1997 Saturn SL1 Car will not start

Tiny
JENNI91684
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 SATURN SL1
Engine Mechanical problem
1997 Saturn SL1 4 cyl Automatic 99,854 miles

So my car has not been starting very well. For a while it would only click the fist couple of time I turned the key, then would start. Now it sometime starts right up and sometime will not start at all without a jump. A couple of time it has died while driving and when I put the car in park and try restarting it starts back up. The battery is less than a month old, I've had the alternator tested, and the positive cable end was corroded so I had it repaired. I'm not sure what to do next. I'm a single mom and need by car, but have limited funds to get it fixed. Any ideas on what might be wrong with it? Also, it may just be coincidence, but it seems to start up when it's cool/cold outside, but not when it's hot. Thanks.
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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 1:26 PM

13 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
First of all thank you so much for your donation. Let's start with the car won't start it hot weather. So is this what usually happen's the car start's good when you first start it?Then when the engine warm's up and you park the car for a little while and you come out to start the car the starter doesn't turn the engine over till it cool's off?
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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 1:41 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Hi Jenni91684, Welcome to 2carpros and TY for the donation

No crank no Start is this correct?

Battery and alternator sounds like a start circuit problem okay lets begin on having the starter motor load tested if okay, check and test ign 3 fuse 30amp, the park and neutral switch, starter relay and the ignition switch
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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 1:45 PM
Tiny
JENNI91684
  • MEMBER
I'm fairly certain that's what happening as far as it just not starting up when it's hot and starts right up when it's cold. I really just noticed this morning that it was starting in the mornings and nights, but not during the day when it's hot. When it doesn't start, I turn the key and it clicks, but does not start. The dome light still works and radio comes on when the key is turned half way. When it does start, it does sound like it has a slight struggle starting, but it's done that since I bought the car 3 years ago and was told that it was fairly common for the 97 saturns to have this problem. Also, could it be a starter problem if the car occosionally dies while I'm driving?
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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 3:25 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Could it be a starter problem if the car occosionally dies while I'm driving

The starter motor works for a couple of secs that's it has done its job cranking the engine over will not cause stalling

Try cleaning out the idle air control valve and test the coolant temperature sensor and throttle position and manifold absolute pressure sensors to include a fuel pressure check and get back with some testing results

BTW do you have a check engine light?
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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 3:56 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Iam taking over from here on this one. Ok if your starter is inop or just's click's when hot there is a good chance you have a bad starter. But without testing voltage to the starter when it doesn't start we won't know for sure. Do you have a multimeter and know how to use it?Or know someone that does that can help you with that?Also when the car die's when your driving does it die when in motion?Or when you come to a stop?
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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 6:32 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Also go to a auto part's store like auto zone and have then scan your car for code's if you have any code's let me know what the number's are.
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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 6:41 PM
Tiny
JENNI91684
  • MEMBER
Thanks, I will take it to Autozone and have them run the test. I know absolutely nothing about cars, so I don't have a multimeter, but may know someone who does. I'll have to check with him. When the car dies while on and moving, it is not while stopped or coming to a stop, I usually am going fairly slow though, so not much pressure on the gas, but pressing the gas none the less. So basically have autozone run the scan for codes and see if someone has a multimeter to test the starter right?
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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 9:56 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Yes go to auto zone and get the code's read and ask your buddy about the multimeter and if he know's how to use it so we can trace power to the starter when it doesn't start. Also when it dies it only dies when your going slow like your slowing for a stop?Never when your going like cruising speed?Also when it dies it start' right back up no problem's?
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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 10:30 PM
Tiny
JENNI91684
  • MEMBER
2 times I was letting off the gas, but did not apply the breaks yet when it died. The last time I stopped, then lightly pressed the gas to make a left turn, by the time I made the turn it died. When I start my car after it dies it takes a couple turns of the key before it starts again. Also, I've been driving it all day today and not once did I have any problems. I did make sure to park in shade, so maybe it helpped a bit, but really I have no clue if it has anything to do with how hot it is outside. It may be just a coincedence. I'm going to go into autozone tomorrow to have them run the scan and my friend is out of town for the weekend, so I probably wont find out until Monday if he has a multimeter. I'll post the results of the scan tomorrow. Oh, also I forgot to mention that my car does have a check engine light, but it is not on. Nothing is lite up on the dash board saying that anything needs attention.
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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 AT 11:40 PM
Tiny
JENNI91684
  • MEMBER
Went to autozone today and they no longer scan for codes. Found out that AMCO does, but they are closed on Sundays. I will have to go in tomorrow.
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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 AT 4:45 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Ok keep me posted on what code number's you have.
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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 AT 4:54 PM
Tiny
JENNI91684
  • MEMBER
Went to AAMCO today and was told they only do scans for codes if the check engine light is on. So. Not sure what now. I feel I'm going to have the chalk up the money to take it in and have it diagnosed :( my friend is still out of town who might have the multimeter.
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Monday, June 28th, 2010 AT 9:35 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Let's forget about the code's for now. If you can get a multimeter and someone that could do some power test's for you then I can guide you threw them. We have to do this when it's hot and the starter doesn't work.I suspect you could have a bad starter but we have to trace power to be sure.
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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 AT 2:11 PM

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