Hello 15yearssaturnguy, I am back! More info. to give to you. I did contact the GM cust. service on Frid.11-25. RE: 2007 Saturn Ion w/ possible burnt valve just weeks after my powertrain warranty ran out. So disgusted about that. Anyway, the person at GM looked on the records for my car's servicing and, of course, noticed that after a certain date, which was July 2010, there were no more records on file for my 2007 Ion. So I explained to him that when Saturn stopped being Saturn I continued to take my car to be routinely serviced at the same building (where Saturn had been), because I wanted the same mechanics/technicians that had been working on my car to keep serving my car. They were I thought giving good service and they had my previous servicing records. My husband and I purchased the car May 2008. Saturn leased Saturn Ions to airports for rentals and then after about 30,000 miles, would bring them back to Dealership to sell (after putting the cars thru a list of checks and fixing what wasn't right. This Saturn was our second one. October 1999 we purchased brand new a 2000 Saturn SL and had had all of our servicing done at Saturn also for that car.So, I have two questions. If as you said, that the Ions have a short coming of the timing chains skipping a tooth, thus engine running lean and valves get burnt at very early year of the car's life; shouldn't this be written up as a factory defect and possible recalls done for this?? Especially if this is well known to mechanics and becomes known to the salespeople and then becomes known to all the many customers of Saturn Ions??Especially if this is always occurring, like I said, early in it's life and very low mileage??Before I ask the second question, I guess I should tell you what the GM cust. service requested of me. Understandable, is that of course, I need to make an appt. with a Dealership in town here that is approved for servicing Saturns. I told him that another reason why I did not (in July 2010) change and start taking my car to that Dealership which is a Chevrelet Dealership is because it was on the other side of town from where I live and where I work. And in past years, they had had a bad reputation in regards XXXXX XXXXX servicing not being very good. But on Monday I will be calling them to set up appt. because GM needs them to diagnose & document for sure what is wrong with the car. What would you say that diagnostic work is going to cost me? I suppose it depends on how many steps they have to take to get a confirmed answer. Is this right?? My husband, not an auto mechanic at all, wondered if they will have to go so far as to open up the engine to be able to know for sure what the problem is?? Or can they know it all by just hooking engine up to different electronic monitors (computerized) and read the problems by the computer?? Also, when they read the computer records of the car (built into the car's system) will they be able to get a clear picture of how long ago the timing chain failed?? I would think they should be able to see the history of my car, at least, for the time period since I purchased it (May 2008) onto today's date. Is this right?? Someone said, as long as no one has erased it. No one should do that, should they?? I would think that would be against the law or something.I kind of would also like to take the car to one other auto repair place that a friend of mine told me about who he has been a long customer of, cuz he has found that they are very dependable and honest about their work and the cars. And very reasonable pricing. Just so I could have another opinion about what all needs to be done to get the car back to good shape. Off and on the car has had a horribly bad gas smell when it is idling or engine off. But lately, it has been much more consistently bad smell. Even out in the open air of big parking lots. And for quite awhile my husband and I both noticed when the idle of the car became more rough. Not a big rough, but enough if you paid attention to it and watched and listened w/ no radio or fan turned up. Our 1st Saturn SL 5 speed would get us 32/35 miles to the gallon (my driving 50mph to & from work 7 miles each way --with 4 days of the week small city driving), even when we sold it in 2008. What in your opinion, should an automatic 2007 Ion 2 be getting driving the same amount w/same speeds?? We have never been able to get anything over 23mpg even w/out air conditioning. On the interstate nothing over 29/30 mpg. even right after we 1st bought it, but did not know this for sure until 3 or 4 months after we bought it. But we told the service mechanics about this. We had them change the fuel filter just to see if that would help. But it did not.My original 2nd question for you is: Will this hurt our chances of getting financial assistance being I did not have a GM Mechanic servicing the car? Which was only oil changes, nothing with the engine?? Thank y
We tried just this month(11-2011)--changed the locking gas cap to a brand new one--to see if the SES light would go off &/or start idling smoother. It has not gone off/& idle the same alittle rough. Back in 2008 we had service tech. change the fuel filter to see if that would improve our gas mileage. It did not. The service tech did not suggest anything else.
