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Old 11-11-2008, 06:26 PM   #1
Zvolen
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1998 SL1
Wrench Starting Problems, Ignition Switch?

My wife called and explained to me that she had trouble starting her car this afternoon, its not cold. As for background, its an 04 ION 3 which has had no major repairs or problems. The wife stated she tried to turn the key over and nothing happened expect the lights turning on, no click, no attempt to start.

Is this an ignition switch problem? or could it possibly be a starter or battery problem since neither have been replaced. Although we have no re-ocurring problems with headlights, bad starts until this time. I will take a look at it tonight after work but it would be nice to get a heads up before then. I appreciate any and all feedback/responses. Thanks

-Z
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1998 SL Bought in Nov 06' w/ 115K 22MPG, Currently 165k 30MPG (city)
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Starting Problems, Ignition Switch?

I had a similar problem that was my battery cables being loose, mine went haywire when I tried to start it, dashboard lights flashed.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Starting Problems, Ignition Switch?

After looking at the car after work and leaving the key in the "ON" position for a few seconds the car started right up with no problems, and after getting it home the car started right up again multiple times. This only confirmed my thoughts of it being the Ignition Switch, I will check with the dealer tomorrow on prices.
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Starting Problems, Ignition Switch?

If you read past Ion threads you'll read of one resourceful owner resorting to degreasing his ignition switch enough to have it work again without the problem returning. However "your mileage may vary......."
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Starting Problems, Ignition Switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
If you read past Ion threads you'll read of one resourceful owner resorting to degreasing his ignition switch enough to have it work again without the problem returning. However "your mileage may vary......."
I did read that, however it sounds like it is just as much trouble if not more then just replacing the switch. I haven't had this problem until now hopefully the replacement lasts just as long if not longer.

However, thanks for the heads up...
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Starting Problems, Ignition Switch?

Well I replaced my Ignition Switch this evening with little problem. Our car did start after wards and hopefully this solves all of the problems we were having. I simply just followed these instructions and found they were pretty spot on. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zborgerd View Post

I'd like to add a few details to the posts from the other folks here.

1. First of all, getting to the T15 torx screws can be really difficult (notably the one in the back). You may want to expect to need a *very small* socket set or something that is low profile. You will not be able to use a torx bit that is attached to a driver.

2. In my case, the old ignition switch was "stuck". I had to put my key in the ignition and wiggle it / turn it just enough and then the switch popped right out.

3. After installing the new switch, the reset procedure *MUST* be performed EXACTLY the right way. If you fail to follow the steps, your 30 minutes will turn into an hour or more of constantly trying to reset the passkey system.

I would like to provide some clarity on the EXACT steps that appear to have been required, since some posts might be a bit vague or there may be several ways that it is suggested to do this.

I. Try to start the engine (first time). It may or may not fire the starter. If you have a manual transaxle (like I do), be sure to hold the clutch in when you try to start the car. After the start fails, *LEAVE THE KEY IN THE "RUN" POSITION* for 10 minutes. During this 10 minutes, the passkey icon (the lock) will flash every half second or so. After *EXACTLY* 10 minutes, it will stop flashing.

II. Second time - Once it has stopped flashing, turn the key to the "ACC" position, which is halfway between OFF and RUN. Wait about 10 seconds. Turn the key back to the RUN position (depressing the clutch, if it is a manual) and try to start it. The passcode light will flash again for yet another 10 minutes. When it stops flashing, continue to the next step.

III. Third time - Once it has stopped flashing, turn the key to the "ACC" position, which is halfway between OFF and RUN. Wait about 10 seconds. Turn the key back to the RUN position (depressing the clutch, if it is a manual) and try to start it. The passcode light will flash again for yet another 10 minutes. When it stops flashing, continue to the next step.

IV. After you have done this 3 times, over a period of exactly thirty minutes, turn the key to the OFF position. Wait for 30 seconds. Do not get impatient, because one wrong move could cause this to fail! After 30 seconds, the car should start. Rejoice that you've saved $200. Curse Saturn for such ****** engineering, and the fact that you will be repeating this process every few years as others have experienced (guess I'm lucky to only deal with it now)

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