Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Saturn Ion Starting Problems



  • I have had the same problem and I live in southern california.. My no starting started in the summer of 2009 and at that time it was 12 minutes later it would start up. Eventually it became 20 then 30, sometimes up to an hr. I would go out and start the car 30 minutes b/f I had to leave for work to make sure I was not late. after 2 years of this intermittent problem, last May it finally would not start at all. Same as you, new battery, new starter. it drove for 1 week and the key has been stuck ever since. No amount of jiggling will get it out. My next move was going to be the ignition relay switch as well, but now we have the key being stuck to deal with and I am in no position to spend $ I don't have... I need to renew my AAA and get it towed to my daughter's friend who knows cars. I am so over my Saturn and wish it would just run so I can sell it or trade it in. GM was next to no help. the ladies on here were very nice as was the 1st person they put me in touch with. Eventually a supervisor got involved and told me too bad. you are out of warranty and doesn't matter the problem started way b/f I ran out of warranty and never mind they were are over 900 messages posted, they know about the problem, but refuse to do a recall. GM sucks and I will not be buying another GM vehicle.
  • brava58brava58 Posts: 27
    I feel for you and everyone else with these horrible cars. Mine hasn't been as bad as yours but it is now happening more frequently and taking longer to start. It doesn't seem to matter what type of weather. Mine even wouldn't start sitting on the 8th level a garage, out of the elements. It is craziness. I have really low mileage on it but am going to get rid of it. Like you and many others, I have been late for work and have had to take cabs... more money out the window.

    Good luck.
  • sgb2003sgb2003 Posts: 44
    Mine hasn't started at all, so I can't even take it anywhere unless I get it towed. I haven't tried starting it over 30 min or so for fear I might run the battery down completely or burn the starter motor, but I have tried several times over multiple days, and in a reasonably warm garage.

    The white wire solution, does it work only with a running car? That's what the youtube video seems to imply.
  • There is a difference between the ignition switch and the ignition relay switch. After reading some of the posts on here, I think that we are supposed to replace the ignition switch and NOT the relay switch. I just went to an auto parts store. The ignition relay switch is a little black box that has prongs sticking out of it and is $10.99, but I think the one we need is the ignition switch which I had to order for $25.99. I'll let you know if that works!
  • Hello saturntech9. Are we supposed to replace the ignition switch or the ignition relay switch? They are two different things and there are referencees to both on this site. Thanks!
  • You want to replace the ignition switch not the relay replacing the switch has been the number one fix for the no start issue.
  • mdg920mdg920 Posts: 1
    We just bought a 2004 Saturn Ion 3 and guess what? Starting problems the last two mornings! Will installing a remote starter fix this issue?
  • Yep, I took the ignition relay switch back and got the "Ignition Switch", Echlin part # KS7138. I have yet to put it in yet. It's been snowing/raining here and I dont' have a garage :-( But it looks fairly simple. The YouTube video sure is a help. 0&feature=plcp
  • Just replace the ignition switch its a lot easier and cheaper and will fix the problem.
  • Well, after a little drama at the auto shop, I will spare you the details, I now have a new ignition switch. We'll see if this works! If it doesn't, you will hear from me again! I will try to remember to follow up in a week or so to let you know if this worked!
  • Oh, please share the drama. It really helps to explain the total frustration we have to experience as a result of GM's poor engineering.
    I replaced my ignition switch about 3 months probs since...hope yours works as well:)
  • brava58brava58 Posts: 27
    Can you tell me about how much it cost to have the ignition switch replaced?

  • $56 at AutoZone. Future son-in-law and I replaced it in about 40 minutes (30 minutes being the reprogramming of the key). Check the 7 part YouTube video for easy step-by-step instructions.
  • brava58brava58 Posts: 27
    edited January 2012
    Umm, I mean to have it done by someone else. I wouldn't even begin to think I could do it. But thanks.
  • Hey Behn Zarecky... Did you fix Michelas car yet?
  • I paid my local mechanic 125.00 total to replace the switch and relearn the computer. about 1 hr total time.
  • etofmaineetofmaine Posts: 9
    edited January 2012
    I am currently purchasing a 03 Saturn Ion, Standard, Cruise, 6 CD player and the lot..... The vehicle was owned by a GM employee and was maintained by GM dealership. Assuming that if they had an ignition cylinder issue it has been dealt with along with most other issues over the years. However I did notice excessive wear on the key itself. [new keys coming with purchase btw] On that note, I found that with the excessive wear it would sometimes not open the vehicle doors or trunk compartment. Not sure if any of you have noticed any excessive wear on your keys but those particles would most likely end up in the locking devices such as ignition switches [most used] . Maybe compressed air could clean out particles causing jams [prior to problem if your noticing excessive wear]. If the key is having issues with other locks on the vehicle it is probably time for a new key before it becomes entrapped in the ignition switch. I have priced Keys from duplication for $3 to made by VIN for $25. By VIN is more accurate way to make new key if yours is badly worn as duplication only copies any wear.

    Food for thought!
  • Read post #248 and several following it!keywords=allin:msgte- xt%20limit%3A.f1137a7%206%20CD#MSG246
  • The ignition switch itself cost me $25.99 and the installation was $90 at a shop. It took them a long time to do though because they had trouble resetting the security system, but it all seems to be working okay so far!
  • You cant just blow out the brass filing from the key and tumblars the they have to be removed dissambled cleaned with brake clean and lubed with dry graphite.
  • mojo22mojo22 Posts: 5
    Don't do it!

    Don't expect any help from GM or anyone if the car goes nuts. I tried to get help from them and all they wanted to do was schedule me for an appointment. I asked her, "How the hell can I schedule an appointment and get the car in if it won't start?' She couldn't answer the question.

