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Hello! I am new to the forum and happy to be here. I have spent a great deal of time searching through this forum looking for a solution to my problem before taking the step of posting and taking your time. Unfortunately, I have not run across any post regarding my exact symptoms so here it goes!

I recently detailed my '04 9-3 Aero 2.0T 6-speed which also included washing and detailing the engine compartment. I mention this as water may be the culprit. After the bath the car started right up no problem and was moved into the garage. A few days later, I went to start it and with the first attempt the engine cranked over easily but made no attempt to fire. After the first attempt, the car wont even try to turn over but it does interrupt the headlights and some dash electronics like usual. I even took the battery out of the car and ran it down to autozone for a quick test and they said the battery looked acceptable and was at about 80%. Just for the heck of it, and because the battery was getting old anyway, I bought a new battery but the issue remains. Each time I disconnect the battery or just let the car sit for and hour or two, the same thing happens, it cranks easily without firing on the first attempt then wont even try after that. When the car does crank over it is registering RMP's on the tac. Not sure what that indicates but I have been asked that before. I plugged my scanner in, and although just a cheap one, it gave me codes P0601, P0601 (pending) and code P0628. I have also tried unplugging and cleaning about every electrical plug I can locate as well as made sure the ground off the battery is clean and solid to the frame. Another strange symptom is that the steering wheel does not lock even when the key is removed. Also, the ignition seems a bit sticky and difficult to turn without wiggling the key sometimes. I tried both keys with the same results.

I have talked to numerous people and have a list of about a dozen possible causes but nobody seems real confident in their diagnosis and each potential fix is time consuming and costly, just hoping someone here can help me narrow this down and we can come up with my next move since I am 100+ miles from the nearest Saab repair guy!

Sorry for the long winded story but just want to cover all I know to this point. Reading through posts has lead me to consider possible problems with the battery, CPS, Oil pressure sensor, lift pump, ground wire, ECU, starter relay and on and on; can anyone help me narrow down the list?!?! I am very mechanical just need to narrow down the likely culprits a bit before I invest a bunch of time and money!

Thanks in advance for any and all information!
 

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Unfortunately P0601 is a well documented fault code that means an internal (electrical) failure inside the engine ECU itself. The ECU is mounted underneath the black plastic cover on the front of the engine, and has two large slide-lock connectors.

Before attempting to remove it unplug the battery and leave the car sit for a few minutes, then check to see if water got into either of those connectors.

If it does need an ECU, the ECU has to be programmed to match the alarm immobilization code of the car with the factory Tech2 tool, and someone who has the service subscription from Saab that gives the tool "Security Access". Sort of like a gate keeper security code that will let the tool actually add the ECU to your security system.

There are some other threads here and on other forums about 9-3 Sport Sedans (especially early 2003-2005 ones like yours) throwing P0601 faults that will let the engine crank but not start, or do nothing at all.

You should also post your location in case any members here (or on SaabCentral if you put this there, there are more 9-3SS drivers there anyway) know of an independent shop that might be able to help you that's nearby.
 
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