Intermittent No Start, Intermittent Stall after Start-Up

Tiny
48CHIEF
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 SATURN SC1
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 90 MILES
My son bought a 1997 Saturn SC1 3 days ago. Several times the car would not crank, and it also stalled/died while driving twice. When this happens, the dash lights will come on when the key is turned to the "on" position, but when you turn the key to start the car, all of the dash lights go off and stay off. Radio also loses power and programmed stations are lost. The battery is brand new, and the alternator output is 14.2 +/- volts. Yesterday I removed the aftermarket alarm with keyless remote and starter cutout, and soldered and shrink wrapped the wires that were cut to install.

Today, the same issue occurred again, car died while sitting at idle as I checked out the "maintenance/wrench" light that was on. Found out the electric cooling fan and a/c system had relays missing in the fuse panel under the hood, replaced both, added 12 oz. Of 134a, and it just died. The maint/wrench light did go off. When I tried to restart, the same condition described above occured. Hooked the boost box up, dash lights come on, and fires right up. Don't know when it may die or not start again. When I went to look at the car with my son, I hooked my scanner up when I found the MIL on, and pulled a crankshaft position sensor code. I reset the MIL, and there have been no P codes since. I can't scan for B codes, but with the Maint/wrench lamp off now I dont feel there are any.

I did find one TSB, Bulletin No: 03-08-45-001, addressing Intermittent No Start, Intermittent Stall after Start-Up and/or Loss of Radio Presets, which best describes what is going on. Before I get into another 3 hours of standing on my head under the dash, is there something more obvious and simple I may be overlooking?
Hopefully not the BCM.

Regards,
48Chief
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Saturday, January 15th, 2011 AT 1:18 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Symptoms seems to indiate a power supply interruption and it could be due to poor battery terminal connections or connections from battery to fusible links.

Disconnect the battery terminals, clean and reinstall to test. Check the battery cables connections for ground circuit and to the fusible link, fuse box.
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Saturday, January 15th, 2011 AT 1:13 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I would check what KHLow2008 said to check that bulletin your refering too is what I was thinking also I have seen a loose terminal F5 cause all kind's issue's. On the backside of inside fuse box there is a black 68 way connector. It's held in place by a 7MM bolt loose that bolt remove the connector bring it too you. Look at the terminal's that go into the fuse box.F5 is going to be the big red fat wire going to the connector on the outer edge of the connector. See if the terminal is open compare it to others to see what it's suppose to look at. It say's to replace the terminal but I have had success using a small pick and closing the terminal like it's supposed to be. Let me know what yo find. Also your car doesn't have a bcm saturns didn't have those until 2000. Here is a coppy of that bulletin.
File in Section: 08 - Body and Accessories

Bulletin No: 03-08-45-001

Issue Date: May, 2003
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

Attention: Technician

Condition:

Some customers may comment that one or more of the following conditions has occurred.
Intermittent no start

Intermittent stall after start-up

Loss of radio presets

Cause:

Condition(s) may be caused by terminal tightness at PIN F-5 within the Instrument Panel Junction Block (IPJB Black 68 way).

Correction:

Refer to the Instrument Panel Junction Block (IPJB) and/or Terminal Replacement procedures in this bulletin.

Procedure:

Instrument Panel Junction Block (IPJB) Removal:
1. Disconnect negative battery cable.

2. Disconnect positive battery cable.

3. Remove left and right lower trim panel extensions by pulling outward at dual lock locations. Rotate panels outward to disengage hinges from console.

4. Remove screw and ground wire from H-bracket.

5. Remove wiring harness from H-bracket.

6. Remove screw and disconnect rear electrical connector from IPJB. Remove IPJB screw.

7. Using a small screwdriver, release lock tabs on IPJB and slide off of mounting tabs.

8. Feed IPJB through H-bracket towards front of car.

9. Inspect PIN F-5, circuit 402 on the Black 68-way connector of the instrument panel junction block for signs of arcing. If signs of arcing are present, replace IPJB and terminal. Refer to the IPJB Installation and Terminal Replacement procedures in this bulletin.

10. If no signs of arcing, verify terminal tightness using GRAY probe. Replace terminal using the Terminal Replacement procedure in this bulletin.

IPJB Installation:
1. Feed IPJB back through H-bracket.

2. Slide the IPJB into mounting tabs and lock into place.

3. Install rear Black 68-way electrical connector into IPJB and then install screws in connector into IPJB.

4. Reconnect wiring harness to the H-bracket.

5. Reconnect ground wire to the H-bracket.

6. Reinstall left and right lower trim panel extensions.

7. Reconnect positive battery cable.

8. Reconnect negative battery cable.

Terminal Replacement:
1. If terminal replacement is required, remove CPA from Black 68-way connector. Insert tool 12094430/J04898 to remove terminal.

2. Put connector seal (if equipped) on wire.

3. Remove insulation from the end of the cut lead and the harness. Recommended strip length is 9.5 mm (3/8 in.) Caution must be used to prevent cutting the wire strands.

4. Position stripped ends in sleeve until wires hit the stop in the center of the splice.

5. Hand crimp using the approved crimping tool. Gently tug on wires to make sure they are secure before applying heat to them.

Important :DO NOT USE MATCH OR OPEN FLAME TO APPLY HEAT TO SEAL.

6. Apply heat using the Heat Gun or some other device, heating to 175 C (347 F) until glue flows around edges of sleeve.

7. Insert the terminal into the connector. Check to make sure the terminal lock tab is engaged by gently tugging on the wire.

8. Replace any terminal position assurance (TPA) devices.

Parts Requirements:

Claim Information:

To receive credit for this repair during the warranty coverage period, submit a claim through the Saturn Dealer System for N1731 (Block Assembly, Wiring Harness Junction, Instrument Panel-Replace). If another procedure is performed, refer to the appropriate Electronic Labor Time Guide for the correct Operation Code and Time.
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Saturday, January 15th, 2011 AT 6:48 PM
Tiny
48CHIEF
  • MEMBER
Thanks to you both saturntech9 and KHLow2008 for your replies. Your replies were sent to JUNK folder, and I just found them today. However I have already discovered the cause, and resolved the concern.

As I prepared to dive back under the dash to perform the TSB (i'm on alldata) and disconnected the side post battery, the cause was discovered. As the pos+ terminal was removed some light corrosion was found. When removing the neg- terminal, discovered it was not torqued to spec.

So this was a lesson reminder from the past- dont assume. Since the battery was new, I had not inspected the terminals, I assumed the battery had been installed correctly. Cleaned battery terminals and cables, reconnect clean terminals to battery and torque to spec.

Regards,
48Chief
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Friday, January 21st, 2011 AT 7:11 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Glad to know you have fixed the problem.

Have a nice day.
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Friday, January 21st, 2011 AT 11:49 AM

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