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2001 Saturn SL1 Intermittent starting


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Guest
Anonymous Poster
justforfun0046@yahoo.com

Mar 6, 2008, 9:31 AM

Post #1 of 32 (49104 views)
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Good morning!
I have a 2001 Saturn SL1 that likes to start when it wants to and not when I need it to. Here is what is going on... For the last couple of months, it starts in the morning with no problem whatsoever. I drive it 20 minutes or so to work. It sits all day (8 hours) and then starts right up again. I drive 20 minutes or so to pick my daughter up from daycare. I turn it off, go inside and come out 10 minutes later and it won't start! Nothing at all! The heat, lights and radio all work, but it doesn't do anything as far as starting. Seems to be on the short trips. I took it to our local Tuffy shop and they said it was the ignition switch... they said it was this because I was able to pull the key out of the ignition and the car would stay running. They replaced the ignition switch and the car is still doing the same thing. They told me they needed the car to not start while it was there to go any further. Problem is, it likes to start everytime I take it in. Are there other things I can check before taking it to my local dealer and spending a ton of money? I sure would appreciate any help or suggestions! Thanks! Brenda


Guest
Anonymous Poster
irish40backer@yahoo.com

Mar 8, 2008, 12:04 PM

Post #2 of 32 (49048 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2001 Saturn SL1 Intermittent starting [In reply to]  

Exact same thing going on here. Turn the key, everything comes on, battery is fine but wont attempt to turn over.

Spark Plug's perhaps?


dave284
Enthusiast / Moderator
dave284 profile image

Mar 8, 2008, 12:30 PM

Post #3 of 32 (49041 views)
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This could be a starter relay problem, if you turn the key to start do you hear the fuel pump kick on then off.Unsure


Guest
Anonymous Poster
irish40backer@yahoo.com

Mar 8, 2008, 1:04 PM

Post #4 of 32 (49038 views)
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Yes, The Fuel pump does kick on. That's the "humming" noise I assume? I've had problems just getting the key to turn for awhile now. I have to jiggle it to get it. Over time could that have loosened something by the ignition key?


Guest
Anonymous Poster
irish40backer@yahoo.com

Mar 8, 2008, 1:09 PM

Post #5 of 32 (49033 views)
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In Reply To
Yes, The Fuel pump does kick on. That's the "humming" noise I assume? I've had problems just getting the key to turn for awhile now. I have to jiggle it to get it. Over time could that have loosened something by the ignition key?


I've checked the fuses and the all look good. There is an oil change reset button on the fuse box and I also did that. Took the cover off under the stearing wheel to make sure nothing was loose.

The car seems to start when it wants to. The first time this happened i left it overnight, came back the next morning and it started right up.


dave284
Enthusiast / Moderator
dave284 profile image

Mar 8, 2008, 3:30 PM

Post #6 of 32 (49025 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2001 Saturn SL1 Intermittent starting [In reply to]  

http://www.autozone.com/.../repairInfoPages.htm O.K , YOU SAID THEY REPLACED THE SWITCH, KEY OR IGNITION, HAS THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON? AND YOU ARE SAYING THE CAR WON'T TURN OVER MEANING THE STARTER ISN'T WORKING, RIGHT? CHECK THIS OUT AND SEE IF ANY INFO HELPSUnsure


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Mar 8, 2008, 10:07 PM

Post #7 of 32 (49019 views)
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Could this possibly be the solenoid overheating?


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Sep 3, 2008, 12:06 AM

Post #8 of 32 (48365 views)
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  post locked   post icon Re: 2001 Saturn SL1 Intermittent starting [In reply to]  

SmileI had the same problem with a 1997 Saturn. I changed the starter and selenoid myself. It cost perhaps $100 to 200 for a new starter or rebuilt one. I have never had a problem since.


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Sep 4, 2008, 9:48 AM

Post #9 of 32 (48352 views)
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I had the same exact problem. I changed the starter and evrything is fine now.


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Sep 6, 2008, 8:33 AM

Post #10 of 32 (48324 views)
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Hi Brenda,

Could you please tell me what the root cause of this problem was..as my car does the exact same thing...thanks ...Chris (I also sent you an email)


