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Saturn Ion 2003 Locked Out; No Power

I’m using a 2003 Saturn Ion. After using a regular key to enter the car (which triggered the alarm) and then turning on the car, the alarm stopped and could run. Then when the car was stopped, and the key was removed (though on ACC instead of Off, it didn’t turn back all the way).

After coming back later, there was no power to the car, and only the Security light on the dashboard appeared, staying on steadily. Pressing the brakes would make it disappear temporarily. The time wasn’t appearing, and pressing the unlock button (on the door or the key) wouldn’t respond.

After looking into this some, I tried putting the key in the ignition, and holding it there for 10 minutes. Though I think it may have slipped a bit a few times in the first 10 minutes, I held it there for more than 20 minutes. The lock and car logo didn’t turn off or dim down.

What am I supposed to do? There’s got to be a much easier way then literally holding the key all the way back for half an hour. And just to note, the ignition still doesn’t turn back all the way to Off, it can only go to ACC; from there it can be removed. In the past, this was fixed by tapping the button on the clutch. But this doesn’t work now that the car is in this locked down mode.

Right now, my car is in some parking lot away from home. It would be great if I could get a solution immediately so we can start using it again.


Sounds like you have a dead battery from leaving the car on ACC… Try to jump start it…

Thanks gsragtop, we will try that when we go there again later today, not sure why we didn’t try that earlier. Any other suggestions?

The Ion is notorious for having problems with the Chip reader in the ignition switch. If jumping doesn’t help that is the likely source of the problem.

My daughter has a 2002, and using a key if I do not manage to move the seat back, move the steering wheel up crank my neck to get into the thing and start it within 20 seconds the alarm will go off. If you have a remote to unlock, that would be my first suggestion. Second Disconnect the battery to reset the alarm and see if you can make the 20 second drill. Side note disconnecting the battery may cause computer relearning, A memory saver will save important stuff, and should be used, but it may also save the alarm condition.

Well I can’t even use the remote to unlock/lock the car, it won’t respond. When trying to hold the ignition all the way back, it doesn’t even try to turn, unlike problems I’ve had in the past.

We’ll try disconnecting the battery too, hopefully that’ll work.

I’m telling you the battery is dead. You are overthinking this.

Yeah lol that’s all it was. Dead battery rofl. Thanks! Made it much simpler.