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
#73 of 1223 Re: 2003 Ion won't start under 10 degrees [jstm1960]
Jan 24, 2008 (5:08 pm)
It sounds like you received a good price for Saturn to replace the ignition switch. The switch itself costs about $30 from Saturn when I purchased one about a year ago.You are also fortunate you did not get pressured into buying a new battery and replacing BCM and the other parts of the system otherwise your repair bill total may have had a comma in it.
As for the BCM perhaps this will help:
Vehicle Theft Deterrent (VTD) Description and Operation Passlock™ System
The theft deterrent system has been incorporated into the body control module (BCM). The theft deterrent is provided in order to prevent the vehicle operation if the correct key is not used in order to start the vehicle. The ignition key turns the lock cylinder. The cylinder rotation produces an analog voltage code in the Passlock™ sensor. This voltage code is received by the BCM. The BCM compares the voltage code to the previously learned voltage code. If the codes match, a class 2 message is sent from the BCM to the powertrain control module (PCM)/vehicle control module (VCM). The message enables the fuel injectors.The design of the Passlock™ system is to prevent vehicle theft by disabling the engine unless the ignition lock cylinder rotates properly by engaging the correct ignition key. The system is similar in concept to the PASS-Key® system. However, the Passlock™ system eliminates the need for a key mounted resistor pellet. The components of the Passlock™ system are as follows:
The ignition lock cylinder
The ignition switch
The Passlock™ sensor
The security telltale
Ignition Lock Cylinder and Housing
#74 of 1223 Re: Ion won't start under -15 C. [willbren]
Jan 24, 2008 (5:27 pm)
A BIG thank you is due here. My )4 Ion had this problem the first year we bought the car. We had our ignition module replaced in 2005 because of the starting problems. Well i just took it in again today because we where having really bad starting problems lately. Well I drew the line lastnight. My car is currently down until i can get the time to fix i. So my wife works evenings so we don;t have to pay for daycare. Well when she called me at midnight to tell me the car wont start i wasn't happy seeing i get up at 4:30 for work. Well i managed to get it in right away this mornin & told them the what was happening and what was originally replaced. Well on my ride home in the rental car i got a callfrom the service department. He said we we pulled some codes and found that your computer is hosed and didn't say anything about the ignition switch. Well when they called for me to pick it up at days end they went over everything with me. He said that they replaced the computer but also went ahead and replaced the ignition switch because "Saturn" has figured out that when the computer goes bad it is also making the ignition switch go bad somehow. So int the end i ended up havin to pay the $100 deductable and the Rental car because the service didn't exceed 3hrs. Glad i got the extended warranty which expires in Nov.
Well thanks i got some useful info from all of you. Hopefully i don;t have to come back for anything else seein i won't buy another Saturn now that there are GM. Saturn has lost there individualism it's not "Saturn" anymore is "G-saturn-M" all the cars look the same. sorry for the rant.
#75 of 1223 Re: 04 ION will not start [saturn_newbie]
Jan 24, 2008 (11:25 pm)
I'm having the exact same problem with my 03 ION. The weather had gotten below zero here and the battery went dead. I charged it back up in the house. I then installed it and ended up with the same symptoms. The car won't start, the radio doesn't work, and I get the "POWER STR" message on the console. Did you find the root of the problem?
#76 of 1223 Re: 2003 Ion won't start under 10 degrees [rockfish1]
Jan 25, 2008 (4:30 pm)
I already replaced the battery, did not purchase it through Saturn cause I figured I would be at least double. Someone in these posts mentioned that the battery that is in the trunk was vented? Mine is in the trunk but didn't notice "venting"?
#77 of 1223 Re: 2003 Ion won't start under 10 degrees [jstm1960]
Jan 26, 2008 (7:39 am)
The venting is thru two "ears" on the top of the battery which connect to the tubes that vent battery gases to the exterior of the car. Check your battery to see if you have the tube connected.
Not all battery shops carry vented batteries. I was surprised Sears does not carry them.
#78 of 1223 Re: 04 ION will not start [lola03]
Jan 26, 2008 (9:00 am)
My problem is fixed.
It turned out to be the ignition switch. I also needed a battery.
The battery was cheaper at the dealer. I called several auto parts stores and was getting prices like $120, $145 for this vented battery. AutoZone doesn't even carry this type of vented battery and Napa wanted me to bring it in to match it up. Even the Saturn dealer I called to in the next city wanted $120. My dealer did it for $99 for the battery and $15 for the installation. Cheaper then I could do it.
Another good thing was the tow. We have Saturn tow coverage on the car with the extended warranty and they paid for a tow to the nearest Saturn dealership. That is great when you live in a rural area like we do. I called a tow service directly and they wanted $130 cash and my insurance only will reimburse me up to $100. My car was towed at no change to me. They were even there in under 3 hours. That's not bad for a day when it's been below zero for a couple of days here and all the towing services have been busy. Plus my dealer fixed the car the same day.
I was only charged for the battery work since the car has an extended warranty til 100k and I'm at 98k. Just in time!
