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Old 06-20-2011, 05:24 PM   #1
DracoAzule
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Default 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?
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:54 PM   #2
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Default 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.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:52 PM   #3
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Default 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.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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Default 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?
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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Default 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.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:10 PM   #6
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Default 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.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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Default 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.

Last edited by DracoAzule; 06-22-2011 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: White wire fix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DracoAzule View Post
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.
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.
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: White wire fix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post
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.
Restore all wires to the previously untampered state, THEN go from there.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: White wire fix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DracoAzule View Post
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?
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.
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:33 PM   #11
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Default 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.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:43 PM   #12
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Default 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.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:10 AM   #13
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Default 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.
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:33 PM   #14
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Default 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?
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: White wire fix?

no clue... it doesn't actually fix the issue on ions...
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:32 AM   #16
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Default Re: White wire fix?

White wire fix?

Cutting wires is not a "fix" !
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: White wire fix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eneloop View Post
White wire fix? Cutting wires is not a "fix" !
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.

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.
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.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:12 PM   #18
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Default 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!
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:23 AM   #19
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Default 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:

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

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.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: White wire fix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 ion2 View Post
As far as who would steal AN ion, I'm sure s series owner's used to ask themselves the same question:

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

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.
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.

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