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Saturn Ion Starting Problems



  • GM people contacted me b/c of this site. I had taken the car to a mechanic, who put in a new battery (which I didn't think I needed) After telling him about this blog, he read it, did more research and told me to take it to the GM dealer. A GM rep contacted me after seeing my posts on here. GM told me as it turns out the part is defective and they would speak to the dealer. I just got called back and b/c I am over the warranty they won't fix it. Doesn't defective mean NO GOOD? Should it matter when a defective part goes bad??? I was also told b/c I never contacted GM when this first started too bad for me. I told them I contacted the Saturn dealer quite a few times with this same complaint and they had never heard of it. Well, apparently it does not matter that I contacted Saturn b/c I never contacted GM. I am SOOO ANGRY. I do not have $600 which is what they want for a new starter. And according to this blog, many people have replaced the starter and still have the same problem. Anybody have any suggestions? I am going to be without a car very soon. If I can't get to work I will loose my job and then what........ How can GM ADMIT THE PART IS DEFECTIVE YET NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT b/c I am over the warranty? ANY SUGGESTIONS GREATLY APPRECIATED
  • GM people contacted me b/c of this site. I had taken the car to a mechanic, who put in a new battery (which I didn't think I needed) After telling him about this blog, he read it, did more research and told me to take it to the GM dealer. A GM rep contacted me after seeing my posts on here. GM told me as it turns out the part is defective and they would speak to the dealer. I just got called back and b/c I am over the warranty they won't fix it. Doesn't defective mean NO GOOD? Should it matter when a defective part goes bad??? I was also told b/c I never contacted GM when this first started too bad for me. I told them I contacted the Saturn dealer quite a few times with this same complaint and they had never heard of it. Well, apparently it does not matter that I contacted Saturn b/c I never contacted GM. I am SOOO ANGRY. I do not have $600 which is what they want for a new starter. And according to this blog, many people have replaced the starter and still have the same problem. Anybody have any suggestions? I am going to be without a car very soon. If I can't get to work I will loose my job and then what........ How can GM ADMIT THE PART IS DEFECTIVE YET NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT b/c I am over the warranty? ANY SUGGESTIONS GREATLY APPRECIATED
  • When the car wont start is the security light on solid or flashing?If it is then that wouldnt be a bad starter causing that.
  • which one exactly is the security light? The light that comes up is yellow. When I looked it up in the saturn book it said it was something to do with emissions which nobody has suggested when looking at it. and that is the other thing. so many people on here listened to the dealers and put in starters, just to name one thing. and spent a lot of money listening to the dealers and mechanics just to have the same problem again. I am so very frustrated and don't know what to do. I certainly don't have $600 that they want to replace the starter and the only reason I took it to the dealer was b/c the GM people contacted me. The first guy Raymond basically said it is defective. We are going to talk to the dealer and they should replace the part. I had a woman take over from him and not only was she extremely rude, but each time I mentioned this blog and how common the problem is she said.... we don't put any legitamacy in these blogs. it could be one person writing all the comments. I told her this is a 38 page blog, going back years, with GM people monitoring and commenting and suggesting. When I mentioned this she said (even though she was calling me b/c one of her peers read my post) they do not care about this site and as far as they are concerned (as I said) it could be bogus. she actually told me that she could start a blog about jelly beans (SO WHAT) and she could pretend to be many people. the fact remains I am screwed..... I have not had the car in my possession since June, but I think the yellow symbol (if i recall correctly) is like a mini faucet (knida). If I had the book with me i could look it up
  • for anybody having this problem (and you will have this problem if you own an ion) refer to this video on how to fix it for $0 in about 5 minutes.
  • thanks Mr. Nice Guy. I am at work, but will watch the video as soon as I get home. I am hoping someone like me with no mechanical abilities will be able to do whatever it says. Funny you said if you own an ion you will have the problem. I work in a law office and was told one of the attorneys downstairs deals with car issues only.

