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Old 01-17-2007, 11:30 PM   #1
bloney24
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Question Changing ION ignition switch

I have rebuilt a wrecked 2003 Ion sedan. It has been having the usual starting problems in cold weather. Since the car is a salvaged car, the ignition switch is not under warranty. Can someone give me detailed instructions on replacing the switch? Thanks.

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Old 01-18-2007, 02:44 AM   #2
Bigdaddy94sc2
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

Rmove the upper steering column bezel. (pull up)
remove the lower left bezel (7mm)
Remove the ign switch. (t15 torx IIRC)

Install reverse of removal.

To relearn passlock, turn the key to run, then turn back to ACC. Leave like that for 10 mins, do again, then do again. Takes about 30 mins to complete. When 3 cycles complete, turn off car completely for at least 30 seconds. then start car.

Also, if car is a stick, make sure to push clutch when attempting to "start" at beginning of each cycle.

...
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:12 PM   #3
ksion15
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

[QUOTE=Bigdaddy94sc2;981446]To relearn passlock, turn the key to run, then turn back to ACC. Leave like that for 10 mins, do again, then do again. Takes about 30 mins to complete. When 3 cycles complete, turn off car completely for at least 30 seconds. then start car.

not trying to step on any toes or anything, but you turn the key to start, and release it to run, then wait 10 minutes, etc...

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Old 02-16-2007, 10:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

I had the same starting problem symptons as posted. I thought that key was funny and seemed somewhat related during one of my non-start episodes, but dismissed it, assuming the contacts were being made and no chip. One Saturn ASE pointed out that the grease used may be a failpoint.
After changing the starter twice, (I got one from a boneyard for $25 and thought this must be bad also) (once this week in the Fairfield Inn parking lot in Chicago at 5:00pm, 8 degree's F), then having this problem again in Cleveland this morning, thank God and you guys for this thread. The dealer quoted me around $205 for this procedure. I will attempt to replace it myself and hope that re-learn mode goes well. Will post for with results

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Old 02-17-2007, 06:20 PM   #5
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Default Ignition Switch Replace Success!!!

Just posting regarding the successful replacement of ignition switch on my 03 Ion2.
Thanks again for techs who posted instructions and even Sunnyside Saturn Service in Cleve. for advice (that was unexpected).

All went as described except the key switch cycling. Turning it to run until passlock light comes on then releasing and waiting till passlight goes out, 10:00min. The key needs to be clicked back to acc - one slight notch after passlock goes out, then cycled forward again and released, etc. this kind threw me at first as I was afraid to turn it back any during the sequence and wasted 20 min turning it forward again without the passlock energized, duh!

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Old 02-18-2008, 11:05 AM   #6
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Default 2005 ION 1 ignition switch/passlock relearn

Good morning...after the key got stuck in ignition lock last October, I attempted to remove the lock, but I was unable to. So, I just used a screwdriver to start it until I could find a lock for it. Yesterday morning, it started up as usual. Later, I replaced the ignition lock and then it wouldn't start. I bought a Chilton manual and performed the re-learn procedure three times and it still wouldn't start. Also, the manual mentioned something about a security message being displayed for ten minutes. I never saw a "security message". I saw the normal dash lights come on when the key would be turned. There's the little message box on the bottom of the instrument panel that displays the trip mileage and the oil life, but I never saw any security message in there either. Help! Thank you for your time.

Furiously Frustrated in Fresno

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Old 02-19-2008, 10:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2005 ION 1 ignition switch/passlock relearn

Quote:
Originally Posted by IsntThatOffal View Post
Good morning...after the key got stuck in ignition lock last October, I attempted to remove the lock, but I was unable to. So, I just used a screwdriver to start it until I could find a lock for it. Yesterday morning, it started up as usual. Later, I replaced the ignition lock and then it wouldn't start. I bought a Chilton manual and performed the re-learn procedure three times and it still wouldn't start. Also, the manual mentioned something about a security message being displayed for ten minutes. I never saw a "security message". I saw the normal dash lights come on when the key would be turned. There's the little message box on the bottom of the instrument panel that displays the trip mileage and the oil life, but I never saw any security message in there either. Help! Thank you for your time.

Furiously Frustrated in Fresno
Omg...
Sounds like your problem is that you replaced the wrong part.

