SaturnFans.com
what's new (beta) - classifieds - forums - photos


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech
Register FAQ Members List Groups Calendar Chat Room Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-17-2010, 03:02 PM   #1
genewitch
Junior Member
genewitch is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 47

1998 SC2
Default Starting/ignition issues

1998 saturn sc2. Intermittent starting problems, have to push start the car 50% of the time. Doesn't seem to matter cold/hot start. CPS was replaced 3 days ago, worked fine until that evening, wouldn't start again. The starter sounds solid when it does work, it's not like the car is having trouble starting when it actually turns.

The fuel pump buzzes when i put the car to "on" and a relay clicks off in the passenger fuse area when i turn the key to start, dash and radio blank out until i release the key.

Is this an intermittent problem with the clutch switch or the ignition switch?
It was doing this 6 months ago so i replaced the CPS (that's crankshaft) and it fixed it until last week.

Push starting it is a pain in the rear, because it's just heavy enough and i'm on a fairly flat run here at my apartment, i can't run it fast enough to get in and second gear start it :-(

Any ideas? I'm really trying to avoid replacing the starter as that will be over $200 i think. CPS was only $35.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to genewitch's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help genewitch reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
genewitch is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 11-17-2010, 04:31 PM   #2
TomM96
Senior Member
TomM96 will become famous soon enoughTomM96 will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,515
Default Re: Starting/ignition issues

I.) Locate an automotive rebuilder. My local shop advised me last week that a new solenoid would cost $40 , and a new starter $100.

II.) It is not clear to me what the situation is :
-- Does the engine always 'crank-over'? That is , does the starter always spin the engine , or is the starter failing to operate 1/2 the time?
> Assuming the engine starts when either you push the car or the starter turns it over:
- the ignition switch may be worn.
- The solenoid (which is integral with the starter) may be worn/shot.
- as you note , the clutch-pedal-activated safety may be worn/out-of-adjustment
- one of the battery cables may need to have the fastening tightened up.
This (loose positive cable connection , with new cables and battery and alternator) actually caused me to replace a starter.
>>> My first point is that the ignition switch , clutch switch and solenoid are all variable resistances in Series (additive , each a potentially weak link) with the starter motor (as are the battery positive and ground connections). It might be easier to 'jump' power to the starter motor , and then do 'elimination' process .
>> I'd try a junk yard starter (after securing battery/ground cables), then ignition switch , then clutch switch. But maybe check clutch switch for intermittency with repetitive pedal depressions .

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to TomM96's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help TomM96 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
TomM96 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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: 41,021
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Starting/ignition issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by genewitch View Post
1998 saturn sc2. Intermittent starting problems....... dash and radio blank out until i release the key......
There's your hint; when the dash and radio blank out (they both draw little power) its indicating a major power connection or dead battery problem. Any time the radio dies when the ignition key is turned to the START position means power is lost somewhere, killing what little is needed to run a radio. Either remove and look closely at both battery cables for visible or hidden corrosion under the terminals and clean or replace them or have the battery tested if its 5yrs old. A weak cell can be masked easily in the summer but when the juice is needed this winter, a dead cell in a battery or old battery just won't put out the needed current to power a starter. Welding current is used and the battery as well as the cables are of primary concern here. After making sure the battery cables and their connections are solid, including cleaning corroded grounds, the starter is last to check.

Original starter? Starters can be rebuilt if you know how or know a local starter/generator/alternator rebuilder/repair shop that specializes in them.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fdryer's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fdryer reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2010, 06:03 PM   #4
genewitch
Junior Member
genewitch is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 47

1998 SC2
Default Re: Starting/ignition issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomM96 View Post
II.) It is not clear to me what the situation is :
-- Does the engine always 'crank-over'? That is , does the starter always spin the engine , or is the starter failing to operate 1/2 the time? [...]
>> I'd try a junk yard starter (after securing battery/ground cables), then ignition switch , then clutch switch. But maybe check clutch switch for intermittency with repetitive pedal depressions .
the starter is failing to operate half the time. Turn the key, and there is no sound whatsoever.

I guess i'll have to have someone with skinny arms clean the ground contacts in the car. thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
There's your hint; when the dash and radio blank out (they both draw little power) its indicating a major power connection or dead battery problem. Any time the radio dies when the ignition key is turned to the START position means power is lost somewhere, killing what little is needed to run a radio.
I will check, but as far as i can remember every car i've owned shuts the radio off when you move it from on to start and back. Perhaps my usage of the word "blank" was incorrect - they just shut off, not dim, not reset, or anything.

Last edited by genewitch; 11-17-2010 at 06:09 PM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to genewitch's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help genewitch reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
genewitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2010, 06:14 PM   #5
madpogue
Super Member
madpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud of
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 25,713
 

1996 SW2
Default Re: Starting/ignition issues

Actually, the radio indeed goes off when you turn the key to START because of the way the ignition switch is wired. If it also loses its memory, then that indicates a severe voltage drop, indeed from either a bad starter or a weak battery.

