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Old 11-08-2012, 01:54 AM   #1
charzii
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Default anti theft ??

I have a 1996 sl2 automatic. It started ticking 2 nights ago. Ticking is coming from over passenger side rear wheel...somewhere. I couldn't stop it, so I took neg. battery cable off. The next day i put cable back on and it started ticking again. I read here someplace that if you have the dome light anywhere but off, it could cause/allow the ticking. Well as much as that made no sense to me, I tried it and the ticking stopped. But my car won't start....no nothing, no dash lights, nothing. I tried to find answer here, but all I could find was a description of a keyless entry problem causing the no start. I don't have a keyless entry and I'm not even sure I have any kind of anti theft thing either. I've had car for almost 2 years...barely over 100,000 miles on it. Do any of you Saturn experts have any ideas that I can try? I am not a car mechanic by any stretch,(although I did manage to change a motor mount, with your help) but I can follow instructions pretty good.

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: anti theft ??

'96-'02 if you have power locks you have keyless entry. '97-'02 also get a security system, though '97-'99 is less freaking annoying then '00-'02.

Try putting the gear selector in "N" and start it, see what it does.

If you don't have a fob to make the keyless work and you have a '96-'99 with power locks it's a ~$25 eBay fix.

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Old 11-08-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: anti theft ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by charzii View Post
I have a 1996 sl2 automatic. ..... I took neg. battery cable off. The next day i put cable back on and it started ticking again. ..........my car won't start....no nothing, no dash lights, nothing. ...... .

The following four questions address a no-start/no dash lights/no power issue.

1-Did you put the battery cable back on?

2-If the battery is over 4yrs old then have it tested at any auto store selling batteries. A dead/dying battery.............

3-Have the alternator tested when the battery is tested.

4-Are the battery cables clean and free of corrosion? Grounds, chassis and engine?

Ticking by the passenger side may be a worn out belt tensioner hitting its own end stop when the spring wears out. A simple test; if you can press and deflect the serp belt with just your fingers or see the belt flapping while the engine's running the tensioner is worn out. Some try a new belt but find out the hard way that this isn't the cure.

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: anti theft ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
2-If the battery is over 4yrs old then have it tested at any auto store selling batteries. A dead/dying battery.............
In hot climates (like Houston) where your car bakes in the sun, that would be more like 2.5 years old.

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: anti theft ??

^^^^^^ It's def. the RKE; you're describing exactly where the module is located. It's behind the trim panel next to the rear seat on the driver's side. Now it's a chicken-egg question - is the battery weak just because it's old, and causing a voltage drop which is making the RKE module tick? Or is there something funky with the module, causing a battery drain? Another possible player, since RKE is tied to the power locks, is a very common issue with our cars -- the driver's door lock switch (it could be either one, but it's usu. the driver's) gets worn, to where the rocker won't stay in the "neutral" (neither lock nor unlock) position, and it falls into the lock position, constantly firing the power locks, which runs the battery down.

One member even had a problem where his RKE module fell off its perch and slipped down to the floor under the seat, still connected, into a little pool of water under the seat cushion, and evetually shorted out.

Put a slow charge on the battery. When it's fully charged, get it load tested. If you're so inclined, you can get your own load tester at Harbor Freight. Any sign of weakness with the battery, and as said above, replace it, so you're not chasing your tail with electrical demons. Then try removing the LOCKS fuse before reinstalling the battery, and see if that makes the ticking stop. We may reach the point where we're pulling that trim panel off in order to disconnect the module, but that's not difficult.

And to clarify/confirm the above, the '96 cars have no anti-theft system (other than the the fact that it's a '96 Saturn .....).

Last edited by madpogue; 11-08-2012 at 02:28 PM..

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Old 11-08-2012, 03:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: anti theft ??

I tried starting car in neutral..still nothing. I will charge battery tonight, just to make sure that the battery is not the problem, but the battery is only about 1 yr. old, so it shouldn't be so DEAD, I don't think.

