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.
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
2004 Saturn ION Starting Problems
This problem occurs once in awhile and is more common in cold weather,
where the car does not want to start or even try to turn over at all. If
you wait about 20 minuets without trying to start the engine and try again
later it sometimes works, what could be the cause of this problem?
How to Test and Troubleshoot a Starter Problem
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no-start condition by performing simple battery load and voltage drop tests
using a multimeter, plus tips and advice for all levels of auto repair
experience, including DIY. Sponsored by BBB Industries - makers of premium
alternators and starters that meet or exceed OE form, fit and function.
How to Remove & Replace a Starter:
How to Use a Multimeter to Troubleshoot Common Problems:
How to Properly Shim a Starter:
Detailed white paper on heat soak condition:
Eric the Car Guy is an ASE-certified Master Technician based in Cincinnati,
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!
Saturn Engineering: How to start a Saturn with any key
Saturn Engineering: How to start a Saturn with any key
My friend starting his car with many different keys. We used a honda civic
key, a nissan sentra key, a regular house key, and even a chunk of metal.
The ignition of the car had some issues and it pretty much would turn by
itself without any key. I believe this issue is very common in old saturn
Saturn Ion key ignition stuck, part 1. Repair part 2 link below
Please Deactivate Adblock, because it removes on screen instructions to
this part 1. A more important part 2 was added ( How to fix it
permanently) just click on the following link http://youtu.be/gSXk5LQDflo
The problem was on a 2005 saturn ion with automatic transmission. The key
refuse to return to OFF position and to come out of ignition slot .
Ignition only accept ACC ON START. ( this switch will also causes the doors
to lock inadvertenly if you climb out of the car and leave it running on
its own). On this video, watch How to MANUALLY OVERIDE IGNITION SWITCH
SOLENOID and troubleshooting, in my case , it lead to the automatic
transmission SHIFTER PARK MICROSWITCH, it failed frequently. As I got
closer to the microswitch, loosing daylight , my cam focus was acting out
the shifter is totally black making it hard to shoot I had to speed up and
get it done. WATCH CLOSELY HOW I SLIGHTLY BEND THE MICROSWITCH LEVER TO
GIVE IT MORE STRENGHT, i used a needle nose plier . The microswitch is held
in place by a removable plastic clip ( it's got a green line painted onto
it as you can see on the still image just prior to click on the play icon )
I removed with a small flat tip screwdriver pushing from the Inside out ,
no need to unclip top shifter panel. So after all this, I went for a test
ride, the problem disappeared, yes! it works, so far so good but a
permanent fix is required , it is best to replace it. So, watch part 2 you
will see better how to fix it. http://youtu.be/gSXk5LQDflo
( new update 23dec 2014, I just received a GM RECALL for this exact
2006 Saturn Ion Start Up, Engine, and In Depth Tour
In this video I give a full in depth tour of a 2006 Saturn Ion. I take
viewers on a close look through the interior and exterior of this car while
showing details, over viewing of features, and noting unique styling cues
to the vehicle itself. I also show the engine and the details of it, start
it up and see how it sounds under acceleration. A thorough tour/review of
this car designed to give others a greater overall appreciation of the
No Crank, No Start Diagnosis - EricTheCarGuy
Visit me at
Whenever you have a no start condition when attempting to start your
vehicle it's important to make the distinction between "no crank, no start"
and "crank, no start" situations as they are treated differently. This
video covers what I do when confronted with a 'no crank, no start'
situation and in this case it's a worst case scenario so be sure to watch
till the end.
Starter diagnosis video
No start basics video
Parasitic draw video
Click below and Stay Dirty
Visit me at EricTheCarGuy.com
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GM passlock problem
2001 Impala Base 114,xxx miles.
Runs & drives perfect, except....
GM replaced BCM computer 9-09. Accomplished nothing.
I replaced ignition switch w/NAPA part 10-09-09. Worked great for 2 weeks.
Then started having the same ole trouble.
I replaced ignition key tumbler switch w/passlock sensor w/NAPA part
No problems until this week 1-13-10.
Still doing the same exact thing it was doing before I replaced anything.
Hasn't started any day this week. 10 minute wait, etc. will not work.
Starts when it wants to.
Anyone have any ideas on how to properly repair this chronic problem?
----NOTE----the problem is fixed.
Cleaned the contacts on the BCM computer fuse.
That's all it took. If your car is exhibiting symptoms exactly like mine
did, I'd try that 1st.
Crash Test 2005 - 2007 (Discontinued) Saturn Ion IIHS
FRONTAL OFFSET TEST
OVERALL EVALUATION: Acceptable
Structure/safety cage Injury measures Restraints/dummy kinematics
Head/neck Chest Leg/foot, left Leg/foot, right
Acceptable Acceptable Good Good Acceptable Acceptable
Important: Frontal crash test ratings can be compared only among vehicles
of similar weight.
The Saturn ION was introduced in the 2003 model year as a replacement for
the SL. The size of the steering wheel was increased beginning with 2005
models and its number of spokes was increased from two to four. Also, the
driver airbag deployment characteristics were changed slightly.
Restraints/dummy kinematics — Dummy movement was reasonably well
controlled. During rebound, the dummy's head hit the B-pillar. Also during
the impact, the steering wheel broke off from the column.
Injury measures — Measures taken from the neck and chest indicate low
risk of injuries to these body regions in a crash of this severity. High
head accelerations occurred when the dummy's head hit both the steering
wheel through the airbag and the B-pillar, indicating that injuries to the
head would be possible. Forces on the right tibia indicate that injuries to
the lower leg would be possible.