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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2005 Saturn Ion-3 2.2L 97,500 miles
I have been the only owner, save for the 5,000 miles the dealership put on it.

Short summary of car issue:
It stalls when I stop (loudly), idles extremely roughly (did not happen before), is in limp mode most of the time, gets 15 MPG (which has been an issue since 2011, less than 10 MPG with A/C on) and the engine light blinks.
In the last month I have replaced:
Rear Oxygen Sensor
Spark Plugs
Catalytic Converter
Error codes: P420 and P300 with 3 other that I don't know (explained below).
Newest symptom is strong sulfur smell every time I am sitting at a light.

Full Story of current issues:
I got the P420 error code (for the cat) in 2011. About a month later it mysteriously stopped turning on completely (a few days after I got laid off, of course). I could never get it to a mechanic. After about a year of sitting (with me trying to start it every few weeks) I got it to turn over, but it would stall if I took my foot off the gas long enough to switch out of park. I spent 10 minutes restarting the car to see if there would be any change. When I gave up I tried to take the key out of the car and it was stuck in the ignition, in the process of trying to jiggle the key out, the car started - perfectly.
Weeks after running smoothly I began having a problem with the car stalling when I stopped. And it did so completely silently. I would have to constantly watch my RPM's. It was worse with each drive. I finally got the $$ to take it to a mechanic. I arrived there with the car stalling probably 30+ times in a 5 mile journey. Mechanics had to push it into the bay cause it was so bad. They put it on a lift and closed up shop. The next morning they called me shortly after opening saying they miraculously could not get it to stall, and could not find any issues. :| It never stalled again.
Within months I had some other major issues with the axles, wheels, and everything else that has to do with moving that prevented me from driving it for several months. Got that crap fixed and drove it with no problem until August 2013.
Last month I threw the car on a uHaul dolly and dragged it from Detroit MI to Phoenix AZ. 2 days after getting here the current issue appeared. It stalls when I stop (loudly), idles extremely roughly (did not happen before), is in limp mode most of the time, gets 15 MPG (which has been an issue since 2011, less than 10 MPG with A/C on), sulfur smell, and the engine light blinks.

Every time I would replace something the car would work fine for about 80-100 miles, then return to the same issue. Except after the cat replacement, it worked for about 200 miles until all of the above issues started again with the new addition of a strong sulfur smell every time I stop at a light.

Prior to the Road Trip it only had the P420 error code, but after that it had P420 and P300 (according to AutoZone). A few days later the mechanic who replaced the cat said it was throwing out 5 error codes, but cleared them before I could ask what they were. I will be going back to AutoZone tomorrow to get it checked again.

Any advice on the issue would be VERY VERY VERY appreciated. I am currently unemployed and have very little funds to try and fix this, so I cannot just replace every thing that is associated with the error codes.

One last thing; all of this started after the engine had to be replaced by my insurance company. They picked a Chevy Dealership that was very shady acting when the deal was all said and done. The engine is OBVIOUSLY not the same one that my car had in the beginning and the oxygen sensor was clearly damaged by a tremendous amount of force bending it into an almost C-shape. Engine had to be replaced due to Hydro-Locking. The car WAS NOT FLOODED, and had 0 damage other than the engine. I drove through a puddle that stretched the width of the road, but was only about 1.5" deep. A large SUV sped by and pushed a wave of water under my car stalling it immediately. I have put about ~$8,000 worth of repairs on this car, my insurance company ~$6,000, and the dealership did ~$9,000 of repairs while it was still under warranty. I delivered pizza full time for about 3 years which is why it is in such general dismal repair. I am ready to light it on fire and walk away.:flame:
 

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Fix the misfiring first before you kill another catalytic converter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I asked the mechanic if the symptoms I was having was from an engine misfire, he said no, definitely not and that the code was probably from bad spark plugs (which had been replaced, but the code not cleared). After looking into it, you are totally right. I will check for intake leaks and the fuel pressure tomorrow morning. Thanks for the answer. Wish I could find a mechanic that would not lie/knew what they were talking about.
 

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F_ck Bates
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Never gonna find a mechanic that isn't gonna fu k you. Unless you know them personally or have been a long time customer. On another note. Make sure ur main ground by the abs is not rusted up. Mine was so bad it cause a short and would stall the car on any bump I hit. Even futher it's grounded to. A paintd surface. Sand paint off use dieelectric grease and bolt back down.

F_ck Bates
 

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A common failure point on 2.2L Ions is the ignition module, which is bolted to the top of the valve cover and has a wire harness connected to it. They aren't exactly cheap, but if I were looking at your car, that's where I would suggest starting.
 

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A common failure point on 2.2L Ions is the ignition module, which is bolted to the top of the valve cover and has a wire harness connected to it. They aren't exactly cheap, but if I were looking at your car, that's where I would suggest starting.
I have have seen problems the ignition on my saturn. First issue was with the key getting stuck in the ignition when in park, then the key getting stuck with car running and not turning off, and then after key will not turn all the way and car won't start. The key will turn half way so that lights & radio come on but then is stuck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the replies. Having some battery/eletrical issues that are preventing the car from starting. I'll be sure to update with what the final solution to this problem is.
 

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I have have seen problems the ignition on my saturn. First issue was with the key getting stuck in the ignition when in park, then the key getting stuck with car running and not turning off, and then after key will not turn all the way and car won't start. The key will turn half way so that lights & radio come on but then is stuck.
That's different. That's the ignition switch and ignition lock cylinder.

I was talking about the thing that controls the spark plugs.
 
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