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Old 01-06-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
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04 9-3 no sound no click no start

I have no clue what the problem could be. Whenever I go to start the car there is no sound no click just silence. I have a small child, a pregnant wife, my grandmother recently was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and job cut back my hours. It goes without saying my Saab issues could not have come at a worse time. I got the car 3mos. ago (big mistake) as a graduation gift to myself. I bought a starter going to have it installed soon. I also think it could be ignition switch. If anyone has experienced this with their Saab 9-3 I am begging for insight and advice.

Last edited by SaabinMd; 01-06-2014 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:01 AM   #2
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If there is no sound at all , nothing, normally that indicates a bad ground somewhere , I had that same thing happen when a my negative battery terminal became ungrounded. It is something to check , hopefully someone on here that is more familiar with your particular car chimes in and helps good luck
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:49 AM   #3
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Does the info display chime when you put the key into the ignition (before you turn it) or display any errors? Does the steering column lock *click* correctly when you put the key in?

When you turn the key to ON do all the accessories work correctly? (Radio, lights, turn signals, etc.)
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:57 PM   #4
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Does the info display chime when you put the key into the ignition (before you turn it) or display any errors? Does the steering column lock *click* correctly when you put the key in?

When you turn the key to ON do all the accessories work correctly? (Radio, lights, turn signals, etc.)
The radio, signals, and lights all work. It has recently started displaying messages at random sometimes it says key not recognized, other times it says air bag malfunction. Steering column does not click (never noticed until now). Thanks
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:01 PM   #5
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If there is no sound at all , nothing, normally that indicates a bad ground somewhere , I had that same thing happen when a my negative battery terminal became ungrounded. It is something to check , hopefully someone on here that is more familiar with your particular car chimes in and helps good luck
Thanks for your input. Was grounding your negative battery a diy job or was it an expensive fix?
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input. Was grounding your negative battery a diy job or was it an expensive fix?
easy job just find where it is grounded to and tighten bolt , however I would try and do what DrewP said he has probably forgotten more about saabs than I will ever know , Im somewhat shade tree. he I believe is a tech or was a tech
your starter also has a ground , however if you are getting power to the radio and those things the ground wires are probably fine, when my ground wire came loose I got no power to anything including SID or radio
good luck again
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:40 PM   #7
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Yes, first step is double check the battery cables. They both need to be clean and tight. The little black safety disconnect box on the positive battery terminal on the early cars can sometimes cause problems. With the battery disconnected so it's safe you can take the cable connected to the black box and connect it onto the threaded stud that's directly on the battery ring lug. (Hopefully you see what I'm talking about when you look at it. That thing is a remote safety breaker that shuts off the electrical accessories in the event of a crash - later cars don't have them, it's just a plain battery cable).

The KEY NOT ACCEPTED warning and steering column lock not working could be a result of poor battery connection, or it could be something starting to fail in the anti-theft system, which is commonly the ignition switch (called ISM - you can replace this without re-programming anything yourself), but everything else will require diagnostic time from someone who knows how to use the factory programming tool.

It could also be the starter. I think I only ever replaced one starter on a 9-3SS, but that's an easy job especially if you already bought it.

If you have more than one key try the other key and see if it's any different.

Let us know how far that gets you.

If you are handy with electrical tools you could check that the starter is getting +12 volts on the trigger wire when a helper holds the key to start, but if you're not handy doing that it can be a little hairy and I would leave it to someone experienced.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:52 AM   #8
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Yes, first step is double check the battery cables. They both need to be clean and tight. The little black safety disconnect box on the positive battery terminal on the early cars can sometimes cause problems. With the battery disconnected so it's safe you can take the cable connected to the black box and connect it onto the threaded stud that's directly on the battery ring lug. (Hopefully you see what I'm talking about when you look at it. That thing is a remote safety breaker that shuts off the electrical accessories in the event of a crash - later cars don't have them, it's just a plain battery cable).

The KEY NOT ACCEPTED warning and steering column lock not working could be a result of poor battery connection, or it could be something starting to fail in the anti-theft system, which is commonly the ignition switch (called ISM - you can replace this without re-programming anything yourself), but everything else will require diagnostic time from someone who knows how to use the factory programming tool.

It could also be the starter. I think I only ever replaced one starter on a 9-3SS, but that's an easy job especially if you already bought it.

If you have more than one key try the other key and see if it's any different.

Let us know how far that gets you.

If you are handy with electrical tools you could check that the starter is getting +12 volts on the trigger wire when a helper holds the key to start, but if you're not handy doing that it can be a little hairy and I would leave it to someone experienced.
I finally found the time to replace the starter but it still is not working. I am hoping I can figure it out soon. I get no sound still the mechanic says he can figure it out but this is the same guy who told me it was the starter. Now it seems like its going cost even more money. The engine turns manually so it is not a dead engine. I know these cars go through batteries could it be the battery is not strong enough to power the new starter?
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:52 PM   #9
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Make sure that the ground cable to the starter, and seloniod are in good shape. Fought the grounding issue after changing starter. Check battery in the key fob, as well as other key as per Drew.

PS: What part of MD?
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:12 AM   #10
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ISM is a common failure, and relatively inexpensive, I believe.
Generally, when there's no clicking, it's immobilizer related, which would leave me to believe the ISM is the culprit.

I'd swing by autozone and get one of those $2 battery terminal cleaners, and clean the terminals, and the cables. It certainly wouldn't hurt.
However, when there's a bad connection, you'll *usually* hear the click, and everything will dim from the draw...
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