I have a similar thing happening to me with my 99 Saturn 4-door SL; 83,000 miles; twin cam; 4 cylinder; 16-valve. I turn the key and sometimes -- nothing. It is as if someone yanked the battery out of the car. It kind of reminds me of the DeLorian on Back to the Future, when it suddenly quits as if someone turned off a light switch. If I try a few more times, or just turn the ignition on and let it sit for a minute before turning the key further to engage the starter, the thing suddenly regains power, lights come on, radio starts working again and the starter engages! If there is flickering in the dash lights, I wait till they calm down before turning the key any further to engage the starter. Once the starter engages, the engine turns over effortlessly and starts right up. Each time this happens, I have to set the stations on my radio again and set the time on the clock, because everything is erased from the complete loss of electrical power. I checked the battery cables, and all connections and everything is tight. The battery is strong and only a year old. At first, it seemed to be happening most when it was cold outside -- the colder it was, the more severe the problem or the more frequent the problem happened. The problem seems to be slowly getting worse at higher temperatures now. For example, it first started happening when it was below 30F. Now, a few weeks later, it is happening at 45F. Luckily, I have not been stranded anywhere yet; but, I am concerned that one of these days the thing will die and not wake up.
Sunday, January 21st, 2007 AT 12:37 AM