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Saturn Ion Starting Problems



  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    When it wont start is your security light on solid or flashing?If it is its most likely a bad ignition switch.A really common problem on those cars i have replaced a ton of those switches.They have redesigned them atleast 3 or four times that is the number one fix for random no starts.If the security light doesnt come on i would have the battery and alternator tested.Also make sure the battery cables are clean and tight.
  • Make it simple, and inexpensive on yourself - stay away from changing battery, starter, cables etc that most mechanics recommend, including the $20 switch that you will pay $50 at the dealer and then $250 labor .... How?
    Search for 'cut the white wire/cable' --- cut it (or have a mechanic do it for you) and your car will start in any climate condition thereafter ... You will find plenty of postings on this site and several other on other 'boards'.
    Good luck - it works ....
  • I know the answer to your problem, I have this very same thing happen to me every time.

    Before removing the key to your car to leave the car, you need to ensure that you tap the button on the clutch, so that it lets the key turn all the way back. You cannot force it back it remove it at ACC, but keep tapping the button at the clutch once it's parked until it lets your key go to off.

    This has worked for me, and I've never had problems starting it up again every time I do this. Note that as I said, this has to be done before you leave your car every time.
  • "Tap the button on the clutch" ?!?!? What button? A button on the clutch pedal? I'd love to have this option to try if I could figure out what you mean.

    If you look back at my previous posts, I replaced the ignition switch, ignition cylinder, and ignition switch again. However, since my last trip to the "GM Certified" dealer I haven't had any starting issues. But I don't kid myself into thinking that the problem is gone forever.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    So do you have a automatic transmission and sometimes you cant turn the ignition key off?It stops at the acc position?If so what they were saying was to tap the shifter release button.But if thats the case you need a new micro switch/shift interlock solenoid.I have the part number and where to buy it.Its a really common problem i have replaced tons of them for that issue.
  • I have a 2007 Saturn Ion. My key was stuck in the ignition and I was using the car for a long time by simply unplugging the green connector from the back of the ignition switch to turn off the car and plugging it back in to start the car. After about a year of this the wires to the green connector broke. I tried to repair this yet again which involved pulling the ignition switch. This seemed to implicate the passlock feature and I could not do the passlock relearn, because I could not turn the key. That is the background.

    I installed a new lock cylinder, new wire harness with green connector, and new ignition switch. I followed the passlock relearn and everything responded correctly. That is to say that the "lock" symbol flashed for 10 minutes and went out, etc. At the end, however, I had the same result. I turn the key and nothing. I tried several more times, same result.

    I disconnected and reconnected the positive battery terminal. Removed and reinserted the ignition switch. My hope was to get back to where the lock symbol would flash for 10 minutes to try the relearn again. No luck.

    Any ideas? Until the wires to the connector broke the car ran fine and started every time. The passlock relearn seemed to go correctly, but when I try to start the car nothing happens. Any helpful suggestions.
  • As an addendum:

    The car is an automatic. It will not move out of park. The battery was charged overnight, just to be sure.
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    To relearn the pass lock after the light goes off you turn the igniton off for 30 seconds then try to start it leave the key in the start position till the light changes state again.Then turn it off for 30 seconds then try to start it leave it in the start position till the security light turns off then turn the key to off position for 30 seconds.Now it should start let me know how it works.
  • Thank you for the response. Unfortunately, that did not work. To be clear, in the "start position" there are no lights at all. I turned the key to start and held it for 3 seconds. Then I released the key to the run position. I about 4 seconds the lock symbol light went out. Then I turned it to off and waited 30 seconds and repeated that many, many times. Still no luck.

    Did I do it right? Thanks again for your help.
  • Still stuck. If you see my previous posts I have replaced all the parts that should be causing the problems, did the passlock relearn and still no luck. I pulled all the fuses that could be implicated, they seem fine. Battery is charged and confirmed with a volt meter.

    In the on position, all systems work, which suggests that the ignition switch is installed correctly, but no other sign of ignition. Could I have gotten a bad switch? Any other suggestions?

    The last resort is a tow to the dealer. Maybe I am cynical, but they usually start by replacing the most expensive parts first. I think they will start with replacement of the BCM and work backwards from there. So I start at about $800 and go up from there.

    I don't have $800+. Can anyone make a suggestion.

