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Old 03-05-2009, 03:05 AM   #1
lockbox
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2002 SC2
1994 SL2
Wrench SC2 Starter Issues

First post under this User name, have no idea what my old one was, 5 years ago. It is about a 2002 SC2 3 door, 1.9, DOHC, Auto, with a broken sunroof, (but aren't they all), and a dead/dying starter.

What I have done so far. Noticed that starter for 3 days was turning car over slowly. On day four, I was panicked about a late appointment, and ground it until I knew I was being stupid. Then I found a ride with a friend.

Since then, I tested battery, (marginal), replaced it. Checked all fuses, in engine compartment and on passenger side footwell. All appear good. (Tomorrow, I VOM test them).

Checked Fusible link between Alternator and Starter, (two handed, under car, on low jack stands, in rain no less), and it showed continuity. I checked it 3 times, just to make sure. Grumble.

Finally I pulled the starter out, and took it to (chain name deleted) for their "No load" bench test. I think I frustrated him, by testing it 7 times. Worked like a charm, spun fast and clean, for each of the 1 minute tests.

Read more forum postings: Focusing on "don't forget the stupid stuff".

Pulled positive battery terminal off, cleaned with contact cleaner, brush, and copper penny. Replaced it *tight*. (Negative is still off, as I have to R/R the starter still).

Checked each fuse again.

Took starter, tested it in kitchen, (bachelor, I can get away with this), on the much less charged replaced battery, and it still functioned normally, but slower. To be expected. It even cranked with my thumb grinding *hard* against the spindle. It got weak as the battery voltage dropped below 10.5 volts.

*Then* I read another 14 pages of saturn fan forums, focusing on starter/battery issues.


So, tomorrow, I climb back under the car, replace the original starter, and try again.




Did I miss a hidden starter Relay, or inline fuse someplace?

I am leaning towards rebuilding it myself or perusing the junk yards near home. 130 bucks for a chain store starter is kind of a pain, and my travels often include the middle of the desert, far from roads and parts stores.





My other cars:

My 1994 SL2 was bought from my Ex wife, for 300 bucks. It had a leaky radiator, and a 10 degree mismatch between Engine Temp Sensor, and Trans temp sensor that stumped Saturn for a week. It had 105,000 miles on it. 7 years later, it has 167,000 miles on the odometer. But that gauge broke less than a year, after I bought the car from her. Mileage Now?... 280K? 320K? Only issues, Reverse pop, and Headliner from hell, and smokes when I stomp on the gas.


It was replaced recently with a 2002 SC2, which I am just learning the idiosyncrasies of. Bought used at 56,000 miles, now has 62,000 miles

Grumbling about not being able to "paper clip" to get computer codes.

The sunroof fuse has been removed to prevent guests from opening when, it will cost 1200 bucks to replace the belt, and close again.

Oh, I can fit a 35 inch (CRT) television in my back seat via the 2 door.

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Old 03-05-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
OnDaGround
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1993 SC2
Default Re: SC2 Starter Issues

Start with the first car... Have you looked into the CPS. Is the car cranking but not starting?

Second car... try doing a reverse slam cure in the How-To library. As far as smoking is concerned, the car is probably running rich. What I would do is get the right ECT, make sure the connector is good, do a TB clean and possibly replace the IAC vavle. Mainly the smoke is caused by burning oil due to the magnificent piston rings in these cars. Look into doing an MMO soak which is also in the How-To.

Getting codes from the PCM. Go to advanced auto, pepboys or something like that... they will run a diagnostics test on the car for free.

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Old 03-05-2009, 04:26 PM   #3
lockbox
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1994 SL2
Default Re: SC2 Starter Issues

First Car. Not cranking.

Second Car, on hold, until first car is running.

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Old 03-05-2009, 04:35 PM   #4
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1993 SC2
Default Re: SC2 Starter Issues

Hmmm. Well starter is "good", cps is not bad or it would crank. How are the plugs, wires and coil. If you keep getting a low voltage I would look into the battery cables to the starter and to the alternator. I know you said you cleaned them. But pull or cut the sleeve down a bit and check for corrosion. Check them at the starter too. Oh and up top where I recommended to replace the IAC valve, that was a type-o. I meant to say PCV valve but fat fingered instead.

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Old 03-05-2009, 04:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: SC2 Starter Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by lockbox View Post
First Car. Not cranking.

Second Car, on hold, until first car is running.
Not cranking, but does it 'click?' Can you hear the solenoid?
If no click - could be a bad switch, wiring, or the solenoid itself. Check for 12V on the solenoid when the key is turned.

Turn on the headlights and see if they dim when you try to start.
If so, then the key/switch is probably OK. If not, it could be the switch, or wiring (fuse?).

If it clicks but doesn't crank, check for 12V on the fat wire to the starter. If you don't see 12V with the key turned, it could be switch, wiring, fuse(?).

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Old 03-05-2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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1996 SW2
Default Re: SC2 Starter Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnDaGround View Post
Hmmm. Well starter is "good"
Probably not, if it's not cranking. No way to know yet.

Quote:
cps is not bad or it would crank.
Totally unrelated. The CPS _senses_ crank movement (duh, thus the name). The PCM uses it to initiate spark. If the engine's not cranking, there's no way to know the condition/function of the CPS. CPS has no connection with the starter circuit.

No-crank gen-3, one suspect is RKE/Security. It may have been tripped with battery connects/disconnects. Your owner's manual has a procedure for "resetting" the system, something about leaving the key in the RUN position for 30 minutes while facing Spring Hill and chanting "A different kind of company, a different kind of car". On a Tuesday.

Have you tried starting it in neutral? Or while nudging the shifter from neutral toward Drive and Reverse?

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Old 03-05-2009, 07:16 PM   #7
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2002 SC2
1994 SL2
Default Re: SC2 Starter Issues

Start Clicks, but does not turn over. Rigged up my own bench test, with 12 Volt source and motor turns, but not enough torque to start a 90CC motorcycle, much less my Saturn, once I put *real* resistance on it. (rubber shoe test).

Found a electrical shop that does rebuilds onsite, with 2 year warranty. About 6 miles from here, for under 50 bucks, including tax.

Will update from there.

All starter bench testers should have a resistance gear, built into them.

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