    I went downstairs to make an appointment (and I assure you I never go to attorneys with a problem. I try to solve them myself, but the lady from GM was so rude this a.m. And saying yes, the part is defective, but too bad for you as your warranty is over. And too bad for you that you kept calling Saturn about the problem and not GM. The same lady that said this blog is bull and one person can be all of us that are posting comments here. I have no clue if she is a true example of a GM supervisor. Rude, non-caring and nixing everything that the original GM person told me. Anyway, I digress. I walked into the attorney's office and was telling his receptionist why i wanted to see him and the problems I've been having for over 2 years. She is an ex Saturn Ion owner and had the same exact problem with her Ion and Saturn and GM refused to help deal with the problem. They wanted more $ every time they tried something that didn't work. She got rid of the car b/c someone hit her and their insurance company had to pay for her totaled car!!!
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    edited October 2011
    OMG: except it isn't the starter that's the problem in these cars. And when you'd try to contact GM they said to contact Saturn as if it was still a separate company at the time. Creeps. Sorry to hear it.

    As far as Edmund's not having any credibility, GM has never wasted a second using a quote from this site that hasn't praised their cars in it's advertising.

    This pisses me off so much on your behalf. GM is a bunch of lying thieves if this is how they're treating you. If you took the car into Saturn and they tried to find out what the problem was, then you should be in the data base as a work order had to be issued.

    But if you didn't let them keep the car to work on it, no work order, you won't have a record of your complaint. Calling them on the phone doesn't do a thing. Complaining about it at the service counter, then not letting them look at the car won't either. You cannot then say they knew about it. You have to have a paper trail. The lawyers will tell you the same thing. They'll have to prove GM knew about the problem [which will be easy].

    It is easily proven that GM knew these POS ignition switches were defective as the complaints started coming in on the IONs in 2003 right after introduction and continued throughout the run. Then the Cobalt was introduced with the same garbage part and the Colorado and Canyon used this crap as well.

    If that is the "cut the white wire" video, remember that the emissions light will stay on and in some states that is an automatic "fail" on your smog test.

    Hope you have better luck. Did you send your VIN # to the GM Customer Service contact who posts on this thread ?

    I had thought that maybe I would give GM a second chance down the road, but hearing how they continue to deny deny deny and are trying to tell you it's the frigging starter is enough to say: sorry GM you had your chance. Fung Gu.
    I see a FORD in my future.

    It is one of three things: the ignition switch itself, the key cylinder or the "BTSI" sensor, a connection in the floor shifter that tells the ignition switch to release the key when you shut the car off.

    They're getting defensive because they know the ignition switch and Passlock system is 10th rate garbage. A strong letter from those lawyers might turn things around. And it's not just this site that's talking about it. Go over to Saturn Fans and see the complaints about this cut rate part. Or Cobalt sites and GM Inside News. Not just a bunch of malcontents trying to "get over".

    Just one more small reason why GM hit the wall. You can't keep screwing people this way for 40 years and expect them to remain customers.

