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Old 09-25-2019, 06:11 PM   #1
rochvids
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Default Aura won't crank

Hello everybody, new here. I have a 2008 Aura 2.4L with 130K miles. I am trying to figure out why it won't crank. When I turn the key, the dash lights go out and absolutely nothing happens, no clicking or any other noise.
I checked the battery, connections, the crank/run fuse, all good. The only things I did not test are the starter and ignition switch. Before it died, it stalled and was running a bit rough. Anyone experienced the same issue or has any idea what's going on?

Thank you in advance!

Last edited by rochvids; 09-25-2019 at 06:17 PM..

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Old 09-25-2019, 08:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

When trying to start and lights go out, this usually means a power issue - battery, battery cables and their connections. Unless you're familiar with car batteries, bring it to your favorite auto store selling car batteries for testing. Tests go one of several ways; dead, partially discharged and needing a charge or good. Your descriptions are either a dead battery or poor battery cable connections. You can always try a boost from another car battery or portable battery booster but you must ensure your car battery cables are clean and free of corrosion.

When using a boost from another battery, the red cable jumper always connects to each battery red terminal post. Some Saturns have a second red terminal next to the engine fuse box with a cover, flipped up to reveal a red post for a jumper cable connection instead of the battery side terminal. Ground is connected to the engine block, any bare metal bolted to the engine or large bolt for the alligator clip to grab onto. The larger surface area allows more current to help boost a dead battery/startup. Once started, if the drive belt and alternator are working, the alternator takes over - supplying all the electrical needs of a vehicle while slowly recharging the dead battery.

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Old 09-26-2019, 02:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
When trying to start and lights go out, this usually means a power issue - battery, battery cables and their connections. Unless you're familiar with car batteries, bring it to your favorite auto store selling car batteries for testing. Tests go one of several ways; dead, partially discharged and needing a charge or good. Your descriptions are either a dead battery or poor battery cable connections. You can always try a boost from another car battery or portable battery booster but you must ensure your car battery cables are clean and free of corrosion.

When using a boost from another battery, the red cable jumper always connects to each battery red terminal post. Some Saturns have a second red terminal next to the engine fuse box with a cover, flipped up to reveal a red post for a jumper cable connection instead of the battery side terminal. Ground is connected to the engine block, any bare metal bolted to the engine or large bolt for the alligator clip to grab onto. The larger surface area allows more current to help boost a dead battery/startup. Once started, if the drive belt and alternator are working, the alternator takes over - supplying all the electrical needs of a vehicle while slowly recharging the dead battery.
Thank you for responding!

I tested all battery cable connections and followed the positive to the starter, I get a little over 12V. There is no corrosion and all cables are and wires are in good condition. I did some further testing and found out that the ignition cable does not receive any power when key is turned. I connected the positive lead of the multimeter to the ignition wire (purple), grounded it and turned the key, nothing, 0 volt. It looks like it's narrowed down to:
- Ignition switch
- Ignition switch fuse / relay
- Ignition wiring issue

Before I get the ignition switch out, do you know where its fuse is?

Any info would be appreciated, thank you!

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Old 09-26-2019, 10:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

A fully charged battery usually outputs 12.5v. What's battery voltage measured at the battery? If below 12.3v, either the battery needs charging or have it tested. Battery warranties are pretty good warnings of end of life warnings too. A five year warranted battery will tend to die at five years but may last longer in warm areas of the country, a little less in snow regions. When in doubt, have it tested. How old is this battery? Unless you're certain this battery is good, you may be looking in the wrong places for problems. Ignition switch, fuse and wiring issues may not be problems if this car was never damaged from collision or electrical mods like aftermarket alarm, remote start or other add ons done incorrectly to affect existing wiring. Main power and fuses are in the engine fuse box for checking on blown fuses. Secondary power for accessories are in one or two fuse panels inside the car by either the console side or foot well.

To eliminate possible battery issues, either recharge it at home or have a jump start from another car or portable battery booster. If you can, bring your battery for testing in your neighborhood auto store. Be sure of power and power distribution before turning your attention to the electrical/electronic systems. For service manuals, either subscribe to alldata diy or Mitchell for online access.

