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Old 10-31-2007, 07:05 PM   #1
ajpdla
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Default 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Boy, there sure is a lot of information out there on this issue. I am surprised -- well not really -- that Saturn is taking the position it seems to be taking here. But, as with all things, they end up going sour, I guess. A different kind of company....well, not anymore, it seems.

We are on our third Saturn, the second and third purchased from the same dealer, here in Northwest Oregon. I am/maybe not anymore depending on the outcome with the dealer thinking of buying a new Outlook to go with the ION; but we'll see. Even such, $45K for a Saturn seems steep, IMHO. Just the same, I couldn't buy a car from a company I'd no longer respect given what seems to be going on here.

So...

My question here is, is there a way to completely bypass the PASSLOCK system on an ION or even eliminate it altogether? This seems to be part of the root of the problem these IONs are experiencing vis-a-vis non-start due to cold weather.

I am in the initial phases of broaching the "fix" subject with my parts guy at Saturn who took a very standoffish and insipid tone whilst I was informing him of the many cars which are experiencing this problem. I can't believe for the life of me that *I* was the first person in this climate to have been the one to inform HIM of this problem being experienced. Quite an interesting conversation, where he was left the Service Bulletin Number, and date of issuance, as well as the codes which are displayed when this problem presents itself. I'm sure he doesn't want to have to give the "fix" away for free. Yet, if he doesn't, he'll CERTAINLY lose our next purchase sale. That's for sure.

Any information would be most helpful here.

Is there any work I can do on the starter myself? And, more/most importantly, how do I just get rid of the PASSLOCK if indeed it's a part of the problem here.

Thanks in advance; and Happy Halloween Everyone!

Aaron
(Tillamook, Oregon)

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Old 10-31-2007, 08:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

you don't want to get rid of your passlock, as that is part of you security. phone the saturn line if your service manager is being stupid because there is a recall on that.

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Old 10-31-2007, 09:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

OUTLOOK XE
Starting at $28,555 MSRP

OUTLOOK XR
Starting at $30,855 MSRP


So whats going on?
What position are they taking?
Whats gone sour?
Why not anymore?
Would it be steep for say a BUICK?
Dealers don't do the work for free, SATURN pays them to do warranty work so I'm sure they would be more then happy to fix your problem once found.


What ION's?
No passlock problems on the four ION's in my household how can you speek for my cars?

QUOTE
"Boy, there sure is a lot of information out there on this issue. I am surprised -- well not really -- that Saturn is taking the position it seems to be taking here. But, as with all things, they end up going sour, I guess. A different kind of company....well, not anymore, it seems.

We are on our third Saturn, the second and third purchased from the same dealer, here in Northwest Oregon. I am/maybe not anymore depending on the outcome with the dealer thinking of buying a new Outlook to go with the ION; but we'll see. Even such, $45K for a Saturn seems steep, IMHO. Just the same, I couldn't buy a car from a company I'd no longer respect given what seems to be going on here.

So...

My question here is, is there a way to completely bypass the PASSLOCK system on an ION or even eliminate it altogether? This seems to be part of the root of the problem these IONs are experiencing vis-a-vis non-start due to cold weather.

I am in the initial phases of broaching the "fix" subject with my parts guy at Saturn who took a very standoffish and insipid tone whilst I was informing him of the many cars which are experiencing this problem. I can't believe for the life of me that *I* was the first person in this climate to have been the one to inform HIM of this problem being experienced. Quite an interesting conversation, where he was left the Service Bulletin Number, and date of issuance, as well as the codes which are displayed when this problem presents itself. I'm sure he doesn't want to have to give the "fix" away for free. Yet, if he doesn't, he'll CERTAINLY lose our next purchase sale. That's for sure.

Any information would be most helpful here.

Is there any work I can do on the starter myself? And, more/most importantly, how do I just get rid of the PASSLOCK if indeed it's a part of the problem here.

Thanks in advance; and Happy Halloween Everyone!

Aaron
(Tillamook, Oregon)

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Old 10-31-2007, 11:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Welcome to the Board.


If your car is not starting and then you wait for about ten minutes and it starts then it is likely the ignition switch/passlock sensor. If the car is still under warranty your local Saturn is should to do the repair. They may not see the problem there a lot because it is usually a cold weather (I.E. sub freezing) problem. The tell is the B2960 and B3033 codes in the BCM. If they are there then the TSB for codes indicates that the ignition switch is the first best repair. If the car is not under warranty then replace the switch your self. The info on how to should be here on the Board.

