Question about 2003 Saturn ION

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My car won't start in the cold weather. I don not have Power Locks or Power Windows. What is the Problem?

I have a 2003 Saturn Ion and I bought it used a few years ago. A few years ago, only in the Winter it doesn't want to start. then 10 minutes later it will almost start, then 5 minutes later as I wait in a freezing car it will start. Usually after that it is fine for a few days, EXCEPT today. It happened twice today with a Service Engine coming up! I have never noticed it before but what is the Problem? Thank You!!!!!

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It's the ignition switch. The grease in the ignition switch that came with the car does not do well in the cold. You can replace the ignition switch yourself with a $30 part from an auto store.

Posted on Apr 19, 2014

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That sounds like a battery issue. Batteries have whats called CCA (cold cranking amps) it is the main thing to pay attention to. This is a measure of how much current the battery can provide at 0 deg F. Batteries work better when they are warm, so the colder it gets, the less current it can provide.

Starting an engine requires a lot of current, over a very short time. Meanwhile, cold engines are harder to start, requiring more power to get them going. So look at your battery and its CCA and since u said u bought the car a few years ago. You probably didnt replace the battery yet have u? Batteries usually have a life of 4-6 yrs only. Hope this helped

Posted on Jan 23, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: saturn ion,sometimes wont start

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

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Car will not start when cold on first try

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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SOURCE: 02 saturn l200 starts then dies immediately

try your spare key it sounds like the transponder in the key is going bad

Posted on Jun 29, 2009

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SOURCE: I have a 2003 Saturn Ion. Over the last two year I

Brad,
I too have the same vehicle with the same problem, however I don't think its a battery or alternator problem. I thought those were it at first too however after getting both checked that was not the case. My friends and family who have experience with cars think this is a computer glich of some kind, let me know if you figure this out!
Thanks,
David

Posted on Jan 11, 2010

  • 543 Answers

SOURCE: My saturn 2004 Ion will not consistanly start on cold morning

the electric ignition switch on the end of the ignition lock cylinder is going bad,you need to replace it and program it.the switch is like $35,,,,but thats 100% the problem,common issue

Posted on Feb 19, 2010

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1 Answer

2003 Saturn Ion won't start in the cold weather


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