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Old 11-20-2016, 01:08 PM   #1
up north
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Default no crank, intermittent

Good day
I have an 00 SW2 automatic 88360 miles on it, 2 days ago my son calls me from his job to say that the car would'nt start, on site, booster cables had no effect, only a small click can be heard from the dashboard. I got the car towed home so I could check it out.

Today I'm seeking the forum's help. Here's what I know so far, When I tried to start the next day, the engine turned and started right away. Check engine stayed on (but my son tell's me it's been on for a while). So I got my reader and got the code P0708 (transmission range sensor circuit malfunction), searched the forum to find out what it means. So my attention went to that switch on the end of the transmission cable. Pulling (litely)on the ground wire the whole plastic tab broke off, I figured ''here my problem''
I pulled the part from my scraped 99 SW2 that is laying in my yard, Installed it according to OldNuc's instructions. Every thing went fine, got the continuity while on D. Ok so I turned the key to start and nothing turned it again and Wow ??? it start's. But I'm afraid the problem is not fixed. So I clear the code Put it on D moved it 2 feet same in R, code did not come back, then I turned it off ( after less than 2 min running). Then no go, nothing, no crank.
The battery is 10 month old and the terminals are clean and tight. Got under to check the starter, got it to crank after jumping it. I thought the problem might be (as it was on my 99 SW1 last year) the starter relay as depicted is a Richpin video. So I pulled the dash top off to notice that the relay is not there. Is it some where else on 00 models This is where I'm at. Please advice.
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Old 11-20-2016, 04:01 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: no crank, intermittent

A no start no crank problem usually means main power issues with the starter last in line. Ensuring battery, red and two ground cables are clean and free of corrosion takes care of main power issues. Jump to the starter with intermittent no start no crank issues - if the starter is original with lots of mileage and years of reliable use, its likely its on its last legs as it's announcing its demise by randomly failing. Starters have a limited life by design. The brushes are normal wear items and eventually wear down. The starter solenoid and the large heavy duty electrical contacts wear out too. Starters can be rebuilt with ordinary tools and parts or simply replaced by a popular and inexpensive replacement from dbelectric.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

There are some common areas, that cause a no-start, no-crank scenario.

Starter and connections
Battery
Neutral Safety Switch
Security System and Ignition Switch
A seized accessory pulley(which causes issues with running as well)


We can rule out the battery, because you have checked the connections.
The starter could be going bad, and it wouldn't hurt to pull it out and have it tested.
We car rule out a seized accessory, because you mentioned it would run fine after changing the Range Selector Switch.
Security/Ignition Switch issues may be present(but usually leaves a solid "Security" light on the dash)

I suspect the Range Selector may not be the full root cause, but merely one of multiple causes to your plight. I would pull the center console assembly amd check the shift cable and sensors under your shifter. Check for slop in the cable, as well. While the shifter is in Park, it is possible that the Range Selector is not sensing Park, hence "No Crank". You may be able to test this, by wiggling the shifter and trying to crank if after the intermittent "No Crank, No Start" occurs.

My 1995 SC2 has an issue where I have to wiggle the shifter in Park, very rarely, to remove the key from my ignition. It has some kind of lockout that will not allow you to remove the the key when it is in the "OFF" position, if the shifter is not in Park. Yet, you can not turn the key to the full "OFF" position without the selector being in Park(????).
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

I'm looking at a starter that crank's when the power is bypassed the normal channel (bridging the terminals). I don't think the starter is the problem, and I do appreciate a reply, but I am sure my situation not an copy and paste one.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:48 PM   #5
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: no crank, intermittent

Before model year 2000, Saturn used a rudimentary starter circuit interrupt via remote keyless entry, when used, to disable the starting circuit between ignition switch and starter. From 2000 until the S-series was discontinued (3rd gen) the body control module uses Passlock to disable injectors when a theft attempt is made without an ignition key. Your 2000 has Passlock and does not disable the starter as previous models did with a relay activated/deactivated with the remote. Passlock controls security by disabling injectors when security flashes quickly. The starter will turn over the engine but with injectors disabled, the engine will never fire up. Your descriptions are either about main power and their connections or a worn out starter. Even with less than 90k miles, if this car is used for frequent short trips, starter wear may be accelerated when most starters last well over 100k miles, some going beyond 250k miles, mainly due to long drives during each trip.

While shorting the two main terminals on the starter results in starter operation, this doesn't prove this starter is fine or worn out, only that you can have the starter run. As mentioned previously, a no start no crank condition is mainly pointing to main power and battery connections with the starter last in troubleshooting after eliminating main power and connections. The secondary starting circuit, if considered, is between ignition switch and starter - the ignition switch START wire starts out as a yellow wire and changes color coming out of the fuse box as purple to the park/neutral safety switch and ending at the small terminal on the starter. A loose connection at the starter terminal or wire damage can create intermittent issues no start issues. The small gauge purple wire connected to its own small terminal on the starter is the START signal from the ign switch. It should have 12 volts on it as long as the ign switch is held in the START position.

