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I have a 1998 Saturn SW2,1.9L DOHC 16 Valve Engine with a…

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I have a 1998 Saturn...
I have a 1998 Saturn SW2,1.9L DOHC 16 Valve Engine with a 4-SPD Automatic Transmission, Air Conditioning, Anti lock Braking System W/ Traction control.
I store the car in the winter so it has not been driven in about 7 months.
The problem has been around for over a year now and is an intermittent thing.
The car usually starts with no problem after it has been parked for a while, but after an average short drive when you try to start the car it is dead, no clicking or slow turning of the starter, it does nothing. All the lights on the dash light up as on a normal start. I have replaced the battery recently and that made no difference. I carry a small socket set with me to try to tighten the battery terminals, nothing. After sitting for a while it will again start normally. Any Ideas?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Saturn
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Answered in 4 hours by:
4/11/2010
Saturn Mechanic: Arench, Master Technician replied 8 years ago
Arench
Arench, Master Technician
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 1,490
Experience: 30-years experience auto and truck repair.
Verified

Greetings from Arench

At a quick glance the symptoms sound like a bad starter. When it heats up a connection inside the starter opens up.

Of course this must be verified by connecting a test light to the small wire (purple) on the starter and testing during the no-start condition. If the light comes on and the starter does not crank the starter is bad. If the light does not come on with the key in the crank position then the problem is elsewhere in the circuit.

See if anythng else is not working during the no-crank condition specifically the lighter and the electric door locks.

There are plenty of other possibilities for a no-crank condition including a bad connection in the wire harness to the starter, bad connections in the junction block and wire connectors.

Even more bizarre possibilities include the keyless entry module having an intermittent fault.

You may need some help troubleshooting the no-crank condition. Its better to spend a little money on diagnosis by a qualified mechanic then to replace a starter for no reason.

There are multiple components involved in the crank circuit.

Battery connection

Under-hood junction box

Ignition switch

Starter relay

RKE module

Park neutral switch

Wiring

Connectors

Starter

graphic

Arench
Arench, Master Technician
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 1,490
Experience: 30-years experience auto and truck repair.
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