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Old 03-11-2018, 01:40 AM   #1
awfulbeans
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2006 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Checkered Flag Broke 200k today!

And here's the proof.



2006 level 3 quad coupe, manual transmission. Bought it with 60k 5 years ago.

Outside of routine maintenance, this is what I've had to do so far:

Fuel pump (pumped fine, but a fitting cracked, and it was spraying fuel against the bottom of the car.. there's an enhanced warranty for people living in hot climates that gets you a new pump free of charge)

MAP sensor (snagged one at Pick n Pull when looking for some other parts)

Battery (original made it just past 10 years - build date of 6/05, died 9/15)

Thermostat (twice.. first time used a Duralast thermostat, this time I used an OEM thermostat)

Sway bar end links

Evap purge solenoid

Rear O2 sensor (probably going to do the front one soon, mileage isn't so great anymore)

"Replaced" the catalytic converter (... installed an O2 spacer )

Clutch pedal (what a stupid design... should have replaced it twice now, kinda ghettorigged it the second time instead)

Radiator fan

Surge tank cap

Engine harness repairs (... rodent damage).

All of the repairs have been done by me, except for the fuel pump and sway bar end links (links were done under warranty from the dealer I bought it from). I try to use OEM parts whenever possible; when I can't (or it's cost prohibitive), I use a good name brand. Denso and NGK/NTK are my go-to for O2 sensors (and they're the OEM for GM anyway), belts and hoses have been Gates, the only thing I took a chance on was the radiator fan (known aftermarket company, but not a "better" company... it was $100 cheaper than an OEM fan though).

That's... about it. I go through tires and brakes pretty quickly due to my job (delivery). Original starter, original alternator, engine has never been open AFAIK. Loses 2 quarts of oil between OLM-suggested oil changes (tends to be about 9k, using Mobil 1 High Mileage); it was 1 quart until the oil pan started leaking last fall. No, it's not the front or rear crank seal, it's definitely coming from the radiator side of the oil pan.

Current problems:
Paint chipping off of the side skirts
Sunroof track is cracked in a few spots (still opens and closes, but makes some popping noises now, and has a bit more wind noise now.. why the hell did they make it out of plastic?!).
Oil pan gasket leak
Seized a/c compressor
Tired suspension (plenty of rattles and clunks)
Occasional hard start (extended crank before it starts... ~5 seconds). It's been doing this at random ever since I bought it.
Timing chain rattle if it's been sitting more than about 30 minutes (have a new OEM tensioner on the way).
CV joints sound like Rice Krispies, but only when reversing. They make no noise at all going forward. They're original, and they've been doing this for about 100k now.
Used to get an occasional MAF out of range code, but that stopped once I replaced the rear O2 sensor. Weird.
Drivers seat is just flat out worn out. The left side bolsters on it are just sagging fabric hanging over the metal frame now, mainly because I'm in and out of the car, on average, about 40 times a day (my record is about 110 or 120). Somehow the fabric isn't torn. I haven't been able to find a matching seat at a junkyard yet; I have the 5 way adjustable seat in charcoal, the majority of Ions I see at the yards are both level 1/2 and have a different color interior.
Most of the time the car gets shut off when I get out; that starter is built like a damn tank.

I used to be a Honda fanboy. The Ion (or as I call it, the Ionry, since I used to hate on GM) has been the most reliable car I've owned so far - and I've owned 1 Ford, 6 Hondas, and 1 Nissan, in that order, before this.

Here's to breaking 250k.

(old pic, but here it is..)

Last edited by awfulbeans; 03-11-2018 at 01:54 AM..

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Old 03-11-2018, 09:39 AM   #2
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2007 AURA XR
Default Re: Broke 200k today!

Good to see....

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Old 03-11-2018, 12:30 PM   #3
ddemier7
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2004 ION-1 Sedan
Dizzy Re: Broke 200k today!

I have 220,315 miles on my 2004 Saturn Ion sedan with an automatic.

She even has engine sludge but runs good.

Current problem right front wheel bearing going out.

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Old 03-12-2018, 01:41 AM   #4
awfulbeans
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2006 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: Broke 200k today!

