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Pete, Saturn Mechanic
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 24200
Experience:  17 years Saturn Technician experience.
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2003 Saturn Ion: start position..ten minutes for security light

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How can I get 2003 Saturn Ion passlock to reset? We have tried two methods to reset...First, we turned the key to the start position, turned the key to run position after 2-3 seconds and then wait ten minutes for security light to stop flashing, but the light never flashes it just stays on. And we tried the 30 minute learn procedure, but the light does not turn off after ten minutes and it takes 2-4 tries to get it to stay on.
Hello,I will be glad to try and assist you with this,Welcome to Just Answer.


I just need a little more info to assist better.

Is this a new key you are trying to learn into the vehicle?

When you did the 30 minute procedure did you crank the key then just release the key and if so did the security light go off after 10 to 12 minutes at all?

Let me know so we can continue,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes this is a new key as the previous key would hang up and difficult to turn at times.


I cranked the key and then just released but the security light did not stay on. I had to do this 3,4,5 times to get the security light to stay on. Then, the light did not go out after 10-12 minutes.

Was this key purchased at a dealer or is it an after market key?

Does it have anything printed into the metal on the key near the handle and if so can you tell me what it says?

Let me know,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The cylinder was purchased at the dealer and was taken to a locksmith who made the key. It is an ilco key. The locksmith commented that this cylinder had been replace before and he thought they must have gotten out of junkyard as the code on the outside of the cylinder was different than how the internal parts were set.


There is nothing printed in the metal.


The key should operate as my info doesn't specify if this key has to be a pass lock key.It just states that the correct cut key is used to turn the ignition cylinder which then turns the ignition switch to start the vehicle.

The ignition switch is the component that detects the correct cut key and the rotation of the cylinder and then sends this signal on to the computers for the vehicle to enable starting.

I am wondering if something was left disconnected or if the ignition switch was damaged when the cylinder was replaced.This may have to be inspected to see if this is what is at fault.

Since the vehicle started o.k. with the old key but doesn't now with the new key and the theft relearn isn't correcting this problem then either there is a fault with the key itself( it could be the wrong key,I would check with a GM dealer to see if this vehicle requires a PK3 key,they can tell you over the phone from your vin number) or the ignition switch is damaged or something was left disconnected at the switch.

All of these need checked to see what is at fault.

Let me know if you need anything else,click accept if you feel satisfied with your answer as this is how I get credited for my time,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Can an after market alarm affect the relearn procedure?
Yes,I have run into several issues with after market remote starts and alarms affecting the security system and disabling the vehicle from starting,this is a definite possibility.In allot of cases I try to disable or remove it completely then do the relearn and if it learns in and starts then then you know what component is at fault.

Let me know if you need anything else,click accept if you feel satisfied with your answer as this is how I get credited for my time,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

We disconnected the security system and that didn't solve anythiing either.


In the 10 minute relearn, the security light doesn't flash and in the 30 minute relearn the light doesn't go out. Does that give you any clues?

The 30 minute relearn is the only manual relearn you can do on this vehicle,the 10 minute requires a scan tool hooked to a GM computer.

The 0 minute(just to make sure it was done right) requires putting the key in the ignition and trying to start the vehicle and then after trying to start it for about 1 second release the key,then the theft or security light should stay on with the key left like this for about 10 minutes then turn off,then this is repeated two more times for a total of 3 times or 30 minutes,then on the last time the theft/security light goes out you turn the key off and then try and start the vehicle and it should start.

If the light isn't turning off after the first 10 minute wait then either it doesn't recognize the key due to being possibly a wrong key or the ignition switch isn't sending the signal and could be damaged from the cylinder being replaced or wasn't re connected properly if anything was disconnected from it.

You may have to have the fault codes read out with a scan tool to see if any codes are set,this may aid or pinpoint the failure.

Double check the cylinder replacement and make sure it is all o.k. and then also contact a dealer to see if this vehicle requires a special key as some do and the one you got from the lock smith may be the incorrect key.

Let me know if you need anything else,click accept if you feel satisfied with your answer as this is how I get credited for my time,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

There is an u1000 code present


This is a loss of communications code,this could be that the BCM (body control module) or the PCM(powetrain control unit) may not be responding to each other and this will cause a no start condition.This would have to be checked/tested to see what component isn't communicating to locate the problem.

This can cause this no crank no start condition.If the ignition switch isn't powering up one of these computers then it can set this code this is why it may be best to double check the work from the cylinder install.

Thanks Pete!
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