Hello and thank you for your post. I am a master certified GM tech, with 15 years Saturn experience,and can help you to resolve your issue.
let me see if I can answer all of these questions...
the warranty should be effective since you continued to have the car service at the same location after Saturn went bankrupt.
will the work be covered by your warranty? in my opinion it should be but that is really the decision of GM
usually if the chain skips a tooth, they will cover it.
although it is a design flaw, they did not issue a recall on this for the ION's, only the early L-series
they redesigned the chain tensioner and were satisfied that they have addressed the issue
I know from experience that the new tensioner did not fix the problem and it is still quite common to cause this type of an issue
will they acknowledge this as teh truth? probably not.
I would approach them with nothing but sweetness at this point in the hopes that they help you. If you come on too expectant they may get miffed and decide to not help you
to determine if the chain is off a tooth they need to remove the timing cover and valve cover and eyeball the chain to see if it is off a lot but if it is only off 1 tooth they may need to remove the chain and reinstall it
this is the only way to know for sure if the chain is off a tooth
as for recorde being stored in the cars computer...not much usable info is stored there with regards XX XXXXXX history of the history of the current failure.
sometimes it will display the mileage that the currect trouble code set, that's about it and not all the time
sometimes that will not display either
you SHOULD be able to produce receipts that show your maintenance history from any mechanic that worked on it
if you changed your oil regularly then you should not be liable for the chain if it started acting up just days after the warranty ran out.
again this is my opinion
the diagnosis done by an outside shop will probably run you between $00 and $500 depending on how far they have to go to diagnose this
if the same shop makes the repair, they should roll that $$ into the repair so you don't have to pay the same $$ twice, but only if you make the repairs at the time that the problem isa diagnosed
if they diag it and you leave, you will pay for the diag and then pay for the repair when you come back. This is standard.
they are doing twice the work at that point
to repair the head is about a $2000 job if they have the head reconditioned at a machine shop and reinstall it
including new valves if damaged
I hope this answers your questions
will gm still give you financial assistance if you have someone else look at it?
my advice...have GM do the diag first and takwe whatever assistance they offer rather than get another tech involved.
because then you have to pay the other tech, GM will probably not reimburse them AND if GM fixes it, you will get a warranty on their work for 12 months or 12K miles.
so if what they do doesnt fix it, it will be under warranty
the smell and the rough idle all seem related to a burned valve
I think GM is through issuing recalls on Saturns. No more saturn Corp...so no more recalls.
Thank you for your helpful answers! I hope the GM people will think like you think! Ha! I agree with you that I should take my Saturn to the GM Dealership and hope & pray for the best. I or my husband will get them called today. I will try to give you a shorter update when I know something. Again, thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!
25 years automotive experience, 15 years with Saturn
my pleasure. Good luck with this!
