5th Jan 2009, 08:44

I thought I was the only person out there with a crazy acting Ion. My first year owning the car, it would not start, and when it got cold, it got worse. When it did run in the cold, it made this awful squeaking sound when I drove over a small bump. I took it in and was told my Pass Lock Sensor was bad, it was under warranty and they replaced it. No problems for 3 years, and now it is back again. I have found that I have to not turn the key "too far" because that can cause it to not start, but more often than not, waiting for the Pass Lock to reset does the trick. As for the squeaking sound...it's just "normal" for that car is what the dealership told me. And my seats are gross. I have tried everything to clean them to no avail. I am fortunate that I have a great dealership, that does try to rip me off, but I too am sick of being late for work or missing work to fix a problem that is apparently unfixable.

My only question to everyone is - Has anyone tried the remote start solution? I have thought about it myself, but I hate to try it and waste the money to find out it does not work.

5th Jan 2009, 09:55

I live in Northern Minnesota, this morning it was -34. I bought my 2004 Saturn Ion new. And was very sorry and surprised to hear about all the starting problems that everyone is having. I have never had a problem with my car not starting. EVER. Maybe it's because I had a remote starter put on my car the first winter I had it. It's never failed me...

5th Jan 2009, 10:58

2003 Saturn ION 2, (51,000). Same here, I have been having a problem starting my Saturn that started just before the winter started. At first it only happened on stops at gas stations, but is now becoming more sporadic on whether or not it will start.

I am going to print off every page of this thread and go to my dealer, to see what good it will do. If I get a definitive answer or reason for the problems, I will repost it here. Wish me luck!

7th Jan 2009, 12:13

Whoa, one of the other previous users posted this link -- go read it! http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1137a7/60. It talks about a $50 part that you install in the steering column, followed by what's called a Passlock relearn process.

For those who have the same problem like me, I think this is it (In cold weather, my car doesn't start; the Passlock is armed; exactly 10 minutes later I can start my car. Sometimes if I miss the 10-minute mark, I need to wait another 10 minutes).

Also, I noticed that my key is very worn. Supposedly the Passlock system shuts the car down when a worn key is used, or if someone is tampering with the ignition. I just went and had a new copy of my key made, and my car started fine this morning. Who knows, maybe this is the cheapest fix???

Grrrrrrr, Saturn. I gave you my money, where's my reliable product???

7th Jan 2009, 21:02

I bought a 2004 Saturn Ion 2 and would like to know if anyone has problems with the transmission, mine is out and like to know anyone if knows about this problem? I heard that is could just be a sensor that goes out, and it will not make the transmission shift? Doe anyone know anything on this, will check back in a week, thanks.

Excelsior Springs mo.

9th Jan 2009, 08:25

Thank you to all that have commented on this site. I have been so frustrated with my car, a 2005 Saturn Ion Redline, and the dealership, that it has stressed me out completely. I have encountered the same exact problem with my car not starting every winter, when it drops below 25 degrees. I called the dealership, and all the advice they could give, was to tell me to wait ten minutes and try to start it again! It is ridiculous that so many people are having the SAME EXACT problems, yet no one affiliated with the Saturn company is doing anything about it. I appreciate all the comments posted, it confirms that I'm not the only one encountering this problem.

12th Jan 2009, 23:31

I haven't been having any starting problems in the cold weather, but I bought my 2004 Ion in mid spring of 2008 with 53k, and I live in North Carolina, and we have been having a pretty warm winter until now, where it's getting to 20 degrees at night, and sometimes 30 during the day, so hopefully I won't have any problems soon, but wait... I don't have the car right now.

My car is at a transmission shop because it would grind the gears whenever I would shift it into 3rd and 4th, which is costing me 2 grand :D lucky me. I've found that this problem is common because I've found it on Saturn tech service sites, it just doesn't seem to be as common as the ignition problem.

Other problems that I've had with my car are that my trunk release button doesn't work, which annoys me to no end, my emergency brake works as long as you don't put any weight on it, my sunglasses on top of it is enough weight to disengage it, not a very useful thing on a manual car. And once it's below 1/3 a tank of gas, the gauge stops working.

I just want to take a sledge hammer to this car.

13th Jan 2009, 09:30

I have had the same problem with my car not starting when it's very cold and it sits over night. It starts about 90% and the other 10% it doesn't. I just had yesterday at the Saturn dealer the pass lock sensor replaced after taking it to carmax 3x and they could not diagnose the problem. The dealer itself was able to read the "codes" they said it was the pass lock sensor. I will see if this fix the problem otherwise I am getting rid of it! the seats stain horribly just from water/rain. My seats look awful every month, days after me getting them cleaned/detailed. I will not buy another car again with this type of material. I hated getting up in the morning rushing to go outside and then the car decides if it wants to start or not on certain days, of course every day I took it to be checked out, it started right up even after sitting outside in the 17 degree weather for 3 days at carmax.

15th Jan 2009, 09:29

Well, regarding my previous postings (about 4 back, about trying to get a new copy of the key), the new copy of the key didn't work. The Passlock still occasionally engaged in cold weather. On the bright side, I finally figured out that if you keep the key in the on position, you know the Passlock is off when the Passlock icon stops blinking. At least I don't have to time the 10 minutes on my dang watch anymore.

Once I have enough money in my pocket, I'm trying that $50 ignition switch. The other sites make it sound easy to fix on your own, but as I'm the type of guy who could electrocute myself with a stick of gum and a piece of string, I'm going to leave it to the professionals.