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97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start


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james.garrett12
User

Nov 28, 2012, 5:32 PM

Post #1 of 29 (4618 views)
  post locked   97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

The car has sit in the same spot for about a year without being touched. I replaced the battery, spark pugs, and air filter. Checked all the fluids and added fuel and engine oil cleaner, havent gotten to the oil change yet. Vehicle has power and starter will crank but will not move the engine at all. Could it be an ignition switch, or coil? Not too sure what to look for now please help.


Discretesignals
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Nov 28, 2012, 5:38 PM

Post #2 of 29 (4612 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

The starter spins, but the crank doesn't move?





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james.garrett12
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Nov 28, 2012, 5:54 PM

Post #3 of 29 (4598 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

yes the start sounds fine but wont crank the engine


Discretesignals
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Nov 28, 2012, 5:57 PM

Post #4 of 29 (4589 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

Then there is problem with the starter's bendix one way clutch or the drive isn't being thrown out. Need to remove starter and have tested. Inspect the flywheel/flexplate teeth too.





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(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Nov 28, 2012, 5:58 PM)


james.garrett12
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Nov 28, 2012, 6:12 PM

Post #5 of 29 (4580 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

Ok thanks, will check back in afterwards


Discretesignals
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Nov 28, 2012, 6:13 PM

Post #6 of 29 (4578 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

We'll keep the lights on.





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james.garrett12
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Jan 5, 2013, 3:24 PM

Post #7 of 29 (4433 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

So the old starter was bad i replaced it, did an oil change, and checked the teeth on the flywheel and im still having the same problem. What can i do now


nickwarner
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Jan 5, 2013, 3:51 PM

Post #8 of 29 (4423 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

This isn't making any sense at all. You replaced the starter, you say your ring gear teeth are not damaged, the starter motor is indeed spinning and your engine is not? Impossible. The only two things that I can imagine are happening are either you actually do have stripped teeth in the ring gear or your motor is locked up and that means the starter motor isn't spinning. Which one is happening?


Sidom
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Jan 5, 2013, 3:53 PM

Post #9 of 29 (4423 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

Hmmm....I think we better be clear on our terms here....something doesn't sound right

Crank...means spins the engine over, the crankshaft is moving all the pulleys are spinning
Start...means fires up, engine starts running on it's own.......some use the term "crank" as start....

so you turn the key to the start position....The engine begins to "crank" via the starter and then if all is good...it "starts"

In you early post, you said the start spins but the engine wouldn't "crank"....This would mean you could "hear" the starter motor but the crankshaft wouldn't be moving, no belts would be spinning, the engine would be sitting there with absolutely no movement other than the starter making a "spinning noise"


(This post was edited by Sidom on Jan 5, 2013, 3:54 PM)


james.garrett12
User

Jan 5, 2013, 4:25 PM

Post #10 of 29 (4415 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

couldnt get the best view of the teeth due to the starter being mounted partly in the trans axle i felt the teeth and they seemed fine. I might have been feeling the wrong thing but the teeth on the bottom portion of the fly wheel look fine.


james.garrett12
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Jan 5, 2013, 4:31 PM

Post #11 of 29 (4409 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

and yes the starter is spinning


Sidom
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Jan 5, 2013, 4:32 PM

Post #12 of 29 (4407 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  


In Reply To
and yes the starter is spinning


Is the belt moving when the starter spins?


nickwarner
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Jan 5, 2013, 4:32 PM

Post #13 of 29 (4405 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

Feeling it with your fingers leaves too much to chance. A flashlight and a small mirror would've gone a long way. Your teeth don't need to be completely sheared off to not engage the starter well enough to turn the engine over. If its one bad spot that you're on then the other areas would look fine. This isn't a stick shift by chance, is it? That would make life much easier to find out whats happening if it is.


james.garrett12
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Jan 5, 2013, 4:55 PM

Post #14 of 29 (4401 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

sadly no its an automatic and if its the teeth that will be a hugh problem. i would have to drop the trans axle just to get to them.


james.garrett12
User

Jan 5, 2013, 4:57 PM

Post #15 of 29 (4399 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

no belts are moving its just the starter thats spinning.


Sidom
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Jan 5, 2013, 5:17 PM

Post #16 of 29 (4388 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

Get a breaker bar/1/2 ratchet & socket that fits the bolt on the crankshaft and then rotate the crankshaft 180° to see if the starter will "catch" when you try to start it.....


