I've been having a strange starting issue with my 1998 Saturn SL (and it's left me stranded before). Today, it seems as though it will no longer start.
First, the details - it's a 1998 Saturn SL, manual transmission. No power options except for ABS, so no power windows, locks, security system, etc.
Second, the symptoms. When I turn the ignition to ON, the fuel pump does engage (audibly); the fuel meter responds and all electrics turn on. Upon trying to start the car, I have no sound. No relay click, no starter sound, no cranking, nothing. The internal electrics don't go out at this point (not a battery issue, I know that one well) or dim. I am able to push-start the car.
Third, the history - this has happened before, but it seemed to be a clutch safety switch issue and was intermittent. Waiting for a period of time would seem to resolve the issue (and as such I'm not sure if it was a temperature-based problem).
I originally thought that the issue might have been the clutch safety switch but replacing the switch and testing (with the pedal, and manually with my finger) did nothing. (Actually, thinking about it now, trying to start the car with the clutch out kills all of the electronics, I think - so I think the behavior is different.)
I know enough about cars to be dangerous (which means that I know nothing at all). I know that there's a starter relay behind the dashboard, and I was thinking about trying to replace this next, but I'd like to be able to target the problem area. Based on the symptoms above, how could I troubleshoot the issue? Where (besides the safety switch) are the potential problems?