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DracoAzule 06-20-2011 05:24 PM

White wire fix?
 
Hey guys. I'm just wondering. If/when the sensor on my 04 ION malfunctions, what are the risks of snipping the white wire? Is it worth it? What are the side effects on the vehicle? Is there any risk of me totally ****ing my car over?

lgodave 06-20-2011 05:54 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
Like any other "short cut" when dealing with Electrical wiring... you should avoid them.

Try to do the proper repair. Any future issues won't be the result of "corner cutting".

In general with Electrical... people assume things are a certain way, when things are changed improperly you run the risk of unexpected problems/hazards later.

2006 ion2 06-20-2011 07:52 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
whether it's "worth it" or not is more or less up to you, but IMO, it's not. you have to think, GM put that wire in there for a reason, if it were "extra" or unnecessary, it wouldn't be there. I also find the notion that cutting one wire can disable a modern security system preposterous. why would GM make it so easy to steal their cars, they aren't chrysler.

chilipepper1327 06-22-2011 09:37 AM

Re: White wire fix?
 
Can't recall that Ions were on the top of anyone's hit list, so it is up to you. I would do more research on it though. What it comes down to is, it is your car. Not anyone elses. So if you want to disable part of the theft deterrent, then that is up to you. Just make absolutely certain of the consequences of what you are doing and in the long run, if this is really the best solution. I am not going to say if it is or isn't, because I have never heard anything negative come out of doing this except for making your car more vulnerable to theft. But then the thief would have to know what you have done and they would really want to steal the Ion....Right?

DracoAzule 06-22-2011 11:17 AM

Re: White wire fix?
 
Well I bought this ION wrecked off craigslist and I'm in the process of getting it fixed up. I checked under the steering wheel and it looks like it's been tampered with already. So chances are the white wire has been cut already. Idk. I'll grab a drill and a quarter inch socket later today and look at it.

lgodave 06-22-2011 12:10 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
Well then your earlier concern for ********** up your car... seems odd. Seeing how it was previously wrecked and tinkered with.

My earlier concern with Electrical repairs still holds. Since it's already wrecked and who knows whats been spliced,bypassed,pulled,reinstalled, over/under fused, etc.

So as was previously mentioned if you do decide to cut the white wire... be aware ,in your specific case, it might actual serve a different purpose.

DracoAzule 06-22-2011 03:23 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
Well my dad and I looked at it before I paid the guy any money. The only part of the actual engine itself that got damaged was the radiator. Other than that it's okay. No frame damage, just needs a bit of frontal metal work, headlight fixtures, and body parts. The thing fired right up and drove up onto the car dolly without any problems what so ever. Trust me, my dad and I have fixed cars in MUCH worse shape. We could have fixed my old 98 SC2 but when you're dealing with a bent frame it costs more time and money than it's worth.

But anyways the car is actually in decent condition all things considered. Only 133 thousand something miles on it. It's mainly just body and some VERY VERY minor frame damage (Just the part that holds the bumper up...nothing unfixable.). Interior and rest of the body looks great...totally can't wait to get the thing on the road.

When I asked if it would **** with my car I just meant if it would cause problems with the engine or maybe even render it totally inoperable.

lgodave 06-22-2011 07:03 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
[QUOTE=DracoAzule;1760626]
When I asked if it would **** with my car I just meant if it would cause problems with the engine or maybe even render it totally inoperable.[/QUOTE]

OK. Fair enough... but the previous "tinkering" by person(s) unknown.. it should give you a little pause before doing some of your own "tinkering" beyond what would be "standard" practice for a particular repair.

So give your Fuse Panels a look to make sure they match with "Factory" and any wires/connections you can see don't seem tampered/spliced in some kind of "quick fix"... just so you won't have to reverse engineer the work of one/two/three+ "electricians" to expel gremlins.

chilipepper1327 06-23-2011 10:47 AM

Re: White wire fix?
 
[QUOTE=lgodave;1760738]OK. Fair enough... but the previous "tinkering" by person(s) unknown.. it should give you a little pause before doing some of your own "tinkering" beyond what would be "standard" practice for a particular repair.

So give your Fuse Panels a look to make sure they match with "Factory" and any wires/connections you can see don't seem tampered/spliced in some kind of "quick fix"... just so you won't have to reverse engineer the work of one/two/three+ "electricians" to expel gremlins.[/QUOTE]

Restore all wires to the previously untampered state, THEN go from there.

