Question about 2004 Saturn ION

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Car will not start when cold on first try

After a very cold night, my 2004 Saturn Ion will not start the first time. When attempting the starter clicks a few time and then 5 - 10 minutes alter the car starts with no problem. Works fine in warm weather, full electrical system has been checked and is fine... car has 50K miles, this has happened for past 3 years.

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Most likely the ignition switch is failing. The ignition switch has the sensor for the security system and when its cold it disrupts the contacts and causes the wrong "code" to be sent to satisfy the security system and allow the car to start. The switch itself is cheap, installing it can be tricky, but could be done by someone with a little effort.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008

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Its the passlock system. The passlock wire is tiny and fragile, and gets disrupted causing your car to think you are trying to steal it everytime you put your key in.

now you can search for this video on youtube, this is where i learned and ever since i did this i have had NO problem with my car starting for the past 5 months.

you need wire nuts, wire cutters, electrical tape, n socket wrench to take apart steering column

first, go to your fuses, find the airbag fuse and remove it just incase you snip the wrong wire. what you do is look below your steering wheel and take your steering column apart. there are a serious of wires electrical taped together that are plugged in. you peel all the electrical tape back exposing the wires, and you find the WHITE wire. its all white, no other color. This wire is for your Passlock system.... this is the wire that got faulty and is causing the car not to start. now what you do from here is kinda tricky, not too bad though.

Seclude the white wire from the rest, so that you are ready to make your cut. Now, what you do is start your car, leave it running, and while its running you cut the white wire in half. then after cutting the wire, turn your car off, and then turn it back on. it should start right up. Then just put wire nuts on the two ends, and electrical tape them back together

The point of doing this is, one is disables the passlock system completely, and two the reason why you do this while the car is running is because snipping the wire with the car running makes the car think that it got into an accident or something, and puts the BCM/car into a "Fail-safe" mode, making it start every single time no matter what.

i thought this sounded insane at first, but after searching for a couple of hours its the only answer that made sense. and now i am the happiest camper in the world as far as it starting

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

My 2004 saturn ion won't start when its cold I even have a block heater to plug it in and it won't start


the anti theft wire under the steering column gets to cold and locks out ignition. i just found the auto theft wire and disconnected it. or you can take a blow dryer or heat gun run under the steering column for 3-5 minutes. if you do disconnect the auto theft wire you must do it while the car is running. use the blow dryer method, start the car then disconnect the auto theft wire.

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LOL repeating questions. Its your ignition switch. its a common problem with ions ( I myself have a 04 ion and had it replaced twice in 3 years) repair is around 400 dollars with labor. Just google "ion not starting in cold weather" and youll get TONS of threads. No recall either its stupid

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Car won't start when it gets cold.


Sir,
You are suggested to check you plug wires they might be getting too much carbon on them and another thing is that you can get your car serviced and air filter clean if not done above 2 weeks.

Nov 18, 2009 | 2004 Saturn ION

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They have had a lot of problems with body control modules in those cars.

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Switch on car


Lots of Issues with Ignition switches. Car will not crank due to incorrect pass lock voltage to BCM.Most Likely Has A DTC B2960,B3033 Stored in BCM Most likely need another Ignition switch..Good Luck

May 03, 2009 | 2004 Saturn ION

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