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Old 03-12-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
macknowledge
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2006 VUE 2.2L
1999 SL2
Question 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Looking for any help that could identify the source of this problem:

Car was purchased about 18 months ago... in the past 4 or 5 months, it has developed an annoying problem where the car will not start. You can drive the car normally, go run some errands, stop for gas. When you get back into the car to start it, it won't start. The dash lights up, but the door chime, radio and automatic door locks don't work. Turn the key and there's no sound, no clicking, nothing.

First time it happened, garage said a new alternator was needed. Alternator was replaced.

Second time, garage said the starter was cracked (which it was). Starter was replaced.

Third time, we got the car towed to the garage on a flatbed. Keys were in the ignition. The second the car touched the ground, we heard the radio go on. Turn the key... car starts.

Fourth time, the CAA tow truck driver said that it could be some wires underneath the driver's dash that weren't connected properly. He fiddled with some wires and it started. A mechanic friend of mine checked the wires and made sure the connection was good. Still the problem persists today.

It happened again this week... car won't start. Get it towed to my friend's garage. He was thinking maybe it was some type of ignition cut/off or passkey problem, but from what I know of the history of the car, there isn't any ignition cutoff (but maybe I'm wrong). Then, by fluke, he hits the hazard light button... car is able to start.

I have found out from the previous owners that they had a similar problem when they first bought the car (used). The car had the same problems. They also got the starter and alternator replaced about 5 years ago by Saturn. A mechanic at an independent garage said it was the dome light switch. If it was set to 'door', the car wouldn't start. So he said to keep the switch at 'off' and it would work. The car worked fine for 5 years while they had it.

We are now at wits end trying to figure this out. Driving around in a car when you're not sure if you can get back home, is very stressful. Any ideas???

Thanks!
David

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Old 03-12-2009, 12:20 PM   #2
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

CHIME module or CHIME fuse. Remove the kick panel on the other side of the console, revealing the BACK side of the interior fuse box. You'll see a deck-of-cards sized box, orange or red or green or white. Remove and reinstall. Check for scorching on the terminals, on the module and on the fuse box. Check for scorching on the CHIME fuse terminals as well. Replace CHIME module if necessary.

Your power locks are not automatic (at least they shouldn't be ).

There's no ignition lockout. You're not even to the point that the ignition system is involved (doesn't kick in until the engine turns). There is a starter lockout, as you probably know, in the RKE/Security. If you lock the doors with the RKE, but unlock them with the key, it'll disable the starter. But since you're also not getting a dome light or radio, your problem is "upstream" of that.

Replacing an alternator for a no-crank no-start is questionable at best. The only role the alternator plays in starting is to charge the battery in order to start the engine later. It plays NO direct role in the starting circuit itself. If it were the alternator, the battery would have to have been plumb dead, and you would probably have seen that coming way sooner. I would demand an explanation for the prognosis of the alternator R&R, and seriously rethink doing business with that shop again.

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Old 03-12-2009, 01:11 PM   #3
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

In the 98/99 cars the Fuel pump is powered by the IP BAT fuse through terminal F-5 on the I/P panel. When the F-5 fails then the CHIME etc is also dead. Take the left hand BLACK 68 pin plug off of the back of the I/P panel and check F-5 and the pin in the connector. The OP has all of ther symptoms of this failure or the IP BAT fuse is open.

Welcome to the Forums!

This is not a difficult fix. You can not replace pins in the I/P panel though. The pin in the plug and the pin on the back of the panel can be cleaned up though and usually work. The pin in the plug backs out from heating and disconnects its self. Remove the IP BAT fuse before working on it. There will still be hot wires in the plug but all you want to work on will be cold.

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Old 03-16-2009, 12:32 PM   #4
macknowledge
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2006 VUE 2.2L
1999 SL2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Thanks madpogue and OldNuc for your suggestions! The car is currently at my trusty mechanic's garage. He had already done some research of his own, and he checked the chime fuse and module... says they're both good.

I found a service bulletin and wondering if it covers this problem:
03-08-45-001 MAY 03 Engine Controls - No Start/Intermittent Stalling

Do you or anyone else know if this service bulletin is related? I don't have access to this bulletin, but found the link on ALLDATA diy.