Can I just get rid of the keyless entry thing and just have a regular power door lock car, thus eliminating all of these problems? I have never had any problems before with door or starting car and I have never had any special keys/remotes etc....just a regular run of the mill key. Why all of a sudden is it acting like this?
Is this just a Saturn thing? A GM thing?

Sorry for frustration with Saturns, but 4 days without a car and no money to have it towed to the Saturn mechanic is starting to get to me.

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: anti theft ??

Remote keyless entry is just for the door locks and have nothing to do with any alarm or starter interrupt. All you may have is either a battery or starter issue. Once you know the battery is fully charged or have a friend give you a boost from their car battery, try starting. A dead, no-start problem may just be a worn out starter if you're still on the original starter. If you don't mind getting dirty, crawl under the car and whack the starter body a few times with a piece of 2x4 lumber or rebar; this may allow one more start and tell you that the starter is worn out.

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Old 11-09-2012, 02:14 AM   #8
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1996 SW2
Default Re: anti theft ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by charzii View Post
I tried starting car in neutral..still nothing. I will charge battery tonight, just to make sure that the battery is not the problem, but the battery is only about 1 yr. old, so it shouldn't be so DEAD, I don't think.
Age of the battery only affects how _long_ it takes to kill it. A brand new battery will go dead with enough of a constant load.

Quote:
Can I just get rid of the keyless entry thing and just have a regular power door lock car, thus eliminating all of these problems? I have never had any problems before with door or starting car and I have never had any special keys/remotes etc....just a regular run of the mill key. Why all of a sudden is it acting like this?
Yes, actually, you can disconnect the RKE module (it's under that trim panel, as described above), and the power locks will still work with the door switches. But if it's a failed door switch at the root of the problem, it won't help you.

The RKE uses a standard GM 3- or 4-button AB01502T remote, available for cheap on eBay, and programmable in the driveway with a paper clip. No special key.

Quote:
Sorry for frustration with Saturns, but 4 days without a car and no money to have it towed to the Saturn mechanic is starting to get to me.
Owning a >10-year-old car that's paid off, it should be a given that you have annual road service coverage such as AAA, or at least towing coverage on your insurance. Think of the $100-ish per year as a veeeerrrrry cheap alternative to a car payment and higher insurance payment.

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Old 11-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: anti theft ??

I have adjusted my attitude and I am on my way out to: 1. remove LOCKS fuse. 2. reinstall charged battery...it was way dead. 3. start my Saturn. 4. reinstall LOCKS fuse and see what happens

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Old 11-09-2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: anti theft ??

My Saturn started! Wa Hoo! Since I don't know for sure what caused the battery to go dead, I am happy to leave Locks fuse out and manually lock and unlock my door. Oh for the good old days of cheap gas, carburetors, and manual everything(except steering)

Thanks guys for all of your help and suggestions!

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Old 11-10-2012, 03:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: anti theft ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by charzii View Post
My Saturn started! Wa Hoo! Since I don't know for sure what caused the battery to go dead, I am happy to leave Locks fuse out and manually lock and unlock my door. Oh for the good old days of cheap gas, carburetors, and manual everything(except steering)

Thanks guys for all of your help and suggestions!
Easy, disconnect the drivers side power door lock switch. When ever I closed the door the locks would go crazy and drain the battery.

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Old 11-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: anti theft ??

Could be the fuel pump.

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Old 10-08-2013, 06:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: anti theft ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
'96-'02 if you have power locks you have keyless entry. '97-'02 also get a security system, though '97-'99 is less freaking annoying then '00-'02.

Try putting the gear selector in "N" and start it, see what it does.

If you don't have a fob to make the keyless work and you have a '96-'99 with power locks it's a ~$25 eBay fix.
I have a 99 with power locks, what is the $25 fix??

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Old 10-08-2013, 06:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: anti theft ??

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Originally Posted by rovingjeff View Post
I have a 99 with power locks, what is the $25 fix??
Buying a ~$25 remote off ebay, then programming with a paperclip.

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