Car Won't Start


I have a 2000 Saturn with about 140,000 miles on it. This morning after driving a short distance (maybe 2blocks) to the local gym my car wouldn’t start when I came out about an hour later. When I put the key in and give it the first turn to the “run” (think that is what it’s labeled) position the dash lights headlights, ac, radio, etc all turn on fine, however when I try to turn it to “start” nothing happens. No noise, no clicking, nothing.

This is the second time this has happened to me, first time was roughly a month ago pretty much the exact same situation drove a short distance this time the car was only off for maybe 10-15 minutes and wouldn’t start. However, that time when I went back to my car about 30 minutes later it started just fine, that was not the case this time.

After that first time I brought my car into the local shop to see what the problem was, the mechanic couldn’t find anything wrong. Can’t recall everything he said he checked (battery, starter, alternator if I recall) and said everything was good and the conclusion he came to is that I must have left a light on or something. Which I didn’t, as it was in the middle of the day and my dome light is always set to off anyways and the headlights weren’t on and the doors were all properly closed and what not.

Also, I had the battery and spark plugs replaced about a year ago and aside from that everything in my car seems to be working fine…

Anyways, any suggestions/thoughts would be much appreciated.


check all the battery cables for tightness and corrosion. you can t always see the oxidation or corrosion and they have to be removed and all connections thoroughly cleaned to eliminate this, the simplest possible problem. I always try the easiest fix first. and its free if you do it yourself. anyone who is fairly handy can handle this

My guess would be a bad ignition switch.

Your explanation is a text book example of a failing neutral safety switch. The next time the car doesn’t start…shift to neutral and see if it starts if you have an automatic transmission. If it does then you know the neutral safety switch is failing. If you have a manual transmission…try depressing the clutch several times as the clutch interlock switch fails a lot like the neutral safety switch.

Hello and ty for the replies.

In regards to the battery cables, I’ll give them a look though I’d assume the mechanic would have noticed corrosion or if they were lose when I brought the car in last time this happened.

Also, I attempted to start the car in neutral and nothing happened as well. And it is an automatic for what that’s worth.

Is a bad ignition switch something that can just randomly go out and then work fine again later?

Intermittent electrical problems are hard to diagnose because they do just that. Work one minute and dont the next. Try messing with it some more. Shift from park to neutral and back and forth several times and keep trying. If that doesnt work, find the largest hammer you can find and hit your car with it yelling expletives for all the neighbors to hear. Kidding, but keep trying and Id suggest trying another mechanic. Something is not allowing the circuit to be completed. A good mechanic Im guessing will be able to test for continuity through the circuit and pinpoint your trouble spot.

More than likely it’s a bad starter. Sometimes you can wack the starter and the car will start. My friend used an old golf club to get his starter going. I asked why he didn’t buy a new starter and he said it only happens once in awhile. Of course when he had to do it in the rain, he changed the starter.