Fixing Saturn Start Problems:
This applies to only those problems that are due to the passlock "feature" on the ignition switch. The symptoms of this problem are that the car fails to start and then won't even crank for the next 10 minutes. After 10 minutes elapses, the passlock interlock resets and you can attempt to start again. It is possible that the problem will repeat though, forcing you to wait another 10 minutes. During this time, the LOCK icon on the dash will flash if you turn the ignition switch on. The display will say "Service Engine." If you turn the ignition on and the LOCK icon is on steady, then all is well and you can attempt to start the vehicle.
This description builds on that provided by Jerry on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww5AGhFWcBw Perhaps Jerry will make another video incorporating this. He is more photogenic than I would be...
His video describes how to cut the "White Wire" with the car running to disable the passlock feature with the down side of the passlock dash light staying on. This describes how to install a bypass resistor and relay to fix the starting problem and avoid the pass lock dash light from staying on. This is what the remote car starter guys have to do so their device can start the car w/o getting a passlock problem.
Follow the YouTube video to disassemble the steering column housing. Disconnect the vehicle battery and cut the white wire so that you can strip the insulation from both ends. Strip both ends of the cut white wire now. With this method, the car should not be running and the battery should be disconnected.
Locate the white/black wire and expose the conductor. You can use a knife and carefully whittle the insulation off a small portion of the wire, you do not have to cut this wire. Also do this for the Blue wire. Now connect a meter from the white/black wire to the ignition switch side of the white wire you cut. With vehicle battery disconnected, turn the key so the ignition switch is in the crank (start) position. Observe the resistance reading on the meter, mine was 2.4KOhms. I believe that the values differ from ignition switch to ignition switch for security, so the value you find will probably be different. Obtain a resistor of the same value within 5%, a couple of diodes, and a relay (Digikey is good source). Connect the parts up as shown in the PDF file. The PDF file also shows all the wires in the connector and their colors, at least for my 2004 Saturn Ion.
Nothing is very critical here, so you can use similar parts without problems, but here are some example parts:
relay - Digikey part number: Z774-ND
diode - Digikey part number: 1N4937GOS-ND
resistor - Digikey part number: 2.4KQBK-ND (For 2.4K, find similar for value you measure)
Tape everything up so nothing shorts out and reconnect the battery. The problem should be fixed now!
If anyone has an old ignition switch from trying to fix this problem, I would like to cut it open to learn more about how it works, or doesn't work... Please send it to me and I might be able to improve this fix further.
PDF Schematic of the fix
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