8th Mar 2006, 11:43

I have a 2003 - Ion 3 Saturn and today I took my car in because of the panel flashing vehicle problems (also showed a car with a pad lock symbol). Saturn called me just now and said it was my ignition switch, and that it will cost me $100.00 because I have a $100.00 deductible. The problem is that the ignition switch bypasses the security system, which explains the Security System icon at the same time. This is a known problem, and there is a Service Bulletin on it. I found it on the Internet. Other people have had the same problems with their Ions. But I am a second-time Saturn owner and I think since Saturn knows of this problem it should be a RECALL. Since I have owed this Saturn I have had some painful experiences with many parts of the engine. I have paid many $100.00 deductibles and I am getting a little tired of paying. I am so glad I took the car in. I am very conscious about taking care of my car because I know I could be stuck late at night with a dead car. Saturn has always been a good name, and many of my friends had purchased one when I purchased my first Saturn in 1997, because I trust their words. Now I am 4 steps back about praising the Saturn line. If Saturn knows about the many problems people are having, and still doesn't own up to their problem, then they have changed how they feel about their cars and do not care about their customers.

22nd May 2006, 17:53

I own a 2003 Saturn Ion and have had the ignition switch replaced 3 times. The last in November 2005, and also the computer.

My car didn't turn over Thursday May 18th at lunch, and when I tried a couple minutes later it started, so I took it to the Saturn dealer and told them the problem again, and they checked the car and said no codes came up, or couldn't find a problem with the switch, the battery or the starter.

Saturday night, May 20th at 12:30 a.m. my car wouldn't start again. Now I have to have it towed to Saturn to tell me the switch again, and when I asked them when they replaced it the last time, they said it was the computer, but with the second switch they said it was faulty switches. I must have got the whole lot.

Now I find there is a problem with the switch from this web site, but I was never told. But why do they keep replacing them and not fixing the problem?

29th Jan 2007, 19:34

I own an '04 Ion. In Jan. of '05, I had the same problem with it not starting, had it jumped thinking it was the battery, etc. I took it to Saturn that day, described the problem, and that I thought I had a bad battery. They said no, it sounded like my ignition switch. I was told a woman had been in and they thought she was crazy when she said her car would not start on super cold mornings... until the sun hit the hood of the car. They figured out she was right, and that the ignition switch was bad. They had found it on a lot of cars, and the dealer told me they thought it SHOULD be a recall. They fixed it, and I had no other problems until last week, when it started happening again. (Winter of '06 I was in the South) I have moved and am trying to get it into another dealership that isn't as helpful as my first. This should have been a recall 2 or 3 years ago!

30th Jan 2007, 02:05

I have an 05 Saturn Ion with this same problem of not starting on cold days. When I called the dealer he said maybe switch, funny that when I asked if he had seen it before he said not really. This has very good information on this site. Now I know the problem. Thanks to all for the info.

31st Jan 2007, 15:49

I have a 2003 Ion and the key gets stuck in the ignition a lot. Sometimes it takes 10 or more minutes to get it out. Took it to the dealer and they said it was an "actuator" sticking in the shifter on the floor. But most of the many many complaints on different websites say the problem is the tumblers in the steering column. Darned if I know, but it cost me a bundle and when I got it home the key stuck in the ignition. Seems to me from all the people complaining about the same problem, there should be a recall. They lost me as a customer when I called the main Saturn office and they couldn't have cared less.

7th Feb 2007, 18:41

I have a 2003 Saturn L200 and last week when it was very cold, I think it was in the 20's the car wouldn't start. After attempting several times to start my car, I had to get it towed. The mechanic could not see me that day, but promised that he would look at it first thing in the morning. The next day the car started right up for the mechanic. He called me to say that they could find nothing wrong. I got my car back and thus far have not had any problems. It hasn't been as cold. Today, one of my co-workers asked if I had problems starting my car when it was cold. He said his neighbor had a Saturn and when it was cold outside it would not start and that there was an entire website dedicated to this issue. I'm glad that I have found this information. While I was happy not to have to pay to get my car fixed that day, I have been uneasy about driving for fear that one day I will be stuck somewhere and the car won't start. I can't tell you how excited I am going to be to tell the mechanic tomorrow that I wasn't crazy and that he wasn't either because he couldn't find anything.

13th Mar 2007, 05:22

I live in Indiana & I own a 2004 Ion. Anytime the temp. drops below 25-30 my car won't start. I've had it in to the shop 4 times, with no real solution.

16th Mar 2007, 15:48

I own a 2003 Saturn ION, and have the same cold start issues.

Today I started my car to back it out of the garage, so I could replace a blown turn signal bulb. Ten minutes later the car won't start. Nothing happens when I turn the switch, but I do notice the Passlock is ON, telling me that the computer thinks the car is being started or attempted to being started illegally. This is not the first time this has happened. Whenever it gets to around 30F, it happens. I have had the car two months, and it has happened about ten times.

So today I determined that it isn't the ignition switch at all, but is actually the resistive (Passlock) circuit inside the ignition switch that is causing the issue. When the temperature drops, the resistive value in the Passlock system also drops. Apparently when the temperature drops below 30F or so, the resistive value measured by the Passlock system is out of specification, so the car won't start. This locks out the system for ten minutes.

Instead of paying $200 to $500 each time this happens to get the ignition switch replaced, I am bypassing the Passlock system. This removes the problem 100%, and should allow the car to start EVERY SINGLE TIME. Some GM cars have the resistor in the key, some have it in the ignition switch. Unfortunately for us ION owners, the resistor is inside the ignition switch. You can bypass the Passlock system completely so it will never be a problem. I ordered the Passlock bypass module today to render this problem obsolete. There are many bypass systems out there. The PLJX is the latest model, and I found it on Ebay for $39 plus shipping. This device bypasses the Passlock system so the car will start every time. I will post again when I receive the unit and have it installed. Hopefully this is an inexpensive and permanent fix for Saturn's mistakes.