Citation84 06-23-2011 11:23 AM

Re: White wire fix?
 
[QUOTE=DracoAzule;1759725]Hey guys. I'm just wondering. If/when the sensor on my 04 ION malfunctions, what are the risks of snipping the white wire? Is it worth it? What are the side effects on the vehicle? Is there any risk of me totally ****ing my car over?[/QUOTE]

Don't concern yourself about things that are not currently happening with your car. Yes, it's good to be informed and prepared for future problems, but don't waste too much time playing "what if ?".

If it's running well enough as you describe, fix what's broke and keep on driving. You got a deal and you've got plenty of immediate problems to worry about.

Worrying about what might happen will interfere with your enjoyment of your car.

That "fix" is featured on Youtube as a solution to the ignition switch problem. There are also Passlock disabling or by pass kits sold as well. There's a thread in the ION topic on Edmunds describing them and their use.

Believe me I've thought about doing it since after 5 trips to the dealer since 1200 miles I am still having to stick my finger up that pass through hole to get the key out. But today's electrical systems are so complicated, even swapping stereos in a 99 Cavalier made me nervous about the consequences.

First, do no harm, I'd say.

Chilipepper: I think it's less about the security of the car [I left my keys in the trunk lock over night and no one bothered stealing my ION...], but a way around all the problems the ignition switch in these cars cause. The "fix" doesn't fix it even when the "experts" do it. That's why people are looking for alternatives. It may be a bad idea but it's understandable. The problem makes me hate my car sometimes.

Still: I would be hesitant. What evidence did you get that someone else had been messin' wid da voodoo on your car ?

Again: fix what comes up, bring the maintenance up to where it needs to be if it's suspect and be happy. Lots of miles left in this critter.

Zosozeppelin 06-26-2011 04:33 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
I've seen that youtube video before. Doesn't your passlock light stay on constantly after you cut the wire? That's another thing that would make me not want to do it, that light would bug me.

cjriddle22 07-07-2011 12:43 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
I had the "not stating in cold" problem fixed at a dealer after the first couple of times this happened. They just replaced the ignition switch and it didn't even make it through the whole winter before it starting doing it again. After another cold winter of my 04 Ion not starting, I finally decided to cut the "white wire" this past winter.

I am very happy with the results. Yes the passlock icon is always on, and the display says "Service Vehicle" constantly (push the trip button and it goes away), but now it starts every single time in cold weather. I have no fear of going out in the mornings hoping to not be late. Some would say let a professional do it, but they failed performing this task. I checked out the you tube video, and did this in about 10 min. Good luck if you decide to try it, if not, have fun spending $200+ every winter.

Citation84 07-10-2011 11:10 AM

Re: White wire fix?
 
In some states with annual smog checks, you'll get an automatic fail if the Service light is on. At least that's true in CA and AZ. I think there's mention of it in that video commentary toward the end, if it's the same one I've seen.

jstavene 05-19-2013 07:33 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
Could this be done on a saturn 2001 sl1 ?

I would be more then happy to be the guinea pig I already have the steering column plastic off but can not determine a specific wire and the harness appears different?

2006 ion2 05-19-2013 10:10 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
no clue... it doesn't actually fix the issue on ions...

eneloop 05-22-2013 08:32 AM

Re: White wire fix?
 
White wire fix?

Cutting wires is not a "fix" !

fdryer 05-22-2013 02:07 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
[QUOTE=eneloop;1981491]White wire fix? Cutting wires is not a "fix" ![/QUOTE]

Oh yes it is, according to at least one member........accepting the SES indicator always ON. Obviously in states requiring missions inspection, this will fail but that's up to each owner of an Ion to decide and if the state requires emissions inspection. While not specifically an emissions issue, the SES light being ON is a flag nonetheless.

[QUOTE]I had the "not stating in cold" problem fixed at a dealer after the first couple of times this happened. They just replaced the ignition switch and it didn't even make it through the whole winter before it starting doing it again. After another cold winter of my 04 Ion not starting, I finally decided to cut the "white wire" this past winter.

