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Old 10-10-2021, 12:33 PM   #1
Ravenhide
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Default '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Hello.

Recently bought an '09 Aura XR. I've had it for a little over two months at this point, drives great for an '09 with 106k miles. The other day, it was reluctant to start. It would crank really slowly before actually starting and running. Now it's not even doing that. No crank, no start, no click, nothing. Interior lights work fine. Dash lights turn off when I turn the key in the ignition, so I had assumed it was a bad battery. Tested the battery and it came up fine, and just to be sure I bought a new battery from Autozone (they made sure it was charged themselves before selling it to me) and ended up with the same results. This has me confident it's not the alternator either.

At this point, I'm thinking it's either the starter relay or the starter itself. I did a visual inspection of the relay and didn't see anything, although I haven't actually tested with a multimeter yet (don't have one right now). Since it's not clicking at all, I am leaning more towards the relay over the starter.

More info: no unusual lights on dash (I've read that there's some sort of security issue that locks down an engine and the light for that shows up on the dash. I do have a PassTime device installed as I'm still paying on the car but the dealership has already reset the thing twice-- it's not PassTime device locking my car). I have the V6 engine if that'll help anyone else form an opinion. Battery cables are prestine and no corrosion on terminals, making solid connections. I haven't been brave enough to tap on the starter to see if the car will start that way. Any ideas would be welcome at this point, before I end up spending money on a starter that won't help. $200 is still $200.
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Old 10-10-2021, 06:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Whether or not your Aura uses a START relay as part of electronic starting as opposed to conventional starting with 12v supplied from the ign switch to the starter depends on knowing specific starting circuit wiring. Service manual, online subscription to Alldata or Mitchell, library access to Alldata, free wiring info from third party sources or a member posting wiring drawing.

Electronic starting usually accompanies factory security programming with many vehicles using push button electronic starting. Push button starting sends a signal to the ecm. The ecm sends a start command signal (after security verification) to a START relay closing contacts sending 12v to the starter. All 12v starters need 12v to the starter solenoid to begin the starting sequence of powering the starter solenoid that pulls in the starter gear while simultaneously closing heavy duty contacts to send battery power to the starter motor to crank the engine. You have the option to test the starter directly or remotely with a simple pair of wires extended away from the engine.

Without a remote starter (a pair of wires, alligator clips on one end, the other end having a momentary pushbutton), you can initiate starter operation by simply using needle nose pliers or a screwdriver. Shorting two starter solenoid terminals, one with the large battery cable (and a smaller gauge wire connecting to the alternator side post) to the small terminal with one wire should result in the starter immediately powering up. You're effectively bypassing any electronic or conventional starting circuit by powering the starter with 12v on the large terminal on the starter solenoid. Some are hesitant of being under the car, shorting starter terminals with the engine cranking. As long as the vehicle is in Park and parking brake engaged, removing the fuel pump fuse, injector fuse or both will ensure the engine not starting up. All you're doing is testing the starter. Either the starter operates immediately or not. Rapping on the starter body may get it to run but is no guarantee of the starter working on every startup especially after many years of reliable service while long past new car warranty. If the starter runs to crank the engine then its likely worn out. Your choice to leave it as is and take chances it won't fail or replace it. In the event the starter runs and cranks the engine before rapping on it, there may be a security issue related to electronic starting, preventing staring if factory security in Auras prevents the starter from operating as part of factory theft protection.

Saturn Ions disable the starting circuit when Passlock is enabled, detects a theft attempt, flashes security and disables the starting circuit. Saturn S, L and Vues disable injector operation when Passlock security flashes during a starting attempt - the starter with run and crank the engine but without injector operation the engine will never fire up.
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Thanks for the reply. Guess I'm going to have to get under the car and see if I can short the starter to give me a better answer. The reason I even mentioned a starter relay though is because the diagram under the fuse box lid lists a starter relay on spot 31. Actually it also has a run/crank, ignition relay in spot 32, I suppose I should check that relay depending on what my results on shorting the starter are.

I'm already fairly confident the issue isn't the Passkey system. The light for it on the dashboard doesn't light up, and it does work since it comes on when the dash is doing its testing thing when I turn the key. It's just really frustrating, having a silent car that just does nothing when I try to start it. No warning sounds or anything.

