Mechanics

WON'T START ON COLD DAYS

2004 Saturn Ion

Engine Mechanical problem
2004 Saturn Ion 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 66,000 miles

I have a 2004 Saturn Ion3. A week before Christmas my car would not turn over. It was cold as we live in New England. We bought a new battery and replaced it with a high cranking one. I also had my coolant flushed and replaced with -20 below coolant. As of the last 2 weeks the car on various days will not start in the morning. It is very cold outisde, I turn the switch, it makes no noises, the lights come on. It's dead. Turn it off, turn it on again, it makes a wee small noise, lights on, nothing. This continues over and over (up to 5 times) as the turn over noise will get A little bit longer each time. I get angry go inside wait 10 minutes or so. Go back out to try again and it starts right up. I have brought it to the garage, they convinced me to replace my starter, which I did yesterday $200 later. They also checked my battery even though it's new, it said it was fine. I went out this morning and gee Imagine, my car won't start again! They are once again trying to say the new battery maybe really is a bad battery, but hmm they already checked that with the machine and it read fine. Also they are trying to convince me that the battery is no good in the morning, but once my car does start it is recharging the battery so then it reads fine on the machine. UGGGG!
I'm hoping you might be able to shed some light on this frustrating situation.
Avatar
Rhyanshea
January 17, 2009.




Try this info: Some customers may comment that their vehicle will not start. This comment is referred to as " no crank, no start with complete power.&Quot; Additional customer comments may be as follows: • A clicking noise may be noticed when the key is first turned to the START position, but no noise is heard after the initial start attempt.

• The " Security" light may flash immediately after trying to start the car along with the message " Service Vehicle" in the Driver Information Center.

• The vehicle may not start for at least 10 minutes after the first attempt to start the vehicle. Diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) B2960 and or B3033 may be set in history in the BCM.

Cause
When the key is rotated from RUN to START there is a voltage signal sent to the BCM that goes through the PASSLOCK resistor in the ignition switch. This voltage signal may have an early ignition switch bounce (when going from RUN to START) that the BCM interprets as a failure in the PASSLOCK system and disables the starting circuit.

Using the chart below, verify that the ignition switch has been replaced at least once using P/N 10392423. After replacement of the ignition switch or replacement and reprogramming of the BCM, perform the 30-Minute Learn Procedure found in Programming Theft Deterrent System Components.

Step
Description
Yes
No

1
Install scan tool.

Are DTCs B2960 and/or B3033 present in BCM History?
Go to Step 2
Bulletin does not apply.

2
Check NVH (National Vehicle History) (in Canada, GMVIS).

Has ignition switch been previously installed? If yes
Replace the BCM.
If no Replace the ignition switch. See if this works, post back with what you find.

Brian 1
Jan 17, 2009.
I have the exact same story as you. I was kinda smiling when I read your post (sorry). It sucks waiting outside to start your damn car, especially when ur in a hurry and it's freezing outside. Plain and simple. It's the Ignition Switch! I took my Ion to the Saturn Dealership and paid them $150 for them to fix it. I hope this helps!

Tiny
Carraj
Feb 10, 2009.
It is the PassLock system. GM does a poor job with these and many saturns have same issue. It is not the ignation switch.
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Tiny
Budfox
Mar 25, 2009.
This sounds like a classic case of the Saturn Ion (GM) Passlock flaw to me too. I've been fighting cold weather starting failure for years. I hope you finally resolved it, once and for all. For those who still need help there is a guide floating around out there. http://www.2carpros.com/articles/mitchell1eautorepair-car-repair-manuals That's how I finally fixed it. I had to fix it twice though, I thought it was bad grease, not too much grease. I added too much also. Opps. Second time's a charm so far.

Tiny
Saturnfan
Oct 14, 2010.

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