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Amedee, Saturn Technician
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 24123
Experience:  ASE certified Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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1999 Saturn SL2 1.9 litre DOHC. No power to the starter circuit.

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I have 1999 Saturn SL2 1.9 litre DOHC. No power to the starter circuit. Checked the battery(and replaced same). Have power to the under hood fuse block, have power to the starter. Turn the key and nothing. No clicks, no nothing. Have power to lights, wipers, heater fan, but not to the power door locks, radio, and interior dome light. Has RKE. I replaced the battery, still nothing. I am thinking maybe the security system is engaged.
Looking for a step by step troubleshooting process.
Thanks for your time and consideration.

Did you still need help?

Do you have a wiring diagram for this circuit?

You are saying that you have checked the starter for power with a voltmeter and there was absolutely none.... correct? Was this on the big terminal or the small terminal?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes I still need help. I checked the power from the battery to the starter and it was hot. There was no power on the small terminal when the key was turned.
Ok.. excellent!

Are there any anti theft lights or secuirty lights on or flashing on the dash?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No anti theft or security lights. I was thinking it is a security issue as there is no direct connection between RKE, door locks, radio, and dome other than maybe as part of the security system.
Is the starter relay clicking when you turn the key to the crank position?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No. When you go to crank position you get dead silence. No clicking, no nothing. If it were clicking I would be looking at weak battery, or maybe poor connection, right???
No... no...

Does the relay itself click when you turn the key to the crank position?

Is it getting grounded by the RKE module?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Explain. I have turned the key inside the cabin, and also been under the car while it was being turned. I heard nothing in either case.

Not sure. Where is the RKE module? and how do I check to determine whether it is being grounded? Thanks.

You will need to go to the starter relay and check for two powers and one ground with the key in the crank position. You might need an assistant to help you.

You check this at the female cavities that the stater relay plug into after removing the relay.

If two of the four cavities have power with the key in the crank position, then you just put your voltmeter lead into one other cavity of the relay and turn the key to the crnak position to see if your voltmeter gets a reading.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

So where is the starter relay?

Female cavities? Are you talking about a plug?

Where does this take me?

If I have power to this wiring connection, then what?
Are you giving me partial instructions, or is this a step in the process?

It is number 3 in the diagram. I believe you have to remove a plastic piece on the dash to get to it. Here is a picture. Number 3 in the diagram.

ONce we know the inputs to the starter relay, we will know which directions to go in.

If the starter relay is not getting grounded by the RKE module, then YES, you have a security system issue.

If the relay is getting grounded and is sending out a signal and there still is no power to the starter, chances are you just have a bad neutral safety switch.
Here are the wiring diagrams for your starting circuit. THIs includes the starter motor, starter relay and RKE module. Once you study these diagrams, it will all make sense.

Electrical Diagrams
Starting/Charging System Electrical Schematic (Part 1 Of 2)
Starting/Charging System Electrical Schematic (Part 2 Of 2)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have to step out of my office for an hour or so. Will get back to you.
Sounds good!

I hope this helps. You can always accept my answer now, and repost back again later on if you have any more questions. If you want to discuss it some more just hit "reply", it's free to do so otherwise don't forget to hit "accept" and leave positive feedback if you found my answer helpful.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Just a couple more questions.

I found the RKE module on the wiring schematic, but I didn't see it on the exploded view of the starting system that you sent me. Could you please clarify the location? Tx.

The neutral safety switch that you reference, I assume that it is the park neutral position switch that is indicated in the exploded view? If so, is that accessable from below the dash, or do you have to remove the dash pad to get at it?

TX again for your consideration. Electricial is just not my thing, and I want to make sure that I fully understand the process before I sign off.

I have circled the RKE module for you.


The neutral safety switch is located on the side of the transmission.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks. I found it on the schematic, I meant where is it located in the auto?

It does not appear on the exploded view that you sent me. The RKE module I mean.


Here is service and repair procedure from alldata.


Remote Control Door Lock (RKE) Module Removal

  1. Disengage seat cushion by pushing rearward, then upward at two front retaining locations to release the rear cushion from the retainers.
  2. Slide the cushion from under the seat back guiding the seat belt buckle through the seat cushion and remove the seat cushion.

Remote Control Door Lock (RKE) Module Removal

  1. Remove rear seat carpet retainer molding.

Remote Control Door Lock (RKE) Module Removal

  1. Lower rear seat back.
  2. Remove body lock trim finish molding by pulling firmly, starting at the bottom of the molding to disengage clips.
  3. Slide molding out from under body lock pillar upper trim finish molding.

Remote Control Door Lock (RKE) Module Removal/Installation

  1. Disconnect Remote Control Door Lock (RKE) module connector.
  2. Pull firmly on remote control door lock (RKE) module from the top to bottom, to disengage double side tape retainer.
  3. Remove remote control door lock (RKE) module.
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