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Old 03-09-2010, 01:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
cfg83's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,864

1999 Saturn SW2 - '99 Saturn SW2 Wagon
Team Saturn
90 day: 40.49 mpg (US)
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Hello -

Yeah, I'm familiar with that. I call the Saturn Ion a "Proto Cobalt" because it's based on the same GM Delta Platform. I researched it here :

Ion-Centric repair list? - SaturnFans Forums

And thought about the ecomod of removing the motor entirely :

Disable Electric Power Steering? - SaturnFans Forums
I am curious. Has anyone disabled the electric power steering? If yes, was the car driveable at the 2800+ curb weight or was the steering just way too heavy?

I am asking because it seems like you could bypass the electric motor overheat issue by removing the motor or just setting it up the electric motor to spin freely (in theory this would keep the control modules happy and not throw a code). This would save you the worst-case-scenario $900+ cost of a new steering column (I do know you can get the motor separately for much less $$).
From what I am able to surmise the electric motor gets dirty. This leads it to overheat and shutdown to protect itself from burning out.

Assuming it would be too hard to steer without the motor, my solution would be to buy a second motor and swap them out at regular intervals. That way I would be able to clean one motor at my leisure. I could even keep it in the trunk as a "spare", ha ha. Supposedly it's a snap to remove them on Cobalts. On Ions I think there is more dashboard guck in the way.


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