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Oct 2, 2008, 10:03 PM

Post #11 of 32 (48144 views)
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I am having the exact same problem with a 99 saturn sc2. My wife drive from our house to starbucks (or another short trip, just happened to be at starbucks 3 times when this happened) which is 1/2 mile from out house, she's inside for 10 minutes, and comes out and the car won't start. I have full power just no response from the starter. I go to look at the car a couple hours later, and it starts every time. At first I thought she was crazy, I took it on several drives to test this, trying to duplicate. Never happened to me until a week ago, I picked her car up from Starbucks, drove it home (1/2 mile), when i stopped, tried restarting it 3 times, worked fine, so I went in the house to show her it was starting fine, we went out there 15 minutes later, and boom, no start. So we went back inside, after apologizing and calling a friend of mine that used to work at a saturn dealer, I went back out to the car an hour later, started fine. Drove it a half mile, parked it for 15 minutes, tried it again, and it started fine. This one has me baffled, I've been a mechanic for 15 years, and can't understand this one. I do not believe it is a starter or solenoid. If it was a solenoid heat issue, I would think it would happen all the time. I do not believe it to be the ignition switch, my friend from Saturn had a different description of that problem. I do not believe it is the neutral safety switch. When this happened, I tried it in park, and neutral, also tried jostling the shifter while turning the key to check this. My best guesses are the either the built in saturn alarm is disabling the starter intermittently when the car is shut off for a short time, or there is a module that is acting up under these conditions. To my knowledge there is not a relay, mag switch, or secondary solenoid that I can find on this starting system. Hard to say, never have any test equipment when it acts up, but when I try to make it act up to test, can't generate the problem. Oh, BTW last guess would be demon possession, just kidding ;)


Double J
Veteran / Moderator
Double J profile image

Oct 3, 2008, 4:20 PM

Post #12 of 32 (48126 views)
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Hey last guest....

There are 2 Technical Service Bulletins issued for intermittent no start conditions on Saturn vehicles...Dont know if either will apply to your concern(Depends on vehicle RPO (Options)... or not but are certainly worth looking into.
I wont get into specifics of the bulletins...you or your friend my be able to obtain the info/repair procedures for these...
Here are excerpts....

Bulletin Number - 03-08-45-001....
Subject:
Intermittent No Start, Intermittent Stall after Start-Up and/or Loss of Radio Presets (Replace Instrument Panel Junction Block - IPJB and/or Terminal)

Models Affected:
1995-1999 Saturn S-Series Vehicles
Cause:
Condition(s) may be caused by terminal tightness at PIN F-5 within the Instrument Panel Junction Block (IPJB Black 68 way).

Bulletin Number - 99-T 43
SUBJECT:
Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) or Security System Inoperative and/or Engine
Will Not Crank, Power Door Locks Inoperative or Intermittently
Inoperative, Power Windows Inoperative, Power Mirror Inoperative, Door
Speaker Volume Cutting Out, 1OA BODY Fuse Open or 1OA CHIME Fuse
Open (Repair Body Wiring Harness)

MODELS AFFECTED:
1996 - 1999 Saturn S-Series Sedans and Wagons

Let us know if this helps

Jim


Guest
Anonymous Poster
ryanberger@hotmail.com

Oct 8, 2008, 10:19 PM

Post #13 of 32 (48070 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2001 Saturn SL1 Intermittent starting [In reply to]  

Have you thought of the ignition switch. Saturns are equipped with a passlock system that requires the correct key in order to start the engine. If the ignition switch begins to fail it will cause the intermittened starting. Its a fairly cheap (under $50 if you do it yourself) and not that difficult fix. There are many other forums that list similar peoblems with the ignition switch being the problem. Do you think this could be a possible solution?


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Nov 24, 2008, 10:34 AM

Post #14 of 32 (47543 views)
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i've talked to two machanic friends and saturn about this very same problem, and they all said that it was a failure in the security system, and it is possible to switch the security system off. i reccommend taking your car to a local friendly machanic or buying the Haynes Saturn book and doing it yourself. the diagnogstic alone is 70 dollars. Good luck everyone!


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Nov 25, 2008, 4:13 PM

Post #15 of 32 (47520 views)
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I am taking mine in today for the same problem. Dash lights up. Fuel pump sounds. No starter sounds at all. When the starter works, it is strong. My car does not have a security system so I do not think that is the trouble. My first thought was ignition switch but I don't think the dash would light up if it were the switch. Could it be a bad starter connection?


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Dec 11, 2008, 10:29 AM

Post #16 of 32 (47341 views)
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In Reply To
I am taking mine in today for the same problem. Dash lights up. Fuel pump sounds. No starter sounds at all. When the starter works, it is strong. My car does not have a security system so I do not think that is the trouble. My first thought was ignition switch but I don't think the dash would light up if it were the switch. Could it be a bad starter connection?


I took it in. They could not find the problem because it started fine. Since then it has not failed until last night. I drove the car for 45 mins, went inside a store and 15 mins later it wouldn't start. I tried starting if for another half hour. I gave up and came back about 2 hours later and it started. Do you think it is heat related?


