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Old 07-10-2019, 01:56 PM   #1
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Default 2006 Vue L4 Starting Issue

Iíve done some searching but havenít really seen anyone with the same issue Iím having.

My wife has an 06 Vue with the 4 cylinder engine. Weíve had it for about 9 years now. Ever since we bought it from a dealership, they told us that due to a Saturn anti-theft feature, you need to turn the left blinker on to start the car. And thatís what we have always done. A buddy of mine who had an iron years back recalls something similar in his car, but he admits he had wiring issues.

For 9 years we havenít had much trouble with it. No trouble starting at all.

Every several months to a year the car will die when decelerating, such as stopping at a light or making a sharp turn. When this happens I usually clean the throttle body, perform the ECM re-learn procedure, and then we are good for quite a while longer. But I digress... the starting issue:

Just recently over the last few days, the car has hesitated to start. Itís not a battery or starter issue, as when it does crank it cranks up with gusto. What is happening is when the key is turned to start, you hear relays click before the starter engages. Sometimes you need to turn the key back to ACC and then try again and it starts right up. Other times it cranks the first time but cranks and cranks for a few seconds before firing up. Again, when the engine is cranking over it is strong and fast, nothing like a weak battery or starter.

Today all the dash lights started flashing when the left blinker was turned on before the key was inserted and the switched to ACC, accompanied by a lot of relay clicking. When the key was inserted first and then the blinker was turned on, it didnít flash all the dash lights, but still was hard to start.

Something is screwey going on here, and after some searching, Iím unable to find a record of this anti-theft left blinker ďfeatureĒ. Itís not in the ownerís manual either.

Iím starting to suspect a BCM issue, but one of the common symptoms for a failing BCM seems to be a stall 1-3 seconds after start, but Iím not seeing that.

Anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone encountered this left blinker anti-theft ďfeatureĒ before?

I should mention that the ignition switch was never replaced under the recall, and can be removed while the engine is running. Itís been like that for years.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:41 PM   #2
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2005 VUE 3.5L
2007 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: 2006 Vue L4 Starting Issue

I don't recall seeing that security feature anywhere, ever.

I briefly studied ignition and turn signal wiring and don't see any plausible relationship but don't doubt your claim you need to place lever to left turn before engine will start. And it worked for 9 years.

A loose or wobbly ignition cylinder should be taken care of, but fact is, the electrical switching is handled by a small box attached to rear of ignition switch which is usually trouble-free.

I don't know if you have manual transmission which uses clutch safety switch or automatic transmission which has Park Neutral safety switch but either of these can develop issues leading to intermittent starting.

If it were in my driveway I would start with a super cleaning of battery terminals with first step being disconnecting ground lead from battery.

I would then follow red cables - one cable to starter and other to under hood fuse box and clean connections at both ends.

I'd do similar cleaning for the black ground cables - to engine block and to chassis near cooling expansion tank (on 3.5 - probably same on 2.2).

In the meantime I promise to take a long look at turn signal and engine start circuit to see if we can solve that mystery.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2006 Vue L4 Starting Issue

Thanks Grumpy!

Battery connections are clean and tight. Iíve always used the CRC spray battery terminal protector on my cars and always had good results.

I followed the red wire down to the starter. Wire looks all good, but I found the starter covered in oil. I swapped in a rebuilt starter and she starts right up with no hesitation, so I think we had a starter issue after all.

The oil appears to be coming from the larger of the 2 sensors that are screwed into the engine block directly above the starter. I think these are the engine oil pressure switch and the crankshaft position sensor. I think the one leaking is the oil pressure switch.

Iíll order a new switch to replace it and keep an eye down there to make sure the leak stops.

Now about that anti-theft ďfeatureĒ... my wife seems to recall the dealer saying that it was an aftermarket addition by the previous owner.

The turn signal lever is and always has been super loose, so that could be indicative of someone messing around with it and breaking something or putting in some inferior quality parts... I have a video of it if youíre interested: https :// SnCYxdYbyXw (delete spaces for link.... donít have 15 posts yet...)

Last edited by Dragoon; 07-11-2019 at 04:50 PM.
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