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Saturn Ion Starting Problems

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  • Oh my gosh, I thought I was the only person in the world who had this problem. I got my Saturn ION 2004 in OCT 2004 with only 700 miles, the first six months where fine. Then it got cold, now I don't mean 10 degrees below zero, I mean 31 Degree cold and the car would not crank. It sit in the sun until the dealer got it picked up and course no problem was found. This has happen to me every year since 2005, no one has been able to tell me what is the problem, the dealer never could discover an issue (taken by tow truck three times to dealership). It has happenned one time in the summer after an extremly hot day and I had driven about 250 miles. I always hate to see winter appear for this issue. This past year, I actually took to timing how long it took for car to start, I noted that after about 15 to 30 minutes of sitting in the freezing cold, I finally could get the car to turn over. I am an avid listener to Click and Clack on NPR and have attempted to call them with the issue but never can get on. I have sit and listen to hear the ignition connect and the fuel pump enagage, I have family who work with cars. Still no determined outcome. What else can I do
  • Susie - I think you may be screwed as I am. If you are over warranty basically it's too bad. Although GM told me the part is defective, I guess they mean it's defective only if it's still under warranty. And I live in southern California where weather is not an issue. For me, there was no rhyme or reason to the not starting... at the beginning it would ALWAYS start 12 (strange, right?) minutes later. as time went on it went to 15, 20, 30 and 2 years later it was sometimes at 60. It got to the point where i would go outside about 30 minutes before it was time to go to work and start the car. if it started i would leave it on.... then for me one day it just did not start. the mechanic put a battery in and charged me $183 (and I did not think it was the battery) .... anyway, i feel for you... If you are not over warranty they may do something for you. Believe me, a GM representative will contact you on this site, ask for the VIN#, mileage, all kinds of questions. problem is, if you go back over these 39 pages, very few have actually been helped. I do honestly wonder if they would have come up with another excuse had i been under warranty, And mind you, I am barely over the warranty and certainly was well under when i first started to complain to Saturn. Good luck and please let us know what happens - pamela
  • pamela519pamela519 Posts: 62
    edited November 2011
    Dweezel - don't know if you've kept up, but I did have a file started and i did everything they said, including sending the VIN#, mileage, etc. they knew the mileage and said they would start a file, made an appointment at the Chevy place that took over for Saturn, he ran the diagnostic, said the same thing as the mechanic, but wanted $600 for the starter and then it's $129 for the diagnostic (mechanic wanted $300 for the starter) Raymond, a GM guy called me several times and told me he would fight for me. bottom line. bye bye raymond hello the rudest GM district manager.... told me too bad you are over warranty. I said you knew this when you started the file. she refused to take it further and all the while admitted the part was defective. GM's definition of defective should be added to the dictionary. it's only defective while under warranty. after although it is defective they don't care..... i mentioned to her that there was a new part online for $123. her extremely rude response was GM does not recognize parts that are not GM~~ all well and good, only problem is THIS PARTICULAR GM PART IS DEFECTIVE. Ms. District Manager had no response for that and basically told me to go (expletive) myself. Of course she did not say that, but her message was loud and clear, she did not give a ****. not even a little
  • Those are the exact symptoms for a bad ignition switch i would replace its a really common problem.I have replaced tons for that very problem at the saturn dealer.
  • CUT THE WHITE WIRE!!!!!!!!
    i have been problem free for over a year since i cut the white wire
    CUT THE WHITE WIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    I've been following, yes. It makes me incredibly angry on your behalf.

    I think people have found relief by using a Passlock bypass that I read about on Edmund's in the Cobalt forum.

