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Old 12-28-2007, 08:33 AM   #1
chris-w
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Default 2003 Ion Sedan, abnormal starting problem

My wife has a 2003 saturn Ion that has the following problem about once every 2-3 days


When i go to start the engine (warm or cold) the starter will engage the engine but only for a fraction of a second and then stop.

If i try to start the engine again nothig will happen. No solenoid click, nothing

If i let it sit for a few minutes the same half second starter turn occurs.

When i jump start it, it has to be connected to another vehicle for about 5 minutes then it will roughly start, and run normal.

Had battery tested and it tests fine.

Anyone had this problem before?

Thanks
Chris

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Old 12-28-2007, 02:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2003 Ion Sedan, abnormal starting problem

hi... i have a 2004 ion, and i also have the problem,, i took it to the dealership today, it is due to a faulty ignition switch and it will cost 360 to fix! I dont have warrenty and tryed to have dealership cover the cost since it is a manufacturers defect, but they said no, so i went above their heads and called saturn headoffice, i will not pay to have a repair done that is caused by saturn using faulty parts.
saturn really should have a recall on this car!!!
Hope this helps you!

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Old 12-28-2007, 04:50 PM   #3
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2003 Ion Sedan, abnormal starting problem

Search the Ion threads for similar starting problems as you may have the first computer controlled starter that isn't directly controlled by the ignition key. I had the opportunity to go back and forth with another Ion owner to clarify this dilemma but found that the starting system is now controlled by the BCM and may be the heart of this particular problem. Instead of a electrically controlling the starter through the ignition switch's START terminal, the Ions uses this signal to have the BCM (body control computer) supply the START signal for the starter to turn, in effect using the computer to actually tell the starter to turn.

Virtually every vehicle has a direct connection from the starter to the ignition switch but Saturn decided to add a little sophistication (and the likelyhood of additional problems) by inserting the BCM in between the starter and the ignition switch. There isn't a real fix yet to this and Saturn hasn't come up with a solution except to continually replace ignition switches. BCM's are expensive.

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Old 12-28-2007, 08:57 PM   #4
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2003 ION-1 Sedan
Default Re: 2003 Ion Sedan, abnormal starting problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by bettyboop View Post
hi... i have a 2004 ion, and i also have the problem,, i took it to the dealership today, it is due to a faulty ignition switch and it will cost 360 to fix! I dont have warrenty and tryed to have dealership cover the cost since it is a manufacturers defect, but they said no, so i went above their heads and called saturn headoffice, i will not pay to have a repair done that is caused by saturn using faulty parts.
saturn really should have a recall on this car!!!
Hope this helps you!

Search the forums, this is the most common problem with the saturn.

The ignition switch is 20 bucks from rockauto.com, you got taken for a ride.

It takes about 10 minutes to install.

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Old 12-29-2007, 12:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2003 Ion Sedan, abnormal starting problem

well i did not pay 360 bucks, i left the dealership and called Gm to see if they could help me out! No way iam paying that.
we have done some research and apparently the resistor for the passlock system is built into the ignition switch, and in cold weather the resistor does not allow enough OHMS to disarm the passlock..... I think what we are going to do is simply disable the passlock system which should eliminate this problem. Here is a website explaining how to bypass it......
http://members.tripod.com/~alarmtek/VATS.html
Before i try this step I am going to try to get GM to do whatever they say they will do. but if they dont do anything for me, then this is what I am going to do... or another step is to have a remote car starter installed in which the installer will have to order a bypass anyways

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Old 12-30-2007, 07:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2003 Ion Sedan, abnormal starting problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Search the Ion threads for similar starting problems as you may have the first computer controlled starter that isn't directly controlled by the ignition key. I had the opportunity to go back and forth with another Ion owner to clarify this dilemma but found that the starting system is now controlled by the BCM and may be the heart of this particular problem. Instead of a electrically controlling the starter through the ignition switch's START terminal, the Ions uses this signal to have the BCM (body control computer) supply the START signal for the starter to turn, in effect using the computer to actually tell the starter to turn.

