Motor vehicle Speak: Saturn Ion difficulties trigger ‘limp house mode’ | Information, Sporting activities, Jobs



Ray Magliozzi, syndicated columnist


Dear Car Communicate: I have a 2005 Saturn Ion with 127,000 miles on it. It is in very good situation for its age. Nevertheless, about a year ago, I was driving it at about 25 miles per hour when the electric power steering indicator warning light (“PWR STR”) and the chime warning sound arrived on and the electrical power steering stopped doing work.

At just the same time the transmission dropped down to and remained in very low equipment, and the speedometer stopped working. Also, at the similar time, the look at motor mild came on, and when I pressed the brake pedal, there was a clicking sound.

After a shorter time, almost everything simultaneously went back again to normal. The vehicle was high-quality for about a 12 months. Then it occurred once more. Now it’s been been going on intermittently in excess of the earlier a few months. The equivalent problems all occur at the exact same time and afterwards go at the identical time. I took it to my mechanic who checked it for loose wires and loose connectors. He mentioned he even disconnected and reconnected all the connectors at the car’s laptop but could discover practically nothing.

At this time, the automobile has been fine for about a 7 days. Any views? — Dennis

Yeah. My initially thought is to problem your opening statement that this automobile is in quite superior problem for its age, Dennis.

I believed that most likely some failing sensor set your auto into “limp property method.” That’s the very same manner you go into soon after the neighbor child leaves his bicycle out on the sidewalk, and you bang your shin on it. Limp household method is made to shield your car’s catalytic converter.

If the personal computer will get a looking through for a person of the engine’s sensors that suggests that damage may possibly be completed to your pretty costly catalytic converter, it’ll interact limp residence manner, which minimizes the engine’s power radically, making it appear to be like you are in small equipment. And that is generally accompanied by a low power light.

But you have acquired so a lot of other warning lights on that I assume your mechanic was on the suitable track to glimpse for a far more systemic electrical concern.

Typically, what we’d do in a situation like this is anything termed a shake examination. Mainly, you get onto each wire and connector you can find in the automobile and shake it, hoping that you can reproduce the dilemma and narrow down its resource. And if you are seriously blessed, although you are yanking on all the wires, the car catches fireplace and that solves the challenge.

There are so lots of issues it could be: a corroded ground wire, a terrible ignition change, dirty connectors in a wire harness, a undesirable electronic management module (laptop or computer). Even a failing gasoline pump could cause some of these signs.

I know you just cannot go to your local Saturn vendor anymore (RIP), but you could possibly take into account conversing to a person at a helpful Chevy vendor, which serviced these cars following Saturn bailed.

Possibly they’ll identify the selection of indications and preserve you a couple of hundred several hours of diagnostic detective get the job done. If not, you can give your mechanic a further crack at it and see if he finds a stored fault code in the laptop this time or otherwise receives blessed.

And if that doesn’t do the job, rest assured, Dennis, you have gotten your dollars out of this car. And if you decide it is time to shift on — like Saturn did 10 decades back — nobody is going to consider less of you. Good luck.

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