Archive for the 'Saturn' Category

My 2004 Saturn won’t start at times

Lisa’s question:

My 2004 Saturn won’t start at times. Then, all by itself, it will start and run normally. I’ve taken it to a couple mechanics, but it always starts for them and they say they can’t find anything wrong. HELP me, Please. “


Well, I’ve seen that more than once. Those dumb side post batterys that they use in some American cars (interesting that they don’t use them in most foreign cars) can wallow out inside and create a poor connection. SO, sometimes the car will start normal, and sometimes it won’t at all. Have the battery terminals removed and see if the threads on the battery and on the cable bolts are worn and not smooth anymore. If so, then replace the battery and the side terminal bolts that screw into the battery. I have never been a big fan of side post batterys for this reason: they often lose a tight connection from vibration inside the engine compartment. And you just don’t see this with top post batterys due to their much greater contact surface area between the battery terminal and the cables themselves. Sometimes an older design is better.

2000 Saturn MIL not ready stored in my computer

Gary’s question:

My 2000 Saturn won’t pass the yearly emissions test. They tell me there are no trouble codes, but that I have too many “MIL not readys” stored in my computer. They suggested I drive the car some more to reset the computer. I’ve gone three hundred miles and they said it still won’t pass. Help.”


Well, those are the real stinkers to fix because there are no trouble codes to use to track down the problem. But there still is live data that can be read. Have your car scanned for live data, and then have this data analyzed. Hopefully there will be some data that is not normal, showing you what system isn’t working right. I fixed a Saturn a couple months ago with the same problem, and it turned out to be a bad engine coolant temperature switch. It had corroded and was giving bad info to the main computer. Perhaps yours has the same problem, so check it out.

Saturn Ion Clunking Noise In the Front Suspension

Willi’s question:

My saturn ion is making a loud clunking noise from the front whenever I hit large bumps or potholes. I’ve looked under there, and even jacked the car up. but I can’t see anything loose or broken under there. Have you seen this before in an Ion?


Yes, it’s actually a very common problem in those cars. The front torsion bar bushings and clamps wear out and the torsion bar then clunks against the frame. so take a trip to the nearest saturn dealer and buy a pair of torsion bar clamps and bushings. They just bolt off and on after you jack the car off to get the weight off the torsion bar. Once that tension is gone, it’s a simple job with basic hand tools.

2005 Saturn Ion Exhaust Smell From Heater Vents

Question: Hi Michael – I have a 2005 Saturn ION. Every time I turn on the heater, it smells like exhaust is coming through the vents. Why is this????

Answer: OK, smells can sometimes be hard to pinpoint, unlike fluid leaks which can be seen. Our noses are notoriously inaccurate. Now the most common smell that comes in when you turn the heater on is leaking coolant from the engine. That would be a leaking heater core. So if you’re losing any coolant in the radiator, odds are the heater core is leaking. If this isn’t the case, then the second most common smell is either burning oil or exhaust.


Saturn Ion

To check this, turn on the AC system and use the fresh air setting,not the recirculated setting. That will bypass the heater system. If you still get the smell with the AC on, then it’s not the heater core leaking. Look under the hood then. You could have a valve cover gasket leaking, then oil drips on the exhaust and starts up a stinky smell. As for exhaust leaks, you’d hear the noise under the hood if the exhaust has a hole anywhere. It will be a noise like a hole in the muffler under the hood. Good Luck finding that smelly source.