98 Saturn won't crank! Please help!!

30

Asked by Feb 05, 2014 at 10:52 PM about the 1998 Saturn S-Series

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 98 Saturn. Two weeks ago,
after starting up fine and running for
about 40 mins, I turned off. It
wouldn't start again. It is a standard
and acts as if I'm not pressing on the
clutch when I am. A friend (who is a
mechanic) messed with the clutch
pedal for a few min and said it was
the bushings and clutch safety switch.
He cranked it right up.

The problem has gotten worse, now
the car won't start at all. We have
now replaced the safety switch and
no luck.

Other things:
We can push start and the car runs
fine.
The battery is fine. We checked the
voltage and tried a jump. There is no
response.
Everything  lights up and responds
electrically. It just won't crank.
There is not sound (clicking or
otherwise) when we try to crank it.

Any suggestions what this could be!?
We are stumped.

24 Answers

22,455

You can take a wire and unplug the safety switch and put the wire in both terminals and black tape it up. BUT REMEMBER IT WILL START IN GEAR WITHOUT PUSHING THE CLUTCH IN IF YOU DO.

4 people found this helpful.
22,455

This will bypass the clutch safety switch.

1 people found this helpful.
11,805

Did your mechanic adjust the switch. Have you tryed manually pushing it (without the pedal) and trying to start it.

30

I am unsure of it being the safety switch itself. I bought a new one and replaced it. There is no difference.

2 people found this helpful.
30

Yes we have tried pushing the switch itself without the clutch pedal. No luck.

22,455

It is the switch but if the bushings are bad it is probably kicking by it instead of pushing the switch.The only way to fix it is replace the bushings, replace the pedals or bypass it like I described.

30

There doesn't seem to be any loose wires to the safety switch either.

11,805

Ok. There is usually two on a clutch one just under the dash to dis-engage cruise control when the clutch is pressed and the clutch safety start switch which will be triggered near the end of the clutch pedal travel. Take a quick look and see if the right one was changed. Not sure if yours is adjustible. My sister had this problem. She actually put in aftermarket floor mats that were to thick which prevented the clutch from being pushed all the way.

1 people found this helpful.
30

But if it was just the bushings wouldn't the car start when I press the switch in directly with my hand. There it's no corrosion on the wires.

22,455

Try what I said first. Disconnect the switch and put a wire in the plug in for the switch and see if it cranks.They may have sold you a bad switch.

30

My car does not have cruise control. There is only one switch anywhere the clutch

1 people found this helpful.
11,805

Wow my internet blows. You two type to fast. Check the switch as tuff said. if you by-pass it and it doesn't start i'd check the starter and ignition

22,455

Yes it would unless you have the wrong switch or the new one is bad. Like yeti said there are 2 switches.

30

I will try it. It is too late now. I Wii let you know of it works.

22,455

Yetti is right. If you bypass it and nothing then I would look at the starter

30

Thanks. If I bypass it and it doesn't work, what is the next most cost friendly step to take?

11,805

Check the starter.

30

How would I figure out if it is the ignition?

11,805

If your not scared of sparks and if your careful you can jump the started to see if it works. If it's not the starter it will be the ignition switch.

11,805

Do you have a multi meter or test light?

30

I'm pretty certain my friend does. Would a starter work intermittently? There is never clicking or any noises that says it is even trying to turn over.

11,805

Yes it can work intermittently. There would be no noise if the bendix is failing. Try the test light on the clutch switch leads. And work your way to the the starter. If there is no 12 volt power at the clutch switch it's the ignition (or fuse, but that should have been a quick failure). If you get power to the crank wire on the starter the starter is the issue.

30

Ok. We will try. I'll post when we do

Sounds like you may have an issue with your starter. The starter may have a short in it and is likely overheating. And usually once the starter cools down after sitting for a while, the car will start right back up. I'm having a similar issue myself with my 00' S Series right now. I'm hoping mine is the clutch safety switch because I replaced the starter myself about only two years ago or so and it just doesn't seem possible that the starter would be going out already when the original lasted roughly 15 years and over 100,000+ miles before dying. And the safety switch, of course, is an inexpensive and simple fix compared to the starter that's behind and practically on the bottom of the engine block. And seeing as how I modified the suspension on my car by lowering it, I can't simply drive it up on ramps like I could have if I'd left the suspension stock. But I digress. I hope this info helps and gives you a little insight into what's causing this issue with you Saturn! I don't know about you but, I love mine and it's been an excellent and super reliable car for almost 20 years now. I bought mine brand new off the Saturn showroom floor back in December of 1999. Aside from the typical and expected maintenance of an aging car, it still runs great and always manages to get me from point a to b consistently, normally with absolutely no issues whatsoever. And if it'll let me, I'll drive my Saturn till the wheels fall off! Lol! Good luck and best wishes on your fix!!

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