18th Jan 2009, 18:25

Ion owners I have had they same starting problem with my 2003.

I went on the net and read about the cutting the white wire. Once I got my car running after two days, I made the cut, and WOW it started again, again and again. I will let you know how its going.

I have had this problem three times and kept spending $$ at the dealer just to have it happen winter after winter. I also had bought my daughter a 2003 Ion and she is having the same problem. If this works I'm going to her college and making the cut.. and to let you know I know nothing about cars (I sell beer) and it took me 15 min to do..

19th Jan 2009, 13:08

I called and complained to Saturn. They told me to take it to the dealer. The dealer said (as they have been taking lots of calls for this in Michigan), bring it in and for only $250.00 they would replace the ignition switch for me. That should fix the problem? I complained about that and they discounted the price to $180.00. That's still $180.00 more than I should have to pay for a item that should be fixed at no charge!

This will be the last Saturn I buy.

Note: the tech said to try and leave the key in and ignition on for about 20 minutes and it should start. He said it was the pass lock system thinking someone is trying to steal the car. I wish they would!

20th Jan 2009, 20:14

Call Saturn at 1-866-790-5700 and file a complaint. (I did yesterday), I commented yesterday about the $250 fix offered from my dealer, brought down to a $180 fix from my dealer... I called and held my temper and chatted with a nice woman on the phone from Saturn to complain about this defect in the ignition. I asked if they would do something for me or else I could not trust the Saturn Brand again, would not ever buy one again, etc.

Don't get angry. Keep your cool, don't shoot the message taker... Just tell them what a pain this is, and how put out you and your wife, and the kids, and the dog and the cat...etc., along those lines -you get the picture:)

She called my dealership and they agreed to fix it for a $50 deductible on my part. I was grateful but I still told them it should be a "no charge recall" issue.

Now to get it to the dealer as it didn't start again this morning or at 4p.m. I actually put a small electric heater on low, in a metal pan aimed at the steering column and set timer for 10 minutes to get it to warm up the steering column etc.,to start. Please be careful folks. Don't start it on fire. My idea was to get some extra heat in that area and it seemed to work. I believe there is talk of some oil or grease that does not operate at these cold temps and that is having an effect on pass lock system. I had to wait the 10 minutes anyways. Got it started and I had it replaced today.

Fingers crossed and hope that's over.

21st Jan 2009, 20:01

I bought my 2004 Ion brand new, and six months later in the winter I had to jump it. I called the dealer and asked them about it, they said it was probably do to the cold weather. Well that didn't go well with me, because I know better. But I let it slide.

That year it happened one more time. As the years progressed it has gotten worse. I refuse to buy a battery, even though the car is five years old in April. But I called the dealer and they said bring it in for a diagnostic for $100 bucks, but since hearing everyone's problems I don't think I'm going to do that. Sometimes I go out there it doesn't start, I wait 3 to 5 minutes, go back out and it starts, sometimes rough and I have to hold my foot om pedal for gas to go through. Could it be that other so called battery under the hood? Don't GM know about this problem by now?

22nd Jan 2009, 14:34

Hello from Canada,

Well, I too purchased a 2004 Saturn Ion, and much to my dismay, at 30,000 km, I have already had my car not start 4 times. I've been reading all the posts, and I am now trying to make a decision about a remote starter. I would love to hear what anyone has to say about the success of this as an option for the frustrating no-start issue!

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

22nd Jan 2009, 15:53

I own a 2004 ION2 and have only 17,500 miles on it. Keep in mind that I live in SC where it does get cold only a few days a year.

On Jan.10, it was 12 deg. I went out to warm up the car, turned on the key and heard a click and the check engine light came on. Since the dome light, radio, heater, etc. came on, I knew it was not the battery. I waited a few minutes, and the same thing happened. I called Saturn service and they said to wait 10 minutes and it should be OK as it is a common problem with the starter switch when the weather turns cold. Fine ---- I did that and it started. It was the same temp. on the 11th but no problem starting.

Today, it was 25 deg. and the same problem happened. So called the Saturn service, and when the car started, took it in and had the switch replaced for $243. When I called them, I verified that they had the part and was told they kept plenty on hand as it is such a common problem. They would not come down on the cost, and said it would not be a recall as it is not a safety problem. No, I guess if it happened out in the boonies at night, it wouldn't be a safety problem.

This was my 2nd Saturn, and have had 3 problems with items right after the warranty expired on this one. All 3 problems had been a service dept. bulletin. Not a happy Saturn owner.

23rd Jan 2009, 15:35

I have an 2005 Saturn Ion that has the same problems re: starting in cold weather as the posts here indicate. I am starting a class action here in Michigan regarding this because Saturn won't take responsibility. Anyone interested in joining please email me at carrie@pastorandassociates.com

25th Jan 2009, 20:34

I own a 2003 Ion-1. I'm afraid this might happen to me. Does the Ion-1 also have passlock? I got the car used and never heard this mentioned as a feature.

26th Jan 2009, 08:29

I am having the same problem you are all having... My '04 Saturn Ion will not start in cold weather. Many of you have said that it just goes click, click click, but won't start, or it starts and stalls out. My problem began after I'd let the car warm up for 5 minutes, I'd then driven it to a gas station near work in South Minneapolis. I filled my car with gas, went to start it up, and nothing! I had been running for a good 10 minutes before I shut it off to fill it up, which took all of 3 minutes. I was stranded by the gas pump in a not so great neighborhood, at night. I was not thrilled, at all. Ever since then, I've had the same trouble almost every morning! Now, my car hasn't started since Friday evening! It is Monday morning!

I am so frustrated. There needs to be a recall, people who live in the boonies aren't the only ones who own this car... so it is a safety issue.

I'll try replacing the ignition switch today if I can get a ride to buy the part. Hopefully that will help.

Thanks for all the advice and sharing your problems on this forum!

Saturn and GM need to open their eyes and take a look at all these postings.