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GM-Frank, ASE Master Certified
Category: Car
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Experience:  37 Years Automotive Diagnosis & Repair. Experience with all makes and models..
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1999 Saturn SL2 electrical issues

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I went out to start my car today and nothing. I looked at my radio, and the clock was out. At that point I realised my dome light was not on either. So I figured my battery was dead. None of my doors were left open nor were any lights left on. I had my dad help me try to jump my car with no luck. While we were trying to jump it i noticed that the running lights and dash lights would turn on however, i still had no clock (digital) on my radio or dome light.

Today on my way home I stopped and got a battery. When I got home I installed the new battery and still no clock on the radio or dome light. So it''s like I''m getting power though half of my car but not the other. I checked every fuse in the car and they were all good so I''m stumped. With the new battery it did exactly the same thing as with the old one. All of my exterior lights work, my instrument lights work, but no dome light or radio. When you turn the key to start you can hear a click like the solenoid is working



So tell the car starting now with the new battery?

You are just after the dome light and radio illumination.

Is this correct?



Hello againCustomer

I've done a bit more studying on the electrical schematic on your vehicle.

With a 12volt test lamp, check to be sure there is power at the 10 amp PARK fuse in the underhood junction block.

If there is power to both sides of the 10 amp PARK fuse, then we will need to do some checking with the headlamp switch and dimmer switch on the dash.

A problem here, may have caused the battery to go dead as well.

Let me know



Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to GM-Frank's Post: the car is not starting now.



One of the first steps you need to take at your end to help me help you find your problem.

Check the large terminal at the Starter Motor. There should be a larger Battery Cable and a Blue Fusible Link connected on the terminal. Be sure the connection is secure and check to be sure the fusible link is not burned.

The fusible link runs from the starter to the Alternator. Check the back of the alternator to be sure the connection there is good. Make sure the fusible link is ok under the insulation, by gently pulling on the blue fuse link. If it stretches, it is bad.

If you have checked these connections and cannot find a problem, then at minimum, I will need to work with you with a 12volt test lamp.

I will need to know by your tests with the test lamp, where we have power and were we don't.

Check the items I have mentioned in this post and my previous post, and let me know what you find.

I would also need to know if the vehicle is equipped with any type of aftermarket alarm.

And does your vehicle have keyless entry and security system.

There are some wiring issues in the left front door area that can cause everything you are experiencing. This is a common problem.

There is a technical service bulletin that addresses this issue.


ISSUE DATE: September, 1999

GROUP/SEQ. NO.: Electrical-03

CORPORATION NO.: 99-08-45-002

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)

1996 - 1999 Saturn S-Series Sedans and Wagons


Customer may comment that on occasion, one or more of the following conditions occur:


^Remote keyless entry (RKE) or security system inoperative, and/or engine will not crank. (Must be equipped with RPO code AUO.)


^Power door locks inoperative or intermittently inoperative. (Must be equipped with RPO code AUO.)


^Power windows inoperative. (Must be equipped with RPO code A31.)



Power mirror inoperative. (Must be equipped with RPO code D35.) Front door speaker volume cuts out intermittently.





The cause of the above conditions may be the main body to front door wire harness coming into contact with front door hinge reinforcement bracket. (Refer to illustration.)

The harness is routed into the front doors through a grommet as it enters the outer door structure. It is then routed across the front door hinge reinforcement (about 51 mm [2 in.] from end of grommet) before it is anchored by a rosebud. Depending on variation in either the manufacturing or routing of the wire harness, there is a chance that the wire harness can come into contact with hinge reinforcement bracket and chafe, causing a short to ground on one or more of the circuits listed in this bulletin.

Circuit 294/TAN (driver's door unlock output from RKE and security system module) - Engine will not crank and RKE and security system inoperative. A short to ground on this circuit may cause internal damage to the RKE and security system module. On 1997 vehicles (up to and including VZ264043) the 10A BODY fuse may be open. On 1997 vehicles (after VZ264043), 1998, and 1999 model year vehicles, the 1OA CHIME fuse may be open.


^Circuit 294/TAN (right front door lock motor), and Circuit 295/GRA (right and left front door lock motor) - Power door locks may be inoperative due to an open on the 20A LOCKS fuse.


