'94 Saturn won't start

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I was driving my girlfriends car to work a couple days ago. I made a stop at a store and when I came back the car wouldn't start. No clicking, or any kind of sounds like it would turn over. However the automatic seatbelts did work and everything that requires power.

I checked the battery thinking that maybe the connection wasn't good enough, that maybe the cables shifted and it wasn't getting enough power. You know how sometimes they get corroded. Well both the cables and battery were perfectly fine (almost like new). My dad came out and we tried jumping the car with his truck. Thinking maybe the battery just lost most of it's power. Still nothing.

I can't seem to figure it out, could it be the starter that went?

It was a perfectly fine day outside. About 65 degrees and sunny. Driving on paved roads.

I did have a little trouble starting it when I got in it the first time on my way to the store. Turned the key and nothing happened, then turned it again and it started. It also had a tendancy to pull a little bit down the road. That's the best way I can describe it.

When I took the battery cables off to check them the alarm went off. My girlfriends dad called me and told me that maybe it was the alarm that was causing it not to restart. That I should pull the alarm fuse and try again. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me though.

Any help is appreciated thanks

posted by  roxics

Depends. Is it an anti-theft system, or just an annoying alarm?

posted by  DodgeRida67

My best guess is that it is just an annoying alarm. I don't know a lot about the car since it is my girlfriends. She doesn't know a lot about it either. She bought it used a couple years ago. Been running perfectly fine though.

I don't even remember the model. It's still parked about 15 miles away right now. All I can tell you is that it's a 5 door station wagon.

Come to think of it though there is a strange little switch down by the parking brake. I don't know if that has anything to do with the alarm or not. I tried it (both in up and down positions) and both times I took the battery cables off the alarm still went off.

posted by  roxics

Not knowing much information about the car I'll have to speak in general terms here. Get you a jumper (wire about 10 feet long 16-14 gauge) and run it to the starter soleniod. See if it will turn over. If it does, the soleniod and starter is ruled out. If it doesn't turn over, and you just get a click, it's the starter. If you don't even get a click, either you hooked up the jumper wrong, got a dead battery, or the starter soleniod is bad.

posted by  DodgeRida67

Actually now that I think about it I'm not too sure that there was a starter relay used in '94 saturn cars. If not, use a heavy gauge jumper and go directly to the starter. When I say heavy I mean 0-4 gauge. If you can get the car to turn over with any of the methods I gave you, turn the key to the on position, and turn the engine over again with the method that worked. It will crank right up. Atleast it should. Then you can atleast get it home.

posted by  DodgeRida67

Thank you.
But I have a few questions.

What is a starter soleniod?

I've heard of the concept of jumping a starter before but I'm really not even sure where it is on that car. I know that's not something you can tell me but rather something I need to find in a manual or something.

If the starter does turn over then I'm assuming the problem is somewhere else. But in this kind of situation what else could it be?

posted by  roxics

BTW I found the car it's a 1994 Saturn SW1 wagon


posted by  roxics

I could go into some detail about this, but to put it simple it's a relay. There gererally on the firewall, above the starter, or on the fender, on the same side as the starter. As I said ealier, theres a chance that your model car doesn't come equipped with one.

Electrical connections. Check grounding strap and other connections. Also could be your ignition switch or the anti-theft system unless your sure its nothing more than an annoying alarm.

posted by  DodgeRida67

I've been searching the web a little bit and I've noticed Anti-theft system when talking about the SW1. So I guess it's not just an annoying alarm. Maybe it does have something to do with this.

I'll try your suggestions. Thank you.

posted by  roxics

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