  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning saturnstuck,
    I understand that you're looking for some further do-it-yourself information from the community, and I hope you're able to get this resolved! If you do end up working with a dealership, please be sure to keep in touch with us and let us know if we can look into anything further. We're happy to help in whatever ways we can.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • traciejotraciejo Posts: 6
    I suggest you stop spending money on things that will not work. I understand your frustration and the car has to be running to do this, but, CUT THE WHITE WIRE, at least then you will know the region of the problem. We cut the white wire months ago and the car starts every time now with no problem. When it comes time to run it through DEQ we will splice the damn wire back together long enough to pass and then disconnect it in the damn parking lot of the DEQ station. If nothing else show your mechanic the video of the white wire cutting on you-tube and then they have somewhere to start because what ever that white wire does is what is preventing your Saturn from starting.
  • The "white wire" fix is not any part of this equation. Since the car won't run it would not help my situation at all. Furthermore, the problem was never a passlock problem, it was a stuck key problem. I resolved that for free by simply unplugging the green connector from the ignition switch to stop the car and plugging it back in to start the car. If I had know how easy it was to put in a new ignition lock cylinder (it took 15 minutes) I would have done that ages ago. It takes 10 minutes to put in a new ignition switch. In both cases the parts are fairly cheap, under $100.00 for both.

    The problem is that I did the passlock relearn and my car is still a non-starter. Now the lock indicator light does not blink for 10 minutes etc. As far as I can tell, no juice flows to the coils or starter. I pulled the fuse for the BCM and that shut down my electrical system, so the juice gets at least that far. I think it is possible that the brand new ignition switch is bad. Sadly it is not likely. But since I have a couple that I have pulled apart, cleaned and put back together, I will try that when I get home.

    Beyond that I am stumped. I am very cynical about dealership repairs as I believe they just start replacing parts, from the most expensive on down until the car runs. I am anticipating a bill in excess of $1,000 once I bite the bullet and give up. This is money I truly don't have and without a car, my bank heist getaway is going to be somewhat less effective.

    Any helpful suggestions are appreciated.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    Is your battery fully charged? Or has it run down while the car's not been running and you've been working on the problems.

    Can you park a car next to it and put jumper cables on the underhood connections to be sure it's not the battery while you go through the relearning process?

    This message has been approved.

  • Well, since you asked what GM could do, I have some comments:

    1. GM has been around since 1908. In all that time they couldn't find a lock cylinder that does not explode inside the housing?

    2. Stuck keys and a poorly designed ignition switch have left countless customers stranded, many in frightening conditions.

    3. I personally have missed 4 work days, thus far, because of this issue. I have spent over 80 hours in research and repair on this problem and I have a 1,800 lb driveway ornament.

    4. Even though GM has known about the problem for many years and knows that it is a design flaw, they expect customers to foot the bill for expensive repairs.

    5. GM should acknowledge responsibility for the design flaws, recall and fix the problems
  • saturnstucksaturnstuck Posts: 7
    edited May 2012
    Yes the battery is fully charged. I put it on a charger overnight and verified 12.2 volts with a voltage meter.

    The car won't let me go through the relearn again, as the lock symbol no longer blinks. It remains steady lit for 3 - 4 seconds after a start attempt, if the key is left in the run position. Someone suggested a 30 second relearn in that case, but no go on that either.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
  • Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,675
    This is money I truly don't have and without a car, my bank heist getaway is going to be somewhat less effective.

    I don't wish to mock your situation, but that line did make me giggle. Your only good fortune here is that this discussion is followed by a number of knowledgeable members, so keep reading & responding to their suggestions/questions, and you might be able to get to the bottom of the issue. Imidazol97 is one of those members.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • mrh562008mrh562008 Posts: 6
    my solution to the non-starting issue was to put a remote start in my car but u have to make sure that when it is installed they MUST bypass the security system, it cost me about 350 to have it done at crutchfield and i havent had the problem since (other than the one time on a relativley chilly morning when i ddnt think to use the remote, i waas already at the car when i thought about it and i tried to use the key) ive had the remote since march and i really enjoy it now, great way to warm up the car b4 i get in it
  • janet1974janet1974 Posts: 2
    yesterday my car out of the blue would not start. when i turn the key there is no clicking or any noise i thought it was the battery but its not my mechanic has had it put on to computers and there are no errors but the car will not start HELP
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    Did they check for codes in the body control module?Or did they use a basic code scanner that doesnt ready body control module codes?Also is the security light on solid or flashing while trying to start the car?
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