1995 Saturn SC 2 no power at all? - Saturn Forum - Saturn Enthusiasts Forums


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Old 09-13-2017, 01:07 PM
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Default 1995 Saturn SC 2 no power at all?

Hi all,

I have a very strange problem with my SC 2. I was driving down the freeway the other day when I saw all my gauges power down and then back up again real quick. However it kept driving like normal and that nothing really happen. When I parked it and came back out to start it again 30 minutes later there was no power at all. I checked the battery and alternator and they were good, but just to be safe I also replaced the battery and still nothing. Even trying to jump it gave me nothing. There are no dash lights, no hazards, no tail lights, nothing. I tried to push start it and even that lead to nothing. I made sure to clean the battery terminals and the engine ground and I double checked all the fuses. I'm at a loss as to what it could be. Did the entire wiring harness die some how? Or am I missing something obvious?
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:07 PM
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Probably a fusable link or a failed battery cable end at the block or starter.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:41 AM
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Agree with failed battery cable end possibility -- could be at the battery or opposite end.

Could also be a fuse box issue (see c below)

My guess:
a) bad + lead connection/cable where it enters the fuse box
b) bad - lead connection cable at chassis ground
c) Main distribution point on underside of fuse box has burned up/failed, leading to no current flowing through ANY of the circuits.

I am leaning towards some combination of a and c because you indicated you had already investigated the negative grounding point.
------------
I've had a battery post "fall apart/in half" trying to loosen it on a vehicle experiencing your symptoms. I turned the ratchet about 4 clicks with a 1/4" drive and almost no torque and the battery terminal broke off halfway between the battery and the lead. Not your issue, just pointing out it can happen, though most of today's cars have gone side terminal.
---------
Do a quick Resistance check on the cables themselves to rule in or out complete failure.

If they read differently or crunch badly when you flex them, they've likely sucked up battery acid over the years and have been deteriorating.

Cut back the insulation a few inches on the battery end of the + cable. IF you find nasty green corrosion, it's probably time to replace that cable.

The above cable advice will usually make its presence known in a start/no start intermittent situation as the increased resistance of the pos cable requires more total current (Cranking Amps) or is right on the line of what the battery can provide to the starter.
------------------
The fact that you saw the power blip leads me to believe that it is a physical/electrical failure and that the issue is likely at the underhood fuse box where the 12V lead enters OR at the main power distribution point on the underside of the underhood fuse box.

Check and clean the + lead connection point at the fuse box.
Then measure the DC V to chassis ground at that location. If it is 0, then the cable is bad.

If you read 12V, check the DC V to chassis ground across a few fuses (not the other end of the fuse as we have not yet established whether that is a reliable ground). Do with the key of and in RUN position as I do not remember which ones are there and powered all the time.

If you find 0 V, then the fuse block is the issue since you have 12V supply confirmed coming in but connectivity has been lost internally and none of the fuses (and therefore circuits) are receiving any power.

The fact that you cannot find any blown fuses is in line with this scenario since if all the fuses are intact, the circuits should all be getting current as designed --unless there is NO current source for any of them.


------------
If you read 12V at a few of the fuses, this gets messy.

Last edited by derf; 09-14-2017 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derf View Post
Agree with failed battery cable end possibility -- could be at the battery or opposite end.

Could also be a fuse box issue (see c below)

My guess:
a) bad + lead connection/cable where it enters the fuse box
b) bad - lead connection cable at chassis ground
c) Main distribution point on underside of fuse box has burned up/failed, leading to no current flowing through ANY of the circuits.

I am leaning towards some combination of a and c because you indicated you had already investigated the negative grounding point.
------------
I've had a battery post "fall apart/in half" trying to loosen it on a vehicle experiencing your symptoms. I turned the ratchet about 4 clicks with a 1/4" drive and almost no torque and the battery terminal broke off halfway between the battery and the lead. Not your issue, just pointing out it can happen, though most of today's cars have gone side terminal.
---------
Do a quick Resistance check on the cables themselves to rule in or out complete failure.

If they read differently or crunch badly when you flex them, they've likely sucked up battery acid over the years and have been deteriorating.

Cut back the insulation a few inches on the battery end of the + cable. IF you find nasty green corrosion, it's probably time to replace that cable.

The above cable advice will usually make its presence known in a start/no start intermittent situation as the increased resistance of the pos cable requires more total current (Cranking Amps) or is right on the line of what the battery can provide to the starter.
------------------
The fact that you saw the power blip leads me to believe that it is a physical/electrical failure and that the issue is likely at the underhood fuse box where the 12V lead enters OR at the main power distribution point on the underside of the underhood fuse box.

Check and clean the + lead connection point at the fuse box.
Then measure the DC V to chassis ground at that location. If it is 0, then the cable is bad.

If you read 12V, check the DC V to chassis ground across a few fuses (not the other end of the fuse as we have not yet established whether that is a reliable ground). Do with the key of and in RUN position as I do not remember which ones are there and powered all the time.

If you find 0 V, then the fuse block is the issue since you have 12V supply confirmed coming in but connectivity has been lost internally and none of the fuses (and therefore circuits) are receiving any power.

The fact that you cannot find any blown fuses is in line with this scenario since if all the fuses are intact, the circuits should all be getting current as designed --unless there is NO current source for any of them.


------------
If you read 12V at a few of the fuses, this gets messy.
So I was fiddling around with everything last night and took off both of the battery cables and tested them for resistance and it seemed that they were fine. When I reconnected them loosely the car fired right up and then when I connected them properly the car went back to doing the same thing. I tried connecting them loosely again and nothing. So I bought new cables and replaced the positive first. This time the lights powered on but when I went to start the car the starter clicked. Then I disconnected everything and replaced the ground cable. This last time I tried starting and the ignition fuse popped. I think it was badly grounded I guess? I'm not really sure what's going on.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:19 PM
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I believe you have a defective battery. When the cables are tight the battery has an internal connection failure.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02 LW300 View Post
I believe you have a defective battery. When the cables are tight the battery has an internal connection failure.
Ah shoot, I should've mentioned in my above post that I bought a brand new battery right after it died to make sure.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:22 AM
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Good news I got it working somehow. I went over everything again and decided to get a third set of cables and that did the trick. Well that and replacing the ignition fuse that blew. Thank you all for your help!
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:38 AM
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Good to hear, clean electrical connections are very important. Thanks for reporting back with your solution.
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