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Saturn Ion Starting Problems

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  • I've been having this exact same issue with my 06 quad coupe, I took to the saturn dealership..and they told me it's my ignition switch.. so they are currently replacing it for $230.. and I just filed a complaint with the NHTSA. My Ion has been a great little car..but after this crap I'm ready to get rid of it. to bad I still owe more than it's worth.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,154
    tony165,
    Can you please email me your complete contact information, VIN, current mileage, and involved dealer? I would like to look into this further.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • johnaneyjohnaney Posts: 3
    So, I understood that there is a problem (recognized by GM) with the Passlock system failing in cold weather. I decided I would wait it out, since "cold weather" doesn't last that long here in Northern California. But my 06 Ion is STILL not starting reliably, even though we are well into spring. This is extremely frustrating, as it usually happens when we are late running out the door to get our kids to school on time. This morning I went out 10 minutes early to try to start it - no luck. Ten minutes later, with one kid loaded in the car, again, NO START!

    This is my 3rd Saturn, and sadly it will probably be my last. It's really frustrating that this is happening to so many people and GM refuses to fix it.

    GM - can you hear me? The Ford Focus is looking AWFULLY good right now!

    jta
  • "Dream On" .... This problem is NOT recognized by GM ... This is NOT a cold problem ... It is a Year- Around problem ... Nothing to do with temperature!
    We are in South Florida and at no time is it 'cold', this happens when it is 80 degrees in the morning! And warmer as the day goes on.
    After nine (9) ION's which we have repaired for the very same problem - plus of course the key stuck etc. we are leaving GM ... The Saturn dealer was NO help at all, nor was the Spring Hill TN headquarter. Those 'servicing' Saturn vehicles today are of course equally 'No help', 'We were not around, etc.'.
    So after 9 ION's and 8 other Saturns, yes we too go elsewhere (and have already done so) with a target to be totally "GM-free" in the not so distant future. Have to say though, when the ION's start - it is a rather economic car to drive as we get 25 mpg mixed driving on our fleet.

    Good luck to you all with this problem.
  • johnaneyjohnaney Posts: 3
    I say it's recognized by GM because there is a TSB out on the problem - #04-08-45-005D: No Crank or No Start.

    Problem with getting it fixed is that all the Saturn repair facilities are shut down, and repairs are being handled by, of all things, a Cadillac dealership. At least if I do bring the car in, I won't be tempted by a Caddy!

    jta
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,154
    johnaney,

    I would encourage you to take your vehicle to a GM dealership. In order for these things to be documented, the vehicle must first be diagnosed by GM dealership.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • bangelbangel Posts: 8
    Give me a break Caron...You know as well as I do, that this will be an expensive fix eg; New battery, new starter, or a new brain box. It's a passlock failure and all the dealerships know about it. At 95 bucks an hour plus parts. Their raking their customers over the coals. and as long as GM customers pay out the 300.00 or more and still not have it fixed properly what good is it to be documented. Who cares at GM, about a defunct entity. Nobody trusts GM anymore. I'll try my luck with a real American car manufacturer.....FORD...
  • lolo555lolo555 Posts: 5
    I have been dealing with this issue also for a few years. GM is also saying ignition switch, but Saturn said the computer needs re-programming. DOnt know what to do as allready spent $500 + "fixing" this. Did the ignition switch replacment work for you?
  • dozensaturndozensaturn Posts: 41
    The answer is, yes and no .... Out of nearly a dozen ION's, yes I have several where the switch change worked, but at the same time I have two that it did not. I work with an independat shop - lost 100% confidence at the Saturn dealer and the GM dealers that handle the brand now is no better but sure know how to charge for someting they have no clue about. This part is just under $50 at the dealer but can be sourced on the internet for less than $20 (same identical part) ... independant labor is a token of what the gm dealer is asking for. I have one switch 'on the shelf' just in case, but are also moving away from this GM fiasco ... Starting problem, too soft key making it release 'metal shavings' in the lock cylinder and getting the key stuck in the ignition etc. Feel soory for all those that have or are spending hundreds of dollars, starting with a new battery etc. when the gm mechanics do not know how to fix it! When did saturn say re-programming?
  • I brought my 2004 Saturn Ion Quad Coupe into a GM dealer last week and was told that I not only need my ignition switch replaced, but that I need a new BCM. My car is paid off and only has 35k miles on it, so I was hoping to repair the problem - not have to buy a new car. The fix is going to cost a little under $900...but the real kicker is that the BCM is on national back order and the dealership cannot give me an ETA on my car - could be weeks - could be months! Anyone have their BCM replaced recently - if so, can you give me a realistic time frame in regards to when I should expect to get my car back...
  • bangelbangel Posts: 8
    bostongirl80....Did you notice my last post? Where is this Caron from GM. She hasn't replied to my last post, because she knows I'm right. Cut the WHITE wire...Easy fix and never a problem starting my car...You can find the post and video link on how to do it within this forum. It's so easy a spider monkey could do it....Find the post and video and you're on your way to never having to worry about starting issues..I cut the wire a yr ago and she fires up every time....
  • lolo555lolo555 Posts: 5
    I called Saturn last week (there isnt one near my town) and he said re-programming, as well a local independant shop said reprogramming, but I have to take it to GM to get reprogrammed and they are saying ignition switch, but I'm not too confident with them. I allready took it there once got a $500 bill and nothing was fixed. They never mentioned ignition switch then, so I dont know what to do? Been dealing with this for 3+ years. I just want to fix it and SELL it! Im scared to turn off my car to get gas....
  • rb52rb52 Posts: 3
    My 2004 Saturn has finally made it through a winter without putting me in a no start situation - by having the ignition switch replaced. I have discussed this issue with an Ex-Saturn mechanic and he highly recommended to have only the ignition switch replaced on 2004's and on 2005 and 2006 Saturns the ignition switch and the module need to be replaced. I also did my own research and found that GM did send out a bulletin to all GM facilities regarding this issue. When I took my car in I "told" the service person to check for the bulletin before working on the car. He checked and found it. Yes, I spent a lot ~ $350.

