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Silver 2005 Saturn Ion Redline
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

I'm picking up a silver 2005 RL tonight to surprise my 16 year old with his first car. We've never owned a Saturn but I've heard they're reliable vehicles and the Ion coupe really caught his attention. I'm sure he'll be excited when it pulls in the driveway.

The car is about 3 hours away by train and I haven't had a chance to see it or drive it myself yet. A trusted family member in the area kindly did that for me, so I wouldn't waste half a day getting there and back for nothing. I'll admit I'm nervous, but I'm also really excited to be getting behind the wheel of this car myself. From what I've been reading as I researched this purchase it's going to be a really fun car to drive.

Glad to find a forum that shows these cars are well-loved and appreciated. If you have any tips or advice for my new driver about keeping the RL running smoothly I'll gladly share your wisdom.

-Jen
 

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That is going to be fun! And happy to see people still teaching this next generation to drive a standard!

Post some pictures and mileage when you get the chance! We can def help make with whatever it may be!
 

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Silver 2005 Saturn Ion Redline
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Pretty much hit the jackpot on mileage after taking my son around the neighborhood. Next stop - Vegas! Ha!

It runs and drives smooth, no big issues. The seller had kept all the maintenance paperwork the original owner gave him and passed it to me along with receipts for parts he'd replaced. He also included a set of studless snow tires.

My son - ecstatic. I got home after dark so we don't have good photos to share yet, but he is over the moon excited.

-Jen
 

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Lower miles, too! That's awesome!
Make sure oil gets changed every 3k. These engines are prone to timing chain tensioner failure with lack of oil changes. And if he ever hears a rattle on start up, get the timing chain done immediately otherwise it'll need an engine.
Really besides that, control arm bushings are a failing point. And if you're up north, one of the fuel rails get eaten up by salt pretty quick.
Besides that, one of the most reliable cars I have ever had. I've personally owned 8 Ions. And they usually died from me doing dumb stuff modifying them.

Congratulations again!
 

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Welcome! I have had my redline since new in 2006 and have 255k miles and counting! It has been a great car overall and it's definitely showing it's age , but i will keep it until it physically blows up lol
 

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Welfoke to the forums and glad to see another redline in the hands of someone that enjoys it. Check your papper work for a nee intercooler (charged air) pump. If it has not been replaced might want ro just make sure it still works. They are prone to siing and half the 05s made where wired backword.
 

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2007 IRL, magnaflow catback, coilovers, carbon wing, alum splitter, zzp 2.5" header&dp, ZZP Stage 3
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Welfoke to the forums and glad to see another redline in the hands of someone that enjoys it. Check your papper work for a nee intercooler (charged air) pump. If it has not been replaced might want ro just make sure it still works. They are prone to siing and half the 05s made where wired backword.
To add to this, you might as well buy the upgraded higher flowing ZZP (zzperformance is the go-to for aftermarket parts for this car) intercooler pump over the bosch one, only 15$ more and will make the intake temps that much cooler, which is very important.

Also, if on a cold start the supercharger sounds like a bag of rocks, the plastic supercharger coupler needs to be replaced, along with the supercharger oil. ZZP makes an upgraded coupler for 20$, more durable and is futureproofing as well if you ever decide to bump the power later on.

ZZP has made lots of videos on working on these cars, plenty of tutorials and whatnot. Welcome to the club!
 

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Silver 2005 Saturn Ion Redline
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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He's enjoying it so far. Says it shifts easier than my Mazda and it definitely handles tighter corners better.

Had a full inspection done and they found no urgent or significant issues to address immediately. They noted it may need an alignment soon, a slight leak on the half shaft into the transmission, and some rust in the exhaust system but not rusted through. We have them on our radar to watch and he can save up to have them addressed before they become big problems.
 

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If he doesn't know anyone that works at a shop, I think it's Firestone that does an alignment deal for around 150. One time fee and he can bring it back as often as he wants for no extra charge. Unless he needs parts swapped.
As far as the axle leak, just make sure an oem ac Delco seal is used. I've seen a lot of people complain about aftermarket ones not seating correctly and still leaking.

Exhaust, time for an upgrade! Haha
 
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2007 IRL, magnaflow catback, coilovers, carbon wing, alum splitter, zzp 2.5" header&dp, ZZP Stage 3
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If he doesn't know anyone that works at a shop, I think it's Firestone that does an alignment deal for around 150. One time fee and he can bring it back as often as he wants for no extra charge. Unless he needs parts swapped.
As far as the axle leak, just make sure an oem ac Delco seal is used. I've seen a lot of people complain about aftermarket ones not seating correctly and still leaking.

Exhaust, time for an upgrade! Haha
I just so happened to have gone to firestone for an alignment yesterday, the one time alignment comes with a 12 month warranty and cost $112 including tax at 8.5% (my area) and the lifetime for as long as you own the vehicle is 190 abouts. It cost me nothing for the one time because I applied for a firestone credit card, didn't matter if I was accepted or denied, was still free.
 

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Hiw bad is the rust and where at? I have an upgraded exhaust system I have pulled off my parts car incase you need it. ZZP downpipe with boral muffler and all the needed piping.

I will s cond the ACDelco seal. In all my time knowing these cars I don't know anyone putting aftermarket seals in and not having issues
 

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2004 Saturn Ion Redline
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Glad to see the younger ones still into these cars!

+1 on the oil changes and timing chains. Make sure to use a good quality oil too (cheaper oils will sludge up and clog causing vital parts to wear quicker). If the chain is making noise get it taken care of asap.

Timing chain failure is the number 1 killer of these engines. These are interference engines and if they go, basically destroys everything

For the bushings I'd recommend going with the FE5 aluminum LCAs, found on the Cobalt SS. The stock ones for the Redline were steel

Your son has a nice Redline there and has survived well through the years.
 

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Don't worry about the service needs, the ion redline will let you know most of the time if there is a problem.

The check engine light (CEL) is the cars and owners best friend. It does get frustrating with our busy lives but don't wait when the "car" complains.

High maintenance but rewarded well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow! I didn't get any notifications that there were so many replies, and just found all of the comments here. Thank you all so much for the support. My son is still really unsure about driving the clutch and having a hard time with it, so we've barely put 1000 miles on the car since September. He's mastered parking lots and flat streets, but we live on a hill that exits to a busy street so he doesn't feel confident leaving home. I know with continued practice and perserverence once he figures out the take off on the hill it will be easy from there.
 

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The clutch is definitely something to get used to, and stiffer than most. That can make it harder to be precise with it, especially that his first manual transmission is one of these beasts. But I've managed to get used to it over the course of owning my redline for 10 months.
 

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Wow! I didn't get any notifications that there were so many replies, and just found all of the comments here. Thank you all so much for the support. My son is still really unsure about driving the clutch and having a hard time with it, so we've barely put 1000 miles on the car since September. He's mastered parking lots and flat streets, but we live on a hill that exits to a busy street so he doesn't feel confident leaving home. I know with continued practice and perserverence once he figures out the take off on the hill it will be easy from there.
hills are the hardest to overcome, he could always go the E-brake route for now till he gets used to starting off on a hill. Looks like a nice buy, and should get many years of reliable use from it.
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A friend came by to show him the ebrake trick for hill starts and he's off and running! He's successfully made it to and from school independently all week.
Sweet!
Really nice hearing about the youth enjoying a manual car!!
 
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