How to Diagnose a Saturn Ignition Key or Switch Problem

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Saturn vehicles use a transponder inside the ignition key to prevent unauthorized engine starting. There is a component inside the dash and linked to the ignition switch that sends a signal to the starter motor allowing the vehicle to start. If you are experiencing problems with your ignition key or switch, you may need a simple key reset or you could have a faulty ignition switch that needs to be replaced.

  • Open the fuse panel under the steering column by turning the knob on the fuse panel counterclockwise and pulling down on the cover.

  • Locate the fuse for the starter in the fuse panel using the fuse diagram on the underside of the fuse panel cover.

  • Remove the fuse using a fuse puller in the fuse box.

  • Check the fuse to make sure that the metal strip inside the fuse is not broken or damaged in any way. If it is, replace the fuse with another fuse of the same amperage.

  • Turn the ignition key and try to start the engine. If the battery is known to be fully charged, the Saturn should start. If there is an error in the ignition switch, you will not hear the typical faint "click" when you initially turn the ignition key to the "III" position to crank the engine. If there is a "click" when you try to crank the engine but the engine won't start, the problem may be with the ignition key transponder. You will need to have both of these components serviced by a Saturn dealership.

Tips & Warnings

  • For specific information about your Saturn's ignition system, consult the particular vehicle's manual (see Resources).
  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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