22nd Sep 2008, 08:28

I bought an Ion 3 new in 2003 and am still driving it without any problems. This was my third Saturn, having owned a 1994 SL that was still running strong after 225k at trade in and a 1994 SW2 which was still running great at 175K at time of trade in. Have since purchased a 2007 VUE and true to form, it is performing as great as all the Saturns I have owned.

9th Oct 2008, 15:18

I have a 2003 Saturn Ion Level 2, and am experiencing the dashboard lights (behind the guages) being completely out. Only the needles illuminate. The lights originally were flickering on and off, then about 7 months ago they turned completely off. ALSO, my rear driver side tail light (bottom bulb) does not work, and I failed inspection due to that. I'm wondering if that's the same problem. I had the bulb replaced but to no avail. AND... my switch for the mirrors will move my driver/passenger mirrors DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, but NOT up. Same issue? Any ideas?

I just went to my local saturn dealership, and they advised that the BCM could be bad. I have an appointment on the 25th. Anyone have ANY clue what I can do to try to resolve this before I go to the appointment? I checked the fuses and all are fine.

Getting frustrated by the day with this car.

18th Nov 2008, 16:04

I have to agree with most of the people on site. I have a 2003 Saturn ION 2 and I have had nothing but problems from day 1.

Every time I take it in, they tell me that they can't find what is wrong it. When they do find the problem, each time no less than $500.

I have replaced my ignition switch two times and still have the no start problem. Recently I was at the dealership for hours forcing them to look at my car. I don't know what has been worse, the problems with the car or the problems with the dealership.

The worst was I had the IAC valve replaced; it took almost two years for them to find this problem.

I have replaced the fuel pump and fuel filter. I have also replaced the front control arm bushings. When I ask how to keep these problems from coming back, they tell me that it is just normal maintenance.

I only have 74000 miles. I will never purchase another Saturn as long as I live. This car has proven to be a piece of junk...

23rd Nov 2008, 07:51

We own a 2006 Saturn Ion3 -- 2.2 4 cylinder purchased new. Unlike my son-in-law, who is on a first name basis with the all the maintenance guys at his dealership (new Dodge Magnum Hemi), I would not recognize the maintenance guys at my Saturn dealership if I tripped over them at the local mall. In other words, no problems at 48,000 miles.

That being said, my 1996 Mazda 6 has more comfortable seats, a better heater & better windshield wipers than the Ion!!

And come on guys at Saturn, squeaky bushings on a modern car?!!! Mine does it only in cold weather! I finally fixed the squeaking bushings with a Teflon coating available at www.slipstreamfs.com.

5th Dec 2008, 03:23

This will be my last GM purchase ever. We bought the Saturn ION new in 03 and it has slowly been falling apart.

Numerous small issues with interior and electricals.

Had to have the engine replaced at 100,000 miles.

Had to rebuild the A/C switch twice.

Like many others, hood release is broke, accelerator sticks when cold, transmission jerks, suspension terrible, windshield wiper broke recently and the list goes on.

I have always been an advocate of buying American made, but what's the point anymore, especially when foreign cars are built here in America and American cars are so junky.

10th Dec 2008, 12:39

I own a 200 Saturn Ion3 and I have had no problems with it except my kids staining the seats up, which it's in the shop now, and they are cleaning them for free, and if the stains don't come out, they are replacing them free.

I love my car and wouldn't trade it.

15th Dec 2008, 19:41

I also have a 2003 Saturn ION 3, thought it was a good deal. Thought wrong!

Milky headlamps, replaced lower control arms, and currently sounds like the ignition needs to be replaced.

I only have 47,000 miles on it and try to take good care of it, but I just wonder what will be next?

So, I think that it will be wise to ditch the Saturn and not look back!

I am sorry for everyones problems and wish you all good luck. Utah.

27th Dec 2008, 18:46

I have a 2003 Saturn Ion and although the car has been reliable, the engine is awfully loud... to the point that it is hard to have a conversation in the cabin. I have 56,000 miles. I'm wondering if others experience the same loud engine noise?

28th Dec 2008, 20:00

I have a 2003 Saturn Ion 2, which I bought as a program car with 16,000 miles. It now has 72,000.

I drive a lot, but the common problems that I have been having include whistling noise in the cab, doesn't start under 34 degrees (said to be a defect with the ignition grease), revving engine while pressing the brake, impossible to have it aligned properly, the seats stain very easily and nothing helps it, dim headlights, and squeaky steering wheel.

My biggest concern though is when braking from 45 mph or above it bobbles, shakes, and becomes rough. It is incredibly annoying and no one can find the problem. It has been doing it since about 30,000 miles. I HATE IT!!! I drive mostly on the interstate and just the lightest press on the brake causes this to happen.

I am trading it in on a Toyota in a few days, but I have to say that overall it has been a pretty reliable car as far as not breaking down, and it does get me from A to B without dying.

I probably won't buy another Saturn though. Also not impressed with the dealership's moody attitude.

2nd Jan 2009, 13:11

I purchased an Ion2 brand new in 2003. I was told by the dealership (trading in my 1999 SL2) that the Ion was the same thing, just redesigned interior and center console/instrument panel. It currently has 65000 miles on it and it's been problems from early on. To the above, I can only say DITTO, except for the not starting below 34 degrees because I haven't had that problem. My seats look like someone was murdered on them, despite scotch-guarding. The engine skips sometimes or hesitates to shift at about 45 mph.

Mine also needed new brake pads at 25K, 4 new tires at 20K and 37K, it can't be aligned properly and rotating tires gives you a horrible shake... so I keep them on there until they wear out, which is the recommendation of two different Saturn dealerships because they know that rotating them is useless. Had new rear tires 18 months ago at 50K, new front tires at 60K. Cabin noise is loud humming all the time and since my radio has a short that Saturn won't replace for less than $300 (when it died in 2006), the cabin noise is really loud because there is no radio to drown it out! The door shutting sound like I'm shutting a Little Tikes car. The hood latch broke and the Valvoline people have to do some unnatural act to get it to open and then be able to shut the hood at each oil change. Recently had a really loud revving noise sounding like the car wasn't shifting at 50+mph, but the RPMs were only at 2000. Took in to Saturn, with rest of my concerns (dome light shorted, instrument panel lights out on half of the panel, key won't come out of the ignition, lots of clicking behind steering wheel trying to get key out, shaking when braking, etc) and was told that the "not shifting" noise was actually a "hub bearing" in the right front that needed to be replaced for $335 because "the whole thing could separate and the tire fall off and make you wreck". (Gee is that all!?!?) They also said that the dome light was a switch, key not coming out is a shifter solenoid problem, radio is a short, lights on panel was a bulb and all told, was going to be $1200. OH, and by the way, you're tires are cupping on all 4 tires, so just keep them there until they all wear out and then replace them; you have a bent rim; you will soon need transmission service and you'll need brake work soon also.

I've also had the issues with the turn signals not working, and plenty of the other things that everyone else is saying.

Unfortunately, financially I can't get rid of it, but as soon as I can - it's gone!! Don't waste your money! (I have to admit that I also have a 2003 Ion 1 that has had few problems in comparison, however, the brakes, tires, alignment, etc. have also been problems with that one. It was the one that wouldn't start in below 34degrees and gear shifting is tough (manual) and feels like it won't go into higher gears. Either way, they are both gone as soon as I can rid myself of them! I'll never purchase another Saturn again, despite GM making them now! My family had 7 total over the years and after the 2002-2004 models we have owned, they are all being traded in on something other than Saturns)