2003 Saturn Ion Died

I have been having issues with my Ion-1 5-speed manual 2.2. It’s been slow at starting for probably 6 weeks now. Granted it’s been in the 20s or teens a lot lately. Put some seafoam in the gas tank and even in the oil for about 300 miles, then changed my oil as recommended. One day my car went from slow at starting to leaving me stranded. I got it to Advance when I was able to start it and ran a load test. I had only 389cca from my 650cca battery so I replaced it. The car was alright for a week, and then in the past few days has not been starting. The Passlock symbol would show up. I’d wait 10 minutes and try again. If it started, great, if not, ten more minutes…

I did some research and found out about the faulty ignition switch. I replaced it with a BWD Ignition Starter Switch (Part No. CS1138). I did everything per my Haynes manual as in disconnecting the battery terminal so as not to disrupt the SRS, etc. It takes 30 minutes to reset the Passlock to accept the new switch. I did all that. When the Passlock symbol stopped showing up I thought I was good to go. I turned the ignition and the lights in the dash went off as usual while applying pressure to the key, but nothing else happened. I didn’t even hear the fuel pump or anything. A message showed up on my LCD that says “PWR STR” and then “COOLANT”. I plugged in my OBD II and there are no faults. I unplugged the battery so if something funky was going on it might reset. I check all the plugs on the wiring harness in the area I was working near the ignition switch, but there don’t appear to be any loose wires. I even pulled all the relevant fuses (and then some!), checked that they were good and reseated them.

All to no avail.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

I figured it out. The BWD Ignition Switch didn’t work. I bought an ACDelco and opened the box and the switch was in pieces, cheap. The only switch that worked was a Duralast.

For some reason the BWD will confuse the BCM and throw out errors.

I have had the same problems with my 2003 Ion - we thought it was the battery and then the starter. We replaced both and it still won’t start if it’s colder than 30 or if it’s been running errands, unless we try, wait 10 minutes, try, wait 10 minutes, etc. We’ve taken it to 4 different mechanics who can’t figure it out. I have to admit, I’m not exactly sure the details of what you are talking about…but are you saying the problem was the faulty ignition switch? And that if I had that changed the car might actually start starting again?