeter use and interpreting voltages with car batteries. Next are the two main power connections between battery and car.

Examine both battery cables for powdery residue - dried battery acid as vented batteries evaporate battery acid, drying as a power on battery terminals. When most, acid leaches into cables and eats copper, reducing mechanical connections to prevent high power delivery of current during starter use. Those two cables provide 50-150 amps of current to starters. Any loose or corroded battery cable simply prevents power from being distributed when needed. Starting current draws the most power from a battery, counting on battery and battery cables.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2016, 01:01 PM   #10
billr
Master Member
billr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to behold
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,375
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

If there is any question of the engine being seized, turn it by hand and let's get that out of the way. If it is a 5-spd, just jack up one front wheel and turn that with the trans in 5th. I think this is an auto trans though, so you may have to remove the right front wheel and plastic splash-guard to turn the big screw on the end of the crank.

That repeated clicking is an important clue, that's why I asked for clarification.

A single click often means a bad starter solenoid. However, your repeated clicking is usually either a bad power connection (cable from battery to starter, or ground cable from battery to engine), or a bad connection in the wiring sending the "start" signal to the starter. That wire is what is often called the "purple wire" here.

The definitive tests will require getting to the starter terminals with the voltmeter. The easy (only?) way to do that is to get under the car. Let me know if you want detailed instructions on how to test voltages down there. Yes, you may need to do several measurements, not just the PPL wire to chassis ground...
billr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2016, 01:17 PM   #11
fetchitfido
Super Member
fetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant future
 
fetchitfido's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 14,548
 

2001 SC2
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinWB View Post
Also.. after getting home the positive connection was a bit loose. I noticed the difference going sound when I left my door open (while key was stuck) and when I was checking the connections the dinging stopped. Lights also flickered. It was about 10 degrees that night.. is the weather a possible culprit of something else going wrong?
Remove both battery cables, clean up with a wire brush, reinstall. Charge battery at 2amp overnight. Vroom vroom in the morning or the starter is probably dead.
fetchitfido is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 02:05 PM   #12
JustinWB
Junior Member
JustinWB is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Brick, NJ
Posts: 10

1998 SL2
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

Just in case. I did try jump starting the car a couple times and nothing.
JustinWB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 04:26 PM   #13
underthehood
Master Member
underthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the rough
 
underthehood's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rockford IL area
Posts: 2,396

1999 SL2
2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

If that battery is over 3 years or even over 2, and it's an Interstate brand or Walmart or Die Hard replace it. They have a tendency to have the internal connection fail on either the + or - post(s) and the battery will show fully charged and near 13 volts on a multimeter but cannot supply the current to run the starter.
Remember K.I.S.S is the rule. These are pretty reliable cars so you have a 95+% chance of it being a battery or possible starter issue. Don't get so wrapped up into esoteric troubleshooting and lose sight of the REAL trouble
...
2006 Toyota Highlander (rare 4 cyl AWD)
2001 Toyota Highlander V6 AWD creampuff
Daughter got her own! 2005 Lexus ES330 Dream Ride
underthehood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 04:57 PM   #14
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 44,062
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinWB View Post
Just in case. I did try jump starting the car a couple times and nothing.
One 'hail Mary' play; bang the starter a few times with a rubber mallet or piece of 2x4 lumber - this allows a backyard version of realigning worn parts inside that may allow the starter to run. If this works, replace the starter. Use a battery boost if necessary if you're not sure your battery is fully charged.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 07:25 PM   #15
billr
Master Member
billr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to behold
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,375
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

OP, are you ready now to crawl underneath and do those "definitive tests" with a meter?
billr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 11:24 PM   #16
JustinWB
Junior Member
JustinWB is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Brick, NJ
Posts: 10

1998 SL2
Dizzy Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

Yeah because of the holidays I haven't been able to do anything.. tomorrow morning g I'm going to jack it up.. hitting a few times with a mallet.. try starting it.. if not.. I'm gonna check the water in the battery and clean everything off..

Again.. I stalled out when this all happened and that is one of the main reasons I think it might not be the battery or starter.. I'm hoping it is the battery. I'm still thinking it might be a loose connection somewhere.

My door used to make a ding sound when open and key in the ignition. That's not happening since I jiggled the positive loose wire to find out that it was loose.

Another weird aspect is the whole key getting stuck thing. Not sure what to make of that either.

If everything fails then I will gladly try another test.

Btw.. where the f is the starter on this car? I know I have to jack it up and it's somewhere in the middle.
JustinWB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2016, 12:04 AM   #17
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 44,062
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

Starter is between the engine and firewall.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2016, 08:05 AM   #18
underthehood
Master Member
underthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the roughunderthehood is a jewel in the rough
 
underthehood's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rockford IL area
Posts: 2,396

1999 SL2
2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

You may also have the F5 power block burnt terminal. This would cause the car to die, starter would crank but a no start condition would exist because the fuel pump would not work, IIRC door open chime does not work under this condition neither does the remote key fob. If you have a high current accessory plugged into lighter socket all the time or high current radio it's a certainty. In any case what you're describing seems just like this. You locks flicking back and forth is simply because you have a broken spring in one of the door lock switch(es). Simply unplug the offending switch and or buy another one.
If your battery is over 3 yo replace it too. If the starter is original you may have a bad starter.
Look up the F5 failure to know more BTW
...
2006 Toyota Highlander (rare 4 cyl AWD)
2001 Toyota Highlander V6 AWD creampuff
Daughter got her own! 2005 Lexus ES330 Dream Ride
underthehood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2016, 09:44 AM   #19
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,693
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

F-5 is the gen-2 failure point but A-2 is the gen-3 failure point, stilll the same basic inspect and repair process.

This sounds suspiciously like a positive battery cable with internal sulfate corrosion down into the crimp.

Once the terminal bolt is removed completely the plastic cover slides off so it can be inspected. If the cover does not slide off then those are aftermarket aluminum wire cables and they can only be replaced as they are molded into 1 piece.
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 06:09 PM   #20
JustinWB
Junior Member
JustinWB is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Brick, NJ
Posts: 10

1998 SL2
Dizzy Re: SL2 Won't Start - Common Issue? Help!

So.. took the battery to AutoZone.. it was low apparently. They charged it.. brought it back.. car cranked.. no turn over.. third try it actually turned over but stalled back out 3 seconds later. This happens about three times.. oh and I saw a small puff of smoke from under the hood so I stopped trying.

It sounded like the car was struggling to get gas.

Anyway.. waited about five mins. Decided to try one more time cuz the ding sound came back.. low and behold. Car is on.. there was a bit of smoke from underneath but it's running right now for about 15 mins steady.

Please help! Not sure if I fixed the issue.

Justin
JustinWB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
battery, ignition, sl2, stalled, starter


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
no start issue lowflyer S-Series Tech 15 07-24-2016 08:05 PM
No start issue Roccero S-Series Tech 3 01-16-2016 08:52 PM
Exhaust leaks: common issue? faramir9 S-Series General 0 03-13-2013 12:25 PM
no start issue Diezeltitan08 S-Series General 6 05-06-2011 11:36 AM
No start issue (help) saturncrzy S-Series Tech 7 02-09-2010 06:45 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:34 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.