Question about 2005 Saturn ION

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My 2005 Saturn ION (4 cylinders) won't start. With the ignition key turned, I get multiple clicks. I can get radio and dashboard lights until I try to roll down a power window. Then every shuts down. I last drove the car 9 days ago but moved it in and out of the garage on two days 7 & 8 days ago during ice and snow storms. (We had very unusual 65 degrees and T-storms and tornadoes yesterday.) The battery is 2 years old. I jumped the battery but got the same clicking. It's New Years weekend, so auto shops are closed here. Any troubleshooting suggestions?

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  • Master
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If the starter cranks but the engine won't start, there could be wide range of problems. Here are some of the most common:
- Problems with fuel delivery system (e.g bad fuel pump, fuel pump relay, clogged fuel screen, etc.)
- Problem with engine electronics (e.g crank sensor, cam sensor, air flow sensor, power relay, engine computer, etc.)
- Ignition system problems, especially on older vehicles with the distributor (e.g bad ignition coil, commutator, rotor, distributor cap, etc.)
- Defective ignition switch
- Problems with vehicle security system
- Internal engine problems (e.g broken timing belt or gear, low compression, etc.)

Make sure that you have fuel in the tank. It may be that your vehicle fuel gauge isn't working properly.The first signs that there is too little fuel in the tank are occasional lugging, loss of power, and a louder, irregular sound of the electric fuel pump coming out from the fuel tank

Posted on Jan 01, 2011

  • Robert Katman Jan 01, 2011

    Thanks for the quick responses. The battery terminals look clean. The engine does not turn over. Last night all I got was a series of clicks when I had the key in "START" position. When I tried to start the car this morning, I got no clicks or any sound. I charged the battery with a trickle charger. Now I can roll down the power windows without problem, but I still get nothing --no sound -- when I try to start the engine. After charging, my multimeter shows 14.94 volts across the battery terminals. Is that normal for a 12V car battery? Fuses in the engine compartment are good. Could one of the relays have gone bad? I swapped the "ignition" relay with another of the same amp in the fuse box but with no change in symptoms. Any other suggestions? (It'll be Monday before I can get it towed to a shop.)

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  • Saturn Master
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Either the battery terminals or a battery cable connection is corroded (clean contact surfaces and make sure they are tight) or your battery has been drained (only way to know that would be with a volt meter) Unless you accidentally left something in the car on overnight (dome or glove box light) chances are if you clean up the connections you will solve the problem.

Posted on Jan 01, 2011

  • Robert Katman Jan 01, 2011

    thundergod,

    The battery was drained. When I charged it for ~4 hours, I can operate the power windows etc without a problem. However, I don't even get the clicking when I put the key in the "START" position today. I get several error messages which show on the radio info screen. "PWR STR" and "COOLANT." The coolant level is as specified in the manual, so that error seems bogus. From the manual, PWR STR is vague and refers to some unspecified problem with the power steering.

  • Richard Scordino Jan 02, 2011

    The voltage you mentioned is a bit high but it could be a variation in your meter....better than 10v anyhow. If the security light on the dash is on, you will need to turn the key to on then off three times leaving it on the third time till the light stops flashing.(usually about 15 minutes) If you still get nothing, check the cable ends at the power distribution center and starter as well as the ground lead. Check your starter relay not the ignition relay. Also check to see if there is power at the trigger wire on the starter solenoid with the key in the start position. If there is, it could be that the starter is bad.

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