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Old 07-03-2010, 03:47 PM   #1
snhaller
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Sad SES light flashes and cranks while trying to start

Have had the should-be-addressed-by-GM-but-they-won't-take-responsibility-for-it "won't start in cold weather" problem for about 8 months. Happens at least once a week. I wait 10 minutes exactly and it starts fine.

Got a WA state-required emissions test done 2 days before we left for our wedding in CA. Passed that. No issues. I can't remember if I had driven the car after the test before we left for the week. Car was left in our condo complex.

Tried to start my car today, but when I tried to turn the key, I got an awful cranking sound and the Service Engine Soon light flashing at me. Radio works. Lights work. Doors lock. Car refuses to start.

I took video of it, as I'm having trouble finding similar problems when googling. Since I'm new, it won't let me post the video, but my username on youtube is snhaller.

Yesterday, we had the same "won't start" problem as normal, but we ended up taking our other car as we had an appointment to catch. Problem didn't sound or act different.

I'm overdue for an oil change but don't think that's it. Any suggestions as to the reason? Don't you love when car repairs seem to happen at exactly the worst time? Unemployed and we just married, which was planned way before I lost my job.

GM says the nearest dealer to us is in Kirkland, WA and is 15 miles away, so a tow will be pricey, too.


2005 Ion 2. 58k miles on it.
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:45 PM   #2
2006 ion2
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Default Re: SES light flashes and cranks while trying to start

that sound means your battery's dead. this is not GM's fault. replace your battery.

make sure you get a proper VENTED battery from GM, any non vented battery is BAD.
...
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2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

Last edited by 2006 ion2; 07-03-2010 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
2006 ion2
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Default Re: SES light flashes and cranks while trying to start

it may also be your starter, try jumping your car to determine which it is, but my bet is it's the battery. and it's definitely not your ignition switch.
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2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
2006 ion2
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Default Re: SES light flashes and cranks while trying to start

oh, and I am speaking from experience, I have had various causes drain my battery down in my ion to various states of discharge
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2007 Saturn Ion 2
2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:01 AM   #5
2006 ion2
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Default Re: SES light flashes and cranks while trying to start

the funny thing is, ions sound exactly like that when the battery is too dead to crank the starter, and if it's been doing this for 8 months, your battery is toast, so it needs to be replaced, it could be your starter, but if it is your starter, hooking up some jumper cables will give you a good idea, because if you get anything more than what you have now from the jump, it's most likely your battery. checking grounds and positive leads at your starter, battery, fuse block, and alternator would not be a bad idea. just because you don't think it's feasible doesn't mean it isn't the problem.
...
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2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: SES light flashes and cranks while trying to start

Thanks, guys.

I had figured since it was the service engine soon light instead of the battery light, that it was something different.

And this is a completely different sound than the usual problem of not starting when it cold - so I was figuring it wasn't the ignition switch.
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