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2003 Saturn Ion Question: car won't start

 

Question

rock1hound, Jonesboro, AR, April 26, 2009, 11:58
 Rookie

All of my indicator lights stay on and when i try to start the car nothing happens. I have tried to "learn" the system again but the lights just stay on. whnen I press the brake peddle the lights go out. I need some help!

5 Answers
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  • Answer #1

    Russ May 01, 2009, 10:54
     Master

    You may have a fault with the anti-theft system - is the theft/security light flashing when your car won't start. You could also have a weak battery or corrosion on the battery cables causing a low voltage condition.

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    Visitor, September 23, 2010, 18:25

    Thanks,...thanks to your reply we just figured out our big 04 ion problem. We thought the battery was dead, or starter was bad. The lights came on but the car wouldn't turn over. We found your reply and decided 2 check about the anti-theft light. It was that but we didn't do like the other posts said, cutting the white wire, we just activated the security alarm with the keyless entry and set the alarm off by using the key to unlock the door; we then got in and started the car using the key. Problem solved!

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  • Answer #2

    GRIGGLE2 September 28, 2009, 21:14
     Enthusiast

    HI,
    I know I am a few months late on this,but the starting problem is normal for the saturn ions. Replacing the ignition does not work. The only solution is to cut the white wire in the ingnition harness while your car is running. Go to youtube.com and type in the search white wire cut ssaturn ion. It will explain more.It is a defect from saturn.when it gets cold or kind of cold that wire has to stay at a certain voltage and it does not and causees your computer to not recognise your key and will not start. Try turning the key to just before it starts,when all tthe dash lights are on,then off again,do it about 3 times and the wait 20 minutes,the car will start,but ut will no doubt happen again,so the only real way and cheapest ay is to do the cut of the white wire.

    scott
    2004 saturn ion-2 owner

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    GRIGGLE2, September 30, 2009, 22:53
     Enthusiast

    There is no correct repair like your talking about,GM did not solve the problem and new ignition,spraying what ever in the ignition will not work. The only thing that works is cutting the white wire. Thats the closest your going to come to the CORRECT REPAIR. Also the the guy on youtube is just showing how it is done,he is not the guy that actullay figured it out.

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    GRIGGLE2, September 30, 2009, 23:04
     Enthusiast

    I can also tell you that the stabilizer bars are probably making a clunking noise,WHY,just another GM screw up they never fixed and know about. Those can actually be replced with better ones,but just to make sure you know,they don't come from GM and GM never solved the problem once again.

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    Visitor, September 23, 2010, 18:26

    We just figured out our big 04 ion problem without cutting wires. We thought the battery was dead, or starter was bad. The lights came on but the car wouldn't turn over. We decided 2 check about the anti-theft light. It was that but we didn't do like the other posts said, cutting the white wire, we just activated the security alarm with the keyless entry and set the alarm off by using the key to unlock the door; we then got in and started the car using the key. Problem solved!

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    Visitor, December 14, 2010, 01:31

    I fixed my 03 Ion 2 years ago with a simple fix. Try replacing the ignition switch on the car. It is easy to do and costs a mere $17. Apparently they used some crappy grease or what not on the original one that will freeze in the winter. If you go to a saturn dealer they will most likely magically fix the problem for $200+ but doesn't hurt to try to replace the Ignition Switch. Worked for me and never had any problems after that. More information here http:// www. carsurvey.org/reviews/saturn/ion/r97727/comments/

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    Visitor, April 08, 2011, 18:59

    Hi
    I have an 03 Ion , and when it won't start, ya wait ten to fifteen minutes, and it will start every time.
    I found this out while doing some online research.

    Bob H.

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  • Answer #3

    Oakman September 30, 2009, 22:44
     Master

    Faulty security systems should be correctly repaired. Cutting wires as per an online video is not a cottect repair. Most issues with GM passlock systems are caused by faulty passlock sensors which are in most cases part of the ingnition lock cylinder. I would recommend to have the anti-theft system on your 2003 Saturn Ion properly diagnosed and repaired.

