Car won't turn over sometimes. Drained battery sometimes

'97 Saturn SL1 Manual 4CYL.

Normally when you turn the key a car should fire up and turn over. Not the case with my car recently, it has been taking at least two times or more to get it to turn over. Today, when I went to start my car, there was nothing, just dead. I tried 3 times to turn it over and then it finally fired up. I opened the hood and heard sparking coming from the engine. What could the problem be?

It would help if you could be clearer on your terms. In general, “turn-over” means that the starter is able to rotate the crankshaft of the engine, and “start” means that the engine fires up and runs. I assume that what you really meant when you said that it took three trys to turn it over was that it turned over each time, but took three attempts before it started (fired up).
Many clicking sounds can sound like arcing (sparks) to someone. Did you see any actual arcs flashing? Does the engine miss when it is running?

The first thing to check when a GM vehicle displays this symtom is the positive battery cable.

The battery in your vehicle has the side mount terminals. On the postive cable, there’s a red rubber cover at the battery connection. Under this red rubber cover corrosion can form causing a poor connection. Remove both battery cables from the battery, then peel back the red rubber cover from over the terminals. If a white powder is found under this cover, replace the positive cable assembly.


Thank you for your quick reply, I will do my best to be more specific.

The first attempt, the car did nothing, meaning I pushed in the clutch, turned the key, and nothing happened. Second attempt, car attempted to turn over, I could hear the starter, but it was very weak like the battery was drained. Third attempt, car started up. The sounds I heard under the hood were as if you put too hot wires together and they arched, this was a constant sound. I hope this helps.

The first thing to do is clean the battery connections whenever you have this kind of trouble.

The arcing sound you heard may be due to a faulty spark plug wire. You might try looking at the engine at night while it is running. You may be able to see the arcing then.