I always look forward to reading what you guys have to say about the various
items this group covers. I also find the OT threads interesting.
You're a smart bunch of guys. And I didn't know where else to go.
That said, I'd like to know if any of you know of an auto repair
newsgroup(s). I've searched, but to no avail.
I have a 2000 Saturn station wagon, 6 cylinder, which I bought new. It has
126K miles on it. Recently I had the gearshift cable replaced because it
was slipping and it frequently wouldn't lock in PARK so I couldn't start the
car. All was good for a couple weeks but, alas, now it won't start even
though now it does lock in park. Battery is good, lights are bright, fan
blows and radio plays. But nada/zip when I turn the key when in park (or
any other gear). When accessories are off I don't hear anything when I turn
The shop wants me to have it towed in so they can perform various tests
This is expensive because I'm rural and it's a long trip. Plus their pound
of flesh, of course. BTW, I'm retired and carefully watching my
I'd like to do a few tests myself but I don't know where to start. Which is
why I have chosen to come to this august body for help.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Dick in Ferris, TX
There are at least a couple of dozen auto oriented groups, no idea of their
content. You might want to start with rec.autos.makers.saturn
If you'll use OE to search for "auto" on your server you will find the rest.
That's the software you're posting with. It has some means of
searching a "newsgroup list" or directory.
rec.auto.makers.Saturn is no hubub of activity-- but there seem to be
a few folks there who know what they are talking about. worth a
Have you tried starting the car in neutral? Just thinking it might
be the park/neutral switch & sometimes a wiggle or change to another
gear will be the ticket. [and maybe Saturn - or cars made after 1980
don't work that way-- but it is free]
Here's a Saturn owners forum to try:
I expect the first advice you'll get will be to read the trouble
codes. You'll need to buy or borrow a code reader. Auto supply stores
sell them, some places rent them. Here's the specific trouble codes
Don't know enough about that car to get you started.
I used to read alt.autos.saturn and still read alt.autos.gm and
You might try there, or search the web using saturn neutral safety
switch as the argument.
And a shop manual is your friend.
Not real fammiliar with the V6 Saturn - can you see/reach the
There are 2 wires to the starter. Big fat one from the battery, and
littler, skinnier one from the starter switch. There is a "neutral
safety" switch between the starter switch and the starter. You need
to find out if (A) there is power on the fat wire, and (B) there is
power on the skinny wire when the ignition switch is in the start
position. If not (A), then you have a cable problem. If (A) and not
(B) you have a starter switch (or neutral safety switch) (or wiring)
If (a) and (B) you have a starter problem (or possibly a ground
problem) If (A) checks out OK,and not (B) put the car in park and
apply power to (B) - can usually be done by jumping from (A) to (B)
with a screwdriver or similar tool - JUST MAKE SURE NOT TO JUMP FROM
(A) TO GROUND!!!!.
This will start the car so you don't need to tow it in.(unless the
starter is bad)
One more possible solution: Override the shift-lever interlock. If the
interlock is malfunctioning, you'll get the exact symptoms you describe.
Don't know about Saturns, but many cars have a key slot in the shift
console. You stick a key in that, then start the car as normal.
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