Ignition Lock Cylinder IS NOT the same thing as the Ignition Switch!
IgLockCyl is where you stick the key, or in your case, the screwdriver. IgSw is a square black box that is under the plastic bezel on the underside of the steering wheel, held in place by a couple screws and some plastic clipped in.

Sometimes when you mess around with the IgLockCyl, it triggers the Passlock to disengage the startup of the car because the car thinks you're trying to break in and steal it! Passlock = passive anti-theft system, which is triggered by outside sources. (I had the same thing happen to me when I got the locks replaced in my car; it seized up on the locksmith and wouldn't start, and even though I knew what was going on, I promptly blamed him for breaking my car. )

I never bought a manual to replace my switch. I used the how-to on this site and called up my dealership to walk me thru the procedure. But honestly, go to your dealership and tell them you need a new Ignition Switch, and find a locksmith (or your dealership as well) and tell him you need a new Ignition Lock Cylinder because who knows what damage you did shoving a screwdriver in there.

And seriously, stop posting online that you can jam a screwdriver into the ignition to start the car. Way back in 2003, the Saturn SL's were the most commonly stolen cars because of that. We don't need a repeat.

...
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

I have a quick question...my 04 Ion has just started having this starting problem,glad I checked this board instead of running out to buy a battery for no reason. I've read many of the threads describing this, and it seems like it comes back to a grease problem in the switch ?...not sure if thats true or not. But if it is, before i go buy a switch, is it possible to remove the switch, open it up, clean it and regrease it with a light silicon grease? I've cleaned and regreased ignition switches on other cars, and was wondering if anyone has tried.

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Old 02-20-2008, 01:10 PM   #9
IsntThatOffal
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Default Re: 2005 ION 1 ignition switch/passlock relearn

Quote:
Originally Posted by QCs_R4_Girls View Post
Omg...
Sounds like your problem is that you replaced the wrong part.

Ignition Lock Cylinder IS NOT the same thing as the Ignition Switch!
IgLockCyl is where you stick the key, or in your case, the screwdriver. IgSw is a square black box that is under the plastic bezel on the underside of the steering wheel, held in place by a couple screws and some plastic clipped in.

Sometimes when you mess around with the IgLockCyl, it triggers the Passlock to disengage the startup of the car because the car thinks you're trying to break in and steal it! Passlock = passive anti-theft system, which is triggered by outside sources. (I had the same thing happen to me when I got the locks replaced in my car; it seized up on the locksmith and wouldn't start, and even though I knew what was going on, I promptly blamed him for breaking my car. )

I never bought a manual to replace my switch. I used the how-to on this site and called up my dealership to walk me thru the procedure. But honestly, go to your dealership and tell them you need a new Ignition Switch, and find a locksmith (or your dealership as well) and tell him you need a new Ignition Lock Cylinder because who knows what damage you did shoving a screwdriver in there.

And seriously, stop posting online that you can jam a screwdriver into the ignition to start the car. Way back in 2003, the Saturn SL's were the most commonly stolen cars because of that. We don't need a repeat.
You know...I really shouldn't have to explain myself. But, when what I said gets taken way out of context, it becomes necessary. I did replace the right part. I know what an ignition lock is and what an ignition switch is. I used to work as an assistant mechanic for seven years. When the key broke off inside the keyway, I tried to get the cylinder out of the lock so I could at least find out what might be hanging it up. But, I couldn't get it all the way out. So, I left it that way until I could fix it. The only way I could start the car was by using a flat-blade screwdriver. I did not, as you say, "jam" it in there. I have a little more sense than that; I have been a locksmith since '88. At the time, I wasn't in a postion to just go out and purchase a new switch. It was a Sunday night, I was angry, frustrated and being in the throes of a divorce, I just was not in the mood for it.

I drove the car around like that for a few months until I finally found an ignition lock for it and replaced last Sunday morning. When I tried the "relearn" procedure 3 or 4 times and it still would start, that's when I posted my message of frustration. When I was trying the relearn, I wasn't getting the "security message" on my instrument cluster like my Chilton manual said I would. So, that was my first red flag. I searched the internet and foyund all kinds of helpful info.

BUT...I have suceeed. Which why I came on here today, to proclaim my victory over this infernal glorified Geo. I bought a switch yesterday and tried the relearn and it worked!! Thanks to all of those that didn't answer my post and instead I get a misguided browbeating.

