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Why might a Saturn SL1 not start again after stopping if you run the air conditioning?

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2004-08-02 02:51:00
2004-08-02 02:51:00

Hello Bethany I am currently the owner of a 1996 Saturn with 76,000 miles on it and I am having similar problems. First of all I will describe the problems I am experiencing and then I will tell you what I have figured out. When I got the car it was a nice cool day for June in Texas. I had not turned the AC (Air conditioner) except to verify that it worked. Well a few days later it got hot as it should in Texas in June. The car is my wife's but I had a lot of errands to do so I drove it from our small town to the near by larger city and tended to my errands. After driving around town for quite a while I shut the engine off to go in and pay a bill. When I got back to the car the engine would barely turn over, but I was lucky and it finally started. When I put the car in reverse the car lunged violently and when I put it in drive the car acted as if it would not go into drive but after the engine revved up it finally lunged forward and I was able to drive home. When I got home I found that the battery was nearly dead and again the car would not turn over like it should. I turned the AC off and let the car run for a while after I shut off the engine abracadabra the car started fine the lunging stopped and every thing appeared normal until the next time I drove it in town with the AC on and all the symptoms started all over again. Now as to what I found out, (sorry us Texans tend to be long winded but I want to make sure you are having the same problem), I found that the alternator was not putting out enough electricity to charge the battery while the AC is on and I later found out that the same thing happened when city driving at night with the head lights on. As long as the car was only running with out any thing like head lights or AC every thing was fine. The reason the transmission was doing weird things was that the silly thing relies on electricity to run a computer that tells the transmission what to do. So tomorrow July 30th, 2004 I am putting a new alternator on. By the way I had the old one tested and it was putting out 54 amps and should be putting out roughly 96 amps. So this should keep the battery charged and power the transmission and every thing else. I will check back every so often to see if you got this and if this sounds like it may be the same problem. I will also let you know if my problem was solved with the new alternator. One other thing, I have been informed that when the new alternator is installed that the place where the battery cable is connected is fragile and if it is over tightened it will damage the alternator, so care is warranted if the alternator is replaced. There is one other thing that could be causing these problems which is a bad engine computer but since (in my case at least) the alternator shows to be putting out almost half of what it should I am hoping that, that is the problem and not the $400.00 computer. Good luck and I will check back. John James Well I installed the alternator and this solved the problem. Now if the thing did not use a quart of oil per tank of gas I would have it made. John James

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