Hello, I still just wondered if you could give us an idea what kind of gas mileage my 2007 Saturn should have been getting from the time we bought it, figuring it was in good mechanical condition?? City and highway?? Here is my original question:: Our 1st Saturn SL 5 speed would get us 32/35 miles to the gallon (my driving 50mph to & from work 7 miles each way --with 4 days of the week small city driving), even when we sold it in 2008. What in your opinion, should an automatic 2007 Ion 2 be getting driving the same amount w/same speeds?? We have never been able to get anything over 23mpg even w/out air conditioning. On the interstate nothing over 29/30 mpg. even right after we 1st bought it, but did not know this for sure until 3 or 4 months after we bought it. But we told the service mechanics about this. We had them change the fuel filter just to see if that would help. But it did not.Also, we do have an appt. now for this next Mon.12-05-11 with the GM dealership way over on the other side of town, but the main thing is; it is GM authorized. Would it be an okay idea for me to let them know that I have heard that some of the Saturns of this model and year have had a problem with the Timing chain/belt getting stuck, resulting in it skipping a tooth or more and can cause a valve or valves to get burned/burnt?? I could let them know I have a Mechanic friend in another state who has worked on Saturns. (Re: To explain how I would know about this.) I wouldn't press the issue, just off - handedly say it. What do you think??Also I spent too much time one night, reading a sampling of what some other Saturn owners posted for their problems on your website. And it seems to be that there are an awful lot of other owners that have had continuous times that their SES Lamp/Light come on again right after they have taken their Saturns for servicing (like only a day later it comes back on). And this had been happening with our Saturn like for the past year and a half. I, at the beginning of owning this 2007 Saturn, thought that every time it was close to our 3month oil change that it perhaps was suppose to come on. I thought that is what is was for--kind of like a reminder for the owner. Is this part of why it comes on so often or not suppose to at all for reminders of getting your oil changed?? So after reading a sampling of those other posts for Saturns, and if you say "No" to the question about reminder of oil changes---then it seems like for alot of those other posts that you and the other experts seem to narrow it down to the kind of car just having a malfunction with some of the Saturn's SENSORS and perhaps caused more in climates that have high HUMIDITY. Expert also mentioned a OXYGEN SENSOR HEATER CIRCUIT and common to get that particular code as a mistake & not have a real problem at all. Suggested to Saturn owner to check the connections at the oxygen sensors on the exhaust, as they may be dirty or the SENSOR just may be bad. Are they suppose to wear out every so often and have to be replaced?? and can a owner replace them themselves?? It just seemed (from some of the posts) like the SES Light coming on for no good reasons except SENSORS wearing out. Then a couple of the posts were answered that the SES Light could be due to needing to replace the WIRING HARNESS and Connectors. and that there was a Saturn BULLETIN sent out about this kind of problem happening with alot of Saturns I did not read any post of anyone else having had their TIMING CHAIN/belt skip a tooth--is it just that no one has written to you people about it ?? Also, one expert said (and this is not right) that Dealers don't always pay their Techs for diagnostics, resulting in if they can't fix the problem easily--they don't want to spend the time to diagnose the poor car. Has this become a REAL problem since cars have gone to mostly all the car's systems being controlled by little computers and with computer systems you can have so many glitches that don't make sense?? At least some of the time?? I could see this as being really kind of frustrating to mechanics that like to have cars and the way they're suppose to work --make sense. Not be subjected to little glitches from computer systems that malfunction because I suppose if the circuits overheat or too much humidity or build up of dust happens then you Techs sometimes can't know which of these environment conditions are messing up the computers and then which sensor is fried??? Is this one reason why Dealerships will not pay their Techs for performing diagnostics??? This is a real shame. And Dealerships should pay them for that time!!! What are we, the auto owners suppose to do when these SES Lights keep coming back on? Are we suppose to go to automobile repair school too? HA! Anyway, my husband & I also have this AIR BAG Light on our dash that will periodically come & stay on until the humidity goes down from the summer time it would seem. But our servicing people said that under the passenger's car seat, if we put anything under it-- the wiring will overheat and cause the Air Bag Light to come on (plus they found Code for Fault in Passenger Presence Module---Tech recommends replacing PP Module--Estimated Repair cost $890.00 Plus Tax!!!!! NO, we told them we did not have that kind of cash to spend!! But of course, we have refrained from putting anything under that seat. Again, it seems like Overheating, High Humidity, or Build Up of Dust can sure cause alot of problems in cars with their computers and all of those SENSORS. Getting back to our Air Bag LIght (Diagnosed Oct. 2010), I don't recall if we said to the Tech anything about; shouldn't our WARRANTY be good for paying for that $890.00 MODULE (cause our Warranty was still good then). So sorry I have gone on about this, but I just could not believe all of those posts for Saturn problems being consistently due to SENSORS going bad or very expensive Modules ($890.00)--that seems alittle steep. Are all of these bad SENSORS that expensive too or do they vary in price?? Again, I am sorry for this lengthy questionaire!! Thank you for your time & expertize so much!!! My husband & I will be adding more money to our account for your time & help. Cannot thank you enough!!
