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Old 07-26-2008, 07:18 PM   #1
jamgusmc
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Default SW2 Starting issue

Ok, let me be as detailed about this as possible.

A week ago the car started acting funny, what would happen is I would go somewhere and turn off the car and when I came back the car would either A start right up or B when the key was turned the lights and radio would come on but the car wouldnt start/wouldnt turn over/didnt make a sound. Last Friday it did it again for the whole day, so I jacked up the car got under it and pulled the starter/Selanoid out and took it to NAPA to test, they ran it thru the machine twice and said there was nothing wrong with it. I took it home reinstalled (cleaning with sandpaper all the ends that attach to the starter) and the car started right up! Yesterday I went to the grocery store and when I came out the car wouldnt start, I reached down and with a wrench tapped the starter and tried turning the key again and the car started. Today I woke up and the car wouldnt start, I did the same thing and got it started, after using it I pulled the battery out and traced all the wires and cleaned off the connection ends with sand paper. And its working again. Before I spend a ton of money on a new starter/selanoid to do it myself, or before I take it to the garage to try and find a different problem I thought I would ask you guys your thoughts and advice.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

sounds like you pretty much found the problem (starter)
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

In order of priority with the easiest first and the cheapest to do.

1-Is the battery over 4yrs old and on its last legs? Have it tested if in doubt.

2-Look real hard at the battery connections again, especially if there was a large amount of corrosion on the terminals; a giveaway that battery damage may have cracked a terminal, leaking battery acid into the cables and eating away the copper wires under the heavy insulation. Light corrosion/deposits can be simply toothbrushed away with a solution of warm water and baking soda. The corrosion will bubble up as indication of dry acid and is immediately neutralized with the solution. Rinse everything with plain water. Be sure of good solid connections on both ends of the cables.

3-If the starter is the original one, consider it also as it being on last legs despite store testing. Starters don't last forever; brushes and solenoids wear out eventually. No one wants to be stranded at the most inopportune time with their best clothes on in the worst weather when the car won't start.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Ok, thanks
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

I put in a used starter a friend sent me, it worked for 5 days then the same exact symptoms... Now what??
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Odds are pretty good its another dead starter. Go to your pick and pull and get another one from a low mileage car.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Buy an NSA Starter from rockauto.com They are brand new and go for about $150. I just put in a new one into my 97 SW2 a few weeks ago. Works great. It is the same design as the VALEO starter (which were the standard OEM part that was supplied to Saturn.)

Don't run the risk of getting another potential bad starter from a JY car. Good idea, but a part that I would get new rather than buying used. I know that I tried to use a used starter, but ran into the same issue of it being dead.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

I think if it's not a second bad starter then it could be a heat soak issue with the CPS.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Nice suggestion but this isn't a heat issue with the cps. Although sometimes confusing, a "dead silence" following the ignition key turned to the START position is simply a starting issue problem related to the starting circuits. This is clearly a starting problem.

A heat soaked cps problem isn't part of the starting circuit; the engine will just crank over all day until either the starter or the battery burns out. In this case the starter will engage all the time and the engine just turns but it won't fire up. The intermittent cps is holding back the PCM from operating; turning on the fuel pump, ignition system, and injector pulses. The dead EFI system all due to a cps that's acting up. Think of it as the anal probe that's constantly telling the PCM that the engine is rotating but now decides not to. If the PCM doesn't see engine rotations (from a failed cps) then it does squat and sits there waiting for the anal probe signals. Never mind that you and I see and hear the engine turning over, the PCM doesn't because it depends on the cps for the crucial precision timing signals that are being produced.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Well so much for that idea.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Well to add more confusion and info to the thread there are slight difference in symptoms between the orginal starter and the used one. The first gave me silence and the second gives me a single click. Also sometimes if I ease off the key SLIGHTLY after the click and engage again it turns over, other times I am outside with the hood up either jiggling ever wire I can see, as well as banging and I am just short of saying harry potter spells at it, I kinda feel like it might be a wire.. what wire I have no idea, I check all the wires going to the starter they are all tight and nothing looks frayed or broken.. unless its inside the plastic covering, so is there another wire to check? (yes checked all wires grounding to car and going to battery.)
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Either one is a BAD starter, send it to its room. Both are used up.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

I won't rule out the starter, but I'm getting more and more skeptical about them both being bad. Two starters exhibiting different symptoms and the car still isn't starting. What's between the ignition cylinder and the starter?
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Reach back in there to the back side of the trans. (find ) a plug on the neutral safety switch with two (purple wires) ,unplug it ,then apply power from the battery + term ,to each one ,one of them goes to the starter solenoid ,while the other one goes back to the switch start terminal.
If the starter doesn't engage ,with the solenoid one connected to battery + .,then the starter is bad ,or the cables are not connected ,or bad !
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:08 AM   #15
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by 92SC2 View Post
I won't rule out the starter, but I'm getting more and more skeptical about them both being bad. Two starters exhibiting different symptoms and the car still isn't starting. What's between the ignition cylinder and the starter?
I had two bad starters when I was trying to diagnose my 97 SW2 a few weeks ago. The original VALEO starter went bad in the car, and I had a used one from a 98 SL2 that tested "good" at Autozone, but when I installed that one, I still didn't get the car to start.

I've learned my lesson, that's for sure....next time a starter goes out on any of my cars...it's a new starter, period.
...
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94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

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Old 08-22-2008, 09:34 AM   #16
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
I had two bad starters when I was trying to diagnose my 97 SW2 a few weeks ago. The original VALEO starter went bad in the car, and I had a used one from a 98 SL2 that tested "good" at Autozone, but when I installed that one, I still didn't get the car to start.

I've learned my lesson, that's for sure....next time a starter goes out on any of my cars...it's a new starter, period.
Did they both do the same thing?


What's the symptoms of an ignition switch problem? Not the cylinder, but the switch at the back of the ignition housing?

Also he's in Mass, could salt have corroded the neutral safety switch?
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:44 AM   #17
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by 92SC2 View Post
Did they both do the same thing?


What's the symptoms of an ignition switch problem? Not the cylinder, but the switch at the back of the ignition housing?

Also he's in Mass, could salt have corroded the neutral safety switch?
If the starter goes click but does not crank then there are 2 possibilities and only 2. The first is that the contact plate on the back of the armature is not quite making contact. rapid repeat cycling the key to CRANK may get it to run. The second is a corroded battery positive or negative cable. Test this by turning on the headlights and having some way to watch them when you cycle the key to crank. If the lights go out or very dim you have a bad cable.

The starter has many ways to quit, you have located 2. There are more. By the time you take it off and drag it to some parts place to test, it will work again. And it will also fail just as soon as you put it back on the car.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: SW2 Starting issue

Bad cables is definitely a possibility. He didn't say what kind of click he heard. Was it a relay click? (fuel pump sound?) or a loud CLICK that you hear when a battery is too weak to engage a starter, but you hear the solenoid engage.

I saw and F-150 that was from New England and the previous owner covered EVERYTHING in clear silicone. Even the battery terminals and cable ends.
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