2002 Saturn Ion car wont crank

Tiny
MOMMYME0321
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 SATURN ION
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 153,000 MILES
My battery completely died going down the road then check engine light came on I replaced battery it drove fine on the way home I crank it 3days later battery light and check engine light still on I didn't drive. I tried cranking two days later it will turn over wont crank I changed spark plugs still wont crank never any problems from this car before
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 AT 4:50 PM

17 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
"it will turn over wont crank"? Those are the same thing.

The "Battery" warning light means the battery is not being recharged while you're driving, so naturally it's going to run down, typically within an hour or less. It's the charging system you need to have tested. Spark plugs have nothing to do with cranking the engine.

If the generator is found to be defective, repeat failures are very common, but the number can be reduced by replacing the battery at the same time unless it is less than about two years old. If the battery you installed is older than two years, replace it with a new one. These generators develop huge voltage spikes and the battery is the main component in damping and absorbing those spikes. They lose their ability to do that as they age and the lead flakes off the plates.
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 AT 5:28 PM
Tiny
MOMMYME0321
  • MEMBER
I bought a brand new battery its still good put a battery tester on it. Its getting power and all lights work and raido it tries to crank but wont the spark plugs were bad and I had saw that bad plugs could make engine light come on and problems starting I thought maybe that was the problem.
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 AT 5:33 PM
Tiny
JVLIGHTNING
  • MEMBER
You alternator is failing and not keeping the battery charged. If you have a auto zone or advanced auto store in your town they will check for free to make sure, but Im sure its your alternator
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
JVLIGHTNING
  • MEMBER
If your cars running ruff and shaky it could also be your coils. Elantra's are different from most cars. Instead of spark plug wires there's to coils and two wires that run off them to spark plug 1 and 3 that plug into spark plug 2 and 4. If one is bad your check engine light and battery light will come on and your car will run ruff and shaky. Its a $80 dollar part for each. Also always check your oil. Elantra's burn oil.
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 AT 6:27 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There's a clinker in yer thinker! You're right about worn spark plugs causing running problems that lead to diagnostic fault codes being set and the Check Engine light turning on, but that isn't related to this problem. You have to be careful when you do a search for a "no-start" condition or when you describe that because that can mean a few different things, just like "I'm in pain, ... Why", can mean many different things. In this case, you have a failure of the starter to crank the engine, which is related to the battery not having been recharged while you were driving. "Doesn't start" can also mean the starter works just fine but the engine won't run. That's where we get confused a lot. The second condition is where spark plugs can become involved.

Don't worry about the Check Engine light at this time. The Engine Computer requires proper system voltage to perform its tasks and it knows it can't do some of those when the battery is running down. That will cause various phantom problems to be detected, and some of the resulting diagnostic fault codes will trigger the Check Engine light to turn on.

Have the charging system tested before you do anything else. You may need to charge the battery slowly for an hour with a portable charger. With your new battery, you should be able to drive for 20 - 30 minutes to get to a repair shop as long as you don't turn on anything that isn't needed like the heater fan and radio. I know the engineers at GM insist the head lights must turn on so that will cut your driving time quite a bit.
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Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 AT 7:07 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Jv lightning this is a saturn car also if its a Its not a ion they didnt make those till 2003 so what model do you have? Also the battery light sounds like a bad alternator. The model will help me help you with the proper diagnosis. These cars are my specialty.
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
MOMMYME0321
  • MEMBER
Sorry that is a typo is a 2003Saturn ion 1. I cant take it to get any thing from auto zone cause it wont crank. The battery is good thoe I actually bought a nother one today again and its still doing the same thing. Makes a noise like it wants to crank but wont
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 7:26 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
With the key in the run position is the security light on solid or flashing?
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 7:29 PM
Tiny
MOMMYME0321
  • MEMBER
No only the engine light and battery light. Ive always kept this car up never had problems w it now all of a sudden this
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 7:32 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Your going to have to do some testing guessing gets expensive quick. Do you have a multi meter to do some testing?
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 7:47 PM
Tiny
MOMMYME0321
  • MEMBER
Nope n im on a very limited budget thats y im on here im a single mom n lost my job due to cancer n had surgery now trying to recover n deal w all this too. Its my only car. So im trying to just get it running for the least amt possible
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 7:55 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Iam really sorry to hear that I hope you have a fast full recovery. But without testing I would only be wasting your money till we guessed correctly.
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 8:07 PM
Tiny
MOMMYME0321
  • MEMBER
Do u know where I could get a tester thing for affordable?
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 8:11 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Auto zone rents them for free but you have to leave a deposit.
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 8:17 PM
Tiny
MOMMYME0321
  • MEMBER
Ok thanks that will work I didn't know they done that I will get one the weekend
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 8:33 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You can find a perfectly fine digital meter at Harbor Freight Tools for less than ten bucks. Walmart, Sears, any hardware store, and any auto parts store will have these meters too, but don't waste your money on features you don't need. Most notably this is auto-ranging. I have over a dozen meters including one I bought for $400.00 in the mid '70s. None of mine have auto-ranging because I don't have the time to wait for it to do its thing, and it's too easy to forget to look with each reading to see which range it selected.

By the way, my $400.00 meter is "lab accuracy". 40 years later, the $7.95 meter from Harbor Freight Tools is just as accurate and 1/20th the size.

I stopped following this post but I get the feeling you're headed for the starter circuit to start the diagnosis. Charge the battery first for an hour with a portable charger and you'll see the engine cranks just fine. The "Battery" light proves this is a charging problem, not a starting problem.
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 8:51 PM
Tiny
MOMMYME0321
  • MEMBER
Ok than you
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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 AT 8:55 PM

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