Saturn Ion won't start if it's cold or if it's been used frequently that day

I have a 2004 Saturn Ion with about 102,000 miles on it. Last winter, it wouldn’t start if it was cold out. I would turn the key, it would turn over for a second and then die. A few hours later if it was warmer the car would start. Then this summer we found that if we started it a few times in an afternoon (say running errands) and then tried to start it again, it would do the same thing. When that happens though, we found that if we wait five minutes, try again, wait another six minutes and try again it will eventually catch and work. We’ve brought it to two different mechanics, but - because the car always starts for them (of course!) - they can’t figure out what it is. We even spent a morning driving around and brought it to the mechanic but still we couldn’t replicate the problem. We just had our first cold morning - and it wouldn’t start. I just rode my bike to work in heels and I’m at my wits end!
Any ideas?

If by turn over for a second and then die you mean that it cranks weakly and then won’t crank anymore, then first and most obvious idea is the battery. How old is it? Most auto parts stores will test the battery & charging system for free.

If instead you mean it runs very briefly but immediately stalls then you’re probably looking at something like a sticky idle air control valve or a flooding problem from something like a bad coolant temp sensor, bad fuel pressure regulator, or leaky fuel injector.

What have these mechanics done aside from turn the key to see if it starts?

Thanks! I’m not sure which option - It starts for like a second. I hear the engine briefly and then it stalls. Subsequent tries it does nothing until I wait those 7 minutes. Could a battery be tempremental if it’s cold or overworked (I know I am!)…The battery is as old as the car (2004).

The mechanics haven’t done anything else that I know of, but this is a great help! I’ll see if they can check the others. The air control valve and flooding could be triggered by cold weather?

it does nothing” If nothing really means nothing then I would first worry about battery and battery cables/connections. Yes, batteries can be temperamental. They can sometimes die a slow, gradual death where you know its coming. Or they can die a sudden death out of the blue. Or they can sort of work sometimes & not others. The latter two would be from internal problems.

At 8 years old I would probably replace the battery no matter what. Even if it isn’t your current problem its on borrowed time and has had a good, long life. But you can also just get it tested.

Thanks so much! Also to note is that the “check engine” light will come on. Would that come on for a battery issue?

When the check engine light is on you need to drive it into the nearest big-box auto parts store and ask them to read your error codes. Most do this for free. Write down the exact code(s) and post. They look like “P1234” Don’t bother with what anyone says about the codes. Just get the codes themselves.

You have to be more exact please about the starting issues…Is it starting…or having trouble “turning over” while it tries to start and run? Its a bit foggy.

What takes place when you turn the key? Does the engine turn over? Does it start and run…then stall? What happens after this occurs?

Remember…you turn the key…the starter turns the engine over…then the engine starts and runs (or starts to run/begins to run…proceeds to run LOL)…This is on a GOOD day.

So please take us thru it again from the top using these terms… Then we will get closer to the mark when it comes to the issue you are having.