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Old 06-28-2008, 05:08 AM   #1
blue98sl2
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Default Engine won't crank

I just got through putting back pretty much everything under the hood, I had just about everything out at one point but it's all back in now. Anyway, the moment of truth came and I went to start the car, and it wouldn't start. I've got no cranking, no clicking, no nothing. I was extremely worried at one point that my engine had somehow become locked up, but after about 4-5 attempts of pushing it down the driveway (thank god for plastik ) the ***** finally fired up. I won't go into all the other problems that became evident at that point , but am I correct in assuming that that pretty much singles out the starter as the issue?
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:34 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Engine won't crank

If your car's a '98 there may be an inline anti-theft relay to prevent starting. Until there's a way to ask everyone to list their car stats in their personal profile so it comes up automatically, no one knows what you're driving and begins the 'twenty questions' routine.

In order to get the starter (12v already there from the LARGE RED battery cable on the large terminal of the starter solenoid) to turn, it needs the 12v START signal from the ignition switch when its turned to START. If the starter is the original one then it may be on its last legs but again, what year is your car? It can be wiring related or the starter.

As stated above, depending on year, some S-series cars have the factory wired in relay to thwart thieves from alternative starting attempts but if the relay or its contacts fail you won't be driving either. If you have this relay its in the wiring bundle near the steering column as posted by other members throwing up a picture for show. The easy way to check for this relay is to indirectly check for the 12v START signal going to the starter solenoid when the ignition key is turned to the START position. Replace the relay or bypass it.

You're sending the 12v START signal from the ignition switch to this relay, through the contacts to the Neutral/Park or clutch safety switch, back to the fuse box, and on to the starter solenoid small terminal with the lone (purple?) wire on it. Either a test light on this terminal or a meter to measure for 12v when the ignition switch is turned to START. BEWARE that this is attempting to start the engine so to test the signal safey, simply remove the single wire from the small terminal of the solenoid! Now you can turn the ignition key to START all day and the starter won't crank but you can safely test for the 12v START signal as long as the ignition key is held in START. No voltage at this wire means that you'll have to backtrack looking for the break in the starting circuit. A good halfway point would be the Neutral/Park or clutch safety switch that you can either bypass with a jumper/fuse. If you don't have 12v there then its back towards the (relay?) to the ignition switch.
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Last edited by fdryer; 06-28-2008 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Engine won't crank

Sorry for not specifying what car I was asking about, but yes it is a 98 SL2 as my username would suggest . I believe I've had problems with the anti-theft system preventing the car from starting since my horn doesn't work so the alarm could be going off and I would never know, so I'll look into that. It might be just as simple as hitting the unlock button on the remote.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Engine won't crank

My remote doesn't seem to be working, none of the buttons willl do anything, and holding the lock and unlock buttons to do a reset makes nothing happen either. Any ideas or suggestions as to what I should check first.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:48 PM   #5
RyanEricW
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Default Re: Engine won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue98sl2 View Post
My remote doesn't seem to be working, none of the buttons willl do anything, and holding the lock and unlock buttons to do a reset makes nothing happen either. Any ideas or suggestions as to what I should check first.
You might have to "reprogram" the remote to the car. Not sure if anyone knows how to do this here, but in the ford explorers I remember it was, switch the key to run then to off 10 cycles, then the locks would lock and unlock, after that you would just hit a key on the remote, the car would unlock/lock the doors to show it recognized the remote, then you just turn the key again and it worked.

If that does not work, did you check your power connections? To the fuse box, to your start, and your grounds?
Does the instrument panel light up?
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Engine won't crank

Is your anti-theft system a factory remote or is it an aftermarket one? Another way to tell is to look under the driver's side dash area; if you see bundles of wiring and a loosely tye-wrapped black box that doesn't seem neat, then you have an aftermarket remote system that needs to be bypassed by either removing the fuse (also loosely tye-wrapped) from this remote system or finding the wiring diagram to bypass it and allow normal starting.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Engine won't crank

Its a factory remote/anti-theft system.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Engine won't crank

If there is some type of security light on the dash (dont know if saturns have these, but chevy's generally do), but that would be the obvious sign of the anti-theft system being at fault.
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:02 PM   #9
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Engine won't crank

Do the power locks work?

The relay is a hacked-in component, about the only such thing on our cars that isn't in a place designed for it, like one of the junction boxes. It's taped in under the dash, near the firewall. One of our veteran members (BarnOwl? richpin06?, fah!) took an excellent photo of its location. Visit our photo gallery and search on "starter relay".

It's also powered by one of the fuses in the interior fuse box (yes, they made th simple, yet safety-critical act of engaging the starter dependent on yet ANOTHER circuit/fuse!). Check the BODY and CHIME fuses (I'm not remembering which it is).
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:54 PM   #10
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1997 SL2
1996 SL1
Default Re: Engine won't crank

Actually, there is a great thread by wolfman posted that tells you how to program the keypad again.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59192

Try that and see if that fixes your problem.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: Engine won't crank

I tried the instructions in wolfman's guide, when I jumper the 4 pin and the 8 pin, the interior light flickers and nothing else happens. What does this mean?
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: Engine won't crank

Do you have the key in the ignition lock at the time?
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Engine won't crank

Yes, althought the guide doesnt say what position it needs to be in.
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