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Old 08-03-2020, 11:57 AM   #2
fdryer
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 44,703
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2003 ION Stalls at Stop....Now Dangerous to Drive

There are several areas to consider - loose/damaged/broken wiring, loose/damaged/broken grounds, original ignition switch fault, intermittent crank sensor. Patience and in-depth troubleshooting might help to determine where fault lies as this seems to be very troublesome, leaving you with an unreliable car.

Was the ignition switch recall performed to rule it out? As you may or may not know, Ions were the first Saturns to incorporate logic voltage (5vdc) in the ignition switch circuitry. Dielectric grease used for corrosion protection hardened in severe cold temperatures, inadvertently disconnecting wiper arms in these ign switches, interrupting the ignition circuits. Killing the engine at random is the result. GM recalled ignition switches.

If the ign switch recall was performed, maybe tapping/wiggling wiring and connections with the engine idling may kill the engine, suggesting damaged/broken wiring at connection points or wires hidden from intact insulation. If electrical mods were made for aftermarket electronics, are they spliced into the ignition system?

Two main grounds; battery negative to chassis and chassis to engine block. Two main battery positive connections; battery to engine block (long red wire from trunk to engine block) and Remote Start Terminal post next to the engine fuse box. The remote start post is used for connecting booster cables on the engine; jumper ground to engine block, positive booster cable connected to the remote start post instead of trunk connections. This remote start post may become loose and interrupt power to the main fuse box and/or starter. Check this post for looseness and corrosion.

The crank sensor is the electronic heart beat of the entire EFI system. It can fail in one of two modes; outright failure or intermittently. Outright failure simply kills the EFI system - engine cranks but never fires up. Intermittent failure tends to be engine heat soaking - as engine heat transfers to it, the sensor fails, interrupting the EFI system, killing the engine. Cooling off, the sensor operates until its warmed up, killing the EFI system. Removing it for bench testing of resistance can help reveal a faulty one. Normal resistance is between 800-1200 ohms in freezing or hot engine running. If resistance increases when dipped in boiling water, the sensor is faulty. The crank sensor provides precise timing signals (electronic clock) to the pcm to operate the EFI system. A faulty or intermittent crank sensor disrupts EFI operation. A steady pulse train of signals are expected from every crank sensor when the engine rotates.
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