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
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.
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?
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!
2004 Saturn Ion 2.2 Misfire Case Study (P0300)
To learn more about Engine Performance Diagnostics, go to
This video covers primary ignition operation and coil current ramping on a
waste spark ignition system. The engine that is in this Saturn Ion is a
Chevy 2.2L Ecotec and is the same engine used in the Chevy Cavalier.
Some other highlights of this video:
How to use misfire counters on scan data.
Transistor operation and testing.
Ignition coil current ramp analysis.
How to check resistance of an ignition coil on an Ecotec engine.
How to check an ignition module with a test light.
2000 Saturn LS1, Starting Defect
The anti theft system in the 2000 Saturn LS1, thinks you're trying to steal
the car sometimes. You have to wait ten minutes before the 'Security'
light stops flashing. Once the security light is not flashing you can
start the car. Trying to start the car with the security light flashing
will either burn out your starter or deplete your battery!
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
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.
GM Passkey Passlock VATS Bypass
PLEASE CLICK THE "SHOW MORE" BELOW AND SPEND A MINUTE READING THRU THIS -
IT MAY HELP YOU MORE THAN THE VIDEO. THANKS!
This video shows how to bypass the anti-theft circuit on a 2007 Chevy
Silverado (Classic) 2500HD Diesel. This probably should work for any full
size 2003-2007 (classic) GM truck or 2003-2006 SUV. My guess is that even
the smaller trucks and SUV's with this type of steering column will also be
For information I have found on the different types of GM systems and
relearn procedures please download this pdf:
You will need to remove the dash trim (snaps out - careful that you pull
enough just to get it snapped away from the cluster and not crack or break
the dash trim), knee panel (7mm screws at the bottom of the panel and
snap/guides at the top) below the steering wheel and the metal wiring cover
(10mm nuts) under the steering shaft.
Find the yellow and black small gauge wires coming from the top of the key
cylinder that are bundled in with 7 larger gauge wires and three other
smaller gauge wires at the bottom side of the steering column - these are
in there own bundle. There is another bundle for the clock spring that runs
with this bundle - DO NOT GET INTO THAT HARNESS as it contains all your
steering wheel controls (if applicable) and your air bag. Cut the yellow
wire and strip a section of the black wire to get a meter on. Strip both
ends of the yellow wire. Put the black lead on the black wire and the red
lead on the yellow wire going up to the key cylinder. Insert your key into
the ignition and turn it to the "ON" position (do not start the vehicle -
will only run for a second or so even if you do). Set your meter to ohms
and get that reading. Go to radio shack and by resistor(s) that will match
the resistance you read on the meter. Install the resistor(s) across the
black and yellow wire going back into the vehicles I/BCM or ignition/body
control module. Using a solder gun for this is best. Heat shrink or tape
and secure the resistor(s) and yellow wire going back up to the key
cylinder. You should be able to start your vehicle now using your remote
start or any $3 cut key from Home Depot or other hardware store.
This bypass could also solve a GM vehicle mysteriously not starting or
dying on occasion. I have a 2002 Suburban that would start and run for just
a second and then cut off and it turned out the anti-theft circuit was
failing and causing the problem. Once I installed this type of bypass,
never had the issue again.
Feel free to post comments or suggestions and if you have any questions I
will do my best to answer them.
Since I posted this video, I have had several questions from people
swapping steering columns; engines; PCM's; BCM's etc. and felt like I
should add some more information here since I know I am not the fastest in
responding to questions here and most of you out there want to get your
vehicle going faster than my
response in most cases!
Let me try to briefly explain how the VATS system works: When you insert
the key into the ignition and turn it to on/start it sends a
voltage/resistance signal to a BCM (Body Control Module) and the BCM tells
the PCM (Power Control Module or often also referred to as the ECU ECM PCU
Computer) to start the engine. If the BCM gets the incorrect signal from
the ignition, it sends a message to the PCM to shut off the injectors. In
some cases it will also shut off the fuel pump. So in most cases, that
circuit between the ignition and BCM is breaking down at the ignition hall
sensor and causing the BCM to send a message to shut the vehicle down. In
a lot of cases you may only have to do a relearn procedure. You can
download this in the link in the paragraph above.
So if you are doing any swapping (ie PCM's; BCM's; steering columns or
other parts in the anti theft system) everything will have to match up. As
an example - if you swap in a 6.6L Duramax for that gas guzzling 8.1L, you
would use the PCM from the 6.6L but probably want to keep the BCM and
ignition you have. The old BCM and ignition wont match what is in the
6.6L's PCM so you would need to do a relearn or have the ignition and BCM
from the 6.6L doner vehicle. Three key components have to be on the same
page: Ignition "Hall Sensor", BCM and the PCM. The relearn procedure
should put all of these on the same page if you have no failing components.
And here is my disclaimer:
I hold no liability or responsibility in the information provided here or
in the video. I am posting this information as guidance for people that
are having issues installing remote starting systems or GM vehicles not
starting or dying for no reason. If you use this information to bypass
your vehicles anti-theft system it will do exactly as it says - bypasses
built in anti-theft protection. Do this at your own risk and discretion.
Saturn Ion ignition switch replace part 2
I have 6 videos
Part - 1 - removing the steering column bezel
Part - 2 - Replacing the ignition switch and putting the steering column
bezel back on
Part - 3 - First step of the Pass Lock reset
Part - 4 - second step of the Pass Lock reset
Part - 5 - third step of the Pass Lock reset
Part - 6 - Success.
2004 Saturn Ion Coupe: The Best Car Ever Made
I'm selling my Saturn. Want it?
Throw me your best offer!
FAQ: I'm in Dallas, TX. Let's do it!
The car just had an oil change, engine flush, fresh brake fluid, and an
inspection. It should be good to go for awhile!