Saturn SW2 not starting


I have a very odd problem that has been plaguing my SW2 for more than a year. It has left me stranded several times and this morning it left me at home.

Everything will be hunky dory and then I hop in and twist the key and everything goes black. Lights, gauges, radio, Margarita machine, everything just goes dark.

When I put a charger on it, capable of feeding 60 amps, and a volt meter across the battery, turning the switch to “start”, the amp meter pegs and the voltage drops to 2 volts. I can hold it there for 5 seconds or more without any smoke, flames or smells of burning wire, electric components or anything.

I pulled it down the block and got it started but noticed that when I increase the rpm, the dash lights (all of them and not at the same time) would blink erratically.

I have cleaned the battery terminals and ground connections. I have checked every connection I can find that might be even remotely related. I was going to pull the starter and make sure it engaged and turns, but that rpm-dash-lights-freaking-out incident, causes me pause.

So here I am in pause. Can someone press the play button?




For the voltage to drop to 2 volts, there is a BIG amperage loss, commonly, called a, “short”. The circuit which is made when you turn the key to START is through the starter solenoid contacts and then…maybe to ground (short). Or, the power may be passing through the the starter solenoid ok; but, there is a short inside the starter.


My buddy came over and said, without looking at the car, “its your battery”. I have two 12v batteries from an old UPS that I use to power my sons toys and with two in parallel, the car start right up with just touching the wires to the terminal lugs.

I am going to get a new battery now. I never would have thought.