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Saturn Ion Starting Problems



  • Caron,
    To which address do you want VIN numbers sent?
    Issue: No start, sometimes up to 4 attempt's (ten minutes wait between each attempt) before ION '04 and '05:s will start.
  • Andrew,
    This should be a rather easy one for the GM technicians to respond to, and I would not be surprised if the same issue can be had at Ford, Chrysler or most other brands as well ...
    I know we have had it every now and then (mostly on the ION:s but on the L300's also), and most recently on (our last) '04 ..
    Looking forward to see a general GM recommendation or answer to to overcome this issue.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    Have you had the vehicle diagnosed by a GM dealership? Please keep me posted.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • dawnclark40dawnclark40 Posts: 1
    edited June 2011
    I have a 2004 Saturn ION, Ive had my car for almost 4 years now and every winter I was having the same starting problem....NOW its happening when its 60 degrees out or more. Im sick of the problem. What is more sickening is my father worked and dedicated his to life to GM until he recently retired. Always GM lover, but these days...I just dont know.

    Anyway which is it? Do I cut the white wire under the steering column to fix it or do i get a remote start that will fix it? PLEASE HELP. Thanks so much.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    If you click on the user name you will be able to find the email address.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
    its free and you will not have the problem again
    ive been problem free (1 year!) since i cut it
  • kikibkikib Posts: 14
    My father, too, had a long career for GM, and my son's 2005 Saturn Ion has just about cured us from ever buying a GM car again!
    After several trips to GM dealerships here in Plano, Texas and Ruston, Louisiana where my son goes to college, until today, no one has been able to figure out why my son can't start his car and the key gets stuck in the ignition, or, what is worse, all the power cuts out while he's driving. Finally, I think it's going to be fixed. Last Friday, yet again, he went to start his car, it didn't, and the key got stuck. $90 to tow his car to the Chevrolet dealership in Ruston. $100 more to download computer updates into his car. Yet again the dealership couldn't duplicate the problems. Today, 5 days later after being without his car, the dealership said to come pick up his car and they were sorry they couldn't figure out what was wrong. Lo and behold, my son got in his car at the dealership, and miracle of miracles, the car wouldn't start and the key got stuck, right in the parking lot. The service advisor immediately ran to get the mechanic and after 10 minutes knew it was the Body Control Motion device. Guess what? They have to order it from West Virginia! You would think with so many Saturn Ion owners having these same problems, GM would recall this part. We are going to have to pay $800 to get this fixed. Anyone with this problem, esp power going out while driving, could be seriously injured or killed if this happens while driving. I am grateful the Ruston dealership is going to fix my son's car, but GM needs to take responsibility for it. :sick:
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    I apologize for the problems your son is experiencing with his vehicle. Have you had the chance to speak with GM Customer Assistance? Please keep me posted.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • kikibkikib Posts: 14
    No, I haven't contacted GM Customer Assistance. Is that something you suggest? How do I do that?
    Also, since I posted, when the dealership was installing the new Body Control Module, they discovered that the fuse box was almost completely burned out and had to order the part from Michigan. $300 more so we're up to a total of about $1300. The dealership told my husband that computer diagnostics didn't indicated the fuse box was almost burned out and that's why they didn't look at it prior to installing the BCM, but I wonder whatever happened to using your actual eyeballs to look under the hood?
    Thank you for any help you can give me.
  • desertcgdesertcg Posts: 1
    Good to know I'm not alone in being incredibly disappointed in GM for their poor quality vehicles and their refusal to take responsibility for them. 2 1/2 years ago my car refused to start. It didn't happen every day though. I would turn the key, nothing would happen. Eventually I learned to wait exactly 10 minutes before trying again. It would always start on the 2nd try. I replaced the ignition relay switch, no more starting problems since then.

    Recently, as in the last 3 weeks, my key periodically gets stuck in the ACC position when I turn off the engine. It's never been stuck for longer than a minute. (Thank goodness considering it's 114 in Phoenix right now!) My dad has spoken with a mechanic who thinks the current problem is being caused by my keys being too heavy. His theory (without having actually looked at the car yet) is that the weight of my key chain has screwed up the ignition cylinder. Not sure I buy this theory yet. But based on what I've read from everyone else on here, replacing the cylinder would only be a temporary fix anyway. On another site, someone mentioned replacing the BTSI (brake transmission shift interlock solenoid).

