Another Saturn 96 SL1 starting problem solved, Hope it helps someone else

Discussion in 'Saturn S-series' started by Saturn Headache, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. I have been fighting different problems with my Saturn 96 SL1 for over
    a year now. Besides the poor engineering, alarm system from hell, and
    various other quirks this latest issue might help others. I had a
    battery that was less than two years old and when jump started the car
    ran fine. The battery checked out fine as well as the starting and
    charging system. All cables were corrosion free and I had a solid
    ground from the battery to the chassis. I made certain I was not
    leaving anything on. Out of desperation I purchased a new battery
    which started the auto the first time it was installed. The next time
    I tried to start the car I had the same problems. Jump start and it
    ran fine until it was time to restart it. I ran an OHM meter from the
    disconnected positive cable to the chassis to find a dead short.
    Three days of chasing wire harnesses proved to be a total waste of
    time leading to no results. I am not a mechanic so I may have done
    this backwards but I started from the front and worked my way back
    towards the rear of the car. While ripping out all of the carpet to
    check the rear harnesses I heard a faint clicking noise coming from
    the top of the trunk. I ripped out the very small overhead light and
    found a small relay embedded in the the light bulb clicking on and off
    at will. It had no effect on the function of the light. Disconnected
    light and relay and have not had a problem since. Such a simple
    problem that was so very hard to track down for me at least. Like I
    said I am no mechanic but I bet it would have cost a fortune. Now I
    get to spend the next few days putting all the panels and coverings
    back into place. I do not plan on replacing the stupid trunk light
    though. Maybe I will blow it up for New Years Eve. I hope this might
    help someone as I have noticed that Saturns have very similar problems
    depending on make and model.

    Happy New Year to all!
    Saturn Headache, Dec 31, 2004
  2. Saturn Headache

    Paul Guest

    Thanks for this tip. Does anyone know why there is a relay for trunk mount
    brake light?
    Paul, Jan 1, 2005
  3. Saturn Headache

    john Guest

    Bought a Year old Merc Tracer Program car from the dealer. When the Northern
    winter came on the battery would drain.
    Turned out to be a problem with the trunk light . This after they sold me a
    battery. And I did a lot of cussing. Had not heard of it before or since
    till this problem.
    john, Jan 1, 2005
  4. Saturn Headache

    Dan Duncan Guest

    Couldn't you just pull fuses one at a time until the short goes
    away, then look up what runs off that fuse?
    Happy New Year.

    Dan Duncan, Jan 1, 2005
  5. Saturn Headache

    B. Peg Guest

    That's what I was just thinking also.

    B. Peg, Jan 1, 2005
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