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Saturn Ion Starting Problems



  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I apologize for your frustrations. I would like to see if there are any open recalls for your vehicle; can you please send me your VIN?
    GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Can you please send me your VIN and current mileage? I apologize for your frustrations. If you can let me know what’s going on at the dealer as well, I look forward to your response.
    GM Customer Service
  • saturntech9saturntech9 Posts: 152
    A new ignition switch isnt going to fix the key not turning off iam not going to tell anyone how to defeat the safety device that keeps you from turning the key off and removing it while the car is in gear.Like i said before there is a micro switch on the the base of the shifter shaft that has probably failed and its pretty easy to change that is causing the key from being turned off in park.As far as the ignition switch goes they made atleast 4 redesigned part numbers on that i can remember.The aftermarket one that auto zone sells is made by wells you could try that one its about 50 iam not sure who makes the other one for saturn besides maybe ac delco.I used that auto zone one in someone elses cars over a year ago and its still working.Replace my nieces 2003 ion like over 3yrs ago with a foactory one and it still is working fine.
  • hmmmdonutshmmmdonuts Posts: 2
    edited July 2011
    My problem is that it won't start. I may have to turn the key 5, 10, 50 times before anything happens under the hood. With the key turned, I have full electrical function inside the car, but no click or turn over of the engine. Eventually it starts - usually. Today, I tried for about 7 minutes to make it go, then the key locked up. Ironically, on the next turn trying to get the key out, it started, then wouldn't shut off or release the key. It's at the dealership now, and they are saying hat they will replace the key cylinder, but that still may not fix the not starting issue. They can't get it to reproduce and it isn't "showing any codes."

    When I took it in today, the guy that 1st looked at it said that it was very common and all Saturns eventually have this happen. Seriously? Yet they can't fix it?

    I do have an extended warranty, but I'm tired of paying the deducible for the same thing over and over without getting fixed.
  • kikibkikib Posts: 14
    my son had the same problems....ask your guy to look at your fuse box and see if it's burned out and if the body control module needs to be replaced...ever since those were replaced on his car, it has been working perfectly
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Can you please email me directly? Please include your VIN, current mileage, and involved dealer. I look forward to working with you.
    GM Customer Service
  • Almost a 90 degree day today and the "no start" problem happened today after running a few errands. Last stop and it didn't start. Hasn't happened in months! I actually thought it was done giving me problems. Ha! Silly me. what was I thinking??!!
  • Was the security light on solid or flashing?If so then you probably have a bad ignition switch.The best way to find that out is to have your body control module scanned for codes which the auto parts store cant scan that computer.If you have a B3033 and or B2960 then you have a bad ignition switch.
  • Our 2003 saturn sometimes will just not start. It will turn over halfway then nothing. We try 6 or 7 times and nothing, then a half start and then its back to square 1. If we wait about 30 or 40 minutes and try again it will eventually start. It does this mostly when running errands usually after the second stop. It doesn't do it all the time but it does it at least 2 or 3 times a week. I've replaced the fuel filter, fuel pump, spark plugs and wires, as well as the battery cables. somebody help.
  • kikibkikib Posts: 14
    have your mechanic check the fuse box to see if it's burned out and check the body control module
  • Read my reply above yours sounds like a bad ignition switch very common for those to go bad.There like 50.00.
  • I have a 2006 Ion and it was dropped off to the dealer today after being stranded with my 2 girls at a store for 45 minutes. The ignition switch issue started in the cold winter(we live in Maine) when the car would not start and I had to heat the key with a lighter due to the frozen excessive grease in the switch..Once summer came I continued to have issues with it not starting ..waiting 10 minutes and trying again..I have taken it to car places and when you tell them your car starts when it wants to, they cant find anything wrong as altinator and starter are fine..So after being stranded at a store for long periods of time with my groceries and children - I dumped it to the local dealer.
    Im very angry I need to pay $400 to fix a problem saturn and GM have known about all along. This is a manufactoring issue -everyone knows it..For the owners of Ions to be frustrated with GM everyday they drive their car is not even good service..I would not be a GM vehicle anymore cause they can not stand behind their mistakes. GM used to be dependablity..Somewhere down the line they lost something as many others did