(This post was edited by Sidom on Jan 5, 2013, 5:21 PM)


james.garrett12
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Jan 5, 2013, 5:29 PM

Post #17 of 29 (4380 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

Is there a way to know if it catches?


(This post was edited by james.garrett12 on Jan 5, 2013, 5:32 PM)


james.garrett12
User

Jan 5, 2013, 5:33 PM

Post #18 of 29 (4373 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

Ok then will give it a try.
Thanks again.


Sidom
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Jan 5, 2013, 5:46 PM

Post #19 of 29 (4368 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

lol.....well this has been a very confusing post to whether this is a cranks/no start (meaning the engine turns over but won't start/run) or a no crank/no start.

Since no pulleys are moving when the starter is engaged......This is a no crank/no start.

It's pretty simple, if this is just a case of a bad spot on the ring gear, you rotate the ring gear (via the crankshaft) to a different spot with good teeth. Have a helper turn the key and watch the pulleys, if they now move when the engine is cranked, you have a bad spot on the ring gear....

If they don't move then you have crazy bad luck of have a starter with a bad bendix and getting a replacement with a bad bendix

a sidenote on a bad spot on the ring gear....usually rotating the ring gear will get the engine to start because once the engine starts spinning, it has enough momentum to get past the "bad spot" and continue to crank the engine until it starts....
The backyard parking lot method of starting these cars is trying to move the ringgear past the bad spot by using the serp belt or another pulley to rotae the crankpulley


james.garrett12
User

Jan 6, 2013, 12:47 PM

Post #20 of 29 (4353 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

So i attempted to start the car by rotating the ring gear through the crank shaft pully and it was visable that the flywheel was rotating. Once i tried to start the car it gave what sounded like the engine a half second of life but attempt failed. I started over and tried again a couple more times and again no engine sound. Looks like Im back where i started although havent had a helper to look at the flywheel yet to see if it rotates while turning the key. Could it be the new starter i got is bad?

Any suggestions are welcome


Hammer Time
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Jan 6, 2013, 1:08 PM

Post #21 of 29 (4349 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

Sure, it could but with an accurate description of what is actually happening, we can't have any idea.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Sidom
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Jan 6, 2013, 1:17 PM

Post #22 of 29 (4344 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

If turning the flywheel got the engine to crank for a second and then stop, that isn't a good sign. It sounds like you may have a bad spot on your ring gear. Try moving it a little less and see what that does....

Pull the starter out and get a flashlight and a piece of chalk. Mark the flywheel (So you'll know when you have gone all the way around) and have your helper slowly turn the crank while you look at the teeth on the ring gear.

Now the teeth don't have to be totally gone. If there is big spots where you can see that they worn 1/2 way back or more. That would be more than enough to cause this problem...

It's possible you got a bad starter. Since you have it out, you could warranty it. Now the chances of getting 3 starters having the exact same problem is getting into to the same range as winning the lotto....very unlikely


Just a footnote to keep things clear since there was a term issue......Manual trannys use flywheels Auto trannys use flexplates. Both have ring gears on them and the terms are interchangable until you go to the parts store to order parts...


(This post was edited by Sidom on Jan 6, 2013, 1:20 PM)


james.garrett12
User

Jan 6, 2013, 8:08 PM

Post #23 of 29 (4326 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

So I checked the flexplate and the teeth are not in perfect shape but still are in good enough condition. I rotated the crankshaft pully again and finally starter caught. Was able to crank but no start. Tried some ether and the engine came to life for 3 seconds and when out. Checked under the hood and found that smell of bad fuel so i guess the next step is purge and fuel filter change? Is there anything else i should do?


Hammer Time
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Jan 6, 2013, 8:11 PM

Post #24 of 29 (4322 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  


Quote
the teeth are not in perfect shape but still are in good enough condition.


And what are you basing that opinion on? Any damage is too much.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



james.garrett12
User

Jan 6, 2013, 8:21 PM

Post #25 of 29 (4317 views)
  post locked   Re: 97 Saturn sl1 will crank but wont start  

Pictures, teeth depth so forth. Theres no damage the plate just doesnt look brand new. Trying to stay within budget and get the car running first.






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