, Salem, MA


July 21, 2012

Saturn and Impala have starting problems

Q: I have a 2008 Saturn 300. Every now and then, it won’t start. I try to start it every five minutes. After I wait awhile, it will start and it will be fine. It’s very annoying because I never know when it will do this. Sometimes I think it has to do with the change of the climate. Nothing shows up in the dashboard to show what might be wrong. It’s a great car; no problems with it. I would like to know what makes it not start sometimes.


You did not define whether you have a no-crank problem or a crank-with-no-start problem. I will briefly address both. A no-crank is when the starter motor does not spin over when you turn the key. That could be caused by a bad starter motor, a defective neutral safety switch, dirty battery cables, a marginal battery or even an intermittent problem in the ignition switch. A crank with no start is when the starter spins the motor over but the engine does not fire up and run on its own. For an engine to run, you need fuel, air, spark, compression and proper cam to crankshaft timing. When you go to the repair shop, be prepared to leave it for a few days until the shop can duplicate the problem. Be specific to the repair shop about your no-start problem.

Q: I have a 2005 Chevy Impala with 30,000 miles on it. For the past seven months, the car has been giving me a problem starting after the first start of the day. It will start with one turn on the first start of the day. Then after each attempt to start, it won’t start. It starts and stalls or it will putt, putt and then conk out. It takes three to five turns before it catches. It runs great, but the starting is a big problem now. Can you tell me what you think could be the problem?

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