    Really stupid system in the first place: I left my keys in the trunk over night in Los Angeles and my car was still there in the morning. Not even the car thieves will steal em. Who needs Passlock ? {Or GM for that matter???}
  • this was the very first thing we saw 2 years ago when my car first started having its issues. my daughter's boyfriend was uncomfortable doing it b/c of the check engine light. I was told about it a few weeks ago, there is a u tube video. the only problem is I have to get my car smogged, if i cut the wire it won't pass inspection b/c the check engine light will be on......I assume you don't live in a state where u must smog?
  • kikibkikib Posts: 14
    thank you for posting pamela519....even though neither of us got any satisfaction or compensation, it helps to know I'm not alone! Maybe a lawyer will read this blog.....
  • hi saturntech,

    thanks for replying.......yea they had to change out the ignition lock and switch. they both showed up on the bcm. it has 191,000 miles on it. i have owned it since i bought it new in may 2003. i have to say minus this problem it has serviced me very well over the years and havent really spent any money on it till now. so far everything seems to be working fine( for now that is). i also have another question. when i turn the blower on for air,it does not come out fast anymore but, the a/c does get cold and i had it checked for freon and was told its fully charged but its not coming out fast enough. any ideas as to what it may be?? thanks for all your help already as i read your posts quite frequently. by the way, the guy at the gm dealership is a saturn tech that worked on it and said the main cause of my problem was the ignition switch and it had an aftermarket part in it. so for once it wasnt GM's fault. let me know what you think the cause of the blower not blowing fast enough out of the vents is. my email address is adam271976hotmail.com if you want to email me. thanks so much for your help! adam
  • Pamela,

    The yellow light is above the gas gauge and it has a picture of a car with a lock in it..... that's the antitheft passlock symbol. when its solid for a couple seconds after you turn the key on then it goes off, then the car should start.
    If it blinks continously, then the passlock has enabled and it will not start. At least that was the case with my car. So, i left it sit for a half hour, then went back out and it started. Try having a garage replace the ignition switch like saturntech said. It costs about $150. It will more then likely work fine and there is NO WAY it is the starter and/or BCM. They tried to get me with that crap too. The guy at the dealership here in Harrisburg,pa where i live, was nice enough to knock some money off the price because he felt bad about the car not running the way it should. Let me know how it turns out. Adam
  • So you no longer have anymore no start no crank issues?As far as the air flow from the blower motor go do all the blower motor speeds work?So the only issue is reduce air flow?If so you most likely have a plugged up cabin air filter check that and let me know what you find.Best thing to do is remove the cabin air filter and see if that fixes the problem.If it does then replace the cabin air filter.Let me know what you find.
  • Hey saturntech9, my girlfriend has a 2006 Saturn Ion RedLine that is having a problem starting on cold mornings and also when there is moisture or dew on the car. I would like to try your ignition switch replace. Could you send me instructions on how to replace that in her car? My email address is b_bargs@hotmail.com. Thank you so much! Please let me know if you can help. Do you have any other suggestions for repair?
  • Who the hell wants to steal a car that doesnt start half the time anyway.....you got to be a complete moron to steal a saturn/gm car anyway
  • Yes.....all blower motor speeds work...i will check the cabin filter...come to think of it, that hasnt been replaced in a while....
  • Saturntech,

    I checked the cabin filter. It was black. Apparently i haven't replaced it in quite some time. So i took it out and turned on the blower and it came out real fast!! I wish i knew that was the problem during the summer when i roasted my [non-permissible content removed] off.....lol Anyways i went to walmart tonight and bought one for $30. I think the price for a filter is a little salty but it works great none the less. Also, when i asked the garage what was wrong with the air flow they told me my mode actuator switch was bad and that would be $300 or more to replace which i knew it had to be a bunch of crap so i didnt replace it. I just wish i knew you over the summer otherwise i wouldnt of sweat to death but anyways thank you so much for all of your help. You definately have saved me alot of money!! If i come across anything else i definately will ask you before taking it to a garage! Thanks again, Adam
  • debz2debz2 Posts: 1
    Hi,

    Can you send me instruction on how to do this, and exactly what the part # is for the switch. I would very much appreciate it.

    Deborah
  • I sure will if you give me your email address?
  • Your welcome no problem.
  • rgiergie Posts: 3
    hi adam...how much did it cost you to change the ignition lock and switch?
    to y'all...anybody knows where i can get my car fixed in chicagoland?? thanks!
  • When the car doesnt start if the security light is on then its not a bad starter.That means the starter has been disabled by the security system.The most likely cause is a bad ignition switch there easy to change and will provide instructions on how to change the switch if intrested.
  • debz3debz3 Posts: 1
    opps sorry my email is
    deborahblevins87@gmail.com

