25th Nov 2008, 10:51

I have a 2004 Ion 2 and have experienced the same sporadic cold weather starting issues that others reported. Last winter, it happened a half dozen times but the battery always checked out as fine. Car was fine throughout the spring, summer, fall - then today, it happened again. Learned that I couldn't have the battery replaced just anywhere, due to the venting needs since the battery's in the trunk.

I've been in the habit of trying to start it, it fails, try to jump, it fails - try again in 10 minutes and it starts. This makes me wonder if the jumping has anything to do with the starting or if it's the 10 minute magic everyone references. I'll try warming up my key next time (yes, despite the brand new battery, I'm anticipating that this will happen again).

I've liked my car (in the non-winter seasons), but the inconvenience is just too much for this Ohio girl. My next car will not be a Saturn.

27th Nov 2008, 15:55

"Learned that I couldn't have the battery replaced just anywhere, due to the venting needs since the battery's in the trunk."

This is a ploy used by dealers and mechanics to charge you more and scare you away from doing it yourself. It's no different from changing any other battery (easier than most). Go to Wal-Mart, buy a $39.95 battery, and change it yourself. Just be sure the cover and vent chambers are put back the way they were. I'm a mechanic, and I know this will work. Don't let the dealer take you for an expensive ride.

28th Nov 2008, 07:54

I have a Saturn ion 2004. And every time it gets cold out side the car will not start. Or it will start but then turn off right away. I have switched out the ignition already and so far last winter I had no problems. But it started again this winter. And I just changed out the battery last night. But first thing this morning it started to do it again. I haven’t had any luck starting it though. The weird thing is usually if I get jumped, it will start. My husband seems to think the problem has to do with the battery being in the truck. It gets so cold over night that it needs time to warm up in the mourning. So we are going to try a battery warmer. Wish me luck. I will let you guys now if it will work.

30th Nov 2008, 13:28

I had my Saturn Ion for about a year, I brought it used. Recently it won't start. Then when I get it started it works fine. But once it came time for me to start it up again, same problems. I have tried the key warming trick, no luck. I had to get jumped and it worked like new. I will be taking it to the dealership again to see what the problem is, hoping not to get racked over the coals. If anyone have any idea of what is wrong please let me know. From what it sounds like there should be a class action lawsuit.

3rd Dec 2008, 11:48

I've experienced this same thing! Purchased my 2004 in June 2008. In end of Oct it didn't start one morning, but later that morning it started right up like nothing was ever wrong. Then again about 2 weeks ago same thing. Put a new battery in. Last night it didn't start when leaving work. The "service vehicle" indicator came on briefly while in the middle of trying to start it. After several attempts it started and I was able to get it to the mechanic. Of course it started right up for the mechanic this morning! But they ran diagnostic on it and 2-3 items matched bulletins from Saturn. He put a new ignition switch on for me. Told me it would cost me under $100 for parts & labor. I mentioned this website to him and asked about Pass-lock System. He said to try and see what happens with the new ignition switch and if any more problems he would check the Pass-lock System. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but if happens again I know that if I just wait 10 minutes it should be OK. I might be late getting to my destination, but I know that this will just be a "characteristic" of the vehicle.

5th Dec 2008, 18:24

I am so happy I found this website. I have been having the same starting issue with my Saturn. It has been to 3 different mechanics and the dealer and they all say nothing is wrong. Meanwhile I am late or almost late atleast once a week. Overall what is the best thing to try for this problem? If this could be solved I would be so thrilled. I think I am going to try the battery warmer or looking into getting the ignition checked. Does anyone know the costs of these things? Thank you so much!

7th Dec 2008, 01:25

Yes. Now that it is winter time in Ohio, my Saturn wants to not start. Just like some of you, it will start after about 15-20 minutes of trying. I have no problems at all during warm months, but during the winter, its bad.

My brother is a mechanic and he can't seem to figure it out either. I've found that NOT using the keyless entry to lock the car and just using the locks inside seems to help. But recently we had a nice dusting in my area and the car was just dead.

I refuse to take the car back to the dealership. My local dealership likes to gouge worse than others in my opinion. If it is anything fixable, I think GM needs to figure it out and let us know so we can stop being inconvenienced by this!

7th Dec 2008, 11:22

I also have an Ion 2. It is great every season, but now that I moved to GA, these cold mornings prevent my car from starting about 3 times a week. I charge it with a battery charger and eventually it starts and is fine the rest of the day. I do not want to take it to Saturn because I do not want to get charged for a new ignition switch/ starter then have the same problem. We are going to try to get a battery warmer and see what happens. I cannot be late to work a few times a week because of this car. I love my car but this is a big inconvenience. Does the battery warmer work?

7th Dec 2008, 19:20

This is amazing. I can't believe there are so many people with the same problem as me. Shall we call it the SDSW10MR - also know as The Saturn Don't Start Wait 10 Minute Rule. LOL. This is a joke. I HATE this car and hope that the fat cats at GM go under - why don't they come bail me out when I'm stuck in the morning?! Imagine the tens of thousands of Ions that have this similar defect and all us poor saps sitting there in the morning trying to get to work and then we cannot. Just wait 10 minutes. For one, I'm printing all these comments and putting in my Saturn and will take to a Saturn dealership and then leave it over night and have them start in the morning. When they say that there is a problem with my car, I'll whip out all the comments and watch the salesman eat his words!