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Old 08-10-2014, 06:59 PM   #1
Xerxes82
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Attention 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

I'm hoping that someone can help me out.

My wife has a 2007 Ion 2 that was recently serviced for the ignition switch. The vehicle also has an aftermarket remote starter that hasn't been reprogrammed since being serviced for the recall (Service was completed on 8/6/2014). Due to our work schedules, it's difficult to coordinate when we'll be able to get the remote starter reprogrammed, but we planned on getting it done this week.

Today while at the grocery store, my wife accidentally hit the remote start button on the fob, and the car will not start. the Passlock light was flashing for a while, then I told her that she had to wait 10 minutes for it to reset (I read this online somewhere). After 10 minutes, the car still did not start, and still has yet to start (about 4 hours since the button was pressed). I had to get the car towed home, but I need to get this working as soon as possible.

Can anyone help?

The remote start is by Python, and the information on the key fob is 474P.

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Old 08-10-2014, 08:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

While not familiar with every aftermarket remote start system added to any car, I am somewhat familiar with mine that seemed to fail a specific problem not explained in any manuals. Neither service manuals nor the remote start manual ever discuss a peculiar problem that may be what you're describing; remote starting and interfering with Passlock functions detecting a false theft attempt and activating Passlock. What occurred to me and solution does not take away from a perfectly normal remote start system. Mine still operates correctly but I am now aware of only one peculiarity when remote starting inadvertently and interfering by manually starting during a remote starting sequence. The key is either allowing remote start to complete its attempts or disable it............by pressing the brake pedal.

There are several ways to undo what was done if remote start is operating (presumed from your descriptions) and used with the most expedient method to reverse normal Passlock theft detection and as it prevents the engine from starting and running; simply press the brake pedal. Passlock requires advanced electronics knowledge to install any aftermarket remote start system because of electronics sophistication to match a remote start circuit into factory theft protection circuitry without triggering Passlock into disabling the starter and/or EFI system.

With Passlock flashing and alerting you that a theft attempt was detected, incorrectly here, the remote start circuitry along with manually attempting to start triggered Passlock into action to disable normal starting and running. Simply pressing the brake pedal breaks the circuitry; the remote start circuit along with manually starting is interfering with Passlock and Passlock has over ruled this confusing scenario by disabling any starting attempt to protect the car from theft. A unique situation may have occurred here so breaking the circuits may be one resolution. Using the brake pedal tells the remote start circuit to disable itself from further interference/starting sequences and return the EFI system back to Passlock protection. Normal starting should return unless your remote start system is configured incorrectly.

I'm passing on this info as it has already occurred to my L300 with a different aftermarket remote start system that inadvertently caused me some grief until I became more acquainted with how things work. After some trial and error experimentation, pressing the brake pedal forces the remote start system to reset/remove itself from circuitry and return starting to manual control without causing Passlock to invoke a lock out. Try pressing the brake pedal and then turning off ignition altogether, turn ON ignition and press the brake pedal again, release, and see if Passlock security is off before trying a normal manual start.

Remote starting and manually starting simultaneously may cause confusion that Passlock senses as a theft attempt since most remote start systems may make several starting attempts before resetting itself. This may not be mentioned as a possible cause for interference when anyone presumes remote start failed and manually tries starting without disabling remote start. Pressing the brake pedal breaks the remote start sequence of its ability to attempt several starts before resetting itself.

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Last edited by fdryer; 08-10-2014 at 08:57 PM..

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Old 08-11-2014, 07:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

Thanks for the response, fdryer.

I know that breaking the circuitry with the brake pedal will interrupt the remote start process and should reset the passlock feature.

At this point, the passlock notification is no longer present when I attempt to manually start the car with the key, and the car still will not start. I have not attempted to use the remote start because I know that it will not work, as it has not been reprogrammed since the ignition was replaced. The engine light comes and stays on, and the battery light briefly came on in the instrument cluster. I tried to jump start the car to no avail. I called the dealer, and they offered no assistance.

