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vinnyM 02-24-2021 03:17 PM

L200 2002 won't stay on running
Hi, my Saturn L200 2002 has approx. 175k, has run perfectly the same I took it off the lot in '02. Always did usual/general maintenance to it over the years. No major issues with the car at all.
About 2 weeks ago in cold weather, I tried to start car in driveway, it turned slowly but would not turn over. Tried again, same thing...I figured the battery is about 5 years old, let me replace it. Everything was dim in the car/dashboard etc Bought new battery from AutoNation, hooked it up..turned the key once..all the lights came on like a Xmas tree, figured that was the problem, car turned over fine, then conked out in 2 secs. Now the car won't stay on for 2 secs...turns over fine. I've changed the battery out before with this car, no problem before.
Towed it to my garage, they can't figure out the problem (yet). they tested the fuel pump (enough pressure) they found some of the grounds were shorted...replaced those, they thought the computer was fried, they replaced it, same thing conks out in 2 secs. It never did this before in all the 20 years, ran fine, ran smooth. Can anyone give any advice what this might be? The garage said the alternator is fine, they have the computers hooked up to it doing all the tests they can't find anything.
I did notice after I changed the battery when I first turned the key once the fuel pump in the back/tank sounded "louder" and a bit more of a whirrr...and when the car wouldn't stay on I tried to start a few times then I started getting a gas smell, so I stopped...but the garage tested the fuel pressure and said its good. I think this is something simple...
I tried the 10 min. security key test etc...same thing happens. Security light does not come on btw...but the other maintenance lights come on.
Can anyone pls offer any advice or something similar that may have happened to you? thanks Vinny

fdryer 02-24-2021 05:16 PM

Re: L200 2002 won't stay on running
Unfortunately, you may be describing another repair shop that simply replaces parts on your dime, hoping to hit the right solution while making money whether or not a solution is found. Sorry, but any time an engine computer is replaced and the engine still won't run simply says the repair shop is guessing. As a rule, engine computers rarely fail and experienced people can determine whether or not a computer failed. Extensive diagnostics are performed by experts to narrow a problem down.

EFI systems can be easy or difficult to diagnose/troubleshoot unless a person has knowledge of engines, EFI systems, how sensors work and the various symptoms that can mislead anyone........ to replace the engine computer yet not fix the problem. The key is diagnosing then troubleshooting. Diagnosing gathers symptoms, testing sensors, fuel pressures, inspecting spark plugs, checking for spark and having knowledge of factory anti theft systems and how they prevent a vehicle from being stolen by disabling the ignition system, injectors, starter or combination of all three. Idiot lights reveals where to go as well as any error codes whether from the engine or wrench light. Engine light codes are related primarily to emissions errors and easily decoded. Wrench light error codes cannot be decoded by generic readers. GMs Tech II scantool, high end aftermarket scantool or moderately priced Tech II scantool clones can decode wrench and many other proprietary GM codes.

The first thing is if either the engine or wrench indicator are on and decoding stored errors. Next might be following suggestions given above to determine if a fuel or spark problem exists. With the engine running only a few seconds, this might be a fuel issue requiring a fuel pressure gauge monitoring before, during and after starting. Fuel pressure should remain high at all times, even when the engine shuts off. Spark can be tested to ensure it doesn't cut out after long cranking cycles. If this isn't fuel or ignition related then determining if factory security isn't turning on the security light but disables injectors occurred. GMs Passlock security disables injectors during a theft attempt and can allow the engine to run for two seconds before shutdown. Repair shops with expertise would know this by referring to online manuals for info (alldata or Mitchell). Without service manuals, anyone can guess and replace parts without finding a solution. I prefer to know as much as possible about the problem and gather info then refer to manuals to bolster any knowledge I don't possess before making guesses on parts swapping. This usually means I don't rely on repair shops. The brains and answers resides in service manuals. Matching symptoms to service manual info tends to determine a solution.

