Problems With Saturn Starter Solenoids

by Horacio Garcia

The Saturn has had several reports and at least one recall on the vehicles concerning starter solenoid problems. The starter solenoid is attached to the starter, and allows current to flow into the starter when the ignition switch is engaged. Once the ignition switch is engaged, voltage is sent to the starter solenoid, which closes contacts and continues the flow of current to the starter motor, which engages the engine of the Saturn. Many problems can occur when this process is begun in the starter solenoid.

Starter Solenoid Terminals

The Saturn SL2 has had a recall for problems with the starter solenoid because of the voltage cable from the battery. In this case, the terminal on the end of the positive battery cable that runs and connects to the starter solenoid is defective. This defect of the terminal causes the starter solenoid to short-circuit or short out, which prevents voltage from engaging the contacts of the starter solenoid. When the contacts of the starter solenoid do not close, the starter motor does not turn over, which prevents the engine from engaging or starting. The terminal end of the battery cable needs to be replaced by the dealership to correct this starter solenoid problem.

Starter Solenoid Contacts

According to complaint reports from car review websites concerning the Saturn, the starter solenoid can come loose from the mounting bracket, which causes the contacts to not make a connection. The starter solenoid is mounted with a bolt on the outside of the starter motor, and the bolt is sometimes not tightened to torque specification, which causes the stater solenoid to come loose. When the starter solenoid comes loose, the distance between the contact points inside the starter solenoid grows larger, preventing the contacts from making a connection when closed. The bolt needs to be tightened in order for this problem in the Saturn to be corrected.

Starter Solenoid Burns Out

The Saturn automobile has had a problem with the starter solenoid burning out because too much voltage is sent to the starter solenoid. In this instance, the battery causes a power surge when the Saturn ignition is engaged. This power surge or voltage surge creates a burst of current to be sent to the starter solenoid, causing the contacts to burn and melt. When the contacts in the starter solenoid burn, the solenoid burns out or damages the starter motor. Most of the time when the starter solenoid or starter motor is damaged, the Saturn owner can hear a clicking noise when the ignition switch is engaged. The starter solenoid needs to be replaced and the battery needs to be inspected to determine if a voltage surge was the cause of the damage to the starter solenoid.

About the Author

Horacio Garcia has been writing since 1979, beginning his career as the spokesperson for Trinity Broadcast Network. Within 10 years Garcia was being called upon to write speeches and scripts for several state and federal congressmen, local broadcast networks and publications such as "Readers Digest." He received his bachelor's degree in public relations from Argosy University.