first question...as for mpg, it varies widely between drivers but if you were getting between 32 and 35 on your S series then i would expect you would get around 23 city 32 highway so I do think you are very close to the correct mpg there.I don't see any harm in mentioning the timing chain gently. there is a separate oil change reminder in the odometer digital readout that is separate from the service engine soon light.it is pretty uncommon in my experience for the ION to have ses light issues.more often we see ION's with the word "service" in the odometer which means the security sensor in the ignition switch has failed. that is really common and a separate issue as well.sometimes the o2 sensors do fail. Not sure why they would ever set a code for no good reason though. Haven't seen that you need a special socket to replace an O2 sensor or be good with a wrench because of the tight location of the sensor (22MM wrench) you have to loosen the exhaust manifold heat shield and pop it up to get under it to unscrew the front sensor...the rear one is behind the cat converter and is easy to changeit is a tough business. Some dealers will throw the tech a few $$$ to diagnose an ses light, most will not.We rely on service bulletins, experience and engineering assistance to pinpoint these issues. better techs have better use of these resources. Some techs can't be bothered so they just say " no problem found" some like me will stay with it until they find the issue. Luck of the draw there unfortunately. You have however nailed it in terms of fairness and this is why so many good techs (like myself) have left the repair business. Hard to enjoy your work when you do not get paid for doing the right thing.the airbag light should definitely have been covered by your warranty. I would add this to your service visit. Show the receipt from your last time you had it looked at.(but if it is not happening now, I doubt they will do anything for you now) I dont know what is causing that issue but it sounds like you got "blown off" with their responseyou probably have either a loose wire connection or the sensor in the seat is out of calibration. (unless the seat got wet. that can cause some codes to set for the pass presence system)overall these cars are usually very reliable and rock solid. Not so many ses lights like you are reading about. You are sampling only unsatisfied customers from the entire country.
Hello again. So with my SL (5 speed) even though I got 32/35mpg driving to work and home (alittle in town) and 39/40 on interstate. I shouldn't expect for my Ion anything better than 23 to work and home w/out AC, and rather then the 29 that I have gotten on interstate--I should just be getting alittle more up to 32?? Is this big difference just because the Ion is an automatic or because it is heavier then the SL also?? I thought/ hoped maybe when we get this burnt valve and the rest of the engine fixed that I might should be getting better gas mileage. Is that still a possibility??
Hello again. So with my SL (5 speed) even though I got 32/35mpg driving to work and home (alittle in town) and 39/40 on interstate. I shouldn't expect for my Ion anything better than 23 to work and home w/out AC, and rather then the 29 that I have gotten on interstate--I should just be getting alittle more up to 32?? Is this big difference just because the Ion is an automatic or because it is heavier then the SL also?? I thought/ hoped maybe when we get this burnt valve and the rest of the engine fixed that I might should be getting better gas mileage. Especially because the price of gas will probably be going up this next year again. Is that still a possibility in regards XXXXX XXXXX better gas mileage?? As you know, when the price is up closer to $4.00/gal. a person really feels it in your bank account--Ouch!! We had it there not too long ago, but for some reason during this first holiday it came down. Which we can be very thankful for!!
after fixing the burned valve the MPG should improve but I am using the EPA stated MPG for both cars and as you got close to the posted MPG on the S series, I think you should get the posted MPG on the ion.
it is a bigger engine, 2.2L vs 1.9L so the MPG will not be the same