13th Oct 2008, 07:23

I have recently bought a Saturn ion 2 and it was running fine until it got cold. the ignition starts and the cars seems to be normal but then it suddenly dies... I can't understand it the battery is charged the oil has just been changed.. and everything seems to be fine yet the F****** thing won't stay running for too long. it just dies! I've taken it to the dealership but they say they don't know. they won't even help anymore. can anyone help me out here?

14th Oct 2008, 12:15

I have a 2004 Saturn Ion 3. Same problem when it gets cold. I read on another forum that a guy bought a remote starter and hasn't had any problem since. I also saw someone else had asked about it on this forum. I'm tired of being late to class and the professor saying I have to reschedule my test for being late just because my stupid car won't start. Other than that I love this car, great power for it's engine size, decent not great gas mileage, and with the two rear suicide doors, I can say I have something most cars don't have. But back to what I was saying, I'm going to try the remote starter fix and I'll repost after I do it and let everyone know. I found a cheap remote starter AND the GM passlock interface for a combined $50. This beats paying $150+ to get Saturn to "temporarily fix it" by replacing the faulty ignition switch with another faulty ignition switch.

28th Oct 2008, 11:46

Like everyone else, my Saturn doesn't start in some cold weather, and it gets worse as the cold weather season progresses. I finally figures out that it *is* the passlock system -- a security device. If you leave the car alone for 10 minutes (time it!) and come back, it starts fine.

Not an ideal system, but better than dropping money for a new ignition switch - starter - doohickey - whatever.

Can Saturn disable the passlock system? Does anyone know?

Has anyone had trouble opening the trunk?

31st Oct 2008, 00:11

I bought my Saturn Ion in 2005, and I did not have any problems until last winter. The car would not start at all in the cold. I turn the key, nothing, wait 10 minutes, turn the key, still nothing. This fall has been the worst so far, it's in the 40's outside and takes about 30 minutes to start. I am shocked that so many people are having the same problems with the ignition switch! This problem is so frustrating and I wish Saturn would have helped in a way, at least letting buyers know that this could happen. I'm tired of sitting in my car for 30mins with no heat and being late for work almost every day, and yes I do go out early to try and start it.

1st Nov 2008, 11:27

I too have same starter problem with Saturn ION 2004. Has Saturn issued a recall for the 2004 models?

9th Nov 2008, 12:40

I bought a brand new 2007 ION in Oct of 2007. Today I experienced the same problem I had on a Friday back in March of this year. I try to turn the car off and the key would not come out of the ignition. I tried everything, even calling On Star and their advice was to let the car run until it was out of gas. I was not going to do this since I just filled up so I drove directly to the dealer. He said he had heard of this problem before, but not to worry, he would give me another car to get me on my way and I could come back Monday to get my car after they fixed it. Now it is a Sunday and I cannot do anything about it until tomorrow. What I did was take out the fuse for the ignition and battery. I am taking it in tomorrow first thing when they open and will post what they tell me. If I would have known this a year ago when I was car shopping, I would not have bought this lemon. I have not yet experienced the cold weather not starting problem. Mine stars just won't turn off..

11th Nov 2008, 20:17

Bought an '05 manual trans ION2 option loaded like a 3 in mid December of '07 with 18k on the odometer. Had ignition problems at 5am, temp hovering around 5 degrees in January, after a 12 hour shift. Car finally started after a half hour wait. (Happened twice!) I ended up heating ignition switch with a butane log/candle lighter and rotating key in hopes of redistributing grease. I did not have another problem the rest of winter despite many other similar cold nights, this winter... The local Saturn parts counter guy told me he stocks up on replacement switches for winter, he even spouted off the part number from memory in the middle of summer!!

Other problems: replaced battery at 25k, intermittent rattle in drivers door, front end rattle over bumps (anybody know of common causes?). the stained seat.

Car has 44k on it now.

The Good:

Car has averaged around 31 mpg for the miles I have put on it (Excel spreadsheet).

Decent acceleration, handling.

12th Nov 2008, 13:58

I have a 2004 Saturn Ion with 89K miles. I love my car except when it won't start. I just received a call from the local mechanic. He told me the problem was the Security Passlock Sensor. After reading everyone's comments, I am wondering if it isn't the ignition switch. I have an appointment to take the car to the dealership this weekend since the local guy quoted me a price twice as high as the dealership. I hate it when mechanics think that women are stupid. I also have the problem of the seat staining. I love the gas mileage too.

13th Nov 2008, 21:24

I did my research too late. I just won a ebay bid for a 2004 SATURN ION 4Cyl 77K. I bought the car for my son to commute to college, I thought I made a good deal but after reading the review I am scared to pick it up. Thanks to this website I know I have to immediately install a remote starter, buy seat covers and be ready to replace the battery and oil regularly. Thanks again!

15th Nov 2008, 18:26

2004 Saturn Ion - won't start when cold.

I posted earlier in the year about this problem. Every 2 years I have replaced an ignition module that is under the steering column near the light switch. The module costs 30 dollars and can be replaced in your driveway with a screw driver and a torx tip.

Remove the plastic steering cover and you will see the switch on the bottom side with a small electrical connector with 5 wires on it. Look at the new switch to make it easier to find. There is a simple relearning process that must be followed after install that I found posted on here somewhere. Turn the key to start then back to accessory every 10 minutes for 3 times, then off for 5 seconds, then start it up. If you interrupt the sequence you must start all over again. Took me less than an hour to change and reprogram. A garage shouldn't charge more than 200 dollars for the repair.

I opened up the old switch; it is so low tech - hardwired resistor and a metal slider switch. I don't see why this causes the cold no start problem but it does. Must be the resistor drifts out of tolerance over time.