    Rick
  • cath5cath5 Posts: 3
    I can say that both cutting the white wire and replacing the ignition switch will work. I've done both. Problem solved, and all was good, even in -40 celsius. (Before, no start at -10 celsius). Check engine light remained on.

    A couple of months later, my car was in the shop (GM) and they discovered the error code and decided to "fix" my broken wire... without asking me.

    Next day, no start.

    Complain to service dept, yada yada yada, and...

    They convinced me to replace the ignition switch. (The mechanic showed me the GM service bulletin.) White wire remains connected. That's been since early January this year, we've had lots of minus 30 and lower days... and no problems.

    Hopefully next fall it still works...it was worth the $300 if it does.
  • justjessicajustjessica Posts: 18
    Saturn replaced my ignition switch when my car was only 6 mos old. Car started acting up the following winter, and every winter since. So, replacing the ignition switch isn't always the answer.
  • bangelbangel Posts: 8
    Shoot I saved that $300.00 by cutting it myself. I won't give GM the satisfaction of getting another dime of my money..They knew this problem existed for a long time and still they won't acknowledge it. This should be a free fix. It's so simple even a GM tech could do it...HAH
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,154
    justjessica,

    Are you still experiencing problems with your vehicle?

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • justjessicajustjessica Posts: 18
    Caron,

    Yes, I am. I have been having problems since the 1st winter I've had it. I refuse to continue to pay for services that do not fix the problem. I would love to pass the car on to my son but it's not worth the aggravation.

    Jessica
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,154
    Jessica,

    Has the dealership involved technical assistance?

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • justjessicajustjessica Posts: 18
    They were the one's who initially changed the ignition switch. When I called them to schedule an appointment when it started again they said there were no recalls on anything and replacing the ignition switch was the "correct" fix. They said I could bring it in for a diagnostics that would cost me $150 to figure out the problem and it wouldn't be covered so I took it to an independant mechanic since he was much more affordable. Both my mechanic and I have done much research as to the problem. Everything we've done short of cutting the white wire has been a temporary fix. I have had a new battery, new ignition switch, new passcode, new keys, new tumblers and nothing has worked. The one thing that I have done that lasted the longest was not using the remote security/locks at all. Took the keypad right off my key ring and manuall lock and unlock the doors. That worked for 3 mos or so then the "no start" problem started again.
  • rvsamrvsam Posts: 4
    edited May 2011
    I had the passlock problem and replaced the ignition switch my self 2 years ago. Then had the key stuck in the ignition problem. I removed the small access clip under the ignition key and found the release button. I just push the button each time I want my key back. My problem now is that the car will not try to start in either park or neutral at all with the brake peddle depressed. It does not click or try. All looks normal as the key is turned just before the final start position. Passlock light goes out after a few seconds after key is turned. On final turn the dash lights go out - but nothing. I thought the car did not know it was in Park but after much trouble found that I could release from park and put it in neutral by using the emergency park release. Battery is strong, clean contacts. Still no start. Any ideas?
    PS: I cannot try the white wire cut since I cannot make it run yet.
  • bangelbangel Posts: 8
    RVSam: you may just need to put a new fuse in. I think there is an electronic switch which controls how the brake and the shifter interact.It may need a new switch or a fuse..Not sure.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,154
    Jessica,