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Old 10-31-2007, 11:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Even if it's not under warrenty, they should fix it for free b/c there's a service bulletin thing about the ignition switch. I'm on my 3rd one already and have long since overshot my warrenty.

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Old 11-01-2007, 12:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Quote:
Originally Posted by strangebrew View Post
you don't want to get rid of your passlock, as that is part of you security. phone the saturn line if your service manager is being stupid because there is a recall on that.
Could you please point me in the right direction for information on this recall? I have not been able to find anything on that specific to the 2004 ION. Thanks.

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Old 11-01-2007, 12:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
Welcome to the Board.


If your car is not starting and then you wait for about ten minutes and it starts then it is likely the ignition switch/passlock sensor. If the car is still under warranty your local Saturn is should to do the repair. They may not see the problem there a lot because it is usually a cold weather (I.E. sub freezing) problem. The tell is the B2960 and B3033 codes in the BCM. If they are there then the TSB for codes indicates that the ignition switch is the first best repair. If the car is not under warranty then replace the switch your self. The info on how to should be here on the Board.
I'll see if I can get some OBDII (right?) codes off of it. Thanks.

Aaron

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Old 11-01-2007, 12:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

[QUOTE=SaturnSdn;1147712]OUTLOOK XE
Starting at $28,555 MSRP

OUTLOOK XR
Starting at $30,855 MSRP

Thanks for the info; but I don't buy base models.

Dealers don't do the work for free, SATURN pays them to do warranty work so I'm sure they would be more then happy to fix your problem once found.

And therein really lies the crux of the problem. I live c. 75 miles from the dealer. He and I both agree that by the time I get the car running and TO the dealer, the problem itself would be pretty hard to diagnose. If perchance the car is left overnight and they have a nice cold snap and they run right out first thing in the morning and try to start it up and it does not, well, then, problem found, pretty easy. I doubt that will be happening, however. So I guess it's a matter of will they believe me when I tell them to fix something for free, that they cannot diagnose for obvious reasons. Again, we'll have to see. Do you want updates?

What ION's?
No passlock problems on the four ION's in my household how can you speek (sic) for my cars?

Sorry. I don't speak for all Ion owners. But, from what I found in just a few short clicks online makes it seem like a pretty pervasive problem; one which has not been satisfactorily addressed by a company which began its run using its initial platform. We'll see what happens in the end, that's all. It's just a feeling I was given speaking with the service guy; one can sometimes tell when someone is feigning ignorance.

Aaron

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Old 11-01-2007, 09:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

I went and built my oun and can't get it to price up to $45K.

So you bought a car that the nearest dealer is 75 miles away, not something most people would do and then complain about it. I wonder how that makes the car or the dealer a problem

If the problem can not be found how might they fix it? Just keep changing parts because you want them to?

Why would they not believe you?, are you untrust worthy?

I thought you you were speaking for all ION's when you made the blanket statement "the root of the problem these IONs are experiencing" maybe you have more then one and you meant your ION's.

If you find the prices higher then what you want to pay for a SATURN, and you no longer have any respect seeing what going on with SATURN, why not just get rid of the ION and seperate yourself from SATURN and the SATURN forums altogether.

We hope you had a Happy Halloween.

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Old 11-01-2007, 09:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

I heard the cold weather affects the silicone in the anti-theft system within the ignition switch. Call it an increased security precaution that backfired. Unfortunately, the grease doesn't thaw out quick enough and it cuts off the gas supply with the passlock for about 8-10 mins. Retry in 10 mins.

Found a way around it though. Try heating your key up with a lighter for a couple seconds before you try to turn the car over. It worked for me.

SERVICE BULLETIN:040845005 NHTSA ITEM NUMBER:10007431

MFG Bulletin Date: 20060301

Component: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:IGNITION:SWITCH

Bulletin Summary: NO CRANK, NO START WHEN AMBIENT TEMPERATURES IS COLD - DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES (DTCS) B2960 AND OR B3033 ARE SET. *TT.

...
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Stop lights................Stop lights

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Old 11-01-2007, 09:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnSdn View Post
Stop lights................Stop lights
Hush you. Take it up with Jim Samuels, not me. Oh wait, 17 years too late.

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Old 11-01-2007, 09:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Stop lights................Stop lights

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Old 11-01-2007, 10:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

[QUOTE=SaturnSdn;1148304]I went and built my oun and can't get it to price up to $45K.

