Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM
You are in the Saturn ION
What is this discussion about?
Saturn ION, Electrical, Coupe, Sedan
#380 of 1223 Re: Problem Starting Saturn Ion? COMPLAIN! [joetree]
Dec 30, 2009 (5:20 am)
Wow, I just can't believe that there is so many problems for the Saturn ION. I bought a Saturn ION 3, 2003 used. A friend of mine said that the Saturn's are the best vehicle that he ever bought. So going on his word, I bought one used. Less than a month, it started to have problems. Went to the dealership to get it fixed, no problem. Was running great until yesterday. The car wouldn't start. It was -12 degree Celsius with a wind chill of up to -21 degree Celsius of where I live. I thought it was the battery, it took about 10 tries before the car started. I called the mechanic and he said to use fuel line anti freeze. I bought it, poured in the gas tank and waited to till morning. Car wouldn't start. So now reading this thread, it could either be the battery, the ignition switch or both. Damn it, why did I listen to my friend.
#381 of 1223 Re: Problem Starting Saturn Ion? COMPLAIN! [exia1]
Dec 30, 2009 (5:45 am)
In your friends defense: my Ion is my second Saturn. My first one was fantastic. I abused it and drove it into the ground and it never failed me. I loved it. The second one has been a disaster in my book. Unreliable, inflexible and sensitive. Total pain in the neck. I reccomended Saturns to other too. Very enthusiastically. If you read about the fall of Saturn you find out that Saturn of 10 years ago is not the saturn of the last several years. It's a shame as it was a great car company. In any case, sorry you got stuck like us but don't go too hard on your friend.
#382 of 1223 Re: Problem Starting Saturn Ion? COMPLAIN! [exia1]
Dec 30, 2009 (9:11 am)
Many of us, I'm afraid, fell for the same trap. As I confessed 'way back in http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1137a7/292#MSG292 , my Sister-in-law purchased her troubled ION upon my advice. But I had previously owned two Saturns and she had owned one herself! All performed flawlessly for years -- but all were SL2's -- not the IONs we are all struggling with now.
So, please don't beat up your friend; he's a victim, too!
The good news today: Since she replaced the ignition switch eight months ago, the car has started every time. Of course, she lives in sunny southern California . . .">link title
#383 of 1223 Re: Contemplating Cutting the White Wire [npbrandt5920]
Dec 30, 2009 (11:19 am)
My wife got Saturn Ion 2 model 2005. It is also having the same problem not starting after 10 minutes most often on cold weather. We are always left behind when everyone goes home from a party. Do not cut the wire yet. Try this method first and it has been working for me for 2 weeks now. TURN ON THE PARK LIGHT BEFORE STARTING THE CAR. When your car starts you will notice that your right day time running light will work likewise your front right turn signal too. If you thought it was effective and helped you, kindly go to my ebay and search for "Saturn ION 2 will not start - $1 remedy " by GREATBUY4SURE. thanks
#384 of 1223 The Red lemon - a 2004 Saturn Ion 3
Dec 30, 2009 (11:16 pm)
Just want add my frustrating experience with a Saturn Ion 3 sedan and the no start issue. A week ago when the temperature dropped here in Winnipeg to -15 degree C, the Saturn or what I call the red lemon, decided to take another winter holiday again for the 5th straight winter. There it sat in the driveway looking like a giant red poinsetta while we drove around it in 3 dependable, high quality Chrysler products.
I finally had CAA tow it to my Saturn turned Chevy dealer for service. They claimed after 5 years and 120,000 kms that it needed a battery and this was why it wouldn't start. At this point I should point out that the red lemon has had 4 ignition switches and 1 body computer since we bought it new 5 years ago if my memory serves me correctly. Not to mention some of the other issues this car has had not related to starting.
So they put in a new battery and now sitting in a warm service shop of course it starts. I am out about $230 with their diagnostic time added to the battery and the installation costs.
I drove to the dealer from work (50 kms round trip) pay the bill, get the keys and I verified that yes it actually did start. It is parked right in front of the dealership - must have wanted to advertise the high quality cars GM makes. I went back to work.
