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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my wife calls me last night and says the car isn't starting. It was working fine all day, she went in to get groceries and when she came out, no crank.
So, we called to get a pickup for her and my son and I talked to her about what had happened earlier in the day and she said it felt fine and wasn't giving her any problems
Then she tried one more time and it fired right up like nothing had happened... no check engine light or anything.

I had her drive home and tried turning the car off and on a few times and all seemed fine... My technician friend came over and gave it a look over and couldn't see anything wrong either. Battery seemed strong after multiple restarts in the cold...

of course, now she's worried about driving it.

Anyone have any idea what that could have been?

We can only suspect it was either the alarm (does that have an immobilizer in it?) or the starter motor (I neglected to ask her if it was 'clicking' when she turned the key and she doesn't remember now)

We've been getting 'Service Theft Alarm' off and on for the past 5 years, generally when it gets cold out. I wasn't sure if the theft alarm has immobilizer circuitry in it?
 

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Kinda sounds like a CPS (crank position sensor) going bad.

But could use some more info. Does it just crank and crank not firing up. Or was the engine not even turning over?
 

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Yeah, sounds like a CPS.

Do a search, many people have had this issue, you'll find all their symptoms as well.
 

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Wow, 100% my bad. Read right over that.

Sorry...
 

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is there any way to bypass it if it happens again?
I can't afford to put any money into this car at all
we're trading it in come January

Looks to be a $200-600 part...
Yes there is a way to do it, basically you just make the wiring the same as on the manual cars, theres a thread about it on saabcentral.

Paul
 

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Changing the N safety switch is not difficult...its right on top of the transmission. Its not one of those things you want your wife to be dealing with for sure ! Mine has been going for a while, but I have the right touch...my wife drove me car the other day and it would not send power to the starter when she was at the gas station...she was super pissed and ask me if something was wrong with my car...umm not that I know of :)

You might want to read this:

No Start due to incorrect light bulbs
Be very careful when replacing bulbs in the turn signals and taillights. We have seen issues when people install multi filament bulbs in single filament bulb sockets and visa-versa. One of the issues that we have seen is that the vehicle will run on when turning the ignition off or will not start at all. Keep in mind that different symptoms could occur with different cars. This may or may not apply to your particular Saab.

Thanks to Andrey Y for contributing to this FAQ!

I can verify this problem in my 2003 9-3 linear with different bulbs in the rear tail lights the entire car lighting system from the exterior would flash like a police cruiser and my car would not start. Once the bulbs were replaced with the correct bulbs the car started fine.
 

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The faulty Neutral Safety switch was mainly found on 2001 MY Saab's - no Idea why - but that's just what it was. Getting a good used one from any other year (should be the same part number) would work. They are not too hard to replace - but it is under the battery more or less.

Hot engine - no start, all power and lights on, no crank = Neutral Safety Switch

often times to diag this - aside from getting the car hot and having it not start, you could "power shift" the trans through the gears a few times and back into either part or neutral and it would all of a sudden start - that confirm the problem 99% of the time.

Yes - not cheap new, but usually once you replace it you never have to again with a new part in this case anyways.
 

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I have a 2001 and it would be interesting when I replace it to compare the two parts...I figure I will grab one used from a 2006+ or newer...The volvo's had tons of problems with these on their cars in the late 90's and early 00's and the major cause was the lubrication inside the unit would start to dry up and gunk up the connectors...I guess you could take it apart and clean it, but more than likely the problem would come back after a small time period and that would not be worth it to me.
 

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First thing to do is clean the connections with contact cleaner for the nutral switch. Make sure none of the pins are corroded. Then you need to clean yor battery cables and pay close attention to the connection on the positive side, if the green stuff has grown into the cable replace the cable. Next move to your starter, and clean and retighten all the connections. We find this will cure 90% of the no start issues with the 9-5's and 9-3's. After doing these things and the car still won't start we wire in a test light on signal wire to the starter to watch for current at the starter when this happens. We will see alot of times where the current is low not alowing the starter to turn. If this is the case after cleaning all the wires replace the nutral switch, if this isn't the case replace the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Changing the N safety switch is not difficult...its right on top of the transmission. Its not one of those things you want your wife to be dealing with for sure ! Mine has been going for a while, but I have the right touch...my wife drove me car the other day and it would not send power to the starter when she was at the gas station...she was super pissed and ask me if something was wrong with my car...umm not that I know of :)

You might want to read this:

No Start due to incorrect light bulbs
Be very careful when replacing bulbs in the turn signals and taillights. We have seen issues when people install multi filament bulbs in single filament bulb sockets and visa-versa. One of the issues that we have seen is that the vehicle will run on when turning the ignition off or will not start at all. Keep in mind that different symptoms could occur with different cars. This may or may not apply to your particular Saab.

Thanks to Andrey Y for contributing to this FAQ!

I can verify this problem in my 2003 9-3 linear with different bulbs in the rear tail lights the entire car lighting system from the exterior would flash like a police cruiser and my car would not start. Once the bulbs were replaced with the correct bulbs the car started fine.
My wife has been getting an occasional "Bulb out" message on her SID, but we never see a bulb out...
 
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