SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums - webmail


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-06-2021, 05:04 PM   #1
Keblar
Member
Keblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 145
 

2002 SL2
Default Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Skip to the break if you don't want the details.

I stopped to gas up on the way home from my hour plus commute. When I tried to restart I got instrument panel, radio, and AC but no starter, just a click.

Immediate thought was that it was an odd battery issue/bad ground, so I checked leads. Wife was only a mile away so i got her to come to try a jump. While waiting I tried a few more times, and noticed temp was just a little over 1/2, and the fan was engaging with ignition off. I checked oil and coolant - coolant was fine, but oil was lower than expected having just changed oil and topped off perfectly 10 days earlier.

Wife arrived, and we hooked up the cables - no change. I let it sit and had her hold RPM's above idle. I tried a few more times, but then saw smoke coming from the engine, as she jumped out to say the same thing. Smoke seemed to be coming from the starter area, and had a distinct electrical smell. We gave up, got the recovery straps from home and towed it the last mile.

=========

After reading old posts of smoking starters after running with little or know oil, I was worried the engine had seized, even though oil wasn't extremely low and temp was never in the red. (engine oil light never came on either). I was able to pull plugs, and got some lube in the cylinders, and it turned over by hand though. Also, after settling, oil was still lower than expected but only right at the lower hash.

At this point I'm going to assume a seized starter. I never pegged it, knowing it can burn out if held for too long - only held 3 to 4 sec at a time - but i guess repeated tries with solenoid engaged but starter not turning were too much. I don't see any burned/melted wires, but I also can't get a good look at the cable from solenoid to motor.

Going with another DB electric since this one has lasted 8+ years and about 55k miles in salt conditions, even though it regularly got hosed with hot coolant for half its life before I properly fixed the intake manifold coolant leak.
...
2002 SL2 335k + Miles
Keblar is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 09-07-2021, 08:28 AM   #2
Highmile
Senior Member
Highmile will become famous soon enoughHighmile will become famous soon enough
 
Highmile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 1,336

1995 SL1
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

I'd put a wrench on the crank pulley and give it a turn before I spent any $$ at all.

Highmile
'95 SL1 738k and counting
Highmile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2021, 11:36 AM   #3
bumpdraft
Master Member
bumpdraft is just really nicebumpdraft is just really nicebumpdraft is just really nicebumpdraft is just really nice
 
bumpdraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: A full day’s drive from St. Louis
Posts: 4,222
 

1998 SC2
1998 SW2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Take comfort in the fact that no one has ever seized a stock S-Series. Usually, the cause is over-revving and eating an exploding valve. Either that, or reaming the cylinder out to the point of losing too much compression for combustion...
bumpdraft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2021, 11:49 AM   #4
Keblar
Member
Keblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 145
 

2002 SL2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highmile View Post
I'd put a wrench on the crank pulley and give it a turn before I spent any $$ at all.

Highmile
'95 SL1 738k and counting
Oh I did. Turning easy using a Standard 3/8 wrench with plugs out. Confirmed that pistons are moving in opposition and topping out properly.
...
2002 SL2 335k + Miles
Keblar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2021, 11:59 AM   #5
Keblar
Member
Keblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 145
 

2002 SL2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpdraft View Post
Take comfort in the fact that no one has ever seized a stock S-Series. Usually, the cause is over-revving and eating an exploding valve. Either that, or reaming the cylinder out to the point of losing too much compression for combustion...
A seized engine wasn't my 1st thought, but any other time I've had a starter fail the symptoms were different. I think the solenoid has always failed 1st, and so far that doesn't seem to be the case given the relay click and the electrical smoke.

I have had a loaner car -82ish Buick Regal V6 IIRC- seize from a bad oil pump. Dash light came on and I called the owner, "Hey, oil level is good, but the idiot light is on. It's probably the oil pump." "No, I don't think so. It'll be fine, just drive it on back." Stopped for gas and it wouldn't start again. That experience had me worried.
...
2002 SL2 335k + Miles
Keblar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2021, 02:09 PM   #6
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,243
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

When and if you're interested in fault diagnosis, perhaps disassembling the starter may reveal why it clicked but didn't run. A click means the starter solenoid powered up, throwing out the starter gear to engage the engine flywheel while closing a large set of heavy duty electrical contacts to apply battery power to the starter motor. Clicking without the starter motor running usually means the contacts burned out, the brushes are worn down and make very little contact to the commutator or the armature windings burned out.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 08:15 AM   #7
Ricketts
Member
Ricketts is a glorious beacon of lightRicketts is a glorious beacon of lightRicketts is a glorious beacon of lightRicketts is a glorious beacon of lightRicketts is a glorious beacon of light
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 262

