Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM
You are in the Saturn ION
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Saturn ION, Electrical, Coupe, Sedan
#116 of 1223 Re: 2003 Ion won't start under 10 degrees [meron]
Nov 02, 2008 (6:23 pm)
Thanks Meron. In August, I bought a 2003 Saturn Ion from a dealer for my son to drive to school, and the 10-minute-due-to passlock problem started to occur every few days. I followed your email instructions to the letter, and everything you said worked out. We haven't had the problem for about a month. I am still amazed that you figured out this fix, when from what I have read elsewhere, many Saturn dealers have spent lots of time and money without fixing it. One extra point I should make, in case others also want to do this fix too. Ever since I cut the white wire, I've been getting a SERVICE message on the odometer when I start the engine. I just push the Odometer dial once and the message goes away. Thanks again.
Nov 14, 2008 (2:22 pm)
I want you all to know I feel your pain with the starting problems on the Ion!!! I too, own a '06 Ion, and think I have found a very cheap & easy cure. LEAVE THE KEY IN THE IGNITION! Once I was done driving around and was parking (in a secure spot) for the night, I left the key in the ignition. I haven't taken it out for over a 6 weeks, and no problems. There is no sensor to be tripped if the key is left in, the anti-theft device is tricked into thinking all is well when the key is left in. I use my spare for locking my car when in a parking let, etc. It gets annoying hearing the buzzer, but hey better than not starting at all!!! I live in northern MN so it has been plenty cold, to have problems and I haven't since I've been testing my theory. Good Luck to all!
Nov 15, 2008 (2:23 pm)
Thanks Meron, I have spent hundreds of 10 minute periods sitting in that darn ION and your wire cutting trick did the job! Starts at once! I tried to negotiate with Saturn..........It is the last Saturn I will buy. This is the third switch, and I said enough is enough....you saved me 300 bucks.
#119 of 1223 Re: Thanks Meron [ebikedude]
Nov 15, 2008 (11:06 pm)
I just stumbled across this tonight, and I have to admit I haven't read all 12 pages. It's been happening to me too! I have an '06 Ion, and I love everything about it except this! It only happens when it's cold, and it's so annoying! I can't figure out what it is about the cold that makes the car not recognize the key and therefore disable the fuel. I was thinking about getting a new key and trying that (I got this one used, thought maybe the key was worn and when the cylinder gets really cold maybe it wasn't making the right contact), but now that doesn't seem like it would help at all. It seems to me that once I get it to warm up a bit, then it will start up and be fine. I haven't had any problems with it while driving, it just won't start when it's cold.
For those of you who have complained about it, who do I call/email to add my voice? This is ridiculus! And I emailed my local dealership a week ago about this (it's happened twice in the past 2 weeks and it's not even that cold yet!), and they didn't even bother to get back with me! And I used to work there! Anyway, if you guys tell me who to complain to, I will gladly do so...they should be doing a recall for this if this many of us are having problems. From what I've read, it's not just Saturns, it's pretty much all cars with the passlock system.
#120 of 1223 Re: Thanks Meron [ebikedude] What model is your Saturn?
Nov 16, 2008 (7:38 am)
Your welcome, ebikedude.
What year is your Saturn? What color wire did your cut?
It has been about a year and my daughter's car is still fine; no starting issues.
There are a lot more cars out there with similar issues on passlock, not just a Saturn issue. If Saturn, or parent company GM wanted to do any of us a favor they would bring back the EV an all electric automobile that was super popular with everyone who got one under lease; not for sale. Watch "Who killed the electric Car" on dvd. They could sell them now, faster than they could make them, and maybe not have to depend on government bail outs. Or maybe that was the plan.
The 'Man behind the desk' makes all the decisions these days, as in Ford Pinto; cheaper to settle out of court than fix the issue. Even if it does cost human life, doing so. It would be hard to expect moch of anything from Saturn as long as they can sell these switches by the bushell.
If anyone else uses this wire cutting technique, they might list make and model, and wire color. Otherwise I like the idea of leaving the key in the igition; just keep a spare to gain entry.
Also thanks to all the others who posted re-teach and waiting rules for this car, as well as other advice and experience. I wish we could all find a way fix these things that manufactures won't address.
#121 of 1223 May have found an easy solution to the starting problom
Nov 19, 2008 (7:26 pm)
I was reading on another board. This guy said that all he did was take out his old ignition switch and clean all of the grease out off the inside of it. He said it may take a half hour or so to clean. when you are done, spray a graphite lubricant on the parts and put it back in. The car should start fine now. there will be no thick grease to freeze in the winter. I'm going to try it soon. I bought the Haynes repair manual, and it looks very easy and straight forward to remove the switch. I think taking apart the switch and cleaning it will be the hardest part. Has anyone else tried this idea, and does it work
A very annoyed Saturn owner
#122 of 1223 Re: May have found an easy solution to the starting problom [bertbaggins]
Nov 20, 2008 (5:07 am)
I tried this also, as the explanation was that saturns sent to KY were with the heavy lube. It did not fix the issue, just worked for a few days.
I posted a fix I used in previous listings, around #84 or so if I remember correctly. I think you can click on my screen name to find them all.
Simply I cut a small white wire on a 2003/4 Ion's starter switch circuit going to the BCM while the car was RUNNING. It is located at the rear of the switch after removing a plastic cover.
Other year saturns could be a different color wire, I am not sure about that. You can check my posts from last year for the links to installing a remote starter to Ions. That's where I found the instructions last year when I had the problems. No problems since I did this mod.
Rockfish has instructions for reteaching the BCM, to get the car started, if you need it.
Hope this helps.
#123 of 1223 Re: May have found an easy solution to the starting problom [meron]
Nov 20, 2008 (7:58 am)
was yours not starting becasue it was below freezing like mine.
#124 of 1223 Re: May have found an easy solution to the starting problom [meron]
Nov 20, 2008 (8:51 am)
also, where is this wire located. is it the set of wires connected to the ignition switch when you take apart the steering colum. Also it says to diconnect the battery and the airbag when working on this part of the car. I'm assuming you must not have since the car has to be running. lol I guess you just have to be careful right?
#125 of 1223 Re: May have found an easy solution to the starting problom [bertbaggins]
Nov 20, 2008 (9:03 am)
Yeah, the only time was when the weather turned cold. The 'white' wire is like 24 guage, tiny. I think it is a voltage drop that the BCM sees as less than what the key is supposed to engage when put in the ignition switch. The small wire loses conductivity at colder temperatures, like needing a larger diameter extension cord for longer distances, or when it is cold.
All this is in previous posts # 84. The car starts now and thru all the cold of last winter, since I cut the white wire. I simply put wire nuts on the two severed parts, but you can install a switch. However you must cut the wire while the engine is RUNNING, so to tell the BCM to start from then on.
(If the voltage to the BCM varies more than 10% or so, it will defeat the fuel pump circuit. Cold weather can decrease the voltage by that amount as it is only a few volts to begin with, and a very small wire.)
If your cars restarts after about ten minutes, this is probably this problem.
You should try the cleaner, just to see for yourself. You may have more luck than I did. It took a lot of hours to find the circuits for a remote start that I used to bypass the anti-theft, on the internet, but it was a lot cheaper than the dealer. And many people here have replaced the switch more than once. Some many times. As long as saturn can sell switches, and charge labor, they probably will.
There are links to the remote start circuit on post #84.
The white wire is at the end of the ignition switch behind a plastic cover, wrapped in black electrical tape.