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    Visitor, July 15, 2010, 05:35

    I disagree. My 2003 Ion was "correctly diagnosed and repaired" by a Saturn dealership. Supposedly, that is. They replaced my starter switch TWICE which did not correct the problem and stuck me with a $800 repair bill each time. The cold weather starting problems persisted until we cut the white wire as per Youtube instruction. My saturn has been running free of cold weather starting problems for 2+ years. And cutting that white wire didn't have an effect on anything else.

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    Visitor, September 23, 2010, 18:28

    We just figured out our big 04 ion problem without cutting wires. We thought the battery was dead, or starter was bad. The lights came on but the car wouldn't turn over. We decided 2 check about the anti-theft light. It was that but we didn't do like the other posts said, cutting the white wire, we just activated the security alarm with the keyless entry and set the alarm off by using the key to unlock the door; we then got in and started the car using the key. Problem solved!

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    Visitor, January 23, 2011, 12:45

    How can a faulty security system be correctly repaired when no one can even figure out that is the problem? Only the Ion owners seem to understand that the passlock system erroneously senses the car is being tampered with and disables the engine to prevent theft (that isn't occurring). My car did this from day one (I purchased it used at 21,242 miles). It has progressively gotten worse. First, it wouldn't start if the temp was below 20 degrees. Now it won't start even when it's in the 60's. For the first couple of years it would not start, then would ALWAYS start about 10-15 minutes after the first attempt. That's the usual time a security system is programmed to keep it disabled because a thief isn't likely to hang around and keep trying to start the car. Now, it is unpredictable. Sometimes it will start in 10 minutes after the first attempt and sometimes can be up to 2 hours!!! I've been late for work SO many times, even when going out an hour, or more, before time for me to leave and trying to start it. I've been stranded at work, after dark, in a SCARY heavy crime area part of town most evenings. Saturn won't recognize this problem and though I've called their 800 number, they claim no one else has ever called with this problem. This is a lie because I got the phone number off of these types of blogs....dozens of people have posted the phone number and they've encouraged others to call, as they have. My customer service rep claimed there are no indications in their system that anyone else has ever called about this. I think a class-action lawsuit is in order for this problem. I bought my car used in 2007 and today is January 23, 2011....I'm still paying on this car and the problem gets worse as time goes by. When this first started happening and I figured out it was the anti-theft system disabling the engine thinking it was being stolen, I started locking my car with the key, bypassing the passlock system and it worked. My car would start every time, even in the coldest of temps. Now, I don't even lock my car at all while it's in the driveway and it still happens. The anti-theft system doesn't even have to be activated and it disables the engine. I HATE THIS FREAKIN' CAR AND I HATE SATURN EVEN MORE! Though they are no longer in business, GM is supposedly "taking care" of Saturn customers. NOT! All my rep did was offer to call a local GM dealership and set up an appointment for me to have a diagnostic test run for $95 and that would be applied toward any repairs. I could do THAT! I already had the test run when the problem started and all they told me was the test brought up no code so they couldn't find a problem with the car. "It doesn't happen for us" is all they say. Of course not, morons! I already got it started for you so it isn't going to disable the engine. This is the most frustrating thing I've ever had to endure.

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    MBell12, November 14, 2013, 12:22
     Rookie

    i dislike what this car is doing

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  • Answer #4

    Visitor, October 05, 2010, 23:05

    This issue is caused by excessive grease in the Ion ignition switch shipped from the factory. You can fix the switch yourself using this site as a reference http://moontaj.com/passlock or hire a professional to replace it. It will be $30 for the part and way too much for labor.

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    Oakman, October 25, 2010, 10:14
     Master

    The web page listed above is interesting reading. I would recommend everyone to read it BEFORE cutting the "white wire" as outlined in some of the posts here. Cutting the "white wire" may have unintended consequences.

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  • Answer #5

    MBell12 November 14, 2013, 12:15
     Rookie

    im having same problem car wont start all lights comes on but wont say nothing

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