1st Jan 2009, 16:51

I'm so glad I found this forum! It feels so good to know that there are others out there who share in our misery! We own a 2003 Saturn Ion. We live in Rhode Island. We have been dealing with this problem all along, but every winter this problem gets worse.

Turn ignition. Click. no start.

Wait 10 minutes.. try again and hope for the best.

The dealerships are no help at all. They look at you like you are crazy. I despise them now.

Have been through changing the battery and ignition switch. Don't bother. As far as we know there is no cure for this GM disease.

However, my wife thinks the reason it happens in the winter is not the cold but related to the heating system. She says that if you turn the fan dial off before shutting down the car she doesn't think it happens. I am skeptical, but since there are so many of you, maybe someone should test this.

I will never buy a GM car again so long as I live.

5th Jan 2009, 00:56

I have tried everything with my 2004 Saturn. New ignition, remote starter, new module, heating key, and nothing works.

The only thing I can do in cold weather is, right before it gets to freezing weather (when it will still start) is start the car with my remote starter about every two hours. This is extremely inconvenient and a pain.

It could be a combination of oil and ignition problems, but GM dropped the ball on this one. I love the car except for this major problem which the dealer and and GM ignore.

I hate to say it, but GM is paying (and so are we) for their incompetence. They should have continued with the electric car back in 2000 (Who Killed the Electric Car (DVD})

If I can wait that long.. my next car will be electric.

6th Jan 2009, 06:00

Getting back with my remote starter results!

So far so good! Been cold at least 3 days and started no problem. Also like the idea of not having to go out in the cold to start, or not start it!

Have heard results from other Ion owners of turning the key and waiting till all the dash lights went out and then turning the ignition over. It may help run some current through the passlock and bring the voltage up enough to fool it into starting.

Good Luck!

Chris, not as unhappy Saturn owner!

7th Jan 2009, 07:46

I have a 2003 Ion with nearly 80,000 miles on it. I had no trouble with the vehicle at all until the "no start" problem occurred for the first time in December. Since I live in western NY and I still had the original battery, I figured that this was the problem and I replaced it (even though my mechanic said that it checked out as OK). It happened again on Sunday after I had driven to church: I had the ignition switch replaced after I found this site and have not (yet) had a recurrence of the problem.

In both instances, the car was "warm" so that suggests to me that the cold might not be the problem. With that said, however, I plan to direct the dash heat vents towards the steering column: it might not help, but it can't hurt and at least my hands will be warm if the car starts.

I also noticed several posts regarding soiled seats. I tried cleaning a spot with a wet washcloth and it just made it worse. I then used a carpet cleaner from a spray bottle with a very fine mist and it worked very well. Good luck.

13th Jan 2009, 15:15

I am SO happy to discover I am NOT crazy or just another 'stupid' female driver. Every mechanic in a five mile radius of my house thinks I am NUTS. I live in Toronto and dread the really cold weather because it means I will have NO car! I own a 2003 Ion and like many of you I was a loyal Saturn customer but I will never buy one again! I am going to try some of the tips I have read, like turning the key slowly to power it up first (waiting for the dash lights to go off), or re-trying after ten minutes or so when it refuses to start to try to bypass the dreaded pass lock system. I'm even considering buying a remote starter as many have suggested. I hated winter before but now I really hate the cold because no matter where I am I feel like I can't depend upon my car.

14th Jan 2009, 11:43

I own a 2004 Saturn Ion, and it just recently began having the problem where it intermittently does not start in the morning. My local garage told me that there are 2 service bulletins that apply to my problem. One is for reprogramming the Body Control Module (BCM) and the other is for an ignition system repair. This SHOULD be a recall, so everyone who has this problem needs to do the following: Call Saturn at 1-866-790-5700 and say that you want to file a complaint.

Also, go to www.nhtsa.gov (National Highway Traffic Safety Association) and click on the link on the left for "File a complaint about your vehicle" and fill in the information (or call them at 1-888-327-4236). If they see enough common complaints, they will hopefully ask Saturn to make this a recall!

15th Jan 2009, 05:52

I have a 06 Ion. I have the same problem as everyone else, I took the advice of a previous person and cut the white wire on the ignition! For my car it was easy; I needed a 7mm socket, removed the steering covers carefully so as to not crack the tabs, found a green plug on the ignition; this plug on my car had the white wire. Note there are 2 white wires, but one has a black stripe on it. Don't cut that one!

And also the car must be running. You will have to shut it off to get the covers off, but restart it after the covers are off. Remove the tape, find the white wire with car running, cut it, don't let it hit any metal, cap both ends, retape, the lock symbol will stay on in the dash, but to have the car start is worth it to me!

15th Jan 2009, 07:18

Please go to http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/ and fill out a complaint. This is the only way we will get a recall for the issue and have Saturn/GM pay for this.

16th Jan 2009, 13:36

I have a 2005 Saturn Ion, with the same problems as a lot of other people are having. It's the no start. It happened to me about 10 times in less than two weeks, took it to a Saturn dealer in Regina SK, Canada, seemed to know there was a problem, put a ignition switch in it, and my car seems to be working fine now. We have had -45 degree weather for the last couple of days, and it starts up no problem.

16th Jan 2009, 19:41

OK, after cutting off the white wire, does anyone know if both keys will work in the ignition, or will just the one key work?

18th Jan 2009, 13:05

The problem with all the ignition switches is the grease on the switches freezing, and they are replacing them with the same switches! It's happening on models-03-06 as of right now. Respect the service departments; they don't manufacture the car, they're just doing their jobs.