Original wheel bearings on mine. I don't think there's any sludge, though I didn't have any maintenance records from the PO (I do know I'm the second owner, though). Never had the valve cover off, so I really don't know what it looks like inside beyond what little I can see through the oil filler. I'll have to pull the valve cover to do the timing chain tensioner, though.

The oil samplers I've sent to Blackstone have all come back with "this engine is wearing very well, you could run this oil a lot longer". Though I haven't done one since about 80k.

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Old 03-12-2018, 04:10 AM   #5
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2004 ION-1 Sedan
Default Re: Broke 200k today!

How much to do an oil sample?

My previous owner did not take care of my Ion and I had to do a timing chain and tensioner and when I took the valve cover off.... Wow. I have pictures but you will have to look through my timing chain rattle posts to find my pics.

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Old 03-12-2018, 01:08 PM   #6
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2005 ION-1 Sedan
Default Re: Broke 200k today!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddemier7 View Post
How much to do an oil sample?

My previous owner did not take care of my Ion and I had to do a timing chain and tensioner and when I took the valve cover off.... Wow. I have pictures but you will have to look through my timing chain rattle posts to find my pics.
$28.00 with Blackstone labs

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Old 03-20-2018, 04:12 AM   #7
awfulbeans
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2006 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: Broke 200k today!

Yup, $28 at Blackstone. It's money well spent a couple of times a year, or for a few oil changes after major engine work.

It threw me a curveball overnight. It decided it really, really liked being parked in a friend's driveway around midnight.

Specifically, the usual Passlock issue decided to say hi. I've had the Passlock light come on while driving before, but it never caused a drivability issue, and never caused a starting issue. It always went away after shutting the car off and restarting.

Dropped a friend off (no warning lights on), hopped back in, tried to start it, and... nothing. Originally thought my clutch switch had gone out or popped out (it popped out of the mount once shortly after replacing the pedal)... then I saw the dreaded blinking amber light.

At least I had heard of the issue; did the 10 minute relearn, and it fired right up, except the Passlock light was now lit solid. Drove home, shut it off, restarted it.. no more Passlock light (or any warnings).

It had the ignition switch replaced under the infamous recall issue a few years back, so I was a little surprised by this.

Still, found the GM part number, found someone on eBay with a 100% rating selling it for $25, ordered a new one. Doesn't look too hard to replace.

Also finally did the fuel filter today, er, yesterday. Pulled the fuel pump relay with it running, was a bit surprised when it kept running for almost 2 minutes (though it was missing pretty bad before it died). Wouldn't restart after several tries, so I figured there was little to no pressure. Nope, moment I squeezed the tabs on the return line, I had a gasoline sprayer for several seconds (I'm guessing the filter was so clogged that it just couldn't push fuel through unless the pump was actually running). But it's done, and the fuel trims look a lot better. Primary O2 looks like it's getting pretty lazy (gets stuck rich or lean about once every minute, followed by the short term trims going full lean or rich, followed by the engine pinging if it goes lean/stumbling a bit when it goes rich, until the sensor starts responding again), so I'm going to go ahead and replace the primary O2 this weekend.

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Old 03-21-2018, 02:30 PM   #8
ddemier7
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2004 ION-1 Sedan
Default Re: Broke 200k today!

Let me know how replacing the primary O2 sensor goes. I might do this to my car for preventive maintenance.

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Old 03-22-2018, 04:03 AM   #9
awfulbeans
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2006 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: Broke 200k today!

It's dead simple man. My dumbass mixed up primary and secondary (..... don't ask, I'll just say there was a lot of weed and alcohol involved) once. The primary popped right out with a tap of a hammer on my wrench (on an O2 socket), sensor came out easily. Then I went "... wrong sensor, you idiot". See, my old car had the cat under the hood, so both sensors were right there when you popped the hood....

It seems like the original sensors were installed with a generous amount of anti-seize (and good replacements come with a small packet of copper anti-seize). So long as you're not in the rust belt, I can't see it taking over 15 minutes for the primary if you use a proper O2 socket. Most of that will be trying to figure out how to unplug it from the harness (followed by swearing when the plug won't snap back in).

