20th Jan 2009, 10:15

Oh how I love my Saturn Ion! I'm glad to know that I am not the only one with problems, as I have had all of the above problems.

I bought my car with 20 miles on it in 04. Had the O2 sensor and ignition switch replaced within a year and haven't had many problems since this past year.

Problems started with about 80K miles on the car. All of the sudden my power steering would go out usually if I was holding a steady speed of 74 mph.

Then for the past 2 months I have had problems with the car starting. I thought it was because of the cold temps, however my car would start on the coldest days some weeks, makes no sense. Would usually start after 10-15 minutes after trying, but now that old trick doesn't work. I replaced the battery ($82) as it was the original over 5 years old. Everything was fine for a day! Ha, now I'm missing another day of work because it won't start and I'm stranded here.

I don't want to sink more money into this car as I almost have it paid off, and after reading these posts I wonder if fixing one thing will just lead to another and back to the first.

I always wanted to buy another Saturn after this car died, however I'm rethinking that now...

Few other minor problems I've had; clicking noise in the dashboard seems to come from right side of instrument panel, weather stripping coming off, stains from getting water on the seat!, key won't turn (have had better luck with the valet key they sent me) rpms jumping all over (I actually rolled in to the back of a womans car, I was pushing the brake and the car was reving still wanted to go and crunch! After an oil change and some fuel injector cleaner, it seems to have helped a bit).

I just wish Saturn would help us out and fix what is clearly their problem, and shouldn't be ours every morning.

21st Jan 2009, 15:51

We have the 2004 Saturn Ion also. It has only 32,000 miles on it. Just started experiencing the starting problem. In regards to the transmission problem mentioned earlier, we just got a recall in the mail a couple of days ago for the transmission problems on the Ion and the Vue. Saturn is replacing the transmission and reimbursing moneys used to fix the problem before the recall came out. Hope this helps.

30th Jan 2009, 18:16

My husband and I own an 05 Ion with about 49000 miles on it. We bought it two years ago, and about six months after we bought it, we noticed the starter issues. We learned about the 10-minute wait, and started leaving earlier to ensure we would get to our destination on time if the car wouldn't start.

This past fall when the temperature started to drop (we live in Seattle), it became a daily issue. I called my local Saturn dealership, who told me to come in and they would check it out. They told me it was the starter. Luckily we had an extended warranty on the car, so it was covered at no cost to us. It was fixed, and we were problem free for a month or so.

Fast forward to now. We are STILL having the same issue. Car won't start, wait ten minutes and it should be fine. That isn't always the case we are finding out. Sometimes, it starts making this crazy clicking noise and won't start without a jump. The dealership says it needs a new battery. I have had my battery checked by four different auto parts stores (and FYI, NONE of them sell the battery we need), and they all say it doesn't need to be replaced, so I should take the car back to Saturn to have them reevaluate the problem.

Saturn says it's the battery. And they want to charge me $140 for it. I don't want to shell out that money if I don't need a new battery.

This has been beyond frustrating. Here's to hoping Saturn will do the right thing. I won't hold my breath though.

Good luck to you all.

31st Jan 2009, 09:33

I have found a easy quick fix for my 2003 Saturn ION 3 not starting every morning. What I tried yesterday was I put a small portable heater inside the car at night to keep the inside nice and warm in my driveway, thus keeping the defective grease & starter switch warm. Well when I tried to start the car this morning, outside temperature -31C, car started first time, no problem. It may be a bit of a inconvenience setting the heater up every night, but if it saves me $217 Canadian plus tax, then I'm happy.

2nd Feb 2009, 15:46

I talked today with my Saturn dealer & found out some interesting facts. If Saturn replaces your ignition switch, it is with a new and improved switch which now has the proper low temperature grease in it, thus that alone is an admission of a faulty switch.

Plus if you have remote keyless entry for your car, they also have to be re-programed or they will not work. And if you have a remote car starter, it also has to be reprogrammed.

Even though Saturn is back handed admitting a problem, they will not cough up and pay for the fault.

20th Feb 2009, 20:10

I, like all Ion owners, have a problem with my starting the car. I don't have the money to try several attempts at fixing the problem, but for now I have figured a way to make the situation easier.

When I start the car I have the radio on, usually it's on anyway, I leave it on till the car starts. What I mean is if the car doesn't start, we all know it takes 10 minutes to reset itself. The radio goes off after 10 minutes and I use this, instead of my watch. If is cold outside, I go inside and count 10 minutes there, and then try to start. Just an idea, maybe it will help.

26th Feb 2009, 14:17

I own a 2004 Ion with 230,000 miles =) I live in Spokane Washington, and I too have been having cold start problems EVERYDAY. But I have found for the last 2 days that taking a lighter to my key for a little while (not quite too hot to touch but close) is working.

But other than that, and a bad wiper motor, I have had no problems whatsoever (hard to believe with so many miles I know). I've read that some have tried the key warming with no luck, maybe you're not getting it hot enough. I don't know, but I hope this helps.

2nd Mar 2009, 16:06

I too have had problems starting my car in the cold weather. I have found that a microwavable heating pad to the ignition and the heating the key in the same pad solves the problem.

I am also a second time Saturn owner- my first was a 1995 SL1. I loved that car. However due to this problem along with some other electrical issues, I am not planning on my next car being a Saturn. Very sad.