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Saturn Ion Starting Problems



  • What ended up being the problem? I think my car is having a similar problem
  • blucatblucat Posts: 7
    It appears to be the PC board and contacts at the end of the ignition switch. It appears that the lubricant becomes gummy and prevents good contact and affects the security system. Later in the day, of after delay(s) before attempting to restart, it will make contact and start as if normally.

    Cutting the white wire (while it is running!!) prevents the system from looking at this device so as not to interrupt the starting/running of the engine.

    That may not be completely accurate but it is my understanding of the problem.

    When warm weather comes, I'm going to dig into it further on my own . Good luck to you!
  • I cut the white wire about 1 year ago.
    Never had another trouble since, just reporting back from cold Montreal Canada.
    My 2003 ion now has 250,000 Km on it and it is still running like new.
    I drive to work and back every day.
  • kat_gkat_g Posts: 1
    Wow...sounds like all of you have had headaches with these vehicles, and I have been looking to buy one.....a big 'hummmm'
  • If any of you are low on cash and can't afford the dealer and do not want to cut wires. You can go to Harbor Freight tools and for about $9 you can get a small heater that plugs into your cigarette lighter socket. You can hold this heater on the bottom of the steering column and in a couple minutes your vehicle should start.
  • yes..besides start issues they have front end problems and now they are going out of business!!
  • I have traded a 98 camaro for an 03 ion quad coupe. When i first got this car(i live in michigan) I have been having the no start problem in the cold. I have always activated the factory alarm before i knew about this. After a few weeks of locking the doors manually not using the alarm I was able to start the car in 20 degree weather with no problem what so ever. Ive been doing this for 2 weeks now Im not worried about not having an alarm on my car oh well beats the having to wait more then 10 minutes to have the car start up. Ive had the ignition locking up on me and not being able to start The ignition turning but got a no start all with in one week due to that damn factory alarm
    Try not putting your alarm on for a few weeks and tell me what you guys have experienced
  • Seems that you're on to the source of the problem. Thanks for sharing. I'm sure this will help those of us who are uneasy about "cutting the white wire"!
  • 2004 Ion, exactly as everyone else, 6 times now....always starts 10 mins later. Thanks for the videos and pictures, I will do the same procedure. I'll report back and let you know if it works
  • larry146larry146 Posts: 1
  • When driving my 2004 Saturn Ion 1, if my knee or hand bumps into the key chain with the key in the ignition while running, the car will completely shut off. Not just a graze, but bumping into it.

    Is this related to the ignition switch pass lock problem? I have that random problem, too.

    For the pass lock ignition starting problem, I had an acuaintace with the same problem and model just get a loose screw and starter tightened and it solved the passlock starting problem--for free!!!


    I was wondering if this is related?
  • I've had my ION for about 5-6 years and never had this problem with it starting until about 3 months ago. I was unaware that it was a problem for so many others. I had a new battery and starter installed so needless to say I'm quite agitated. I just spent 15 minutes in the parking lot because it wouldn't start. I went in to get a crossword book to bide my time until it decided to start. I can't believe GM will not acknowledge this.
  • My name is Teresa from Tx, and I also have 2005 saturn that won't start in cold weather and won't release the key from the ignition when it fails to start. I have read in the threads that this happens in 2003 - 2008 Saturns. I had complained about it and they said they couldn't find any showing of a problem on their comptuer. I did this a couple of time but I keep hearing the same oh same oh you know how that goes. Well I am done tried with having to wake up not knowing if the car is going to start. The car belongs to my husband and he has been to late work many times because of it. I don't know what else to do. I think it time to start something big so that Saturn can start to own up to this defeat. I dont think its fair that as still paying customers have to deal with something so serious and like it not wanting to start and locked key thats crazy. We Saturn onwers need to take a stand for what is ours. I believe as they like their car payment to be done every month and in an order time, I believe that we as customers should be heard as well. I called today 3/10/2010 to report it again and we will see what happens. If i don't get a respondes I am going to find a laywer. Carrie how is law action suit work email me back, I would like to know more about it. Thanks again Teri.
  • Complain to the NTSB, GM, BBB and any public forum you can. I did. I still get responses, but no action.

    The good news is, the starting problem fix is easy. For instructions, please refer to

    This fix works on starting problem, but you will get a dash light on constantly.

    As far as any locking key issue, good luck. Hope it doesn't get stuck while the engine is running. You may be forced to disconnect the battery to shut off engine.
  • Hay I have the same problem for two years alreadyonly now the car starts and will get you where you need to go then no start cranks one then nothing wait 10-15 min and starts right up. I thought Ignition switch problem like everyone else is saying? Took it to the dealership today/ or what they call a authorized saturn service provider dropped it of at 7:00 am for the 145$ diagnostic didn't get a call back until 2:00 pm. 7 hours later they tell me that it is not the ignition switch but the (BCM) needs replacing $700.00 can get it replaced elsewhere but needs reprogramming from the authorized saturn service provider??? go figure! He also told me that they just recieved a bulletin that that is the fix for this problem not the ignition switch???So I oked the work it will be ready tommorow let us see if this was the problem
  • shouldve just cut the white wire
    youre wasting your time and money
  • joetreejoetree Posts: 5
    edited March 2010
    Cut the white wire and be done with it. It has been six months since I cut the wire and there has not been one single problem with starting. Make sure you watch the video prior to cutting, because there are some procedures you have to follow. Good Luck!Site is
  • blucatblucat Posts: 7
    See #423 and #424 - good advice. I hate to see you waste / lose your money but I'm afraid that's what you did. Good Luck!
  • $700 !?!?! Thats crazy! You can fix the problem for about $10 (for a Torx wrench) and it takes 5-15 minutes.
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