2003 Saturn ION 1 from North America - Comments

10th Jan 2010, 16:13

I have a 2004 Ion2 with 104,012 miles on it. It has been a pretty good car so far. About 2 months ago it would not start in the morning when it was cold outside. Turns out it was the Ignition Switch. I removed it and took it apart, removed all the old Di-electric grease from the contacts and re-applied new. It has started ever since no matter how cold it has gotten. Now its making a loud clunking sound when going over bumps. Sounds like it's control arm bushings.

Lately things have been going wrong and I'm scared of what else may happen. Oh yeah 3 months ago I had to have the clutch completely replaced. 1,350.00 dollars.

11th Feb 2010, 19:23

I haven't seen anything on here about the clutches, so here's my two cents...

We've got a '04 Ion 2, around 89k miles on it. It's been a great car thus far.

Two weeks ago our clutch, when depressed, made a click noise. After a few shifts, the pedal popped up twice the normal height and had a lot less resistance when pushed down. Had a mechanic look at it, replaced the clutch pedal assembly and the clutch master cylinder because the knob that holds the pedal in place had worn down so badly, it couldn't keep it in place.

BY THE WAY - the part is made entirely out of... PLASTIC! (not unlike the rest of the car) Now I come to find out that I have to have a Saturn dealership bleed the new clutch master, because there is a special tool that is only used by their certified technicians to bleed ONLY Saturn clutches. Why didn't anyone tell me this when I ordered the new clutch master??

Now I have to have the thing towed 15 miles from my driveway and have it bled, pay the shop minimum and wait for something else made of plastic to wear out...

27th Apr 2010, 02:46

2004 Ion 2 sedan 146,000 miles. I actually have had this same clutch issue as the previous post. Clutch began popping up to a height twice that of the other pedals, but continued to function until I turned the car off (clutch must be engaged to restart). After wiggling and repeatedly pressing the pedal, it popped back to normal, but would eventually pop out. Dealership quoted me $700 for just a new PEDAL installed, which I didn't do. Two nights ago at a stoplight my cheap plastic clutch pedal snapped in half stranding me in an intersection in the rain. Seriously guys, it's a plastic piece of junk.

Also have the sway bar/links issue and have replaced the ignition. Despite this, I loved my Saturn till the day the plastic clutch snapped in half.

30th Jul 2010, 10:28

I bought a used 2004 Saturn Ion lvl 2 sedan about three years ago, and every year I've had to put over $1000 worth of work into it.

It's still under 90k miles, and I've had the ignition switch replaced, the steering column replaced, the sway bushings replaced, the rear shocks and struts replaced and the windshield wiper arms and assembly replaced... All of these problems having been mentioned already.

I expect to own this car for another few years, but I'm afraid of what other problems I'll encounter with it. I can only thank god it's an automatic with what I've read about the clutch issues.

I was told Saturns were reliable, but obviously not from my own experiences. I never want to buy an American made car ever again after owning this one.

18th Aug 2010, 21:49

I have a 2004 Saturn Ion with 100k miles 5spd manual.

I changed the sway bar links/bushings at around 60k, sit tarted making clunking noise again at about 75k, haven't replaced.

New ignition from cold start issue at around 50k and happening again.

Needs clutch job, totally wore out, really have to stomp the clutch to the floor to get in gear, will cost around $800.

Major exhaust leak near engine and needs brakes (original pads).

Steering wheel makes grinding noise when turning, will try to lube.

Okay car besides sway bar link/bushings, ignition nuisance and major clutch job.

25th Aug 2010, 11:46

2003 Saturn Ion 2 4dr 2.2L 60k miles auto.

Issues:

Starter replacement at 40k miles.

Very common clunking noise from the front left and right of vehicle - bushings look fine - have yet to replace.

Rear left and right strut leaks.

Here's a different one - the horn engaged and stayed on when vehicle was off (3am by the way). Went out to the vehicle, opened the door, started it, horn stayed on, couple more seconds, then it turned off. Went back into bed, and 10 minutes later, same thing, horn blasting! Went to the battery terminal and disconnected the battery. Since then I have simply disconnected the horn fuse. When researching online, I have found only one or two other Saturns with this issue, however other vehicles have experienced this as well. Turns out it is possibly the control unit (which is also connected to airbag), which is around $500 to replace. Since then I have simply connected a switch+button directly to the horn and battery.

Final issue - very recently the transmission has been shifting harder than usual, slipping minorly, and losing power in 2nd and 3rd gear. Going to change transmission fluid soon, hopefully that solves it.

11th Oct 2010, 17:42

I own a 2004 Saturn Ion, which I purchased in 2007.

First month; started hearing a groaning sound from the front wheels. This happened only in extremely warm weather, and the dealer claimed he could never recreate the issue.

Also have the problem of the car just not starting randomly. At first this was very scary, as I am a single woman and being stuck in a parking lot at night was terrifying. Luckily, a friend taught me a trick - turn the ignition key off and wait ten minutes for the ignition to "re-set", and then it will start. Again, the dealer said they couldn't recreate the problem, but as I've read so many comments here, I think he was just skirting the issue.

Most recently, I took the car to get a new tire, and was told that my tires were "cupping". I needed new front struts, rear shocks, etc. to the tune of $800. My car just passed the 65K mark, and having owned Toyotas most of my life, most of which went over 100k without major repairs, I was surprised to hear that I'd need this kind of repair. It also is frustrating to me that I cannot get a replacement battery from any other source than the dealer. I would never have bought the car if I knew it did not have standard battery and wheel replacement capabilities.

Also, now that the local dealer has gone belly-up, the only dealer is over 35 miles away. I will never buy another GM product.

15th Nov 2010, 09:47

I have a 2004 Saturn coupe. It has 65k on it, and has cold start problems, but fixes itself after 10 minutes. Now I have a clunky noise in the front, and probably will need to replace the struts. I haven't gotten the ignition replaced, but it sounds like that might fix the starting problem I have in winter.