Question about 2006 Saturn ION

2 Answers

Saturn ion,sometimes wont start

It wont start then I come back few minutes later and will start My '06 Saturn ION has a problem i try to start it in the cold and it doesn't start. Everything else will work but no sound is made when turning the ignition switch over. i wait for awhile sometimes it will work sometimes not but when it does work theres no problem starting. ONLY HAPPENS IN COLD.

Posted by on

  • 3 more comments 
  • Anonymous Jan 16, 2009

    I have the same problem. This is the second time. Not much fun when it is -13. The dash lights up and battery is fine.???????? The last time this happened it was not all that cold out..????

  • Mary Adragna Feb 05, 2009

    I had the same trouble with my 06 Ion 2 when it was new. After 3 trips to the dealership, they finally replaced the starter. That was the trouble.  Now at 60K miles, I can remove the key while it is running and it keeps on running.  Guess it was not a good year for the starters!

  • Anonymous Feb 08, 2009

    I have the same problem with ION2 from 2005, when it gets below 15F ... I work from home. The interesting part is that I have an ION1 same here and it starts no problem.

  • timehasbeenk Feb 19, 2009

    2006 ION Can be warm out wait 5 min then starts

  • acorn11rules Feb 20, 2009

    I have a 2006 Ion. It has not started on 3 separate occasions in the last 3 months. All the lights are on and power is on. I go inside and get help, and ten minutes later or so, it starts and runs fine.



2 Answers

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.


    An expert that has over 10 points.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 2 times.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

The problem is in the ignition - the grease gets thick in the cold and doent turn quite right the first time. everything turns on, but the anti theft system thinks you have the wrong key so shuts off pwer to the starter. it takes 8-10 mintues to reset. That is why it normally starts when you come back later. I have had the same problem and done tons of reseach. Right now my temp solution has been a small heater and an extention cord. I keep it plugged in over night on a medium setting - just enough to keep the inside temp above freezing. I am also researching remote starts because saturn dealership charges $250 to replace the ignition, and a remote start will run about $300. Saturn wont do a recall because they feel it is not a safety hazard. I say that is bull. Good luck!

Posted on Feb 04, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • RowanJohn Nov 15, 2010

    I am having the same symptom, but it's not in extreme cold. I live in Florida. Admittedly, it's been a bit chilly in the mornings when it happened, but it only frosts a few times a year in Tampa.

  • kat-hay Nov 28, 2010

    Same problem. Wondering if or how you fixed your problem permanently? Your posting was from two years ago so hoping you found solutions that didn't break the bank. If you did can you please share with me as my life is pretty messed up by this start reliability issue. thanks!

  • Joe Taylor
    Joe Taylor Sep 26, 2011

    Sounds very similar to when the antitheft security system begins to fail. The symptoms are the same and the fact that the system is fine 10 minutes later is also very common. Look around the dash for a light that says SECURITY or looks like a car with a padlock thru it. If you see this light, that is a dead give away of a security failure and this link will help greatly for fixing this yourself.http://vatspasslockpasskeysecurityhelp.y...


  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

    New Friend:

    An expert that has 1 follower.


    An expert that has over 10 points.

  • Contributor
  • 4 Answers

You probably don't own this car anymore, so this answer is for those of us who DO still own a Saturn Ion.

1) An electric heater in the car, REALLY?

2) The passlock system is what disables the car. GM issued a recall after being sued when people DIED because of it. The ignition switch would kill power to the vehicle while driving...and then you lose most steering and braking power. So jenwattsdphi, you are correct on the cause...and unfortunately, the effect.

GM will replace the ignition switch for free, but I've heard of many people having trouble with the replacement. It was because they put way too much grease in the switch. When the weather is cold, the grease stiffens, and the switch terminals lose electrical connection.

3) You best bet is to repair the switch yourself.

Remove the steering wheel cover and remove the ignition switch. Bring it inside and carefully disassemble it. clean the contacts with swabs soaked in rubbing alcohol. GENTLY bend the switch wiper arm down. Dab silicone dielectric grease onto the board part of the switch...about as much as a grain of rice at 10 o'clock and another dab at 2 o'clock. Smear the grease with pinkie back and forth a couple of times. Reassemble the switch and reinstall in the car.

4) A switch is a mechanical component, so this may have to repeated after 5 years or so.

Posted on Aug 30, 2015


1 Suggested Answer


6ya staff

  • 2 Answers


Hi there,
Save hours of searching online or wasting money on unnecessary repairs by talking to a 6YA Expert who can help you resolve this issue over the phone in a minute or two.

Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.

Here's a link to this great service

Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

I have a 06 Saturn Ion with 2.2 in the the anti-theft thing is on and I can't start my car I need to know how to reset it Look this up and read will work. 30 minute process.

Jan 29, 2018 | Saturn Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2003 Saturn Ion won't start in the cold weather

First of all your service light came on so give it a service then have the service light reset then check the thermastac, water levels and the choke is working properly and all the elecric working parts are good

Jul 05, 2017 | 2003 Saturn ION

2 Answers

My car won't start in the cold weather. I don not have Power Locks or Power Windows. What is the Problem?

