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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2007 Sky Base. A few weeks ago, when I got in it it wouldn't turn over, just clicking. After trying several times, and holding the key in it started, then immediately stalled out. Doing this a few more times, it eventually started to run, but it would lose power every 3-5 seconds, rpms would drop to almost zero and then go back up again. When this was happening, I noticed i could hear chattering from the fuel pump relay. I swapped the relay, no change, same issue. So now I thought maybe I had an electrical issue. Reading around on the forums, i thought maybe i had a bad ground connection at the engine block. I disconnected the battery, disconnected the ground at the block and cleaned everything up really good, including the battery terminals and connectors. After reconnecting, it started to run normally. Problem solved (or so i thought). I had driven it several times after that and all was good, until today. I took it for a ride, just about 4 miles down the road, and on my way back home it started acting up again. It was dropping rpms then going back, dropping again, over and over. After i got home, I thought maybe i had a problem with the actual ground cable, i disconnected the battery again, checked everything out and it doesn't seem to be corroded. Now when i reconnected the battery, it started running normally again. Checking the voltage under load, when it's running normally is showing 12.8 volts from positive to ground on both the battery ground and the engine block ground. I'm now at a loss as to what the issue could be? Could this be a bad battery causing the immobilizer to get messed up? If that's the case, once it's running, shouldn't it just run normally? I.e. why would it cut off and back on again, since the alternator should be supplying enough current?

There are no pending or permanent codes stored. The check engine light does blink when it starts to run rough, but still no codes. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I have a 2007 Sky Base. A few weeks ago, when I got in it it wouldn't turn over, just clicking. After trying several times, and holding the key in it started, then immediately stalled out. Doing this a few more times, it eventually started to run, but it would lose power every 3-5 seconds, rpms would drop to almost zero and then go back up again. When this was happening, I noticed i could hear chattering from the fuel pump relay. I swapped the relay, no change, same issue. So now I thought maybe I had an electrical issue. Reading around on the forums, i thought maybe i had a bad ground connection at the engine block. I disconnected the battery, disconnected the ground at the block and cleaned everything up really good, including the battery terminals and connectors. After reconnecting, it started to run normally. Problem solved (or so i thought). I had driven it several times after that and all was good, until today. I took it for a ride, just about 4 miles down the road, and on my way back home it started acting up again. It was dropping rpms then going back, dropping again, over and over. After i got home, I thought maybe i had a problem with the actual ground cable, i disconnected the battery again, checked everything out and it doesn't seem to be corroded. Now when i reconnected the battery, it started running normally again. Checking the voltage under load, when it's running normally is showing 12.8 volts from positive to ground on both the battery ground and the engine block ground. I'm now at a loss as to what the issue could be? Could this be a bad battery causing the immobilizer to get messed up? If that's the case, once it's running, shouldn't it just run normally? I.e. why would it cut off and back on again, since the alternator should be supplying enough current?

There are no pending or permanent codes stored. The check engine light does blink when it starts to run rough, but still no codes. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
I'm going to say that 12.8 V is too low while running. You should be seeing 14 V +. How old is the battery, and what is the voltage when not running?

I suspect a bad battery or a bad generator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm going to say that 12.8 V is too low while running. You should be seeing 14 V +. How old is the battery, and what is the voltage when not running?

I suspect a bad battery or a bad generator.
Yea, it was only at 11.5V when not running, so I was thinking the battery might need to be replaced. But also thought me starting it and shutting it off over and over might be why the voltage is low. But the behavior seems odd, i.e. disconnecting the battery then reconnecting it allows it to run normally for a while and then it started acting up again while driving, even at high rpms? Though i guess it could be the alternator, and that could be the cause. Do you know how many volts the alternator should put out?
 

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Yea, it was only at 11.5V when not running, so I was thinking the battery might need to be replaced. But also thought me starting it and shutting it off over and over might be why the voltage is low. But the behavior seems odd, i.e. disconnecting the battery then reconnecting it allows it to run normally for a while and then it started acting up again while driving, even at high rpms? Though i guess it could be the alternator, and that could be the cause. Do you know how many volts the alternator should put out?
14.4V is nominal while charging, and 11.5V is generally considered to be a "dead" battery.

A bad battery will drag the running voltage down, and continuous use under that condition will burn out the generator.

I would change the battery first, then see what happens. A bad battery will cause some really strange behavior.
 
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Without knowing how old the current battery is- the low volt reading, intermittent starting, sounds like the place to start. How often to you drive it? Constantly using the starter is never a good thing.

It could be the alternator as John has suggested. Battery, ignition, starter, alternator, belts, fuses after checking all of those, is there a drain to the electrical system? Does it run rough afterwards?

It might have other issues, with fuel, sensors, relays, but start with the source- the battery. Cleaning the cables grounding points is always a good thing. IF replacing the battery- it still has issues it could be other items- the MAF sensor or throttle body, maybe the fuel pump once you're sure it is not the battery.


LAC
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Without knowing how old the current battery is- the low volt reading, intermittent starting, sounds like the place to start. How often to you drive it? Constantly using the starter is never a good thing.

