11th Jan 2007, 07:14

I, too, have a 2003 Saturn ION3, and have had multiple signal light blowouts, have had my brakes replaced each year, had a tire blowout, as well as persistent leaks, a clunking under my left foot, hesitation on take-off, gear shifting sticks going down hill intermittently, and now, twice, the car didn't start and it wasn't cold out.

The 1st time was Dec. 15. I was on my way to an interview, and stopped to get gas. After filling, I got back into the car, turned the key, and only got a click. After about 20 min., then it started up like there was never a problem. It happened again the other day, Jan.08 (almost a month later). Went out to start the car to go to work, and only a click. Had to take my husband's car. After I got to work, I called him, and he said he went back out and the car started, once again, like nothing ever happened. When I called the dealership, he said, "Oh. You have an ION?" When I responded that I did, he said it was probably an ignition switch. It is scheduled to go in today.

What I have read on other complaint sites, though, has me worried. Some say the same thing happened to them, they paid the $ for the new ignition switch to be replaced, only to have it happen again down the road. The estimate is $220 plus. I don't have that to just throw away. I, too, don't understand why there is not a recall on the ignition switch if there are so many problems with it. I will not buy another Saturn, and am a bit peeved that GM has not issued a recall on this repeat problem by now. Apparently, it is something they've been aware of for some time. Since a 2003, of course, my warranty has now expired. Has anyone had an ignition switch replaced and not had a problem down the road?

PS. I just happened to come across this site, and have to say it is the most informative that I have seen yet. Thank you everyone.

1st Feb 2007, 22:45

I just came in from the freezing cold trying to get my fiance's 2003 Saturn Ion to start. Called the Saturn service shop and was told that "oh yea... that is a problem with those ions." The starter switch needs to be replaced, the car leaks from the roof when it rains hard, the front bushings needed to be replaced and to top it all off, the Ion only has 47,000 miles on it. We are not happy owners and will shy away from Ions/Saturns in the future.

3rd Feb 2007, 09:25

My 2003 Saturn ION 2 has been a dream car thus far. It currently has 47,000 miles on it and the only thing I've had to do besides regular maintenance is put a new set of tires on. I am a little worried though after reading the previous postings... I bought my Saturn @ Saturn of State College (PA) and have only ever gotten the best of service... staff are courteous... recall work performed quickly with little inconvenience to me. I just had the car in for the annual inspections and the mechanic told me that the brakes probably won't even have to be replaced until next year...I'll have owned the car 5 years if that holds true. :) I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that my good luck holds up!

5th Feb 2007, 18:10

Today was the coldest day in the West Chester, PA area in two years and my Saturn Ion 2003 would not start. I needed to have my ignition switch replaced. I cannot understand why Saturn is ignoring this problem. If they gave everyone their money back for the ignition switch it would cost them less money than losing customers. It is depressing to hear about all the problems I will have to face in the future.

8th Feb 2007, 12:37

I drive the 2003 Saturn Ion 1 and I have all of the same problems. My car NEVER starts in the cold. Also I bought my car in different state because I was in the service and now I have no dealers around me. I have to drive out of my way to go to a Saturn dealer due to the fact that no one else will fix the problem. And, yes like everyone else I to have to have my ignition switched replaced and pay out of my own pocket. And, there is no way of knowing that will even fix the problem.

22nd Feb 2007, 07:46

We too have an 03 Ion. At about 45K-50K I had the thumping under the driver side foot. The Saturn dealer replaced the bushing on I believe the stabilizer bar. I asked if there was anything I was doing to cause this and was told no. Now at just under 75K I’m having horrible scraping sounding noises from the front end when it’s cold. An independent shop tells me the struts are leaking and need to be replaced. No aftermarket struts are available so the new ones will have to be factory parts. Then to add to my concerns just yesterday the tell tale thumping under my left side feet. I believe the same bushing I replaced a year or so ago is going again.

This led me to do a search this morning and find this site. Does anyone know if Saturn has acknowledged these apparent consistent front end problems? Has anyone had any success in getting them to buck up for any of these costs? I figure not, but I perhaps you get a laugh out of it.

2nd Sep 2007, 22:07

I have a 2004 Ion. I have replaced several head lights, gear shaft, trunk spring, and the ignition switch, which they said was my fault because my car sits outside.

I hear like a wind noise coming from the right side when on the highway. I may also having problems with the stereo. When I hit the button to change the station, it turns off or the clock goes out. Is anyone else having this problem?

They told me I need to pay a $100 deductible to fix the stereo (out of warranty) BUT A CAR STEREO SHOULD LAST LONGER THAN THREE YEARS!!! RIGHT.

22nd Sep 2007, 12:08

Interesting comments -

We have a number of ION's, '03 - '05.

Only one is still under warranty, but not for very long as the miles driven will exceed the time limit of the warranty. The combined mileage is near 350,000 (miles),and so far mostly minor problems that have been resolved under warranty or recalls (like the position lights). One of the '05 had some major electrical problems and spent several weeks at the dealership before it was corrected. It got resolved, but it was annoying to say the least.

However, and this is our major concern - likely leading to depart from being a Saturn customer (almost 20 since 2000) incl the SL1 and the L series - the ignition lock. Yes, we have been faced with a few 'electrical' replacements under warranty, but now also mechanical failures outside of the warranty - very troublesome. Over time we have had numerous of the 'will not start - wait a while - and it will start' situations. But the latest... could not get the key out, engine running, unable to shut off was caused because of mechanical breakage (after 42,000 miles!) and repaired at a cost of $492!... That is two weeks ago.

Now a second ION, the oldest one - a '03 w/53,000 on the odometer is being repaired for the same problem - unable to get the key out etc... This is not an isolated problem just to the Saturn ION as owners of the Chevy Cobalt are reporting the same problem!

We have brought our concern to the dealership - but have not seen any real action on their part as of yet (to be fair) except offer to purchase 'extended warranty' at nearly $1500 per vehicle!!! That's an easy way out.

OK, so the production life of the ION is history, being replaced this fall with the Astra (Opel) which the sales people are pitching, but that may be too late to save a previously 'happy customer' now considering going to competition.