Engine won't crank over sometimes

Tiny
BERNDAWG
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 SATURN SL1
  • 148 MILES
My 2001 Saturn won't start at times. No rhyme or reason to it. It will start 20 times in a row and then not on the next time or visa versa. When it DOES start it doesn't make any odd sounds. The clutch DOES NOT have to be depressed in order for it to start?

When it DOES start it's fine. No other problems with it.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 AT 3:01 AM

10 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
When it doesn't start, check to see if the engine is getting spark and fuel. One will be missing. At that point, you can focus on that circuit.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 AT 3:02 AM
Tiny
BERNDAWG
  • MEMBER
COULD it be the clutch interlock?
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 AT 3:19 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
When it doesn't start, does the engine turn over?
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 AT 3:24 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Just to add to this one if its not cranking over meaning the starter is not working to spin the engine over randomly then the most likely cause is the starter. The clutch interlock switches hardly ever fail. Its common for the starters to fail though. Do you have a test light or multimeter for testing?If so we can test the clutch interlock switch to see if the problem is inside or outside the car.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 AT 3:34 AM
Tiny
BERNDAWG
  • MEMBER
I have a multi meter but will need to be told where to test. HERE is why I think there's a problem with the interlock. IT NEVER works. The clutch NEVER needs to be depressed so that means it's not working THEN so I am thinking that it could also be not allowing the electric to go to the starter.

WHen it won't start it does nothing. EVERYTHING electrical will work except the starter. On this mode the starter is VERY hard to get to and one bolt I cannot even find or I'd have had it tested by now.

When it does start there's not strange sounds, just starts up. It's almost as if someone is turning a switch on and off.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 AT 3:39 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Those starters arent that hard to change for the top bolt I use a 4 inch long 3/8" drive extension with a 13mm wobble socket. You can test it in the car when it wont start what usually fails on those starters is the which is like turning off the switch to the starter. When it doesnt to test the start you would see if there is power to the small purple wire on the starter. If you do bad starter. As far as testing the clutch interlock switch when it wont start make sure the car is in neutral and ebrake is on. Then there should be power going into the yellow wire into the clutch switch with the key in the start position. The yellow wire comes from the starter. You should also have power to the purple wire coming out of the switch with the key in the start position. Ethier way your going to have to change that switch if its broken because its a safety hazzard. The switches are cheap there under 30.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 AT 4:01 AM
Tiny
BERNDAWG
  • MEMBER
Saturntech0 THANKS. Well you SAY it's a safety hazard but I drove lots of cars without those switches. ;-) I'll replace that and then go from there. H

Honestly I put the car up and looked at the starter and could not FIND the other bolt.

My Haynes manual also described it as very difficult to remove.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 AT 4:25 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The top bolt you cant see you have to feel for it I have done a ton of them piece of cake for me.I know they use to have no clutch switch back in the good old days when people would start the cars in gear without the clutch in and run people over hit parked cars drive thru garages lol. Keep me posted on what you find.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 AT 4:53 AM
Tiny
BERNDAWG
  • MEMBER
Thanks, I will
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 AT 1:36 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
I never drove through a garage or ran anybody over.

Berndawg, car going vroom all the time yet?
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Friday, January 27th, 2012 AT 6:54 AM

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