vinnyM 02-25-2021 09:29 AM

Re: L200 2002 won't stay on running
thanks for the info and advice- everything you say makes sense and is spot on, the repair shop doesn't handle Saturn cars too much and they are guessing. There is a GM Malouf repair shop nearby me, I will prob take there if/when the repair shop can't determine the problem. Unfortunately the GM place is quite expensive and I was trying to get a quick inexpensive repair, well...I learned.
Yes, the wrench and service engine lights are on, and this does seem like this is security related somehow. Also my key FOB stopped working about 6 months ago, but when I opened it up there was a bit of battery corrosion in there, cleaned it, and replaced the battery. It started working again but then stopped during the really cold weather. I can use the FOB to unlock the doors, but it won't lock the doors and beep, I have to hit the button on the inside of door to lock doors and then close the door. So I thought the FOB was just old and corroded, but will see if that is related to somehow to this issue.
I'll follow up if/when the problem is found, and will let you know
thanks again for your advice and info-

fdryer 02-25-2021 10:17 PM

Re: L200 2002 won't stay on running
A key to GMs Passlock security and whether its working or not is the yellow car with oversize padlock indicator. Seeing it turn on then off with all the other instrument panel lights/indicators when ignition is turned on lets you know Passlock is working. When the remote is used to Lock doors, this tells the body control module to lock doors and enable Passlock security - the security indicator will blink once every few seconds. Remote Unlocking unlocks doors and disables Passlock.

If Passlock fails its own power up self tests (during ignition ON phase) the bcm will disable it from interfering with everyday driving and leave the security ON at all times. When driving, it's usually off. When a theft attempt is made (without the ignition key), Passlock flashes security quickly while disabling injector operation - the starter can crank the engine until either the battery dies or starter burns out but the engine will never run with disabled injectors. The bcm sends a signal to the ecm/pcm to disable injector operation.

As long as Passlock security is off, Passlock isn't disabling the engine. When remotes fail, unlocking the driver's door manually and entering the car and quickly inserting the ignition key and turning it to the ON/RUN position will disable Passlock to allow normal starting and driving.

vinnyM 02-26-2021 09:46 AM

Re: L200 2002 won't stay on running
ok, thank you...I'll check into the yellow car/padlock indicator, don't recall if that was on or off or blinking, I'll pass along the info and see if this can get resolved-
seems like the injectors are being disabled, but will let you know

vinnyM 03-01-2021 11:46 AM

Re: L200 2002 won't stay on running
ok, so the garage just told me they can't fix it, they had an outside person come in, took a look at it...they tried to "flash" something, that didn't work...they are now saying it will be thousands of dollars to fix, which they know my situation and I can't go that route.
So I have to decide if I want the GM dealer (who has worked on my Saturn before) to look at this and see if they can repair-
Also just want to mention- if I remember correctly when I put the new battery in I think I connected the negative first, then put the positive on..and a small spark did happen when I connected the positive last. I read when connecting a new battery the positive should go on first, then the negative...but could this really short out the whole system? would the fuel injectors get messed up if the positive is attached last? Like I mention above, the garage said they tried everything, new computer etc..
the car turns over fine but cuts out in 2 secs.
I understand this is a general/blanket question: but what problems could arise if the positive terminal is connected last on a new battery? I imagine there are many problems...

fdryer 03-01-2021 03:31 PM

Re: L200 2002 won't stay on running
In one moment, the engine starts up (fuel/injectors and ignition/spark) are operating until two seconds pass when the engine dies. Fuel and spark are occurring during each brief startup. While this may appear as a possible security issue (security should be flashing its led unless the led was damaged), there are some things to check a la old school ways.

Connecting a fuel pressure gauge will display when fuel pump and pressure develop, lower than ideal values, a sudden drop of pressure at any time or pressure bleeding off. Under normal circumstances, fuel pump operation turns on when ignition is turned on. Pressure should be around 45 psi immediately. If the engine isn't started in a few sections the pump will shut off (safety). Pressure should remain high for a few minutes before bleeding down. If the engine is started, pressure should remain high. Whether the engine is manually shut down or stops on its own, fuel pressure should remain high. When the engine shuts down on its own after two seconds, what's fuel pressure?

vinnyM 03-02-2021 03:28 PM

Re: L200 2002 won't stay on running
thanks again, yeah, I don't know what the fuel pressure reading was during those stages you mention, will have to find that out.

vinnyM 03-08-2021 09:08 AM

Re: L200 2002 won't stay on running
well, I've decided to junk the Saturn after 20 years... a bit sad, thank you for the info and help earlier...all the best

pierrot 03-10-2021 05:50 PM

Re: L200 2002 won't stay on running
well, I've decided to junk the Saturn after 20 years... a bit sad, thank you for the info and help earlier...all the best[/QUOTE][FONT="Palatino Linotype"][SIZE="3"]I'm sorry to learn of your difficulties here. Where are you located? There may be a member who'd be interested in your car if they're reasonably close to you. Regardless, I wish you the best with disposing of the vehicle and beyond that.[/SIZE][/FONT]

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