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Old 09-26-2019, 10:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

I had a no start issue. Turned out to be a bad ground which caused the ECM to think the car was in gear so it would not allow the starter to crank. May not be related but is something to check.
Check my thread here...
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ighlight=crank

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2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)

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Old 09-26-2019, 11:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

You should swap the relay with the arrow in the pic with one of the others in case you have a bad starter relay.
In troubleshooting my ground issue I attached a small jumper so I could activate the starter relay from under the hood. I could crank the engine, with the starter relay installed, by touching the jumper to the + battery terminal. The attached pics show where I put the small jumper wire.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20190926_115309.jpg (168.3 KB, 3 views)

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Old 09-26-2019, 11:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Here is the pic showing the jumper location:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20190926_115322-1.jpg (187.2 KB, 3 views)

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Last edited by imaddicted2u; 09-26-2019 at 11:44 AM..

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Old 09-26-2019, 12:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

The ignition switch fuse is here in the fuse panel in the center console on the passenger side:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IGN Sensor fuse.jpg (111.7 KB, 3 views)

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Old 09-26-2019, 01:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
A fully charged battery usually outputs 12.5v. What's battery voltage measured at the battery? If below 12.3v, either the battery needs charging or have it tested. Battery warranties are pretty good warnings of end of life warnings too. A five year warranted battery will tend to die at five years but may last longer in warm areas of the country, a little less in snow regions. When in doubt, have it tested. How old is this battery? Unless you're certain this battery is good, you may be looking in the wrong places for problems. Ignition switch, fuse and wiring issues may not be problems if this car was never damaged from collision or electrical mods like aftermarket alarm, remote start or other add ons done incorrectly to affect existing wiring. Main power and fuses are in the engine fuse box for checking on blown fuses. Secondary power for accessories are in one or two fuse panels inside the car by either the console side or foot well.

To eliminate possible battery issues, either recharge it at home or have a jump start from another car or portable battery booster. If you can, bring your battery for testing in your neighborhood auto store. Be sure of power and power distribution before turning your attention to the electrical/electronic systems. For service manuals, either subscribe to alldata diy or Mitchell for online access.
The battery is 100% functional. The old one died about a couple of months ago. I tested it and I even jumped it, same symptoms. I also tested the cables going to the starter, connection is good including grounds going the engine and chassis, nothing is broken. The only thing that I found not working is the ignition wire not receiving anything when I turn the key to the run position.

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Old 09-26-2019, 01:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by imaddicted2u View Post
You should swap the relay with the arrow in the pic with one of the others in case you have a bad starter relay.
In troubleshooting my ground issue I attached a small jumper so I could activate the starter relay from under the hood. I could crank the engine, with the starter relay installed, by touching the jumper to the + battery terminal. The attached pics show where I put the small jumper wire.
Thank you for the pics. I am going to try as you suggested. I am almost certain that it's an ignition switch related issue but I will try that and post back the results.

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Old 09-26-2019, 01:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by imaddicted2u View Post
I had a no start issue. Turned out to be a bad ground which caused the ECM to think the car was in gear so it would not allow the starter to crank. May not be related but is something to check.
Check my thread here.
Thank you for sharing! The ground can cause a lot of problems. It was the first thing I looked into and made sure I had good connection, I even replaced the negative cable going to the engine and measured by touching the end to make sure it is making good contact. I will keep reading it, there might be something to check that I have not tried it. Thanks again.

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Old 09-26-2019, 02:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by rochvids View Post
The battery is 100% functional. The old one died about a couple of months ago. I tested it and I even jumped it, same symptoms. I also tested the cables going to the starter, connection is good including grounds going the engine and chassis, nothing is broken. The only thing that I found not working is the ignition wire not receiving anything when I turn the key to the run position.
What do you by your last sentence? Some clarification is needed. There are several steps to go thru before starting. In general, two steps; turning ignition ON and then continuing turning to the START position.

1-When ignition is turned on, are all instrument panel lights turned on then off a few seconds later, leaving brake, oil and seat belt light on? If this occurs, you verified all electronics turned on, performed their own power on self tests (ecm, bcm, abs, airbag modules) then turned off indicators. General descriptions at this stage are termed the light test but much more goes on than most know.

