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Old 09-29-2020, 11:07 PM   #1
Sal713
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Dizzy Need help please. 1998 sw1

I accidentally reversed the battery cables. All sorts of problems now. Main problem was no power at the purple wire to the starter. For the time being, I have jumped 30 and 87 pin on the relay under the dash. Starts fine. Now the other problems..
No radio, no headlights, no dome light, no gauge lights, remote doesn't work, horn won't shut off(had to pull the fuse)
Any thoughts?
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

If you have to, pull every fuse and examine them. The see-thru plastic shows good fuses with the S (fuse) element unbroken in one piece. When these blade fuses blow, the S element melts with a clear air gap between the two blades. Check both fuse panels - engine bay and inside the car.
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Old 09-30-2020, 05:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

Some of the Maxi fuses can be hard to find, you should have green 30's and red 50's......
Look on Rock Auto...

https://www.rockauto.com/en/tools/el...blade+fuse,120

For the ATM fuses, I like the BUSSMANN ATMIDSK easyID Illuminating Fuse Service Kit; 5A, 10A, 15A, 20A, 25A, & 30A..

Wal-Mart has the 30 and 50 Maxi, and several ATM fuses, along with a tester, in a nice package..
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Bussmann-...t-Kit/17474431
...
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Old 09-30-2020, 06:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

I have checked every fuse I can find either visually or with a meter. Possibly ignition switch?
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Old 09-30-2020, 11:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

Yes, the ignition switch is a possibility, but the headlamps and dome lamps are probably not dependent on the ignition being on, so I think there is something else, too. Checking voltages at the switch would be a good place to continue, though, once the fuses are all verified.

You say it starts OK. Does the engine run OK, is it fully drivable? Is this an automatic trans?

Tell us more about how the battery cables were reversed. Was this with jumpers to an external battery? The stock cables are too short to be simply connected wrong in all my Saturns.
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

Ohhh. You want the full story. Lol
Daughter broke down. Alternator. Of course the battery was drained. Brought another battery I had. Didn't catch the battery posts were opposite! Sometimes we forget the basics.
A/T, haven't taken it for a drive but runs the same. Being that the remote stopped working, thought it might have something to do with the stock security system?
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:36 PM   #7
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Post Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

Ip Batt 30 amp under hood fuse block powers all the items you mentioned. I would double check and see if there is 12 volts at this fuse. Also remove fuse and see if there is voltage at the fuse connection points with a voltmeter.

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Old 09-30-2020, 02:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

Presuming all fuses, engine bay and console, are fine then moving on to wiring might help. Examine both battery cable ends for damage, corrosion, loose connections. Battery positive divides into two - main cable splits into two connecting to the engine fuse panel and starter. A separate positive cable connects from engine fuse panel to the interior console fuse panel. Battery negative connects to a chassis stud and another negative cable connects between chassis and engine block.

When battery polarity was reversed and ignition was (presumed) off, a few circuits are live. The cigarette/auxiliary power socket and remote keyless entry module. The radio and pcm have two power inputs - switched main power and unswitched memory power. Live memory like radio presets, clock and emissions parameters. A battery disconnect always drops radio presets. The pcm emissions parameters are erased with the pcm defaulting to factory values requiring a drive to learn new emissions values. This doesn't prevent engine starting and driving but can interfere with state emissions inspection when its due in the next few days.

Battery current flows from negative to positive so if battery polarity was momentarily reversed, live circuits get a jolt of reversed voltage and current. Most electronics are protected against a momentary reverse voltage while some may not like it. The tell tale signs are smoke and the smell of burning plastics used in electronics and wire insulation. The rke module is fused so if the fuse blew, remote use is impossible. If the fuse didn't blow, the rke module may have suffered from reverse polarity. The rke module is in the rear passenger side panel. You bypassed the rke module circuit that prevents starter use (GMs first gen theft deterrent system) jumpering relay socket terminals 30 and 87 to allow the starting circuit to work. The other inline switch to prevent starting is the park/neutral safety switch. The other half of rke operation is locking/unlocking doors and unlocking the trunk.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

I gotta ask... was this extra battery you put in a side-terminal? I thought those were all the same polarity.
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Old 09-30-2020, 05:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

I will check the items listed.
The spare battery was top posts.
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Old 09-30-2020, 06:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

You scabbed-on adapter/extender cables to reach the posts?
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Old 09-30-2020, 08:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

Yes, car was 30 miles away. Her friends pushed the car onto the side of the road into 4 inches of water and how is this helping me?
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

Oh, it probably isn't going to help you any for me to understand the exact event that happened, and I apologize for asking so many questions.

If you have checked out the fuses pretty well, it is time to get into that ignition switch and check voltages, look for any sign of overheated wires.

By the way, have you checked at the fuses and stuff in both of the panels?

Does this have DRL? Have you checked all other lights and functions; like tail/side lights, brake lights, turn indicators, hazard flashers, cig port, heater blower, power windows/locks, etc? If other circuits are also inop it may give us some clues.

I'm going to need somebody to post schematics for me to help with detailed trouble-shooting steps..

Last edited by billr; 09-30-2020 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 10-02-2020, 11:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: Need help please. 1998 sw1

The bridge rectifier pack in an alternator is a direct short in a car if the battery terminals are reversed. This short can burn up the alternator, burn out fusible links, blow fueses, burn up ground wires and straps, and even burn up the terminals where those wires attach.

Many relays have a diode inside them across the coil (called a commutating diode) that also is a short when reversed polarity.

Many components and circuit boards have polarity reversal diodes built in just for the purpose of blowing the fuse (and protecting the component) in case the voltage terminals get reversed. Often the diode burns up and can short causing the component not to work. But a burnt diode inside is much cheaper to repair than a fried circuit board.

Light bulbs and meters aren't generally polarity sensative.

But computers? OH BOY! You can consider yourself lucky if they still function, and can thank the alternator for burning up a fuse or link, thus protecting said computer from the reversal.

I've heard (though not experienced) that the fuse blocks in Saturns have a common failure point INSIDE the fuse block. So, I'm betting that the high current surge that might have gone through that point could have caused it to fail immediately.

I'm hoping you're good with a digital volt meter. You will likely need those skills.


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