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1998 Saturn SW2 starting problem

1998 Saturn SW2 sometimes won't start after it has been off for just a few minutes. The dashboard lights and radio come on, but the engine won't start - won't even make a sound. It will start up after sitting for awhile. The battery had just been replaced a few days before when this started happening. It started up every time for the dealer and showed no codes so they don't know what the problem is. I had it back for 2 weeks without a problem other than the coolant level warning light coming on so I added coolant. Yesterday it wouldn't start after I had been in a store for 1/2 an hour. I was near the dealer so they sent a tech over and it started right up for him. First he said it didn't show any codes, then he said it showed something about the coolant temp and a stall. I told him I read on-line about similar issues and the cause was usually a bad coolant temp sensor, which is on the engine. He said he thinks it's the ignition, but could also be the coolant sensor that's in the coolant bottle. He recommended replacing the ignition switch & wiring but can't say that it will solve the problem for sure. The key sometimes sticks in the ignition, but that was an ongoing problem long before this. The tech never looked under the hood. Any recommendations? The temp sensor on the engine that I checked into is not located in the same spot as I found info on. The pictures/video I found show it easily accessible, but mine doesn't appear to be so I don't think I can replace it myself. Many people have had to replace theirs on a Saturn so I am surprised that the dealer isn't even considering it as a possibility. It's a much cheaper fix than replacing the ignition or coolant bottle, so I wanted to check into it. Any help would be appreciated.

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  • jiffy1man Apr 06, 2009

    Same problem here.My 1998 sw won't start right away after I go somewhere. I will have it looked at Monday night and I think we are going with a coolant temp sensor and diffrent plugs. I did some digging and I found out that bosch plugs don't like saturn's too much and I just put the plugs in and it made it worse. My temp guage stopped working just a few days ago also and I feel that maybe the coolant temp sensor might just work. If it does I will post it. Any other advise out there would be helpful.

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SOURCE: car stalls intermittantly without warning

Try pulling the engine coolant temp sensor, They often crack not sure why but the ceramic tip cracks makes the car hard to start, the car's idle may race while shifting gears, and often smokes. The sensor is on the right side of the engine when looking at it on the head. Easy to change and get too

Posted on Jan 17, 2009

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SOURCE: VOLVO S40 DOESNT START OCCASIONALLY

sounds like you need a new battery, it probably isnt running enought cranking amps to start your car, try a different battery and it should start fine

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SOURCE: 2001 SAAB 9-3 SE won't send signal to start

Is your SAAB automatic? If so, it is most likely the Neutral Safety Switch. I have had the same problem, it is very common in automatic Saab 9-3 models made in 1999-2002.

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SOURCE: 98 Saturn SL2 - Stalling issues

may have to check inside fuel tank for obstruction test the fuel pressure at all times while driving

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SOURCE: 1997 GMC Jimmy sometimes will not start

I had a similar problem several years ago on my 97 Jimmy. There is a switch in the steering column that had gone bad, had to be replaced and no problem since. The symptons sounded just like yours. My trusted mechanic found the problem after a lot of testing and fixed it.

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