    Please keep everyone posted
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    Do you have the CVT transmission or 5 speed manual ? If it's that POS continuously variable transmission GM put in the 03-04 QCs then you have a separate problem. It's going out. 100% failure rate mostly by about 80,000 miles. There may be an extended warranty on your car for it though, as once again, it's a known GM defect
  • Can't more than agree 100%
    GM has known this all along.
    I feel sorry for all owners that have been told to change the battery etc. when that has never been the source of the starting problem! Equally sorry for all those that has turned in the car to a GM dealership - where the service staff and mechanics are clueless about the problem. Why is GM still selling those faulty start switches and make a point of, "if it fails remember it is an electric component and comes with NO warranty! GM dealer price is almost $50 when you can order the very same part, in the same original component box for less than $20! NO matter what - the switch may be faulty but it is no guarantee if you replace it you will be problem free!
    This is a LIABILITY issue, imagine a emergency situation and the vehicle cannot start .... How come GM (And forget supervisors etc - they have no say) and their upper management cannot see how current and former GM vehicle owners are going elsewhere. After a total of 17 Saturn's over a ten year period in our fleet of 12, not a single GM vehicle have replaced those as we are selecting NON-GM makes! Now down to 5 ION's and by spring they too have been replaced!
  • GM contacted me from seeing my posts on this site. Per their request, I sent them my VIN# (so right there they knew my mileage was at 100,000) and still they contacted me and told me that they would start a file and made an appointment for me at the local Chevrolet dealership in carlsbad, ca. This dealership took over for Saturn when they went out of business here. I bought the car in new years eve for the first time to get the oil changed, I told them about the problem then and they had never heard of it I found this blog after the car finally would not start. I was told I needed a new battery. that cost me $183 for the battery and installation. that did not solve the problem and I didn't think i needed a battery. So when GM told me they would help, I was very hopeful. The Chevy dealer called me and told me it was the starter and that it would be $600. not only do I not have $600 (the mechanic that put the battery in told me it was the starter and it would be $300. after i told him about this blog and he read it he said to take it to the GM dealer as well) GM called me and told me they spoke to the dealer and that the starter was defective. This call was made by Raymond who was very nice and told me he would fight for me b/c the part was defective and that GM should pay for it. 2 days later i received a call from "district manager" I don't even remember her name, but she was so rude. she agreed that the starter was defective, but said too bad GM won't pay b/c it is over the warranty. i told her GM knew this as soon as i sent them the VIN# and they still contacted me and offered help. I understand I am over warranty, but if the part is defective what does that have to do with warranty? A defective part is a defective part and GM should pay for it. according to this blog, even if i did spend the $600 which i don't have so can't spend, that does not mean this will fix the car. I am stuck and don't know what to do. I will have to watch the video. but if the emission light stays on, i am screwed cause i do need to have a smog test
  • oblio9oblio9 Posts: 19
    You can always add a switch to the wire you cut. That way when the car is cooperating you can leave the switch on and have no lights and when it isn't cooperating you can leave it off. I have not added a switch yet but when I do I'll make a video. In the meantime if you are having the same problem with starting that everyone else has, the only consistent "fix" is to cut the white wire. I changed my starter to the tune of $500 and it wouldn't start the next morning. Since I cut the wire it has not had the issue once and I was having it daily when there was cold weather.
  • thank you for this message. The Chevrolet place wants to charge me $600 and the mechanic said $300. I can get a new starter online for $123. go figure. but the fact that everyone says it is not the starter. I have no mechanical abilities, no tools. I am going to have to find someone to help me. My daughter's ex told me in the summer of 2009 when this first started about how he went online with my problem and cutting the wire seemed to be the most popular choice. he was uncomfortable doing it for me cause of the check engine light that stays on. the other most popular response is that it is a $23 part - ignition relay switch. I am so disgusted by all this. How can GM contact me, tell me they were going to help me (knowing everything about my crappy car after getting the VIN#) admitting that the part is defective then telling me too bad. it is a defective part but you are over warranty. I wish someone could explain this to me. Defective is defective and should not matter when it decides to be defective. Because I have no paper trail I am getting screwed. but every time i called saturn they told me they had no clue, I could leave the car, but they could not tell me how much it would cost b/c they did not know what the problem was. I live in southern california, so the "it doesn't start in cold weather" does not apply to me. Although it did get what we consider very "cold" last winter and it still started (or not) as it always did.
  • I have a 5 speed what am I supposed to look for or do to get my car bak to normal??
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    Take it in and get the codes read for free at Autozone or one of the parts places. That will give you a start.
    And be grateful you have the manual !!!
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    edited October 2011
    :lemon: Do not give up. Find out who the asst. district manager for Chevrolet is in the district. It's probably even on the Internet who to contact in your area. GET HER NAME and continue to go up the chain to the actual district manager. Get his name and keep going till you get satisfaction. Let them all know how Miss [non-permissible content removed]. District Manager treated you and what she accused you and this site of doing. Take her name all the way to the top of the food chain. And it's a matter of public record, just dig a little.

    How about making your own You Tube Video ? Tell your story online if you can't get face time on the local news.....

