Having trouble getting car to crank after driving around for a while.

Chris Griffin

Asked by Chris Mar 02, 2013 at 11:24 PM about the 2001 Saturn L-Series 4 Dr L300 Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Most of the time at driving my car around and I shut it off, I come back
to get in my car and start up but it just turns over and won't catch. I've
also been having my service engine light pop on and my coolant light
stays on and there nothing wrong with my coolant. Sometimes when I
go somewhere I just leave my car running hoping that no one will steal it
due to the fact that I fear the waiting 30mins on trying to get it to crank.
Someone told me that I need a new PCM or ECM computer and I found
one on eBay just wanted to know if anyone knows how to fix this

7 Answers


First thing to do is scan the computer (PCM) and find out why the check engine light is coming on. Most Advance & Auto Zone auto parts stores will do it for free. Is the coolant light you're referring to the "low coolant" warning light? Or is it the "temperature" light? If it's the "temperature" light your car may be refusing to start because it's overheated. Perhaps after 30 minutes or so the engine cools enough to allow it to re-start. HTH. - Jim

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oh yes...the famous vapor lock that happens to chryslers alot, saturns too, apparently. What you've got to do is insure that it doesn't go too much over operating temperature, reduce the timing a bit and make it run cooler. Be sure there is enough coolant in there and change the thermostat to a 195 rathre than the 200 or 210 (good for cold climes) that way the t-stat will regulate the operating temperature (if there's any coolant in there)


Get the codes read like Jim said. That will let you know what is going on with the engine. I would guess that it's something on the ignition side that fails when heated.

Chris Griffin

Hey Jim it's my low coolant light that stays on.


Is your coolant low? If so you may be overheating & not know it. The temperature sensor must be submerged in coolant for it to warn of an overheating condition. If your coolant really is low your gauge or light might not be indicating the correct coolant temperature. HTH. -Jim

Not Active

Vapor Lock....all the symptoms are there.


just because your coolant level looks good doesn't mean it is, it could have an air pocket in it somewhere. do not fill using the reservoir tank always fill from radiator using the bleeder at the same time to get the air out of the system

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