22nd Nov 2008, 08:14

We have a 2004 Saturn ION. Whenever it's cold overnight we are not sure if it will start in the morning. This morning it was 18 degrees out. Went to the car, would not start. 20 minutes later it starts like it's 70 degrees out. The dealer says he's never heard of the problem (right). This problem is making my wife crazy, We will probably replace this car with a Focus in the near future.


22nd Nov 2008, 08:29

I have a 2004 Saturn Ion and I have had the ignition switch replaced twice, and it still does not start when it is cold sometimes it takes up to an hour before it will start. I took it to the shop and they had me replace the battery, and it still does it!!! I am so mad about this!!! it has made me late for work several times, and I have been stranded alone in scary places at night before too.

7th Dec 2008, 10:44

This problem of cold start is very troubling to us all. GM should be ashamed of themselves leaving its customers out in the COLD on this ignition switch problem. They have a lot of nerve going to tax payers for a bailout of 34 billion or so for their bad business practices. This Saturn Ion problem is just a great example why Congress should let them go bankrupt.

This is a recall item that hasn't been recalled. I have a 2004 Ion2 with this problem. I have 3 payments left just in time for this cold start problem. I don't want to replace the switch if it won't remedy the problem.

Thanks GM for your continued customer loyalty (corporate dirt-bags),I am thinking of getting a remote starter, but I have not seen a posting on any blogs as this fixing the problem. I can't see investing any money in this car if I can't have the ignition problem fixed. I might have to bite the bullet and get a new vehicle.

I always bought American made cars. This was the last straw for me. Never again will I buy a GM anything, you couldn't give me one!!!

7th Dec 2008, 23:11

I've had my Ion for about a year now, or close to it. A 2004 Saturn Ion coupe with nearly 60,000 miles.

Recently, more like in the last month, I've experienced the no starting issue. Living in Michigan the weather here gets pretty chilly. Especially now with the snow and all that junk. But anyways, just a month ago I've the car wouldn't start and the only noise I'd hear is the simple single click I'd get from whatever it is.

Then just recently, like yesterday, I'm driving along the road, when all the gauges, excluding the speed one, would just shut down, as if they weren't on or something. When I'd come to a stop and when I'd press the gas for a little bit, they'd go back up again, then my doors would flicker, unlock and lock. Strange, really strange.

Then the pwr str issue started flashing in my dashboard. So frustrating. I just don't know what's wrong with my car. Taking it in to the dealership tomorrow.. I'm hoping this issue won't be an expensive one. This is so ridiculous.

13th Dec 2008, 22:07

I have an 04 Ion. I hate this car. Actually I beyond hate this car.

Yes, the seats stain. Yes, the mpg goes down. Yes, its all plastic and downright sucky.

But more than anything else, it won't start.

I need to leave the house at 7am on weekdays. I check the weather at 5am. If its gone below freezing at all overnight I have to go out at 6 to begin the process of starting my car.

6:00-crank. Click. Passlock icon appears. Nothing. Lock/Unlock with remote, try again. Same result.

6:10-crank. Click. Passlock icon appears. Nothing. Lock/Unlock with remote, try again. Same result.

6:20-crank. Click. Nothing. I scowl at my neighbor with the 05 Ion which starts right up.

6:30-crank. Nothing. I scowl at my neighbor with the Vue which starts right up.

6:45-crank. It starts... I rejoice for half a second. It dies. I look enviously at the Honda next to me.

6:50-crank. Nothing.

7:00-crank. Nothing. Now I start to cuss.

7:10-crank. Its starts right up like nothing's wrong.

...and I'm 10 min late. This happens EVERY morning its even the slightest bit cold.

Hate this car. Hate it.

14th Dec 2008, 20:19

I have a Saturn 2004 ION 2, and have the same problem. The car doesn’t start when it’s cold. Some people point at the ignition switch; see 16th Mar 2007, 15:48 on this website.

Or See #93 on this web site:




Or if you understand what is a PASSLOCK and you are a mechanic see #84:




I will go for the ignition switch and hope for the best :-)

Freezing in Montreal, Canada :-0.

15th Dec 2008, 20:33

I have the same problem. I dread it when the temp hits below 35 degrees. I'm in Minnesota and it's going to be -14 tomorrow morning. It looks like it will take me about an hour to get it started. Why won't Saturn recall this pile of crap?

15th Dec 2008, 20:53

Has anyone ever complained to the BBS? I also have a 2004 Saturn ion with all the stated problems, bushing sway bar links. I have had them replaced 4 times, and the noise in the front end of the car never went away, my front driver side tire always goes bald first and cracked the rim. Yesterday and today my car would not turn over like it was dead; waited 10-20 minutes and it starts then stalls out, then do this process all over again.

I have dumped more money in this car and I'm never gonna get any of it back. By the way, the hood cable is broke so you have to open the hood with a screwdriver though the grille, and the heater is making a ticking noise and ready to go out at any minute.

16th Dec 2008, 08:54

I have been experiencing the same 'no start' issues with my 2004 Saturn ION 3 for at least 6 months now. I've been reading posts on various websites by owners, and have gotten many thoughts and ideas. I'm thinking of trying the remote starter... has anyone else tried this to see if it will fix the problem or not? I would love any feedback I can get before spending my hard earned $$ right before Christmas!!

And just in case anyone else would like to know... Saturn says if enough people call, they may take action, but they had no figures on how many people have called. 866-790-5700. Call and complain!

23rd Dec 2008, 08:26

Another '03 Ion owner with all the usual problems, front end linkage, water stains, cold weather starts.

I'm going with the remote starter as of next friday. An x-mas gift to myself which Saturn should pay for!

I haven't heard back from anyone who has had this done and with good results, but it beats going out in the cold 3-4 times to get the car started!

I make sure to get back with results!

A typical happy Saturn owner!

31st Dec 2008, 09:11

Guess what folks? I've been dealing with this problem since October. I live in South Louisiana & the temp doesn't normally get below 40 degrees even in the winter. This morning - NO START / Temp: 50 degrees! We've replaced with two new batteries and a new alternator. Our mechanic says he doesn't know what else to do. Thanks for the phone number. I'm calling today!