15th Nov 2009, 19:04

I bought a 2004 Saturn Ion with 68000 miles on it. The transmission slips occasionally between 1st and 2nd gear. Now have 90000 miles on, and hasn't got any worse. Any suggestions?

- Craig Bannister, Old Hickory, TN.

18th Nov 2009, 10:54

I have a Saturn 2003 Ion. Very frustrating!! Having the start up issue even after my car has already been started and driven then shut off for a few minutes. I have changed the ignition and the starter sounds like I just wasted money! Very sad about this. This is the 3rd Saturn I have owned and never had trouble with the other two. I am sorry GM is not taking care of its consumers.

21st Nov 2009, 01:28

OK EVERYONE - I can't believe you all are still talking about the ion problems. The ignition thing is actually a wire that is too small for the wiring in the car, and it has to stay at a certain voltage, well they put this small @#$ wire in there, and when it gets cold and you go to start it, the voltage is not where it is suppose to be, and that makes the computer not recognise your key. The only sure way to stop this from happening is first pull your cover off of the fuse box and take out the fuse for the air bags, then start your car, take off the panel on the bottom of your steering column, you will see a green or white plug in there and you will see a white wire, snip that in half, put wire plugs on the ends, tape them up.

Now there may be 2 wires, but I am not sure which one to cut, I did mine 2 years ago, so I can't remember, but if you google Saturn ion white wire, you will find a ton of information on this and there is even a guy on youtube who filmed his cutting. The ignition thing doesn't last, the new key thing doesn't work, the new battery doesn't work or anything else. The white wire is the only thing that works for sure. So look into it before you do it. I can tell you that my car was done 2 years ago and has never had the problem again.

While we are at it about Saturn Ions, do you happen to have some clunking going on during the summer and then it gets worse in the winter in your front end??? That would be the cheap bushings GM put in your sway bars. One on each side right behind your rotors and stuff. If you take off the tire, you will see the sway bar straight up and down, you may as well change those also.

Hope this helps someone out:) Later.

26th Nov 2009, 21:34

Purchased my 04 Ion 3 with 19 miles on it in 05. Very first winter in Chicago I had this problem. Every time it's cold, no start. Summer it runs great. I just got done paying it off so I'm gonna look into this whole white wire thing. Just FYI, if you have any modifications to your car like I do (cold air intake, exhaust, and new ECU) do NOT bring it to the dealer. They will say it's because it's your mods that it's not working. Definitely not true. Radio stopped working as well. Brought it in and they said it was because I had an amplifier powering subwoofers and wanted to charge me over 500 dollars to replace it... It was a fuse. 13 dollar part you can replace yourself. Glad Saturn is going the way of the dinosaur. Good riddance.

3rd Jan 2010, 22:00

January 3, 2010

I also have a 2004 Saturn Ion. I bought brand new in March of 2004. First I noticed the seats, spilling water stained them. They re-stainguarded the seats-it did not work. I've tried everything to clean them. Then my button for my trunk broke-now I have to use the key instead of the remote. Then my wiper motor went - $260.00 later the dealer told me I must leave the switch on all the time when there's ice on my windshield - I've owned 4 other cars; I know if there's ice to defrost first.

The car rides very rough, my links are bad to sway bar, and recently was informed my shocks and struts are bad. Then last summer I had new tires put on and the mechanic tells me the back driver axle is cracked. I still haven't fixed that.

Winter of 08', every day the car wouldn't start, the ignition switch was bad. Funny, when I picked the car up from dealer, they didn't want me talking about it at the desk - they pulled me aside - now I know why.

Now today I turned the key rpms went high, check engine soon light is on and car won't accelerate, car vibrates, etc. I'm not taking the car to dealer, I went for an oil change once and they had me at $1100. I laughed and took the car home. Now I sit without my car again.

This car will be paid off in March 2010. I have 100,000 miles on it, I'm sure it isn't going to last much longer. I will not consider buying another Saturn or would ever recommend one to anyone. There is no such thing as Customer Satisfaction with Saturn.

6th Jan 2010, 09:42

I bought my 04 Ion in the summer of 04. I have not had any of the cold starting problems indicated here. I live in NJ and it has been very cold the past week.

I recently had a problem with the power steering. The electric motor for the PS had to be replaced.

I have had an on-going issue with clunking noises from the front end. I've had this checked by Saturn under warranty and later by a few others and no one can figure out exactly what the problem is.

Other than these two issues the car has been very reliable and has over 100,000 miles.

My previous 1995 SL-1 had 190,000 miles when traded in.

I did like the SL1 better... too bad GM messed up this company. They started out with the right idea.

I think my next car will be a Toyota or Hyundai. Even if Saturn was to continue, I would not have bought the Astra.

18th Jan 2010, 14:46

Saturn ION 2004 - Jan 18/2010.

My daughter has had problems sometimes removing the key from the ignition switch assembly. One way of removing it was by grabbing hold of the shifter and shake it or rattle it, the key will then come out quite easy.

She has also encountered the starting problem as well, thanks for all the feedback from everyone on this site.

21st Jan 2010, 08:49

So glad that it's not just me. This is my third - and last - Saturn. Never had a single problem with the first two - ran both of them over 200,000 miles. This one (the beloved 2004 Ion 2) has 73,000 miles on it, and all of the problems mentioned:

- Won't start when it's cold (Pennsylvania), but wait ten minutes (not 12, 10) and try again and it will usually work.

- Will turn over then die immediately in cold weather (wait ten minutes and try again)

- Stained fabric

- The screechy, clunky sound when you go over bumps.

Thanks to everyone for the info!! I'm going to take it to my mechanic (not GM or Saturn) to get his opinion on cutting the white wire and to check the spanner bars.