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2006 Saturn Vue

The lights were left on. After getting a boost, went home. Later came out to drive, but car now cranks up and dies. Friend suggested to do 2-foot driving with one foot on gas and other foot on brake. After, the car ran for short distance and began the same thing. Any suggestions?

Thanks for any suggestions

Have the battery and charging system tested. Parts stores will generally do this for free. If that’s the original battery, expect to be told you need a new one. You’re due.

+1 for @thesamemountainbike.

Had the battery tested and it was dead. Put in new battery today, but having same problem.

Perhaps something needs to be relearned because of the new battery? That seems farfetched, though, as batteries are replaced all the time.

Cranks and dies could be due to the engine control module not “recognizing” your key.

Is the antitheft light on/flashing when this problem occurs?

If your key isn’t recognized, it’s considered an unauthorized starting attempt, and fuel is cut.
Do you have another key to try out?
Are you sure you have sufficient fuel in the tank? I know it sounds silly, but most of us have run out of fuel or tried to start a car on fumes already.

Yeah, it might just be with the dead battery, all of the computer memory was wiped out and it needs to relearn the engine management settings. Driving it for a while hopefully will take care of it. When batteries are changed, you need to use a memory saver to maintain all the information.

If the above doesn’t work, it may be that an electronic component in your car was damaged by the jump start you got.

Your main problem is that your friend is an idiot. Get a new friend. Also, if your car will not start, why would you waste time posting this question on the internet and not go directly to your local auto parts store to have your battery and alternator tested? They will usually test the battery and alternator free of charge.

The car’s computer memory was wiped out and had to be reset. I was told that there is a device that can be used to prevent this from occuring when batteries are replaced. The car runs better than ever now. Thanks for all the great suggestions…

Thanks for the update! It’s nice to know what resolved the problem.

Dave, there are devices to prevent this. Some starters have temporary power supplies that can privide 12VDC to the electrical system while the battery is disconnected, and there are also 9VDC devices you can plug into the power port that allegedly (I’ve never tried one) provide sufficient power to keep the computers alive while the battery is disconnect for a short time.

DannyDetroi, I can only speak for myself but it upsets me to see name calling and insults hurled at people who are asking for help. With the rare exception, people are only looking for help. There’s no reason to respond in that manner. The OP was asking for advice, not judgement, and that’s what we’re here for.

As a vue owner I have heard that ANY tinkering with elc system necessitates computer reflash/learning steps. I am leery when I hear a dead battery caused car to freak out when it is restarted or new battery is installed. I look at it as an Internet myth that a dead battery means future computer issues.

Stoveguyy, disconnecting the battery doesn;t require “reflashing”, but it does necessitate “relearning” and perhaps some “reinitializing”. Everything in modern cars is often driven by computers, from the fuel metering to the radio setttings to the power windows. My battery was recently disconnected to replace the alternator, and I had to reset my radio and reinitialize my programs for the windows and roof. I also reinitialized my tire pressure monitoring system. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t include these “initialization” protocols in the documentation that comes with the owner’s manual. They assume you’ll take the car back to the dealership, and the service department is supposed to know these things. I can tell you from personal experience that you cannot assume that they do. You need to know what questions to ask. I was told by a Toyota tech that I need a new roof assembly for $4,000 to fix a wind leak when all I needed to do was run the initialization protocol. Fortunately for me, I knew better, but I sometimes wonder how many people got screwed out of $4,000.

You can read here what can happen to some vehicles when the battery dies or is disconnected.


Was with buddy when his 08 Infiniti battery was drained due to headlight issue. We jumped it and than drove 300 miles and had zero issues. But the Saturn board I go to says vues are touchy.

Excellent article Tester. Thanks.

@Stoveguyy, different makes and models react differently with battery disconnects. I’ve not had any problems with Nissan or Toyota, but some GM models can be a bear. I had a Buick that had a lot of work done, with the battery disconnected for a week. At first start-up, it chugged and coughed. We double checked everything, thinking something was hooked up wrong. Not finding anything, we hooked up a few diagnostic tools and fired it again. It chugged and coughed, but managed to keep running. A couple of minutes later, it gradually smoothed out on it’s own. After 10 mins, it was smooth as glass. After that, I carry a 9V memory minder with a couple of spare batteries in my tool box.

I’ve often wondered…do those 9V things actually work? Assuming, of course, that one makes sure the power port stays live.

@thesamemountainbike It didn’t work for me when I recently replaced the battery in my wife’s Audi and I thought I took every precaution. I used a fresh 9V alkaline battery, checked with my multimeter to make sure the power port stayed live, and waited for an hour to make sure all the modules “went to sleep” after closing the driver’s door. I also wrapped the positive cable with a rag when I removed it to prevent a short to ground. When I made the last connection to the new battery (less than 5 minutes for the job) I got a spark and thought uh-oh. Sure enough, the radio was inoperative until I entered the anti-theft code. Not only that but the 9V battery was hot (and dead). I have no idea why anything would have drawn so much current.