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Old 02-09-2010, 10:48 AM   #1
bmc61897
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Default OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

I previously posted about our 1998 Saturn SL2 (1.9L SOHC). We have been having trouble with the car starting after short trips. It would sometimes start after wiggling the key. We had a new key made and it was fine until now. I was told it could be an ignition switch problem and have replaced it but the car still won't start. The panel lights and dings but it won't turn over. Could it be the lock cylinder, not understanding how that could be but I understand GM has had problems with the cylinders, or possibly the starter. I just don't know what to do next, please help, any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 02-09-2010, 10:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

We are going to need a few more symptoms and a better explanation of the problem. Are you saying the key won't turn in the cylinder? If it does,is the starter turning the engine over?

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Old 02-09-2010, 11:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

The key does turn in the cylinder but the starter does not turn the engine over. Actually nothing happens when I turn the key.

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Old 02-09-2010, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoseppi View Post
We are going to need a few more symptoms and a better explanation of the problem. Are you saying the key won't turn in the cylinder? If it does,is the starter turning the engine over?
The key does turn in the cylinder but the starter does not turn the engine over. Actually nothing happens when I turn the key (no clicking) there is a momentary hum, I'm guessing that is the fuel pump.

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Old 02-09-2010, 12:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

If its the original starter, replace it. There is one last ditch attempt to get the starter to run (and verify a worn out one) if you're not comfortable getting under the engine to measure one pin on the starter; take a 2x4 and bang the starter. If it turns over the engine, replace it.

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Old 02-09-2010, 05:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

Automatic or manual? Does the car have RKE?

Is it really an SL2 with an SOHC? Transplant?

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Old 02-09-2010, 05:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

My bad, not an SL2 but it does have a SOHC. I'm fairly new at this so I have no idea what an RKE might be (Remote keyless entry? and if so no it doesn't) but it is an automatic. What should I be looking for. What is the neutral safety switch and might that be an issue.

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Old 02-09-2010, 05:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

For the automatic the neutral safety switch is out on the end of the transmission. You still have the security relay in the wiring though. Try starting the car in neutral instead of park as either one should let it crank. After that you have to check the purple wire terminal on the starter and see if you read 12vDC when you try and crank it.

And, on the in side of the car, under the lower kick panel cover, the one with the hood release in it, in the bundle of wires on the right side there is a small relay wired into the harness, its the square lump. On this relay you jumper A-1 to C-2 as marked on the relay socket, that will bypass it.

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Old 02-10-2010, 09:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

OK, I tried to start the car in neutral and alas it wouldn't start. So it doesn't start in park or neutral. The key turns but it won't crank, no clicking from the starter at all.

Let me see if I understand this. If I test the yellow wire to ground on the neutral safety switch (white trying to start car) and 12vDC is present then I put a jumper between the yellow and purple wires and try to start the car. If it cranks then I replace the neutral safety switch, if it does not crank then I replace the starter. One question, remember I'm new at this electrical stuff, what purple wire do I jump the yellow wire to, would it be the purple wire at the starter?

One other question. The security relay. Is that what is under the lower kick panel cover in the wire harness on the right (the square lump). Do I put a jumper between A-1 and C-2 regardless of what happens above or is this another test?

This may be long winded but I want to check everything possible before I spend $150.00 on a starter. Money is tight.

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Old 02-10-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

You have an automatic. So, there is no neutral safety switch for the clutch. Sorry for the confusion. That makes voltage checks much more difficult as you have to check for voltage right at the starter. That is under the car and a pain to get at.


As to the little relay in the wiring under the dash you can verify it is working by checking for 12v on the Yellow wire at terminal A-2 to ground with the key in crank. If you have 12v at that point the only thing left is the switch down on the transmission and you have tried 2 independent positions on that switch, park and neutral. That pretty much leaves it out and as you are hearing nothing from the starter and if there is 12v at the security relay then it is highly likely its the starter.

Unless you have a warm garage I would just replace the starter and be done with it. Once you get under the car to remove the starter you can check the purple wire at the starter to ground with key in crank once the wire is removed from the starter. If the electrical system is functioning properly then you will find 12v.

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Old 02-10-2010, 10:16 AM   #11
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

Thanks for all your help Old Nuc, won't be able to to fix it till this weekend but I'll keep you posted

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Old 02-10-2010, 11:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

OK, I hope this all makes sense. The drawing would help but its iced in the photo section.

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Old 02-10-2010, 11:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

One other "Hail Mary" test - hold the key in RUN while moving the shifter from Neutral toward Reverse and toward Drive. It _might_ engage at some point (so have your foot on the brake!), which means the neutral safety switch is out of adjustment.

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Old 02-10-2010, 12:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: OK replaced ignition switch, still won't start, PLEASE HELP

Did the hail Mary test and nothing happened. Never have these problems with my 80 Caprice, if it's a starter it's a starter. We love our Saturn but all these electrical relays and such can drive you crazy.

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