[B]I am very happy with the results. Yes the passlock icon is always on, and the display says "Service Vehicle" constantly[/B] (push the trip button and it goes away),[B] but now it starts every single time in cold weather[/B]. I have no fear of going out in the mornings hoping to not be late. Some would say let a professional do it, but they failed performing this task. I checked out the you tube video, and did this in about 10 min. [/QUOTE]

I agree that a 'fix' of cutting a wire isn't an actual repair but a band aid approach to the specific problem of grease interfering with ignition switch operation. As in many cases of a/c problems where most shops would have you believe a new compressor will 'fix' the problem when more often than not a leak caused the loss of cooling, dealers will go through their standard straight forward cookie cutter routine to cover themselves of any liability issues, make a profit, and return a serviced vehicle in the same or repaired condition with a limited warranty to cover the service done. As dry mouthed as it may seem, the reality is if a dealer isn't interested in keeping up with changes such as grease issues in original Ion ignition switches and following up on stock replacements having the same excess grease or returning/exchanging them for revised ones (no I do not know GM policy), no one outside GM (Ion owners) will have any clue whether a new ign switch is the revised one or using a replacement with the same issue. This ign switch issue is a real problem to anyone that relies on their car for whatever reasons. Like coming home to a familiar place, a car is another familiar place that's trusted for what it does.

Technically, a grease issue causing grief is either replaced with the revised switch having less grease or the DIYer can disassemble theirs to degrease or at least remove some grease, tweak the fine wire wiper contacts and ensure the contact board isn't oxidized preventing low voltage contact that causes this issue of intermittent Passlock activation. Someone already did a post with pictures to show this.

ddemier7 05-26-2013 11:12 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
I cut mine and im glad i did. whos gona steal a Ion... seriously
.i want my car to start everytime!

2006 ion2 05-27-2013 09:23 AM

Re: White wire fix?
 
As far as who would steal AN ion, I'm sure s series owner's used to ask themselves the same question:

[url]http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_S-Series[/url]

Plenty of people will steal ions if we start making them easier to steal.

It's almost as easy to fix this problem right as it is to cut the wire.

Citation84 06-05-2013 02:55 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
[QUOTE=2006 ion2;1982724]As far as who would steal AN ion, I'm sure s series owner's used to ask themselves the same question:

[url]http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_S-Series[/url]

Plenty of people will steal ions if we start making them easier to steal.

It's almost as easy to fix this problem right as it is to cut the wire.[/QUOTE]

Part of the desire to go this route is that there are so few techs out there with your knowledge of the problem and the repair.

My own experience tells me that even the Saturn and Saturn Authorized techs can't fix it as I've had to take mine in 5 or 6 different times. 4-5 ignition switches [all the "improved" one] and two shifter/ BTSI transplants with new parts with the techs who should know the cars better than anyone.

The last repair lasted a little over a year and less than 2500 miles. The one before that lasted two and a little more than 5000 miles. I still have to diddle the button under the steering wheel to get the key out of the ignition. Not going to mess with it any longer. Not going to pay them again to diagnose a problem the car has had since new.

It's all fine if someone can discover someone like you to work on their ION problems [I'd join your cult if you lived out here in AZ], but given how hit and miss it is, that quick snip sure is appealing. ;)

It's also no surprise that people would want to avoid the expensive reaming they get when the problem comes up and parts just get replaced to "fix" it: new starters, batteries, alternators, $300 battery cables, BCMs and on and on and even then the proper repair doesn't last [as you have seen in my case, I am sure others have varying degrees of success].

I wouldn't do it myself and will live with the eccentricity of having to do an extra step to get the key out rather than go that route.

peepsion 06-06-2013 12:42 AM

Re: White wire fix?
 
I have the redesigned ignition switch in my 04 ion and have never had a problem with it starting in the cold. I also have a new ignition lock cylinder, aftermarket not gm. I feel like the only ion owner that doesn't having cold start or key binding issues.

JRobinson0763 02-08-2015 09:31 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
Unfortunately, I have had to resort to cutting the white wire because of car not starting in cold temps. Great passlock! Won't even let me start the car with the proper key. Who the heck would want to steal a Saturn Ion anyways!? I have had my car into several garages all with different ideas of what the problem is. I have had my starter replaced, my ignition replaced and battery replaced. Still won't start all the time. Since cutting the white wire...So far so good. Only problem is the passlock light being on. If it doesn't start I'll repost to let everyone know. Surely GM is aware of this problem...but good luck getting it fixed. If anyone knows how to 'fix it properly' please let me know.

2006 ion2 02-09-2015 11:37 AM

Re: White wire fix?
 
All you have to do is take your car into the dealership and get the recall done

Tyguyhihi 02-12-2015 12:48 PM

Re: White wire fix?
 
