Mechanics

INTERMITTENT STARTING ISSUE...

1999 Saturn SC1

Electrical problem
1999 Saturn SC1 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 78000 miles

Just recently acquired this very clean SC1 about a month and a half ago. Great car, but came across a problem that occurs only every once in a while. Once every 40-50 starts (guess) we get nothing when you turn the key? We wait a while and then it will start fine. Is there any safety switches which can be going bad? It seems when this happens I can hear some relays, or? Activating/clicking toward the back of the vehicle, but starter will not engage. We never know when this will occur, however each time it was able to start after letting it rest a few minutes. In the month and a half it has happened about 5 times. And ideas?
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Tall dave
July 21, 2010.



Does this only happen when the engine is warm?Do you have a multimeter or test light to trace power?

Saturntech9
Jul 21, 2010.
It has been in the 90's if that counts. I want to say it has happened after sitting and engine cool, but not sure. Yes, I do have a multimeter. What do you suggest? One other issue is horn does not work.

Tiny
Tall dave
Jul 21, 2010.
Here's what I suggest next time the starter becomes inop there is a switch below your clutch pedal that when your clutch is pressed all the way down it allows your starter to engage it's a safety device to make sure you don't start your car in gear. Next time your starter becomes inop make sure your car is in neutral and ebrake is on. Now go down to your clutch switch with key in the start position without the switch being pushed you should have power at the yellow wire to the switch and with the switch pushed and the key in the start position you should have power to the purple wire. If all that checks out then you will have to see if you have battery voltage to your purple wire to your starter with the key in the start position. If you do then bad starter. Your starter is located under your intake manifold so you would have to get under the car to test it.I would also make sure your battery cable's are clean and tight and have your battery tested as well.

Saturntech9
Jul 22, 2010.
OK. Just happened again last night. Turn the key, and nothing! This time I also noticed the dome light flashing on/off/on/off, etc. What would that signify? As for checking for power at the clutch switch. I hadn't had time to check as I was off to work, and jumped into my other car. What readings should I get at the switch when you say power? 12V? When checking with mulitimeter, I assume I would ground one lead, and hit the switch wires with the other lead? And as for battery power at the starter. What should I expect there 12V as well? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to be well informed when I go ahead and probe this issue. And again. What does the flashing dome light represent? Unfortunately don't have the manual for the car. I appreciate all the help! Love the car otherwise.

Tiny
Tall dave
Jul 28, 2010.
As far as the lead's go you ground the black one and test for battery voltage with red one at all the point's I told you. Also make sure your battery cable's are clean and tight and your battery test's good. Your flashing dome light could be a loose connection to the battery loose blub or some other problem. Let me know what you find.

Saturntech9
Jul 28, 2010.
Thanks for clearing that up. Meanwhile I had time to read thru some posts. Thinking it's the alarm acting up. Other similar stopped using the remote and problem disappeared! We will try only using key to see if the problem goes away?

Tiny
Tall dave
Jul 28, 2010.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/416332_1999_sc1_starter_wire_diagram_1.jpg


When it's acting up if you test for power at the clutch switch the yellow wire if there is no power there then i would suspect that possibly the remote key less entry is the problem.What the the key less entry module does to prevent theft is it controls the ground to the starter relay.Take a look you can see that in the wire diagram i posted for you.If you follow my instruction's you can figure that out instead of just loosing the use of your key less entry.Also even if you don't use your key less entry it could still not start i have seen them not start even when you haven't used them.The best way to solve your problem is to follow my instruction's.But that's up to you if want to try it your way have at it.If you want to do it my way let me know what you find when you test it like i told you.

Saturntech9
Jul 28, 2010.
I am working on a 1997 sc2 with the exact same problem sometimes engine won't turn over replaced starter replaced clutch safety switch checked and cleaned battery cables fairly new battery noticed that when car would not turn over dome light would blink for about 30 to maybe 60 seconds everything has failed so far to fix this problem if it's the security system how do I reset or fix it

Tiny
Geoff39
Nov 4, 2012.