June 11, 2012 5 Comments
Perhaps you follow me on Twitter or Facebook and have seen either #healtyrone or my weird pleas asking how to open a Saturn Ion trunk. I haven’t divulged many details as to what has been going on because it has truly been a comic of follies. But I want to share this experience for two reasons: 1. Saturn owners need to know what I’ve been through and 2. it’s truly kind of sadly hilarious.
Don’t worry. This story has a happy ending.
It all started Saturday morning. I drove to my friend Ben’s (@BenRisinger) house to carpool for some DoItIndy (@DoItIndy) events. Our morning started early and was fun, but when I got back to his house around 11:30 and needed to get on my way for the day, my car didn’t start. Ironically, I had gotten some things done to Tyrone this week in order to start being more responsible with my car (if you know me, and Tyrone, you know he gets the shaft…a lot). So the car doesn’t start and I noticed my lights had been on. OK, no big deal, I’ll go grab Ben for a jump start. Easy, right?
Not so easy. Turns out my battery was deeeead. But before we figured that out, we had a heck of a time trying to remove what we thought was the battery under the hood. Turns out in Saturn Ions, the battery is in the trunk. There’s a post or whatever to jump in the front, that looks like a tiny imposter battery, but isn’t. Only when we ((Ben) tried to remove it did we realize it was in the trunk. And when I say “we realized,” I mean John (@MyCarDoc) told us that some batteries are in the trunk. Thankfully, John was helping us via texts, pictures and phone calls or we may have never found the battery.
So. We get in the trunk, remove the battery, and are pretty excited that all that is left is to buy a new battery and replace it. Huzzah! It’s been at least 2 hours at this point. We’re hot. We’re tired. We’re starving. So we get the best, fanciest battery at O’Reilly after learning my old battery (never changed, obviously, since I didn’t quite know where it was…) was 0% charged. We get back to Ben’s, all excited that this ordeal is almost over. Hit the button on my key fob to pop the trunk…oh, right. No battery, that’s not gonna do. So I go to turn the key. No dice.
Turns out in Saturns, everything is electrical. Or at least, my Saturn. So…even turning the key wouldn’t work. You’ve got to be kidding me, right? So we start Googling. Tthis has been common for many Saturn owners. So how do you get a trunk open? We Google, Google some more, post to social media outlets, take a crowbar to it (my dad’s input)….everything. No. Freaking. Dice.
Turns out, we had to jump my car from the front dock thingy we originally thought was the battery. That way, we’d get enough juice to use the key fob to pop the trunk. Of course, it took almost 18 hours to come to this conclusion. So Sunday afternoon I trek back to Ben’s to try this scenario out.
AND IT WORKED! TRUNK OPEN! Ben installed the new battery…car turned over…I am ON my way.
Wait. Not so much. A light blinks on…”NO PWR STEER.”
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? I call John to get his mechanic advice and I release Ben of his duties, since by this point he’s gone above and beyond the call of duty for a friend. Again, we’re tired. We’re hot. We are so over this. While I was on the phone with John, Ben is inside Googling…again. Turns out there was a recall for 04-07 Ions for the power steering. When you change the battery, it resets the power steering.
Are you kidding me? I cannot catch a break. We did learn from all the Googling that if you car is less than 10 years old and has less than 100,000 miles, they’ll fix it for free. Cool, I just broke 100k recently, so now it looks like I’ll need to shell out $500 for a new steering module. At this point, I was actually very OK with this, since we knew what was going on for once and there was a way to fix it.
But wait! It gets better! I actually jumped up and down when I got this news. Ben called to tell me that his neighbor, also a mechanic, works at a GM dealer, and that my car actually has a 150k warranty so it MUST be fixed for free. So right now, Tyrone is at Blossom Chevrolet getting a new steering module, and Joe has already called me to tell me that he should be done with him…TODAY!
Moral of the story? Don’t buy a Saturn (Kind of impossible now, since they exist no longer…no wonder). And if you need any car help, don’t bother Ben…he’s had his fill for awhile.
Latest update as of 6/11 at 9pm:
Joe, the nice man from Blossom called today to tell me that the module was replaced and all is good. Yay.
But that the car is “dangerously unsafe and shouldn’t be driven.” I missed all the technical terms, but I do believe something about suspension was mentioned. Awesome. So Blossom will have an estimate for me tomorrow and then he gets moved on to my dad’s mechanic for the non-dealer estimate. But it’s likely the worked needing to be done isn’t worth it…so I might be in store for a new car. Sad day.
On a somewhat related note, if any sugar daddies out there are looking to rid themself of a fuel efficient vehicle in exchange for like, baked goods, look me up.