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Old 08-11-2014, 07:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

There are only a few remaining issues left to deal with - possible loose RED battery cable connection at the engine fuse box where the remote jumper cable can attach to for a boost, Passlock is still disabling starting, possibly worn out starter. Eliminating a worn out starter can be tested directly at the starter by shorting the red battery cable terminal to the small terminal on the starter solenoid - this bypasses the entire Passlock system and ignition switch starting circuit to allow applying battery power to the starter solenoid, enabling starter operation. This isn't recommended for the faint hearted. Another safer method would be wiring a remote start switch with extended wires and alligator clips to allow starting away from the car. Trying this direct method can help troubleshoot a starter problem - either the starter runs or not. This presumes battery power is available to the starter.

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Old 08-11-2014, 08:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

Everything you said in the above post is like a foreign language to me. I'm not afraid to admit that my knowledge of cars is very basic (I can change oil, tires, and jump start).

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Old 08-11-2014, 10:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

If your battery is mounted in the trunk, the battery RED cable is extended from the rear trunk to the front fuse box, terminating outside the fuse box. This feeds power to the fuse box and is distributed everywhere 12v is needed. Battery ground is thru a chassis and engine connection to ensure grounds enable all power to be where its needed. Some Ion owners found their engine fuse box RED cable connection loose - a hex shaped stud extends from the fuse box to allow a jumper cable connection. Check to see if this is loose. This is where another battery cable connects to the starter. A loose main battery cable connection may cause intermittent power issues like starting. If there's any doubt about troubleshooting on your own, call a friend over to lend a hand as your last resort is towing the car back to GM.

Jump starting requires connecting jumper cables to the best connections closest to the starter, the RED marked jumper post next to the main engine fuse box and a bare metal ground on the engine block. This REMOTE START terminal can loosen up over time and cause electrical problems.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Ion remote jump starting pic.jpg (42.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Ion remote jump starting.jpg (132.5 KB, 7 views)

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Old 08-21-2014, 05:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

I ended up having the car towed to the dealership for the power steering recall. While there, they found out that, after disconnecting the remote start, the starter motor is "bad", even though it's drawing 12 volts. If the starter motor is "bad", how can it draw any power?

Does this make sense to anyone? It sure doesn't to me.

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Old 08-21-2014, 05:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

Electrical devices don't "draw" voltage. Voltage either reaches the device or not. It is then up to the device to draw amperage.

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Old 08-21-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

There are two electric parts in every starter, the electric solenoid and starter motor. There's a specific sequence where the electric solenoid is first powered up, a large electromagnet that does two things; yank the starter gear into position to engage the engine flywheel and close a set of heavy duty electrical contacts to pass battery power to the starter motor. Starter solenoids are usually reliable because they have to leverage the starter gear into flywheel engagement position just before the electrical contacts close to pass battery power to the motor to turn the starter gear. Starter solenoids usually power up so it draws battery power. The starter motor uses a set of conductive brushes to pass battery current to two segmented commutator rings that power the armature - this powers the starter motor. Brushes wear out after many miles and years of use. The most common starter symptom is hearing a loud 'click' followed by silence. When a starter wears out, the brushes are worn down to where little contact is made so the starter motor runs intermittently. The loud click is the starter solenoid slamming the starter gear into position but the starter motor fails to power up.

Google a video of how car starters operate. Starters can fail as early as 50k miles or last well beyond 250k miles.

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Old 08-21-2014, 06:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

It sounds like I need to replace the starter then.

That's fine and all, but I can't shake the feeling that before the ignition recall service, I never has an issue with the car.

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Old 08-21-2014, 06:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

Without seeing this starter, determining a worn out starter isn't rocket science or an exact go/no go fail situation. Experience counts when owning one or more cars with faulty starters giving similar hints after eliminating battery, battery cables, their connections, security systems and starting circuits. Starters still work the same way and wear out just as it did when it was first invented.

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Old 06-28-2015, 06:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Ion 2 won't start after ignition recall repair

Has anyone else had this problem? I am finally ready to take my Vue in for the ignition replacement but I have been delaying it as it hasn't really been necessary.

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