When trying to crank, burned up fusible link at starter.

Tiny
MANDJ
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 SATURN SC2
  • 100 MILES
Car will not start. Quit mid-trip according to daughter. Made a 'squeak' before quitting. Car will start to crank 1 time but won't catch. We replaced battery. Installed new starter. Engine is 1.9L DOHC. If it is starter relay, please advise location as I have seen conflicting choices. If you suggest a part, please advise of the location. I can do mechanical stuff but am a wiring dummy. I have also seen the Crank Position Valve (which I would have known while the starter was off) be a source but can't get a confirmation that that is it. Haven't tried neutral switch (how to test?). Daughter needs car before college starts back up. Can't keep buying parts on a guess. Poor paying job and already $250 into this. Thanks.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 2:10 AM

18 Replies

Tiny
MANDJ
  • MEMBER
Car has 100K plus miles.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 2:11 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
There is no fuseable link that feeds power to the starter on that car. The fuseable link you are talking about feeds power to the alternator. If that was blown you have a bad alternator not starter. Are you sure the alternator didnt sieze up?That would make sense the engine stopping a squealing noise the fuseable link blown. Can you hear the starter try to work like a loud thumping noise when turning the key?
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 2:23 AM
Tiny
MANDJ
  • MEMBER
Tech9- The 'fuseable' link that I am referring to is on the actual starter. It goes from the starter housing to the solenoid. It smoked while we were trying to get the engine to turnover. It was not burned up at the time of the failure. An extra try at cranking the engine fried it for good. Alternator is less than 6 months old (yes, I know it could still be bad). Starter does make a strong, thump-like click when trying to turn the engine. But it does it for an instant and then nothing. My guess is that it is between the solenoid and the key but I don't know these cars.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 3:19 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Again there is no fuseable link feed power to the starter I posted a wire diagram to show it doesnt. Iam a factory trained saturn tech I have worked for saturn for well over 16yrs. So I know these cars very well the last person I saw who made the starter wires smoke like that had a frozen up motor. If the engine doesnt turn over freely and you try to start it the starter wiring etc will smoke and burn. The starter you replaced was probably still good. See if you can turn the engine over by hand?Also check your oil level. Let me know what you find.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 4:04 AM
Tiny
MANDJ
  • MEMBER
Tech9- thanks. Couple things have changed in the last 2 hours. I got it to crank freely but not fire. Gas was getting to the cylinders as you could smell it. In doing research, it was suggested several times to floor the pedal and then try and start. It started and ran for about 10 seconds and then died. Now it isdoing the same thing it's been doing for 3 days (see above posts). I am now wondering if I should change the ECTS and the Crank position sensor. Those items appear to be problematic. I am also now concerned that the anti theft component may now also be an issue. I'm also learning that I like my problem free Chevy truck. At least I can work on it. Can't get any parts or donate until thursday. Thanks for the assistance.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 5:49 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Yes those are prone to crank shaft position sensors problems 1998-2002 S model saturns are. Also the coolant temp sensors all the years S model 1991-2002 have coolant temp sensor issues. Also they leak coolant into the connectors corroding the connectors terminals from silver to blue or green. Causing the pcm to get the incorrect reading from the coolant temp sensor. You said the engine wasnt rotating around so that thru me off to just not starting.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 6:03 AM
Tiny
MANDJ
  • MEMBER
You are correct, the engine wasn't rotating (almost like it was stuck on a power stroke). It fired and ran for about 10 seconds. It quit and gave a mild squeak (I think what I heard and what she probably heard was just a squeak at an accessory when the engine stopped, it was raining when it quit on her). That being said, now we are back at the condition of my first posting- starter with one click, engine turns a fraction but won't fire. When it did run for those 10 seconds, nothing sounded out of whack. When it stopped, it acted like someone shut off the fuel or pulled the spark. I am certainly scratching my head. We know we have battery, we know starter works, we know we have fuel and we know we have spark. That leads me to electrical stuff of which I lack knowledge of for the most part. Any thoughts? Visual inspection of ECTS shows no indication of a leak. There is some oily dirt on the cover though. Thanks
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 6:44 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So the engine isnt spining around like it should?If thats the case its not the ect or the crank shaft sensor it would turn over if that was the case. You need to try to turn it over by the hand use a large break bar 1/2 drive with a 21mm socket on the crank shaft bolt.I would make sure you can turn it a couple of full rotations by hand. From all the things your describing it really sounds like the engine is siezing up. Especially with the belt squeaking when it shuts off. Have you checked the oil level yet?
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 6:55 AM
Tiny
MANDJ
  • MEMBER