Loren Champlain Sr
Veteran / Moderator
Loren Champlain Sr profile image

Dec 11, 2008, 7:50 PM

Post #17 of 32 (47334 views)
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It sure does sound like it is heat related. Once the engine is turned off, it will actually get hotter for a while before it starts cooling off. This heat will transfer, of course. I am assuming that the engine will not turn over, as if the battery were dead? Are you hearing a click when you turn the key to the start position? Did they replace the key and tumbler, or the ignition switch, or both? Yes, we would have to get it to act up before we'd be able to diagnose it, also. If the starter solenoid is getting voltage to it, but not turning over, sounds like a starter issue. If not, then it could be any number of reasons....ignition switch, neutral safety switch, security system, ect.
Loren
SW Washington


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Dec 30, 2008, 10:48 AM

Post #18 of 32 (47091 views)
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Thank you for your response. There have been times when the vehicle will not start first thing in the morning. So I don't believe it is heat related. I have my saturn in a saturn service center right now. The first mechanic tried driving the vehicle, letting it idle, starting in the morning and in the afternoon. The original mechanic admits there was a problem because it did not start for them initially but then by the time they hooked up the equipment it was starting again. 2 weeks went by before they gave up. It started every time. Saturn has yet to have a problem with it.


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Dec 30, 2008, 10:54 AM

Post #19 of 32 (47090 views)
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The engine will not turn over. The dash lights come on and I hear a hum... I'm assuming that is the fuel pump but I do not hear the starter crank. I do not remember if I hear a click other than the sound of the dash lights and the fuel pump. They did nothing to the car. The original mechanic noticed the starter is a rebuild. This is a suprise to me because I purchased the car at 68000 mi and did not expect the starter to have issues at that low mileage. I do not have an alarm on the vehicle... Thanks again for your time :-)


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Jan 12, 2009, 9:45 AM

Post #20 of 32 (46891 views)
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I've been having this exact same problem w/my 2001 SL1. Discovered this thread in Oct/Nov when it was first giving me headaches. At the time I was also having a problem with an erratic idle - sometimes it would increase up to 3000rpm at a stoplight. The mechanics replaced the "coolant temp sensor" - they said it always thought the car was "cold" when it wasn't, and consequently idled high - and this fixed not only the idle, but the intermittant starting problem.

However, in the last two weeks, the erratic idle has returned, and now 3 of the last 4 days has seen my car not willing to start after a short trip (<10min). Each time, if I let the car sit for a time reply, it will then fire up normally. Grrr.


Guest
Anonymous Poster
halltmja@aol.com

Jan 24, 2009, 5:09 PM

Post #21 of 32 (46691 views)
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I have the same issue with my 2001 SL1 not starting. I have made three short trips in the last couple of days and it will not start. Everything lights up but when I turn the key nothing happens. I wait for a hour and it starts right up like nothing ever happened at all. Any suggestions? Where is the starter located? I also had a problem being able to take the key out as the care was running and had a difficult time putting the key in. I brought this to the saturn dealer and they cleaned it n/c about a year ago. Since then I have had no problems with the key. Any suggestions would be helpful.

In Reply To


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Jan 24, 2009, 5:16 PM

Post #22 of 32 (46692 views)
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Where is the starter located and how hard is it to replace


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Mar 4, 2009, 8:59 AM

Post #23 of 32 (46263 views)
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Oldest trick in the book... BEFORE you start taking Stuff apart, turn the key to ON, and leave it there for 15 minutes or so, then attempt to start it. If that doesn't work after a few tries, then and only then is there a broken part.

(This post was edited by JIM N on Mar 17, 2009, 4:47 PM)


Guest
Anonymous Poster

Mar 17, 2009, 4:41 PM

Post #24 of 32 (46123 views)
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My 1997 SL1 intermittently starts as well, but the engine does turn over. It usually takes 5-30 minutes for it to start. Any ideas?


Guest
Anonymous Poster
catman63@gmail.com

Mar 25, 2009, 12:51 PM

Post #25 of 32 (46022 views)
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I have to join the club. My 1999 Saturn SL-1 has worked fine the past 10+ years (256,000+ miles and counting!) but then two weeks ago, I took it for a short trip and when I went back to the car, nothing. Wouldn't start. The radio came on, the dash lights, even the running headlights - all came on, and when I turned the key to crank the engine, nothing. I could hear a click (assume it was the solenoid). This has happened a few times, and after jiggling wires inside the engine, it would just start up as if there were no problems.

This morning, I brought my son to school and went home to change for work. When I tried to start the engine, the same thing. After playing with it for 90 minutes I gave up. I've read in other articles that when people have this problem, they just bang on the starter. I don't know if this will work but they all swear by it (and recommend replacing the starter at the earliest opportunity). Does anyone know why this happens? What's wrong with the starter that would be temporarily fixed by hitting it?

Thanks!




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