^Circuit 340/ORN, 194/WHT, 195/LT BLU (power door lock switch circuit)
-Power door locks may be inoperative due to an open on the 10A BODY fuse.


^Circuit 164/DK BLU, 165/BRN (left front power window motor) or Circuit 166/LT BLU, 167/TAN (right front power window motor) - Power window(s) may be inoperative due to an open on the 30A PWR CONVCE fuse.


^Circuit 81/WHT, 82/LT BLU, 89/LT GRN (Passenger side power mirror) - Power mirror may be inoperative due to an open on the 1OA BODY fuse.


^Circuit 2OO/LT GRN, 117/DK GRN (right front speaker) and/or Circuit 201/TAN, 118/GRA (left front speaker) - Door speaker volume cutting out.




Even if you decide that these checks may be too much, this information will give you a heads-up when you take the vehicle to a technician for diagnosis and repair.

You should now be armed with a likely cause for your Saturn Battery,No-start and interior lighting information. Any questions, let me know.

Take Care


GM-Frank and 5 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to GM-Frank's Post: First, thanks for your help Frank.

Ok so I don't have a 12 volt test lamp, but i do have a multimeter. I tried to see if i was getting power or continuity at the park fuse location but got nothing. Should i be sticking one lead down into the slot where the fuse is and sticking the other to a known ground?

and i checked the voltage on the "old" battery, it was 12.48 volts. the "new" battery was 12.56 volts.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The cables to the starter and alternator are secure. The blue fuseable link didn't look burned or damaged in any way. i pulled on it and it didn't seem to stretch.

the car doesn't have an aftermarket alarm, but it does have the keyless entry.

I work on aircraft all day so i only have a couple of hours after work to try to figure this stuff out. So......... i havent had a chance to check the car in accordance with the service bulletin yet


Yes, a multi-meter will work fine.

OK, so the old battery may be OK anyway.

So you didn't have any system voltage at the 10 amp PARK fuse.

Set the meter on the next step above the 12v scale, usually about a 20V DC scale, and connect the black negative lead of the meter to a good ground on the engine or negative battery cable....and probe with the Red positive lead.

Most fuses can now be checked without even pulling them out of the socket. Probe each side on the top and you get batt voltage on both sides of the fuse, it's good.

You see no 12 volts there at the PARK fuse and we need to backtrace a bit.

So do you have 12volts on the post on the back of the alternator? And there is a Fusible Link at the alternator too.

And do you have 12 volts on both sides of the 30amp IGN4 fuse in the underhood junction block and IP BATT 30 amp fuse?


If either of the 30amp fuses are not receiving their 12 volt power , you need to check the Positive Battery Cable. Coming off of the Positive cable right at the battery, is a large cable running down to the starter, and the small one running over to the Underhood Junction Block.

You will need to check the small Red Wire going from the battery to the Junction block.

Make sure at the ring terminal where it connects at the junction block is clean and secure. And receiving 12volts from the battery.

This should be getting us close to a solution.

Let me know how it goes.




Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Sorry to back track, but the park fuse is getting power to both sides........ i initially checked it wrong. this time i did like you suggested and hooked the black lead to the neg batt terminal and the red lead i used to check both sides of the fuses. all of the fuses in the service bulletin, and all of the fuses in the list you sent me are good to include the 30A green ones. no luck. i did find that my power windows and my sun roof all work. so do all of my lights, and my instrumentationlights. my door locks do not, my r/h mirror does not and my keyless entry/trunk/panic does not. still the same for the radio/clock and the dome light.

so it seems that everything you've had me check thus far is good, i hope you've got some more magic left in ya :)






Go through and let's see if we can do these checks without the need of any additional special tools.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I would love to do these, but my door locks dont even work at the door. the remote worked fine when i shut the car off last friday, but then again the rest of the car worked then too.



That brings us right back to the Bulletin I sent you.

If yours is a Sedan or Wagon.

Check 10 A Body fuse and 10 AMp Body fuse.

Then step by step through the Bulletin.

If you need the wiring schematics, let me know.


Need to go through the steps to verify your vehicle