2005 Saturn Ion for sale....very cheap

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Old 12-26-2008, 03:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

Count me in as another satisfied Forum customer. My nephew has a 2003 ION that has had this problem for years. He and his father have gone through batteries and the works trying to get it fixed. I poked around online, found this thread and $40 and 40 minutes later the switch is replaced and the car is starting just fine on this cole late December day.

Just fyi, I did have to do the passlock reset sequence. It worked like a charm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdaddy94sc2 View Post
Rmove the upper steering column bezel. (pull up)
remove the lower left bezel (7mm)
Remove the ign switch. (t15 torx IIRC)

Install reverse of removal.

To relearn passlock, turn the key to run, then turn back to ACC. Leave like that for 10 mins, do again, then do again. Takes about 30 mins to complete. When 3 cycles complete, turn off car completely for at least 30 seconds. then start car.

Also, if car is a stick, make sure to push clutch when attempting to "start" at beginning of each cycle.

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Old 01-05-2009, 08:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

Hi I am a little confused about this whole post. I have seen all over the internet the problems with the Saturn passlock. So far my 05 hasn't failed me (I got it 2 months ago), maybe it was replaced by the previous owner. So can some one clarify the igniton switch description? Is it a little box that sits behind the ignition lock cylinder ?? From reading some peoples post it sounds to me the ignition switch and lock cylinder are all one. Are these in fact two seperate pieces?? Also where is everybody bying their igniton switches from ?? Thanks

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Old 01-05-2009, 11:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

you mean you haven't had an ignition switch problem yet, passlock is just software. the ignition switch and key lock cylinder are two parts, but part of an assembly, so they kinda look like one piece if you don't know what you're looking at. You buy them from saturn or online, where did you think you bought them?

...
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trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

That is what i wasn't sure of them being two pieces. At first in other post, I thought the lock cylinder/ switch were all one unit. Thank's for clearing that up. I didn't know if this was a Saturn only part or people were buying them from parts stores and/or online like ebay etc.. So far, no I haven't had a problem with mine and it has been below zero about 1 week so far this year. It has been near freezing or slightly below almost the entire time I have owned it, but like I stated earlier I have only had the car 2 months.

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Old 02-07-2008, 09:51 AM   #14
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

Does anyone know if this works for a 2006 ION-2, Saturn is saying I have to have them program it with a computer.

Thanks in advance?

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Old 02-07-2008, 09:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred92 View Post
Does anyone know if this works for a 2006 ION-2, Saturn is saying I have to have them program it with a computer.

Thanks in advance?

Welcome to the Board.


Being a 2006 is it not still under warranty? If not then you can do the 30 minute passlock relear after replacing the switch. The 10 minute relearn is done with the Saturn programming system.

...
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

Thanks, I appreciate that, could not find any references to a 2006, but lots of 2003's and 2004's. You guys are very helpful here, my girlfriend will be happy.

Thanks.

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Old 10-05-2008, 05:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

good to hear

...
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2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

Last edited by 2006 ion2; 10-05-2008 at 05:45 PM..

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Old 12-07-2008, 09:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

I am not disputing it, but I don't understand the need for a reset procedure after replacing the ignition switch. My 2004 Ion does not have a key with an RFID chip inside.

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Old 12-07-2008, 09:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: Changing ION ignition switch

there's a resistor in each ignition switch, the passlock requires a specific value, not an approximation, each resistor has a slightly different value and passlock has to learn this new value to use the new switch.

...
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trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 10-04-2010, 05:24 PM   #20
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Dazed Re: Changing ION ignition switch

I have a 2003 Saturn Ion3. The past couple years Ive noticed in the winter, or very windy wether, my car wont start! Sometimes I just have to wait the 10min. and they car will start on the 2nd attempt, but others, when its real cold, it wont start at all! Sometimes the theft light will come one, sometimes it says service engine... but not all these things happen every time. Sometimes the key will just click when I try and turn the ignition over and sometimes the car will almost start and stall.

Ive been told to replace tons of different things. I dont know where to start. They gave me a step by step saying relpace part A. and if problem percists then replace part B. and if that dont work try part C.

Ive gone to the Saturn Dealer in my area and they "had no idea" what I was talking about. I even talked to my GM dealer and they were even more confused! Do they not know whats going on, or do they just not want to stand behing this car?

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