Question about 1997 Saturn SL

3 Answers

1997 Saturn SL

Have been driving this car for about 2 years after having the engine rebuilt. The other day on my way home from work stopped to pick up some meat and car would not start after coming out of the store. Dash lights, radio, bells all going but no engine noise. Not even a click. Luckily it is a standard and started with no problem when I popped the clutch. Unfortunitly it didn't keep starting by the key for a while. After much looking and fiddling with all the wires in the car, it just started out of the blue. Started fine for 4 or 5 days then nothing again. Same thing people got to get to work so looked and fiddled again, then just started out of the blue. Now I have to make sure I park on inclines in case. You know we used to play coast and pop the clutch because it was fun, not because we had to get someplace else! My question is, there are many "safety" features on these cars. One is the clutch has to be engaged to start the car. What relation does the turning of the key, with clutch in, and no engine action have to do with each other? And yes we have cleaned the plug by the clutch. Before we, since we are a family of do-it-yourselfers, replace the ignition system, are there any other suggestions? Thanks

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  • melinda_w269 Aug 12, 2008

    But too many times I have replaced something that didn't get to the core of the problem. Example: Was told to replace the computer "brain" of the Saturn that I drove for 12 years, when all that was needed was the starter modual and a couple of other basic on the engine change overs. Not the computer.

  • melinda_w269 Aug 12, 2008

    You know my dad taught me that trick 30 years ago. Do you know where that is on this Saturn? You have to be on the ground under,and up.. It is a joke, and we don't live in Kentuky, have to live on a hill or carry a hammer with the US cars, so please, I am just trying to make a living as you I guess are.

  • melinda_w269 Aug 12, 2008

    And I paid 10 bucks for this? This is not an expert responce. I want my money back.

  • melinda_w269 Aug 12, 2008

    Makes more sense, clutch is in all the way and plug beside it has been in and out many times, have been driving a standard for most of my life. Thanks for giving a more real answer. It all comes down to the guts, what drives the car, not the computer stuff.

  • melinda_w269 Aug 12, 2008

    What and where is the clutch switch?

  • melinda_w269 Aug 12, 2008

    Ok no responce on where the clutch plate is that you have to hold when somebody else is trying to start the car to get it going. I see I have wasted my $ again on some home based business. When I figure this all out, will post on line for free for Saturn poor working people.

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Well, I would start by checking the clutch switch by holding the switch down by hand, while somebody tries to start the car. If the car starts evey time while holding it down firmly, then it will need adjusting. Also, take the starter off and have it tested. Any auto parts store can check it for you at no charge. The things that could cause this problem can be easily tested, and there should be no reason for you to go out and start buying parts in order to find the problem.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008

  • Ryan Rogers
    Ryan Rogers Aug 12, 2008

    I'm sorry, I assumed I was suggesting a solution to someone with a little technical knowledge. There is only one switch on the clutch pedal assembly that is depressed in order to start the car. The switch is a depression switch that will be a the top of the pedal arm near the pivot bolt, and will either have the switch on the pedal arm with a plate on a bracket under the dash that derpesses the switch, or a plate on the pedal arm that depresses the switch that is attached to a bracket under the dash. The pivot bolt is the bolt that the clutch pedal pivots on. This is the switch that you need to hold down, while somebody starts the car. If you can't figure out how to do this, then don't even try to take the starter off, just take it to a shop and have them do it. Simple enough?

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Replacing the ignition switch should solve your problem.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008

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  • 359 Answers

A bad starter sylinoid. You need to replace the starter. I could go into it further and explain why... but that would be boring.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008

  • 3 more comments 
  • Daniel Jenkins
    Daniel Jenkins Aug 12, 2008

    Next time it doesn't start, wack the starter with a hammer (don't kill it but a good firm wack will do nicely), this is a quick fix to get the starter to work again.

  • Daniel Jenkins
    Daniel Jenkins Aug 12, 2008

    the starter should be on the bottom of the engine inbetween the engine and tranny with a large black or red electrical cable going to it.



    If you can't find it bring it to a shop and have a professional replace it. If you don't know anything about cars I would not recommend replacing a starter, it is dangerous if you don't know what you are doing due to the high amperage going to it straight from the battery.

  • Daniel Jenkins
    Daniel Jenkins Aug 12, 2008

    I was a mechanic for over 10 years, I would not tell you to replace something if I didn't know for a fact what is wrong with it.

  • Daniel Jenkins
    Daniel Jenkins Aug 12, 2008

    Your clutch safety switch is usually located on the transmission and is just a 2 pronged electrical connector that screws into a hole in the transmission and tells the computer if you are depressing the clutch or not for starting the engine. I doubt however if this is your issue. Like I said you issue is more likely to be the starter or a faulty connection to the starter such as corrosion etc.

  • Daniel Jenkins
    Daniel Jenkins Aug 12, 2008

    ?? You never asked about a clutch plate but a clutch switch.



    I have answered your question several times in several different ways. I am not sure what you are upset about.

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