The issue is with my 1998 Saturn SL1. After starting and running any lenght of time, it will not restart. It must "cool" off. This problem has gotten progressively worse, at first it only occured after a long drive 30 miles plus, now just starting and turning it off will cause a wait of 5-10 minutes. I replaced the battery 6 weeks ago, and when it fires up there isn't any hesitation, while running there is no indication of any problems, temp, & idle OK. When it doesn't start, it is just a "click", no whine or turnover at all, just "click". During this time all electrical functions, radio, wipers, lights- OK.
So is the click your hearing coming from the starter?It sounds like a bad starter really common on those S model saturns the starter solenoids fail on those when they get hot from the engine warming them up. Make sure the battery cables are clean and tight also do you have a test light or multimeter so we can make sure its the starter?
August, 3, 2011 AT 6:03 PM
I can't tell where the click is coming from, other than under the hood. I don't have a test light or meter. What kind would I need? Is the test easy to perform? Is the starter replaceable by a novice like myself or should it be done by a trained tech? The car has just turned 190000 and my wife is reallly after me to not invest any more into it, just donate it, but I am a Saturn fan and hate to give it up.
August, 3, 2011 AT 7:44 PM
The S model saturn is my favorite I have a 1999 SL2 with over 220,000 miles on it and it runs great my family and friends have them as well. To test if its the starter all you have to do is get a test light under 10 and ground the aligator clip to a good ground under the car have someone try to start it while the car is in neutral with the ebrake on and the rear wheels blocked and the front wheels off the ground and the car on jack stands. You will want to see power to the purple wire at the starter with the key in the start position while the car isnt starting. If you have power there bad starter. The starters are about 130.00 plus tax at auto zone for a remanufactured one. You could shop around but that is about the price you will find. As far as replacing it its pretty easy. Hardest part is the top starter bolt getting it out and in. Tool wise you will need a 10mm and 13mm deep socket also a 13mm wobble socket works best for the top bolt 4" extension and perferable a flex head rachet that is on the long side.
August, 4, 2011 AT 1:29 PM
Thanks! I am going to replace it this weekend.
August, 4, 2011 AT 4:10 PM
I perfer you check to see if the purple wire has power when it doesnt start but its your choice let me know how you make out.
August, 4, 2011 AT 4:25 PM
OK, I will test first, just so I am clear, I should test when it won't start correct?
August, 4, 2011 AT 4:43 PM
Yes that is correct you will want to see power to the purple wire at the starter. It sounds like the starter I just dont want you to replace it if its not bad and waste that money when you could use it to fix the real problem. Keep me posted and we will figure this out.
August, 8, 2011 AT 8:54 PM
Completed Saturday morning in about 45 minutes. It is a manual transmission, and linkage runs above starter, so the top bolt was really the only challenge. Starts everytime now. Thanks for your help.
August, 8, 2011 AT 9:04 PM
Your welcome thats what were here for the top bolt is the hardest part if its a automatic or manual transmission.