#79 of 1223 Re: 04 ION will not start [lola03]
Jan 26, 2008 (9:29 am)
we went thru the whole battery and ignition switch thing since day 1....finally after winter #4 and throwing a head gasket myself they found the connection to the battery was bad. We replaced the battery already per their recommadation but it still didnt fix it. Which i dont understand why there is a special vented battery that cost more. A regular one works just fine. And also if the car doesnt start right away...it will jump start or if that doesnt....give it a few hrs of the temp rising and it started. We never had a tow. So after all the ignition switches, batteries, they also replaced the main computer it ended up being a problem in the connections going to the trunk to the battery. So far this winter. It starts everytime. First time since we have owned it that it hasnt had this problem. I really hate to say it to everyone who had the ignition switch and new batteries put in.....next year it will happen again. It always did. BUT HEY...good news....3 more payments and its mine!
#80 of 1223 Saturn Ion Level 3
Jan 27, 2008 (4:22 am)
Am experiencing the same ignition switch problems as alot of others here and will have to take it in to a dealership soon . Car flashes service engine light , won't start , all lights on dashboard light up , horn sounds after locking the doors , wait a while longer and it starts like nothing was ever wrong ..soooo frustrated !! I live in Jamestown NY , bought the vehicle 3 years ago from Orchard Park NY which is 65 miles away ( no Saturn dealers here in Jamestown ) , hopefully when I take it in to a nearby Chevy dealer they can correct this problem ( they service Saturns supposedly ) and it will be a recall issue that is relatively inexpensive for me . Any advice would be greatly appreciated ! Tim
#81 of 1223 Re: 2003 Ion won't start under 10 degrees [junkionowner]
Jan 31, 2008 (8:30 am)
Ditto to everyones symptoms. In late 2005, when I had my ignition switch replaced, the dealer told me something along these lines: the ignition switch was developed, made, and tested in a state where the temperature doesn't dip below 20 degrees (ie, Kentucky). The "lube" inside the ignition switch wasn't quality-checked for freezing at "teen and below" temperatures. (This could be a posible explaination as to why the theft-deterrent system is triggered and the no-start occurs). So, the dealer replaced my ignition switch with the "northern climate" lube and has worked fine for over 2 years. But....
Last week the temperature happened to be 10-15 degrees. Guess what? My car wouldn't start. Exact same symptoms as before. Luckily after trying to start it for a bit, and then going in the house and waiting 10 minutes before trying again, the car started and I was able to get to my job interview on time. (Thank God.) The weather warmed up immediately and for a week no problems, but yesterday, again, it's in the teens...
So I just called my service dept, and the warranty work warranty has expired (they allow 1 year for malfunctioning warranty work to be repaired). So my warranty issue isn't retroactive--I'll have to pay for any repairs done. (This doesn't seem fair...). Anyway, I called customer service (800-553-6000) and they said that some repair "bulletins" have just been released "for 03-05 Ions with the no-start condition." Service is supposed to follow 2 possible recommended fixes Document ID#: 1959536 and Doc ID# 1871764. The customer service rep said that you should be able to obtain copies of these documents at the dealership. I don't have them yet myself, but the rep explained:
One of the documents says that deposits left by "cheap" gas could be clogging the fuel system--use GM System Treatment Plus to clean the gas tank/lines, and use high-quality, detergent gasoline from places like Shell (not the cheap stuff from BP or Citgo). Since I have to buy the cheap stuff ($3.10/gal is cheap?), it is a strong possiblity that my current issues are related to having crusties in my fuel system. So I'm going to try a little clean-up before I invest in replacing the fuel pump, fuel line, or whatever. (I might just invest in a microwaveable hot pad and hold it on the ignition switch on those cold, cold days. LOL.)
I do believe that replacing your non-starting ignition switch with one that has the "northern climate" lube is the cheapest, quickest solution. Don't spend a fortune replacing the battery, BCM, etc. The service department should not con you into that--by now, they KNOW how what the issue is.
I'll update y'all about how effective using better gas and the cleaner is.
#82 of 1223 Re: 2003 Ion won't start under 10 degrees [4r33l]
Feb 07, 2008 (7:45 am)
To all those who have had similar starting problems related to the anti-theft circuitry on the start switch I can offer a cost free solution that has worked for my daughter's Ion. After searching all over the net and talking to service departments at Saturn, I discovered a remote start website as well as service bulletins from GM. As a result, once I got the car started, using the wait ten minutes routine, I found the harness plug at the rear of the starter switch, unravelled the electrical tape, and cut the white wire while the car was running. The car has started every time since then, with the only draw-back the yellow "lock" on the dash stays on. You can check this link for wiring diagrams for the Saturn remote start, 2003-4.
The GM bulletin basically describes putting a switch inline in the severed white wire; I just put wire nuts on them.
The wiring diagram shows three wires; I found five. I only cut the white wire and only when the car was RUNNING. The BCM module thinks that the voltage has been interrupted while being driven and goes into a "failsafe" mode, to allow the car to continue to run, as no one would attempt to steal a car thru this circuit, if it were already running.
Hope this is of some help.
By the way this is from KY.