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Old 10-14-2018, 01:46 PM   #1
bigwillie1957
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2004 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default No start 2004 L 300

Hey anybody, our 2004 3.0 L300 with 75000 miles is a not starting. Lights are bright, with a 2 year old battery. Only odd sound is a clicking noise coming from atop the motor with the key in the run position. No RPMs when I turn it over. It does turn over strong. Has a solid lit check engine light. Checked the fuses all are good. No signs anything was gonna go wrong, just wouldn't start today.

The noise sounds like it coming from the coil pack but I could be wrong.
Any ideas?
Will

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Old 10-14-2018, 02:31 PM   #2
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Take off the oil fill cap and verify that the cam turns when someone cranks the engine. Sadly I suspect that you have broken original 14 year old timing belt.

...
2002 L200/5 loaded, loving my stick shift car now with KYB struts and adjustable rear control arms.

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Old 10-14-2018, 03:01 PM   #3
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2004 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Okay I'll do that.

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Old 10-14-2018, 03:21 PM   #4
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2000 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Quote:
Originally Posted by 02 LW300 View Post
Take off the oil fill cap and verify that the cam turns when someone cranks the engine. Sadly I suspect that you have broken original 14 year old timing belt.
I'm stronly leaning in your direction here also, although I'd be happy if the belt turned out not to be broken. FWIW, on my wife's '04 Acura MDX with a 3.5L belt driven V6, Honda/Acura recommend 105K mile service interval, or 7 years by time - whichever comes first. I do believe that there is wisdom in that recommendation.

...
296,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 10-14-2018, 03:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

bigwillie1957, when you state no rpms but the engine turns over strong, do you mean no tach needle movement while starting? Can you verify the engine turning over by looking at the drive belt for movement while someone tries starting? If you see drive belt movement then the timing belt isn't broken, yet. Something else is broke.

A no tach needle movement while starting may be the only indication of a dead crank position sensor. Without an operating crank sensor the entire EFI system is dead - no fuel pump operation, no spark, no ignition for spark. The ecm cannot run with a dead crank sensor. It's next to the oil filter, mounted with one Torx bolt.

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Old 10-14-2018, 05:00 PM   #6
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
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Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

I hope fdryer is correct with the crank sensor, however the alternator belt will turn even with a broken timing belt.

...
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:23 PM   #7
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Fuel pump will run before the engine spins. When you turn the key, do you hear a humming noise which shuts off in a few seconds? If not, check if you have fuel on the fuel rail. Remove small cap and push the "bike tire" looking value on the fuel rail while turning the engine, or just after trying it. You should see gas spray out. If not, the fuel pump is not working check the fuse. Next would be crank position sensor, and then timing issues.
Rj

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Old 10-14-2018, 07:24 PM   #8
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

02 LW300, now that you mentioned it, you are correct - the crankshaft will still turnover since the starter turns the flywheel bolted to the crankshaft whether the timing belt is broken or not.

If the timing belt snapped, what's the chances of all 24 valves staying clear of interference to allow the crankshaft and pistons to turn without crashing and bending any valve(s)? I would guess interference engines won't not allow crankshaft rotation if either a timing chain or belt snaps.

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Old 10-14-2018, 07:34 PM   #9
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Rj 2000 LS2, all Saturn EFI systems runs the fuel pump for several seconds every time ignition is turned on. This is only good for checking fuel pump operation and fuel pressure. This will not help determine injector operation. Advanced troubleshooting by removing plugs to check for fuel injector operation in one way to see if injectors are working. Unfortunately, plug removal for our V6 engines are difficult since the intake runners and ignition coil pack must be removed before plugs are accessible. Other engines with easier access to plug removal can help determine if injectors are spraying, one indication of the crank sensor and ecm operating the EFI system.

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Old 10-14-2018, 07:47 PM   #10
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

I would check for fuel, if none, reset the fuel pump (maybe tripped) or check fuses. You can listen to the injectors using a short piece of PVC help against each inject while the engine is being turned over. You will hear them fire. Next, crank position sensor. My wife's went out while driving. We had it towed home and I found the sensor was bad. It's an easy fix. If the timing belt is broken, nothing would happen. If the belt jumped teeth, it might start but run really rough. Damage can occur. Timing belt is not fun to replace.
Rj

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Old 10-14-2018, 08:00 PM   #11
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
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Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

I purchased a very nice 2001 L300 with about 110,000 miles on it a couple years ago. The original timing belt had broken and the engine has many bent valves. Unfortunately the starter has no problem spinning the crankshaft and bending valves in both styles of engines. I do have a good 2001 v-6 out of one car and a good transmission out of another. Now I just need to find a nice L300 with a broken belt near me.

...
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

^ That's one perfect example of a damaged engine turning over freely after valves were bent. My guess is the timing belt snapped first then the engine continued from mechanical momentum as the interference part of valves meeting pistons occurred in short order to damage the engine. If done while driving at mid to high rpm, more damage? At low speed, low rpm, maybe a few bent valves as the engine stopped? Then unknowingly cranked over to do more damage? Best guess while speculating on a damaged engine is either a tear down by removing cylinder heads or taking a chance on running a compression test. Short of removing cylinder heads or compression testing would be removing the timing cover to see if the timing belt snapped and lying in pieces.