2-When turning the ign switch to START, the start circuit is enabled to either send 12v directly from the ign switch to the starter solenoid or a low voltage signal is sent from the ign switch to the bcm or ecm to command it to send a 12v signal to a relay, closing a set of contacts that sends 12v to the starter solenoid (electronic starting circuit). In either scenario, powering the starter solenoid occurs first - the starter solenoid pulls out the starter gear to engage the engine flywheel while closing a set of heavy duty electrical contacts to send battery power to run the starter motor. The starter motor requires a lot of current hence the direct battery cable connection on one starter solenoid terminal. Starter ground is thru its frame connected to the engine block. Engine block ground is the wire attached to it and going back to either battery negative or chassis stud connection. Chassis stud ground connection goes to battery negative. Internal to starter solenoids are a pair of large electrical contacts that close when the solenoid is powered up.

You can try the method described previously to manually power the starter from the fuse panel or go directly to the starter solenoid and momentarily jumper across the battery cable terminal and the small terminal with a single wire on it. This small terminal is the start signal/12v from ign switch or start relay in electronic start circuits. Bypassing electronics or electrical wiring by momentarily jumpering across the starter solenoid two terminals should power up the starter immediately. Beware when under any vehicle when performing a manual starter test. Be sure ignition is OFF to prevent the engine from starting up. All you're doing is separating several issues to find a problem; battery, battery cables, their connections, ignition switch, wiring, one of two starting circuits and starter. Jumpering the starter at the starter solenoid eliminates everything except the battery and battery connections. If the starter runs and turns over the engine, you've cut the possibilities in half. If you are hesitant about being under the engine when shorting the starter terminals, you can attach a length of wire to each terminal extending away from the vehicle to momentarily touch the two ends together for a remote start circuit. Four or five feet of paired wires is sufficient to safely operate a starter without being under the vehicle. It's presumed parking brake is engaged and shift lever in park position. If the starter runs and cranks the engine, your problem is as you thought. If the starter does not run, your problems are with battery, battery cables and their connections.

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Old 09-26-2019, 03:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by rochvids View Post
Thank you for sharing! The ground can cause a lot of problems. It was the first thing I looked into and made sure I had good connection, I even replaced the negative cable going to the engine and measured by touching the end to make sure it is making good contact. I will keep reading it, there might be something to check that I have not tried it. Thanks again.
I'm not talking about the battery ground wiring. The ground problem I had was on a lug attached to the engine. It has 6 wires attached to it. Only 2 of them had broken on mine. The grounds on that lug are for the ECM, the MAF, the IMT, TCM and 2 are for the Park/Neutral switch, 1 is for the ECM and one is for the TCM sides of the switch.
If you use the jumper method to turn it over, you will at least prove the relay and starter are good and the battery can turn the car over. That narrows it down to the relay start signal missing from the ECM. Reasons for that can include the ignition switch, the park/neutral switch, the Pass-key immobilizer system, among others I'm sure.

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Old 09-26-2019, 03:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Check key. Sounds exactly like unprogrammed key

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Old 09-26-2019, 04:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by onefunkar View Post
Check key. Sounds exactly like unprogrammed key
Good thought onefunkar.
In case it's the key, you could try the New Master Key procedure in this video.
I've never had to do it but it erases all keys, makes the current key the Master and you can then use it to add more keys. That procedure is in the video as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R9Zu1I4ZUE

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Old 09-26-2019, 06:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Thanks. Or try another key if you have one. If you have a good key programming new keys takes 10 seconds. Very unusual to have problem with immobilizer system (not to be confused with the goofy passlock system)..

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Old 09-28-2019, 01:09 AM   #17
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
What do you by your last sentence? Some clarification is needed. There are several steps to go thru before starting. In general, two steps; turning ignition ON and then continuing turning to the START position.

1-When ignition is turned on, are all instrument panel lights turned on then off a few seconds later, leaving brake, oil and seat belt light on? If this occurs, you verified all electronics turned on, performed their own power on self tests (ecm, bcm, abs, airbag modules) then turned off indicators. General descriptions at this stage are termed the light test but much more goes on than most know.

