1997 Saturn SL1 wont start

Tiny
RTHOMPSON731
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 SATURN SL1
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 18,900 MILES
I parked the car last week after work, got in a little later to go somewhere and it would not start. I turn the key and all the instramention works. Lights come on, heater blows, everything. It willl not even attempt to crank. I tested neutral safety switch, and the battery and they are both good. I rented a code reader from Oreilly's and it would not detect the computer. Could my computer in the car be bad? Or do you have any other ideas.
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 10:51 AM

15 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
First of all thank u so much for ur donation it really helps to keep the site going and answering everyones questions. How did u test the neautral safety switch?When u say the code reader wouldn't detect the computer would it not power up the tool or did the tool have it's own power source. Check all the fuses inside and out. Especially the body fuse inside. Let me know what u find.
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 11:10 AM
Tiny
RTHOMPSON731
  • MEMBER
I work for a equipment dealer and I took the switch out and had the mechanics test. They put it on a volt meter I think. The code reader had its own power source. I plugged it up to the car and it said it was not connected. So to double check that the code reader was working I hooked it to another vechile and it worked fine. I checked all the fuses and they are fine
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 11:52 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
There's a much easier way to test the switch but since u removed the switch u do know it has to be adjusted every time u remove and replace it right?If it wasn't adjusted we have start by adjusting it u will need a ohm Meter for that. If u have a test light that will help to trace power as well.U said the starter doesn't even turn over the engine over I have never seen a bad computer do that. Also all of a sudden this happens wierd. Let's forget abou the computer not talking to code reader for now.I have seen plenty of cars start and run without being able to talk to the computer so let's find out why the car won't crank over first. Tell me if u have a meter and test light and if u adjuste the switch when u put it back on and we will go from there. Even if we got the computer to talk to the code reader the starter still doesn't turn the engine over so let's get the engine cranking first. Let me know what u find.
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 1:34 PM
Tiny
RTHOMPSON731
  • MEMBER
The switch just mounts to the frirewall there is no adjustment. When I reinstalled the switch I pushed the clutch in to make that it was pushing the switch all the way in. I do have a test light and I could borrow a ohm meter from the shop (this is how they tested the switch)
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 1:46 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I was confused u said u tested the neautral safety switch and I thought u had a automatic transmission but looking at ur info again and hearing what switch u were talking about is a clutch switch and ur right it's not adjustable. If u have a test light that's great. Theres a big yellow wire comming off ur ignition switch see if that has power when turning the key to the start postion use ur test light. Let me know what u find.
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 2:45 PM
Tiny
RTHOMPSON731
  • MEMBER
Ok so I got into the key switch and didnt see a excact yellow. There was a yellow that had faded or it was a cream white. Either way it did not light up. There was an orange one right next to it and it did light up. Anyway the yellow/white one did not light up
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 10:54 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/416332_img019_1.jpg


theres a wire diagram for the starting circuit u should have power all the time to the red wire as u can see then when u turn it to the start postion the power goes to the solid yellow wire no tracers on that one.ur best bet is remove the ignition housing covers it takes a 5.5mm nut driver to take them off and once u get the top cover off then put the ignition key in the acc postion push the top square button under the cover right above the cyclinder then remove the cyclinder then remove the lower cover and put the cyclinder back in so u can put the key in the start postion to test that yellow wire right at the switch.let me know if theres power right there off the switch at the yellow wire then we will trace down from there.
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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 AT 6:55 PM
Tiny
RTHOMPSON731
  • MEMBER
Ok best I can telll there is no power at the yellow wire. I cant really read the diagrahm. Is there anyway you could email it to me at rthompson731@yahoo. Com. Thnks for all your help
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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 AT 9:29 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I emailed u the diagram u really should check the yellow wire at the igniton switch because depending on where u check it and dont have power will lead us to a differnt path of diagnoses. If u have power on the red wire at the switch then turn it to start and dont have it at the yellow wire at the switch then u have a bad switch as u can see from the diagram. But if u go further down by the starter relay and loose the power on the yellow wire then it could be the relay or ur antitheft. Do u have keyless entry?Let me know and what u find on the wires.
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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 AT 12:23 PM
Tiny
RTHOMPSON731
  • MEMBER
Well the diahrahm makes more sense now that I can actually read it :). OK I DO have power at the yellow wire at the switch. I think that the diagrahm is for auto matic though will that matter? Anyway where will the starter relay at?
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Thursday, March 4th, 2010 AT 12:14 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Take another look at that wire diagram I sent u print it so u can take it to the car with u. It shows both automatic and manual on there follow the yellow wire down to the starter relay it even tells u where the relay is on the diagram. The yellow wire goes thru the relay then to ur clutch switch. But as u can see the starter relay is turned on by the ground under ur drivers seat or by ur rke module.I aske again do u have keyless entry it matters when we get that starter relay. Check terminial a2 c1 c2 of the starter relay when the ignition switch is in start postion they should have power if they do the relay is working. Let me know what u find and what has power and what doesn't.
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Thursday, March 4th, 2010 AT 12:57 PM
Tiny
RTHOMPSON731
  • MEMBER
I hauled the car to the our shop and with the help of them and you I have figured out that it is the Starter Relay. We jumped a wire from the keyswitch to clutch start switch and she fired off. YOU ARE AWESOME. Thanks for all your help. I will get a Starter Relay and get it installed.
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Thursday, March 4th, 2010 AT 1:47 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Well hopefully it's just the relay and not the relay control make sure that terminial a1of the relay is grounded all the time and that terminal c2 is power when the key is in the start postion. That will rule out ur rke module if u have one before u go all out on the relay itself. Let me know what u find.
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Thursday, March 4th, 2010 AT 2:01 PM
Tiny
RTHOMPSON731
  • MEMBER
Ok you were right. I replaced the starter relay and it didnt solve the problem. What is the RKE Module? I currently have a jumper wire going from the ingnition switch to clutch switch and the car will start. I replaced the starter relay so the only left is the RKE module. Also where excatly is it? Man you do not understand how much I appreciate all your help. You have been a lifesaver. I dont have a lot money to spend on this car and you have been awesome.
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Saturday, March 6th, 2010 AT 2:00 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Rke is remote keyless entry it is the module that controls ur keyless entry and also controls ur antitheft do have keyless entry?The module is under the passenger rear bolster cushion the verticle cushion in between the door and the cushion that folds down. But before u go all gung like u did on the relay lol. Let's make one test first go to ur starter relay on terminal a1 it's a yellow wire with a black tracer it should be grounded all the time if it's not then let me know don't replace anything. Also let me know if u have keyless entry.
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Saturday, March 6th, 2010 AT 2:23 PM

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