I initially thought the issue was caused by the PassTime device (which is a GPS type killswitch device that a dealership can use to prevent the car from starting if you've failed to make a payment), but Lou Fusz has already confirmed twice the issue doesn't seem to be because of that device. I'm pretty sure that even a fairly inexperienced dude like me can follow your instructions for performing a short test on the starter, so now it's just a matter of roping in someone to help try to crank it while I'm under the car shorting it.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-10-2021, 08:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Actually, if you're brave and willing to crawl under the engine to find the starter, you don't need a second person. You're effectively starting the engine under the car by shorting the two terminals on the starter. You can maximize safety with fuse removals or leave ignition OFF as you're testing the starter only. If the starter doesn't run at all then rapping it with a mallet a few times still doesn't get the starter to run, it's most likely starter failure. However, if the starter runs and cranks the engine, replace the fuses and try starting again. If the engine runs, either consider starter replacement since the engine runs or take chances that it won't fail again.

Testing the starter either with a remote wired starter button connected to the two starter solenoid terminals or using a screwdriver requires no other person unless you want a safety person around. This is a known method to test any starter as long as wiring and battery are fully charged. Every garage mechanic with electrical skills knows is unless they're not mechanics at all.

Testing starters is very easy and only tests starter operation. This does not bypass factory security (Passkey) and PassTime.
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Old 10-10-2021, 10:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Ok, Im going to try to help you. Pardon me, this is my first post. You can also do a loaded voltage drop test to the starter. It's very easy. Set your (borrowed) multimeter to 20v DC if not an auto ranging meter. If auto ranging just set it to DC volts. Connect the meter positive lead to the starter main cable connection (its a nut that fastens the starter positive cable to the starter.) Its very easy to access from under the car. Connect the meter negative lead to the battery negative terminal. Have someone crank the engine over and observe the voltage drop. Providing your battery is fully charged you should not have more than half a volt loss. For example, if your battery is a 12.5 volts, you should be measuring 12v. If more than that its the cable or terminal, too much resistance. If it only lost half a volt than its the starter. Before replacing the starter just double check that the engine will crank over manually. Make sure that the ignition key is out of the ignition when checking. Use a breaker bar or a half inch ratchet with a socket and rotate the engine's crankshaft pulley clockwise.
Hope that helps
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Old 10-11-2021, 03:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Well, while I couldn't manage to get the starter shorted (the car is at work and I really don't have enough room to maneuver in the small parking space) I've eliminated everything else that it could be at this point. The final nail in the coffin was placing my finger upon the starter relay and feeling and hearing a strong click as it sent current down to the starter, but the starter still not responding. Shining my flashlight at the starter told me that there wasn't any corrosion on the terminals preventing the connection. I'll get a multimeter and properly test things when I get home, but at this point I don't think it'll change the fact that I'm pretty sure its a failed starter.

I guess this is what happens for deciding to use a Buy Here Pay Here program to get a vehicle. Car wasn't offered with any warranty, and naturally because I have no form of warranty I can't find out if the dealership can just replace it considering I've had the vehicle for barely two months.
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Old 10-11-2021, 04:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Did you try swapping relays to eliminate relay failure? Wack the starter with a broom stick a few times? If this gets the starter to crank the engine, you can drive home or to your chosen repair shop.
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Old 10-11-2021, 04:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Yup, swapped relays. Grabbed one of the 30 amps for one of my two cooling fans and swapped it for the 30 Amp starter relay, no improvement. Hitting it with a broom/hammer also did nothing, and if the starter wasn't so easy to find I would have assumed I wasn't actually hitting the starter.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

You might take solace from my personal experience. I parked at a local Target store about a mile away awhile back. When I came back from shopping, my wagon wouldn't start, no sounds from the starter. I didn't know where the starter was located so I called my brother in law. It was a warm day and I walked home, borrowed my nephew's small bicycle and biked to a local auto parts store, bought a starter, biked home and gathered some tools. Unbeknownst to me at the time but noticing all the traffic lights were out as I biked home, the Northeast Blackout occurred. A security guard tried to tell me I couldn't repair my car in the huge parking lot as we went back and forth. Threatening to call police, I simply said go ahead as I'll be done if he stopped badgering me. It was later when I finished replacing the starter when a car drove up and parked nearby within earshot of his radio declaring a large blackout in the northeast region and Canada. I think police had more priorities that day.

