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Old 06-06-2022, 06:52 PM   #1
delicreep
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Default 2002 Saturn SL2 No Crank, No Start

Hello, all. I've meandered through several threads related to my problem, but thought I would start this thread and lay out the specific circumstances with my vehicle.


Symptoms:

No crank
Service 'wrench' light (only appeared during the initial unsuccessful start attempt and has remained on)
'Service engine soon' (unrelated, intermittent P0410 code)

Specifics:

NO security light flashing.

All onboard lights/headlights/lamps work and do not dim.

Battery is fine.

Manually checked every fuse in both fuse banks.

Roughly one month ago, new ignition switch, ignition cylinder and starter were installed by a mechanic after previous NC/NS issue related to stripped key(and the daily jiggling I had to do in order to get ignition to turn).

A week prior, I replaced the throttle position sensor due to excessive, unabating RPMs at startup.

***

Maybe 2 hours after coming home from the store, I was going to head out again and encountered the NCNS issue. The car literally ran fine one moment, and would not start the next.

Save for the battery and trying to start in neutral, I have run no other diagnostic test. I'm hoping for a little direction here and where to start and I appreciate any suggestions or insights!
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Old 06-06-2022, 08:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 No Crank, No Start

Does the battery still show at least 12.6vdc before attempting to start the car?How many miles on the starter?
Is this an automatic or 5-speed, if stick, be sure shifter is in NEUTRAL and parking brake on.
Is the car parked in such a way that you can get under the passenger side and check out the wiring to the starter (12vdc at the purple wire at the starter when the key is turned to ON) whack the starter with a short chunk of 2x4 and see if it does crank.
If starter is kaput, go to dbelectrical.com for the best deal around.
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Old 06-06-2022, 10:27 PM   #3
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1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 No Crank, No Start

S-Series starters die. My DB electrical starter has been good.
...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 06-07-2022, 12:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 No Crank, No Start

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Does the battery still show at least 12.6vdc before attempting to start the car?How many miles on the starter?
Is this an automatic or 5-speed, if stick, be sure shifter is in NEUTRAL and parking brake on.
Is the car parked in such a way that you can get under the passenger side and check out the wiring to the starter (12vdc at the purple wire at the starter when the key is turned to ON) whack the starter with a short chunk of 2x4 and see if it does crank.
If starter is kaput, go to dbelectrical.com for the best deal around.
The battery shows just over 12v. The starter has been in the car for maybe a month and a half. I've tapped the starter and solenoid, but not with the key turned to ON. I will try that later today just to be sure but, given it's recent replacement, I have my doubts that the starter is the direct culprit.

I did do the crankshaft position sensor test as outlined by richpin--checking for sparking between the 4 and 1 ignition coils when turning the key. There was no spark. Now, the richpin video is with a car that cranks so i don't know if my car not cranking nullifies this sort of test.
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Old 06-07-2022, 01:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 No Crank, No Start

The CKP circuit is irrelevant for a no-crank issue.

Use a voltmeter to do some definitive tests down at the starter. First, check for the 12V at the small PPL wire, while the key is in the start/crank position.
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Old 06-16-2022, 04:23 PM   #6
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1999 SL2
Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 No Crank, No Start

I got the same issue, slightly different circumstances. Wouldn't start out of the blue despite working fine day before. I did get battery light, first thing I did was get that tested at Autozone and cells were bad - thought that was why it wouldn't crank. I put a new battery in, but same thing as before. My map/hub lights, windows, locks, headlights, etc. all work but the dang thing won't even crank.

I check fuses and none are broke. I scoured forums too, all I can think of is something I saw very early, the starter (common issue from what i've seen) . The guy I bought it from replaced alot of things, even the alternator. Seems like starter is the most likely issue, so I'll do the testing and replacing of that if that's the case.
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Old 06-19-2022, 08:05 PM   #7
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1999 SC2
Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 No Crank, No Start

To eliminate the starter as the problem buy a cheap remote starter switch from Amazon or your local car parts store. Remove the smaller wire (it is either clipped on or bolted onto the starter) and attach the black lead to the starter lug that you took the wire off of and attach red lead to positive battery post. Have someone in car with car in park and foot on brake. Have key turned to start while you push the remote starter button. Car should start up. You are by-passing the ignition relay and neutral safety switch (or whatever Saturn calls it - maybe range selector. Also check to see if the reverse lights are on when car is in reverse. If they don't come on then suspect the range selector. Richpin has a video on how to adjust range selector on earlier Saturn S-Series so it may work on later ones. I know this works on Subaru because we just went through this hassle on one. If you have a Power Probe you can also use one to energize the starter lug if you can reach it.
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Old 07-25-2022, 05:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 No Crank, No Start

Update: After letting waaay too much time pass while trying to avoid having to get under the car to get better access to the starter, I sucked it up and got the thing out. I took the unit to my local O'Reilly's and had it bench-tested. I was told that the starter was "severely underpowered" and that the gear would stick. Since I had only just had this thing replaced a few months ago (with the ignition switch and cylinder), I brought it back to the auto shop and they ordered a new one. I installed the new starter as soon as I got home.

