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Old 05-09-2012, 09:29 PM   #1
Katherina88
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2001 SL1
Default 2001 SL1 won't start occasionally

Yesterday my Saturn would not start. The key turns in the ignition, lights and radio go on but the engine does not turn over. I do not hear any sound from the car itself. I was towed to a garage and the car started fine for them. Battery test was good, starter test was normal, and charging test was ok. I picked up the car at lunch and everything was fine for a few hours until tonight as I again went to leave my child's daycare. This is the second day in the row I was towed. The tow truck driver spent 45 minutes and he was unable to start the vehicle. Any suggestions please?

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Old 05-09-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 2001 SL1 won't start occasionally

Automatic or manual transmission?

How many miles on the car?

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Old 05-10-2012, 01:29 AM   #3
adventureoflink
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1997 SL2
Default Re: 2001 SL1 won't start occasionally

Is this occuring with the temp gauge being at the 1/4 line or higher? if so, classic starter heat stroke.

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Old 05-10-2012, 05:28 AM   #4
Katherina88
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2001 SL1
Default Re: 2001 SL1 won't start occasionally

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Automatic or manual transmission?

How many miles on the car?
Automatic with 195,000.

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Old 05-10-2012, 05:32 AM   #5
Katherina88
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2001 SL1
Default Re: 2001 SL1 won't start occasionally

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
Is this occuring with the temp gauge being at the 1/4 line or higher? if so, classic starter heat stroke.
No the temp gauge was below 1/4 line. I did try waiting over 1/2 between attempts last night but same result.

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Old 05-10-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2001 SL1 won't start occasionally

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherina88 View Post
Yesterday my Saturn would not start. The key turns in the ignition, lights and radio go on but the engine does not turn over. I do not hear any sound from the car itself. I was towed to a garage and the car started fine for them. Battery test was good, starter test was normal.......... I picked up the car at lunch and everything was fine for a few hours until tonight ........This is the second day in the row I was towed. The tow truck driver spent 45 minutes and he was unable to start the vehicle. .....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherina88 View Post
Automatic with 195,000.
No one is an expert on testing starters. No test exists for car starters, period. For anyone to say "the starter tests fine" doesn't know squat about starters and how they normally go through everyday wear and tear until they wear out. With 195,000 miles and most likely the original starter, yours is thoroughly worn out but very few "mechanics", much less tow operators, and even less car owners are familiar with starter issues. A simple process of elimination, if done by anyone that has some basic electrical/mechanical skills can perform a sequence of tests to arrive at and conclude a worn out starter. The basic steps to eliminate everything and arrive at a worn out/faulty/dead starter; battery, battery cables, their connections, and the ignition switch STARTING circuit. Eliminating each item will lead to the starter unless one of the items is the fault. An alternate test and the easiest to perform requires getting dirty; banging the starter body with a piece of 2x4 lumber or steel rebar a few times. If the starter suddenly works to get the engine running, this is the perfect example of a last ditch effort to confirm a worn out starter.

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