    What did the lawyers say ?

    This is old school GM. I can see nothing has changed. Business as usual. I can only wish them ill. Shameless whores. Use any excuse not to make good on their trash parts and cost cutting corner hacking products. But one good quarter after BK and the heads of this rotten company are back to giving themselves nice fat bonuses.

    Pamela do not give up.
  • fstcrzfstcrz Posts: 4

    I am glad you posted this. I have been having this problem for a year and a half now. I bought my car in 2005 brand new from a Saturn dealer. I also had to have the steering fixed which GM finally recalled. So if your steering goes out all of a sudden get it to a GM dealer right away because once it goes passed 100K or 10 years they won't cover it. From my research it looks like its going to take $600 to fix the electrical issue after a diagnostic fee. Also, I had to replace the ignition control module 3 times. The first time happened a year after I bought it so it was covered under a warranty but the other two I had to pay for it myself. I'm crossing my fingers it doesn't go out again. I have read a lot of posts and it appears a lot of people are having these problems with the Saturn. Please let me know if GM helped with your problem.

  • I too bought my car new in 2005. I didn't have a problem until the summer o 2009. I consistently called Saturn and then the Chevy dealer that took over for Saturn about this specific problem. Nobody had a clue, but I was welcome to give them money and they would try and figure it out. A Saturn tech contacted me after reading my postings. I sent them my VIN# and they were totally aware that I had recently gone over 100,000. Let me add that b/f it reached 100,000 I had the oil changed at the Chevy dealership and told them about the intermittent starting problem . they had never heard about it, they were not interested and again,. told me for a fee they would run the diagnostic, which after reading this blog I knew was a waste of money. Raymond, the GM tech that contacted me told me he would fight for me and told me my starter was defective. the next call I got was from an extremely rude lady who told me that she was the district manager and too bad for me, but GM would not cover it b/c i was over the warranty. I told her how I consistently called Saturn and then the Chevy dealer at least a few times. b/c there is no "paper trail" I am screwed. I wish someone would explain something to me. if a part is defective it is defective. why does it matter if the defective part became defective before or after the warranty? DEFECTIVE means it is bad... why won't GM admit this and fix the problem. I do not have $600 or $300 (the mechanic said he would charge me $300 for the same part GM is charging $600 for) GM refuses to help me. I am seeing an attorney tomorrow, but I don't hold much hope that things will work out. My daughter is coming home this week and I will soon be carless. how long before I loose my job?
  • Hello Christina,

    I as well have a 2004 Saturn Ion UNDER 100,000 miles with the start-up and steering issues. To who should I email my info in order to get this case going with a GM dealer? THANKS!
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    Click on gmcustsvc name . That's the link
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I apologize for your frustrations. I have looked through your case and your agents notes. At this time I will have to agree with the resolution your agent provided you with. If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to email me.
    GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Send your email right to me. Dweezil had it right. :) Just click my user name.
    GM Customer Service
  • Is this your email address?
  • I can't believe how many people are having the same problem!!

    My 2004 Saturn ION was doing the no start thing, in cold weather on and off for the last two years. Then on Saturday, it did it. It was a gorgeous sunny day 70 and sunny. I did the 10 min wait that I typically did, and it didn't start. Left it alone and tried it again later in the afternoon and it started. Monday morning went to start it to go to work, no go. I got a ride to work and tried it after work and it still isn't starting as of this morning. I may have to get it towed after work if it won't start. I'm going to tell my mechanic about the ignition switch hopefully that works. It's a shame other than this issue, I love my car and haven't had any other major problems.