    I am sure that your independent does a really good job and I don't want to discredit him but, in order for me to be able to set up a case with GM they require you to get a diagnosis from a GM dealership. So if you would like to precede with this please let me know and I will get the necessary information from you.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • rvsamrvsam Posts: 4
    edited May 2011
    Thank you for trying to help. I have checked every fuse I know of, under hood and the ones in the fuse panal to the right of the gas pedal. I do not know what switch it could be. I do know there is the transmission shift interlock (ITSI) and the brake transmission shift interlock (BTSI). Do you know how to test these or where I could find more info on them? I also visually checked the operation of the brake pedal switch and it appears to work fine. It looks new and the plunger has good travel. I did not do an electrical test. I have a manual from Auto Zone (not Chilton's) but it is of almost no help except for wiring diagrams and does not show a BTSI OR A ITSI or they are labeled differently. Thanks again for helping.
  • justjessicajustjessica Posts: 18
    Caron,

    I have no problem taking it to a GM dealership @ no charge. I refuse to put any more money into this particular problem. So, yes let's proceed as long as there is no charge for them to do what they need to do.

    Thanks, Jessica
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,154
    Jessica,

    Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee there will not be a charge for the diagnostic test. In order to get the case set up I will need your complete contact information (including full name, mailing address and telephone number), VIN, current mileage and involved dealership sent to me in an email. Also, could you please provide a brief description of the problems you are experiencing?

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • This must be a joke ...
    Also, could you please provide a brief description of the problems you are experiencing?

    This problem has been around for years, including when Saturn was 'alive' --Only problem of course was that the management at Saturn in TN never took action! This happend during warranty period of most our vehicles, and due to frustrations with the sloppy handling at the dealership, we stopped using them for anything including repairing at our expense, lock cylinders, re-key and switches .... Now GM do not know what is going on!!!!!!!!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,154
    dozensaturns,

    I understand your frustrations with your situations. As all major companies or corporations, we have standard operating procedures. GM does handle their customers individually, not all situations are the same, so they must be handled on a case by case basis. I am here to help make GM aware of your situations. The only way I can do this is with your assistance. First, I need your contact information (including a good number to reach you), VIN, current mileage, involved dealer, and a brief description of the problems you are experiencing. The best way to get me this information is a direct email. If you are unsure or uncomfortable please feel free to inquire with the host, or send me an email with your telephone number and I can give you a call. Second, the vehicle must be taken to a GM Dealer. They have a contract with GM and must look at the vehicle. For GM to know you are experiencing issues, you must contact GM; whether it is me via email or Customer Assistance via the telephone. This will help identify the problem and how large it is. I understand when you are experiencing these concerns these processes can be frustrating. All concerns, whether it be with a dealer or your vehicle, are documented in the cases set up if you directly contact GM. If you would like to call Customer Assistance and speak with someone the number is in your owners manual, or email me and I can provide it to you. If you would like me to assist you, please feel free to email me the information requested above.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • justjessicajustjessica Posts: 18
    Caron,

    As I have stated before I refuse to put any more money into this problem. So until I have confirmation that there will be no charges, I will not be taking the car to a GM dealership. Too much money has been spent for a problem that shouldn't have been there in the 1st place and the fact that all of us have to continue spending our own hard earned money on a defective vehicle is appalling!

    I appreciate you trying to help but at this point and I think I can speak for all of us, we would all bring our vehicles in as long as there is no charge for any tests or services rendered pertaining to this particular problem. It is absolutely unethical for GM to expect and continue to charge us for work regarding what is obviously a manufacturer defect.

    So until you can guarentee me there will be no charge, I will not take my car in.

    Jessica
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,154
    Jessica,

    I understand and if you change your mind, please feel free to contact me directly and I would be more than happy to set up the case for you.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
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