And, still nothing. Square one: no crank, no start.

So, fuses, relays or something in the ignition switch and cylinder that were replaced at the same time as the starter that went bad? I'm reticent to turn the key out of fear of frying another starter, at least not without a clearer testing plan. Maybe I missed something when checking the fuses and relays?
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Old 07-25-2022, 06:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 No Crank, No Start

1-The crank sensor works only when the engine cranks, turns over and fires up. It does not output any signal until the engine turns over from the starter or after the engine fires up so testing for spark can't be determined if the starter doesn't power up and turns over the engine.

The crank sensor outputs precise timing signals the pcm needs to operate; fuel pump, ignition system for spark and pulse injectors. The EFI system/pcm is ON when ignition is turned on but cannot run until the starter cranks the engine over for crank signals sent to the pcm. Think of the crank sensor as the electronics heartbeat of the pcm. Engine not starting, turning over means no crank sensor signals. Engine turns over with starter means the fuel pump turns on, spark is generated and injectors pulse.

2-Presuming you're still stuck with zero starter operating/no starter sounds of cranking the engine means a power issue; battery, battery cables and their connections. Battery positive from battery to engine fuse panel and to the starter. Battery negative cables are from battery to chassis and chassis to engine block. Examine all three cables for corrosion, loose mechanical connections. If you are positive all three battery cables are ok, move on to troubleshooting the starting circuit. Be sure the battery is fully charged or borrow a battery for jump starting/testing the starter.

3-The starting circuit relies on the START/12v signal from the START position of the ignition switch (yellow wire) when the ign switch is turned to START, sending 12v thru the neutral/start switch then thru the fuse panel and emerges as a purple wire going to the starter small terminal. Security (PAsslock) does not disable the starting circuit but does disable injector operation when the security indicator flashes quickly. Normal security is blinking once every 2-3 seconds when enabled with the remote Lock button. Disabling security with Unlock button.

Battery positive is connected to the starter terminal with another smaller gauge wire. This is the fusible link wire to power the alternator. Both wires are attached to the outside large terminal on the starter solenoid/relay. The small gauge purple wire is attached to the small terminal on the starter solenoid. Starter ground is thru the engine block with the engine block negative cable going to a chassis stud with another negative cable going back to the battery negative terminal.

When the ign switch is turned to START position, 12v should be on the small purple wire on the starter solenoid. You can measure for 12v with someone turning the ign switch to START position. It may be safer to disconnect this small purple wire before measuring it for 12v when the ign switch is turned to START position. If 12v isn't on this wire then the starting circuit is suspect; ignition switch START position should have 12v as it sends 12v thru wiring to the starter purple wire. If necessary, shift to Neutral and test for 12v on the starter purple wire. The Park/Neutral safety switch may be suspect so switching from park to Neutral should allow 12v to the starter solenoid. Park and Neutral are the only shift positions to allow starting. All other shift positions disables starting by opening the starting circuit.

If you are comfortable under the engine, you can bypass the starting system entirely by shorting the large starter terminal (two red wires) to the small terminal with a single purple wire on the solenoid. This sends 12v battery power to the starter solenoid to immediately power up the starter. Leave the ignition switch OFF. All you're doing is bypassing the entire starting circuit to test the starter with existing battery cables. The alternative to this test if you are uncomfortable shorting two terminals in the starter solenoid is to use a simple remote start switch with long leads and alligator clips on each lead. Attach one clip to the large terminal with battery positive cable on it and attach the other clip to the small terminal on the solenoid. The momentary pushbutton switch is pressed to do exactly the same as shorting the two terminals with a screwdriver, needle nose pliers or short piece of jumper wire (10 gauge). The starter should power up and crank the engine. If this result in zero starter operation then the three main power cables (one battery positive, two negative) are suspect or the battery is nearly discharged and cannot supply power to operate the starter solenoid (5 amps+) or starter motor (50-150 amps).
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Old 08-09-2022, 06:17 PM   #10
delicreep
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 No Crank, No Start

I thought I would drop in and give an update:

One fuse. That was the whole issue. I decided that, before I jacked up the car and crawled under to test the starter connections/wires, I would take a pass at the fuses. I swapped the 30-amp fuses at the IGN3 and IGN4 positions with the fuse below each one. The first swap, nothing happened. With the second swap...the car started, but without power windows. So, I drove down to the local O'Reilly's, picked up a couple of new 30-amp, replaced the one that was kaput and put the other new one in the glove compartment.

I appreciate everyone who stepped in to help out. Many thanks.
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