    VIN# 1G8AM12F042122417
  • kikibkikib Posts: 14
    so, after all the going back and forth with GM customer assistance, it was all for nothing! my son's 2005 Ion had the BCM and fuse box replaced this summer to the tune of $1300, but because it is over 3 years old it is considered out of warranty and we get ZERO $ assistance or reimbursement....why waste my time when I told GM customer assistance the year of the car and mileage in the first place???????? defective parts should be recalled....his ION has <50,000 miles on it....surely the BCM and fuse box should last more miles than that! GM is a huge disappointment....but I guess it's not surprising since big government bailed them out.... :mad: :lemon: :(
  • fstcrzfstcrz Posts: 4
    check ignition control module. I've had to replace mine twice.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Yes it is. :)
    GM Customer Service
  • the only problem for me. i have to get the car smogged and with the check engine light on, which will happen if we cut the wire, I will not be able to pass smog..... any other suggestions? I am at my wit's end
  • Kikib - Sounds exactly like my experience, except I had more mileage, but same. I started talking to Saturn about my 2005 Ion which I bought new in 2009 when the random not starting first happened. They had no clue what I was talking about (although after reading this blog i can't imagine that to be true). It was always, bring it in, we'll throw it on the diagnostic for $129 and maybe we will find something. I asked what next? they did not know. I continued with this and 12/31/10 bought the car in for an oil change to the local Chevy dealer who had taken over for saturn. I told them about the problem and they had never heard of it. At that time I was not worried about the warranty, more worried about the intermittent starting which was getting worse. Finally this past May it started right away, I drove up to take my dog somewhere so she could run around. the car would not start and 2 hours later had it towed. Towed it to a local highly recommended mechanic who said he thought it may need a starter, but after reading this blog told me to take it to the dealer. he did put in a battery which i did not know i needed for $183!!! Then GM contacted me via this blog and like they did to you asked me for my info. they obviously knew i was over warranty, yet set a file up for me and made an appointment at the chevy dealer. Skip to the end. Same as you. I was told i need a starter for $600. I asked them about the ignition relay switch which this blog talks about. GM called me and told me they would fight for me, they could not believe what a hard time i've had, etc. i had hope. i was then called by the "district manager" who told me i was over warranty and too bad for me. GM admitted to me that the part is defective, yet they won't do anything for me b/c of the warranty being over. I too, said if it is defective warranty should not matter, right? This last GM person was so rude I am over it. So, me too Kikib am about to spend a fortune for a car that may not even work once the money is spent. and GM? they could care less... this is the first GM car i have owned and it will be the last. btw, the 2 GM people on this site are very nice. but, nice does not get us any financial solution and the nice GM lady told me she looked at my file and i am past warranty so too bad for me
  • Mine started in the summer of 2009 and mine is a 2005. I live in southern california, so the cold weather thing did not apply. for me there was no rhyme of reason when it would start or not.

    I am so over this. and yes, soo many people have this problem, yet they refuse to do a recall. they admitted to me it is a defective part, but b/c I am over warranty all of a sudden defective seems to mean t is defective only if it is under warranty. i thought defective meant the part was no good... if this is the case they should change it out no matter when it goes. yet, they won't and they want the $600 plus to fix it and according to this blog I would be throwing $600 out. hope you have better luck than i did
  • Dweezil - thank you for sticking with me during this miserable process. the rude lady that called was district manager from GM, not Chevrolet. I figured when she heard Raymond (just a worker for GM) tell me he would fight for me and help me she didn't like that and she took over.... I am beyond frustrated. I am a person who does not give up easily, but I am very ready to give up. The lawyer was not able to see me and I can't see him till wednesday, but it does not sound like he can help. no paper trail.... calls don't count. My problem is although I have been complaining about this to saturn and now chevy for over 2 years, there is no paper trail and for that I am screwed. A friend of my daughters said he would replace the starter and or the ignition switch for me. so, now i have to give chevy the $129 for the diagnostic even though i told them what it would say (and i guess i was right) and then more $ to get the parts. Oh yeah. when I told Ms. District manager that I could get a brand new starter on line for $123. you know what she said? It was actually the only laugh I have had over this. she told me "tTHAT IS NOT AN ORIGINAL GM PART (I said thank god maybe now it will work!!) and that GM would not recognize this. which means what? they don't even recognize this is a i may just give up and spend the money and see what happens next. i have been using my daughter's car since May. She is coming home soon and I am running out of time and options.
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