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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 32576
Experience:  20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
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Saturn Ion: We replaced the ignition lock cylinder on my 2005

Customer Question

We replaced the ignition lock cylinder on my 2005 Saturn Ion and now it wont start. I have tried the "relearn sequence" a few times, but the security light isnt even flashing when I try it.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  Eric replied 5 years ago.

Because I have heard customers describe at least a dozen different relearn procedures, can you tell me the relearn procedure you did?

also, is the light staying on solid, or not coming on at all?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

when i turn it over, it comes on for about 5 seconds, then stays off.

note: It doesnt turn over at all, I just 'do the motions'

I do the turn it over quickly, wait 10 minutes, repeat 3-4 times till it starts.

It doesnt start.

Expert:  Eric replied 5 years ago.

does the engine turn over, or do you just get a clicking noise, or no noise?

what was the reason for replacing the ignition switch?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

no clicking at all, no noise at all.

I went to shut my car off one day and it would not move from the on position.

we replaced the cylinder, and had it rekeyed to the old key.

....well....wouldnt you know it....I just came outside to try turning my car on and off a few times and now the security key light is staying on (not blinking, just on)....i hope this is a good sign?


Expert:  Eric replied 5 years ago.

Ok, the security light is supposed to come on for about 10 seconds and then go out.

It was working how it was supposed to, but now it isnt. First, make sure your battery has at least 12v. if not, it wont start and security system wont retain the relearn.

now, do the relearn:

30 Minute Re-Learn Procedure

  1. Turn ON the ignition, with the engine OFF.
  2. Attempt to start the engine, then release the key to ON (vehicle will not start).
  3. Observe the SECURITY telltale, after approximately 10 minutes the telltale will turn OFF.
  4. Turn OFF the ignition, and wait 5 seconds .
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 two more times for a total of 3 cycles/30 minutes (the vehicle is now ready to relearn the Passlock(TM) Sensor Data Code and/or passwords on the next ignition switch transition from OFF to CRANK). IMPORTANT: The vehicle learns the Passlock(TM) Sensor Data Code and/or password XXXXX the next ignition switch transition from OFF to CRANK. You must turn the ignition OFF before attempting to start the vehicle.
  6. Start the engine (the vehicle has now learned the Passlock(TM) Sensor Data Code and/or password)


let me know the results in we will go from there in further diagnosing, but at this point, we need to do the relearn one more time since it lost it

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

...the light does not stay on at all the whole time.

This is the procedure ive tried a few times.

Expert:  Eric replied 5 years ago.

Ok, thought you just said that you went out and the light was on solid and not going off?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
and its off again....that was short lived.
Expert:  Eric replied 5 years ago.

coming on for 5-10 seconds and then going off is what it is supposed to do.

this is not an issue with the security system. either the new ignition switch is defective, installed incorrectly, or other issue.

have someone turn the key to cranking and you check voltage at the starter. If you have 12v there, then a bad starter. If not, then either ignition switch is defective or installed wrong