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Old 02-28-2021, 02:18 PM   #1
SilentImpact
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Default Saturn L300 wont crank/start after driving...

hi everyone,
i have a 2001 Saturn L300 3.0 V6.
yesterday i went to go to the store and i drove it for roughly for a half hour or so. i was in the store for 20 minutes and when i came back out and tried to start it. it wouldn't crank.

interior lights and headlights looked bright. when i turned the key, the whole cluster lights turned on as usual but it wouldn't start up. i checked the engine temp gauge and it was sitting between the 1/4 and the 1/2 line. i just opened the hood and checked the battery cables and they were on tight.
after waiting for roughly maybe 25 minutes, i tried to turn it on and bam started up no problem.

the things ive replaced in the past year n a half or so,
new battery, new starter, new catalytic converters (both front and back) new key and cylinder due to the original key getting bent and wouldnt turn over so i bought went to the dealership and bought a new key and key cylinder.

the car does not have any service engine soon light or anything.

i did notice that the low coolant light is on but i believe that its the sensor that's bad. could this be why it has a hard time starting? the coolant level is good ive checked it before i started driving when the engine was cold.

i also haven't driven the car in the past 5 months or so just because of purchasing a new car. unfortunately, i got into a accident on valentines day and my new car is considered totaled so this is my transportation again for the time being.

any help in the direction of trying to fix it would be super appreciated.
if you need any further details i can help provide.

thank you guys i appreciate it!
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn L300 wont crank/start after driving...

There's confusion when using the word crank and start. Crank or start can mean zero sounds, no starter. No cranking can mean the same. No starting can mean zero starter sounds or the engine turns over but never fires up.

Can you be more specific to separate a no starter sound/no cranking issue from hearing the starter/engine turn over but engine doesn't fire up during starting?
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Old 02-28-2021, 03:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn L300 wont crank/start after driving...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
There's confusion when using the word crank and start. Crank or start can mean zero sounds, no starter. No cranking can mean the same. No starting can mean zero starter sounds or the engine turns over but never fires up.

Can you be more specific to separate a no starter sound/no cranking issue from hearing the starter/engine turn over but engine doesn't fire up during starting?
oh! my apologies!
when i turn the key, it does not make any sounds at all from the starter.

it has to cool down after 20 or so minutes and then when i turn the key, i hear the starter and then it will crank and turn on the car
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:06 PM   #4
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2003 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: Saturn L300 wont crank/start after driving...

Sounds like a Crank Position Sensor failing.
Very common.
Relatively cheap and easy to replace.
...
2002 L300 Sedan
2003 LW300 Wagon
2005 L300 Sedan
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn L300 wont crank/start after driving...

No apologies necessary. We manage to mangle the English language from everyday conversations without realizing the subtleties of words.

No starter sounds may be power related; battery, battery cables and their connections. Battery positive goes from battery to main fuse panel then on to the starter. Battery negative goes from battery to chassis then on to the engine block - two main negative connections. Ensure a good battery fully charged the examine all mechanical connections for corrosion, loose connections. If battery and main connections are correct then there may be an issue with the starter.

New batteries and new starters can fail, sometimes right after installation or soon after. No rhyme or reason. Mass production usually means quality built in but there are occasional failures as long as failures are below say 1-2%.
...
VCX NANO
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn L300 wont crank/start after driving...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrbraner View Post
Sounds like a Crank Position Sensor failing.
Very common.
Relatively cheap and easy to replace.
ahh okay! if it was this, would it allow the car to let the starter turn?
sorry im sorta of a noob to all of this.
is there a way to check the crank position sensor? now that i think about it, i think that i have replaced it but i have a warranty on the one thats connected currently, ill have to do some research.



Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
No apologies necessary. We manage to mangle the English language from everyday conversations without realizing the subtleties of words.

No starter sounds may be power related; battery, battery cables and their connections. Battery positive goes from battery to main fuse panel then on to the starter. Battery negative goes from battery to chassis then on to the engine block - two main negative connections. Ensure a good battery fully charged the examine all mechanical connections for corrosion, loose connections. If battery and main connections are correct then there may be an issue with the starter.

