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Old 01-23-2022, 09:13 AM   #1
VUEnumber1
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Default No dash lights, no crank, no start

I somehow managed to screw up my VUE.

The green right turn signal arrow never worked in my 2007. I removed the gauge cluster and replaced the lamp. Nothing. I tried an LED bulb, nothing. I replaced that with a new original bulb. Nothing. I put up with it for years.

Last week I bought a used gauge cluster from eBay, same Saturn P/N and SV P/N, then installed it without disconnecting the battery like I had done many times before. I turned on the key and voila! All the lights worked. I turned the key to off and reinstalled the screws and trim.

I tried to start it and it ran for about a quarter second and shut off. It did that 3 times, then when I turned the key to Run I got no dash lights. Nothing happened when I turned the key to Start. No dash lights come on with the key in either position.

Horn works. Lights work. Door locks work. Security light works. Nothing else does. No radio, no turn signals, no wipers.

Can anyone tell me what I broke and how I should attempt to fix it?
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Old 01-23-2022, 11:18 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No dash lights, no crank, no start

Saturns divide functions among the electronic modules, each a mini computer to run its own programs, interacting with each other for automated diagnostics when errors occur; ecm/pcm (engine computer for the EFI system), body control module driving the instrument panel, interior/exterior lighting, Passlock theft deterrent, remote keyless, gateway for error codes/programming thru the OBD II port, xmission control module controlling xmission shifts, abs/tc/esc module enhancing braking via abs, limits drive wheel slippage with traction control during acceleration, providing braking to control stability in rollover situations, airbag module providing airbag deployment in life threatening crash situations.

98% of the instrument panel is driven by the bcm. One indicator is driven by the abs module, the other indicator is driven by the abs module. When the ignition switch is turned on, all modules perform their own power up self tests. The bcm turns on all indicators in the i/p cluster as a lamp test then finishes it self tests with a security check sending a signal to the ecm to allow the ecm to run the EFI system.

Did you check for blown fuses for the bcm? The bcm has Passlock's theft deterrent program communicating with the ecm. If a theft attempt is detected, the bcm sends a signal to the ecm to disable injector operation; security indicator flashes, starting cranks the engine but won't run with disabled injectors.
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Old 01-23-2022, 11:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: No dash lights, no crank, no start

I haven't checked anything. It doesn't even crank.

I was so peeved at it Thursday that I had it towed to a repair shop who told me Friday they won't be able to look at it until Tuesday.

I don't want to spend $900 at a shop for something I could possible fix myself so I think I'm going to put my AAA membership to use Monday and have it towed home.

I did put the original gauge panel back in. Of course it didn't fix it.

So, check fuses first, then maybe try to read codes?
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Old 01-23-2022, 12:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: No dash lights, no crank, no start

With a dead, no start issue, error codes won't reveal why. A dead, no start, no cranking issue tends to point to the starting circuit; battery, battery cables, their connections for ground and starter, ignition switch. The ignition switch, when turned to START position, sends 12v to the starter solenoid to power it. When the starter solenoid powers up, it pulls out the starter gear to engage the engine flywheel while simultaneously closing a set of heavy duty electrical contacts connecting battery to starter motor, allowing the starter to crank the engine. Releasing the ignition switch from START position removes 12v to the starter solenoid, letting the starter gear retract from an internal spring, opening the electrical contacts removing power to the starter motor.

If you have AAA to tow your Vue home, you can troubleshoot main power and main cable connections in addition to checking for blown fuses. I'm not sure if Vues use conventional 12v starting circuits as described or electronic starting circuitry using the bcm and ecm to electronically command starting similar to push button starting using low voltage (5v). My presumption is Vues use conventional, non electronic, starting. Easier to troubleshoot. Electronic starting is a little more complex and would require wiring diagrams.

Ions were the first Saturns to use electronic starting with conventional turning of the ignition switch but the switch is smaller and doesn't switch 12v, allowing a smaller switch to take up less space. With electronics controlling starting, Ions sends a low voltage signal to the bcm with the bcm checking security first then it sends a signal to the ecm to start the engine. The ecm sends a 12v signal to a start relay to close contacts sending 12v to the starter solenoid to begin starting.
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Old 01-23-2022, 02:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: No dash lights, no crank, no start

I'd suspect that too, but the lights, horn, and door locks all work. Lights are bright.

It went from running for .25 seconds three times to no dash lights, no crank.
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Old 01-24-2022, 08:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: No dash lights, no crank, no start

Towed home today. Fuses are all good. Now it cranks but won't start. I didn't really expect it to. Still no dash lights.

Rear defrost light stays on and won't turn off. No wipers. No radio. No cruise control light. No turn signals.

I tried the 3x10 minute security reset. No go.

I still suspect the BCM. I may take it out and ask the dealer to reflash it.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: No dash lights, no crank, no start

There are several issues you're addressing based on descriptions; starting, engine unable to run, and i/p not lighting up, gauges dead. With the starter circuit cranking the engine, this eliminates the starting circuits. The engine not running and gauges not operating points to the EFI system (engine) and bcm (gauges).

