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Crank no start,no spark. 2000 Saturn SL1

I was driving the other day and pulled over to park and put the car in reverse and it stalled and never started just cranked over till battery almost died.i got the car towed and so far replaced the plugs,wires,starter,crankshaft position sensor,coils and ignition coil sensor and brain and still nothing and have noticed no spark .when the key is turned in the on position all dash lights come on like normal then go out for a second and come back on and stay on.not sure if that helps any.

That last sentence you wrote is probably a good clue. Sometimes when ignition switches go bad they lose their ability to provide constant power to everything they are supposed to power when the key is in the spring loaded start position.

You can test this theory by getting into the wire harness coming out of the ignition switch and providing a solid link to the wires that are supposed to be energized with the key in the ON position…as well as while it is cranking (spring loaded key position)

I would be looking round there…or testing the theory that you lose power to ignition while in crank/start key position. Just a thought…

Another way to test this theory…is to turn the key to the ON/Run position and NOT use the key to engage the starter… Energize the starter by another means… If she runs that means its the switch… The other very common culprit is the Ignition control module… Very common failure item, but the module wont make your dash lights go on and off like that… That is why I began by suspecting the ignition switch.

Oh crap… another item that goes south is the ability of the ignition switch to read the chip in the key… But the security light would be on in that instance as your security system could be causing the no start. Again…that dash flicker is what placed suspicion on the switch in my mind.

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How about the ignition control module?

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Tester

It would have been cheaper to have a shop diagnose the problem, they probably could have even fixed it for less than you have spent.

Is the timing belt/chain still intact: the rotor inside the distributor rotating?

I had already changed the module.noticed alot of corrosion on all the electrical parts thats why i keep replacing everything.im at the poi t where i might change all the fuses even though they are all good they just have a little residue on some of them.it was once a Verison tech car previously so it had alot of crazy wiring going to the fuzebox in the car

No distributor. Lost spark ignition system.

First thing to do in the absence of any DTC codes is to check for the big three, compression, ignition and fuel. Do a compression test, check for spark at each spark plug, check for fuel pressure and check for the clicking sound at each injector.

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This car doesnt have a distributor it has a coilpack that sits on the right front of the motor up against the ignition control module.im finally gonna have someone come down tomorrow to put it on a scanner and see if it can pick up any codes now.but i will check out the timing chain/belt and these othe things you are mentioning ill take any suggestions at this points.i appreciate it

Sometimes you can peek into the hole where you pour the engine oil, maybe need to use an angled mirror, and see if the camshaft is turning or not as you crank the engine. If it wasn’t that would explain the symptom.

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I will try that today thanks for the tip

The last 2 vehicles that had this ignition system, engine and Passlock security system that I repaired had a multitude of problems. But they both centered around the ignition switch.

The ignition switches get worn out in several different ways. One way is that the key slot gets “hollowed out” the key can usually be removed when ignition is turned in these instances and or the key just fits loose in the switch…they have a certain hollowed out feel (when inserting the key) is best I can describe it. The OTHER item that happens is that the ignition switch does not read the resistance of your key correctly and thusly does not operate your Passlock security system. The other common way they wear out is they stop providing “run” power while key is in the spring loaded crank position. ALL of these are BAD.

The last two failure modes of the ignition switch are what I have in mind for your issue. You can look up how to bypass the Passlock security system on the net, but it basically involves taking a reading from the BCM to see what it “thinks” the resistance of the key is…and compare that to what the resistance of the key actually is.

Then you simply cut that wire at the BCM and provide it with the correct resistance via…resistors so it no longer looks at the key for this value. I will never forget the day I did this for the first time… I was pulling my hair out trying to diagnose a no start and in the end it was the ignition switch AND the Passlock system… One begot the other…

After I did the modification to get around the Passlock… she started right up…instantly. I’m telling you from first hand experience… you will drive yourself nuts and be doing exactly what you are doing now and it will wind up being the security system / ignition switch issue. The ignition switch is a COMMON failure…

Your dash lights flickering with the key turned is a big clue…as I mentioned before. Do a search for “Bypassing Passlock Security System” Methinks you will be glad you did.

Just my thoughts…but what do I know

Wow good idea because i did have to change out my lock cylinder last year because the pins jammed in the last one and had the replace it now this one is acting funky and i can still pull the key out

The only thing though is my key does not have a chip in it its just a basic key

It only looks like a basic key, it has a transponder in it. Sorry if I used the word “Chip” loosely, i tend to do that sometimes. The transponder is decoded by the BCM and then a resistance value is set to tell the system to disarm. So yes I used the word chip incorrectly.

You HAVE the Passlock system… and with your ignition switch description, you are VERY likely having a no start because of this.

Google “00’ Saturn SL1 Passlock Bypass” or “00’ Saturn Ignition switch failure” You will have more reading than you can handle. There is also the reset procedure you can try…its all on the net

OR you can choose to ignore this advice and continue replacing parts…and they will not help because your vehicle is very likely not starting on purpose. Its something you must look into at the very least at this point.

I’ve seen people choose both paths, but those who still drive their vehicles looked into the Passlock system.

Not all Saturn’s had the Passlock system.

The key doesnt have a chip in it i had went to home depot when i picked up a lock cylinder replacement 6 months ago at a junk yard to make a copy because the key was worn pretty bad so its just a plain key.i just messed around with the connector to the coolant temperature sensor and now the coilpack suddenly got hot which it didnt even have any spart before pyt something popped under the hood

Well aside from the security system, Passlock was introduced in the mid 90’s and I havent seen one without it yet, but I dunno…possible maybe? Which ones did not have it would be my next question.

Anyway, you still need to verify that you have power to ignition while in the start position.

Just giving my thoughts and past success items on things to check off a list before you start replacing more items that are not needed.

If you aren’t looking into these items, then you probably have a better plan, so I will step aside.

I guess I am out of suggestions outside the obvious no start items…

My 2002 SL did not have it.

If I am incorrect about Passlock then that’s ok…its an idea to look into not a silver bullet. Do you have keyless entry? A remote? A security light on the dash? Have you verified that you have power to the ignition circuit when cranking ?

LOL… This is where I say good luck… hope you figure it out.