    Thank you
  • For a couple years now, a couple times in nice weather, then almost every day in Wibter, my car will not start. I believe it is the anti-theft system. It will allow me to start 15-20 minutes after my initial attempt to start the car. This is frustrating since I paid my car off in full a year ago, never missed a payment, and when I call the help phone line, they expect ME to pay out of pocket for a diagnosis on a known problem with the faulty design of the ION. I wonder why there are no more ION's out there being made... because it was a faulty design that we are all struggling with!!! My newborn and I would have to wait in the cold for this car to start if we stopped off to get gas or something. It's extremely frustrating that Saturn and GM does not own up to its faulty design and take accountability. Of course my warranty is up, so they expect me to pay out of pocket but I refuse!! There is nothing wrong with my battery, fuses, etc. because I have a mechanic in the family and he diagnosed it for me. I hate GM and their cars and if they do not handle this, I will be sure to find a way to create a class action lawsuit.
  • Read my post below!! I had the exact same problem. Class action lawsuit will need to be created. This is ridiculous!! I got stranded with my newborn in Winter!!! I paid my car off way before I needed- $20,000 in the drain!!! Only 75,000 miles and now I need to get a new car because I am tired of being stranded. Saturn and GM need to take accountability!!
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    All a class action suit will do is enrich the lawyers who bring it and get you a coupon for a couple of hundred dollars off another GM car.The people bringing suit, as in most things, get squat once the shouting is over.

    Read the earlier posts and email GM Customer Service your vin and phone #. You have to begin some course of action, even if it costs you 59.00 for them to "diagnose" a known problem.
  • If your handy with tools its a 50 part the ignition switch its alot better then getting stranded somewhere.
  • If there charging you 400 just to replace the ignition switch i would have it done somewhere else or do it myself its so easy to change you can by the switch for 50 at the parts store.
  • vader87vader87 Posts: 1
    I've been reading the multiple posts about starting problems. I've been having problems for the last couple of years. Like others I've replaced the battery a couple times. I put the car in my garage during the winter with a ceramic heater in the cabin. This allows me to get to work but then I have to wonder if it will start at quitting time.

    Now that it's summer, I still have to keep in the garage but don't need to use the heater. If I leave the car outside usually the dampness or if it rains will prevent the car from starting.

    I was leaving work yesterday and it was 87 degrees and it wouldn't start. Usually it will start after 3-4 attempts but it took 30 minutes to start. This is so frustrating.

    The sway bar bushing was replaced last year and now it needs replacing again. My car has around 135,000 miles on it. I was hoping to get to 200,000 but I don't think I can put up with it much longer.

    I've seen the You Tube video about cutting the white wire and thinking about giving that a try.

    So even thought they don't make Saturn any more, STAY THE HECK AWAY FROM USED ONES!!!!
  • As far as your starting concern it needs a ignition switch amazon has a ac delco one for like 23. There really easy to change.Now for you sway bar bushings did they ever change the brackets too?The 2003 and some of the earlier 2004 ions had the first sway bar bracket design the later second design holds the sway bar tighter.If you give me the last 8 of your vin i can tell you if you need them.
  • My saturn just started with the check engine light, I went to see one of my students at auto zone, she pulled the codes and it was P0340 wich according to the machine is a camshaft position sensor, however according to the parts list Saturn Ion 2003 doesn't have one. So once again, HELP!
  • Been there, done that! How many times am I supposed to have it replaced? Never heard of an ignition switch needing to be replaced even once in other cars unless it was a recall. Which it was and was taken care of. Passcode has been changed, new keys made, tumblers replaced, stopped using car alarm and remote locks all together. Please tell me what more could possibly be "changed"?
  • To all those looking to replace the ignition switch (and that will almost certainly NOT cure the problem), the same original GM switch for $49.xx will cost you less than $20 at ....