It could be the alternator as John has suggested. Battery, ignition, starter, alternator, belts, fuses after checking all of those, is there a drain to the electrical system? Does it run rough afterwards?

It might have other issues, with fuel, sensors, relays, but start with the source- the battery. Cleaning the cables grounding points is always a good thing. IF replacing the battery- it still has issues it could be other items- the MAF sensor or throttle body, maybe the fuel pump once you're sure it is not the battery.


LAC
I haven't been driving very often, which is why i originally suspected the battery. But after i disconnected everything, reconnected it, it seemed to run without issues for several short trips. No hiccups at all. I didn't test the voltage of the battery earlier, because my multimeter's battery was dead 🙄. That, and once it started acting normally - my past experience as a 35 year "back yard mechanic" told me the battery was probably fine. However, the computers in these cars sometimes have other ideas. I don't think it's the fuel pump, because when it won't even crank, nothing in the ignition system seems to work and when it's running i can hear/feel the fule pump relay activating and deactivating coinciding with the loss of power/rpms. I will change the battery this afternoon and hope that fixes it. I don't like how unpredictable it is... taking it for a test drive could leave me stranded.
 

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I haven't been driving very often, which is why i originally suspected the battery. But after i disconnected everything, reconnected it, it seemed to run without issues for several short trips. No hiccups at all. I didn't test the voltage of the battery earlier, because my multimeter's battery was dead 🙄. That, and once it started acting normally - my past experience as a 35 year "back yard mechanic" told me the battery was probably fine. However, the computers in these cars sometimes have other ideas. I don't think it's the fuel pump, because when it won't even crank, nothing in the ignition system seems to work and when it's running i can hear/feel the fule pump relay activating and deactivating coinciding with the loss of power/rpms. I will change the battery this afternoon and hope that fixes it. I don't like how unpredictable it is... taking it for a test drive could leave me stranded.
When you run it after changing the battery check the voltages. If you are not getting in the range of 14V you still have a problem, likely with the generator.
 

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If you don't have 14 volts in the system while running, it is definitely an issue with the charging system. I had an issue where mine died while on the interstate. Charging the battery would limp it along for a while. Changed out the alternator and still no charge. Turned out it was the fusible link between the alternator and starter that had broken. Lesson I learned is to test the alternator before assuming it's the problem. Most parts stores have the ability to run a diagnostic on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A quick update, i picked up a new battery this afternoon, and proceeded to test it with my multimeter and it read only 11.4V. I took it back to the auto parts store and had them test it to be sure it was good. It was 85% charged and 12.4V on their tester - meaning my multimeter needed to be calibrated and was reading 1.0V low :eek:. I calibrated with several known dc sources and now the new battery reads 12.35V. I didn't get to the install part, as it looked like rain today. However, this tells me that if my readings were 1.0V low, the battery in my Sky is actually showing 12.5 V and 13.8 when it's running.
I'm going to replace the battery anyway since i already bought a new one, and take the old one down to the auto parts store for a load test just to be sure it's not bad. If it tests out ok, that likely takes me back to square one. I will check on the fusible link to the starter as suggested by #spydee99. What is the possibility this is an issue with the ignition switch? If the fuel pump or another sensor was bad, i would expect to get a CEL pending code, and i've got nothing.
 

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The fusible link failure results in the same voltage running or not, so it probably isn't that.

I would see how the battery tests, and see what the running voltage is with the new battery. Regardless of anything else you should be over 14V running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update: I Replaced the battery and got 14.2V in the system when cold. It drops to 13.7 after the car warms up which I read is normal if the computer is controlling the charge? I don't think it is the alternator/generator, but I will take it off and get it tested just to be sure.
Also, I had the old battery tested and it tested out fine although the new battery charged to 12.7 volts and the old one 12.5. One issue was the positive terminal connector was broken and I replaced it. I was hoping that was my problem, however the car seems to still have an issue. I drove it after putting the new battery in and it acted fine for about 15 miles, then the engine light flashed once and the rpms dropped. It did that one more time and then started to run normally again. One thing I noticed was the fuel gauge dropped when the engine cut out. Still no pending CEL codes, assuming the alternator tests ok, does anyone have any more ideas/troubleshooting advice?
 

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I'm going to say that your generator is okay. With the fuel gauge dropping like that it sounds like a loose wire, fuse, or relay.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I reread my original post and one thing that I didn't explain clearly is that when this was happening, and giving me a "no crank" condition, with the key just in the ON position (not start) there were clicking noises and lights on the dash going on and off. Like the ignition system was turning on and off. If it starts happening again, I'll video it and post it here.

I took it for another ride today, and couldn't get it to happen again. Incidentally, my neighbors probably think I'm trying to show off my car, as I've been driving it in a 4 mile loop around the roads by my house to test it and try and make it malfunction again because I don't want to be 10+ miles away and have it die on me. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm going to say that your generator is okay. With the fuel gauge dropping like that it sounds like a loose wire, fuse, or relay.
I just ordered a new GM ignition switch from RockAuto - $24 shipped. Based on all of my reading over these forums of "no crank" conditions, that's a relatively cheap item to replace to eliminate it as a possible cause. It should make it to my house this week and I'll install it. I'll update this thread and report my results.
 
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