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Old 01-03-2012, 06:52 AM   #1
gapessos
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Default car wont start. battery?

my 2000 sl2 saturn wont start. i was told it was my battery. i replaced it and it still wont start. my question is does the cold cranking amps matter? i replaced a 650 cca battery with a cheap 525 cca battery. i was told smaller engines take more to start it up so would that be why its not starting still?
I talked to pepboys and they said its probably the fuel pump and it would cost over 800 bucks to fix it plus 90 bucks to see whats wrong with it and 50 bucks to tow it there.
i guess im hoping its not the fuel pump and something simple like a need a stronger battery to crank it started.

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Old 01-03-2012, 07:10 AM   #2
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1995 SL1
Default Re: car wont start. battery?

If the car is turning over and simply not starting it's probably not a battery issue. If you turn the key and nothing happens it's still probably not a battery issue, as just about any battery should turn over an S Series unless you are in the Actic and running 20w-50 oil.

Can you descibe more in depth what happens when you turn the key?

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Old 01-03-2012, 07:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: car wont start. battery?

Since the stock battery was around 450cca from what I've been able to find, 525 is technically overkill. I'm very happy with the 650cca battery I just put in though. Dad bought it (over a year ago) and declared it dead over 6 months ago and I didn't even need to charge it before using it according to my DMM

+1 to more info on what is/isn't happening.
Is the security light on/flashing?
Is the engine spinning like normal but just not running on it's own?
Are the battery cables corroded where the bolt into the battery? (should be a copper or silver color, any green crud needs to be removed)

...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)

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Old 01-03-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: car wont start. battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gapessos View Post
my 2000 sl2 saturn wont start. i was told it was my battery. i replaced it and it still wont start.....
Here, we specialize in trying to be more specific so you'll have to be more specific.

Do you hear the starter at all as in DEAD silence or is this where the engine turns over but doesn't fire up? There's a difference....................

And don't listen to Pep Boys or any other repair shop; all they want is your money. Repairing something is secondary - its business, nothing personal. You're more likely to find more free help than you'll find anywhere because no one here makes any money from giving out help.

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Old 01-04-2012, 06:11 AM   #5
gapessos
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Default Re: car wont start. battery?

Its sounds normal when i try to start it, it just wont start. i dont hear any clicking noise or anything. it just doesnt start. now i know i need an oil change, my service engine light came on with my low oil pressure light and my battery light is still on when i turn the key over a little to turn on the lights and radio.
now something like this happened about 8 months ago. my driveway is on a lil hill and when i tried to start my car it wouldnt start. i thought maybe something was low on oil so i rolled it down the hill to almost flat ground and a day later it started up. sounded crappy at first like it was gonna die, but the more i ran it the better it sounded. took it over to menike they couldnt find the prob.
but like i said it sounds fine now just wont turn on.

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Old 01-04-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: car wont start. battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gapessos View Post
Its sounds normal when i try to start it, it just wont start. i dont hear any clicking noise or anything. it just doesnt start....
It seems from your description that the starter does run to turn the engine but the engine never comes to life? In other words if you keep cranking the engine the battery will run down without the engine ever firing up? Please don't respond with the words 'start' and 'no start'. Using the phrase "trying to start up but it won't start" means as much confusion as it appears. "Just won't turn on" is another misleading phrase. This can mean the starter doesn't work or the engine doesn't work. Which is it?

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Old 01-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #7
Chub
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Default Re: car wont start. battery?

The best way to figure out the problem is to diagnose one part at a time to find the issue. If you can hear the engine cranking, and it sounds like it did before you had the starting problems, then you know that the battery is working fine and that the starter is also. If you do not even hear cranking when you try to start the engine then there is something wrong with the starter or something preventing electricity from getting to it. If this is the case and you have a manual transmission, you can try bump starting it and if you can get it to start, this means that your starter is bad. Once you know the engine is cranking, move to the next step, which would be seeing if the engine is getting fuel. The first place to look would be the fuel pump.

An easy way to tell if your fuel pump is actually running is to simply turn the key to run without starting the car and to get out of it and take off the gas cap and put your head near the gas tank. If the fuel pump is running at all, you should be able to hear a distinct high pitched buzzing noise, even if it may be faint coming from the fuel tank area. If you don't hear anything, then there is a good chance that the fuel pump isn't on either because it is broken or there is an electrical problem and power is not getting to the pump. Also, they want $800 to replace the fuel pump!? Wow, DIY work is so much cheaper since most of that price goes to labor since they have to drop the fuel tank, which is a time-consuming task. Replacing the pump is as easy as pie once you can get to it, and it usually costs about $100 - $150.

If you can verify the functionality of the fuel pump, then the next step will be to see if the fuel is getting to the engine. Then you can move onto spark, timing, etc., until you find the problem.

One final note, the level of oil in the engine, unless it is some crazy consistency, or way too full, will have virtually no effect on the engine's ability to start.

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Old 01-06-2012, 12:52 PM   #8
Jax_1995_SL1
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Default Re: car wont start. battery?

+1 Chub

Everything Chub says is spot on. Checking the fuel pump for the humming sound is always on my "car won't start checklist"

The only thing I will add from my own embarrassing previous situation is checking Air Flow.

One time my wife's non-Saturn car had a debris filled air filter. Surprisingly there was enough blockage of airflow to keep the car from being able to start at all. When we opened up the air filter compartment the car started right up. When we tried to close the compartment containing the air filter, the car choked out...

It wouldn't hurt anything at all to open the air filter compartment and give it a try.

...
1995 Saturn SL1 SOHC 5 Speed

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:29 PM   #9
LabRat
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Default Re: car wont start. battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chub View Post
If this is the case and you have a manual transmission, you can try bump starting it and if you can get it to start, this means that your starter is bad.
Agree with your systematic approach but successful bump start only means the starter is not working; this can still be because electricity is not getting to the starter due to bad or corroded wiring or connections, bad ignition switch etc etc. A bad starter is of course also possible.

-LR

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Old 01-06-2012, 04:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: car wont start. battery?

I find this decription incredibly hard to understand...

Option 1- I am not clear in the description if when you turn the key to the START position, does the starter turn over AT ALL,


Option 2-Or, when you turn the key to the START position, do you get nothing, no revolutions, no turning over of the engine at all... LIKE NOTHING HAPPENS AT ALL...

if Option 2, then if you have a place to jack the car up, then you could try hitting the starter solenoid with a hammer, you might have to do this a few times, but it might just work to get the starter to do something... worked on my 96 SL2, when the starter was on it's last legs...

...
97 SL1 297K km and climbing, 5spd m/t, no a/c or options, commuter of 60miles a day
96 SL2 220K parts car,00 SL1 Auto, wife's replacement, awesome car so far 231K

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Old 01-09-2012, 04:06 PM   #11
fdxjettech
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Default Re: car wont start. battery?

The description of you problem sounds exactly like the time my wife ran our car out of gas. Once i put some gas in it it took a while to start and when it did it ran like crap for about five minutes. I had to keep it wound up to even keep it running at all. I dont know if there is a check valve in the fuel line but if there is that would be my first stop after I confirmed the fuel pump is working. Check the fuel pump fuse.

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