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Old 08-11-2018, 06:58 PM   #1
VicSaturnS
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Default 2008 Saturn Aura 3.6 NO CRANK, NO START when HOT

Same as title, if you drive it around for a while then park it, it won't crank and start up until it cools down for at least 15 minutes. I mean the starter won't click the solenoid at all, all you hear is the relay box clicks as normal and the lights inside come on normally. No codes found, I do notice however that when you drive it, it'll run at about 217-221 degrees F, level is fine. Not sure if the high temp is making the ECU stop it from cranking, tried cooling off ECU with water, tried cooling fuse box with the cover on and no change. Checked all under-hood fuses, swapped the START and CRANK relays around with the cooling fan relays when it didn't want to start and no change. But I noticed that they were pretty hot not sure if it has to do with ambience under engine but it was strange to me. The passenger side cooling fan won't run as the car is getting up to the temp range listed earlier, not sure if that is contributing to the problem. But aside from that when it does cool off its instant the car will turn on like normal. Its weird, this is definitely a gremlin, at this point I am thinking it could be a corroded wire or something else that is affected by heat not allowing current flow or something I may end up taking it to a GM dealer but I want to know if it sounds common, I tried looking around other sources online and didn't find much, more like just people throwing parts at it and no diagnosis.

Thanks for reading, hope to hear about why this may be happening or if I am wrong on my assumptions, thanks!

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Old 08-12-2018, 12:07 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura 3.6 NO CRANK, NO START when HOT

You're describing at least two separate problems - one of two cooling fans inoperative and a hot start issue. A warm or hot engine shouldn't prevent restarting unless there are hidden issues not revealed.

Mileage, maintenance done, parts replaced? Location? Guessing is easy. I'm not familiar with or have service manual info on Auras. Starting issues can be mechanics, electrical or electronic. An inoperative cooling fan can be tested in one of several ways; direct connection to battery, driving until temps turn on one or both fans, turning on a working ac system. Manually turning this fan should be done first to be sure it isn't jammed from running before testing with direct power to the battery. If each cooling fan has three wires, a wiring diagram is needed to determine ground, medium and high speed.

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Old 08-12-2018, 10:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura 3.6 NO CRANK, NO START when HOT

I wasn't too sure, I didn't know if this ecu cuts out starter control if its too hot or not, thought I would include it anyways as to state other problems. Nothing has been needed or done recently other than a motor mount about 6 months ago. All that was done recently was put a new battery in and a battery terminal. It has 120k, location? Central Texas.

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Old 08-15-2018, 02:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura 3.6 NO CRANK, NO START when HOT

1-Did you try suggestions for testing the cooling fan?

2-There has never been a way to know when starters fail when in or out of a car unless a person is willing to crawl under and test one. They can fail in as little as 50k miles or last well after 250k miles. Several ways to isolate and determine a faulty starter, combined with known facts like mileage of a starter, helps figure out if a starter is worn out.

The best, and dirty, test for starters is when a hot engine no starter event occurs as you're testing under the conditions when it fails to operate. A set of wires, a momentary switch and alligator clips might be the best way to operate a temporary wired remote start. The wires (12-10 gauge) are connected to a heavy duty switch rated for 5-10 amps. The wire ends are connected to alligator clips. Wires need to be long enough to reach into the car interior to manually operate the switch. This remote start switch is connected to the small and large outermost terminal of the starter. When first wired up, initial testing with this setup should allow you to remote operate the starter whether the ignition switch is turned on or not as you're bypassing the ignition switch and all electronics to test the starter with battery power. The alligator clips should be strong enough to stay connected yet won't fall off when driving. The switch is a plain off/on type. When connected correctly, the switch is turned on, battery power from the outermost terminal is sent to the small terminal on the starter and should power the starter immediately, regardless of ignition switch position.

Wear and tear occurs to every starter - they use brushes. When brushes wear down, starters become intermittent. One symptom/hint is engine heat. Cold engine starting is fine but hot engine restarts can be hit or miss. Using a remote start switch at the moment normal start doesn't work (Using the ignition key turning the ignition switch to START) eliminates the entire car electronics, leaving only battery, battery cables and starter to test. If remote starting fails to get the starter to run, the starter is worn out.

Another method requires using a piece of 2x4 lumber to bang against the starter body - this helps worn brushes reseat temporarily for another start. A few whacks with the starter operating on hot restarts is another indication to replace it.

Removing a starter for bench testing isn't guaranteed to reveal a worn one no matter what anyone says because removing it doesn't duplicate the heat soak from an engine. Heat isn't the problem. A worn starter sometimes announces imminent death from normal engine heat. 120k miles is an average life for starters to fail.

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