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Old 10-08-2013, 03:12 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 2
Default 2004 ION-3 Cranks longer before starting

Hello All,
I have a 2004 Saturn ION-3 Quad Coupe with the 2.2L engine and a little over 81.5K miles on it. Last week the car started cranking longer before starting. By longer I mean where it used to crank for a second before starting it now take 5 - 6 seconds of cranking before starting. It's a strong crank and the battery is 13 months old so I do not suspect a battery or starter issue. It never fails to start and remains running with no issues afterwards, no rough idle or poor performance. The temperature does not seem to make a difference, although it has not gotten very cold here yet it acted the same in our 45F morning as it did in our 80F sunny afternoon.

While doing some research into the issue I found a thread that I can't post a link to because I'm new here but the thread id is 16160, titled "Random long crank times"

I tried turning the car to "on", I waited and could hear the fuel pump come on and then turn off, then the car started as it used to, approx one second of cranking. I don't even have to do anything like on and off five times, just on, wait for pump to stop, car starts. That thread kind of dies out but what does this mean, bad fuel pump, fuel pump going bad, leak in the fuel line somewhere? I don't smell gas when I start and there's nothing leaking.

Any help is appreciated.

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Old 10-14-2013, 08:07 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 2

So I guess this forum is drying up a little, can't say I'm surprised with Saturn out of business and the Ion line just getting older and older but there's a wealth of information here so I will be back until I get rid of my Ion.

For any future internet surfers out there the issue ended up being my fuel feed line was rusted to the point it start weeping when the car was turned on and the fuel pump applied pressure to the line. The line was really rusted bad in several sections but the section that finally gave was a section in the back by the rear driver side wheel, in some bends around the fuel tank. What hid the issue for a little bit was the heat shield wrap they put there to protect the lines from the heat of the exhaust. The gas would collect at the low point but there wasn't enough to drip on the ground and make a puddle. When I lifted the car and started snooping around I found it, pulling the heat wrap off it was soaked.

The fuel feed line was $130 and with some amazing luck I found a local GM dealer that had the part in stock, R&I took a few hours, I would qualify the job as moderate difficulty with lots of rolling around on the ground. For the fuel line quick disconnect my lesson learned is get the metal quick disconnect tools, I started with the plastic one and got no where, ran to the store, got the metal one and both ends popped off with ease. The fuel feed line fell apart when I was taking it out, I was literally days from turning the car on only the have the fuel pump dutifully empty my tank onto the ground until I realized what was happening.

Doing some reading after the fact this seems to be a fairly common issue, the dealer quoted me $700 parts and labor for those who would want or need to have this done. Hope this helps.
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