2000 SC1
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

I'm thinking it's just the starter. Cheap fix, but tight space to work in. Hopefully fixes the issue
...
2000 SC1 - Bone Stock
No power windows, no power locks, no AC, no cruise control...just a good DD that has nothing to break on it
Ricketts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 08:36 AM   #8
onlinebiker
Senior Member
onlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of light
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: sw michigan
Posts: 1,453
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

It is the starter.

Anyone takes a bet against it - they're a moron.


...

If you are going to do the job yourself - it would be awesome if you can get it up on a lift. It makes it far less grueling. Also - if you have never done the job before - removing the passengers side wheel and fender liner make it easier to see what you are doing.

The hard part for the first timer is the starter bolt closest to the block. You can' t see it with the starter in the way. It' s done by feel.

And - if you think you will be keeping the car long term - swap that bolt with a stud - so you don' t have to line it up blind. Just slip the starter in place , install the bolt to the rear you can see - then put a washer and nut on the stud...
...
Currently owned
93 SC2 M(anual)
96 SC2 M
98 SL2 A(uto)
99 SC2 A
01 SC2 A
01 SC2 M
02 SC2 M
02 SL2 A
02 SL2 M
parts
2 94 SC2 parted out
2 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.
98 SL2
onlinebiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 09:07 AM   #9
Waiex191
Master Member
Waiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to behold
 
Waiex191's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Poplar Grove, IL
Posts: 3,208

1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

I also vote starter. The top hidden bolt isn't bad. Use a socket with an extension. Remove the hidden bolt first, replace it last so the other bolt holds the starter.
...
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
Waiex191 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 03:28 PM   #10
Keblar
Member
Keblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 145
 

2002 SL2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

I've replaced the starter before, but it was THIS one which means it was over 8 years ago. I have no particular memory of it being difficult or not, but it doesn't stick in my mind as being a repair that i hate to tackle. Other than access it seems pretty "plug and play".

The splash guard is already off from rotating the engine, so I'll have that.

Also, Hell Yeah, a lift would be awesome, but I'd settle for a garage (it's on the "to do" list) or even just a paved driveway first. 😆
...
2002 SL2 335k + Miles
Keblar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 05:01 PM   #11
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,243
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Cardboard boxes in any size to lie on if a creeper isn't used.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 06:31 PM   #12
onlinebiker
Senior Member
onlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of light
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: sw michigan
Posts: 1,453
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keblar View Post
I've replaced the starter before, but it was THIS one which means it was over 8 years ago. I have no particular memory of it being difficult or not, but it doesn't stick in my mind as being a repair that i hate to tackle. Other than access it seems pretty "plug and play".

The splash guard is already off from rotating the engine, so I'll have that.

Also, Hell Yeah, a lift would be awesome, but I'd settle for a garage (it's on the "to do" list) or even just a paved driveway first. 😆

I feel your pain....

Once upon a time - I was 19 years old and had to pull a starter from a donor 67 Lincoln Conntinental donor car - then the starter on my 67 Connie - then install the donor.

In the driveway.

No ramps.

In the winter.

In Anchorage Alaska.

A whole day of misery...
...
Currently owned
93 SC2 M(anual)
96 SC2 M
98 SL2 A(uto)
99 SC2 A
01 SC2 A
01 SC2 M
02 SC2 M
02 SL2 A
02 SL2 M
parts
2 94 SC2 parted out
2 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.
98 SL2
onlinebiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2021, 10:32 AM   #13
Keblar
Member
Keblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 145
 

2002 SL2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Cardboard boxes in any size to lie on if a creeper isn't used.
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlinebiker View Post
I feel your pain....

No ramps.

In the winter.

In Anchorage Alaska.

A whole day of misery...
I hear ya. I started using an old runner rug, on top of an yoga mat on top of cardboard this past winter when I had to cut off the rust frozen bolt for the lower control arm. At least I had the snowdrift to use as a seat back when I needed to lean back and rest.
...
2002 SL2 335k + Miles
Keblar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2021, 03:50 PM   #14
Keblar
Member
Keblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the roughKeblar is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 145
 

2002 SL2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Follow up: It was indeed the starter. Replaced the dead one with a DB Electric and everything is back to "normal".

