The Curious Case Of The Mysterious Engine Failure.

Asked by Aug 22, 2012 at 01:16 PM about the 1993 Saturn S-Series 2 Dr SC2 Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 1993 Saturn SC2 just broke down yesterday. Two days prior, the low coolant icon has been flashing----
seemingly from nowhere. My coolant level is just fine, and I've been told that Low Coolant can't stall your car.
Well, yesterday as I tried to start it, it ran for about three seconds, then shut off. Repeated attempts saw the
engine run for less and less time until, eventually, turning the ignition did nothing. Oil is fine, 3/4 of gas, and
those around me could not determine the problem. The only strange activity I noticed in the last two days was,
again, the Low Coolant Icon which never came on in my five months of owning the car. If this was the problem,
I'd say "Oh, great. Atleast I know where to start working", but again, a fairly knowledgeable friend said my car
wouldn't not start because of a coolant or radiator problem.

To get into detail, I've been driving around, moderately, for the last two days when the icon began to flash.
Yesterday, I exited my home, got in my car, and drove about two miles to pick my girlfriend up from work. I Drove
another 4 or 5 Miles to where she lives and dropped her off. We planned on chilling a little while, take a walk
around the neighborhood, so I left my Saturn in front of her house. Just then, we decided to drive somewhere.
So I got back inside, turned the ignition, the engine came on... Three seconds later, it faded out. Now I wasn't
really paying attention because I took my car coming on for granted. So I adjusted my focus to starting it, kind of
scratching my head, and gave it another turn. You could tell the engine was trying it's hardest to start, but
couldn't quite get it there. I opened the hood, and the engine was enormously hot. I then remember the engine
being hot even after letting it sit for about one to two hours. Admittedly, it just always seems hot. Now, obviously,
you'd be thinking coolant leak, but I never see a leak. If it were the case, would the leak being under the car,
onto the ground. Would I be able to see it? Granted, it was dusk when I was at her house, but I could clearly see
there was coolant.

Any way, after numerous attempts, my Saturn, after a while, said 'bro, forget about it', and never made a serious
effort to start again.

In the past two months, the only strange occurences I've noticed were a clicking sound in between the two front
seats. Where the manual breaking is. The console made a clicking noise any time I turned the car off, and
would keep clicking for hours. But likely this has to do with the seat belt system and not the engine. But besides
that, nothing more.

What could possibly have shut my Saturn down, seemingly from nowhere?

5 Answers

I heard on the news that BP was selling bad gas and that it effected the engine, they will pay for repairs, see on bp website if your area was effected

1 people found this helpful.

Your car will run itself to death with no coolant, so the flashing idiot light wont stop it from starting. Check that the engine is getting fuel, spark, and air. Check the coolant level and see if its dropped. Then pull the plugs out to check their condition and to see if theres anything untoward in the combustion chamber.


Try removing the fuse for the mouse track seatbelts. I've had that problem before. That clicking noise will just run your battery out. It could also be some kind of electrical problem as well. Try the removing the fuse for it first and let us know if it stops or not.

agreeing with michael, the clicking may be a running motor under the seat. could be a bad electric stop or your weight unadvertedly pushing a button. i'd go for a bad motor stop switch if, you have them. that may ruin your battery. check, spk plugs, cables, gas pmp and filter, water. i know is difficult to find these problems. start with the easiest. buy a repair book. good luck.

all i can say is change your coolant temp sensor. it will mess with all different areas of car. just try it. cost you maybe $20 to see if it works. has worked on a cranking but no start car. mechanic said the car was dead or needed new timing chain. i read the fix somewhere else and tried. saved my car from dismantlers.

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