5th Mar 2009, 09:40

I have a 2004 Saturn Ion. I hate it. It too doesn't like to start in the cold and my rpms like to jump around too. I will never never never buy another Saturn...

22nd Mar 2009, 21:26

I have a Saturn Ion 2004 LV2. I had, yes past tense, problems starting in the morning. I did a little hunting on the web to find a cheap fix. I bought a new ignition switch, just in case, and installed it myself. I highly suggest getting a do it yourself maintenance book for your vehicle. I also cut the white wire leading to my ignition switch. What this did was disable the pass lock system, and now when I start it in the morning, no more problems.

This is not my video, but a video I found on the web.


I hope this helps a few people out there, because it solved my problems!

5th Apr 2009, 15:10

I too own a 04 Saturn ION. I bought it used just over 3 years ago. I'm just over the 100,000 KM mark, and only just started having these starting issues at the beginning of '09. After a couple of weeks of frustration, I called my local dealership and was told I needed to replace the ignition switch. After just reading some of the posts here I realized that they totally hosed me on the price (Parts and Labour were almost $300 Cdn). They also, of course, wanted to do a bunch of other related repairs. They suggested that I replace my battery and my spark plugs.

The battery comment confused me a little bit, because my starting issues never seemed to be a battery issue (the engine doesn't even turn over, or attempt to turn over). In my experience a low battery will just mean a difficult start. But knowing that I am over the 100,000KM mark now, I was thinking about getting some spark plugs to replace. But thought I would come and do some research first.

I am amazed that there are so many of us having issues and Saturn can't/won't do anything about it.

My starting issues did improve after replacing the ignition switch, but not all of the above comments make sense to me. I don't have to wait 10 minutes.?? Sometimes when I put the key in, and turn the ignition, there is nothing. No click, no grinding, no attempt to start, nothing. This was always the issue. But now I can just keep trying it and it will usually work on the third or fourth attempt. Sometimes a little longer. Mine is a standard transmission, so I suppose it could be clutch related, but I don't see any other issues with the clutch, so I have my doubts about that.

I like the suggestions of the key wearing down, and may try switching to my spare key, which has hardly ever been used. Before I go spending any more money of battery or plugs, I'm going to go and read some more forums.

Thanks for all the comments posted so far!

7th Apr 2009, 05:44

I feel SO much better reading these comments... only because misery loves company! :o)

I had a Saturn SL1 for 10 years and loved that car. So in 2004 I decided to trade it in for an ION 2... worst decision I ever made! I have had nothing but problems.

Mostly cosmetic at first... leaking sunroof, CD player randomly quit working, water getting into my trunk because of a missing vent cover, etc... but now all the mechanical stuff, including the starting problems in cold weather.

I too had the ignition switch replaced.

I just had to have the front brake pads and rotors replaced (I only have 38,000 miles on this car, so that seemed a little soon to me).

Right now I have constant problems with the shock/struts squeaking... even back when the warranty was still good. Went to different dealerships and kept being told that an occasional squeak was normal. Yeah right! So I took it to a Tires Plus and they gave me a $1000 quote on all the crap that needs to be fixed... including the leaking shocks/struts. I had once been told by the dealer that they would "work with me" on this issue even after the warranty was up, but we'll see. I'm planning to write a letter to corporate. It might not do anything but help me get it off my chest. Sadly, I too will never buy a Saturn again.

Thanks... Omaha, NE.

7th Apr 2009, 13:04

So I think the Saturn gods were reading my post of April 5, hahaha. I don't think they liked it.

I posted that I don't have to wait a full 10 minutes, I just have turn keep trying and it will start on the 3rd or 4th attempt. Well, not anymore, every day since then, at least once, I have had to wait for the 10 minutes...grrrr!

I read the posts on the other forum that there was a link posted to on here, and I also watched the you tube video of cutting the white wire. I'm DEFINITELY cutting it this weekend!

Good luck to all the rest of you!!

26th Apr 2009, 22:35

Well people, I too have a Saturn Ion 2. I live in central Texas, so I don't really have to worry about cold weather. But guess what? My car won't start. Now the car is officially dead and when I try to start it, it just makes this constant clicking noise and the battery drains. I'm about to have the starter looked at, and am interested in looking at ignition problems. The wait 10 minutes thing is quite irritating.

My car has 97000 miles on it, I've only had it for 30000 miles. It happened for the first time on Thanksgiving of 08. So from where I'm at, it's not the cold weather, it's the car.

It's also annoying that everyone talks about getting their car fixed and letting us know something after they take it in, I haven't seen that on this forum. But I promise people, when or if this stupid car gets fixed, I'll let you guys know.

11th Oct 2009, 16:37

I own a 2004 Ion, Few years ago I started experiencing the problem of not starting in the mornings. Every time, if I wait 10 minutes, it starts. After reading these comments, it is very sad that Saturn has neither acknowledged, nor done anything regarding this issue! Sad to say Saturn will not be a consideration for my next car! Since GM owns Saturn, it will not be from the "New GM" either.

I have a 1986 Toyota pickup truck, to this day, it has never had a start issue, nor any major issues. Because of these start issues, I end up using my 86' truck if I am in a hurry!

12th Oct 2009, 06:25

Since GM has announced that it expects to phase out the Saturn brand by Oct 2010, you don't have to. Saturn was an innovative company in the nineties and then had a lot to offer, but now it has become just another GM brand, to put it like that.

10th Nov 2009, 17:56

I just bought a used 2004 Saturn Ion from a Honda dealer and had it for four months, and have today just started to experience problems. I was going to take it in for service, but now that I hear of this ten minute rule on Saturns I suppose I'll just do that. I'll also try the scarf trick and maybe cut the white wire to disable pass lock? I don't know yet, but this was SUCH a helpful website! And it saved me lots of time and money, and it's great to know I'm not the only person... though I wish none of us had it.