Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2003 Saturn thinks you are steeling it, shuts down

2003 SATURN 6 cylinder car starts and then shuts down? Theft detection cuts gas supply… How can this be fixed?

What model Saturn? Automatic or manual? Mileage? Why do you think the car “thinks you are stealing it” ?

The anti-theft feature wouldn’t let you start it, not kill the engine after it starts. Exactly what are you doing when the engine stops running? Pressing the brake? Putting into gear? Does it die as you are putting into gear? Does it die when you press the brake? We need more information to even take a wild guess as to the problem.

My guess is that the inertia detector that’s designed to shut the fuel down in the event of a serious accident or rollover is malfunctioning. Read your owner’s manual thoroughly for any reference to this. It may be resettable.

NOTE: this is just a wild, wild guess based on the very minimal information provided. A reputable shop could do actual diagnosis, and IMHO a tow to such a shop would be a good investment.


Ooooo! I LIKE that suggestion, @the_same_mountainbik!

LOL, thanks for the belly laugh!
Now let’s see if my WAG was close. I hope the OP posts back.

The PASSLOCK anti-theft system is in the Vehicle Tamper Detection mode.

For some reason, the Body Control Module isn’t recognizing the signal from the ignition key.

When this happens, the ECU will allow the injectors to operate, and when it doesn’t receive the signal from BCM that the ignition key has been recognized, the ECU will shut the power off to the injectors and the engine stalls.

Try turning the ignition switch to the on position for ten minutes to see if the BCM will recognize the ignition key.


1 Like

Thank will try…10 min. test

After the ten minutes are up, turn the ignition switch off and then try starting the engine.