First things first. Security, Passlock, must be off during starting. As part of system self testing, security indicator turns on with all the i/p indicators then turns off as it passes self tests otherwise a fault would turn on security and remain on. This occurs when ignition is turned on. Security remaining on indicates internal self tests failed with Passlock disabling itself from interfering with everyday starting/driving. Normal operation is blinking when remotes are used to Lock doors/enable Passlock and off when remote unlocking/Passlock disabled. Flashing indicates a theft attempt or error with Passlock disabling injector operation - engine cranks but without injectors operating, the engine will never fire up. This is the theft deterrent mode.

Presuming security is off during starting, either the EFI system is failing somewhere and/or the bcm is failing to communicate a security password to allow normal EFI functions. Bcm interfering with ecm operation hasn't been reported as the bcm sends either a go or no go signal (security) to the ecm to allow the ecm to run the EFI system. If we presume the bcm isn't sending a no go signal to the ecm then EFI system troubleshooting can be broken down into two main issues - fuel or ignition. A third issue would be the simultaneous loss of injector operation and spark.

Troubleshooting fuel and spark are relatively easy. When turning the ignition switch ON, the ecm powers the fuel pump for two seconds then shuts down if the engine isn't started. Depressing the fuel rail test valve should result in fuel spraying out under pressure. Full pressure is developed in two seconds.

Troubleshooting spark requires cranking the engine with plug(s) and ignition coil(s) removed, reconnected over the engine to observe for spark on each plug. Plug bases wired to engine block ground. When removing plugs, note whether or not they're wet with fuel - this helps with diagnosing problems.

A faulty bcm does occur with Vue members finding used ones restoring bcm functions. Mileage is retained in bcm's and cannot be altered despite many stating so with none reporting success. Odometer tampering laws.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: No dash lights, no crank, no start

I bought a BCM from a 2007 VUE with the same options as mine except it had fog lights. Swapping it for the one in my car did nothing. I expected it to at least turn on the panel lights.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: No dash lights, no crank, no start

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
There are several issues you're addressing based on descriptions; starting, engine unable to run, and i/p not lighting up, gauges dead. With the starter circuit cranking the engine, this eliminates the starting circuits. The engine not running and gauges not operating points to the EFI system (engine) and bcm (gauges).

First things first. Security, Passlock, must be off during starting. As part of system self testing, security indicator turns on with all the i/p indicators then turns off as it passes self tests otherwise a fault would turn on security and remain on. This occurs when ignition is turned on. Security remaining on indicates internal self tests failed with Passlock disabling itself from interfering with everyday starting/driving. Normal operation is blinking when remotes are used to Lock doors/enable Passlock and off when remote unlocking/Passlock disabled. Flashing indicates a theft attempt or error with Passlock disabling injector operation - engine cranks but without injectors operating, the engine will never fire up. This is the theft deterrent mode.

Presuming security is off during starting, either the EFI system is failing somewhere and/or the bcm is failing to communicate a security password to allow normal EFI functions. Bcm interfering with ecm operation hasn't been reported as the bcm sends either a go or no go signal (security) to the ecm to allow the ecm to run the EFI system. If we presume the bcm isn't sending a no go signal to the ecm then EFI system troubleshooting can be broken down into two main issues - fuel or ignition. A third issue would be the simultaneous loss of injector operation and spark.

Troubleshooting fuel and spark are relatively easy. When turning the ignition switch ON, the ecm powers the fuel pump for two seconds then shuts down if the engine isn't started. Depressing the fuel rail test valve should result in fuel spraying out under pressure. Full pressure is developed in two seconds.

Troubleshooting spark requires cranking the engine with plug(s) and ignition coil(s) removed, reconnected over the engine to observe for spark on each plug. Plug bases wired to engine block ground. When removing plugs, note whether or not they're wet with fuel - this helps with diagnosing problems.

A faulty bcm does occur with Vue members finding used ones restoring bcm functions. Mileage is retained in bcm's and cannot be altered despite many stating so with none reporting success. Odometer tampering laws.
I had a BCM fail in one of my former VUEs. That VUE still ran but all the panel lights stayed on. I know failing BCMs produce different results.

It's the order of things that baffles me.

Swapped instrument gauge panel, engine started.
Screwed the panel down and replaced the trim, engine ran for less than a second before shutting off. Did that 3 times.
4th try, no panel lights, no crank, no start.

4 days later, cranks but no start. Still no panel lights.

I suspect it needs to have a known good BCM before I go any further with testing.
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Old 01-25-2022, 08:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: No dash lights, no crank, no start

I get a different result every time I unplug someone disconnect the battery. Now the security lock light is solid when I lock the doors and turns off when I unlock them. The rear defrost light is on whenever I turn the key.

I'm calling dealerships to see if I can find one to reflash my BCM tomorrow.
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Old 02-03-2022, 07:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: No dash lights, no crank, no start

Verdict- unplugged ignition switch harness. Five bucks says the tech at the stealership who replaced the switch under recall a couple years ago loosened the plug enough that when I repeatedly tilted the wheel all the way down it came unplugged.

Can't prove it. Can only suspect it.

Runs great. Ticket closed.
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