Question about 2001 Saturn L-Series

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Car wont start

The battery works it just wont turn over

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  • jeremylancas Jan 16, 2009

    the batt. is charged but the car won't start

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Hi,

Initially, it might be the starting motor / solenoid or the ignition switch.

A backgrounder on the starter system. The starter system is initiated at the ignition switch when the key is turned to start. At this point, the ignition switch then provides +12VDC to a starter relay (if the vehicle has got one) but more often straight to the starting solenoid. The relay is but a remote switch with slightly higher amperage capacity. The starter relay then engages and supplies +12VDC to the staring solenoid. The starting solenoid then performs two (2) functions. It provides the switching action (hundreds amps) from the battery heavy cable to the actual starter motor. The solenoid likewise pushes a small pinion gear along the shaft of the starter motor to engage the ring gear. The ring gear is of course on the edge of the flywheel which in turn is attached to the crankshaft.

Starter system problems could be corrected by:
1. check battery, battery cables and connections;
2. charge the battery if required;
3. clean brushes and guides of brush holders of the starter motor;
4. clean the commutator and commutator segments;
5. check/replace the armature or field coils if determined to be defective;
6. in some extreme cases it could be the drive pinion or the flywheel gear ring is defective.
7. often it is the big switch that the solenoid activates that looses contacts causing no +12V internally to the motor.
8. Most likely would be a defective starter relay or the IGN switch itself. Relative to this, you might try and check the connectors/terminals and electrical joints.

In the picture below, the upper portion is the starter solenoid while the one below it is the actual starter.
car wont start - c9b6a69.jpg
Given the amount of work to overhaul a starter, you might consider just replacing it.

Additionally, it is worth to mention that there are some alarm/security systems that does this exactly.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008

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