To answer your one question, the fact that you're hearing the starter relay click means that the clutch switch is GOOD.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to madpogue's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help madpogue reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
madpogue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2010, 07:02 PM   #6
genewitch
Junior Member
genewitch is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 47

1998 SC2
Default Re: Starting/ignition issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Actually, the radio indeed goes off when you turn the key to START because of the way the ignition switch is wired. If it also loses its memory, then that indicates a severe voltage drop, indeed from either a bad starter or a weak battery.

To answer your one question, the fact that you're hearing the starter relay click means that the clutch switch is GOOD.
I assume since the radio et al shuts off that the ignition switch is good, too?

And that's the relay that's INSIDE the car? Ford tends to put their relays along the passenger side of the engine compartment. or don't they? maybe that's the solenoid. I just woke up so i haven't checked battery cables yet, tomorrow morning i will get the lubricant to get the ground bolts loose and see if that fixes anything after cleaning.

To be clear, when it does start, it takes less than a second for the engine to catch and start running. Also, memory of the radio is fine.

Also, since i've owned the car, any time the RPM goes over 1300 the battery light turns on. I've replaced the battery and had the alternator checked at each oil change (they do it for free) - everything is working fine. So it probably is the cables. If i have the spare cash i'll probably just replace them, no sense in messing around.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to genewitch's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help genewitch reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
genewitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2010, 07:20 PM   #7
madpogue
Super Member
madpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud ofmadpogue has much to be proud of
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 25,713
 

1996 SW2
Default Re: Starting/ignition issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by genewitch View Post
And that's the relay that's INSIDE the car? Ford tends to put their relays along the passenger side of the engine compartment. or don't they? maybe that's the solenoid. I just woke up so i haven't checked battery cables yet, tomorrow morning i will get the lubricant to get the ground bolts loose and see if that fixes anything after cleaning.
The solenoid is the part that's on the starter. A relay just turns current on in one circuit based on current in another. A solenoid also actuates something physically; in this case, it engages the starter gear to the engine flywheel ring gear. A LOT of people incorrectly call, for example, the starter relay on the fender of just about every Ford product built since the late 14th Century a "solenoid". But indeed, it's a relay, and up to '96, our cars didn't have one at all; the feed to the solenoid came right from the ignition switch, through the clutch or neutral switch (depending on manual or auto tranny). The relay in the '97-'99 cars doesn't even do the usual role of closing a high-current circuit using a low-current one. It just uses a relay so that the RKE security can use its ground to complete the circuit. One good study of the wiring diagram makes it clear what an afterthought the whole thing is.

Quote:
To be clear, when it does start, it takes less than a second for the engine to catch and start running. Also, memory of the radio is fine.
Sounding more like a flaky starter, or a cable clean connection issue.

Quote:
Also, since i've owned the car, any time the RPM goes over 1300 the battery light turns on. I've replaced the battery and had the alternator checked at each oil change (they do it for free) - everything is working fine. So it probably is the cables. If i have the spare cash i'll probably just replace them, no sense in messing around.
This might be related, or might be a separate issue. Who are you having test the alternator? If it's an oil change place, don't trust them. If that charging system failure light is on, something isn't right. Again, could be bad cable connections, could be the fusible link between the alternator and starter.

It's not very conclusive, but can you at least get your hands on a voltmeter, and see what it reads as you rev up the engine, esp. when the failure light goes on?

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to madpogue's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help madpogue reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
madpogue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2010, 10:16 PM   #8
genewitch
Junior Member
genewitch is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 47

1998 SC2
Default Re: Starting/ignition issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
It's not very conclusive, but can you at least get your hands on a voltmeter, and see what it reads as you rev up the engine, esp. when the failure light goes on?
Thanks for your info, first off. Secondly, i have a multimeter, but last time i attached it to a car battery it blew fuses (on the multimeter.) I'll try it anyhow, i suppose. I'll scour the forums for a guide to voltages and see if anything is amiss.

Out of curiosity, is it possible to short the bolts on the starter to get it to crank? I vaguely recall being able to do this with my Ford. How do i "jump" the starter? with a cable? I'm curious if, when the key won't turn the car over, if i can get the starter to turn electrically. if not, then i will replace the starter, obviously.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to genewitch's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help genewitch reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
genewitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 10:41 PM   #9
Greg1
Senior Member
Greg1 will become famous soon enough
 
Greg1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 1,307
 

1997 SW2
1998 SL2
Default Re: Starting/ignition issues

Your meter may have been setup to measure current if it blew the fuze when going across the battery.

If you run power directly to the purple wire on the starter solenoid it will bypass everything and if the battery and cables are sound the starter will engage.

...
97 SW2 5-Sp 273k -mine
02 SC2 5-Sp 67k - best friend's

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Greg1's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Greg1 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Greg1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



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
Starting Problems, Ignition Switch? Zvolen Ion Tech 5 11-12-2008 10:54 PM
starting problems: ignition? bed3 S-Series General 15 07-13-2008 07:26 PM
98 Saturn SL Ignition/Starting problems pykee S-Series Tech 4 02-25-2008 11:53 PM
Ignition issues, no SES Titanium48 S-Series Tech 0 04-30-2007 07:17 PM
Not Starting- Does Not Seem Like Ignition Switch Genesisbreed Ion Tech 18 03-24-2007 12:50 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:43 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.