For whoever comes across this while digging for starter replacement help, it is indeed a deceptively annoying job. It's only 2 nuts and 2 bolts, but the bolts are long for the amount of turning space you have. One of the bolts is unknowable. It's a blind fumbling effort, both on and off. A cheap plastic mirror helps to eyeball what you're actually doing (a la the Richpin video), but only helps. It's a weird depth so even finding an extension that gets deep enough but is still able to fit in the cramped space is an exercise in frustration. If you have an air or cordless ratchet I think that would speed things up as well. Don't be like me and think, "Oh, this is simple, I don't need to drag out the compressor," only to get in the thick of it and say, "Oh. Yeah. I remember this PITA now," and wind up suffering through forearm cramps unnecessarily. A magnetic socket would probably be helpful too.
...
2002 SL2 335k + Miles

Last edited by Keblar; 09-16-2021 at 03:52 PM. Reason: addition
Keblar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2021, 04:18 PM   #15
Waiex191
Master Member
Waiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to behold
 
Waiex191's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Poplar Grove, IL
Posts: 3,208

1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

I screw the bolts in and out by hand, and just torque/break torque with the ratchet. On the top one, by hand means with a socket and extension but no ratchet.
...
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
Waiex191 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 04:55 PM   #16
fetchitfido
Super Member
fetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant future
 
fetchitfido's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 14,986
 

2001 SC2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

You don't swap the bolts for a stud and nut? Odd. Same thread/size as the intake manifold; then you just hang it on the studs.
fetchitfido is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 05:22 PM   #17
Waiex191
Master Member
Waiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to behold
 
Waiex191's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Poplar Grove, IL
Posts: 3,208

1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
You don't swap the bolts for a stud and nut? Odd. Same thread/size as the intake manifold; then you just hang it on the studs.
Not sure if that was for me or not, but no I haven't. For some reason this job seems a lot easier to me than it sounds on the forum.
...
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
Waiex191 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 09:16 PM   #18
billr
Master Member
billr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to behold
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,237
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Yeah, same here. Getting that top screw in is a trivial task for me. I don't have ay extra engines or manifold studs laying around, and going to JY for them would be silly, since there is little-or-no benefit.

We all have our different areas of expertise/skill. I, for instance, can not change a serp belt in five minutes... Does my skill with the starter balance out my slow serp belt changes, and raise me out of the "inept" category???
billr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2021, 11:55 PM   #19
macbox
Senior Member
macbox will become famous soon enough
 
macbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,219
 

1995 SC2
1995 SC2
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
You don't swap the bolts for a stud and nut? Odd. Same thread/size as the intake manifold; then you just hang it on the studs.
This is the solution: So much easier to hang the starter on studs than to mate bolts to the engine/transmission.
...
#4, "Betty" 1995 SC2m, 167K, rebuilt engine, Garage Queen. Still squeaks and rattles but goes like hell.
macbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2021, 10:39 AM   #20
TomM96
Senior Member
TomM96 has a spectacular aura aboutTomM96 has a spectacular aura about
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,964
Default Re: Worried engine seized, but hopefully just the Starter

I know acquaintances with one or more aftermarket joints in their
bodies (knee, shoulder, hip).

The other day, working underhood, i noticed that several tasks
encountered would be more pleasant if my wrist, or elbow
(or both) had 190 degrees of flexion, rather than the stock
90 degrees +/_.

Perhaps we should contact the ever-willing healthcare industry
about re-designing some of the replacements ....

* * *

@ BillR :

The other day i had opportunity to manipulate the serpentine belt
into the engine compartment, onto the pulleys, etc.
I found that it:
(a) wanted to jump off pulleys onto which carefully placed,
(b) when prevented from jumping off the pulleys, it tends to
jostle just so that one edge will rest on outside of the 'guide'
on the side of the pulley. By this means, it steals the slack
needed to route over the other pulleys. Sly trick!
TomM96 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
seized, smoke, starter


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
seized engine rv93 S-Series Tech 26 10-10-2013 12:09 AM
Seized engine saturn hippie S-Series Tech 15 07-27-2011 12:27 AM
engine seized?? fml. chefeagles Ion Tech 32 12-01-2010 02:01 AM
Significant change in SL2 engine humming noise - should I be worried? rreuben S-Series General 4 02-22-2006 02:01 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:36 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.