That sounds like a battery issue. Batteries have whats called CCA (cold cranking amps) it is the main thing to pay attention to. This is a measure of how much current the battery can provide at 0 deg F. Batteries work better when they are warm, so the colder it gets, the less current it can provide.

Starting an engine requires a lot of current, over a very short time. Meanwhile, cold engines are harder to start, requiring more power to get them going. So look at your battery and its CCA and since u said u bought the car a few years ago. You probably didnt replace the battery yet have u? Batteries usually have a life of 4-6 yrs only. Hope this helped

Jan 23, 2013 | 2003 Saturn ION

1 Answer

My lights won't turn off in my car when I lock it and there's also no honking noise. Then a few minutes later the alarm will go off. If I leave it unlocked the alarm doesn't go off but the...

its the door switches they are sticking and telling the car door is open. open and close both doors a few times and make sure they are closed good and try again to make sure it is setting properly you will know cause the care dome light will go and it will emit a short honk when activated!! =) mine just did the same thing

Oct 11, 2011 | 2006 Saturn ION

1 Answer

I have a 2006 Saturn ION that sometimes when it is cold will not start. The radio works, lights all work, car won't start. Wait about 15 to 20 minutes and then it will start?

I have a 2005 Saturn ION with same problem. I took it to a mechanic and after resding computer codes, it appears this is a somewhat common issue; replacing the ignition switch is recommended and the cost is somewhere in the $300.00 range. I have read about one person that said that even with replacement, the problem returned about a month or so later. Suggest if you pay for the issue that you save the receipt so when/if there is an official recall, you may be able to by reimbursed for the repair through the recall. Some have opted to bypass the security system with some success.

Feb 17, 2010 | 2006 Saturn ION

1 Answer

Have a 2002 ion that sometimes wont start but if left for 10 mins will start up.

I have 2003 Saturn Ion. I had this problem over and over 2006 - 2008. IT IS THE IGNITION SWITCH. IT IS DEFECTIVE IN ALL ION'S.The replacement may be defective also, not sure. Mine was driving fine, went ino store for 1 hr came out stone cold dead, would not start and key **** in. Had to have towed to Saturn. They said it was battery and replaced battery.I said this did not make sense. 6 yr battery only 3 yr old , never weak start, never run down, in summer? It happened again 2 mo later. They tried to say battery , I said no. They checked battery. It was fine. Could not find problem. They did total electrical check. It happened again 1 mo later. drove into feed store. Went in came out it happened again. I got jump from someone 30 min later and started right up. 2 wks later same, I got jump 20 min later started. 1 mo late same. Sometimes it would just start up. Took to another Saturn place. They said Ignition switch, saturn was having big problem with this on Ions. Got changed and no problems for 1 yr. I was talking to repesentative at Saturn Headquarters. I told the problem. They said the ignition switch has an electrical component, or it is hooked to electrical component. THEY SAID IF I HAD JUST SAT THERE 20 MIN WITH KEY OFF, THE COMPUTER CHIP FOR IT WOULD HAVE RESET ITSELF WHEN IT COOLED DOWN AND I COULD HAVE STARTED IT EACH TIME. IT WAS BEST TO GET REPLACED AND NOT WORRY, BUT THIS WILL HELP YOU IN A STRESSFUL PINCH, UNTIL YOU CAN GET THE IGNITION SWITCH REPLACED. NOTE: Go to Auto Zone , O 'Reilleys, Pep Boys etc, get a repair manuel , CHILTON $ 23- $ 25 , for your year , make, model car. CHILTON IS MUCH BETTER THAN HAYES MANUEL. It is wonderful and many things you can do yourself.

Feb 09, 2010 | 2003 Saturn ION

1 Answer

2004 Saturn Ion wont start from time to time when it is cold outside.. Like this morning my daughter went outside and the car started right up with the temp outside 7 degrees. She warmed it up for awhile...

LOL repeating questions. Its your ignition switch. its a common problem with ions ( I myself have a 04 ion and had it replaced twice in 3 years) repair is around 400 dollars with labor. Just google "ion not starting in cold weather" and youll get TONS of threads. No recall either its stupid

Jan 11, 2010 | 2004 Saturn ION

6 Answers

Saturn ion,sometimes wont start

There is a guide on this site that tells you how to fix the passlock problem

Nov 20, 2008 | 2004 Saturn ION

3 Answers

2004 satur ion 2 wont start when below 20 degrees have to wait 30 minutes after trying to start then will start

It is a common problem on Saturn Ion... You have to replace the pass lock switch. The cost of the part is around $65.00 cdn. It is located behind the key switch.

Jul 29, 2008 | 2005 Saturn ION

Not finding what you are looking for?
2006 Saturn ION Logo

962 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Saturn Experts


Level 3 Expert

85216 Answers

Jonah Oneal

Level 3 Expert

14092 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22485 Answers

Are you a Saturn Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides