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Saturn Ion Starting Problems



  • THIS WORKS GREAT BY THE WAY!!!!! NOT ONE PROBLEM AFTER IT WAS CUT!! :) I can't thank you enough!!!
  • My 04 Ion won't turn off. The key is stuck in the "on" position. I have to pull the fuse and disconnect the battery to turn it off. I tried getting the key out by pressing the button on the steering colomn that's supposed to pop the key out but the key won't budge. I called my mechanic to get a "ball park" on what it's going to cost to fix it but he can't because he doesn't know what's causing the problem so he doesn't know what will be involved in fixing it.
    Does anyone know what else it could be and if I can fix it myself? I am desperate since this is our only car. Thanks!
  • I just bought a 2005 Ion. Has any one had trouble passing emission test after cutting the white wire? I live in Ontario Canada and need an E test every 2 years. This car is replacing a 1995 SL1 which has been a tough little beast. thanks Jim
  • i just had an emissions test and the guy didnt even ask why the check engine light was on
  • cath5cath5 Posts: 3
    I have a 2004 ion, which has had the no start problem since about 2006, only in cold weather. Every winter its been getting worse, happening more frequently and taking longer to finally get started. I am going to cut the white wire... but first I just want to check out one thing...

    I seem to have the same symptoms as everyone else, except I don't have to wait 10 minutes for passlock reset. I used to be able to try again 30-60 seconds after the failure, and get another failure, and repeat several times until it eventually it starts... that "repeat several times" took me 45 minutes yesterday (it was -20 celsius). If I were to try again without waiting at all after the failure, then I just get the hum/click noise, but no real attempt to start.

    So will the white wire fix work for me even though I don't need the 10 minute wait for reset?
    Otherwise I'm pretty sure the problem is the passlock based on what everybody has said thanks to everyone for helping people like me figure out what's going on and prove I'm not crazy!!
  • The reason it took you 45 mins to get the car started IS the same problem we are all having. It took 45mins because you didn't give the car enough time to complete the "reset". I was doing the same thing w/my car and every time it took longer to start. My mechanic told me that when the car doesn't start to leave key in the "on" position and wait for the security light to stop blinking, at this point it has been reset. Next, turn car off, wait about 30 seconds and start the car. You should be good to go.
    I have not cut the wire yet. Since I have stopped using the security all together it starts immediately. I took my remote off my keys so I do not use it @ all. I lock the car before I close the door like you had to back in the day and unlock the car w/my key. You may want to see if this works for you if you're unsure about cutting the white wire.
  • justjessica is absolutely correct. However, cutting the white wire eliminates the need to wait at all. I got tired of waiting even 30-60 seconds to try again, so I followed the procedure. No more problems or waiting.
  • cath5cath5 Posts: 3
    Thanks to both of you for the info & helping me clarify the problem. I just cut my wire... now I'm actually looking forward to another -20 day so I can laugh with glee when I just jump in my car and get to work on time!!:)
  • I have a Saturn Ion 2004 2.2 L. will NOT start in cold (below 20 degrees F) and default to SERVICE on the panel. I have been told by a local auto electric shop that the contacts in the harness need to "see" a closed loop mode to start. In very cold weather, the alignment in the harness (Not the key ignition cylinder) is not making contact and prevents the car from starting. First year of winter (2005), I purchased a new battery and still no solution. Still can not find a correction for this problem EXCEPT I place a electric heater on the drivers side floor and after 10 mins or so, the vehicle starts. Any ideas?
  • esprixesprix Posts: 11
    tryco3, cut the white wire - it's worked for everyone else. :)
  • Still can not find a correction for this problem EXCEPT I place a electric heater on the drivers side floor and after 10 mins or so, the vehicle starts. Any ideas?

    It's not the heater that helps, it's the waiting ten minutes. Someone posted a guide on the previous page which explains the problem, yes it even covers the "white wire fix".
  • kl777kl777 Posts: 2
    We are having the same problem....where is this white wire that we need to cut?
  • brava58brava58 Posts: 27
    edited December 2010
    I've used the turn key on, not start, turn off and wait 30 sec. and this seems to be working.
  • The problem with that is the grease clumps at the start position and will still be a problem eventually. You've just been lucky in my opinion. The only fixes are to cut the wire, replace the switch, replace the grease or bypass passlock with an add on.
  • I read about also having to reset the key module after doing this?
    Or is this all that has to be done, just cut the wire, tape it up and be done with it?
  • Just start the car, cut the wire, tape it up and be done with it. Remove the airbag fuse first and then replace it once you're completed the procedure and turned the vehicle off.
  • kl777kl777 Posts: 2
    We opted to change the ignition swith rather than cutting the wire. We followed the instructions (both online and in the "service" manual). Now the car is bucking and the airbag light and oil light come on when it is bucking. Once it is run in high gear a a steading speed the bucking stops. Any ideas?
  • If you only touched the steering column and steering wheel I can't think of any reason or way "bucking" could be caused. Could just be coincidental. Did you touch anything under the hood? Leave a tool on the floor board? Accidentally leave a fuse out? Anything out of the ordinary?
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