2003 Saturn Ion that won't start in cold weather

Documenting my attempt to use a fix I found on the internet to resolve an issue that plagues 2003-2004 Saturn Ions. The models in this year can have difficulty starting in cold weather. At first it was pretty sporadic for me but this year it was almost constant. In the video I replace the ignition switch which actually ended up resolving my problem. I guess there is a lubricant in this switch that SHOULDN'T harden in cold weather but the ones that shipped in the cars of these years do. Total cost $29.99 and about 30 minutes of time. The specific symptoms you will see with this issue are (usually in cold weather) you will try to start the car and it might crank a couple times but then die. When you try to start it again you will hear a short fire but then it stops. This is because the security system has kicked in and shut off fuel to the vehicle for 10 minutes. After you wait 10 minutes you can try to start it again. This cycle can happen multiple times (at its worst I would have to go almost an hour of doing this). Once you replace the part you may have to reset the security (passlock). This is done by turning the key to start (but it won't) and then leaving it in the run position until the lock light in the dash quits blinking (about 10 minutes). You then do this again (again waiting 10 minutes) and finally a THIRD time (waiting another 10 minutes). After the third attempt you turn the key to OFF and wait 30 seconds (this waiting is important I am told!). It should then fire up. Be sure to watch this on the Web if you can as I have a lot of in-video comments to help!

More Videos...


Cutting White Wire on Saturn Ion to Fix Starting Issue
UPDATE 3/21/2014: My car is still working fine. I still have not had a problem with it starting since I posted this video 5 years ago. Still on the same battery. Thanks for all the comments! This is me showing how I cut the passlock wire on my car. My car would not start on damp, cold mornings, often taking 30 - 40 minutes to get it to start. After reading several forums I found users who were doing this to "fix" the problem. I thought I would tape this for anyone who was thinking of doing the same but doesn't know anything about cars. Like me. :) Note: I owe thanks to meron for the post at this link http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1137a7/83 it is where I first heard about this solution. Update 10.6.2012: I added a switch, I believe it was this one http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062533 I installed it with it in the off position, started the car, switched it to On while the car was running and the service engine light went away. Car started fine after that. I just shut it off again as it was cold one morning this week and I had trouble getting the car started. Once I got it running, turned it off and haven't had trouble starting it since. YMMV





Pass Lock System Status Tip Clip
LBT 114 / tip clip / with Bill Fulton





2004 saturn ion wont start in the cold
3 to 4 years of dealing with this car not starting in the cold. I already replaced the ignition switch a few times. I have a brand new battery, starter is fine, have tried HEAT in the gas tank too.





2007 Saturn ION Starting Problems
Since we drove the car off the lot it would periodically not start on demand only to start some time later (usually 15 minutes or so). Because this problem cannot be replicated on demand we have filmed an instance when the car would not start.




Follow