car wouldn't start at all for a while today, now is starting fine; what happened?

10

Asked by Nov 20, 2012 at 01:23 AM about the 1996 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Earlier today I went to move my car for street cleaning, and when I turned the key it wouldn't start at all. No engine noise, no power, nothing. I thought I'd blown a fuse so I asked my neighbor to help me push the car to where it wouldn't get ticketed, and when we'd done this I tried the key again and surprise, it started fine. Now the car starts OK but I'm worried this might happen again in the future and am also just curious as to what might have gone wrong. Possibly relevant info: when I tried to start it the first time I turned the headlights on at the same time as turning the ignition; could this have caused neither of them to work for a while?

3 Answers

10

Just to clarify, the reason I thought I'd blown a fuse was that when I turned the key, there was electric power for an instant and then it immediately died, just like when you turn on an appliance and a fuse blows. Then later while we were moving the car the power came back on, but the car wouldn't ignite and when I tried to turn on the headlights it died again; then a few minutes later the power came on again and this time it started OK.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
31,095

Check the battery cable connections by turning the cable back and forth around the bolt. They shouldn't move at all.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
10

Thanks, John. It looks like the negative cable might have been a bit loose - I've tightened the bolt and so far the problem is gone. I'm hoping it'll last...

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