2000 SAAB 9-3 from North America - Comments

1st Sep 2009, 09:22

I currently own a 2002 9.3 Saab convertible. I leased a Saab prior to purchasing because I loved the car. My 2002 I've had now for seven years. Up until about 2 1/2 months ago I've had similar problems that many of the others are experiencing. The Neutral Safety Switch. I've taken back to the mechanic at least every 2 weeks. It's going back today. They really can't figure out why sometimes it starts and sometimes it doesn't. Of course it starts when ever they have it in their shop. I agree... it does start when it feels like it. This is not good... I never know when it's going to start, so I'm afraid to venture too far from home.

10th Sep 2009, 18:52

I own a 2002 Saab 9-3 SE and am experiencing the same "not starting" problem for 2 years now. I have had the crank sensor and starter replaced, the fuel pump and ignition module checked and no one can give me an answer. Even when the repair shops have "recreated the scenario", they have no clue as to why it will randomly not start. I am a young woman in nursing school who has to drive 40 minutes everyday to get to class or clinical. I'm afraid I am going to be alone in the parking lot one night with a car that won't start and be in a lot of trouble!

2nd Dec 2009, 09:10

Hello everyone,

I have a 2001 SAAB 93 2.0t SE Auto.

And yes, I have the same start/ non start problem. I have replaced the CPS, to no avail. I have a very talented electrician who is going to "wire in" to the circuit that leads to the starter, so I can turn the starter over without using the ignition.

3 weeks ago I was stuck for over 2Hrs, So I called out the AA (car recovery).

He checked relays, fuses etc. Checked the current leading to the starter, all OK. He came up with no explanation. Yet he did get me started by holding one end of a length of wire on the starter and the other end on the battery, (and with the key in the ON position) and lo and behold, it fired up and I made it home.

If my electrician can't "wire in" to the circuit, then I will have to try replacing the NSS.

I'll be back to inform everyone next week if the DIY fix has worked.

Regards.

Alex.

2nd Jan 2010, 13:06

In any gasoline vehicle you have two systems.

1. The ignition system which causes the engine to run. Sparks the spark plugs. Uses the ECU and sensors for spark timing, etc.

2. The other system is the starting (starter) system, which provides power to the starter and turns the engine over. The Neutral Safety Switch is in this system. Ignition modules and Crank position sensors have nothing to do with the starting system. This system doesn't even need spark plugs installed to work.

Hopefully this will keep people from confusing the two. So, if you hit the key and nothing (all quiet) it's the starting system. If you hit the key and the engine turns (makes a cranking noise) but does not start, it's the ignition system.

14th Jan 2010, 10:38

Hello, I need help to solve a problem with my Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan 1.8 04.

I have a very random problem, sometimes (nowadays more often) I can't start my car or even unlock my doors with the key (must unlock it manually). Sometimes when I have driven for some km, and have been in a store or something, when I come back to the car, first of all I can't unlock it, so I do it manually. Then when I try to put the key in the hole, I don't hear any "click" and I can't turn the key. It's dead. "Radio works if I turn it on" and I can't unlock the door with the auto switch in the car either. I must do it manually.

The key's battery is new, the car battery is OK I think because it works most of time. Seems to work better when it's cold outside. Problem occurs so randomly, but seems if I "stress" the car or if it's heated up in coupe. But sometimes it works as it should.

When I want it to start again, I try to hit the panel or slam the door, then it may work again, but sometimes it doesn't work to slam, so then I don't have any option then to wait minutes or hours until I can test and it will start without any problem..

I don't get any errors or nothing, I having very hard time to find what the problem is. I have read about this problem on all Internet forums and several guys having exactly the same problem as me. (but it's hard when it seems like it's similar problem, but they often get some error or something)

2 answers that seem to work or have worked for 2 people were an issue with one of the wires, which connects the battery to the car. And I have tried to clean the negative pool. But the problem wasn't solved. I really need all expertise about this, because I like my car, but I don't have any extra money to spend on it. Any ideas? Please help.

And also can I bypass this any way? I don't think it helps to set a cable from battery to the starter because I can't even turn the key around. The system is not "unlocked".

31st Jan 2010, 23:01

I also have the same problem with my SAAB 2000 9-5 wagon not starting. It's completely unpredictable. My strategy now has been to try to start it a bunch of times, then wait and count to 60 slowly (my 6-year-old son's idea) and try again. So far this has worked after a few times. My SAAB mechanic, who I trust, didn't come up with any easy answers. From looking on internet forums seems like the most definitive answer is neutral safety switch. Has anyone else had success with fixing/replacing neutral safety switch? Any idea of cost?

1st Feb 2010, 05:01

Hello again,

Finally I have completed my DIY fix. I'm not responsible for any outcome that others might have, but for me it has worked a treat.

You need to locate the RELAY K1 (this is the starter motor relay and is found by removing the cover underneath the steering column).

Buy a new relay, modify with a power in wire (electrician required), replace original K1 Relay with the modified one.

Attach a cigarette lighter power plug (to give the relay power to work) to the other end of the wire leading to the relay.

Also attach a push button switch (hold for on, release for off) at the same end as the cigarette lighter power plug.

When the car doesn't start, simply ensure engine in PARK, turn key to ON position. Plug in cigarette lighter power plug and then press button to turn over starter motor. Hey Presto, the car starts.

Cost me £5, and the £130 for the new CPS, which didn't work.

Regards, Alex.

18th Feb 2010, 11:20

Thanks Alex.

I will look into the relay switch, but drive a standard '02 93 SE. I find myself - or my wife pushing the car across parking lots in the middle of the night to bunny hop start.

Again like others, service technicians have not found a problem when testing the battery or starter.

Hopefully this will help.

D.