Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Saturn Maintenance & Repair



  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    02 - possible battery / alternator issue.

    is it a maint-free battery? does it have an indicator window?

    i'd go to an autozone or similar parts store and have them put their battery / alternator tester on. it will load down the battery and alternator and determine if either is going or gone.

    however, first - i'd check the condition of the battery terminals: if you see any corrosion you could remove the GND (-)lug from the battery first which connects to the chassis somewhere, then the POS (+ is normally red).

    use a steel brush to remove any corrosion. re-connect the POS first, then the GND.

    also check that GND from the battery and make sure it's bolted securely to the vehicle frame.

    hope it helps.
  • Thanks for your reply. It is a maintenace free battery, it was replaced about a year ago. I do not have abny other symtoms indicating a fault in the charging system. I have checked the terminal condition at the battery +/-, chassis ground and power lead at fuse box. I am looking for the specific ground location for the fuel gauge and instrument lights as I believe that is the culprit.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    then perhaps you have a faulty lead as you say going somewhere to the instrument panel. perhaps a wiring harness that has worked it's way free of some plug sure.

    i guess i'd look specifically at the fuse / relay compartment and anything w.r.t. the instrument panel, i'd pull the fuse and re-seat it firmly. i'd check for good mechanical connections to the fuse relay compartment itself.

    if i could find a wiring diagram, i'd trace the wiring to the back of the cluster and make sure all mechanical connections were sound.

    i wonder if your ignition switch may be a possible cause. is everything in the vehicle having intermittents, or just the gauges / lights?
  • I feel your pain on this one :mad: I have the same problem sometimes with my 2001 SL2. I bought the car used with not even 30,000 miles on it because people said Saturn built good cars, I was mislead big time. The people at the dealership tell me nothing is wrong and that the car is fine, bull. I thought it was a certain kind of gas I bought, it wasn't that, they say I shouldn't change the fuel filter because I don't change that until 65,000 miles I have 57,000. I have owned it for 4 years and have had nothing but problems with it. It pays off in April and I'm buying a house, so as soon as I buy the house, I'm buying a new car. I'd rather make a monthly payment on a reliable foreign vehicle, than have to constantly fix this one and worry about it. Saturn lost another customer.
  • I'm having the same problem with my wife's car. Did you ever find out what is causing it?
  • I have a 2005 Vue V6 AWD 13,000 miles and have been fighting with them since the first month the steering column freezes and wont let me have my key I found if you wait 10 min. it finally lets loose . they thought I was crazy and it finally did it for them. They changed the ignition, 3 weeks ago and to night I had the vue in dr and shut the engine off and pulled the key out. tried all positions and key pulls right out without it being in park. Did you have this problem?
  • I have checked the fuse panel and replaced the fuse with no joy. I agree with your recommendations and plan on going behind the instrument panel next.
  • to add to my other post - no other problems. Just the fuel gauge and instrument lights.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    sometime a fused link, or inline fuse is also used in some ckts. you need a wiring diagram for the car. it might be worth the $18 for a haynes manual.

    did you try googling for a wiring diagram?
  • I bought my car used, everything checked out good and then it started having trouble starting...i took it to the dealership and they had to replace $700 worth of stuff. It ran great until latley. Now the Security light comes on while i'm driving, shortly after that the Service Engine Soon Light comes on. I'm not sure if its b/c its colder out and its from the cold start or if somethings really up. Any Suggestions?
  • The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is doing an "Engineering Action" investigation into approximately 26 complaints of broken timing chains causing engine failure. You can go to and put "EA06009" into the field for NHTSA Campaign ID Number to read the details. The "complaint" has been upgraded to an "engineering action" investigation, so if you have the same broken timing chain issue, please report it to the NHTSA so we can get Saturn (General Motors) to do something. Timing chains are not supposed to break-EVER. Thank you.
  • My '04 Ion2 Quad Coupe has been experiencing a no starting problem on occasion. It is not consistent enough for Saturn to diagnose it since the car starts most of the time which would leave they with just a word problem. The car eventually starts within 15 minutes. The symptom is that the key is turned on and the engine starts to crank for about a second then cuts off. This can repeated a number of times but has always started within about 15 minutes. Have not been yet able to determine any patterns that will help explain the problem to Saturn.

    The battery has been replaced with a new battery with an indicator light to eliminate the easy solution.

    Have any of you experienced similar problems?
  • i own a 03 saturn , i had similar problems with mine. it wouldnt try to start and almost get there but it woulndt turn over. i had to wait a good 15 min and then it would start right up. i got fed up with it and took it into a saturn dealership to have it looked at. i payed $85 for a diagnostic and they said they coulndt find anything wrong with it. so i assumed it was all in my head. the same thing happend again and again so i took it back and they ended up replacing $700 worth of stuff. here was the techs comments on it " intermitt. crank no start cond. replaced ignition switch and reprogrammed pass lock sensor" i dont know if that helps but i thought it might.
  • martianmartian Posts: 220
    Just today, I had to replace two burned-out lamp bulbs in the dashboard climate control. Why didn't SATURN use LEDS? Anyway, the lamps are soldered into the PC-so I went to Radio Shack, and bought two miniature 12 V bulbs-took the old ones out, and soldered in the new ones. MY beef-the module is all plastic, held together with plastic tabs-if you are not careful, you can break them off and render the whole assembly useless. Oh, and the board was made by HITACI-go figure!
  • Did the repair fix the problem? I would hate to spend $700+ for replacement parts for a non fix.

    Did your car fail to start for the tech? My problem is intermittent and my not occur in the shop
  • when i took it to the shop they couldnt replicate the problem, so i dont know what to tell you about that one...

    BUT after the repairs were done i havent had trouble starting my car. its worked every time since. it seems the only problem i have now is that the security light comes on and then the service engine soon light... but ive had that happen from the begging, but i dont believe that has to do with the repairs that were made...

    now if your going to do the repair i would double check with someone before hand, just to make sure that we are talking about the same things.

    i really lucked out on the cost, it was a $700 + repair and i payed $7, we argued it out, i only had the car for like a month so i thought it bs that i had to pay that much.
  • $7 is all you paid!!!!!!!!!!!

    I would like to have a repair completed for $7.

    Besides the initial cost of a repair, I am mainly concerned that since the problem may not occur in the shop I will end up with a number of parts being replaced that are not required. It could easily cost 4 figures and require multiple visits.

    My car was purchased new in the summer of 2004 so I don't think I will qualify for the $7 special. What was the best point you made to win the argument with the service manager.
  • Well I was finally able to take the car in to a Saturn dealer, and the problem was the BCM, which they replaced for $500. I just picked it up today, and it seems to be running fine. Hopefully it's all smooth sailing for now. :shades:
  • I have a manual on order, to be continued after I get it!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The problem usually isn't a broken timing chain, but broken chain guides. The guides are aluminum and are faced with nylon. The nylon falls off, allowing slack in the chain, and the chain jumps a few teeth on it's sprockets. Usually hammers the exhaust valves. Replacement chain guides have been updated.
This discussion has been closed.