21st Feb 2008, 09:42

I have an 05 Ion that came with only the bare essentials. No power features, no anti-theft system, not even cruise control. Anyways, I'm the second owner and bought the car at 58K. The car now has 72K.

Like dozens of you have already mentioned, the car has failed to start on three different cold mornings. (Honestly they weren't too cold... probably about 0-20 degree). it just wouldn't turn over at all.

My battery is less than 2 months old. On each occasion the car just hasn't turned over at all. Each time there has still been a charge on the battery according to my volti-meter. I'm leaning toward what yall have already mentioned about the ignition switch.

I can't seem to find the recall anywhere online though... any suggestions on where to look for this recall that some of you have mentioned?

Problems aside, this has been a great car. I've kept up on maintenance from oil changes, to filters, to lube and transmission oil. There have been no mechanical problems whatsoever aside from replacing a rear axle beam which wasn't the cars fault, but rather due to an accident. The car held up VERY well during that 30 mph spin out collision.

My 02 SL1 was great as well, but I didn't get past 60K because of getting totalled by an SUV.

Saturn is (perhaps was) a good company for working class people with its cheaper models that run reliably. Obviously buying parts and repairs is costly with Saturn, but if you're smart about hunting for junkyard parts then it isn't much more costly than any other company.

3rd Mar 2008, 06:08

Is there a recall for the ignition, as my wife has an 04 Ion that won't start, and if you go back 10 minutes later it will start without a problem. It has already cost me thinking it was a battery...

11th Mar 2008, 20:29

Same deal with my 03 Saturn Ion. I'll turn the key and sometimes it won't start... it just clicks and says says "service engine." If I go back 10-20 minutes later, it'll start like nothing happened. Here's the funny part, If I'm in a hurry it's almost sure not to start. I'm not joking. I came to notice that when I was in a hurry, I would jam the key in and crank it. When I was calm, I would SLOWLY turn the key to start the electrical, then go all the way to turn over the engine and never had a problem. Problem is now, my wife drives the car and she's always in a hurry.

12th Mar 2008, 11:03

Add me to the list of frustrated "My Ion won't start" people. Like many of you, I started out very happy with my Saturn, but the starting fiasco and the water stains on the seats (water!) have made me regret the decision badly. I am going back to Japanese cars; reliability cannot be underestimated.

My 04 Ion started acting up in cold weather about a year ago. I changed the battery. The weather improved and the problem went away. Until it got cold again. This time I got a new starter ($400 installed) and lo and behold, it wouldn't start again. ARRGGHH! Frustrated, I found this site and feel much better now, knowing I am not going crazy (when it won't start and then half an hour later, with AAA on the way, it does). As I understand it, my options are replacing the ignition switch or disabling the anti theft system, right? How do I go about deciding how to proceed?

Thanks for the advice and support.

Cesar Valverde.

17th Mar 2008, 17:16

I have a 2006 Saturn ION2 with 46000 miles. It had 29,000 miles when I purchased it in Aug of 2007. I've put a lot of miles on this car in 6 months, so that means most of it was highway - WHICH MEANS I DIDN"T USE THE STARTER A LOT.

Sunday morning, the car wouldn't turn off. The switch was stuck at the on position, and the key was stuck in the lock. On the surface this might not seem like a huge problem. But it is when it happens on a Sunday with no mechanical help open. I had to pull a group of cables from the engine to turn off the car, then pull the cables from the battery in the trunk. Unfortunately, the truck switch is electric and my only available key was now stuck in the ignition. HE-HE and HO-HO on me.

Long story short: It is now Monday afternoon, and the Saturn dealer wants $500+ to replace the ignition switch. I purchased this 2006 car from them last August, and now they are telling me to spend $500 to replace the ignition switch?

Yes I'm very angry.


I bought this saturn because my previous saturn lasted over 300,000 miles until it was stolen. It was a good car, and I made the mistake of assuming that Saturn was still a good car company. My 2006 ION2 saturn tells me that Saturn is not a good car company any longer.

Saturn was the only car company I would consider buying from. They blew their reputation with this car.

I've learned, that one good car doesn't make a good car company. Don't let a reputation or personal experience carry too much weight when buying a new car. I should have checked into the model farther before spending the money.


$500 ignition switch?

24th Mar 2008, 12:38

I have a 2004 Saturn Ion and I have the same starting problem. On most mornings I would try to start the car and it wouldn't start. Wait ten minutes and about 50% of the time it would start. If not I would have to wait ANOTHER ten minutes and it would start. Recently I took a trip to Downtown Detroit with my girlfriend and another couple and at midnight we go to leave and the beautiful Ion wouldn't start completely. I had to have it towed to my house a good 25 miles. We were stranded in Downtown Detroit at midnight until someone came and got us at 1:30 in the morning. Oh I was HOT! And now it still sits in front of my house because I am trying to figure out what is wrong. I'm wondering if there maybe is a bad connection in the starter???

31st Mar 2008, 14:52

I purchased a 2004 Saturn Ion for my daughter in college in January of this year. It wasn't two months and she started having ignition problems with the car. Several times she has gone to turn the engine off and get out of the car and the car remains running! With the key removed from the switch!

We're taking the car to a Saturn dealer next week. We'll see! Sounds to us like we're not the only ones who shouldn't have purchased a Saturn. Did I hear 500 dollars for the switch? What's it made from? Gold? Maybe I'll just have them put a toggle switch on the dash and bypass the trouble.

8th Apr 2008, 15:10

The fail to start is possibly an oil pressure issue. For some reason these things think there is low oil pressure at start up and will not start as a safety feature. I have had this happen twice now this last time is less than 100 miles after an oil change. Instead of freaking out and yelling at your service advisor ask them to check the engine diag codes. Also your problem is you thought it would be a good idea to purchase a Saturn.