I drive a 2000 Saturn S-series (SW) that has a lot of miles on it, and has been giving me consistent trouble lately–replaced the catalytic converter, transmission work, belts, coolant issues, you name it. That said, up until recently I would have referred to it as an extremely reliable car. The piles of money I’ve now put into it make me less likely to call it this. So, my question is twofold: a specific question and a general is-this-the-end question.
As of last night, my car has been having trouble shutting completely off. I am able to turn the key and take it out of the ignition, and the car shuts off–mostly. Something is still on (a fan, part of the engine?) and I have to turn the car on and off many times until it shuts off completely. Last night I had to drive it around the block before it would shut off. I took it to the mechanic today for a separate issue–hemorrhaging coolant–and asked them to look at the shutting off issue. Of course, when they looked at it, my car suddenly shut off fine. They said that it probably has to do with the ignition switch, and that I’ll need to take it to the dealer because my key is so old they can’t recreate it from my old beaten up key from 14 years ago. (I’m not exactly sure what they have to recreate, or how an ignition switch works.)
Has anyone heard of this problem? Saturns aren’t made anymore–are there dealers? Is it time to chuck this car? Or is an ignition switch not a big deal?