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FIXITMAN, Master Technician
Category: Saturn
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2005 Saturn Ion: all dash lights on but no crank..Batt..relay

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2005 Saturn Ion Starting problem, Started as solenoid clicking before start now all dash lights on but no crank. Troubleshooting completed: Batt 100% charged, fuse and relay check good. No Pwr to Starter solenoid. Starter turns engine when voltage applied, engine will not fire or start when jumped. Pass lock light remains on about 5 seconds going out normally when key is turned to "on" position. Assumptions Made (Maybe wrong) If engine had started when jumped, clutch switch was possibly bad, if not OK. Tried to find schematic to verify correct pin voltage at ignition switch No Luck. other possible problems ECM, PCM, etc... Looking for next troubleshooting step or technical data.


Hello JACUSTOMER, 99% of the time this is a bad ignition switch. This is a very common problem on this vehicle. The only other thing t o typically cause this is a bad body control module but the ignition switch is the most common.


You would rule out the Engine control module then? and do you thing the code reader dtc "link error" is related to the ignition switch issue or another problem?


I have looked at the Saturn service bulletin concerning the ignition cause of the starting problem but with the extra symptoms of Link Error and failure of the engine to start when directly applying power to the starter bypassing teh ignition switch I began to have doubts


Maybe the engine not starting when jumping the starter is normal too


Could the initial DTC P0604 Transmission Control Module have caused this too? Unfortunately my maintenance manual doessn't have a part named Transmission Control Module in the first place.


Do you have a test to verify the ignition switch is bad before replacing?


The ignition switch has been replaced; the new ig switch learning process followed; the Passlock light goes off approximately 5 seconds after the ignition is turned on as before. Lights on no crank. I've never had a PassLock flashing indication during a start failure.


Could the other symptoms be a factor?


Is there any way to troubleshoot the body control module?. I'm not convinced this is the root cause of the problem with the other symptoms.

The loss of power from the ignition switch being bad typically causes the no start and can cause transmission issues due to lack of communication within the modules from no power.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Are there any ways to verify the body control module is bad before changing it? Changing the switch did not change anything. The Passlock was never the problem; isn't that something that should be present for the ignition switch?

The key lock cylinder does not provide for the passlock system. The ignition switch is separate. If the ignition switch was changed and that did not help then it is more than likely the BCM. You can typically only check this with a scanner or a good multi meter.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have good multimeter. My scanner will not link with the car. What are the readings I'm looking for and what pins or locations do I get them from? Back to the scanner issue, are certain scanners more or less likely to have a link error? I will locate a different scanner if you feel it might work better. FYI I am an experienced business jet aircraft mechanic, those are easy compared to my daughter's car. I appreciate your experience and would like detailed technical direction. Good troubleshooting saves money. Thanks
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Just curious, can you see the first 8 or 9 replies I made following you initial contact? If not they contained troubleshooting questions I hoped would better isolate the problem. I will gladly repost them if you like.
If the scanner will not communicate then check the fuse for the cigarette lighter. This is what typically powers the connector. As for checking the ignition switch start by making sure that both the white and the white/black wire show voltage when cranking the engine.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Partial results are Power to the cigarette is good. Checking pwr at both the white and Black/white while cranking will requires a little more information. At the BCM do you have a plug diagram to ID the correct pin location? My manual leaves a little to be desired where wiring schematics are drawn. How does one share diagrams or pictures? Could the clutch switch affect the voltage of either of these wires? It would be great to eliminate this from the list
I will get you a diagram of the bcm. As for the clutch switch just check it to make sure that the switch is closing when pushing on the pedal.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX the diagram will allow quick analysis if there are any missing signals. If everything checks OK I will accept the fact my BCM is toast and "accept your answer." The clutch switch did check OK.

Here is the schematic for the systems you are looking into.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Technology is failing us, The image is unreadable. I tried resolution, contrasts and picture enhancing software; even blowing up to giant size. I agree this is the page I'm looking for. Is there another format that may preserve resolution a little bit better? Thanks
Let mentry another way to send this to you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Let me throw a few more symptoms my daughter just told me; The code reader was reading up to Half tank higher than actual in the fuel tank; now the fuel guage it is not working, Prior to the engine not starting her car, occasionally it would not accelerate above 10 mph. When starting and the clicking noise was present, all the lights flashed on and off with the clicking. Past symptoms the initial DTC P0604 RAM Error now "open link." Car will not crank, all lights work, Batt new and charged, Ignition switch replaced No change. Starter fuse and relays all chk good. solenoid wire to starter 0 volts during start attempt.
You put all of these together and it all points to the BCM.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
As integrated as transmissions are in today's cars, my problem couldn't be something in the transmission electronics could it?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Just had to ask
More than likely it is not in the transmission. The BCM provides the link between the main computer and the transmission.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
OK, what is your opinion about flashing/reprograming teh existing BCM before replacing the whole thing? Is it possible that this is just a software issue and the actual box is just fine?
Yes, that is a good idea. In a few cases this can straighten it out. I would also check the connections at the BCM for any loose or corroded connections.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Would you do me the favor of sending that schematic one more time in a different format? I would like to add that to my manual for future reference. Once received I will accept your answer and thank you very much for your help
Here are two different ones. I hope they work.

FIXITMAN and 2 other Saturn Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank You for your help