After work I picked my wife up and we drove from home (60 km round trip) to pick up the red lemon and bring it home. I wasn't surprised when it failed to start. Lots of juice in the brand new battery of course but the Passlock system would not recognize the key because the car had now cooled off completely. So nearly 2 hours wasted and we head home leaving the red lemon for another trip into the service bays AGAIN. It has now been sitting for 2 weeks. I tried all of the usual tricks GM recommends to get this piece of junk to start
So in the meantime we continue driving our 94 JEEP with 450,000 kms, the 94 Dodge Spirit sedan with 419,000 kms and the 99 Dodge Dakota with 380,000 kms all on original drivetrains. They all start at any temperature and all love to drive around our red lemon poinsetta. The 3 MOPARS combined give a fraction of the problems that the red lemon does and in the combined 39 years of service and 1,250,000 kms I can guarantee you these 3 vehicles have spent a fraction of the time at the dealership for repairs. They only ever let me down three times in that time period for 2 water pumps and one fuel pump.
It is no wonder that GM hit the ropes this last year and is destined to take up last place in market share within a few years, if they manage to survive at all. I have well over $5,000 credit on my GM Visa card towards buying a new GM vehicle but it will go waste. I can not see myself ever buying another smelly GM cowpie.
Now if some car thief would just steal it .... Ooops I forgot, that can't happen unless the thief has a Dodge tow truck.
#385 of 1223 Thanks to all!
Jan 05, 2010 (1:54 pm)
Thanks to all who helped with the "White Wire / Cold Start" problems and, inparticular, these folks:
meron, oblio9, bertbaggins, agawamguy, rockfish1 and amber13
#386 of 1223 2003 ION 2 - OUR SOLUTION
Jan 06, 2010 (5:46 am)
My wife's 2003 ION was having the same problem. I owned the car for 4 years and then gave it to her. I never had any problems with it and I parked outside through 4 grisly winters. The first winter she had it, she ran into the same starting issues everyone else is having. A guy at work told her to mess around with the fuses and that they sometimes fail to make a proper connection. After doing that (probably for 10 minutes or so) the car started. It happened a few more times before we replaced the fuses and everything seemed kosher. Spring had sprung after all.
The next year the car went dead and we were told it was the starter. It may well have been, because the car never started after that, but I now suspect it was a "series" of 10 minute freeze ups and bad timing on our part. We never made the connection to what had happened the previous year.
This year, it started happening again. Same symptoms as everyone else. After a few instances of being stranded in the cold, she took the car to NAPA and got a new battery installed. But then it happened again...and again...and again.
After doing a search and finding this thread, we came to the conclusion that we probably needed to cut the wire. But before doing so, I wanted to try one last ditch effort suggested by a poster a while back.
My wife started turning the key until all of the dashboard lights came on, then waiting to start the engine until the lights turned off. It has been almost 3 weeks and (knock on plastic) she has not had a single issue. And we have reached temperatures as low as 10 degrees since.
So my advice would be to try this method before taking the drastic step of cutting the white wire or investing any money in a new ignition switch, battery, BCM or starter. If it doesn't work for you, then pull out the scissors. I'll be sure to re-post if we run into any more starting issues.
Now my question is: How do we tell if the replacement battery she bought is "vented"? And if not, what are the consequences? Do we need to re-replace the battery? FYI: She bought it at NAPA for about $85.
Thanks and good luck to everyone.
#387 of 1223 No more starting problems on my 03 Ion
Jan 09, 2010 (6:40 am)
Look at message 376 and 378.
It has been 0 degs. F for a couple of days lately and I have had no problem starting my Ion. I am starting to get my confidence back that the car will start in the morrning. I think the reason the starting problem is showing up later in the cars life is the greese is drying up and getting thicker in the Ignition switch. Someone used the wrong greese.
One of these You tube videos shows how to get the switch off and the other shows the switch out of the car and on a table. note the greese on the curcuit board. Good Luck
Jan 12, 2010 (10:34 am)
i live in san francisco and have the same problem
so i dont think its necessarily a cold weather issue
Jan 12, 2010 (10:48 am)
if the issue is with the security system, wouldnt getting a new key work just as well?
that way the car wont think you are using the wrong key
my key is all scraped up.. so maybe thats why it thinks i am using the wrong key?