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 Idle problem.mov
In this video we show you how to replace an idle air control solenoid and
clean the throttle body on a 1996 Saturn. This car was having a
excessively high idle. It would stay at 1500 RPM even though your foot was
not on the gas pedal. This was caused by carbon build up around and behind
the throttle body as well as a defective idle air control solenoid.
Jonesy's Auto Club videos are for reference and entertainment only and
should not be taken as a direct step by step guides. If you attempt a
repair like the one seen in this video please use the proper safety
equipment, take your time and do the job right.