I will be speaking to my mechanic this week. I'll keep everyone posted here.

Thanks!!!

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Old 03-16-2009, 03:42 PM   #5
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

If your mechanic has a schematic or looks in the owners manual and checks the loads listed for the IP BAT fuse in the UHJB and they are all dead then its the F-5 connection. The fuel pump is a direct feed from the IP BAT to F-5 to the fuel pump relay. the fuel pump fuse is on the other side of the fuel pump relay.

It covers exactly what I am trying to tell you. Check the IP BAT loads, if all dead, fix F-5 and if the internal wire is burned open replace the I/P panel.

File in Section: 08 - Body and Accessories

Bulletin No.: 03-08-45-001

Issue Date: May, 2003
Subject:
Intermittent No Start, Intermittent Stall after Start-Up and/or Loss of Radio Presets (Replace Instrument Panel Junction Block - IPJB and/or Terminal)

Models Affected:
1995-1999 Saturn S-Series Vehicles

Attention: Technician

Condition:

Some customers may comment that one or more of the following conditions has occurred.
^ Intermittent no start

^ Intermittent stall after start-up

^ Loss of radio presets

Cause:

Condition(s) may be caused by terminal tightness at PIN F-5 within the Instrument Panel Junction Block (IPJB Black 68 way).

Correction:

Refer to the Instrument Panel Junction Block (IPJB) and/or Terminal Replacement procedures in this bulletin.

Procedure:

Instrument Panel Junction Block (IPJB) Removal:
1. Disconnect negative battery cable.

2. Disconnect positive battery cable.

3. Remove left and right lower trim panel extensions by pulling outward at dual lock locations. Rotate panels outward to disengage hinges from console.


4. Remove screw and ground wire from H-bracket.

5. Remove wiring harness from H-bracket.

6. Remove screw and disconnect rear electrical connector from IPJB. Remove IPJB screw.


7. Using a small screwdriver, release lock tabs on IPJB and slide off of mounting tabs.


8. Feed IPJB through H-bracket towards front of car.

9. Inspect PIN F-5, circuit 402 on the Black 68-way connector of the instrument panel junction block for signs of arcing. If signs of arcing are present, replace IPJB and terminal. Refer to the IPJB Installation and Terminal Replacement procedures in this bulletin.

10. If no signs of arcing, verify terminal tightness using GRAY probe. Replace terminal using the Terminal Replacement procedure in this bulletin.

IPJB Installation:
1. Feed IPJB back through H-bracket.

2. Slide the IPJB into mounting tabs and lock into place.

3. Install rear Black 68-way electrical connector into IPJB and then install screws in connector into IPJB.

4. Reconnect wiring harness to the H-bracket.

5. Reconnect ground wire to the H-bracket.

6. Reinstall left and right lower trim panel extensions.

7. Reconnect positive battery cable.

8. Reconnect negative battery cable.

Terminal Replacement:
1. If terminal replacement is required, remove CPA from Black 68-way connector. Insert tool 12094430/J04898 to remove terminal.

2. Put connector seal (if equipped) on wire.

3. Remove insulation from the end of the cut lead and the harness. Recommended strip length is 9.5 mm (3/8 in.) Caution must be used to prevent cutting the wire strands.

4. Position stripped ends in sleeve until wires hit the stop in the center of the splice.

5. Hand crimp using the approved crimping tool. Gently tug on wires to make sure they are secure before applying heat to them.

Important O NOT USE MATCH OR OPEN FLAME TO APPLY HEAT TO SEAL.


6. Apply heat using the Heat Gun or some other device, heating to 175C (347F) until glue flows around edges of sleeve.

7. Insert the terminal into the connector. Check to make sure the terminal lock tab is engaged by gently tugging on the wire.

8. Replace any terminal position assurance (TPA) devices.

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Old 04-06-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
demoncamber
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1997 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Hey, Thanks for this thread it really helped me out. I have a 97 SC2 that died on me while I was out with some friends. Everything worked but my stereo, power door locks and alarm. The ignition was disabled. So I checked all the fuses and all that and everything was good, except my chime fuse. It had a 10a in there and it kept blowing every time I put a new one in. So I did some searching.

I did everything the service bulletin said to do looking for frayed wires or pins not in properly or loose wires and could find nothing, it looked brand new all terminals were shiny and no signs of arching etc...

