Question about 2006 Saturn ION

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Saturn ion,sometimes wont start

It wont start then I come back few minutes later and will start My '06 Saturn ION has a problem i try to start it in the cold and it doesn't start. Everything else will work but no sound is made when turning the ignition switch over. i wait for awhile sometimes it will work sometimes not but when it does work theres no problem starting. ONLY HAPPENS IN COLD.

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  • mobes84 Jan 16, 2009

    I have the same problem. This is the second time. Not much fun when it is -13. The dash lights up and battery is fine.???????? The last time this happened it was not all that cold out..????

  • Mary Adragna Feb 05, 2009

    I had the same trouble with my 06 Ion 2 when it was new. After 3 trips to the dealership, they finally replaced the starter. That was the trouble.  Now at 60K miles, I can remove the key while it is running and it keeps on running.  Guess it was not a good year for the starters!

  • Anonymous Feb 08, 2009

    I have the same problem with ION2 from 2005, when it gets below 15F ... I work from home. The interesting part is that I have an ION1 same here and it starts no problem.

  • timehasbeenk Feb 19, 2009

    2006 ION Can be warm out wait 5 min then starts

  • acorn11rules Feb 20, 2009

    I have a 2006 Ion. It has not started on 3 separate occasions in the last 3 months. All the lights are on and power is on. I go inside and get help, and ten minutes later or so, it starts and runs fine.

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The problem is in the ignition - the grease gets thick in the cold and doent turn quite right the first time. everything turns on, but the anti theft system thinks you have the wrong key so shuts off pwer to the starter. it takes 8-10 mintues to reset. That is why it normally starts when you come back later. I have had the same problem and done tons of reseach. Right now my temp solution has been a small heater and an extention cord. I keep it plugged in over night on a medium setting - just enough to keep the inside temp above freezing. I am also researching remote starts because saturn dealership charges $250 to replace the ignition, and a remote start will run about $300. Saturn wont do a recall because they feel it is not a safety hazard. I say that is bull. Good luck!

Posted on Feb 04, 2009

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  • RowanJohn Nov 15, 2010

    I am having the same symptom, but it's not in extreme cold. I live in Florida. Admittedly, it's been a bit chilly in the mornings when it happened, but it only frosts a few times a year in Tampa.

  • kat-hay Nov 28, 2010

    Same problem. Wondering if or how you fixed your problem permanently? Your posting was from two years ago so hoping you found solutions that didn't break the bank. If you did can you please share with me as my life is pretty messed up by this start reliability issue. thanks!

  • Joe Taylor
    Joe Taylor Sep 26, 2011

    Sounds very similar to when the antitheft security system begins to fail. The symptoms are the same and the fact that the system is fine 10 minutes later is also very common. Look around the dash for a light that says SECURITY or looks like a car with a padlock thru it. If you see this light, that is a dead give away of a security failure and this link will help greatly for fixing this yourself.http://vatspasslockpasskeysecurityhelp.y...

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You probably don't own this car anymore, so this answer is for those of us who DO still own a Saturn Ion.

1) An electric heater in the car, REALLY?

2) The passlock system is what disables the car. GM issued a recall after being sued when people DIED because of it. The ignition switch would kill power to the vehicle while driving...and then you lose most steering and braking power. So jenwattsdphi, you are correct on the cause...and unfortunately, the effect.

GM will replace the ignition switch for free, but I've heard of many people having trouble with the replacement. It was because they put way too much grease in the switch. When the weather is cold, the grease stiffens, and the switch terminals lose electrical connection.

3) You best bet is to repair the switch yourself.

Remove the steering wheel cover and remove the ignition switch. Bring it inside and carefully disassemble it. clean the contacts with swabs soaked in rubbing alcohol. GENTLY bend the switch wiper arm down. Dab silicone dielectric grease onto the board part of the switch...about as much as a grain of rice at 10 o'clock and another dab at 2 o'clock. Smear the grease with pinkie back and forth a couple of times. Reassemble the switch and reinstall in the car.

4) A switch is a mechanical component, so this may have to repeated after 5 years or so.

Posted on Aug 30, 2015

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