12th Oct 2010, 20:49

My...my...my...I love this website!

I am the original owner of my 2004 Saturn ION and let me tell you ever since I have had it I've had nothing but problems! I've had all the issues with the car not starting in the winter, sway bars replaced, rubber pieces falling off the car etc.

What I would really like to hear more about is if anyone is having transmission problems. I had a "rebuilt" transmission put in mine 3 years ago because my transmission was shot. Now I need another transmission. Seriously... already?

If anyone else is having these problems please post back.


22nd Oct 2010, 15:06

Wow, wish I had known all of this before I bought my 04 ION a few weeks ago. Has 57,000 miles on it, and when it's cold, it doesn't like to start at times. Can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to get it to start. From what I have read on here so far, it doesn't sound like there is one permanent fix... and yes the seats are stained, and NO you can't get the stains out. Thank goodness my husband is very mechanically inclined... stay tuned for updates. Will post if we find a better solution to the cold weather starting problem that doesn't cost an arm and a leg...

25th Oct 2010, 10:59

I too, have had problems with my 2004 Saturn ION not wanting to start in cold weather.

I bought my car in July 2008 with 52,000 miles on it. It ran fantastic until a cold morning in October. I went to start it and nothing. I bought a new battery that was $140 and that didn't work. I bought a battery jump starter to keep in my car but that didn't always work. Usually after waiting about 10 minutes it would start but I had no idea this was because of the anti-theft system.

I will try cutting the white wire to this. Hopefully that will solve the problem. It is just so frustrating when you have to worry about your car starting when it isn't very old.

GM really screwed up when they made this car, I will never buy another Saturn!

20th Nov 2010, 16:10

All these comments on this problem, and no one is posting any solutions. I have had this issue on my 2004 Ion. I have read that Saturn has replaced some faulty ignition switches with the correct grease sometime in 2009. So replacing the ignition now should correct this problem (unless where you got it still has the old switches). I just bought one and replaced it this morning. I will see this week if it worked.

7th Dec 2010, 01:13

This problem is easily solved by just replacing the ignition switch. If not previously posted, I'll post this info again.

This problem is caused by the original ignition switches not having the proper grease in them. In cold weather, the grease would freeze, and when trying to start the car, it would fail to start. The Passlock system would then interpret this as an attempted break in and disable the ignition for 10 minutes. I was told by more than one Saturn service tech, that sometime in 2009 the ignition switches were all replaced with ones with the correct grease. So replacing the ignition switch with the proper one (after 2009) will fix this problem once and for all.

Replacing the ignition switch is not that hard. A link here has a tutorial on it. http://moontaj.com/passlock. I have done this myself on my 2004 Saturn Ion, and I can confirm it does definitely work. Ignition switch is about $40 shipped.

7th Dec 2010, 01:20

I am posting a follow up post to the one I just posted a few minutes ago on changing the Saturn ignition switch. After changing out the switch (to solve the cold start issue), there is another step that needs to be done. The system will have to "re-learn" the new ignition switch to get it to work in the Passlock system. Here are the instructions how to do this. Just follow them to the letter and it WILL work. I did this procedure myself when I replaced my ignition switch. This is a 30 minute procedure. Here it is.


8th Dec 2010, 12:03

I'm going to post one more time on the ignition switch issue (my third post). On the link I provided two posts ago, the tutorial there is if one wanted to fix the original ignition switch instead of spending $40 for a new one like I did.

If successfully fixing the original switch (by putting in the correct dielectric grease), the "re-learn procedure" I posted is not necessary (as it's the same switch so there is nothing for the system to "re-learn"). It's why it's not mentioned in that tutorial.

I personally just bought a new switch to begin with, and after I installed it, I then went back and tried to take apart the original one per the tutorial just to see if I could do it. It's pretty intricate work, and I ended up busting a tab trying to take it apart. So if your hands are steady enough and you are a very patient person, trying to fix the original switch might be a good option. For me, I would rather spend the $40 and be done with it.

Just note that if you screw up the switch (the way I did), you are then stuck without a car until you get a new switch.

I hope this puts an end to a long thread about this problem. Many people posted here saying they were going to try something and would post back the results, and then never did. I don't like doing things that way, so I did post my results. This procedure is the proper way to fix this problem, and a lot better than that "cutting the white wire" nonsense.

11th Dec 2010, 15:46

Same problem with starting in cold weather. Battery, alternator and starter checked out OK. Replaced the ignition switch last week, car wouldn't start again yesterday. The ignition switch may be one issue with the 04 Ion, but it didn't help me.

17th Dec 2010, 12:04

I've heard that for some people, replacing the ignition switch didn't fix a problem. The information I had posted regarding replacing the ignition switch was for the "Passlock" non start in cold weather problem. The problem is this. In cold weather, turning the ignition switch resulted in nothing happening at all. If the key is then left in the "run" position, the Passlock icon in the dash will be blinking. After waiting 10 minutes (Passlock icon will disappear from dash as the Passlock system resets itself), the car will then start. On occasion, more than one attempt (another 10 minute wait) is necessary. If your problem isn't as I described it, then it isn't the "Passlock" issue, and replacing the ignition switch as I described (in 3 previous posts back to back) may or may not fix whatever problem you are having.

3rd Jan 2011, 08:58

This problem is the ignition switch as someone else has stated here. I had the same problem and had the ignition switch changed and have had no other problem with it.

8th Jan 2011, 11:32

I just cut the white wire for the passlock and put in a relay switch. Turn it off in the winter and back on in the summer. A ten minute job, and no more hassles of not knowing if your car will start or not. And not to mention no more ridiculous charges from the dealership.

I was told it was my remote starter, so like a fool, I let them disconnect it. Then it was the battery. Then the ignition module...