2-When turning the ign switch to START, the start circuit is enabled to either send 12v directly from the ign switch to the starter solenoid or a low voltage signal is sent from the ign switch to the bcm or ecm to command it to send a 12v signal to a relay, closing a set of contacts that sends 12v to the starter solenoid (electronic starting circuit). In either scenario, powering the starter solenoid occurs first - the starter solenoid pulls out the starter gear to engage the engine flywheel while closing a set of heavy duty electrical contacts to send battery power to run the starter motor. The starter motor requires a lot of current hence the direct battery cable connection on one starter solenoid terminal. Starter ground is thru its frame connected to the engine block. Engine block ground is the wire attached to it and going back to either battery negative or chassis stud connection. Chassis stud ground connection goes to battery negative. Internal to starter solenoids are a pair of large electrical contacts that close when the solenoid is powered up.

You can try the method described previously to manually power the starter from the fuse panel or go directly to the starter solenoid and momentarily jumper across the battery cable terminal and the small terminal with a single wire on it. This small terminal is the start signal/12v from ign switch or start relay in electronic start circuits. Bypassing electronics or electrical wiring by momentarily jumpering across the starter solenoid two terminals should power up the starter immediately. Beware when under any vehicle when performing a manual starter test. Be sure ignition is OFF to prevent the engine from starting up. All you're doing is separating several issues to find a problem; battery, battery cables, their connections, ignition switch, wiring, one of two starting circuits and starter. Jumpering the starter at the starter solenoid eliminates everything except the battery and battery connections. If the starter runs and turns over the engine, you've cut the possibilities in half. If you are hesitant about being under the engine when shorting the starter terminals, you can attach a length of wire to each terminal extending away from the vehicle to momentarily touch the two ends together for a remote start circuit. Four or five feet of paired wires is sufficient to safely operate a starter without being under the vehicle. It's presumed parking brake is engaged and shift lever in park position. If the starter runs and cranks the engine, your problem is as you thought. If the starter does not run, your problems are with battery, battery cables and their connections.

Thank you for the detailed response. Here is why I think it's narrowed down to the ignition switch or ignition wire, and correct me if I'm wrong. The starter solenoid has 3 terminals. One hot wire coming straight from the battery, one from the ignition switch and the other feeds power to the starter. I understand that the the ignition wire should not have any current until the key is turned to the 'run' position, which is the test that I ran, not to the 'on' position. I connected the positive lead of the multimeter to the end of the ignition wire that plugs into the solenoid, and ground to battery ground. I turn the key to on, dash lights are on, door chime, etc, I turn it to run, lights are out and still no power to the ignition wire. The battery is only a couple of months old and all terminals are clean. I know I have good ground because I tested the positive at the starter and measured ~12.5V and I attached the multimeter ground to different spots including the big wire that's screwed to the engine, the 2 screws in the chassis, the starter, etc.

I did as imaddicted2u said and the starter was cranking as I was touching the positive terminal of the battery.

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Old 09-28-2019, 01:11 AM   #18
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by onefunkar View Post
Check key. Sounds exactly like unprogrammed key
I don't think so, I tried 2 keys. I should get some lights in the dash indicating so, I presume.

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Old 09-28-2019, 01:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by imaddicted2u View Post
I'm not talking about the battery ground wiring. The ground problem I had was on a lug attached to the engine. It has 6 wires attached to it. Only 2 of them had broken on mine. The grounds on that lug are for the ECM, the MAF, the IMT, TCM and 2 are for the Park/Neutral switch, 1 is for the ECM and one is for the TCM sides of the switch.
If you use the jumper method to turn it over, you will at least prove the relay and starter are good and the battery can turn the car over. That narrows it down to the relay start signal missing from the ECM. Reasons for that can include the ignition switch, the park/neutral switch, the Pass-key immobilizer system, among others I'm sure.

The starter fired up when I did the jumping method. The ignition switch fuse is good. I tested the fuses and relays, everything tested Ok. I'm just trying to figure out why the ignition wire going to the starter solenoid receives no power when I turn they key to the run position. Could it be the ignition switch?

What if I run a wire directly from the battery with an inline fuse and on/off switch to the solenoid and bypass the ignition switch? kind of a push start button and turn it on with the key turned to the on position?

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Old 09-28-2019, 01:46 AM   #20
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Default Re: Aura won't crank

Can someone tell me where the ignition switch is and how to get to it?

Thank you all again!

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