I had to cut the white wire at one point as well. No issues afterward, aside from the lack of theft protection and the instrument panel always complaining. I did like that the car didn't chime when the key was sitting in the ignition at OFF.

Eventually, I came up with an alternative which kept the ignition in its original state but added a 'start button'. The key had to be turned to ON, then pressing the button OR turning the key to start would start the car. The benefit was that the switch always works, whereas the key occasionally will not. Downside is that the theft protection is partially defeated for any would-be crooks. But again, it's an Ion...

If interested, I can find the electrical schematic for the start switch (it's fairly simple). Either way, good luck!

Blakers903 12-09-2016 03:35 AM

Re: White wire fix? Bad Idle? A/C killing the car?
 
1 Attachment(s)
2006 Saturn ION 2 2.2L L61
I tried this fix with no success. Although my security light was not on. the car was not running. Didn't mess anything up. I simply butt spliced the wire (cuz we all know not to use wire nuts on DC? right?? lol)

I have had several problems with this car ALL of which the exact same thing fixed it every single time. With the battery being in the trunk you have grounding issues due to the fact that they only ran a + (hot) wire to the front from the battery. No Ground. with all of the electronics being in the front this could cause problems. First the cooling fan stopped working. Upon doing every single test possible. the only cause of this was the computer wasn't sending the grounding signal for the relay to engage. Put it on a switch? (NEVER) I prefer to fix the problem. So after 6 hours of scratching my head and testing everything I finally said screw it and cleaned all of the grounds on the vehicle. probably more than what was needed. Which one fixed it i'll never know. What do ya know I started the car, turned on the A/C, and BAM the fan fired right up. That was in 2012. It's been working with no issues ever since.

Just a couple weeks ago the damn key got stuck in the ignition?!!?? not the normal kind of stuck where you push in the button from underneath and it releases it. The bad kind of stuck where its in the ON position... only direction you can turn it is to start it. Will not go back to accessories. Luckily i hadn't done a single recall on it yet. Towed it up to Ramey Chevrolet and they changed the Power steering motor, Trans Control Unit, Park brake switch, ignition cylinder w/ 2 keys, ignition switch and cleared the theft deterrent. total of $0.00 lol. Still nothing when you turn the key to start it. Not even a single click, but if I jumpered the ECM relay under the hood #31 labeled (ecm cont) is actually the (starter relay) it would turn over without ever starting. So I towed it home did countless hours of testing & pulling things apart checking everything... with no luck I finally said screw it. [COLOR="black"][B][SIZE="3"]Cleaned the grounds and it started right up.[/SIZE][/B][/COLOR] I did notice during my testing the transmission saw only 11 volts while everything else was seeing 12.8. My software says the tranny requires a minimum of either what voltage the computer has or 12 volts +. so if the ground to the tranny is not that great and only getting 11 and the computer is getting 12.6 then it will not let the vehicle turn over. Hence NO CRANK NO START condition. Not to mention it was throwing codes for everything on one ground distribution circuit. Hence a bad ground. this circuit also included the power steering, and coolant sensor.

I have never had anything go wrong with the car besides these minor electrical issues im at 184,000 and have been ragging the **it out of it since 40k. lol. Have done the basics. Full Suspension every 60k, driveline(cv-halfshafts), wheel bearings, steering (inner/outer tie rods, sway bar bushings, all the mounts. Pennzoil 10w-30 high mileage and WIX oil filter gets me to about 6,000 miles before it even starts chaning colors really. about 9,000 to an oil change. (weird??? oversized oil capacity???) 5 quarts for a 2.2L? lol i used to put that much in my 5.7 350 lmao

[B][U][SIZE="5"]In Conclusion
CLEAN YOUR GROUNDS
bad idle or AC almost killing the car when Idling?
CLEAN THE THROTTLE BODY EVERY 30,000 miles.
on the 06 it's 4 screws and a reusable gasket takes 10 minutes.[/SIZE][/B]

[SIZE="3"]Below is a grounding location table. [/SIZE]
I have everything you could ever need for the whole car (and any other car) 2012 and older.
from full diagrams of every single wire/sensor/switch location/removal/installation in the car to overhaul procedures for the entire motor or transmission.

I have a program called Mitchell's Pro Demand. So if anyone ever needs anything i can look it up for you. Beats the hell out of the book and makes everything much easier!!

db163678 02-23-2021 08:25 PM

Re: White wire fix? Bad Idle? A/C killing the car?
 