    Think I'll get the current problem fixed (even if it's only temporary) then sell the car and buy a non-GM vehicle instead.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    I do recommend reporting any concerns you have with your vehicle with Customer Assistance. What I can do is I can set up a case for you with GM Customer Assistance. This way they will contact you and you can provide them with all the details about your experience. If you would to take this course of action please email me you complete contact information including a good number to reach you, VIN, current mileage, as well as your involved dealer. I look forward to your response. Have a great holiday weekend!
    GM Customer Service
  • kikibkikib Posts: 14
    Yes, I would like for you to set up a case for me with GM Customer Assistance. I will email you the information as soon as I get it from my son. Thank you so much for your help! :)
  • dev9dev9 Posts: 1
    I just ran into a problem this weekend when I went to the store and tried to turn my car off and it wouldn't turn off. Its the holiday and no one was open. I called a locksmith and he wouldn't touch my car since it was a 2007. He said I shouldn't be having those problems. The dealership was closed and I will be calling them in the morning. We had to pull a fuse and unhook battery to get the car to turn off. I should have had second thought about this car when within the 1st 2yrs they had to replace the cadillac converter, but didn't have any other problems. I noticed there was alot of complaints with the ignition switch, but no recall with all the problems. After I talk to the dealer tomorrow I am going to call the attorney general's office and get their opinion b/c this is crazy. Don't know what they can do, but gonna try. I think a class action suit should be opened with these cars b/c there is a serious problem somewhere.
  • kikibkikib Posts: 14
    I agree with you about contacting the attorney general (what state are you from?) and a possible class action lawsuit, but I am first going to go through GM Customer Assistance via the lady on this blog. I will be very interested in what the attorney general's office has to say.
  • mlombmlomb Posts: 1
    My daughter is experiencing the same problem on the 2006 Saturn that I bought at an Estate Sale. I will pass this info along to her. Thanks for sharing.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    I apologize for the problems you are experiencing with your vehicle. Are there any updates from the dealership? Please keep me posted.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    edited July 2011
    You have a thankless job, Maam. This POS ignition switch was a known defective part in 2002 when the ION first came out.
    GM has compounded the problem by using the same junk in the Cobalt, HHR, G5, Pursuit, Colorado and Canyon.
    My own experience : Bought the 05 ION 1 brand new. Taken back five times since 12,000 miles and the techs at Saturn Of The Valley never did fix the frigging car.
    Even with a call to corporate and customer service with an incident ticket I still have to stick my finger up a hole under the steering wheel to get the key out.
    GM is not going to do right by these owners, period. Nor is GM authorized service going to give a useful solution.
    Now my car is out of warranty and I have to pay for them to "guess" what's wrong ???? I don't think so.
    I love the car, still, but there won't be any GM garbage taking my hard earned money ever again.
    It's not your fault, but you might pass the commentary to the people that run this bankrupt junk store to let them know that by continuing to use junk parts cost cut to the lowest quality to eke out an extra .000005c, they have destroyed the market GM might have for repeat customers.
    I will email you my VIN # so you can see when it started and what they did and how it continues to be unfixed, tho it was never repaired properly under warranty.
    100 years since the self starter and GM can't even get an ignition switch right ?
  • Don't think your key-chain weight has anything to do with damaging the locking cylinder - most likely you have a too soft key, metal shavings stick to the tumblers. Have the cylinder changed, and do get a new key (stop using the original key). The dealer did our first one, it was much to costly - had a lock-firm re-do the job at a fraction of the dealer cost and, thereafter installed new cylinders in all of our ION's and NEW HARDER KEYS. Even cars that were still under warranty! Saturn would not listen ...
    No more key's getting stuck ... and I am talking on the average another 60k miles on the odometer on every single one. Good luck - fully understand you consider a non-GM product (we have replaced several ION's with imports) mainly due to total failure by Saturn and GM to act on these and similar complaints.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    Sent you the email with the VIN and more information. I am not optimistic.
    48,000 miles in 6 years.....
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    edited July 2011
    I'll try having a new key made. Thanks for the suggestion.

    It's unfortunate: as a car buyer my standards are pretty easy to meet. I expect the car to stop, start, run reliably and not need a lot of expensive repairs down the road.

    The ION with it's polymer,Ecotec and GM 4 speed auto appears bullet proof.

    Ideal on paper as a 20 year car. I ordered with minimal electronic gadgetry to go haywire down the road [no power windows or locks], no timing belt and water pump to replace at regular intervals. Like a Checker: built for the long haul.

    And the simplest, most basic function of a car GM f#$%s up.

    Every time I think of it my contempt for this company grows. "Bankruptcy is not an option " ? No, it was and is a foregone conclusion.
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