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Saturn ion won't start with cables

I have a 2004 Saturn Ion 3, my car won’t turn on unless cables are attatched to it. It won’t start at all, whenever I take off one of the cables it turns off completely. The shop where I had it at, attatched a battery charger to it to start it, but it won’t start for me. Currently charging the battery

Did anyone check if the battery was completely dead?


How old is the battery?

If you park it outside, what the ambient temperatures when you try to start?

Has anyone tested the battery and the charging system? Parts stores will often do that for free… in the hopes, of course, that you’ll be fair and turn to them for the work… or at least the parts.

I too own a Saturn Ion 3 and am presently on my third battery. The same thing happened to me last February and that is when I had to get my latest battery.

Well, you did not say how long those batteries lasted . Or if they were even top of the line batteries . So blaming the car might not apply. I have seen batteries die in a short period and others seemed to work well past the time I expected.

First guess is your alternator is not working

To clarify, by “not start” do you mean it doesn’t crank … that rrr rrr rrr sound with the key in start — or it cranks ok, but won’t catch and run?

I bought the batteries at Tire Plus and they were the only batteries they had that fit my car. I tried at least six other outlets including the GM Dealer and no one else had a battery for my car. I bought the car in October 2003, brand new, so I suppose the batteries lasted about 6 1/2 years each. I was not necessarily blaming the car, I was just letting him know that this does happen. As a matter of fact, I actually have had very little problems with this car. Of course I do make sure it receives the routine maintenance called for.

So the shop charged the battery but did not check why it was dead? Did you go there and tell them anything besides jump start me or charge the battery? Did you tell them not to diagnose the problem? If the shop Couldn’t diagose it, bad shop. If you told them just charge it up or jump start it knowing full well there is charging/battery problem, bad owner. This shouldn’t really be a tough one to solve.

good point. battery maybe failed internally and may start with jump and than die when cables are removed. put in a different battery and test

According to my sources, your car uses a group 75 battery, which is extremely common for GM vehicles. There are tons of vehicles on the road that use them.

These are side-terminal batteries, which bring their own set of problems with them. Are the battery terminal bolts in good shape and not stripped? It’s very common for the bolts to strip. Are the cables in good shape or corroded? If in doubt, you’ll need to pull the red and black rubber back for a good visual inspection

Many problems with those batteries are solely due to bad connections

Before I took it to the shop it turned on like nothing, problem was it went up to 30mph then wouldn’t go past 20mph. After the shop took it in, they charges me $4k to change the transmission, knowin’ others would do it cheaper for less than $1k, when I got it back everything worked fine up until I turned it off & noticed it had 40,000+ miles on it even though when I gave them the car it had less than 100k miles. So after they looked at it, the battery didn’t work, and it had more than 40,000 miles on it

The transmission works fine, the engine light is off and when I drove it home, nothing seemed wrong with it. Might’ve tried scamming me by wanting $4k even though other shops told me the car could’ve just had un-right codes or something like that