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Old 06-07-2008, 05:51 PM   #1
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Default key tumbler ignition fuses / starting problems

Okay. I have a saturn s-series 1995 year model. Everything has been fine until a few days ago I got in it and it died on me as I was pulling out the driveway. It would crank but wouldnt start. I noticed that my radio, dome light, door chime, trunk light would not work either. I checked all the fuses under the hood and under the dash. None were blown however I then noticed that the fuses (under dash) that were to the fuel pump, and radio etc. had no power to them even when the key was in the on (acc) position.. For some reason I decided to change the crank position sensor. Nothing. It still just would crank but not start. After a couple days I went back to work on the car and noticed that the dome light, radio was working just fine and I could hear the fuel pump come on and everything. So I tried to start the car and this time it wouldnt crank?! So I checked the battery to see it was alright and it was. I decided it may be the ignition. I went to autozone and bought a key tumbler. (the next thing I buy will be the actual key switch but its like $70.00). I figured I'd start cheap with the tumbler before I buy the switch. First I can't get the tumbler out and second I'm not even sure i'm going in the right direction even messing with the ignition regarding my problem.?... Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks.


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Old 06-15-2008, 10:16 PM   #2
JeffMGrant is on a distinguished road
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Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 87

2003 ION-3 Sedan
1997 SL1
Default Re: key tumbler ignition fuses / starting problems

I too had a similar problem with an ignition switch in a 97 SL which I replaced. The switch would not make contact in the start and run position. The switch worked intermittently, and I could usually get it to crank after a while. The switch failed twice on the road where the RPMs dropped to 0, and the engine would die, but I was able to wait and start it to get home again. From what I know about the starting circuit in the SL (according to the wiring diagram in front of me), the circuit begins with two red wires from the battery. Battery grounds, are on the block, and also left front fender and are worth checking out. From the battery, one red wire goes to the fuse box under the hood (IGN3 30A fuse) and the other to the starter solenoid. From the fuse box, the red wire goes through the hole to the cabin and up to the ignition switch and is hot in start pos. Going out the ignition switch, is a yellow wire to a starter relay in the 97, but previous SLs don't have this relay and pass directly to the clutch switch (manual) or park/neutral switch (auto), and from there to the ground pack below the drivers seat. It's a pretty simple circuit, but worth checking over failure points like the clutch switch, or park/neutral switch, if you get no crank. In my case, I had no crank and no chime, meaning the run wire was also not getting a contact from the ignition switch.

The run/charging circuit starts with the same two red wires from the battery, goes to IGN4 and IGN3 under in the under-hood fuse box, and from there two red wires, (the starting switch wire in the starting circuit) and a second one go to the ignition switch, and are both hot in the run pos. From the ignition switch, they exit as a pink wire and a orange wire that go to the cabin fuse box (IGN 1 for pink, and IGN 3 for Orange). The pink wire runs up to the instrument panel, where it trips the battery light if the alternator starts to fail. From the panel the wire exits as pink and goes back to the under-hood junction block out the front of the box as a solid brown wire, and down to the alternator. The Orange wire from the cabin fuse box goes to the under-hood fuse box, and exits the front of the box as a brown/white wire to a second contact on alternator.

To me it looks like the key switch from your description, but it may help to check some of the points above it that doesn't solve the problem.

Last edited by JeffMGrant; 06-15-2008 at 10:27 PM..


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Old 06-20-2008, 08:28 AM   #3
stevestar99 will become famous soon enoughstevestar99 will become famous soon enough
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Posts: 498
Default Re: key tumbler ignition fuses / starting problems

I had the same "ON-GOING" problem with my 95'. The car would crank, but wouldn't start. The dome light, radio, cig lighter, door locks were out. I would mess around with the fuses and it would start working for a couple of days. I finely found the problem. The 30 amp B+ body feed line to the interior fuse box was intermittent. You have to remove the two side cover panels and the console to get to the fuse junction box. You need to use a 1/4 socket to unplug the multi-connector from the fuse box. There are 3 multi-connectors, it's the one on the left (looking from behind). It's right behind the "body fuse, chime, door lock, etc.. As you un-screw the plug, it backs itself out. Looking at the fuse box from the back side, count 5 pins up from the lower left hand corner. You see a slight discoloration around the pin. Clean up the fuse box pin and remove the pin socket from the multi connector and Clean it up too.
Here's a quick check to see if this is your problem:
Remove the interior 10a body fuse, meter the hot side of the connector, you'll read something less than 12 volts. Mine was 1.7 volts.
Remove the driver side kick panel to get behind the fuse box. Meter the 30 amp feed line into the box. (large orange, 5 up from the bottom left hand conner) You should have 12 volts on the exposed crimp connector.
The 30 amp line that feeds this is the IP BATT under the hood. You can remove and install the fuse to make sure you've got the right "large orange" line.
Here's a tip off: The IP BATT max-fuse feeds , dome light, radio memory, chime , FUEL PUMP, door locks, cig lighter etc... It's a straight shot from the under the hood box to the interior box. It doesn't go through the key switch.
It's aways HOT.


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