The engine locking up has been a constant in the back of my head. There is oil at the bottom of the stick but right now it is on stands (front). While it is on the stands, I am going to go ahead and change out the crank sensor and put it back on the ground. I'll double check the oil then. I can get to the ECTS from the top. As for turning the engine by hand, I can't get anything in there from the top and it doesn't look like I can get in there from the bottom either. The crank sensor won't break the bank and appears to be a common issue so it really can't hurt to do it while I can get to it. GRRR. All this does is reinforce why I'll never own a front wheel drive. I'll update tonight after I change those items out. Cheaper than an engine or the loss on selling the car. Thanks
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 4:18 PM
Tiny
MANDJ
  • MEMBER
Does the 2000 Saturn sc2 have a BCM? Could that be the problem?
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 4:27 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I have worked on these cars for well over 16yrs at the saturn dealerships I have been shop foremans and team leaders there. The crank shaft sensor will not stop the engine from cranking over. If it were to go bad could cause the engine to stop running and not start. But it would still crank over normal it just wouldnt start. The ect would be the same case everything you have told leads me to belive your engine is locked up or a pulley on the engine is siezing. To get to the crank pulley turn the steering wheel all the way to the right. Then you will see a two piece plastic splash cover mounted verticle. Remove the one closest to the front of the car. At the bottom of the cover you will see a plastic expansion pin holding the cover down. Take a screw driver pop the center of the clip out. Then pop the bottom of the panel loose. The top of the panel has a plastic tab that fits into the body of the car. Now that panel is off plenty of acess to do what I asked you to do. Please listen to me I know a lot more about this cars then you ever possibley could know. Its fine you want to change the crank shaft position sensor there only like 20 I changed mine before it failed on 1999 SL2 saturn. Its also fine you want to change your coolant temp sensor I have owned this saturn since 2006 and iam on my 4th coolant temp sensor so they fail often. But what you have to realize is niether one of those parts is going to stop the engine from turning over.I have seen a starter nose cone break and the broken piece jamb up the flex plate or flywheel depending depending on weather the car is auto or manual transmission.I have also seen a alternator ac compressor sieze up causing the thing.I have also seen the connecting rods sieze up as well. The engine suddenly turning off and the squeaking means the engine stopped spining quickly. Iam here to help you not argue so please let me know what you find from the engine turning over.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 4:42 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Yes it has a bcm but its not not going to cause your old starter to smoke from tying to turn the engine over. Also its not going to cause your starter to have a loud solid thump like its working and trying to turn over a locked up motor.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 4:46 PM
Tiny
MANDJ
  • MEMBER
Ok Tech, I will try the manual turning first. Not trying to argue with ya. I guarantee that you know more about these than I or the wife does. I'm turning clockwise correct? (Standing at passenger fender). How much resistance in turning is too much? While it not turning at all obviously means it's seized, but what if it turns but takes 3 men and a small boy to turn it? I guess I am asking "should 1 guy be able to turn it (with moderate effort) and if it takes more than that, the engine is seized?" Thanks again. The car is an automatic by the way.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 5:13 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Should be moderate effort if it takes two men and a small boy you have a issue lol. If it doesnt turn or turns with great effort then remove the belt and see if it turns like it should then.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 6:19 PM
Tiny
MANDJ
  • MEMBER
Ok thanks. I'll let you know tonight. Probably around 8ish Arizona time
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 7:54 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Alright keep me posted iam in southern california.
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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 AT 8:00 PM
Tiny
MANDJ
  • MEMBER
Ok, got home and the first thing I did was start the car with the gas pedal to the floor. Just like last night it ran for about 10 seconds. When it quit, there was a squeal at the front of the motor in the area of the accessories.

That being said- I took off the splash panel and wa-la, access to the crank bolt. I don't have a breaker bar and 21mm socket. I used a 15" Crescent (no it did not slip) and put my 210# into it and it didn't budge. I then got a 3' cheater pipe and tried it again. Couldn't budge it. I then took the serpentine off and tried again and could not budge it. Did the cheater pipe again and same story. I emphasize that the crescent did not slip or start to slip. I'm expecting the 'it's siezed up' but I'm curious as to why it started and ran for 10 seconds again. Of course, after it ran, it went back to the barely crank for 1 second mode. Thanks again for your patience and wisdom. And for some reason, I haven't bled yet working on this thing, lol. Jim
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 2:05 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Iam sorry I was right since it was such bad news its probably just not fully siezed up and you can get it turn a little bit every so often. Thats why I wanted you to check the engine before dumping more money into it. Sorry for your bad news.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 2:34 AM

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