Last edited by fdryer; 11-20-2016 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
I suspect the Range Selector may not be the full root cause, but merely one of multiple causes to your plight. I would pull the center console assembly amd check the shift cable and sensors under your shifter. Check for slop in the cable, as well. While the shifter is in Park, it is possible that the Range Selector is not sensing Park, hence "No Crank". You may be able to test this, by wiggling the shifter and trying to crank if after the intermittent "No Crank, No Start" occurs..
At one occation it did a no crank crank whithin 1 sec, without toutching the console, and having though of the in gear switch a did move the ****er several times with no effect
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

This can help if you're familiar with wiring diagrams.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg starting circuit.jpg (131.8 KB, 12 views)
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

Which terminals at the starter are you jumpering to force cranking; the battery terminal to the (big) motor terminal, or the battery terminal to the small "PPL wire" solenoid terminal.

I'm guessing it is the latter, otherwise the solenoid would move the gear into engagement and there would be only "whirring", no cranking; still I would like to be sure...
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

You are right billr I was using the big (motor terminal) to battery terminal, I noticed the sound was different but I only sparked it to see if their was any life in it. So the coil part of the starter might be in fault. I'll check it tomorow.
Thank you
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

I'm glad you understood my meaning correctly, but I had a gross typo in the reply #8. The last sentence should have been:

I'm guessing it is the latter, otherwise the solenoid would not move the gear into engagement and there would be only "whirring", no cranking; still I would like to be sure...

Note that several of us have had a good experience ordering the $40 starter from <dbelectrical.com>
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:11 AM   #11
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

Quote:
Originally Posted by up north View Post
At one occation it did a no crank crank whithin 1 sec, without toutching the console, and having though of the in gear switch a did move the ****er several times with no effect
Then I would pull the starter and test it. It could have flat spots in the brushes. Jumping the terminals to start the motor doesn't always insist a starter motor is good.
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

The PPL wire is the key clue to look at. If you don't have 12V there, while trying to crank, then there is a problem in the circuit from key-switch down to it (PPL); that includes neutral/clutch interlock, starting relay, anti-theft, connectors, etc. No amount of fussing about the starter assembly itself will be successful if that PPL wire isn't getting energized.

PS: That "range switch" problem at the beginning of this thread sure hints to that being the problem. Was the replacement a good new one, or an unknown from the junk-yard. How about wiring? The code (P0708?) means there is something wrong with the circuit, not necessarily just the range switch itself.

2nd PS: I just re-read the OP. So, it came from your JY, but still suspect. More likely, though, since there was mechanical damage to the old one, is a wiring problem (including connectors).

Last edited by billr; 11-21-2016 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

Every used car&truck i've owned (also lawnmowers) have operated much more reliably after i replaced the IgnitionSwitch.

In my '97 Saturn SW2, there was lots of intermittent 'starter' failure, And a chronic trend toward Less and Less energetic solenoid energizing ... until the New Delco/Delphi(Lucas!) IgnitionSwitch was installed (at about 170,000Mi).

I developed advanced technique of jumping the solenoid terminals with a screwdriver while standing and leaning over the top of the engine (hood position open).

IFF car has >150kMi ... maybe check IgSw.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:41 AM   #14
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

every time I've had the click-click-start its been worn contacts in the starter solenoid on the starter. no matter what the brand.

take some wire and attach it to the small wire on the starter and run it inside the cabin and and put a meter or test light on it and watch it every time you try and start it. when it won't start the next time did the bulb light or meter show battery volts? if yes replace starter. if no bright bulb or battery voltage back track to where you have it......
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:08 AM   #15
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

> "take some wire and attach it to the small wire on the starter and run it inside the cabin"

--- Nice technique ... i'll remember that one !

On my car, for several weeks(maybe couple months) it would either crank unenthusiastically (and progressively Less enthusiastically) , or , there would be No response (sometimes the InPanel lamps would Dim while Key was cocked to 'crank' position).

It never did the 'clik/clik-click-click...click', routinely demonstrated by some other vehicles. And from the moment i bought the car used , that was characteristic {possibly Why it was sold with a brand new (but defective) battery!}
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:25 AM   #16
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Default Re: no crank, intermittent

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomM96 View Post
> "take some wire and attach it to the small wire on the starter and run it inside the cabin"

--- Nice technique ... i'll remember that one !

On my car, for several weeks(maybe couple months) it would either crank unenthusiastically (and progressively Less enthusiastically) , or , there would be No response (sometimes the InPanel lamps would Dim while Key was cocked to 'crank' position).

It never did the 'clik/clik-click-click...click', routinely demonstrated by some other vehicles. And from the moment i bought the car used , that was characteristic {possibly Why it was sold with a brand new (but defective) battery!}
its the only way, by one's self, to figure out whats going on.

I've had batteries brown out and read 2v during a start condition from being bad. and oddly that same battery will start the 4runner (a wreck I've been draging my feet parting out so I run the engine on occasion) every time I've tried.
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