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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I'm facing problem with the power steering system in my 2004 Saturn Ion Level 3, 2.2 L (Salvaged).

I originally got this problem more than an year ago when I got the PWR STR message on the dash. I then replaced the fuse in the fuse box that's located near the engine. The problem came back a week ago when I went out dining with my friends. So I replaced the fuse again. The new fuse blew out in a couple of days only to be replaced by another fuse, which ALSO blew out. Now I'm driving my car without the power steering and it requires, as a lot of you must already be knowing, a lot of power from me.

Another "probably related" issue are the sparks I used to get under my steering wheel when the fuse was intact. I heard and saw the sparks for around a month before the first fuse blew off recently. I don't hear or see the sparks now mostly because there's no fuse to close the power steering electrical circuit.

I went to a couple of auto repair centers and the first reaction they give me is "power steering and fuse??? are you kidding me, they are not even related. What fuse are you talking about??" A couple of other wise mechanics have settled on around 100 dollars an hour to inspect the electrical system in my car.

I also happened to call one Saturn dealer and because my car is a salvaged title one (which it is), they don't support any recalls!

The problem now is I am a student and would like to do it myself if it is really something as simple as DYI. Otherwise, I have no choice but to go to the auto repair guys and shell out a whole lot of $$$. I'm hoping some preliminary advice from you geniuses!

Thanks
Ravi
 

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Sounds like something is shorting under the dash. Probably a frayed wire. Where are you located? There may be a member that is near that could help.
 

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When you say salvaged you mean total lossed and then rebuilt? If yes, well good news, your car had to be inspected to be road legal so the dealership can shove that "no salvage" line up their asses.
 

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@big knight: I'm located at Stanford, CA. You're suspicion that it could just be a frayed wire is encouraging me to open the cover under the steering and do some basic inspection. The weekend smells like a good time. Have to check it out.

@SilverRedline765: I do not know if the car is total loss/rebuilt. How do I find that out? All I know is all carfax/autocheck reports and the DMV title certificate say it's salvaged.

@golden chicken: I don't think they provide warranty anymore. My car just clocked 113K miles!

Do you guys have any more suggestions that could help me!?
 

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The sparking made me think a wire was frayed and rubbing. Look good in that region. And you are nowhere near me... I know there are RL people in CA, but it's a big state.
 

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ah, they extended the warranty to 100k.

definitely at least take a look yourself. if it's obvious maybe you can fix it. if not, you might be better off seeking professional help. only you know what you feel comfortable attempting.
 

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There is also a fuse in the kickbox next to the drivers side gas pedal alongside the radio bazel tower...numbered "2" and gray I believe. try replacing that and the one under the hood at the same time. I know little about electronics to be honest but it's worth a shot. :)

And no, if it's salvaged they won't honor any service bulletins or recalls even though I heard they extended it to 120k miles...
 

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@big knight: I'm located at Stanford, CA. You're suspicion that it could just be a frayed wire is encouraging me to open the cover under the steering and do some basic inspection. The weekend smells like a good time. Have to check it out.

@SilverRedline765: I do not know if the car is total loss/rebuilt. How do I find that out? All I know is all carfax/autocheck reports and the DMV title certificate say it's salvaged.

@golden chicken: I don't think they provide warranty anymore. My car just clocked 113K miles!

Do you guys have any more suggestions that could help me!?
Well your registration papers might be different in the US then mine. Here in Quebec, Canada we have a green registration paper that has the liters, year, make, model, VIN number on it including personal information. My car is total loss in Ontario, Canada on my CarFax report and rebuilt here in Quebec. It wasn't really a total loss, more like fraud on the previous owners end. So here for a rebuilt car to be road legal, it passes inspection with the SAAQ, which is the provinces automobile association. Since my car passed, or any car that passes, my green paper will have "rebuilt" marked below my VIN.

On wednesday I'll be going to Saturn to confirm this, but I'll be bullshitting the problem since I haven't got it at all lol! Just playing it safe with a new power steering motor. Plus GM sent me a letter with my name, obviously address, and my VIN is on the top left. They have the vehicles information in their computers, so they know it's rebuilt. Why would they send the letter if I'm not covered?