    Never again for a Saturn or GM product. GM= Great Mistakes
  • brava58brava58 Posts: 27
    I'm now thinking that replacing the ignition switch won't do anything in the long run. If you go back and read the messages on here there are many people who replaced these switches not once but some twice or more. The same problem kept happening. I was hoping for it to be the answer, and not the "cut the white wire rant" but I don't think this is it either. :cry:
  • To all that own a saturn.....especially ions. I have something to say........get rid of it if you can!! I too have had ignition switch issues and had it replaced at the dealer and it worked fine however......around thanksgiving when a friend and i were doing a oil change, i noticed underneath the car that after owning this piece of junk for 8 years,my fuel lines were rusting out and leaking gas behind the back left tire and in the same area i had a whole in my exhaust. I considered it a hazard cause if the fumes were anywhere near the gas leak i wouldnt be here talking to you now. Anyways the dealer said it would be $900 for new exhaust since the whole exhaust was rusted out and about the same for fuel lines which all had to be done this month to pass inspection!! The car is a piece of junk!!!!! So i bought myself a "non gm-non american car". I bought a 2012 hyundai accent which i love and am now trouble free of the ever unpopular faulty ignition switch saturn car!! Just my two cents..........adam
  • Oh by the way, i got $1900 for it and it was according to kelly blue book worth $ i guess gm helped me after all.........thanks gm........lmao
  • If your exhaust and fuel lines got rusted out then you live where it snows and they put salt down to melt the snow and ice.When you add salt to water in high amounts they do when they do this it makes salt water.Which is highly corrossive to metal which destroys brake rotors drums exhaust metal fuel line metal body panels etc.Its not the cars fault its the harsh enviroment you live in with the salt and snow on the road.I worked for the saturn dealers for over 16yrs fixing the cars.Most of the time in southern california which i never saw those issues.I did spend a few years working at the saturn dealer in upstate new york which i saw the rusted out issues like you talking about.People up there liked the saturns because of the plastic body panels that didnt rust out like the metal ones.Just thought i would share that with you keep your new car long enough where you live and you will what iam talking about with the salt and snow.I would atleast get the car a under coating treatment.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,240
    edited January 2012
    >bought a 2012 hyundai accent which i love and am now trouble free

    You should be in the Hyundai forums telling them how wonderful their chosen cars are? Why are you posting here--you said you're done with the Saturn? Why drag it on?

    Actually, in re the corrosion, my GM owners manuals recommend washing off the underside the car at the end of the winter salt season IIRC.

    I personally take mine to the do-it-yourself car wash when the weather breaks and I spend my minutes spraying the underside instead of the pretty part. I do that 3-4 times during our winter. Then in the spring I use my garden hose to spray the underside. If there's a rainy period that washes the salt off the roads, I drive my cars during a rain to spray the undersides with fresh water to rinse down salts.

    I wash the underside rinsing off the salt that throws up on the parts, including the brake lines and gas lines if they are metal, and corrodes them. I personally believe the brine solution that is pre-sprayed onto roads here in Ohio are more corrosive than the mixed salts granules they use.

    So some preventative maintenance would have helped your car. I would do that with the Hyundai. Hyundai had major problems with their Accents in the past and that's part of the reason they came out with the non-transferrable 100,000 mi/10 yr warranty. So the warranty won't change the used value of the cars in reality because the next owner dun't get the warranty!

    Report back to us in 10 years and let us know how you're doing.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    That tends to happen when the conversation turns to personally-directed comments.

    Make remarks about posts, not about other members.


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

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • yes the ignition relay switch is the cube that goes into your fuse box... i didnt buy a new one but i did go to my local dealership and the parts guy was really nice, he offered to switch one of the relays that arent so often used but we knew worked (he switched the rear defrost with it, saved me $10 bucks lol) with the ignition relay. it worked for a week or so then same problems again... ive taken it to our machanic and left it for a week or so and of course it didnt act up once while it was there, go figure!! i think im going to try the remote start and see how that works for me, i guess im pretty lucky that i have a back up vehicle for the moment... its just very frustrationg!!!! :mad:
  • I would just replace the ignition switch that is the number one fix for that random no start.I have replaced so many of those ignition switches for random no starts i have lost count.That switch was redisgned 3 or 4 times for that random no start issue.There is even a bulletin saturn has out for it to replace the ignition switch.
  • i bought my ion jan. 1, 2011, when i got mine i had no troubles with it, until november... dun dun dahhh! the problems didnt start til until the original 7 year old battery died... i replaced the battery after having it tested and confirmed... first bit of money put into the car, a week after i got the battery put in the car wouldnt start... @ 230 in the morning i cranked it 3 times the 3rd time it started but immediatley stalled on me, i had a friend of mine jump me and it immediatley started... i thought it was the battery so i took it back to have it checked they said it was fine... i have been having problems with it ever since it would sometimes go 2 or 3 weeks just fine but as soon as the cold hit again the car didnt want to start.

    it was weird most of the time cuz i would try it but then go back out around mid day and it would start just fine.... so i started looking on here and saw ppl were saying the ignition relay which i had one of the parts guys at the dealership look at it and he showed me a free way to c if it was the problem by switching it with the defrost relay. that didnt work :cry: as ive been reading i think that im going to try the remote start it seems to be having alot of sucess and i think i can live with spending $200 on that, ive always wanted one especially if it helps to make my "lil blue" start.

    sad the main reason i wanted that car was cuz i thought it was a gorgeous blue.... now im thinking the 1999 ford taurus would have been a better option!!! I love my car when it runs for me but its just so frustrating when it has this problem, also key does get stuck occasionaly but i use the spare now that has alot less wear on it
Sign In or Register to comment.