[QUOTE=Blakers903;2225319]2006 Saturn ION 2 2.2L L61
I tried this fix with no success. Although my security light was not on. the car was not running. Didn't mess anything up. I simply butt spliced the wire (cuz we all know not to use wire nuts on DC? right?? lol)

I have had several problems with this car ALL of which the exact same thing fixed it every single time. With the battery being in the trunk you have grounding issues due to the fact that they only ran a + (hot) wire to the front from the battery. No Ground. with all of the electronics being in the front this could cause problems. First the cooling fan stopped working. Upon doing every single test possible. the only cause of this was the computer wasn't sending the grounding signal for the relay to engage. Put it on a switch? (NEVER) I prefer to fix the problem. So after 6 hours of scratching my head and testing everything I finally said screw it and cleaned all of the grounds on the vehicle. probably more than what was needed. Which one fixed it i'll never know. What do ya know I started the car, turned on the A/C, and BAM the fan fired right up. That was in 2012. It's been working with no issues ever since.

Just a couple weeks ago the damn key got stuck in the ignition?!!?? not the normal kind of stuck where you push in the button from underneath and it releases it. The bad kind of stuck where its in the ON position... only direction you can turn it is to start it. Will not go back to accessories. Luckily i hadn't done a single recall on it yet. Towed it up to Ramey Chevrolet and they changed the Power steering motor, Trans Control Unit, Park brake switch, ignition cylinder w/ 2 keys, ignition switch and cleared the theft deterrent. total of $0.00 lol. Still nothing when you turn the key to start it. Not even a single click, but if I jumpered the ECM relay under the hood #31 labeled (ecm cont) is actually the (starter relay) it would turn over without ever starting. So I towed it home did countless hours of testing & pulling things apart checking everything... with no luck I finally said screw it. [COLOR="black"][B][SIZE="3"]Cleaned the grounds and it started right up.[/SIZE][/B][/COLOR] I did notice during my testing the transmission saw only 11 volts while everything else was seeing 12.8. My software says the tranny requires a minimum of either what voltage the computer has or 12 volts +. so if the ground to the tranny is not that great and only getting 11 and the computer is getting 12.6 then it will not let the vehicle turn over. Hence NO CRANK NO START condition. Not to mention it was throwing codes for everything on one ground distribution circuit. Hence a bad ground. this circuit also included the power steering, and coolant sensor.

I have never had anything go wrong with the car besides these minor electrical issues im at 184,000 and have been ragging the **it out of it since 40k. lol. Have done the basics. Full Suspension every 60k, driveline(cv-halfshafts), wheel bearings, steering (inner/outer tie rods, sway bar bushings, all the mounts. Pennzoil 10w-30 high mileage and WIX oil filter gets me to about 6,000 miles before it even starts chaning colors really. about 9,000 to an oil change. (weird??? oversized oil capacity???) 5 quarts for a 2.2L? lol i used to put that much in my 5.7 350 lmao

[B][U][SIZE="5"]In Conclusion
CLEAN YOUR GROUNDS
bad idle or AC almost killing the car when Idling?
CLEAN THE THROTTLE BODY EVERY 30,000 miles.
on the 06 it's 4 screws and a reusable gasket takes 10 minutes.[/SIZE][/B]

[SIZE="3"]Below is a grounding location table. [/SIZE]
I have everything you could ever need for the whole car (and any other car) 2012 and older.
from full diagrams of every single wire/sensor/switch location/removal/installation in the car to overhaul procedures for the entire motor or transmission.

I have a program called Mitchell's Pro Demand. So if anyone ever needs anything i can look it up for you. Beats the hell out of the book and makes everything much easier!![/QUOTE]
Do you have diagram and or images of the entire engine bay

JayyT 04-08-2021 10:49 PM

Re: White wire fix? Bad Idle? A/C killing the car?
 
[QUOTE=Blakers903;2225319]2006 Saturn ION 2 2.2L L61
I tried this fix with no success. Although my security light was not on. the car was not running. Didn't mess anything up. I simply butt spliced the wire (cuz we all know not to use wire nuts on DC? right?? lol)[/QUOTE]

The car needs to be running when cutting the white wire. Like everyone else, I've also been through the hell every winter and I've yet to fix it as well.

I noticed my sister's and gfs pontiac torrent have passlock bypasses modules under the steering wheel for the auto start, I might get one from a junk yard and try it out.

Or ive read you could take apart the ignition switch, clean it with alcohol and use a better electrical grease that can handle the cold better.


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