    THANK YOU!!
  • Saturntech9 - not sure if you are the one who has been with me through this whole ordeal. Today we picked my car up from the dealership. They wanted $627 for the starter (not sure if that included labor) A friend of my daughters' knows cars and has agreed to help me. I forwarded him this blog and he is going to install the ignition switch for me. if that doesn't work he will cut the wire (as also described in here + the u tube video) and install a switch so I can pass smog test. we had planned on having it towed, but wonder of wonders it started. and . . . . it did what it has never done before and started clicking, so it very well may be the starter. we can get one online for $123 (new) and as i said before the very rude GM district manager said that is not a recognized GM part. I say, thank God for that as GM has admitted the part is defective. we drove the car over to his house and fingers crossed the ignition relay switch is all it needs...... if not, the $123 for the new starter online and hopefully that will be the end of this 2.5 year nightmare
  • tukimatukima Posts: 1
    Hi Susie 163,

    nope you are not the only person that has this problem. I have had this problem over the years and have done the same things you have to figure out what the problem was. I decided it was best to leave my car overnight at the dealership on a super cold night so they can try to start it in the morning. That was the only way to find out what the problem was. Solution turned out they had to replace the ignition switch. I did not have any problems with it since then; however I am having alternator problems as of today. You cant win for loosing. I hope this helps you find the solution for your car.
  • So is the security light on when it wont start?Because if it is that has nothing to do with the starter like i said before.When the ignition switch is bad it disables the starter thru the pass lock security system.If the security light is in or flashing when it doesnt start i would replace the ignition switch.
  • I sent it to your email.
  • Good Evening!!
    I am just one of the thousands apparently that have the same problem with the Saturn Ion starting issue. My brother replaced the ignition switch today thinking that may have been the problem but unfortunately that was not it. The ignition is stuck in the "on" position. It will not go backwards and my brother had to pull the fuel pump fuse and unhook the battery to get it to shut off...What do you all think should be the next part to consider?? We have an '07 Saturn Ion..it only has 59,000 miles on it and I am seriously about ready to junk it.

    Thanks for any help you can give!

    Jennifer
  • so, EVERYBODY - I finally did what you all told met to. I had a friend who knows his way around cars and is an excellent mechanic. he read these blogs, watched the u tube video and was also on a blog called moontajelectrics.com. Turns out I did need a starter. when i went to get it at the dealership it actually started. it sounded like it needed the starter. when i used to try and start it there was no clicking or noise at all. so, he put in the starter. after reading all the blogs he cut the wire. still was running really well. then he went to put the switch in (so I could pass smog inspection) also talked about on here. now the car won't start, he can't get it out of park, the windows won't go up or down...... he welded the wire back, did the thing where after 3 times it's supposed to reset itself. nothing.... now moontaj is talking about a BCM which may be bad. how is this possible when it started and was fine and why did putting the switch in freeze ir? Up to now, between the battery, the starter, the labor, the diagnostic at the dealer i am close to $500 and was told a BCM is about $300 which means a mechanic or dealer will charge me between $600 - $900. HELP!!!
  • OMG... after following all the directions on here, even trying to deal with GM, I am now being told it may be the BCM thing. and up to now I am at about $500. I am sick to my stomach.
  • so, EVERYBODY - I finally did what you all told met to. I had a friend who knows his way around cars and is an excellent mechanic. he read these blogs, watched the u tube video and was also on a blog called moontajelectrics.com. Turns out I did need a starter. when i went to get it at the dealership it actually started. it sounded like it needed the starter. when i used to try and start it there was no clicking or noise at all. so, he put in the starter. after reading all the blogs he cut the wire. still was running really well. then he went to put the switch in (so I could pass smog inspection) also talked about on here. now the car won't start, he can't get it out of park, the windows won't go up or down...... he welded the wire back, did the thing where after 3 times it's supposed to reset itself. nothing.... now moontaj is talking about a BCM which may be bad. how is this possible when it started and was fine and why did putting the switch in freeze ir? Up to now, between the battery, the starter, the labor, the diagnostic at the dealer i am close to $500 and was told a BCM is about $300 which means a mechanic or dealer will charge me between $600 - $900. HELP!!!
  • If the key is stuck in the run position most likely the tumblar door came loose and is binding the cylinder up.You will have to replace the ignition cylinder and housing.
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