15th Jan 2009, 13:07
I have a 2003 Ion 1. It currently has about 53,000 miles on it. I purchased it brand new.
The fuel filter and turn signal lamps were recalled and subsequently replaced.
I myself have replaced the hood cable, had the stabilizer arm replaced, I had an issue with the engine revving when it should have been shifting (I was told my car was learning how I drive). The fan chirps at low speeds.
This winter has been really enjoyable with the issue with the ignition switch and my car only starting sometimes. I just came from the repair shop where I spent over $200 replacing the entire windshield wiper transmission unit.
I am just waiting for what is next.
15th Jan 2009, 20:47
I purchased a Saturn Ion3 in February 04 and had one winter trouble free! I noticed starting problems in humid weather at first to cold weather during the winter. The problem is consistently getting worse. I love the car but I also like to be able to depend on it - which I can no longer do. Saturn should be ashamed of themselves not recalling the vehicles seeing this problem is being aired by so many. I will never purchase a Saturn again, nor will I recommend it to anyone!
15th Feb 2009, 12:50
I have a 2004 Saturn Ion. The car was purchased new Nov 03. I have had the starting problems since 2004. I installed a PLJX bypass module, made in Germany for GM vehicles. This as turned out to be a dud. I will try next AC Delco spec parts made in Japan. I've already spent $160, and got nowhere. Last night I spent 40 minutes waiting through ten minute cycles trying to get it to start, in freezing cold. Years ago the standard ten minutes worked well, and was just an inconvenience. But lately it's been two, three, or 4 cycles of ten minutes. This won't cut it and I'm loosing patience. I've even had to push my car off a gas pump, car was not cold but rather hot, after sitting there for ten minutes blocking a pump.
I also have the under hood noises that many have spoken about. I figured this was going to cause problems when I first started experiencing it, and did notice that tires were not wearing well on the Saturn. Typically, a 60000 mile set of tires was done in 20K, so I started buying cheaper tires. Interesting all the comments about tires. But the noise now is awful, and I got online to see what others said it was. As others have said, it is nerve wracking to hear it, while I have gotten used to it. I was really buffaloed on the steering wheel not picking up these seeming disconnects, but somehow it is insulated from the looseness of the front end misalignment. I will find out tomorrow when I take it to an independent repair shop how much that denied warranty work will cost me.
Another point, I took the car to Saturn on both issues during 2004. In both cases the shop manager denied there was any problem. After reading all these comments, I am certain that GM coached dealers in how to deal with or put off warranty claims on these vehicles. I am no longer a supporter of GM bailout money. Hate to see so many loose out, but the company deserves to go bankrupt. I will no longer support 'made in America' initiatives either.
I have also had the hood problem, turn signal problem, fan noise, etc, etc. The speaks to how rotten GM has become. In the early days of Saturn, these problems would have led to recalls right away. I cannot in good faith sell this car to someone else. I work for FEMA, and from now on I am driving to my dispatches to wear out ASAP this piece of junk car.
10th Apr 2009, 12:42
I have the Saturn Ion 3 since new and have had very good luck with it.
Positives: Starts every day, over 65,000 miles. Brakes lasted over 50,000 miles before replacement. Good gas mileage (although I still want more).
Negatives: Tire noise! I did a search to confirm that it is my tires, not the transmission or wheel bearings making a terrible noise. It came with Firestone GTA (noisy), I decided to replace them with Bridgestone (same company) and they were quiet for the first 1000 miles, then started making the same noise. This is very common on the Ion 3 with performance tires. Recommend replacing with another brand (should have gotten Goodyear). Also, car is not as tight as it was, squeaks and a rattle that started after this season's pot holes.
Wish it was easy to get an iPod connection kit that plugs into the factory radio. It has a CD/Cassette, so I use the cassette adapter, but the audio quality is not as good as an aux jack.
5th May 2009, 09:14
I have a 2003 Saturn Ion, nothing fancy put on after-market. I've got around 103,000 miles on it and no serious problems (at least not when I compare it to my 1996 GMC Jimmy :) ).
One strange thing that has happened is a little over a year ago the driver side key cylinder (that locks the car) literally fell into the door of the car. I have NO idea how this happened, and can't figure out how to fix it because when I take off the door, they've welded sheet metal over this area. Unless I need teeny hands, I don't know if this can be fixed. The door can still be locked from the key ring.
The biggest problem is now I can see the passenger side starting to go. If this happens, the only way I can get into my car is with the electric car ring that came with it. If the batteries died at the store, I'd be STUCK! Has anyone else had this bizarre problem with their Saturns? Or is this unique to my driving habits...
13th May 2009, 22:36
I currently own a Saturn 2003 ion and I must say I really have not had any really bad problems with it. My wiper transmission went (fixed that for $101.96), my driver side headlight fogs up and it is the second one (So I silicone the whole assembly after I dried it out). So all in all I really cannot complain. Still have original brakes at 56k miles. The air system at low speeds makes a noise and road noise, but I do believe it is from the tires.
26th Jun 2009, 15:34
I have a 2003 Ion 3. This was our 4th of 5 Saturns. We have had more trouble with it than with the other four - doubled! It is a piece of junk! Many of the problems I've had are listed here, so Saturn must know about them, yet they act so surprised whenever I bring it in, as if no one has ever had a problem with a Saturn yet and I am the first to complain. It's very condescending on their part, and not like the Saturn of old.
Problems I have had:
- Had to replace the starter twice at $200 a pop
- Had to replace bush arms twice at $200 a pop
- Had to replace wiper motor transmission for $350
- Headlights are milky
- Front and back brakes had to be totally replaced at 50,000. Saturn wanted $1500 to do this, but I had it done at Midas for about $750
- Coolant warning comes on when I start the car and it won't go off. First, Saturn said I needed a coolant flush. Then they kept telling me I just needed to top off my coolant and won't believe me when I tell them that hasn't worked the last three times they did it. Once, I brought it back a day after they topped it off, and they told me my problem was that it was too full!
- Light behind the gas gauge doesn't work
- Back seat windows don't work
- Sunroof rattles
- Heat/AC fan makes an atrocious racket and the dial is ridiculously hard to turn
- Horrible rattle in engine when I go 65 or faster
- Alignment is always off
- Every time I go in for an oil change, they want to change the Hepa Filter for an additional $50.
If I could afford to get another car, I'd trade this in, but not for a Saturn. They are not the company they used to be. My advice to you anyone is - Don't buy a used Ion - or a Saturn, for that matter!