So I took my chime unit out took it apart cleaned it all up with some alcohol and put everything back together. Now according to this thread that i cannot find right now, apparently if you use an aftermarket head unit it can blow that 5a fuse that saturn originally had for the chime fuse, now on my side panel where it shows you the fuse layout its 10a fuse for the chime, So I put in a 15a fuse to the chime just to see what would happen.....

Well low and behold it worked, car starts stereo sounds better and I've driven it a total of 40 minutes and everything was fine, started her up about 6x since. I did install the aftermarket head unit myself using the fool proof gm wiring harness kit. But honestly I feel that it just got louder since I put that fuse in. Maybe me.

Anyway I think I found the cause of my problem. My power door locks aren't working right. My keychain will only unlock my drivers door, it will not unlock the passenger side at all. Also it will not lock any of the doors it now just arms the alarm and you hear no sound what so ever when you hit lock, you just see the two flashes of the dome light. A couple weeks ago my passenger window motor died on me, Yesterday to be safe I unplugged the cable to the window switch while I had everything apart. Now, back to the locks. If you go and push the lock/unlock button on the actual doors themselves the drivers side works sometimes and the passenger side attempts to unlock/lock but it's like it doesnt have enough juice to move the rod. I feel that there may be some kind of short on the door lock motor now. Can anyone give me some things to check out or ideas of their own?

On the plus side my acceleration got a tiny bit smoother after I pulled the fuel pump relay and put it back in yesterday

To sum it up put in a 15a fuse to the chime, car started everything works but the power door lock motors, they are acting very odd.

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Old 04-06-2009, 12:49 PM   #7
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Remove that CHIME fuse NOW. GO! NOW!! We'll wait.

(La la la-la-la la la la-la, the Girl from Ipanema goes walking....)

Okay, you're back? Now, decommission the aftermarket radio and install a 5A fuse in the CHIME fuse socket. Once you're done with that, carefully study the car's wiring diagrams, and make absolutely certain that the wiring upstream and downstream of that CHIME fuse can handle 15 amperes. If you can't be certain of that, rewire the aftermarket radio so the "always on" power circuit is energized by a circuit designed to carry that much power. Run a separate wire from the incoming connector to the UHJB (with its own fuse, of course) if you have to.

General "aphorism" to apply here -- NEVER just put a higher-capacity fuse in a circuit, unless you know the rest of the circuit can handle that higher current. If you do, you're defeating the purpose of the fuse.

As for your power locks issue, check your LOCKS fuse (IPJB), and the LOCK and UNLOCK relays. Swap the two relays, and see what effect this has on the operation of the power locks.

Your description of the function of the lock/unlock buttons on the doors isn't clear. BOTH sets of buttons should work BOTH doors. Is it the buttons on one of the doors that isn't working? Or is it the lock actuators? IOW, what happens when you hit the buttons on each door?

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Old 04-06-2009, 01:11 PM   #8
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

It sounds like a dirty door lock switch.

FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE from Madpouge.

Last edited by OldNuc; 04-06-2009 at 01:15 PM.. Reason: Remove fuse comment deleted

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Old 04-06-2009, 08:58 PM   #9
demoncamber
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1997 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Thanks guys for the quick replies, I'll have to rewire my head unit tomorrow.

However, before I get to the door lock issue, When this all started and I first checked all my fuses yesterday, the only one discovered blown was the chime fuse, as I put in two more 10a fuses they both immediately blew with a noticeable spark. I then continued to disassemble the IPJB to inspect the terminals of the harness and the chime unit itself, Again, everything came out clear and no noticeable signs of a short.

Now, I was in a rush after cleaning everything and put it all back together, slapped in a 15a fuse, tried to start the car, everything worked. Said: "I fixed it!" did a little dance and was out.

Tomorrow depending on when it stops raining I will take the 15a fuse and put in a 10a and see if I still have an issue. Also I'll rewire my Head Unit just in case.

(note: I know some of the earlier saturns had a 5a chime fuse but on the original IPJB cover with the embossed fuse layout it specifically says 10A chime fuse. *which made me think when I looked in the chiltons manual that says 5a* Is this a revision that some SC2's had?)