Virtually every vehicle has a direct connection from the starter to the ignition switch but Saturn decided to add a little sophistication (and the likelyhood of additional problems) by inserting the BCM in between the starter and the ignition switch. There isn't a real fix yet to this and Saturn hasn't come up with a solution except to continually replace ignition switches. BCM's are expensive.

Most all vehicles built these days are doing this..You should check out Chryslers/Mercedes electrical system...It is amazing, they have so much control on what they can do to the modules with their scantools.

Change is coming. Soon the BCM will be the power mode master for most all GM vehicles. Pretty much everything will be controlled off of power mode (power mode is decided off of key position in the ign) and there will be 30-40+ modules in every car built....
For example the window switch will be a module, the window regulator will have a module, etc...

Makes it easier for the dealer to diagnose...If a car comes in with the window inop, all you have to do is check module performance with a scantool..If you see the switch, or switch module, recognizes the window is suppossed to go down and the regulator module recognizes the window is suppossed to go down then you know the regulator is bad..If you push down on the switch and the switch module doesn't recognize you pushed down, then the module is probably bad..This hasn't happened yet, but from what I understand this will be here sooner than later...2010 models maybe??
Makes it so they don't have to pay so much diag to the techs at the dealer for warranty work..
Eventually they can hire anyone to fix these cars since the computer will pretty much tell you what part you need.
It will also make it necessary to go to the dealer to get the car fixed since most anything will require a pcm relearn or module reprogram....A necessity to survive when the manufacturers are losing repair work due to cars being built better to compete....Don't go bashing GM. Every manufacturer is doing this and some have been doing it for years....Personally, I think it is a good thing...Lets take this ign problem for example.
The car won't crank..You take the scan tool and go into the BCM..Check to see if the BCM is attempting to crank the starter...If it is then you most likely know you need a starter..Takes the guess work out of wondering if the IGN switch or starter is bad.


BTW: I don't know if this bulletin has been posted here or not, so maybe a repost but...

Subject: No Crank or No Start, DTC B2960 and/or B3033 Set (Replace Ignition Switch) #04-08-45-005D - (03/15/2006)



Models: 2003-2006 Saturn ION

Built Up To and Including VIN Breakpoint 6Z147837


This bulletin is being revised to modify the Correction Information. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 04-08-45-005C (Section 08 - Body and Accessories).



Condition
Some customers may comment that their vehicle will not start. This comment is referred to as "no crank, no start with complete power."

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.

Correction
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 1.
Install scan tool.
Are DTCs B2960 and/or B3033 present in BCM History?
Yes: to Step 2
No: Bulletin does not apply.

Step 2.
Check NVH (National Vehicle History) (in Canada, GMVIS). Has ignition switch (P/N 10392423) been previously installed?

If no replace ignition switch.Replace the ignition switch. Refer to Ignition Switch Replacement in SI or the appropriate ION Service Manual.

If yes Replace the BCM. Refer to Body Control Module Replacement in SI or the appropriate ION Service Manual.


Parts Information


10392423
Ignition Switch Assembly

15797057
Body Control Module (2003)

15797058
Body Control Module (2004 & 2005)

10390022
Body Control Module (2006)

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Old 12-30-2007, 10:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2003 Ion Sedan, abnormal starting problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AuraOwner View Post
Most all vehicles built these days are doing this..You should check out Chryslers/Mercedes electrical system...It is amazing, they have so much control on what they can do to the modules with their scantools.

Change is coming. Soon the BCM will be the power mode master for most all GM vehicles. Pretty much everything will be controlled off of power mode (power mode is decided off of key position in the ign) and there will be 30-40+ modules in every car built....