I'll bet on a long shot that this engine wasn't run ragged with high rpm shifts, burnouts, autocrossing, track racing, lack of oil maintenance, and other things to force premature wear and tear that might contribute to timing belt damage.

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Old 10-14-2018, 08:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Rj 2000 LS2, there is no reset for the fuel pump. Either the pump runs or not. Fuel spraying out the fuel test valve is a great indication of fuel pump, pump relay, pump fuse and ecm operating the fuel pump. This does not say the ecm is operating injectors as the crank sensor is needed during starting/running to allow the ecm to operate all three circuits - fuel pump, ignition system for spark and injectors.

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Old 10-15-2018, 12:11 AM   #14
02 LW300
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
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Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Timing belts usually fail on startup. They strip the teeth off at the crank sprocket and bend all the valves that are open where the cams stopped. I have been a mechanic all my life and have seen it all.

...
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:17 PM   #15
bigwillie1957
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2004 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
bigwillie1957, when you state no rpms but the engine turns over strong, do you mean no tach needle movement while starting? Can you verify the engine turning over by looking at the drive belt for movement while someone tries starting? If you see drive belt movement then the timing belt isn't broken, yet. Something else is broke.

A no tach needle movement while starting may be the only indication of a dead crank position sensor. Without an operating crank sensor the entire EFI system is dead - no fuel pump operation, no spark, no ignition for spark. The ecm cannot run with a dead crank sensor. It's next to the oil filter, mounted with one Torx bolt.
No tach movement. I have to wait til wed. to get to the car. I sure appreciate this info. I'll know a lot more then. Crossing my fingers on this one.

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Old 10-15-2018, 12:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rj 2000 LS2 View Post
Fuel pump will run before the engine spins. When you turn the key, do you hear a humming noise which shuts off in a few seconds? If not, check if you have fuel on the fuel rail. Remove small cap and push the "bike tire" looking value on the fuel rail while turning the engine, or just after trying it. You should see gas spray out. If not, the fuel pump is not working check the fuse. Next would be crank position sensor, and then timing issues.
Rj
Right, I should have thought of that [cycling the fuel pump]. Thanks I'm
grateful to you all!

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Old 10-15-2018, 12:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
^ That's one perfect example of a damaged engine turning over freely after valves were bent. My guess is the timing belt snapped first then the engine continued from mechanical momentum as the interference part of valves meeting pistons occurred in short order to damage the engine. If done while driving at mid to high rpm, more damage? At low speed, low rpm, maybe a few bent valves as the engine stopped? Then unknowingly cranked over to do more damage? Best guess while speculating on a damaged engine is either a tear down by removing cylinder heads or taking a chance on running a compression test. Short of removing cylinder heads or compression testing would be removing the timing cover to see if the timing belt snapped and lying in pieces.

I'll bet on a long shot that this engine wasn't run ragged with high rpm shifts, burnouts, autocrossing, track racing, lack of oil maintenance, and other things to force premature wear and tear that might contribute to timing belt damage.
Lol, Good bet, its my 60 year old wife's car.

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Old 10-15-2018, 12:34 PM   #18
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2004 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rj 2000 LS2 View Post
I would check for fuel, if none, reset the fuel pump (maybe tripped) or check fuses. You can listen to the injectors using a short piece of PVC help against each inject while the engine is being turned over. You will hear them fire. Next, crank position sensor. My wife's went out while driving. We had it towed home and I found the sensor was bad. It's an easy fix. If the timing belt is broken, nothing would happen. If the belt jumped teeth, it might start but run really rough. Damage can occur. Timing belt is not fun to replace.
Rj
Thank you, I have a stethoscope. Good info for now and the future!

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Old 10-15-2018, 03:36 PM   #19
Rj 2000 LS2
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Rj 2000 LS2, there is no reset for the fuel pump. Either the pump runs or not. Fuel spraying out the fuel test valve is a great indication of fuel pump, pump relay, pump fuse and ecm operating the fuel pump. This does not say the ecm is operating injectors as the crank sensor is needed during starting/running to allow the ecm to operate all three circuits - fuel pump, ignition system for spark and injectors.
Good to know Saturn's don't have a Reset Fuel Shut Off Switch (Inertia Switch). - Thanks

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Old 10-20-2018, 09:56 AM   #20
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Default Re: No start 2004 L 300

Update: I did the things suggested by everyone, Its getting fuel, camshaft was turning over, fuses all fine. I put my stethoscope on the top of the motor to pinpoint the clicking sound and once I touched the fuel rail I was on to something. With the key in the run position I unplugged the throttle position sensor and the noise stopped. Then the car started and with it running I plugged it back in and it ran for about a minute then missed badly and stalled. If the crank position sensor was bad would it have started? what Ive read a bad throttle position sensor will only make it hard to start and run bad, hesitate and suck gas. Used a scanner that would only give me a code with the TPS unplugged, then it spit out 7 different ones and none was crank position sensor. Could it be the computer? I'll probably start with the TPS cause its the cheapest. Thanks for reading.
Will

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