The secondary is a bit harder, more because you have to snake a nearly 3 foot cable up to the connector (and route it through the hooks on the outside of the heat shield), and the connector is right by the steering shaft. It took 4 tries - the first 3 times, it got tangled in the steering shaft and yanked out (though obviously wasn't plugged in all the way, since it was able to pop out). I finally zip tied it out of the way, after hulking on the connector and hearing a very definitive SNAP. I'm sure the 90 degree O2 spacer I'm using didn't help, it basically added several inches to the cable.

It's not a hard car to work on at all, as long as you don't have to drop the trans or remove the timing cover. Everything outside of those is stupid easy. It's seriously a good "Babby's First Car to learn how wrenches work", so long as you find one that's had the most basic maintenance. The plastic clutch pedal is really annoying when it wears out, the concentric clutch slave is more annoying (but not really an issue so long as you go OEM whenever you replace the clutch), most other stuff is pretty damn simple.

Oh yeah. When (not if) the clutch pedal breaks, don't listen to the threads on here saying not to drop the steering column. Center the wheels, center the steering wheel, mark the steering shaft where it meets the pinion shaft with grease pen, make sure the column is locked, and yank that ***** (seriously, THAT'S censored?!) out of the car. It's 4(?) bolts and 3 plugs to remove, and saves a TON of swearing/inventing new swears/throwing tools/random car bonfires/neighbors wondering WTF is going on/car wildfires/car bonfires. I wish I'd dropped it as step 1, it would have saved me at least 2 hours of swearing at the top of my lungs. Disconnect the battery, unplug everything, and just unbolt the damn thing. It's a PITA to reinstall if you're solo, but doable.

Last edited by awfulbeans; 03-22-2018 at 04:12 AM..

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Old 04-05-2018, 02:07 AM   #10
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2006 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: Broke 200k today!

Sadly, the car met its demise today. Trash truck pulled out and hit me, and took off.

I have full coverage. I tried to file a claim with the company that hit me, and they're already calling me making threats about lawsuits. Thankfully I keep full coverage on everything. I've already lawyered up for the injury and lost wages, and Geico, shockingly, already totaled the car and said a check will be in the mail (rental car will be dropped off by Enterprise in the morning). Geico gave me a very good price on the car, with a very reasonable buyback. I also have a dashcam, though I've been advised by both insurance and lawyer to not make the video public right now.

Time of death: 202,390. The car still runs and drives, but the LF suspension is bent, the LF tire was ripped apart, LF fender is gone, LF headlight is gone, bumper is dragging, etc. And my spare tire delaminated - it holds air, but half of the tread peeled off. I don't trust it to get me more than down the street (not that I can legally drive the car right now anyway).



Geico gave me an amount that was a lot more than I was expecting, and aside from the LF suspension, it's all stuff I can just bolt on from a junkyard. The appraiser even told me I'd be stupid not to buy it back if I know how to use a wrench. So I'm doing a buyback on it.

The upside is it's all on dashcam, lawyers are involved, and the trash company has pulled some STUPID moves already that has my lawyer drooling. I'm not normally one to scream LAWYER, but it was a hit and run with a trash truck, and they immediately started threatening to sue me based on their own video footage (guess they didn't know I have a dashcam in my own car).

It'll hopefully rise from the ashes within a few days. It'll likely be a few different colors unless I luck out and find another silver quad coupe (and the unicorn bumper with the fog light cutouts), and it'll probably involve zip ties for a bit until I find everything I need (I only have the rental for 4 days).

Damage seems to be wheel, tire, headlight, headlight bucket, wiring harness to headlight, corner lamp, fender, bumper, LF suspension (... already had quickstrucks ordered anyway) and doorskin. I'm sure whatever is/was behind the bumper is also needing some love. The extra money will go to fixing the AC (compressor locked up last year). The hood is still straight, and latches fine, so I'm guessing both the hood and the radiator support escaped with little to no damage (nothing a mallet can't fix, anyway).

I'm supposed to be getting it back with a clear title; my claims rep told me that since I'm keeping the car, they won't touch the title. We'll see how that works out. I don't care about the title that much to be honest, I always planned to drive the wheels off of it anyway.


Last edited by awfulbeans; 04-05-2018 at 02:16 AM..

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Old 04-17-2018, 02:55 PM   #11
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Default What a story...

She'll be reborn!

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