New batteries and new starters can fail, sometimes right after installation or soon after. No rhyme or reason. Mass production usually means quality built in but there are occasional failures as long as failures are below say 1-2%.

yesterday before i was leaving i decided to check the positive and negative on the battery and i noticed that the negative was sort of loose. i loosened it only to see that the bolt that is attached to the negative line that goes into the battery was stripped.i tried to screw it back in and it wasnt staying inside of the battery.
i walked over to autozone and replaced the negative and positive bolts on the cables. put them in snug (not overtight) and they seemed to be in there tight.
i followed the cables to the the connection where the positive leads (main fuse panel then on to the starter) and the negative (chassis then on to the engine block) and they both seem tight. the negative one to the chassis has some rust so wire brushed the negative post and put a new bolt on there.

i checked the battery before i started it(from a cold start) and it was at around 12v. i started the car up and it started up fine.

i did drive it around for a little bit, when i got home i turned the car off and i waited for roughly like 10 minutes and then turned the the key to accessory, noticed that the engine temp meter was a little under the halfway mark. i tried to start it and it started up fine. no hesitation or anything. i also live in Chicago where it was cold last night so maybe i can attempt this during the day when it is a little warmer outside to see if that fixed it.

i remember the starter being a pain to get out if im not mistaken, would that be my next thing to check?

Last edited by SilentImpact; 03-01-2021 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn L300 wont crank/start after driving...

Just the simple things like going over main power and connections to loosen/tighten/replace hardware may have resolved this mystery problem. Remember, you didn't touch anything when problems occurred and after manually putting hands on to things may have solved a possible main power issue. The starter uses the most power and requires main power cables and connections clean and free of corrosion that can prevent large amperage flow from grounds to starter (current flow from negative to positive). Any loose connections can prevent power from flowing, including disrupting power to the EFI system. Finding a worn out battery bolt may be one of several issues discovered to secure correct connections.

The crank sensor is operating because the engine runs. The worse case scenario is an intermittent crank sensor, usually heat related. It resides in the engine block to detect crankshaft teeth to generate precise timing signals for the ecm/pcm. In geek terms, a pulse train is generated as the engine rotates, feeding an electronic clock signal to show the engine computer to operate; fuel pump, injectors and ignition system. A dead crank sensor simply kills the engine computer; no fuel pump, no injector operation, no spark. A worn sensor abused by the heat cycling of the engine startup, running, shut down, cooling off cycles usually stops generating signals after engine warm-up. Driving without issues then the engine dies at random. The starter will crank but the engine may not startup until the engine cools off. Once cooled off, the engine may startup and run until engine heat overcomes the compromised crank sensor and it dies again. Repeatable. Guess how some of us know this? You haven't described anything close to a faulty crank sensor, yet.

For now, with a reasonable startup returning without random no starts, all you can do is remain alert and go about your daily routines while keeping in mind this problem until you feel reliability has returned.
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Old 03-09-2021, 11:47 AM   #8
SilentImpact
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Default Re: Saturn L300 wont crank/start after driving...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Just the simple things like going over main power and connections to loosen/tighten/replace hardware may have resolved this mystery problem. Remember, you didn't touch anything when problems occurred and after manually putting hands on to things may have solved a possible main power issue. The starter uses the most power and requires main power cables and connections clean and free of corrosion that can prevent large amperage flow from grounds to starter (current flow from negative to positive). Any loose connections can prevent power from flowing, including disrupting power to the EFI system. Finding a worn out battery bolt may be one of several issues discovered to secure correct connections.

The crank sensor is operating because the engine runs. The worse case scenario is an intermittent crank sensor, usually heat related. It resides in the engine block to detect crankshaft teeth to generate precise timing signals for the ecm/pcm. In geek terms, a pulse train is generated as the engine rotates, feeding an electronic clock signal to show the engine computer to operate; fuel pump, injectors and ignition system. A dead crank sensor simply kills the engine computer; no fuel pump, no injector operation, no spark. A worn sensor abused by the heat cycling of the engine startup, running, shut down, cooling off cycles usually stops generating signals after engine warm-up. Driving without issues then the engine dies at random. The starter will crank but the engine may not startup until the engine cools off. Once cooled off, the engine may startup and run until engine heat overcomes the compromised crank sensor and it dies again. Repeatable. Guess how some of us know this? You haven't described anything close to a faulty crank sensor, yet.

For now, with a reasonable startup returning without random no starts, all you can do is remain alert and go about your daily routines while keeping in mind this problem until you feel reliability has returned.

thank you man!
so small update,
ive driven the car a few times in weather that wasn't below 20 degrees lol.

it was roughly 45 degrees and drove the car to the store and went to the car wash and the only time i turned it off was when i went into the store.
i made it back home and turned the car off, watched a youtube video for maybe like..8 minutes, i turned the key to accessory and saw that the engine temp light was a little bit more than halfway. i tried to start it and it started up fine!
i re checked the battery cables just to make sure they weren't loose and they are on there tight with no slack to jiggle. hopefully it was just the loose negative cable situation.

ill keep an eye out for now on how the car reacts to a little warmer weather if it happens.

thank you so much fdryer. i super appreciate all of your help and explanation on things.
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