Question about 2006 Saturn ION

2 Answers

Hi. Friend has 2006 Saturn Ion that will not start from time to time. Battery is fine, and starter seems to be ok. Read somewhere that there is a sensor that may be causing this. What sensor is it, and where is it located on the car?

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  • twodas Dec 08, 2008

    Starter isn't spinning the engine

  • twodas Dec 08, 2008

    Not saying that couldn't be the problem, just can't afford to take it to the dealership and find out. Was really hoping for a quick easy fix if it is just a sensor. Thank you for trying to help me.


  • FutureRN Dec 21, 2008

    i have the same problem i think! When it gets really cold my saturn will not start and so i have to leave the key in the on postion until the yellow light on the dash with a car and padlock symbol stops flashing, wich is usually about 20 min. then it usually starts right up. occasionally i will have to do it two times in a row. I called saturn and they said it is something with the tumbler in the iginiton. But let me tell ya only a rich person could take there car to them and afford to get it fixed! let me know if you here of anything and i will do the same.

  • hfm123 Dec 23, 2008

    As with above radio,heat, and lights all work; engine just will not turn over. If I wait 10 minutes or so it will usually start. Money for an expensive fix will be a problem. Any ideas?

  • bsnyder24 Jan 09, 2009

    Battery check is good. Starter test is good. Clutch safe start switch is by-passed. Will not start when below freezing temps drop an additional 8 degees or more, while parked, for 10 hours or more. A hair dryer placed running, against brake, blowing up under dash. The car will start after 15 minutes. Car is parked and kept outside.

  • bsnyder24 Jan 09, 2009

    My battery tested GOOD. Starter tested GOOD. Car is kept outside. When below freezing temps drop an additional 8-10 degrees, and car is parked for 10 hours or more, will not START. Clutch safety switch is by-passed. A running hair dryer placed against brake pedal, blowing up under dash for 15 minutes, car will start. My dealer has NO CLUE!!!!!!

  • mitchy1344 Jan 16, 2009

    I have this same problem with my 2006 Ion. The battery is fine and I wouldn't think it should be the starter on an 06. I have an appointment today to see what it is but if I could give them an idea of what we are looking for that would be helpful - did you find out what was wrong?

  • Justin Case
    Justin Case May 11, 2010

    Hi twodas,

    A couple questions.

    Does it turn over and not start?

    Or when you try to start it, you get nothing (starter doesn't spin the engine)?


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  • Saturn Master
  • 71,288 Answers

This may be caued by the neutral safety switch on the transmission, also known as the trans range selector switch..

Posted on Dec 08, 2008

  • yadayada
    yadayada Dec 08, 2008

    How do you know this isn't the problem, have u tested the switch?

  • yadayada
    yadayada Dec 08, 2008

    If you wish to thank me then please change the rating to helpful, just because you don't want to hear what is most likely the cause is no reason to dismiss it as incorrect, which is what thanks for trying is doing, just asking u to be fair, I do this for free on my own time. My experience? 30 years as a master technician in new car dealer shops, including GM, all lines.


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  • Master
  • 1,498 Answers

Hi there,

Sorry about the delay, I have a real job too.

I have an SL2 that did the same thing, usually when I was the furthest away from my tool box. Frustrating is right. Hopefully you can benefit from the experience. The good news is that it's a cheap fix. Since June, I have addressed four other people with similar problems in a Saturn. Same fix.

After a whole lot of trouble shooting it turned out to be the ignition switch itself. The contacts get scarred, worn or just plain gummed up.

Being naturally lazy with my own stuff, my first fix was disengaging the tilt lock and slamming the column up and down once or twice.
This worked for about six weeks.

At that point I pulled the switch. Then I took it apart, cleaned the contacts and reassembled it. This worked for about three months.

Then I had to fix it for real.

The switch itself was a special order item and pricey too. So I went to a wrecking yard and looked around. 90 minutes and $10.00 later I had a switch.

You will probably want to pull your switch first to match it. It's pretty simple. The switch is a round plastic module that unscrews from the back of the key cylinder. Yours may be different location-wise.

First, disconnect the negative battery cable.

You need to take off the column cowl. A 7mm socket on the bolts under the cowl. A knife or flathead to separate the top and bottom.

On the left side of the column, opposite the keyhole on the end of the cylinder is the switch.

Remove the two plugs.
Unscrew the switch and remove it.

Reverse the process to replace.

Hope this works for you too.

Posted on Dec 09, 2008

  • Justin Case
    Justin Case Dec 10, 2008

    Hello Twodas,

    If you have a second, click Home on the top right of this page.

    Then take a look at the three top experts on the right side.

    EmissionWiz is The Top Gun here right now.

    We appreciate your rating our solutions and....
    Thanks for using Fixya


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