Dude, then you don't know how to shop. By the time I get to the third page of the process, I am over $44K. Can you say "fully loaded"?


"So you bought a car that the nearest dealer is 75 miles away, not something most people would do and then complain about it. I wonder how that makes the car or the dealer a problem"

What a sad life you live, trying to bait people into arguments. You're not even making sense here.

"If the problem can not be found how might they fix it? Just keep changing parts because you want them to?

Why would they not believe you?, are you untrust worthy?"

No, I'm a consumer with a problem with a product I purchased.

"I thought you you were speaking for all ION's when you made the blanket statement "the root of the problem these IONs are experiencing" maybe you have more then one and you meant your ION's."

Well, the word "these" doesn't even imply all. So...?

"If you find the prices higher then what you want to pay for a SATURN, and you no longer have any respect seeing what going on with SATURN, why not just get rid of the ION and seperate yourself from SATURN and the SATURN forums altogether."

I'm working on it.

"We hope you had a Happy Halloween."

It was okay. Thanks.

Aaron

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Old 11-02-2007, 09:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

[QUOTE=QCs_R4_Girls;1148310]I heard the cold weather affects the silicone in the anti-theft system within the ignition switch. Call it an increased security precaution that backfired. Unfortunately, the grease doesn't thaw out quick enough and it cuts off the gas supply with the passlock for about 8-10 mins. Retry in 10 mins.

Found a way around it though. Try heating your key up with a lighter for a couple seconds before you try to turn the car over. It worked for me. "

So it's, what, 7:10 a.m. here now in the chilly pacific northwest. Wife came in about 1/2 hour ago with the same problem -- car won't start. Too cold. Got the video camera, filmed the not-goings on. I thought I'd get my lumpy ass out of bed to assist her, using this new magical "fix" you gave me.

Reset the alarm. Read the book a little. Took the key into the car, heated it up with a lighter for about 5-10 seconds, placed it in the ignition for about 5 seconds to let the heat dissipate inside the unit, turned the key, and the wife is now happily off to work.

Whether or not this "worked" will be determined, I'm sure, over time. It's getting pretty chilly here these days, more so than I remember over our 9 years living here.

But, Dude, thanks for the advice. Unlike some people, it seems, in this forum, it's nice to know one can still ask for advice and get it.

Thanks again.

Aaron

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Old 11-02-2007, 04:02 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnSdn View Post
I went and built my oun and can't get it to price up to $45K.

So you bought a car that the nearest dealer is 75 miles away, not something most people would do and then complain about it. I wonder how that makes the car or the dealer a problem

If the problem can not be found how might they fix it? Just keep changing parts because you want them to?

Why would they not believe you?, are you untrust worthy?

I thought you you were speaking for all ION's when you made the blanket statement "the root of the problem these IONs are experiencing" maybe you have more then one and you meant your ION's.

If you find the prices higher then what you want to pay for a SATURN, and you no longer have any respect seeing what going on with SATURN, why not just get rid of the ION and seperate yourself from SATURN and the SATURN forums altogether.

We hope you had a Happy Halloween.
I just priced mine at over 44k without any dealer installation costs. Inlcude that and taxes and you are actually getting close to 50k.

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Old 11-02-2007, 07:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Ok so if you buy the trailering ball, locking gas cap and every option you can locate then add tint, pinstripe, custom grille you can get it over $45K but I don't see to many people buying everything and then wonder why it cost so much.

How do you come up with the idea I'm trying to bait you into an argument when I wonder why you bought a car that the nearest dealer is 75 miles away. I'm just trying to figure out why.

So your a consure with a problem. How do they fix what they can not locate?

When you say "these ION's" it seems your talking about all.

I'm really happy to hear your working on it. Can't be much of a job to trade in a car.

We had a wonderfull Halloween, happy yours was at least ok.

Tax and plates are something the state charges, I'm sure the Dealer wished that was free to everyone.

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Old 11-02-2007, 09:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajpdla View Post
...My question here is, is there a way to completely bypass the PASSLOCK system on an ION or even eliminate it altogether? ...
Not that we know of. The computer is in control of the starter so it would most likely have to be a software bypass. If you want to see what I mean, just let go of the key before it starts. It continues to crank on its own. Since GM is unwilling to make a recall out of this the least they could do is offer a software bypass for those of us who don't want the PASSLOCK. I'd even pay 15 minutes labor just to gid rid of it. I'd rather have a car that will still be able to start 20 years from now when replacement ignition switches are no longer available.

