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Old 08-06-2012, 08:45 AM
 
Location: where people are either too stupid to leave or too stuck to move
3,985 posts, read 6,081,127 times
Reputation: 3660

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I have a Saturn Ion 2006 and one day I was driving down the street and the car TURNED OFF, the doors unlocked, it started decelerating and it was like I had turned the ignition off. The radio/lights/ everything else stayed on (like when you turn the ignition off ). I was so afraid i was going to collide with the car in front of me, but I had stop the car to turn the ignition to the off button then restart it again. I had just got the car repaired for something else a month ago and nothing else came up in the diagnosis. I tried researching and it seems to be a problem with Saturns, but there is no recall for it nor any solutions. Had I been on the interstate this could have probably got me killed or severally injured.Anyone have any item what this is?
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
28,860 posts, read 68,686,201 times
Reputation: 35176
There is no reason for a car turning off to get you killed. Just put it in neutral (or depress the clutch pedal) and coast to a stop. If possible pull to the shoulder and re-start the car. Streeing and braking will still work, you just have to push harder because you lose the power assist. DO NOT turn the key to the off position when you are still moving. This will lock the steering wheel.

My guess is that you have a problem with the computer module that controls the ignition, but it could be lots of different things. Search online. If there are a lot of people with a simlar problem, there will be some who found to solution and posted it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,285,044 times
Reputation: 29740
Might be fuel pump, might be bad relay, might be crank or cam position sensor, might be bad ignition switch... you'll have to take it to a shop to get a definitive answer. There are too many possible causes for your symptom to be diagnosed without an actual diagnostic process.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:59 AM
 
Location: NW San Antonio
2,959 posts, read 9,021,280 times
Reputation: 3246
My car did that last week, on the highway, Had 5 gallons of gas, but, Texas heat, big flat gas tank, and very slow hot traffic, car died, I was able to maneuver it to the inside shoulder, I was driving in the left lane of traffic, couldn't get to the right shoulder. I tried restarting it 3 or 4 times, would only start for a second, and die, after 30 minutes, I was able to get it restarted long enough to get it across the freeway onto the right shoulder, it died again, and again, then, the last time, I had foot on brake, and gas, got it running, threw it in gear, and got it running down the road, I was hoping to get to an exit, but as I forced it, all of a sudden it backfired twice, and started running perfect.
I talked to the tow truck driver I had called when I called him back to cancel the request, he said probably a vapor lock, I havent heard of these in long time, but the next day when I filled the car full of gas, it released an enormous amount of vapor from the tank. It was recommended if it ever happens again to release the gas cap as the heat and vapor had probably forced hot vapor air into the gas line and the car was trying to run on air. Crazy but I experienced it last tuesday 7/31 on IH 35 going to Schertz.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Physically or psychologically?
13,108 posts, read 18,014,902 times
Reputation: 25424
Sounds like your ignition switch may be dying. Some of the Saturns did have ignition switch problems. My sister and BIL had a Saturn with a switch that was going bad.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:19 AM
Status: "But in the aggregate..." (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,333 posts, read 69,492,784 times
Reputation: 37339
Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
Sounds like your ignition switch may be dying.
Some of the Saturns did have ignition switch problems.
^^If not this specifically then something else electrical is going on.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
28,860 posts, read 68,686,201 times
Reputation: 35176
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
^^If not this specifically then something else electrical is going on.
Best comment so far "somethign is wrong with your car."
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Physically or psychologically?
13,108 posts, read 18,014,902 times
Reputation: 25424
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinsativ View Post
My car did that last week, on the highway, Had 5 gallons of gas, but, Texas heat, big flat gas tank, and very slow hot traffic, car died, I was able to maneuver it to the inside shoulder, I was driving in the left lane of traffic, couldn't get to the right shoulder. I tried restarting it 3 or 4 times, would only start for a second, and die, after 30 minutes, I was able to get it restarted long enough to get it across the freeway onto the right shoulder, it died again, and again, then, the last time, I had foot on brake, and gas, got it running, threw it in gear, and got it running down the road, I was hoping to get to an exit, but as I forced it, all of a sudden it backfired twice, and started running perfect.

Your car doesn't happen to be a Nissan 3.3 L (V6) by chance? Right now I'm working with a 2003 Nissan Frontier supercharged truck that died on my daughter this past spring. This truck has fire at the plugs (albeit a seemingly weak orange spark), compression, timing, a new fuel pump and fuel injectors that are getting a pulsing current (noid light test). Although the DTC code has now disappeared when I disconnected the battery to replace the fuel pump, the only code that I found when I started the analysis was P0328, a knock sensor code. My daughter also now tells me her "Service Engine Soon" light had been on for some time before the engine stalled. This engine now cranks endlessly without starting. I have yet to check the fuel pressure because Nissan did not put an fuel pressure test port on this truck.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:20 PM
 
Location: NW San Antonio
2,959 posts, read 9,021,280 times
Reputation: 3246
No, '95 Mercury Sable with 48,000 miles on it. Heat, lots of vapor in tank. open gas cap, let the air out, or try to start when all has settled and cool, evening at 9pm.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Rural Central Texas
3,631 posts, read 9,728,553 times
Reputation: 5494
I had a similar condition on a late 80's model Pontiac 6000. On warm days (over 80, cool for Texas) it would die at highway speed, without overheating, but would restart after sitting for 5-10 minutes. It was a bad computer module, but we could not get that diagnosis from anyone who looked at it. They all said "If the computer module is bad the car wont even start." It wasnt until the transmission failed and was replaced and then the engine blew that they determined the computer module was the cause of both issues. By then the warranty was expired even thought the problem had started showing up at less than 20K miles, they would not cover the module or the other components.

That was the only car I ever owned that did not live to see 80,000 miles before going to the junk yard, most of mine are kept at least to 200,000 miles.
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