I don't know if this applies to the US, but my letter says 10 years/240000 kilometers which is 140000 miles ish. I'll get back to you on wednesday once I go to the dealer.
 

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I also have a "salvage" title, on our titles here they take a red stamp and brand the paperwork right across the center so theres no question. Mine was also inspected in order to get the title released from the state, allowing me to get it registered and tabs/plates ect. Saturn also sent me the letter last fall. FWIW mine already has the symptoms/and message displayed on the dash periodicly. They should honor that because it's a saftey issue, mine only has 36,000mi on it.
 

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I am also having this problem...it did it the first time about a month ago then stopped so i just thought it was no big deal...its starting to happen not too long after i take off every time i leave... i was told that there was a recall for 04-06 redlines for this very problem and that gm dealerships should do this for free...idk if thats true (the free part) but i have been calling all sorts of dealerships trying to get this fixed because this is a nasty problem. when it goes out i hvae to turn the car off then back on and its normal for the next 20 yards. it doesnt feel like a normal car without power steering does, it feels a lot harder to turn and almost feels like im going to break something while turning and using as much force as i have to
 

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I am also having this problem...it did it the first time about a month ago then stopped so i just thought it was no big deal...its starting to happen not too long after i take off every time i leave... i was told that there was a recall for 04-06 redlines for this very problem and that gm dealerships should do this for free...idk if thats true (the free part) but i have been calling all sorts of dealerships trying to get this fixed because this is a nasty problem. when it goes out i hvae to turn the car off then back on and its normal for the next 20 yards. it doesnt feel like a normal car without power steering does, it feels a lot harder to turn and almost feels like im going to break something while turning and using as much force as i have to
Mine does it right when I start it, displays the message, and dings. Then it clears out and drives like normal. I haven't lost the power assist to my knowledge driving down the road yet. Of course all of this was months ago, before I put the car to bed for the winter.
 

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Well I checked with the dealer today and without even having to bullshit my problem, they told me they recently got a letter saying if the customer wants to change even with no sign of symptoms, they'll do it anyways! :) Since I have a rebuilt one he said it shouldn't be a problem, but their calling me tomorrow to confirm 100%. Hope this helps.
 

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Hahaha I'm guessing thats directed at me. Chara should be kicked out of the league for that hit. Find a video on youtube with the angle where they skate towards the camera and you see him push him into the glass at the last moment. Even Air Canada here mailed a letter to the NHL telling them to get their act together and suspend Chara or they'll pull their sponsorship.
 

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i saw/see the shove. i'm not proud of it or the outcome (well i was at the time, but only because we were getting killed)

i think he meant to rub pacioretty out on the boards or at least shove him into boston's bench, but i really don't think he meant to smash him into that section of glass.

the guys who concussed marc savard and patrice bergeron are still playing, so i think it would be inappropriate to dismiss chara.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's spring quarter and I'm deep down in assignment submissions and exams. I will try everything you awesome guys have suggested and get back to you all within a week! As of now I'm driving the car old school.

I also realised that in California, you cannot convert a Salvage car to a regular one (like in some other US states)

:-(

Thanks everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hello People,

I have done some more diagnosis and got to nowhere. As someone earlier suggested, I replaced all 3 fuses at once and the damn thing still shorts. TALKING ABOUT WHICH, I captured a video of the spark under the steering, moments before the fuse actually blew out AGAIN.

Here it is. The spark can be seen at 0:05:

I also have taken some pictures of the under-steering and over-steering components. Here they are:

https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~ravik/carpics/1.jpg
https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~ravik/carpics/2.jpg
https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~ravik/carpics/3.jpg
https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~ravik/carpics/4.jpg
https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~ravik/carpics/5.jpg
https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~ravik/carpics/6.jpg
https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~ravik/carpics/7.jpg

If any of you can give me ANY suggestion as to whats going wrong, I would be REALLY REALLY grateful. Otherwise I have no option but to go to the dealer or a serviceman.

Thanks
Ravi
 
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