Makes it easier for the dealer to diagnose.....This hasn't happened yet, but from what I understand this will be here sooner than later...2010 models maybe??
Makes it so they don't have to pay so much diag to the techs at the dealer for warranty work..
Eventually they can hire anyone to fix these cars since the computer will pretty much tell you what part you need.
It will also make it necessary to go to the dealer to get the car fixed since most anything will require a pcm relearn or module reprogram....A necessity to survive when the manufacturers are losing repair work due to cars being built better to compete....Don't go bashing GM. Every manufacturer is doing this and some have been doing it for years....Personally, I think it is a good thing...Lets take this ign problem for example.
The car won't crank..You take the scan tool and go into the BCM..Check to see if the BCM is attempting to crank the starter...If it is then you most likely know you need a starter..Takes the guess work out of wondering if the IGN switch or starter is bad.....
There are good points and questionable points you've brought up and I appreciate everything that was brought up. Programmable modules, if I'm not wording it incorrectly, seems to be another way to interface electronics with controls - low voltage logic control using modular units that direct the larger electrical components actually performing the work. If what you're describing is how I'm interpreting it then all that's being done is not something new, maybe to the automotive electronic and control system, but already used in the workplace. I cant be completely sure but I think we're discussing programmable logic controllers (PLC)'s that interface with computer signals to provide a slave controller system away from the computer. While the main computer resides in a closed controlled environment, its signals and data inputs are constantly being sent back and forth to logic controls on the workfloor to command the lights in the building to turn on, regulate the heating and ventilation system, run a portion of a conveyor system, etc.. These logic controllers have some feedback to the computer for someone to determine whether a subsystem is operating properly but from personal experience there's a lot to be desired from the standpoint of reliability. Certain controls and feedback free up the many mundane chores of antiquated subsystems but its the design that creates new problems or as often said, "the devil is in the details". A good example is the infamous engine coolant temperature sensor that often fails in OBD I and OBD II cars that goes unnoticed and never sets a code, the very formula designed to isolate and indicate to the driver/technician that a sensor failed. There hasn't been one OBD I vehicle that alerted the driver/tech to the fact that the original plastic coolant sensor failed, oblivious to erratic engine performance and an over rich fuel/air mixture. The same can be said of the Vue's problem of handling a very similar situation - the perennial code requiring the themostat be replaced because it doesn't match the temperature performance of the coolant sensor!? Neither the coolant sensor nor the thermostat are faulty but this DTC only occurs during the onset of winter in the Vue's. Somebody in engineering went short on the tolerance margins if a discrepancy in temperature exists between the thermostat and the coolant sensor, only to have Vue owners replace their thermostats needlessly, even when Saturn service sees this as needless. There's a definite problem in what I would describe as idiosyncracies of both OBD I and OBD II automated diagnostics. Far from bashing GM or even criticizing systems, I have enough to contend with attempting to correlate basic engine malfunctions with the DTC's that were invented to serve as monitor alerts designed to match sensor input/output, along with failures utilizing everything available. I realize the nightmare it must be for one part failure that generates multiple pages of flowcharts asking yes and no questions to arrive at the same part failure before a DTC is turned on. I'm guessing the auto industry is still wrestling with how to handle engine/transmission/heating and lighting control systems from the incremental changes such as the one between OBD I and OBD II. I'm a bit fortunate in that I have a little bit of mechanical/electrical/electronic/computer/communications/common sense that seems to be crammed into the one cell between my ears and wonder when it will burst. Still, it remains to be seen whether or not better controls and diagnostics are feasible for less educated maintenance persons when I believe there's an overwhelming need for more highly educated maintenance people to handle the very systems you're foretelling. The more educated and challenging vehicle maintenance is the better the overall skill level of the workforce. Reducing the level of maintenance to simple plug and play can work sometimes but things are not as they seem, as everyone knows from personal experience with home computers. Another arena that was originally thought to make one platform the level the playing field. Too much human intervention or too little is a bad thing but seeking the ideal combination of man and machine is the ultimate quest for the man/machine combination. Systems management.

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