2003 Saturn ION 1 from North America - Comments

10th Jan 2008, 15:18

I made the above comment. I took my car in. The dealership called today and wants me to pay $920 dollars to replace the steering column. Same as the viewers comment back in September; Wow, you buy a car and then end up paying more for manufacturers' defects. Why has this not been recalled?

27th Jan 2008, 12:34

I own a 2004 Saturn ION - In early 2007 it started making the clunking noises when I would go over a small bump, even louder if I were braking at the time. In early 2008 my wife finally made me bring it in to Saturn as she feared something was going to fall off. I brought it in and they told me the sway bar bushings were bad and had to be replaced. After reading all the other comments I am guessing the techs were not very surprised at all. It was after the three year warranty so it cost me $250 for replacement. Saturn of Danbury, CT - Brewster, NY resident. Maybe my lost Saturn?

4th Feb 2008, 12:59

I have a 2004 Ion 3 automatic and it has been one of the best cars I've ever had! It currently has 89,000 miles on it and other than normal maintenance and items repaired under recall, I've not had any issues with it. I've driven several other GM cars which have had multiple problems from day one.

The one thing I don't like is the frequency of scheduled service such as transmission and brake fluid changes at 50k rather than the typical 100k for other vehicles.

19th Mar 2008, 19:04

My 2004 Ion 1 has 33,000 miles. It wouldn't start this winter. They checked the alternator & electricals, and said it needed a new battery. The day after the 155.00 new battery, same problem - would turn over once and then not at all, but if I left it for 15 minutes or so it would start right up.

I don't have the problem now with spring here, but have a new problem. Mileage dropped like a lead balloon, and my engine light is on. I'm self employed and hurting in this economy, and need my car for business. Anyone out there got any ideas? The Saturn dealership says just to CHECK on the battery issue will cost me 290.00 for a diagnosis! Neighborhood gas station says they work on only on smaller issues. Got some advice for me?

20th Mar 2008, 14:44

Go to Autozone or Advance auto and let them scan your car. Do you have bosch spark plugs, because I heard they would cause problems like you described not good for GM cars.

11th Jun 2008, 14:41

My comment is in response to one the 3-4 lines up. Taking your Saturn to Auto Zone is a fruitless endeavor. They only use the ODBII Scan which will not work on the Saturn. You have to go to the dealership or locate a service shop that has the CAN module / interface.

23rd Sep 2008, 19:37

I have a 2005 Saturn Ion, and have been through the ignition problems and the garb about the anti theft device. I've also had to replace the bushings... I purchased the extended warranty so the repair costs aren't alarming, however there is a $100 copay which I find disgusting that I have paid twice now for repairs that are this common.

Tonight I just discovered an oil leak... so again I'll be into the Saturn service station (4th time in a year) with a car that has just hit 30,000 miles.

Also a word to the wise, don't have the dealership put tires on your car, when my bushings needed done I was told I would save money because I'd only being paying for an alignment once... well $700.00 later I have 4 new tires, an alignment and a fixed bushing that is obviously a flaw in the design!  Is there an honest car guy out there that doesn't play every woman for a sucker?

16th Nov 2008, 20:01

Well I'm headed for trouble by what I've read here! I recently purchased at 2004 Saturn Ion at 114,000 miles. The second day I had it, the key wouldn't turn. Long story short, same problems you are all having. In addition, banging under the front. They told me they replaces the stabilizer links. Either they didn't, or it's the notorious bushing problem!

Here's a different aspect: The mechanic tried two ignition switches. The car kept shutting down because of anti-theft messages from the computer. He towed it to a dealer. They told him it needed a whole new computer. Not in all of the mail I've read here have I seen that! I think he got ripped off. Problem is, he is asking me for more money because of what it cost him. After reading about all of the problems I can anticipate with my Saturn... is he kidding?? AND, the banging under my car will also become my cost now because if he in fact DID replace the stabilizer links, it was the wrong parts. Sadly, he, you, and I have all been rooked into believing Saturn is a top rated car... exactly why I bought it...hook, line and sinker.

Diana K.

18th Nov 2008, 17:53

I'm kicking myself for not having read these comments BEFORE I bought my Saturn! I purchased an 06 Ion in June of 2008 and am now facing the expense of having the entire steering column replaced (1300.00) due to my power steering randomly going out... and I've only had it a few months. I thought because it had less than 30k miles, I wouldn't have problems for awhile... guess not!! I too would like to know, since the power steering is a problem, why hasn't there been a recall??

18th Nov 2008, 22:58

I own a 2003 Saturn ION 2 with 68,000 miles... have had to replace the lower control arms and bushings, new alignment and new tires when it had 45,000 miles, now it's make strange creaking noises when I go over a speed bump or hit a pothole.

1/2 of the speedometer only lights up and I'm being told that I can't get a replacement bulb at the local shops, I have to go through Saturn ~ they told me the bulb would be 17 dollars and they'd put it in for an additional 79 dollars! This is insane... they sold me the car saying that repairs would be minimal, they designed the car with the average person/average income in mind. Who can afford these types of repairs??

1st Dec 2008, 12:03

I have a 2003 Ion 3 which has been pretty reliable, more or less. We purchased the service contract with the extended warranty, and for the most part are glad we did. The bushings went bad and were replaced at relatively low mileage (somewhere around 25,000 miles) and the motor on the driver's side window had to be replaced somewhere around 30,000 miles. The oxygen sensor also had to be replaced somewhere around the 20,000 mile mark.

In our extended warranty period, somewhere around 40,000 miles, a light in the dashboard burned out, and the service people wanted to charge us nearly $200 to replace and install the new light-bulb because "lights are not covered under the extended warranty." After throwing a serious fit because we had been sold the extended warranty as covering "everything except the wiper blades and tires," the dealership did fix the light as a warranty repair.

Now, at 83,000 miles another dashboard light has burned out, and I won't be replacing it for $200, as I can see well enough without it. My service engine soon light has just come on for the first time as well, and I am debating what to do with it, because the dealership has informed me that it will cost $95 just to run the diagnostics. Not to fix the problem. Just to tell me whether or not there is a problem. I believe I will go elsewhere first if I can. I am tired of feeling screwed every time I leave the dealer's service department. This was never a problem in the past, but it seems to have gotten worse as GM has taken more of an interest in its smaller spin-off branch (Saturn).

Oh well. My next new car will not be a Saturn. Or GM (we've had Chevrolets in the past and had plenty of issues there too). I'm thinking Subaru right now... we LOVE the one that we have, maybe I need one too.