Now the door locks, You are right both buttons work for both doors sorry forgot about that hahah. Ok so neither door will unlock or lock with either button. I can hear the door lock motor working but it doesn't move the lock mechanism completely if at all. Thanks for the ideas guys.

Now when I got stranded yesterday we had to push and pop it in first to get home. But the lock mechanisms were working 100% no issues or warning signs prior to this happening.

Also, would anyone know where I can get the wiring diagram to see if it can take 15ampers? Does the Chilton manual have this and can I trust it?

Last edited by demoncamber; 04-06-2009 at 09:07 PM..

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Old 04-06-2009, 09:16 PM   #10
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1997 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Also forgot to mention the keychain remote will only unlock the passenger door. The lock button will only activate the alarm but NO sound is heard from the lock motors. (which is odd because when you physically push the lock buttons on the doors you hear the lock motors) Trunk button and panic button work 100%

odd right?

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Old 04-06-2009, 11:03 PM   #11
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

The chime fuse feeds the chime, RKE module and the radio memory line. You either have a radio load problem or an RKE module problem. The radio power wire is the yellow wire and the memory is the orange wire.

The inoperable door locks are dirty switches. Probably a separate issue.

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:55 AM   #12
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Until you rewire your new radio's "always on" power, use the fuse specified in your owner's manual for the CHIME fuse. Don't go by the Chilton manual or other model years.

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Old 04-07-2009, 01:13 AM   #13
demoncamber
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1997 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Ah ok, might try this as well video.aol.com/video-detail/programming-saturn-rke-module/3981134879

By the way can you just swap out RKE modules or do you need to do any reprogramming or get a new keychain remote?

Also what do I need to do to clean the switches and where exactly are they located?

Thanks for all this help guys!

Last edited by demoncamber; 04-07-2009 at 01:19 AM..

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Old 04-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #14
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1997 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Omg jackpot!

saturnseries.net/Authors/RichPin06/RichPin06-Videos-Pg6.htm

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #15
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1997 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Also I've had this head unit installed for about 6 months with no issues. Why would the 10a chime fuse be blowing all of the sudden immediately when I put one in?

This head unit: crutchfield.com/p_113MP538U/Kenwood-KDC-MP538U.html?tp=5684

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Old 04-07-2009, 10:01 PM   #16
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by demoncamber View Post
By the way can you just swap out RKE modules or do you need to do any reprogramming or get a new keychain remote?
You can program it yourself, with your existing fob(s). Visit our How-To Library, and search on "paper clip RKE".

Quote:
Also what do I need to do to clean the switches and where exactly are they located?
They're right where you press them with your fingers (well, right behind there, to be exact).

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Old 04-08-2009, 02:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

Thanks to this thread (and my iphone) I was able to resolve this problem with the steps in post #5 at the mall parking lot last night.

Thanks again for the help!

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Old 04-08-2009, 02:30 PM   #18
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1997 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

I have another piece of the puzzle here. The other day I noticed, but today I confirmed, while playing music in my car when I turn on the windshield wipers or push down the lever to mist I get a fraction of a second cutout of audio, every time. The headunit doesnt turn off or anything else noticeable other than the music skipping a beat.

what gives?

And about the switches, OH I thought you were talking about the actual door lock mechanism that moves the metal rod back and fourth burried in the guts of the door. I was going to grease those when I take apart my door to replace my window motor. When I bought my car 7 months ago I had to replace my window motor on the drivers side so it's no issue. But good idea to check out the switches as well. I'm also going to see if its my key fob and test out my other one I have. (although I highly doubt it is)

Last edited by demoncamber; 04-08-2009 at 02:40 PM..

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Old 04-08-2009, 04:53 PM   #19
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

The radio power and wiper power come from the same upstream source. the radio is overloading the internal wiring. You can either turn it down or wire it direct to the battery for main power and get the turn on power from the existing system.

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Old 04-08-2009, 11:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1999 SL2 won't start, door looks, radio & chime dead

TURN IT DOWN are you crazy!?

I think I'll opt for the second one and wire it to the bat.

It appears you have all the answers and I am grateful!

Looks like buying the Wiring Harness for simplicity really wasn't the best idea after all!

Last edited by demoncamber; 04-08-2009 at 11:25 PM..

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