At the time, I had Verizon cellular and they were the only cellular service operating. Every landline other cellular service were dead. Verizon used battery backup in their cell towers as well as landlines just for this type of power outage. I have Verizon FIOS and there's a 12v battery backup for the landline. I stopped using my landline a few years ago rather than pay for two phone services. I'm using Mint mobile.
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Old 10-12-2021, 05:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

If it's not passlock keeping it from starting, Try starting it in neutral. There was a recall for the shift linkage. Make sure the shifter is actually moving the range selector on the transmission. You can see it by looking down between the engine and battery.
A method to bypass the start relay to pull in the starter solenoid directly, instead of trying to do it under the car. Make sure you are in Park and the parking brake is on. Pull the start relay out, connect a jumper in the fuse box where pin 87 on the relay would go (doesn't need to be a heavy wire, the solenoid draws around 1 amp). Touch the jumper to the battery + terminal and the starter should crank. Do it with the key on, if it starts you may have a bad ground wire which causes the ecm to think the transmission is in gear. I referred to that in another thread. The range selector itself could be bad and not telling the ecm the transmission is in park or neutral.

Engine no start thread...
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=234451
Pic of jumper location...
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...=7d=1569512644
Pic of ignition fuse location...
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...83&postcount=8
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Old 10-30-2021, 01:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Apologies for posting much later and essentially necro'ing a thread, but an update: bought a new starter, got it installed. Car started right up, but the battery light came on after about a minute of idle. I had the hood open, and there was this really loud racket that kind of sounded like a vacuum cleaner. Thought maybe I didn't reconnect a vacuum line after removing the manifold to get to the top bolt on the starter, but I didn't see a disconnected hose anywhere. Then there was a high pitched, rubbery shriek sound, kind of like the sound your tires make if you lock the breaks while traveling at speed. Then there was no further odd sounds, but the dash dinged letting me know the battery lamp was lit. Autozone tested the battery and confirmed the battery had no ruptured cells or anything and it simply needed a charge. Charged it myself then tried to start the car to see if I could reproduce that racket it was making, but I'm right back to a no crank no start.

Is there some part of the electrical system that could short and cause the brand new starter to burn up after starting the car just once? My initial guess was the alternator but I've never heard of an alternator burning up a starter, although I admit my experiences are fairly limited. A preliminary glance inside the engine bay shows no immediate or obvious belt failure, although I do know the alternator looks as rough as the old starter did after I got it out (part of the old starter was cracked and there was a lot of build-up of gunk on the inside where the gear sits. Tomorrow I'm taking the new starter to Autozone and have them test it since they can do it easier than I. I'm glad I wasn't cheap and got one that has the warranty at this point. I'm really close to calling Lou Fusz and have them take the damn thing back, fees for breaking my buy here pay here agreement be damned.
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Old 10-30-2021, 03:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Check to make sure the alternator is not seized up. If it's stuck, the belt may squeal. Make sure the wire that goes from the alternator to the starter is connected to the same stud as the wire from the battery. It's a fusible link, so test it for continuity from the alternator to the starter. If it was left disconnected and was touching ground, it could have been burnt out when the engine was started. See below if the alternator wire was connected to the other stud on the starter solenoid.
This tutorial can help with troubleshooting the battery and start command circuits:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBfOyJpg44c

If both of the wires are not on the same stud and the alternator wire inadvertently got connected to the starter motor wire on the solenoid, the alternator will not be able to charge and the starter motor will get powered by the alternator as soon as the car starts. This will likely make a hell of a racket and might result in damage.
This tutorial details what happens when the batt and alternator wires are on the wrong solenoid studs:
https://sparkys-answers.com/2014/11/...condition.html
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Old 11-04-2021, 08:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

My dude, I wish I could buy you a drink. Using the pictures provided in your second link, I could easily see that I had connected the alternator wire to the same stud that connects the solenoid to the starter motor-- meaning the alternator was providing power to the starter while the car was running. My local Autozone doesn't have a starter available for me to warranty exchange, so I've got a small drive after work, but I expect that everything will work as it should once I get the replacement in there and make sure both the alternator and battery wires are connected to the top stud on the solenoid.