I agree that these no-cranks should be a no-questions-asked repair. It's the only problem I've ever had. I noted it when they did the camshaft position sensor recall but they apparently fried the ECM and any codes were lost. So they did nothing about it. Yet when the service manager called to tell me the car wouldn't be ready on time because they had to order an ECM, he also told me they couldn't start it and had to push it in (dropped off the night before). So frustrating. They can't start the car, fry the computer and the service paperwork says can't duplicate problem. It always starts on the second try for me so its not worth the "can't duplicate" hassle and multiple trips to get it resolved.

I seem to be the only one on here who feels this way but I think all the auto companies have dropped the ball on software interface. Would it really hurt to put out some detailed status messages or instructions to let the consumer know what's going on? If you read the factory service manual you will get an idea of how complex things really are. Most codes actually clear themselves after a certain number of ignition cycles. If you don't get the car in soon, any intermittent codes could be lost. When I first tried out my car I stalled it trying to back up over the curb into the parking spot. It cranked for a couple seconds before starting. Made me nervous about buying it. Turns out that's part of the software. If it detects a stall condition it kills the fuel pump. It takes some time to recognize crankshaft rotation and restart the pump. Turning the key completely off first resets the system. The fuel pump will come on as soon as you turn on the ignition and it will start immediately. handy to know if you ever stall in traffic. I never wait on a no-crank either. I just turn the key fully off first.

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Old 11-02-2007, 09:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Heating the key will get no heat to the switch. You have a large block of metal in the form of the cylinder and cylinder housing before you get to the switch.

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Old 11-02-2007, 11:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2004 ION Cold Weather Issue (no start)

Quote:
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....... The computer is in control of the starter so it would most likely have to be a software bypass. If you want to see what I mean, just let go of the key before it starts. It continues to crank on its own.....
Unfortunately you're wrong about the computer controlling the starter. The mechanical ignition switch has never been modified from the human interface physically turning the ignition switch to make mechanical contacts provide control power enabling the starter to run. You have the same problem some Ions have; the ignition switch itself is faulty and in your case the ignition switch isn't returning to the ON/RUN position and releasing the keyswitch with the defective switch still in the START position continues to power the starter, that's all. Replacing the ignition switch, either by the dealer under warranty or not, or doing it yourself will fix your problem. The Passlock anti-theft system is part of the ignition switch but does not have any part in the starter's operation. The anti-theft mechanism uses the rotation of the ignition switch to send signals for disabling the Passlock system. In effect (2)two sequences are taking place during the starting procedure; the starter is supplied power to engage the starter while sensors are detected during ignition switch rotation to disable the anti-theft system. Its not explained anywhere but I've given as precise a detailed explanation as possible without entering into techno-babble from the FSM.

To clarify the Passlock anti-theft system from the starting system requires some more explanation. An easy way (guess how I figured this one out) to discern the very large difference between the Passlock system and the starting system is the way the start sequence begins. Rest assured that the Passlock anti-theft system is operating correctly and invisibly behind the scene when the ignition key is turned to the START position and the engine cranks over until it fires up. Remember that when the engine fires up the Passlock system is already disabled by simply turning the ignition key. The separate sensors detected the movement of the ignition switch and sent the correct signals to disable the Passlock system while the starter motor is running. If the starter continues to crank without the engine ever firing up look for the Passlock icon, an oversized lock superimposed on a car, the security indicator. When it remains on after releasing the ignition switch the Passlock anti-theft system is enabled, whether inadvertently or from a possible theft attempt. The starter can still be engaged but the engine will never fire up. A normal start-up and release of the ignition key turns off the security icon (Passlock disabled). If the anti-theft system was entered/enabled by mistake the only recourse (if you have the owner's manual in the glovebox) is to follow the procedure to reset it, a timed event that most thieves won't sit around for. Passlock never interferes with the starter motor engaging whether its enabled or disabled. The starter can always run with the ignition switch held in the START position but Passlock's anti-theft feature is to interfere with engine running by simply removing power to the fuel pump and disabling the injectors. The security icon is the indicator that its enabled providing anti-theft assistance, denying engine operation.

The simple solution to this thread is to replace the ignition switch. The Passlock system is not the problem and can be easily misunderstood as it operates simultaneously when starting. Passlock software is sophisticated and cannot be bypassed, the reason for its ability to prevent thefts and provide insurance discounts.

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