    The ignition problem is a SAD issue.
    And it is not related to winter conditions as so many are referring to.
    One of our ION's had this problem (as so many many times before) numerous times last week, heat index was 106 and it required the usual wait 10 minutes etc before starting. After 3 'dead' attempts, the 4th after 30 minutes it started right up! Go figure.
    GM is simply not taking responsibility to issue a proper repair instruction - instead they rather see that Saturn ION owners purchase NON-GM vehicles when changing out the failing Saturn ION's ....
    Have replaced 4 so far with NON-GM cars, 5 more is due this fall/winter ... One thing is certain, it will not be GM products.
  • notlkhnotlkh Posts: 6
    Since the last time I posted here, my ion has not stopped starting even once, which is normal behavior during the summer for my ion. I expect it to stop starting maybe once a month, if that, until October or November, whereupon it should become a weekly event, then in December about at least a daily event. This has been the pattern for 5 years, since I purchased this vehicle. Which is strange since it seems inconsistant with your observations that it is not related to the weather/season.

    Do you experience any variations whatsoever between the temperature/humidity extremes?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

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

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • notlkhnotlkh Posts: 6
    Once I had it in for a service early on, and I mentioned the issue, but I was told that they couldn't do anything since no error code showed up, and that it started fine there.

    Eventually I came across this thread, and saw how prevalent this issue is, and how it seems to be unaddressable by GM, I've decided to live with it. I don't mind 10 minutes of extra reading time every now and then, just so long as I'm not freezing too many times during a cold winters day.

    However, if you think it is worth trying again, when should I do it? Would it be worth doing now, when it hasn't happened in over a month? Or should I wait until it happens, and then get it in as soon as possible, within a day or two of the issue ocurring again?
  • You need to have the ignition switch replaced the first bulletines we got at the saturn dealer for the no starts said the no start is worse at temps of 40 degrees or less.I would just replace the ignition switch if it was my car.I know the auto zone ignition switch is made by wells and has a lifetime warranty.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    If you are not having any problems at this time I would encourage you to wait until you are experiencing these concerns to have the vehicle brought into the dealership. At that time please be sure to contact us directly and we will be able to assist in setting up a case with GM Customer Assistance to try and get these problems resolved.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • I would only wait to get the switch fixed if gm customer service was for sure going to pay for it?Otherwise if you know someone handy with tools its a easy fix amazon has the switch for 22 and i will give full replacement instructions.Otherwise why put yourself thru anymore years of this no start you have been lucky so far.I have seen some of those switches not let the car start for a day or more.Its up to you its your car and your burden.
  • You better hurry up getting to a gm dealer ... the window is less than ten, yes ten minutes and the car may start and the dealer cannot trace the problem. GM need to get a car that is 'guaranted' to have the starting problem and to the diagnostics themselves. I have at least one, that act up every week, sometimes more than once in one day! I will gladly sell them this vehicle ... By the way, to change the AC Delco Switch (less than $20 at ... same as the GM dealer sell for $49) is NOT the answer.
  • notlkhnotlkh Posts: 6
    So many opinions about this issue.

    DozenSaturn first is adamant that the issue is not weather related,
    Saturntech9 insists it is the ignition switch, and should be changed immediately
    GMCustsvc suggests waiting until it stops starting and let the dealership diagnose and correct,
    And then Dozensaturn points out that the diagnostic window is the 10 minutes that it won't start...

    It seems that the white wire method is the most reliable, but to me it also suggests that the issue is not currently diagnosable, as I don't believe the diagnostics have been designed to detect variations in resistance in a wire due to possible temperature variations, and I also agree with the 10 minute diagnostic window that Dozensaturn mentioned.

    But the ignition switch, is it physically connected to the white wire? If not, I don't see how it could correct the starting issue...
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