I guess this is what I get for not paying attention to the wire placements before disconnecting the failed starter. Lesson learned here, and thanks again.
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Old 11-04-2021, 08:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Connecting to the wrong stud or not connecting the wire at all is very common. As long as the solenoid didn't engage it wouldn't have caused any damage to the flywheel. I'd be surprised if it hurt the starter but they aren't meant to run continuous so maybe it did.
If it starts properly but doesn't charge after connecting it correctly, the fusible link wire from the alternator to the starter may be blown.
Wherever possible take pics before taking anything apart.
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Old 11-04-2021, 09:24 AM   #15
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

The only reason I believe I damaged the starter is simply because I'm back to a no crank no start. I've tested the battery and the starter relay already and the wires aren't looking black or damaged, so the logical conclusion is that I blew the starter before I realized what was wrong. I'm thinking that sharp noise might have been the starter failing.

Since I know that my battery lamp works, it "should" illuminate if the alternator isn't charging the battery; the wiring looks fine but I know that can be deceiving.
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Old 11-04-2021, 05:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

If you are comfortable under the car and want to test the starter, be sure is in Park position and engage the parking brake. With the car up on a jack or two with a clear view of the starter and wiring, you can pull the connector to reveal the START terminal on the starter then jumper wire this terminal to the outer terminal (battery/alternator wires). If the battery, battery cables and main ground connections are ok, the starter should power up immediately to crank the engine. Click on the drawing reference. Leave ignition OFF Testing starters this way bypasses security and electrical/electronic starting circuitry.

If the starter doesn't power up, either the starter is faulty or the battery/battery/cables/grounds are suspect. Batteries can be tested at most auto parts stores selling car batteries.

If the starter powers up and cranks the engine then either security or the starting circuit are suspect.
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Old 11-04-2021, 05:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
If you are comfortable under the car and want to test the starter, be sure is in Park position and engage the parking brake. With the car up on a jack or two with a clear view of the starter and wiring, you can pull the connector to reveal the START terminal on the starter then jumper wire this terminal to the outer terminal (battery/alternator wires). If the battery, battery cables and main ground connections are ok, the starter should power up immediately to crank the engine. Click on the drawing reference. Leave ignition OFF Testing starters this way bypasses security and electrical/electronic starting circuitry.

If the starter doesn't power up, either the starter is faulty or the battery/battery/cables/grounds are suspect. Batteries can be tested at most auto parts stores selling car batteries.

If the starter powers up and cranks the engine then either security or the starting circuit are suspect.
No need to take the risk to crawl under the car when the same jumper procedure can be carried out at the start relay in engine fuse/relay box as I detailed in previous post in this thread.
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Old 11-04-2021, 09:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

on 10/11/2021, Fdryer said "At the time, I had Verizon cellular and they were the only cellular service operating. Every landline other cellular service were dead. Verizon used battery backup in their cell towers as well as landlines just for this type of power outage.", I guess you are implying that other providers did not have power backups in place??

Well, I need to correct your misconception.

I personally have installed microwave telecom antenna and equipment on over 300 towers.
AT&T, Bell operating companies, Verizon, GTE and MCI (before they merged) and everyone of their towers had -48vdc battery backups and nice diesel generators to supply all the power to keep their phone traffic up and running.
Whether city towers or especially highly remote sites.
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Old 11-05-2021, 01:03 AM   #19
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Did AT&T, Bell, GTE and MCI have battery backup in their cell towers back in 2003 when the Northeast Blackout occurred? If I'm not mistaken, the news reported cellphones were dead.
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Old 11-05-2021, 10:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: '09 Aura No Crank, No Click, No Start

Well, I'm certain they did in 2003, because I was a tower monkey back in late 70's through early 80's and all radio huts had standard -48vdc battery banks with the diesel generator as standard standby.
Long before 2003, GTE/Worldcom(MCI) merged to become Verzion trademark, if they disabled their battery backup systems, then they were just plain stupid. Even AT&T began selling off microwave tower sites until it dawned on them, if the St Louis earthquake fault zone ever shifted, it would destroy the entire telephone service network for everyone (because, Lightguide/fiberoptic cables do NOT stretch, they just break). So, AT&T stopped the tower sales so ensure if their fiber network broke, they could always just re-orient their existing KS horn antennas and fire up the microwave 5.925 to 6.425 Ghz radios and be the only phone service working!

Last edited by toggenburg; 11-05-2021 at 10:34 PM.
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